Guest post from Dizee of Doofy Dizze
I struggle with money.
There, I said it. The cat is out of the bag.
Some people seem to have a “frugal gene” – they always know the smart way to spend a dollar or save a hundred. I am the type of person who could figure out a way to spend money while shipwrecked alone on a deserted island.
Thriftiness does not come easy to me and I constantly work to find a balance between saving and splurging.
I understand the fundamentals – I use coupons faithfully, dutifully purchase items on sale, and lovingly care for my stockpile.
But I will still overspend. And when I overspend, I get cranky. Downright surly.
Many people will say I should work on developing my self-control. And, to a large extent, I don’t disagree. But with two kids, three dogs, a husband, a full-time job, a house, and a sick father – there are many times my focus is simply elsewhere.
Many days, I am doing good to have matching socks and a clean shirt on.
So in an effort to control my spending proclivity, I have come up with some ways to be Mindlessly Mindful:
Sweating the Small Stuff
Purchases under a few dollars generally didn’t register on my radar. For instance, I developed a hardcore McDonald’s hot tea/oatmeal addiction. These trips to McDonald’s would usually run me less than $5. But then I woke up one week and realized the drive-through attendant knew my order by heart.
Gasp, I had become a regular! I quickly totaled up my trips for the month – 12 visits! I was going Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
That was when it hit home – $60 on food that would only cost a few dollars to prepare at home. Tea literally involves boiling water, it couldn’t get much easier. Plus, it wasn’t doing my waist line an iota of good.
(I am happy to report the Drive-Thru girl and I are no longer BFFs!)
Using my Debit Card
Controversial I know, but I found cash gets lost in my possession. My wallet is the equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle for twenty dollar bills. I take out just enough money to purchase gas and keep a few extra dollars in my wallet in case of an emergency.
I also appreciate the accountability of the debit card. My husband can see my purchases — do I really want him knowing I had KFC, Taco Bell, and Burger King for lunches in one week? Not so much. This was especially true when I was also paying Weight Watchers weekly…
Avoid Trigger Stores
Just as Superman’s greatest weakness was kryptonite, the Dollar Store obliterates all my defenses. With everything priced at a dollar, I feel like Donald Trump. This is also true at my previous home-away-from-home… Target. I would walk in to buy toothpaste and walk out with a toaster.
I have found it is better for me to spend a dollar or two more at a store with fewer temptations. In the long run, I am saving major bucks.
Check Your Balances
You have to love technology. Back in the day, you had to have your checkbook on you to see what was in the bank. Now, I log into the bank daily and check the activity. It has become as routine to me as brushing my teeth.
With much of our bill paying being done online, this little examination is also a visual reminder of those pesky bills I can sometimes forget about (you know, little things like the mortgage or electricity.)
Scheduling Some Spontaneity
Does this seem counter-intuitive? I have found that knowing I can splurge once in a while saves my sanity and stops me from making a ridiculous purchase.
I allow myself a tiny splurge once in a while – a song on iTunes, a new tube of mascara. It satisfies my need to spend lavishly while also keeping me in check.
In the end, it comes down to doing what is best for you.
There are many times I judge myself against others I see online or know in real life. Just remember: Comparison is the thief of joy. My goal is to just be happy with who I have become.
Dizee is a wife and mother who is on a quest to simplify her life one day at a time. Each day she posts her successes (and failures) at Doofy Dizee. She would love for you to stop by!