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Stop Tempting Yourself!

by J. Money on Monday, March 3, 2014

temptation garden - Jack Savitsky

As I sit here throwing another chocolate whopper in my mouth, I can’t help but to kick myself for allowing them in my house in the first place. What rational person puts a box of chocolate 5 feet away from them when they’re trying to ward off sugar?? And why did my wife just buy not one, but TWO, boxes of Girl Scout cookies this week to also tempt me???

Oh that’s right, because she’s pregnant. Me? I don’t have an excuse… I’m just an idiot ;)

But while one whopper won’t necessarily kill me – or, twenty-five for that matter (someone please stop me!!!) – it’s the overall bad habits that eventually will. Whether in health, love, or in finance. As my man Kanye West once quipped:

“How do you stay faithful in a room full of hos?”

Good question, Kanye, good question… But luckily that isn’t a hard one to figure out: DON’T GO INTO A ROOM FULL OF HOS TO BEGIN WITH!

Here are other equally stupid things to do too if you’re trying to behave:

  • Hanging out at a Mercedes dealership when you have the budget of a Kia
  • Hanging out with people who hate money because eventually you will too (true fact, look it up)
  • Going to bars if you’re trying to stay sober
  • Going to the mall to “window shop” (who are you kidding??)*
  • Watching *any show* on HGTV. But especially House Hunters International (desire’s a bitch!)
  • Walking around fancy neighborhoods with fancy cars and fancy security guards**
  • Hanging out with friends after 12 am (this one’s a bone I’m throwing for my friend’s dad who always likes to say that “nothing good happens after midnight with your boys” ;) I don’t quite agree with him, but I do like giving my friend a hard time.)

And the examples go on and on and on… just like a Taio Cruz song (look at me go with all these musical references!). So unless you plan on burying your wallets anytime soon, try your best to stay out of any sticky situations. Everything that kills you may make you feel alive (I’m looking at you, OneRepublic), but do your best to “keep it in your pants.”

You’ve got priorities to stick to, people – and they don’t involve gorging yourself with whoppers!!

——–
PS: I promise more melodic references tomorrow… You’re welcome.

* I used to do that too. And now I save $200-$300 a month simply by NOT going into stores.
** I happen to get VERY motivated by this, but it’s easy to get caught up in “the dream” for all the wrong reasons. Like, for status.

[Photo by cliff1066™ // Painting by Jack Savitsky]


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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 a terrible husband... March 3, 2014 at 5:32 am

I’m totally with you, especially with things like business courses for things I want to get going in my side hustle. I’d do a free call and sometimes sign up for the course. Yes, it’s helpful. Yes, it’s an “investment in my business.” But I have like four of them that I still haven’t gone through. I need to stop learning and just start doing it already… and it’ll save me a couple bucks.

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2 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

And you’ll probably learn MORE too once you get out there and put things into the “real” world! I’m a big fan of doing and learning vs learning and then doing. Though of course it can get you in trouble too :)

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3 Alicia @ Financial Diffraction March 3, 2014 at 5:56 am

Yeah, I loved shopping for anything really – clothes, household items. Just by not going to the store, I have drastically cut down my shopping habit. And even though I went essentially cold turkey, I don’t binge when I do go to stores now.

Sweets, on the other hand, are tricky.

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4 Snarkfinance March 3, 2014 at 7:02 am

I don’t allow deserts in my house too often… I am similar to you in that I turn into a fiend when they are around. I also don’t put myself in situations that may result in me spending money, which is increasingly hard to do as my friends seem to be deciding that they are going to fall into the the “spend all our cash on status” category. Oh well, I’ve been lonely before and pulled through, I can do it again.

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5 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:32 am

Looks like some people need to be reading more of your blog!

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6 John S @ Frugal Rules March 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

“Going to the mall to “window shop” (who are you kidding??)*” We used to do this all the time as well and wondered why we didn’t have any money at the end of the month…duh! Now that we keep each other accountable it’s so much easier to not do, aside from all the other obvious reasons not to, as we know it just means more crap in the house.

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7 Jon @ Money Smart Guides March 3, 2014 at 8:20 am

I used to window shop as well. I was bored so I would head to the mall to waste some time. I would usually come back with some item of clothing that I didn’t need. Sadly it took a while for me to realize what the heck I was doing. Now I avoid the mall like the plague.

