After dropping my older son off at VBS for the morning, I took my younger son to the mall. There’s a nice play area there that is very quiet (and freshly cleaned!) for that hour before the mall opens. After about 20 minutes there, it became very not quiet. Loud, in fact. Painfully so.
The smoke alarms were going off throughout the mall.
My son covered his ears and we headed for the closest door, so we could go to the car. Which was all the way around on the other side of the building and up one story. It was now raining. We camped out in the area between doorways, where it was not nearly as loud. It can’t last long, right? Ah, but it can! And it did.
After a long while, my son wanted to go play again despite the noise. Since there was no real threat, we headed back to the play area, and the alarms stopped. Phew! He played. And I decided I wanted to go to Sears (right behind me) to check out any Land’s End discounts. The sign said 70% off! But he wanted to keep playing, so we stayed for a bit.
I started racking my brain thinking of what kind of thing I could get from Land’s End that was already on my list for the new season. Cardigan? Maybe. Not pants, I don’t like LE pants. I don’t need any more dresses. Hmmm… I must need something from Land’s End!
The smoke alarms went off again. I scooped up my son and we made a quick exit. We weren’t going to wait this one out. No needless shopping for me!
I just realized that it’s been a whole month since I decided to stop shopping. It hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be. It’s remarkable how all it takes is a single thought in reaction to the impulse. I never thought to not act on the shopping impulse before.
Should I go to Macy’s today? No. Maybe I can run into TJ Maxx really quickly… No. My eighth pair of sandals broke, I should go to DSW. No (my 7 other pairs are just fine).
I have to admit that I’m struggling with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s a different kind of sale, because they list Fall items for a sale price now, and the price will increase again after the sale. And I’m in the market for some Fall pieces. I am holding off because I need to see tangible evidence that our total spending has reduced. Unfortunately, our two-week vacation made up for my lack of personal spending.
In addition to taming the impulse, I’ve realized that my goals have changed. A few weeks ago when I first decided to stop spending, I had a specific goal in mind: a designer handbag. If I stopped spending hundreds of frivolous dollars each month, I could get a luxury bag or wallet that would last forever. My husband agreed with my plan, which of course opened the floodgates: maybe I wanted a small collection of bags. Why stop at a wallet? I started a wishlist of the designer items I wanted. For each bag, it would only take a couple of months of non-spending.
And then I would spend it. On an item that I don’t need.
Some time over the past couple of weeks I realized that I wasn’t thinking about those designer bags anymore. They’re no longer a priority, and no longer my goal. I don’t even enjoy the online purse forum anymore.
It’s been over a week since I started using financial software to track our spending, and I unconsciously developed a new goal: see how little I can spend. Me! The non-frugal, non-saver, spendaholic. I didn’t think I’d get to this point, ever!
It’s pretty cool.