A plan for vacation.

I’m a little anxious about my upcoming vacation, which usually means lots of shopping and eating out. I never think about budget or limits or anything practical like that when we’re on vacation. It’s like the Magic Shopping Cart all over again. I’m one of many children, and we always had two full grocery carts every week at the supermarket. Once in a while, I could add something to the cart and it wouldn’t be questioned…or even noticed. And it would come home with me. Magic!

Vacation is much the same in my mind. Pinch pennies when planning, but once there? Anything goes! Magic.

My husband asked me if I plan to go shopping in Uber-Quaint Shopping Village while we’re away. The answer is absolutely yes, I plan to visit the shops because they are unusual and interesting. But what he really meant to ask was, Do you plan to buy anything? And I had a revelation: my answer to that is not the usual No, I don’t plan to buy anything. I mean, I never plan to buy anything. That’s my whole problem: it’s all impulse! Unplanned and unnecessary.

Though it felt like we discussed this for ages, it was really only a few seconds. And I realized my true answer. Do I plan to buy anything? No.

I plan to buy nothing.

No clothing, no shoes, no scarves. Nothing for me.

However, it is a vacation that warrants ice cream and other family-sharing-type things, so I restocked my wallet with small bills so that I can stick to my weekly budget for the two weeks I’ll be away.

Sometimes It’s Cheaper to Keep than to Return.

I have a pricey lipstick that I bought from the Elegant Department Store at the Far Away Mall. I would really like to exchange it for a different color, especially since my Unshopping Rules prevent me from ever buying another one. I had to do the math, though.¬†One trip to Far Away Mall = Lunch at Elegant Cafe (this goes without say) + Quick Stop at Upscale Kid Shop In Case There’s a Sale + Walk Across the Entire Mall to Kid’s Play Area ( x Window Shopping Along the Way) + Glance at Elegant Shoes that are near the Elegant Cosmetics Counter …not to mention gas + tolls.

I need to add that I purchased said lipstick with a $20 Elegant Enticement, so my total spent out of pocket was actually only $11. The new sensible shopper in me decided, No Way. I’ll keep my too-subtle lip color.

I’m faced with a similar dilemma today. My 6-year-old needs a haircut and is willing to try TidyTrims at the Shopping Trifecta. He usually goes to PriceyButWorthIt Salon at the mall a couple of minutes away. There, I can leave him and go shopping. Obviously, today I would stay with him, but would still need to fork out too much cash for a kid’s, albeit perfect, haircut. I can resist going to Middle-End Department Store, as I’ve had my fill. But the Shopping Trifecta? That will take serious willpower.

Well, readers, I’m going to try it. I choose TidyTrims. My 3-year-old doesn’t cry there and he’s done in 15 minutes, so it’s worth the shopping risk. I will tell the boys not to let me go into any store other than TidyTrims. I might even bribe them with a lemon square (which I have in the freezer).