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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I'm curious if others have noticed the trend that I have noticed in my spending.

I will be frugal for long periods of time to build up reserves and feel real good about my financial position, I mean months and months of leftovers, Salvation Army trips, just about every frugal tip we've posted on these boards and THEN I "CRACK."

I get this "darn, I work so hard and keep so much going in this life, I deserve luxury too!" How awful is that? This sense of entitlement washes over me and I end up spending on over priced items and realizing w/in a couple weeks that it wasn't worth having to pay off the cc's again! (except for the piano I bought a couple months ago...I totally LOVE studying piano!)

What do all of you do if/when that feeling washes over you?
 

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Yes, this is why its important to give yourself small free or inexpensive treats on a regular basis. Like giving yourself regular manicures and pedicures, homemade facials, bubble baths, afternoon tea with homemade gourmet desserts, attending the $1 movie theatre etc.
 

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Well, I have been feeling that way today so I went online and did some financial calculators to see how long before I a debt free. So far it has helped and I know I can do this.
 

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I give myself a treat every now and then to avoid such events, if I get in a "splurge" moment I usually find my way to the thrift shop or a yard sale, that helps ease it a bit. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice to know others feel this way too!

I do try to do things for myself occasionally, piano lessons and once a month facials at the salon. Its as if those things have become regulars instead of "luxeries"...my bad, for sure. I will come back to reality.

I think I should take up strenuous running and then when the urge strikes, I'll be too tired to even think about shopping!
 

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When this happens I usualy hang on to whatever it is a bought and in a few weeks when regret kicks in I return it. Lately for me cracking means a trip to salvation army.
 

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I guess I agree with the Tightwad Gazette line of thinking. I am frugal so that I can spend as little money on the necessities and have money for the things I want. Do I want to start a college fund for my kids? Do I want to send my child to gymnastics? Do I want that new pair of shoes? Many times I am frugal because I have to be. But many times I am also frugal because I want to spend that money on something else that is important to me.

There are 2 parts to this. Goals is an important one. If you realize that spending for no reason is not in line with your goals, then it should help to stop that. Another part of this is, why do you want to just spend money? Are you cracking because you just need to spend? or because there are things that you have wanted for a long time and you get sick of trying to be frugal to get them and then crack and purchase the stuff on credit? If you are just spending money because you feel like spending money, that is kind of ridiculous when you think about.

When things get really tight I do get frustrated and want to be able to spend money without worrying about it. However, I try to remind myself of why I am being frugal. Also, I save giftcards for these occassions. We get them from Mypoints or as gifts and I save them for when it is really tight financially. Then when I feel frustrated about the lack of money, I go and spend someone elses (the giftcards, not credit cards.)

Good luck and I hope you figure out a solution. I think it is a struggle for everyone, me included.
 

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I go hunting for my always handy copy of the Complete Tightwad Gazette, and I start reading. It's almost like a Bible, sometimes -- I just get a great sense of relief.
 

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I am like that. However, now that I am more frugal ( thanks to this forum) and have $$ squirrelled away, when I do fall off the wagon, I pay cash and not use credit cards. My indulgence is eating out, so when I do, I do not use the c.c. So I feel it is a small victory.
 

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I don;t really struggle in this area, but then I am always spending my mystery shopping money, watching it grow with each shop that I do. I do around 20-30 shops a month - so I am always out interacting with others, and spending maybe 10.00 of my mystery shopping money for a 10.00 grocery store shop, or doing a 30.00 bank shop, or whatever. It's great - I am able to be out spending my revolving/growing fund, and yet not spend a cent of our budget! It really keeps me personally motivated to be frugal without feeling like I am missing out........
 

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I splurged today and I bought a $5 mascarra. I used a coupon and I didn't feel too bad, because my other one was about a year old and I really needed a new one. I wear it a few times a month (when I go out), or daily if I am working outside the home.
 

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I had that happen the other day. I just snapped over all this frugal stuff. I'm having a hard enough time dealing with my life right now.

My solution? I got on-line and ordered 4 secondhand books. Total cost about $30cdn. I can easily cover it with my allowance when the CC comes due.

Often times I'll go to the secondhand store and buy something, but I didn't have the car to get there!
 

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This doesn't happen to me too bad, and that's a good thing because I used to be mildly addicted to shopping. First it was handbags, then perfume. I have around 100 bottles (which I am now using up :)). Whenever I get the urge to spend I look at my bank balance or spreadsheets and get satisfaction from my progress.

Good luck!!
 

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i have been good for so long but as i am off on holiday from work this week i find myself going out shopping, nothing for me but i have this feeling of not having done something in my day if i DONT COME HOME WITH MY ARMS FULL of b1g1f
 

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You need to cut yourself a little slack. You didn't acquire your debts all at once and they won't be paid off that way either. It sounds like you need to budget in a little fun without a I won the lottery mentality. Frugal to me is to be able to do what I really want in life and to feel good about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thx for the thoughts...I do what most of you have suggested. Salvation Army is definitely a quick fix for me! I can always find clothes for the kids and I there. That takes the edge of short term.

In the last year, I bought, a Bose 321 sound system, a new treadmill, and my piano. In fairness, I do use all 3 things very much. Everything is paid off accept a bit of the piano.

