Saving money is usually a good thing. But don’t hate me because it needs to be pointed out that it isn’t always good for you. First, let’s all agree that we love sales and it makes us feel good to stretch that dollar as far as it will go. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have won a victory when I get something for a good price or even free. The majority of the time you will have every right to feel that way too. But there are times when that “good deal” just pulled one over on you and you fell for it.
You do NOT need to buy every item you find on sale!
I know that you want to save and many need to save anywhere they can. But that is why this message is so important.
One example is that you just got back from putting some clothes in storage that you didn’t have room for in your closet. You get a coupon code in your email for your favorite clothing store. The code is for 40% off the first three items you purchase if you buy five items, clearance items excluded. Holy cow! 40% off and you just happen to carry a credit card to that particular store. (That will be a whole other post.) You spend the next two hours shopping on the website and you have five items in your cart. You rationalize that the price is so cheap and you do have kind of a thing for sleepwear. Hey, you are buying one bra – isn’t that a necessity?
No, you never intended to make this purchase. You didn’t budget for it. You were not in dire need of underclothing, sleepwear, coats, shoes or anything else for that matter. But wait, you just saved $78! That kind of money is nothing to sneeze at right? You need to start thinking of things a bit differently. Money you spend just to save money is not saving money at all! You just spent $214. You didn’t save – you spent money you had no intention of spending in the first place!
Let me say that again: Money you spend just to save money on items you never intended to buy is not saving money at all!
You are not saving money if you are buying things you do not need!
Here is the first habit I want you to try to incorporate every time you go shopping whether in the store or online.
Have fun shopping! Go ahead and shop for sales and try stuff on. Even put stuff in your cart if you think it is something you want to buy.
I put this into practice about two months ago and while I didn’t keep track I can safely say that I saved over $200 by putting things back that impulsively I wanted to buy. One trip I found two shirts for me that were on sale for only $5 and $7 and then I found 2 shirts for my husband for only $3 and $7. I also had some treats in the cart that I certainly don’t need. I also had three of what we call “hour meals” that were a bit pricey. I put these things back. Just this one trip incorporating this method I saved over $53.
That doesn’t sound too bad to you and I should have just spent it? Absolutely not, you see I am on a tight budget and making these purchases would have caught up with me later in the month. The thing of it is that I put all of these things back and it didn’t even bother me. I was not sad or depressed.
So definitely take advantage of all sales on items you would be purchasing anyway. This saves you money. This is a win! But think long and hard about those impulse sales that are not for items you regularly use and are not in your budget. It is your money and you can absolutely do what you want with it but sometimes those impulse purchases lower our quality of life by strapping our budget.