I did something over the weekend I was pretty proud of myself for: I refrained from buying two things that I really REALLY wanted to take home with me.
One was an oil painting with a pretty kick-ass frame (alone was worth the $20 price tag), and the other a hand-painted side table from Peru that had all kinds of awesome designs on it. That one was a bit pricier at $40, but when I flipped it over I noticed a small shop sticker labeling it as $240 – probably meaning it came from some sort of antique store originally.
Both items might be categorized as “expensive” considering I was shopping at The Salvation Army, haha, (I was there to drop off stuff!) but nonetheless they were still great deals in my eyes. How Macklemore can pop tags with only $20 in his pockets is beyond me ;)
Anyways, here were all the reasons that stopped me in my tracks:
- I’M MOVING!!! I need to get *rid* of stuff, not take on more!
- I shouldn’t be spending money in a time like this either
- I don’t really *NEED* any of that stuff – I just like it.
- I’m trying to be more minimalist!! (why do I always have *trying* next to that word? ;))
- I’m MOVING!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I walked away item-less and in a pretty “thinky” mood. Which is where today’s idea comes in…
I started wondering how many times I’ve said “no” to a purchase I really wanted, and even more so, how much MONEY I’ve saved in doing so? I know it’s not *really* like saving money all the way, but in times like this when I’m 99% sure I’d be buying if it weren’t for a few select variables at the time (specifically #’s 1, 2, and 5 up there) I do indeed consider it saved. I walked away with $60 still in my pockets instead of 2 new items which ny normal day would have brought.
Now there’s not that many times I can remember where I left behind something I REALLY wanted to pick up like that but didn’t (the beauty of having a budget on lock!), but I reckon it would be in the high hundreds, or low thousands, if I’d been tracking it over the years. I don’t go shopping as much as I used to (another reason I tend to buy stuff on the spot when something sparkles my fancy) but it sure would be cool to have had it all on a spreadsheet to see what a difference it’s made! Or at least to my de-cluttering goals :)
today this weekend, I will now be tracking all the times I cut myself out from buying something the “normal me” would have. In hopes it motivates me to keep on going at it, as well as giving me more of an appreciation for the things I DO continue to still buy! Not only would I become more selective of what I then pick up going forward (in theory, anyways), but it would also be like using the money already saved from past no’s too. And that’s kinda cool. Sorta like my old poker days I mentioned where I continuously have a “pot” of money to be used for it and I use any winnings to supplement it. In this case it’s just all the money I saved from not buying the previous items.
I’m probably making this wayyyyyy more complicated that it actually is, but nonetheless I feel like I’ve stumbled across some sort of small epiphany here, and I’m running with it as fast as I can ;) Who knows where it will lead to down the road!? My “no shopping” challenge has continued to benefit my habits and that was over 5 years ago! Maybe this new mentality will stick too?
Here’s the start of my new list:
- Flower oil painting: $20.00
- Hand-painted table from Peru: $40.00
- TOTAL SAVED: $60.00
I’ll continue to keep you updated and see where this goes! Feel free to join me in my new mission too :) We can all save and be spreadsheet nerds together.
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!