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Day 8 Frugal Living Challenge: Controlling Impulse Spending

February 19, 2012

A few years ago I would have bought whatever I wanted at the moment if I had the money in my pocket. Or worse, I would have pulled out the credit card if I really wanted it…

Fast forward to today, and that is a totally different picture. It’s not that I don’t see things and not want them sometimes, but my ability to control myself has strengthened so that I can examine if it is something I truly need, if I can afford it, and if it will enhance our family’s life in some way. Something I recently had to come to grips with was my addiction to crafting. While many awesome and useful things came out of that, there were some wasteful things as well- and that is hard for me to admit because I can’t stand waste. So I have limited myself to visiting the craft store once a month. If I can make it a whole month without going, I earn my own private bragging rights that I went a whole month without. It doesn’t earn me an extra trip. If I don’t already have the supplies for a new project I want already in my craft closet, oh well!

In the eighth post of the Frugal Living Challenge, Andrea gives us several suggestions on how to break free of impulse spending. These include:

  • Refuse: just say no, man!
  • Avoid the mall, big box stores, and other shopping centers
  • Stick to your list
  • Reduce your time in front of the television
  • Be aware of Internet marketing
  • Limit magazine reading
  • Monitor your urges

Daily Goal: Determine your strategy for controlling impulse spending.

Me: I suppose I did this a bit at the beginning with my craft spending. Every other area of my life is easy to control as far as impulse spending- groceries, clothing, and stuff in general is easy to monitor. I really have to watch the crafting. For example, right now I really want to invest in some supplies for making my own salves, conditioners and deodorant. When I say ‘invest’ I mean like $25. It’s not a bank breaker, but it is money nonetheless. I know the math breakdown in the end spells out a substantial savings over time and the quantity produced will be greater than what I could coupon for in the store- not to mention the advantage of using healthier products with reusable packaging. BUT, it borders on the whole crafting thing, so I am making myself wait. I know our home will not run out of any necessities while I am in the process of controlling the urge. I have a list of all the items I need to make these products and have added up the cost of each to be sure I have a realistic figure.  I am making myself wait one month before making the purchase. If I still see the value in a month, I give myself permission to make the investment. I know it sounds really weird. But it is so easy to purchase one more thing… because I’ve been a good girl…because it is used in all these other things that I want to make… it is a good price… See the slippery slope of impulse craft spending and all the justifications that can be used? Yeah, I should have probably joined some sort of Crafter’s AA. Pinterest for me is like an alcoholic in Spec’s. My mantra is that crafting works for me, I don’t work for crafting.

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