The cyclical nature of saving money has caught us all.
One day you’re clipping coupons, only going out if you have a Groupon or LivingSocial voucher, or doing the fantastic Spending Fast. You are dedicated to saving money, and it even gives you a little high when you see the “dollars saved” at the bottom of your receipts. You may have been the obnoxious chick with the stack of 20+ coupons, but the payment of saving at each bill is totally worth it.
Then you start to slip. You break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, someone visits from out-of-town, or you resort to old habits when you had a bad day at work.
“Everyone does a little retail therapy now and then…right?”
“Life really sucks right now- buying a nail polish for $8 is no big deal if it keeps up my spirits”
“I know [x] amount of people with more debt than me…and they spend like crazy! Why shouldn’t I?”
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to do retail therapy. In fact, I would estimate that most of us can’t. And guess what…that’s ok!
We are not being deprived if we don’t buy that pair of shoes (or in my case, that new hardcover book featured at 30% off). We often rationalize the little things that perk us up because we think we deserve objects.
It’s time to start rewarding ourselves for tackling our emotions. Your emotional “outlet” might not necessarily be flat-out spending on “things” that come in a shopping bag. It might be a fancy martini, a pack of cigarettes, or a night’s binge on a pint of decadent ice cream. Those ways of coping aren’t long-lasting, and they certainly aren’t cheap!
So here is one thing you shouldn’t deprive yourself of: your emotions. Writing it down, talking with a friend, or even blogging about what’s going on will be much cheaper and more effective in the long run than the things that literally (and figuratively) cost us more.
And while no one expects you to be perfect (certainly not me), acknowledge the slips and move on. Dwelling in the guilt of an impulse purchase will only make you feel worse (especially if you lost the receipt!)
So here’s to coping, dealing, stressing…without spending a dime! Instead of the bookstores, you’ll see me at the library!