May 17 2009

Fighting an urge to spend friviolously


So we’ve been out of debt for like a week and already I’m feeling the urge to spend all that “extra” money we now have. Not good.

I’m surprised at myself. Normally, I don’t like spending money. But over the past few days, I’ve been fantasizing about all the nice things crap we can now afford.  

It’s almost all frivolous stuff — and stuff I don’t even think I actually want. It’s just stuff I know we can buy. 

I’m annoyed at myself, because I want to reduce the amount of stuff we have lying around in our apartment, not add to the clutter. 

And yet, this money is really burning a hole in my pocket. 

Shane and I would like to have the money to buy a house next year if we wanted to. That means saving at least $15,000 more than what we have right now. 

If we want to save that kind of cash, then I need to stop this nonsense.

Maybe it would be a good idea to budget for these frivolous things. Some people call this their “blow money” within their budget. The nice thing about it is that it gives you permission to spend, while still putting a limit on how much you blow.

You can keep up with your savings goals without feeling totally deprived this way.

Another thing I’m doing is I’m keeping a list of all the things I might want to buy. The more expensive the item, the longer I should wait to buy it. If a few weeks pass, I might find that I no longer want it. 

Money — spent or saved — can trigger an emotional reponse in us. It’s important that we stay in control of our emotions (and money!).

Posted under Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Fighting an urge to spend friviolously”

  1. I am a huge fan of having “blow” money. We always set aside a small portion of any large lump sums of money we get (tax returns, bonuses etc..) to spend on something frivolous. We also set a (really) small amt aside each week for the same (typically to cover things like my once a week trip to Starbucks, for example)

    If we didn’t allow ourselves that, I think I would go nuts! :-) I’m a spender by nature though.

  2. Although it’s not a popular or sensitive thing to say in these hard times, I am having a harder time NOT spending money now that we have a little more income than I EVER did when we were scraping by.

    Living below your means is a good problem to have, but one I still work every month to keep in check.

    congrats on your debt free goal!

  3. I do feel a bit awkward about saying, “Wow, we have money to blow now. Woe is meee!!” because I don’t want to be insensitive to people who are having a hard time paying bills or have dealt with foreclosure or such.

    I don’t mean this post to be insensitive in any way. I’m just trying to share what’s going on in my pf life.

    It’s weird how we’re in the best financial position we’ve EVER been in as a family all while the economy is at its worst in my lifetime.

    Meredith — it is an interesting phenomenon how it can sometimes be harder to cut spending when you don’t absolutely *have* to, ya know?

  4. My and my siblings ALL have a problem with impulse spending. So when we were little, my mom told us if we wanted something we had to put it on a list and think about it for two weeks before we actually bought it. I thought that was a good idea. :-)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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