Saving and spending money do not seem to be good bedmates; I love to do both. It’s just that during the last couple of years, my desire not to spend money has overcome my addiction to spending, and my savings have enjoyed the benefits.
Apart from that, some readers wanted a post on how to stay away from spending temptations during the holiday season especially. I’ve been brooding on this topic, so here you are.
Get To the Bottom of Your Spending
Let’s handle the weighty things now, because I consider that doing things this way will put the practical ideas into their place. Not long ago, I read the novel, Lost and Found, by Geenen Roth. Along with her husband, Roth lost their savings during the Bernie Madoff disgrace, but her novel is nearly all about her passionate relations with money.
Particularly in one place in the book, Roth shows her particular preoccupation about a pair of stylish but pricey eyeglasses she badly wanted to purchase. The preoccupation is similar to her rapport with use. Interviewed by Time she gives the reason: “In the same way that we use food for emotional reasons, we use buying things to fill something that we cannot quite name.”
To Roth, Things were equal to ‘love’. Where I was concerned, Things meant I was a part of it. I recall one out-of-control spree at University extremely well; I was being paid $10 per hour, and I missed classes to go shopping for many clothes. I recall the thought: This is so insensible making its presence felt in my head, and it was probably that time that I understood what shopping was to me. To me, gaining a new wardrobe equaled me being newer and improved. I would be more independent, less needy. (It wasn’t successful.)
Here are some suggestions to avoid spending during the holiday season:
A reader, Erica, agrees. She commented: “ I find if I walk around with something in my hand in the store, after a while, I’m over it and I can put it back.”
I think that the fact of ‘owning it’ for a short time does not change your life in any way and you can live without it. This does involve a great amount of self-discipline and may not always work.
Focus on the big picture
This worked for Dad and me too. Don’t think about your lack. Replace this thought with what you want to achieve in financial goals. I kept watching my budget each day, perused personal finance and careful living blogs, kept my plans updated and watched my money grow. Okay, I still desire things but I don’t buy as much because quitting upsets my aims.
Binge-shopping is usually not thought-out. Therefore not embarking hastily on sprees helps you make up your mind whether you need an item, or whether it is just buying to spend money. “I’ve gotten to a point of waiting a week or a month or a year.” Dad explained. “And, if I still want or think I need it then so be it, I will get it. But, usually, it turns out the impulsive thought has passed.”
Don’t go shopping with spendthrift acquaintances
A friend of mine was great to go shopping with. He always purchased and that made me feel much better about my problem. If I’m unsure and I see him buying, then I am more likely to buy too.
Keep away from shops
Companies and firms work on emotional triggers. They put a lot of effort into trying to make us buy.
Go out without money
This may be opposite to the above, but I learned to enjoy things without owning them. Go visit shops without any money. This way, you cannot buy anything, so you just have to see things as just things.
You can also see the mechanisms that go into making you buy. All the subtle tricks, and displays. It may help you resist next time.
Write out a list of what you already have.
Keep this list where you can see it. However, keeping a list showed me where my money had gone. Besides, hearing a little voice in my head saying: Hey! You really don’t need this is easily ignored. A list is not, and besides, I can see what I already have that meets my needs.
I have improved, but I still have setbacks. If I am having a bad day or work is piling on top of me, ‘retail therapy’ really calls to me. Again, it is not bad to want things, only when it gets in the way of your well-being or saving or life-goals, then it is a nasty problem.
Follow the above tips and you will hopefully be able to avoid spending temptations during the holiday season.