Its a weird feeling, its like a build up of emotions from being frugal over a long period of time and then "cracking" and buying something big.

I keep eyeballing the flat screen tvs at Walmart now! The prices have come down so much! But why do I need one (or two)? I have a perfectly fine 27 in ch tv in my bedroom, and a perfectly fine 32 inch tv in the tv room!

Bring me back to reality!
 

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if you're having a hard time resisting big ticket items, think about how long you have to work to pay off that item. if you make $10 an hour and that item is 200, you have to work at least 20 hours (really more once you figure in what they take out for taxes) to pay for that 200 item. is it worth that amount of time?

to keep me from going on a bender, i get to buy crochet magazines. though this time i saved all the little subscribe cards and will subscribe to teh 2 i always buy to save some money. it's my regular indulgence and provides hours of entertainment just looking through them. i go back and reread them especailly if i want a new project to do.

keeping goals in mind helps too. right now our only goal is paying off debt. i think i need to break it down into smaller steps so there is a bit more feeling of accomplishment, but setting and working towrds goals can help too like some of the others have mentioned.
 

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When I get the urge to splurge, I go on ebay and "watch" a whole bunch of items. I'll pick out clothes, shoes, etc so it feels like I am shopping, but I never bid. It keeps me entertained and no $$ spent.

Other times I get more pleasure out of spending $2 for a Goodwill piece of clothing then buying new. I went in and out of Macy's yesterday and saw a cute dress for $79. KEPT RIGHT ON WALKING!!
 

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Well I have to update. Today was a spendy kind of day. I went to acupuncture and that does cost money. But the acupuncturist was late and I was early by just enough time to get to Liquidation World!

I was looking for a black bag to hold my stitching supplies. One of the ladies had one at stitch-in recently.

Anyways, I got to LW and found the bags, but they were bigger, and really expensive...$62!!! No way was I going to buy that! Gasp, gasp... So I rummaged around some more, looking for the smaller ones. Found them! Guess the price?! $2.99!!! I just about died at the disparity between the price when there really wasn't much difference in the bags. Certainly not $60 worth!

So if you really get the spendy feeling on TVs, make sure you get the best deal! Decide what you want it for, when, and why. That can make you change your mind real fast.

My other splurge was a 8 1/2 x 11" sketchbook, hardcover, 224 pages, for $13.95. That's about half price what I normally find them for. I use them for prayer journals. Though, truth be told, I've been using scribblers lately because they are cheaper. However the covers rip off them pretty easily, and I can't sketch decently in them.

So with the TV, ask yourself if it is any better than what you have. Will it last longer? Otherwise it's not a good bargain, it's just a 'I want' thing.

But my big splurge? I went to the cappucino bar and had chai tea and cheesecake...for $7.

Normally I'd do this a couple times a year with DH. But today I just plain felt spendy. PLUS, I'd been to the bank and realized we had been paid AND there was money leftover from the previous paycheck. I should note, it's those times that I spend my money...when I know we have some extra to spend.

I often try to save money out of groceries for treats when I get tired of being frugal. I can make a casserole to use up leftovers one extra night, and find $5 for tea and a goodie. And I make sure all the groceries are bought before I spend the money. Meaning I get more treats at the end of the pay period. Which is just right, because by then I'm feeling frugalled out.

When I get those big splurge urges I get practical and realistic with myself. If I have 3 people in the house, we don't need anymore than 3 TVs...honestly. And we really don't need a TV in the bedroom. If we've got one there, then we need to rethink our sex life! (and the purpose of our bedroom!) And just how many TVs do we need if we only watch one at a time anyways?

If I had a TV in the bedroom, I'd just veg and watch it there and never get up. I'm a firm believer in getting up and out of the bedroom before 9 a.m. (preferably 8 a.m.). If I want to watch TV, I do it in the living room...with everyone else. Though personally I don't think a TV belongs there either. Given a choice I'd stick it in a family room or basement.

Actually, given a chance, I'd get rid of the TV. It's passive displacement activity and just costs money to run if you want decent channels. Everything else without cable is not worth watching. Kids are better off reading or playing (indoors or out), or helping DH or I.

This goes with other things too. How many can I realistically use at any given point in time? No point having anymore than that on hand.

Anyways, hope that helped you with your uncontrollable urge to spend!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hi Peanut!

Just catching up on posts now, crazy week!

Couple things...1.) The Tv in my bedroom - I'm a single mom for the last 3.5 years..sex life? 2.) On the whole, the kids and I don't watch that much tv, we're too busy with kids school, grad school for me, FT work, keeping up with the house, and activities. HOWEVER...the kids and I snuggle in my bed every night from 7:30-8:30 and watch Animal Planet together before they go to bed. I guess if I were to use a calculation based on how many hours we actually watch tv, a new TV wouldn't be in my mind. ;-)

3.)After reading what everyone considers to be indulgences on the boards, I really need to reset my thinking. I make good money and have savings etc, not many worries. I'm a hard worker and I'm grateful for what I have but seriously, what if I lost my job or my next job didn't pay me as much. I'd miss those everyday things as if they were luxuries for sure. Time to rethink. Its all in the mindset.

Thanks everyone for helping to reset my mind!
 
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