17 October 2012

31 Days - Curbing Spending

I am participating in a 31 Days Campaign and have decided to try my hand at 31 Days of Frugal Living.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to outline my plan of action to accomplish the rest of the things on my list. Here are my ideas:

Saving as much money as possible by buying less stuff.
I need to reduce the amount of advertising in my life. Less Target flyers, less browsing Amazon for fun. It is amazing how many things I didn't know I needed until I browse that darn Target flyer.

I also think one of my weaknesses is impulse buys that cost less than $3. I think to myself:
-It's only a few dollars, the budget won't notice!
-It's a cheap way to have a fun afternoon!
-It's so cheap that if it sucks, it doesn't matter!
I don't need more $1 junk. I need to stop browsing the dollar bins for fun.

When I do need something, I shouldn't buy the cheapest thing possible unless I am prepared to handle the poor quality. Matt insightfully noticed the other day that "they don't make things like they used to" isn't an accurate statement. They do make things like they used to. It's just that those things cost more. We have more options now, and some of those options are cheaper because they are made by overworked, underpaid Chinese factory workers. So when you go to the store and buy a $25 bookshelf instead of the $150 bookshelf, you're going to get a piece of furniture that falls apart after one move. It's a calculation to be made on a case-by-case basis: buy a cheap POS and deal with a cheap POS or save up the money and buy something nice. There is a time and place, my friend.

I also read a tip the other day that recommend making a list of all the things that pop into your head that you want. Then wait two weeks and see if you still want it. An "impulse buy" shopping list, if you will. I started, and I've got to be honest, taking a moment to think about an impulse buy makes me realize how stupid the item is, and half the time, I don't even want it long enough to write it down.

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