Every season comes along with a few spending traps you might need to watch out for. In the fall, it is often pumpkin-flavored snacks. In the winter, it is likely Christmas décor that you’ll shove into your basement January 1st and never pull out again. In the summer, it is probably a lot of outdoor drinking-and-dining experiences. In the spring, for me, it is often a combination of the following seven things.
One of the best ways to cut out bad habits is to identify them, and then use your awareness to mindfully stop doing the things you know you don’t want to do. If you identify your seasonal spending triggers, you might be able to find a way to enjoy the new season without breaking the bank, and avoid the mistakes you know you don’t want to make.
Here are the seven springtime expenses I always blow money on, and how I’m trying to avoid them.
1. The Spring Cleaning trap.
I’ll inevitably do some spring cleaning, but it isn’t “spring cleaning” so much as it is my bi-monthly closet clear-out because I’m a fashion hoarder and need to edit that shit down as much as possible. However, I will not fall into the spring cleaning trap of eliminating stuff only to replace it with better stuff. I don’t need any more stuff. If I get rid of stuff, it is because it is purposeless in my life, and shouldn’t be replaced with any new stuff.
2. An entirely new floral wardrobe.
I’m taking a hard pass this year on purchasing a bunch of new spring ~lewks~, mostly because I love warm weather so much and have definitely indulged far too much in past years. I think my spring and summer wardrobe is sufficient for now, and I definitely don’t have extra money to toss around at the moment, so it is definitely off the table. (Well, I might get a new pair of nice shoes – I want to stop wearing my ragged ballet flats on every nice occasion. But rest assured, promo codes and coupons will be used.)
3. Ridiculous amounts of iced coffee.
When I was in high school, right when spring hit, my mother would scoop me from school and we’d go on little Dunkin’ Donuts dates to get iced coffee and enjoy the warm(ish – this is Connecticut, after all) weather together. Now, every day that the temperature creeps above 45 degrees, I start to crave a fancy iced beverage, although now I don’t live with my mom and have to go out and pay for the iced coffee alone. And I shouldn’t. (Well, at least not every day, or even every week – I have to be super choosy about when I actually spend my cash on coffee that isn’t brewed at home.)
4. Fun trips.
Especially with graduation right around the corner, everyone I know seems to be vacationing and partying it up in beautiful, expensive places. I passed on taking a Spring Break Vacation this year, in favor of spending the week with a terrible cold in my apartment, and catching up on homework that would be due the following week. I’m not a huge fan of travel anyway, and while I do occasionally enjoy a good weekend getaway, it definitely isn’t in my budget right now.
5. Easter candy.
Argue all you want, but I will say right now and forever that Easter Candy is the best candy. My best friend actually jokes that spring is when she gains her seasonal holiday weight because she eats so much Cadbury chocolate. I am personally a huge fan of jellybeans and marshmallows, and ‘tis the season for both of those things. I know it sounds like a tiny thing, but all jokes aside, I spend way too much stocking up on my favorite Easter-specific jellybeans (these, to be exact) each year so I can hoard them all year round. I need to not do that this year, because a) it is terrible for my body to treat jellybeans as a main food group, and b) it is insane to spend over $50 on candy ever.
6. End-of-semester stress purchasing.
This is specific to students, but I know I’m not the only one who gets so caught up in the stress of the final weeks of the spring semester that my budget seems to fly out the window. When I have to finish big projects, pull all-nighters, stay on campus for longer hours, and prepare for finals, I spend a lot on the convenience of buying coffee or food so I don’t have to cut into my limited study time to go home and cook. In addition to convenience-purchasing, I am also known to stress-purchase during these times. When I’m halfway through a 15-page-paper and running out of steam, it is easy to open another tab and online shop because hey, I deserve this for working so hard. But no, Mary, you deserve nothing. It isn’t revolutionary that you’re doing your homework, so stop rewarding yourself and finish your homework.
7. Occasion outfits.
It is easy to fall into the trap of believing you need to buy a new dress for the upcoming wedding you’re attending. But the truth is, you probably have something in your closet that will do just fine. I definitely thought about browsing new spring collections for dresses to wear to upcoming weddings, parties, and my graduation, but I really don’t need a single thing – I have plenty hanging in my closet.