Lately I feel a spending hangover anytime I buy anything. Often foreshadowed by the binge high I feel while shopping, the bloatedness and regret comes from throwing things in my cart and knowing we can pay for them but not being sure if we should.
I hate that.
I don’t have an eating disorder, but I’d imagine it feels much like my money highs and lows because unlike other vices from which you can abstain, you have to eat and you have to spend money. Because I’m also a procrastinator and dig-my-head-in-the-sand-er, it can take months before I finally deal with the discomfort.
(Note: lucky for me, it’s just emotional discomfort and regret. While we certainly could save more, we are fortunate enough to be able to pay for everything whether I pay close attention or not. Let it be said that I recognize this.)
So, today, on payday, I created a nudge. I made a list of things we need to buy and then bought them. I didn’t go to fifteen stores to check prices (inevitably buying $100 worth of other stuff at each store). I didn’t search endlessly for other options. I put them in my Amazon cart and clicked the button. Done. Included in the purchase was a single, beautiful photo ABC book because Javi has been loving the letter E lately.* Not five books at half price, and not no books because I couldn’t make a decision. One beautiful book.
Then, needing to leave the house for a while, I went to Old Navy and bought all of and only the things I’d planned on: a pair of skinny cords (in a boring color because I know myself better than to buy them in turquoise) and two comfy v-neck shirts. I cruised the clearance aisles but didn’t fall for the “this is less expensive even if it’s not quite what I wanted” monster, nor did I pay heed to the “as long as I’m here, why don’t I just grab a few of those” ghoul.
All in all, a (very small, admittedly) success in getting back on to a budget.
For a year or more, I’ve been following Jules’ William Morris projects. In her words:
For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).
I might finally be ready to start my own William Morris projects.
*I should rename this blog Asterisk Me. This asterisk is because I don’t want anyone to misinterpret my comment about my 14 month old loving the letter E. He doesn’t recognize/ read the letter but he LOVES to say it. I blame the apples and bananas song for keeping him from even attempting to say anything other than “E-E-E!” So, we’ll turn this into a probably-too-early teachable moment to talk about letters.