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8 Holly@ClubThrifty March 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

Ahhhh…..the wisdom of Kanye.

I try not to buy candy or treats for the same reason. We can’t stay out of them! It’s much easier just to not buy them to begin with.

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9 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar March 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

My wife has some insane (bordering on serial killer type) control. She can have her favorite food sitting on a shelf in front of her for months and only nibble.

I will devour my stuff as quickly as possible. So I have learned to decide at the grocery store that I won’t buy XYZ and regret it when I get home but am to lazy to go out and get XYZ.

Just like you said, if you’re an alcoholic don’t hang out in bars. If you devour Doritos like a wood chipper, don’t bring Doritos into your house!

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10 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

Haha… that lazy idea is a good one :)

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11 SavvyFinancialLatina March 3, 2014 at 9:20 am

Window shopping doesn’t work for me. I try to avoid my favorite stores….

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12 Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life March 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

Truth. This is how I lost 20 pounds and never put it back on again. I don’t buy processed foods, sodas, juices, etc. And I only bake once or twice a year- that cookie dough is too temptingly delicious.

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13 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

way to go! 20 lbs is no joke.

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14 Shannon @ Financially Blonde March 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

This is SO true! I lost 50 pounds on weight watchers, and the biggest step was not having the “tempting” junk food that I used to eat in the house. The same is true for spending money. One of the first steps I do with clients is help them identify their “temptations,” once they know who their financial devil is, then we construct the path to defeat it and the first step is avoiding it.

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15 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:37 am

Love that! And congrats on that pound shedding to you too! You ladies are killer.

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16 Kathy March 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

I absolutely have to keep sweets out of the house. If I have a batch of cookies on the counter, they taunt me every time I pass by. It is so odd that I have so much will power regarding spending and saving but non regarding sweets.

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17 JayP March 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

That is so funny. I love your writing style! I think he says something along the lines of “spendin it on Louis V – Mama just couldnt get through to me!”

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18 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:39 am

Haha… that does sound familiar :) Glad you enjoyed it man – will click over and check out your site in a few!

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19 Jen March 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

Anytime you quote Kanye, you know it’s gonna be a good post… LOL!

Love your list of stupid things to do if you’re trying to behave. I’m a court reporter for a judge who regularly puts in defendant’s probation orders that, if they’re an alcoholic, they’re not allowed to step foot in a bar! If they do, it’s a violation of their probation, and they’re subject to serve their original sentence in jail. I’ve even heard one judge go as far to sentence a repeat-offender shoplifter that she was not allowed in ANY store at all unless it was a GROCERY store. She was not allowed to be in Walmart, Kmart, Roses, etc. (Now, whether these things are policed, IDK, but it’s interesting nonetheless).

Secondly, I want to comment that this post/thought process is the very reason my husband does our family’s shopping. He will go in with a list and come out with what was on that list, nothing more. Me? I will inevitably go into Walmart with a list and come out with SOME unauthorized purchase…anything from dollar-bin stuff to a new blender (because the old one wasn’t crushing ice properly)….SOOO….communication about money in a marriage helps us to use our strong points and weak points for the greater good of our finances. And I’m grateful for a hubby who’s willing to do all the shopping. (And he’s grateful to his OCD wife for letting him take that over so our credit cards don’t keep inching up!) :)

Great Post!! I’m loving it.

Happy Monday, everyone! :)

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20 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

Love that system – way to be efficient over there! And that’s SO Interesting about that court reporting stuff and the rules they give out. If you think it would make for a cool article, I’d love for you to do a guest post on it :) “What it’s like to be a court reporter” or something? I bet you have all kinds of interesting stories over there!

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21 Becky March 3, 2014 at 11:10 am

I keep dreaming of getting a new vehicle when we are debt free. But all that’s happening is that I get frustrated that I don’t get the new vehicle now :( I need to put it out of my head until we complete that goal, then we can save up for a car.

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22 Jordann March 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

Out of sight = out of mind. I go to the mall probably a few times a year, and this helps me keep my shopping habit in check. When I do go though, I definitely feel like I’m getting sucked into buying stuff, no wonder people who go often spend a ton of money!

