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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Consumption Madness

Today is one of those days where I feel like buying the WHOLE world. I want stamps, fabric, scrap booking paper, ingredients for new recipes, quilling supplies, stickers, cookie cutters, NEW HEELS; anything I can get my hands on.

This is obviously a conflicting interest with paying for school this semester. I have to keep reminding myself that school is MUCH MUCH more important than a day of shopping at Michaels, Amazon, eBay, and Pebbles in my Pocket.

Also, this conflicts with the fact that I am ALWAYS trying to save money. With all of these hobbies taking over my life, it's a tad difficult to be saving lotsa lotsa money. I just need more discipline.

So, if you're like me and you start feeling consumption madness coming on, I would like to give you this list of ways to curb it.


1. REALLY think about what you're going to do with this purchase when you get home. Will it go straight to the closet? Will it just lay on your desk for two weeks? Will you forget you even bought it? STRONGLY consider the practicality of your purchase.

2. When you're in the store getting ready to buy the object, walk around with it for a while. After a good ten to fifteen minutes, you'll start to realize that you don't really need it. I( don't know how this works, but it just does). TAKE THE THING THAT'S GOING TO TAKE MONEY OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT FOR A WALK FIRST.

3. When you actually do decide to buy it, use cash only. I've read on a lot of websites and budgeting articles that using cash gives the buyer a sense of WHAT THE HELL AM I SPENDING ALL OF THIS MONEY FOR!? Once you start taking out a couple of twenties and getting a dollar back in change, you're going to start to wonder if that was really worth it. USE CASH CONSTANTLY.

4. If you go shopping and you decide that you just fell in love with that beautiful sheer cover-up dress and those amazing stilletoes that are sure to make you feel confident, then go home first, relax a little bit, and see if you still think that those articles are going to make you feel powerful. If the answer is yes after a couple of days, THEN GO GET THEM! :] (LOL, you can only pass up something so fantastic so many times!) More than likely, you won't feel like going out again because you realize that purchase wasn't really worth it. Congratulate yourself when this happens because it means you saved money that you can now use for practical purposes. DETACH YOURSELF FROM THE SITUATION BEFORE YOU BRING OUT THE WALLET.

5. If you happen to have Google Chrome, then you should definitely get the Universal Amazon Wish List extension. Whenever you're online shopping anywhere and you see something you want, amazon wish list it, and then come back to it after a week. Most of the time you'll forget you even put it on your wish list, and you'll wonder why you ever wanted it in the first place. (I do this all of the time with my eBay watch list too). PUT ALL OF YOUR WANTED ITEMS IN ONE PLACE & THEN COME BACK TO THEM LATER.

6. Start saving regularly. Trust me, it's addicting. Put away 25$ a week, and you'll be amazed at the increase in your savings.

7. This may sound a little iffy, but you really have to watch out who you're hanging out with. If you have friends who shop as a hobby and go out for lavish lunches, you might want to give them a couple of rain checks. You don't have to say no all of the time, but you don't have to constantly say yes either. Stick with the people who are okay with staying in and watching a movie. You'll be amazed at how much money accumulates in your bank account after you do this. CATEGORIZE FRIENDS.

8. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR EXPENSES. This tip is literally in every book I read about finance. It is absolutely imperative to find a book that fits in your purse, your pocket, or one that you won't forget about at home to write down where every penny of your money is going. Once you start this, you'll think twice about buying that little item for one dollar to avoid writing it in the book. This type of tracking technique helps so much at the end of the month when you're adding up all of your expenses, and you realize that you've spent WAY too much money on food and clothes.

9. EMBRACE BEING A LIST JUNKIE. Lists are the only thing that can actually organize my thoughts in my life, and they do wonderful things to help you visualize what is REALLY important to you. I suggest making a priority list. For example,

1. Saving
2. Mortgage
3. Car Insurance
4. Car Payment
5. Other bills
6. Other grown-up responsibilities
7. Groceries
8. Clothes
9. Eating out

Once you start to see what is really necessary in your life to pay for first, you can have all of that accomplished, put money away, and still have money to play with.

Now, I'll end this post hoping you're a tad bit wiser with your money (I'm now convinced that I don't need to buy all of the craft-related things in the world), and I'll leave you with a couple of book recommendations. One is called 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget by the writers at Wise Bread. The other is called Live It, Love It, Earn it by Marianna Olszewski. GO TO THE LIBRARY AND GET THEM. :]


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