Have you ever been standing in a store with an item in your hand, wondering about the answer to the age old question; “should I buy it?”
We’re not talking about things that’re obvious necessities like food, I’m referring to things that are ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’.
I used to have months when the arrival of my bank statement in the mail (when they still mailed them) actually made me cry. The thing was sometimes 16 pages thick, and upon pouring through it, I realized that there were many (MANY) purchases for which I thought, “Omg. Why did I spend money on that?”
Since I’ve been mindful about dialing back on my spending, I’ve found that there are a few words, or one key phrase actually, that makes me think twice about spending money foolishly. Notice that I said “foolishly”. By ‘foolishly’, I mean spending unnecessarily on things like another black handbag, or buying 12 pairs of shoes in a month because well…they’re all ‘cute’ 🙂 I’m not talking about food or rent, etc.
There was one month in particular, when my spending got so bad, that my kids took away my credit cards, because I (shamefully) bought 13 pairs of shoes and 3 pairs of boots.
My 3 lb bank statements (and the people I gave birth to, holding my credit cards hostage) were the rude awakening I needed to pare back my spending, and give myself what I like to call my “safe words” when I’m feeling weak while shopping. These words work for me, making me gently put back whatever it is that I’m contemplating buying, and gracefully exiting the store.
Now…keep in mind, that this phrase is only to be used for ‘frou frou’ purchases, like the giant pink feathered coat that would look great on your next night out. When you inadvertently bump into that coat (because you know you will), and try it on while standing in front of the full length store mirror, you need to say these words. Are you ready?
Would I rather have the money?
While you’re standing in front of that full-length mirror with the giant coat on, ask yourself, “would I rather have the money?”
In my life, the answer to that question is always, YES. HELL YES I’d rather have the money! It makes me mindful of the fact that I’ll probably only wear the damn coat one time, after which time I’ll immediately be regretting the purchase. And thinking about the fact that you’d rather have the money, makes it easy to put that “one night only” purchase back on the hanger, and gracefully exit the store.