Sunday, April 14, 2013

Not What I'm Here For

Last night, The Executioner and I had a productive night of running errands.  We are both non-shoppers, for the record.  We hit 7 different stores over 3 hours - we both were tired and in need of rehydration by the time we got back home. And we'll be good without stepping foot in a store for many months now.

The line that I said again and again (in at least 4 of the stores) was, "Not what I'm here for..." - consumerism is so easy to get sucked into!  At an outdoors/camping store I could have easily spent about 5 times the amount of money we did if I had given into all of the pretty/flashy/new/cool things I saw. Luckily, I was able to remind myself that all of those items were not what I was truly there for.  I figured, if I remembered any of the items today and still felt that I really want them, I could always put them down on a wishlist.  And in the light of the morning, I can remember one of them and it may go on my birthday/Christmas list... but I am not sure that it will.  The reminder last night served for me: you need to be strong to battle consumerism.  Put blinders on before going into a store so you don't get sidetracked by all of the shiny things.

There is one other thought I'd like to share from our adventure last night about the importance of mindset.  On Friday, I received a decent raise at work.  This raise puts my salary at a point that, when leaving college, I never thought I would reach (based on the fact that I was an elementary education major).  The power of the mindset is that instead of looking at this raise and thinking 'sweet, we can buy X, we don't have to carefully plan out how much money we spend on Y, I can get knick-knack Z' The Executioner and I have been thinking 'sweet, we can save X% more each week, that means we'll be saving $XYZ.00 more per month, that means we're that much closer to FI.'  So, to tie it back to last night... there were a few shiny things on the shelf that The Executioner and I thought could be a nice addition to our lives and were tempted to by.  However, with the iron-clad mindset in place, I was able to talk to the fact that none of those things were items we needed right now.  Additionally, they would be excellent items for our family members to give us as gifts, which would also make us really happy.  Win-win situation - my mom is reeled in and not buying us crazy stuff we immediately wonder how we can get rid of, and we get something new and shiny and useful!

 And finally, for the record - the best deal of the night (in my opinion) were my new hiking boots!  I desperately needed them and got them 40% off because I had a coupon, a store credit from a return, and there was a promotion of 10 off of $100 or more.  Now, if they can keep my feet happy during hiking, they will really be the best buy. 

I think the commercials on TV about shopping being a sport and how much effort, work, and energy it takes are accurate - but I think their focus is wrong.  Instead of trying to get the highest amount of non-essential items for the lowest price, we should be focusing on the energy, effort, work it takes to ONLY get the essential items and to do so at the lowest price.  

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for keeping me in check. There were a couple of moments where I would have been happy to put a few more things into the cart.

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    1. It would have been an epic battle in the middle of a store had you tried to put more in our cart :)

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  2. There's definitely an art to this! I'm one of the few people I know that can go grocery shopping hungry and just stick to the list. I do often end up stocking up on things that have long expiration dates though at least I'll use the items eventually.

    With online shopping, this has become even more of a problem. One of the tricks that I use is to add something to my Amazon cart and then come back a week later and buy it if I still want it.

    I'm loving these Spicy Princess posts! :)

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    1. Thanks for your post, especially the last line - it's the best :)

      I agree - when I am in a grocery store and hungry, it seems to fuel me to get out of there faster so I can get home and actually eat. Based on numerous food allergies and eating preferences, I can not eat stuff that is pre-made, so it also helps alleviate the spontaneous purchases.

      I like your trick about the Amazon cart. I usually have a 'wishlist' going on my fridge and if I still feel the need to buy it, I will get it. To resist the pull of online shopping, I let The Executioner do most of that - and he goes in armed with a list and focus!

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll continue to visit.

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  3. Love that you're putting your raise into better things. We've been working real hard too at avoiding falling into the traps while at the store. The longer we do it, I find that it gets easier.

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    1. Thanks - this week was the first week we saw evidence of the new money through my checks. Always an exciting moment when you see you have more money coming in than you had originally planned for.

      Yes! The more I practice the art of resisting and/or just appreciating what I see in the stores instead of purchasing it, the easier it becomes. Of course there are still some times that I end up picking up something... but I've learned if I carry it around with me for a few moments, that urge will pass.

      Keep up your hard work in resisting:)

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  4. I just read your NetworthIQ - what credit card offers 2% cash rewards? The highest I've found is Capital One with 1 1/2 %.
    I love this blog by the way.

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    1. Thanks!

      Run a web search for "2% cashback AMEX" and I'm certain you'll find it.

      Hint: the cash back gets deposited into a brokerage account.

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    2. Yup, guys, I found one with Fidelity Investments. Thanks for the info!

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  5. Nice going, Guys. I, too, like the dual perspective and posts from both the Executioner and his Spicy Princess.

    I really pulled away from consumerism when my wife and I lived in Costa Rica for three years for a self-funded missionary assignment. We say how little people (who bacame good friends) living in the rurals had, and how happy they were depite having none of the fany doo-dads so many others seem to attach so much value to. We could walk through the malls and not buy a single item. They didn't appeal and it wasn't hard to pass the stuff by.

    Thanks for relating the power of the "mindset".

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    1. Wow! Kudos to you on the adventure and experience you took! I can imagine how an experience like that would put consumerism into perspective. That visual must quickly pop into your heads when you are in a store.

      Thanks for your kind words! I'll try to post later on tonight or tomorrow for more comedic relief :)

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