Wednesday, July 10, 2019

buying impulses

After about five years of working to become more frugal, I still struggle against the desire to buy things I don't need. This seems to be one of the toughest challenges in life for many people whether you manage to become a frugal pro or not. It's probably a little easier to resist if you are on a very tight budget and can quickly dismiss something as out of budget. But when you're making very comfortable money that you're trying to focus on saving, it becomes measurably harder to resist the impulse to buy some pretty thing you think will improve your life.

I've succumbed to this consumerist trap many times, even as I've improved my frugal reflexes over the years, and still continue to make weak purchasing decisions. Especially when it comes to entertainment for kiddo. I'm far better at frugality when it comes to buying on myself, but with kiddo both DH and I are still bumbling novices splurging and random things that give about a day-and-a-half of entertainment then collect dust in a bin forever (until we finally manage to give it away). And sometimes those random eventual-wastes-of-money are for myself, too.

And those pretty little things often end up sitting in the cabinet indefinitely until we finally admit we're not going to use it enough to justify keeping it, and out it goes again. As humans we tend to forget the lesson that we don't need these pretties to enjoy a fulfilling life, of course. But after the zillionth time, DH and I continue relearn the lesson, getting better at retaining it a little bit each time. Embracing a little bit of minimalism as a concept and a practice has gone a long way in helping us stick to it.

There are things we enjoy spending money on like fancy alcoholic beverages, but often end up having to remind ourselves that a great bottle of wine for twenty bucks can be quite satisfying, and that we won't die feeling our lives are incomplete having not tried a reportedly mind-blowing wine at $1500.  

In the end it is a worthwhile exercise to keep working at, even if we've been conditioned in modern society to think otherwise. Because while we spout mindless platitudes that we like to ignore about money not buying happiness, it is actually true that we really don't need to blow big bucks on more well-marketed stuff to enjoy life. 

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