About a month ago, I wrote an embarrassingly honest post about six ridiculous “almost” purchases that I somehow, with the grace of our lord and savior himself, talked myself out of wasting my money on.
I mentioned in the post that, as an attempt to prevent myself from making unwarranted and irresponsible purchases (which are, in all honesty, the kind I make best), I was keeping a running list each week of all the dumb stuff I almost bought.
I am extremely proud to say that this preventative method was (somewhat) wildly successful. I had been lugging around a notebook and writing these things down for a little bit before writing that post, and after I wrote it, I slowly watched my journal entries dwindle to an almost complete stop.
In case you read that article and wondered if the method truly worked, I’m living proof that it did. Being watchful and deeply analytical of not only the purchases I made, but the purchases I didn’t make (even when mama wanted it bad), actually proved itself to be an insanely worthy tool in preventing my tendency to make (and almost make) ridiculously regretful purchases.
That is, until this week.
There was nothing particularly stressful or otherwise noteworthy punctuating this week, besides maybe the fact that I’ve been sick, which is generally an upsetting time for someone as dramatic as myself, and that I started back at an old job that I used to work at over a year ago. Whatever the reason, my urge to spend money was heavily present. My urge to spend money on objectively dumb-as-fuck and unnecessary items was even more present. I actually grabbed so many things in so many different places before giving my hands a verbal ruler-slap and telling myself “no mas!”
I have since accumulated quite the little list in my Notebook of Shame, so I’m here to get it all off my chest. Here are the things that almost got me this week (and one that did get me, but then got returned, so I’m counting it as an “almost.”)
1. Lots of new hangers.
I’m going to be transparent as hell and tell you guys that I did get some new hangers. I needed a few new ones because mine were mostly the cheap ones you meekly ask the cashier if you can keep when you’re at a lowbrow department store. They easily snap under the weight of my New-England-Chic sweaters, and when I ran out to replace a pile of broken ones the other day, I became overwhelmed by the desire to throw away and replace every single hanger in my closet in order to have them all be ~matching~. But guess what? I’m not a fucking YouTuber, and I don’t really need matching hangers. Hangers are for holding clothing and nothing more. I’m embarrassed I almost threw away 20+ perfectly good hangers in favor of spending money on 20+ matching ones.
Amount Saved: $20
2. A jar of peanut butter when I was low-key prosecco drunk, even though I decided last time I bought peanut butter while drunk that I don’t like peanut butter when I’m drunk.
For entirely inexplicable reasons, turnt Mary LOVES the idea of eating peanut butter straight from a spoon. Morning-after Mary is nauseated by anything vaguely peanut-scented for weeks after making such a decision. I entered a grocery store inebriated enough to walk in slow motion towards the cash register with the $7 jar of organic nut-mush in my paw before I had a crystallizing moment of clarity (or sobriety) and realized I was making a mistake.
Amount Saved: $7
3. A package of pastel-colored pencils at Target.
These were in the dollar section at Target, so it really wouldn’t have been a huge financial slip-up, but what we’re discussing here is a matter of principle. I have a shit-ton of pencils, and 90% of them are still in perfect, unsharpened condition. Why did I want these ones? Because I don’t have pastel pencils. I don’t know. I’m a girl, I can’t explain this one. The point is, I didn’t buy them. Go me!
Amount Saved: $1
4. A desk.
Which is a pretty big purchase actually, and I’m ashamed that I almost bought one from Amazon this week without even a) deciding for sure if I even needed a new desk, b) measuring it to see if it would fit in the designated desk-spot in my room, or c) reading any reviews or anything about the item itself on the website. I literally just added the sucker to my cart and went to check out. Insanely blessed that I decided against that, because I definitely don’t have $120 to drop on that right now, and I actually have a desk that functions just fine for now until I can save up a little more.
Amount Saved: $120
5. Gatorade, from Amazon.
My brother told me a really funny story recently about how he was thirsty one day but felt too lazy to go out and buy drinks, so he ordered some from Amazon. I laughed and made fun of him, but the other day while I was feeling sick I thought “hey, I could really use some Gatorade in two days” and added some to my Amazon cart with full intentions of ordering it. This was the same day I almost bought the desk. I’m 100% certain a guardian angel was hiding in my loaded amazon cart that day and looking out for me.
Amount Saved: $18
6. A sundress I already have, in a different color.
Although there is admittedly no shame in my sundress game, I’m a little disappointed that I bought a sundress I already owned in another color. It would have been cool to have two, because sundresses are a way of life. But I figured I’d save the money and just bring it back. No harm done. I’m counting this as an “almost” purchase even though I technically did purchase it, only because I corrected myself promptly.
Amount Saved: $19
Total Saved This Week: $185
Although I’m a little ashamed at my tendency to compulsively almost buy things that I will never ever actually need, I’m considering this nearly 200-dollar savings a huge victory. Watching my spending (and almost-spending) habits carefully every day is helping me better understand my areas of weakness (like the peanut butter aisle) and take steps to prevent any unnecessary binge-spending. I can’t promise that my Notebook of Shame is ever going to be empty, but hopefully my willpower to keep myself from spending on dumb junk eventually fades into no desire at all to spend on dumb junk. Here’s hoping, and here’s to another week of #noregrets #justsavings!
Mary is the summer Media Fellow at The Financial Diet. Send her your summer intern stories (your lessons, failures, triumphs and good advice) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image via Pixabay