Though I’m not one for New Year resolutions (either making them or sticking to them), I have marinated on curbing my mindless spending for a minute now.
Luckily, I have never had any serious debt in my life. I’ve always had good instincts for spending below my means. In recent years though, thanks to increased income, this has rather translated into an inability to save. I never looked at my numbers (incoming and outgoing money) proportionally, and grew complacent with just easily having money leftover at the end of each pay period. I considered that “saving”. But I wasn’t making an effort, and I “saved” (passively) at an abysmally slower rate than when I made very little money. I think my sister would have argued that saving passively is not saving at all, and these days I agree.
I’m changing my attitude towards spending by changing my attitude towards money and time. I’ve been uncritical of the money and time I spent shopping, because I knew it was not a notable percentage. I spend the majority of my limited free time on hobbies other than shopping. I spend just a portion of my discretionary income on stuff I want. I’m good, right? WRONG! Sure, my shopping isn’t negatively impacting my life by depleting vitally needed resources, but I sure can spend those still finite resources engaging in activities that will have positive impact!
It isn’t saving if I’m not making a conscious choice backed by conscious effort.
For that I need practical steps such as shopping only with the ideal item and a reasonable budget in mind (nothing less [does it have a weird detail? chuck it!] or more [is it just a hair overpriced? no thanks!] will do). I need to more often, more consistently choose activities other than browsing merchandise as a way to spend time. And I need to make overarching changes such as evaluating my choices with more complex criteria. I need to think about the impact I make with my money (on the environment, on others around me, and on myself). I need to think about the voting power of my money and do my research before casting even a few dollars.
I need to better myself, and set a better example for Mini.
Whew, that’s a lot and I know it! The next steps are much harder. I’ll have to face the facts of what I bought, and confront why I bought them. Spoiler alert, there often isn’t a very good reason at all.
Take a breather, I’ll bring updates!