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23 Brit March 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

As I type this I’m eating a spoon of Nutella! *bows head in shame*

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24 jim March 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm

“bows head in shame” – ha! that’s hysterical.

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25 stephanie March 3, 2014 at 11:14 pm

I can just imagine your bowed head and that HUGE smile! I can’t bring peanut butter m&m candies home anymore…like the legendary whoppers they just seem to leap into my mouth on their own!

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26 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:43 am

I LOVE NUTELLA!!! KEEP IT AT YOUR PLACE!!

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27 Tara @ Streets Ahead Living March 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I’m with you on the supposed “inspirational” things we do like walking through fancy neighborhoods. We all like to believe in the power of The Secret but in the end, all that does is make us feel bad for not ending up loaded with lots of cash.

I also have a bad sweet tooth so I have since stopped buying dessert alltogether. We have a chest freezer and saved a lot of Christmas chocolate we received in it but decided we will no longer buy desserts to keep in the house. We get enough as gifts!

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28 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:44 am

Well, I don’t know about the whole Secret thing – I don’t believe surrounding myself with happy thoughts or things will eventually bring them to me – but I do get motivated to hustle even harder to reach some of these things :) It’s nice to have a dream to shoot for or else we just get complacent.

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29 EL @ MoneyWatch101 March 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I agree avoid temptation by not being present in that enviornment. I actually wrote about that song in a post, and he is talking about his internal battles with handling money the right way. I feel that song is misleading because the chorus is “wait till I get my money right”, but then he expresses all his issues with money. He also states how he doesn’t want advice from others. I guess the first step is denial right and then expressing your thoughts to improve. He should be reading PF blogs more often to fix those issues.

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30 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

Hah! There you go… I’ve actually never really thought too much into that song, or others of his to be honest. I just love the beats and rhymes :)

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31 Joe March 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Ugh! It’s tough. I’m trying to get leaner and it’s hard when the missus loves carb. It feels like we had carb all weekend. Ramen, tater tots, rice, etc…
I find losing weight a lot harder than saving money.

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32 Izzye G March 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

True, True, True!!!! I recently discovered thrift shopping and because of the low prices in designer clothes I can say that I have spent over $600.00 in about 3 months !!! :( my rationale; why not buy a Lauren Business shirt that(like new) “only”cost $3.00 or Donna Karan Jeans for $5.00.. Temptation was too great.
I cut it down to Once per month and I am bringing $20.00 Bill with me. I admit that my work attire needed some help but shopping at Salvation Army and Goodwill can derail a budget.

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33 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:46 am

Thrift stores are great, aren’t they?? Def. addicting!

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34 Mel @ brokeGIRLrich March 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm

“Watching *any show* on HGTV. But especially House Hunters International.” Ugh. So true. Any travel shows are just as bad.

I think I use a version of this mentality when I set up my savings and IRA withdrawals to go right after payday. If that money loiters in my checking account, it’s tempting to spend it. But once it’s in the savings account or IRA, it’s our of sight, out of mind.

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35 Gene Roberts March 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Over the years I’ve become much more focused on whether something is a “want” or a “need”.

I also look a lot more closely at the likelyhood of legitimately using the “wants” enough to warrant their purchase.

I’ve been able to discipline myself to the extent of paying all credit cards off in full. So that limits the impact of any “window shooping” gone wrong.

I go to the mall every couple of weeks. But it’s mostly just to see what’s new and interesting. If I don’t see anything I feel is worth spending my limited discretionary money on, I don’t rationalize additional purchases to get a “fix” and make myself feel better.

I can look at things out of my price range and appreciate them for what they are without having to own them. After all, that’s what museums are for. Few of us can afford to have fine art grace the walls of out homes. But we can go out and appreciate it from time to time. For the most part, that’s how I look at malls. “Gee that’s really cool, but it’s not for me.”

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36 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:48 am

“After all, that’s what museums are for.” – Interesting.. hadn’t thought of it that way before!

