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Has the Economy changed your shopping habits?

by J. Money on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Economy's got nothin' on us.I was a frugal ba$tard long before the Economy got all kooky ;)

And it’s a good thing too or else we’d be really hurtin’! While we were lucky enough to figure it out beforehand, unfortunately others weren’t :( This leads to today’s post inspired by my girl Frugal, who should actually be about married right now! Congrats my fellow friend & blogger!

So if it wasn’t the economy that changed MY shopping habits, what was it? Well, I wouldn’t say it was 1 big thing in particular, but rather a few that came together around the same time for me. I’ve talked about most of them before, but it’s always a great reminder (even if just for myself) of the path that still gets me rollin’ today. Here were/are the 3 things:

1. Buying a home.
This was the first time I realized how important it is to stay on top of your finances (and it actually led me down the path to blogging!). It’s one thing to rent by yourself and glance over at your bank account every now and then, but it’s a whole ‘nother buying with someone and having to pay double what you’re used to! After a few months of this, I wised up and started to wonder how the hell I’d be able to keep this up. (note to self: Better to do this BEFORE you buy a house next time! Sheesh).

2. Tracking my money
When you sit down and actually SEE the breakdown of your income and expenses, your whole brain opens up and gives you a swift kick in the pants! It’s not like my habits were all that terrible to begin with, but it did make me realize I needed to prioritize better. You may not notice the difference at first, but over time you’ll come to realize just how big of an influence this has over you!

3. Taking up a “No Spend” Challenge!
I’ve talked about the process and psychology behind this before, but it’s helluva experience if you haven’t tried it before! I actually gave up “shopping” for Lent last year (yeah Catholics!) and boy was it interesting. Imagine, 2 whole months w/out buying clothes, lottery tickets, bananas (woah!), or anything else that’s not a “necessity” or books (I still wanted to read) – do you think you could you do it? I slipped once by accident – I bought an itunes song w/out even thinking twice – but for the most part I passed the test.

But this exercise really taught me a lot in the end – You really CAN limit your spending once you get in the habit of it! It’s been almost a year since I did this, and I can tell you with utmost certainty that this little blogger has cut his shopping by at LEAST 75%! And you know what? I don’t even know what I’m missing! haha…guess i wasn’t picking up anything super important ;)

So how about you all? Do you find yourself hoarding more money, or spending less due to the Economy? Or perhaps you were already sexy little boogers before the mess even started ;)


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