Weekly Review: Spending
It’s only $65.00 but I have to be honest and tell you that I am bad with impulse spending. I don’t think my problem is with what I buy, I think it’s how I end up buying it. I haven’t been worried about these buys because I can rationalize the purchases as good purchases. The fact is that it’s still impulse spending because I wanted it right now, regardless of the consequences. That’s it. No other real reason.
My brain is a spoiled child and it wants all its toys NOW NOW NOW.
It’s not so bad that I can’t pay my bills or put a roof over my head but it’s still money that I hadn’t planned on spending this way. Now I’m not talking about “impulse spending” on coffee or stuff like that because I have an entertainment budget for that, but I have bought expensive items like books and electronics just because I felt like it. More on this in the next section.
Weekly Review: Life Under Construction
For me, I always judge the purchase I’ve made on it’s usefulness – if it rates well on that scale, then it’s a good purchase. But I ignore the process going on underneath that purchase decision when I make that judgment.
If I were to illustrate my thinking processes as an either/or scenario, here’s what it would look like:
I did not plan out my budget to accommodate the $100 drawing tablet purchase so I did the equivalent of eating Kraft dinner for a week. In a way, I’m still approaching money as a scarce resource. If I don’t quickly spend it on what I want, the money will go away and I won’t be able to buy it ever. I don’t know why I think like this but there is definitely a sense that I won’t ever be able to buy it if I don’t do it now.
Once I’ve bought whatever, I’m stuck with trying to live off nothing for a week because I spent too much in one area. This feast or famine approach hasn’t wrecked my budget yet because I just do without when I run out of money. However, I can see myself getting into a bad situation quite easily. I’ll blow my money on something expensive and then get mad one day because I’ve gone without for so long. Then I’ll start thinking I’m “entitled” to buy this or that because I work hard for a living. Or whatever reason, there’s so many.
Here’s an interesting infographic regarding some statistics behind impulse shopping.
Some of you might have seen the infographic before but I liked it because it shows how common this problem really is for people. It seems that resisting a good sale is like resisting chocolate cake – pretty much impossible (if you’re me, anyway).
So now that I’m aware of my brain’s nefarious plot to spend like crazy, I can come up with some ways of avoiding it.
So readers, how do you avoid the temptation to impulse spend?