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37 Crystal March 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I’m lazy enough that simple avoidance does work for me. This doesn’t help me want less though since Amazon.com is just an internet connection away at all times, lol. So I have to keep our money goals in mind all of the time. I spend less knowing that I’m saving for a trip to England to see my uncle…

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38 Karen @ Money Saving Enthusiast March 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

It’s hard. I think balance is key. Once you know you can’t have something, you want it more. Right? Maybe hide that stuff or take it out of the house. It’s hard when you have a sweet tooth and a pregnant wife. Good Luck! I have been writing about healthy food ideas. Could help? LOL I always want the cookie over the apple though.

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39 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen March 4, 2014 at 1:16 am

Agreed…the cookie always wins!

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40 Debt and the Girl March 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm

In your defense, whoppers are delicious :)

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41 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:49 am

(thank you!)

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42 Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz March 3, 2014 at 11:38 pm

I get all of my motivational and financial inspiration from Kanye and Kim Kardashian!! What’s wrong with that??

On a serious note, I completely agree, there are a bunch of people around that spend money they don’t have to keep up with the Jones’s. I call them “Plastic Rich”, because they can’t really afford it.

Instead, I’m now trying to insulate myself from overspending situations and surround myself with successful people. Guess that’s why I’m finally starting to see real changes in my net worth!

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43 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 8:49 am

“Plastic Rich” – ooooh, I like that!

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44 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen March 4, 2014 at 1:15 am

Hmm I currently have 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies…three boxes half eaten…and I’m bound to get more as Girl Scout season continues. I swear the cookies shrink every year.

I try to stay away from stores so I don’t buy anything, but I have to admit that sometimes I go so long that I have to go somewhere and buy something. It helps if I end up buying a needed gift for someone instead but I guess the consumerism has been sunken in. Sometimes I end up going to a store like Daiso and buying just one thing. Daiso is a japanese home store where almost everything is $1.50. Can get a lot of household items there!

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45 Lee @ The Value Geek March 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

I work so hard not to buy junk food at the store because if I do, I end up eating it.

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46 Heather @ 20 Something Syndrome March 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I’m so guilty of…. pretty much all of these. I’ve grounded myself from going to stores at lunch though. Plenty of reading and working out that needs to be done instead. .

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47 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Those are great things to swap in!

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48 Eric March 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm

But I like rooms full of hos… sigh.

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49 J. Money March 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm

No one said you can’t partake :) You just can’t have a girlfriend/fiance/wife if you choose that route, haha…

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50 Dear Debt March 5, 2014 at 12:35 am

Seriously, why tempt yourself? I stopped buying ice cream because it never lasts more than 2 sittings, and I need to really stop “browsing” airfares. It’s like, really? Why am I doing this to myself when I can’t really afford it. We want to be pretend the option is feasible for us. So we just keep looking, or being around it. And it doesn’t help!

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51 J. Money March 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Maybe it’s the world telling you to take up a side hustle to then PAY for that airfare you obviously want so bad? :)

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52 Ryan @ Impersonal Finance March 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Right on man. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Stop going to the freaking mall. You’re wasting gas driving there, and you’re doing nothing but tempting yourself to spend. And that time you’re wasting, too. Come on now. I’d much rather relax to the sweet soulful melodies of Yeezy than spend my hard earned cash.

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53 @WilliamLipovsky, First Quarter Finance March 16, 2014 at 6:58 pm

How I rid my desire for junk food:

1) Internalize that junk food does nothing good for you. It adds calories and does not provide nutrition.
2) I NEVER spend money on junk food. I can’t even compel myself to buy raw sugar because adding it into an otherwise healthy recipe feels even worse than woofing down a KitKat bar. Something about pouring sugar into a bowl for consumption feels very…. intentionally stupid.
3) I keep a 6-pack on hand at all times. 6-pack of abs of course. Keeping those abs apparent is much easier without fat cascading over them!!!!

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54 J. Money March 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Hahaha… Yeah abs!

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55 Kim April 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm

“How do you stay faithful in a room full of hos?”
I LOL at this! :) I guess he speaks truth, though.

My husband and I get VERY motivated by going to open houses and on drives to the area we’d like to live in. Of course we also dream of paying for said dream house in cash. We’ll see how that goes. :)

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56 J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm

That would be pretty hot!! I hope you DO pay all cash – it would be a media frenzy! Haha…

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