Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not buying any of the things...(and May goals)

Money isn't a normal topic I post about on here, but something happened in April that I thought was worth sharing. In the past I've been a bit of a spender (to say the least...). I bought clothes, shoes, running stuff, jewelry, monthly box subscriptions, or other random items that I can't always recount. Tim has been very focused on saving and reaching savings goals and has been trying to get me to buy in for a few months now. I saved quite a bit in March to appease him, but I broke records (for myself) in April; this made me pretty proud of myself as well. I definitely saved more this past month than I have ever in a month. And when the month ended and I saw all that I had saved, I immediately had a thought:

"I'm going to buy more stuff in May."
A few Instagram pictures of random purchases that I can honestly now say haven't gotten their use...

I texted this to Tim, mainly as a joke, but also because I decided that I could spend more and still save enough to make myself and Tim happy.

But then I spent some time thinking yesterday and today about what I didn't buy this month that I had bought in previous months and missed. And the earth started shaking and the heavens opened up, and I realized that there wasn't anything I didn't buy this month that I felt like I missed out on. And to take it even a step further, I thought really hard about whether I was less happy last month than I was in previous months, and I have to tell you that my thoughts led me directly to a resounding: not at all.

I'm not less happy or satisfied because I didn't buy things. 

This may sound ridiculous to have to actually have to type out, but there have been so many months that I've set savings goals and haven't reached them because I bought stupid things that I later can't even explain or necessarily remember (probably a few of the things pictured above). Maybe it's even crossing the border of sounding shopaholic-ish, but I wanted to document it. I never thought "things" made me happy per se, but I guess I thought in some way I would miss them more when they weren't arriving on my doorstep or being carried into my house on a semi-regular basis. I don't

There have always been things I've seen and wanted to buy, and I would decide to buy them, whether or not I needed them. I didn't do it this past month...and in the end I haven't even missed it.

Are you in control of your spending?
Do you set savings goals and meet them monthly?
Have you ever thought happiness and buying things would feel associated?

And that leads me to a few goals this month...I haven't set them in a few months, but I want to for May.
1. Track every food I put into my mouth everyday.
2. Follow Laura's Sugar Detox 2 Challenge for the days assigned.
3. Follow the Tone It Up Diet from May 6th to June 3rd.
4. Finish Born to Run.
5. Save at least 75% of what I saved in April.
6. Take my thyroid pill everyday (I need to go more into this another time...I'm so bad at this one).

And those are my goals...they're not lofty, but they're things I'm going to stick to.

Did you make goals for the month? What's the one you want to focus on the most?


Meghan said...

I think the drive and motivation to save comes with age - at least, it did for me. Mike and I have a ton of goals, and it amazes me how much I can save. And seeing that amount grow is far more satisfying than material objects. Congrats, girl!

Lindsey @ Let the Light Shine said...

I go on spending binges. I'll buy a lot, then save a lot. Sadly, a lot depends on what's going on. I have to admit that my therapy is in retail ;)

Congrats to you for saving!!

Kat @ Sneakers and Fingerpaints said...

We'll be celebrating our 1st anniversary without vacation debt and that's cause for celebration!

Jen said...

I am good at saving money, my husband is not. I've got to get him onboard. I feel you on the pill thing. I finally got an old lady pill box for mine because I never remember.

Crystal Hamilton said...

My Husband and Myself are both spenders, so it is tough. We spend too much money eating out though and I have been trying to save money by cooking more. IT's so much cheaper particularly since we diet and order mainly steak and salmon out. I do spend $32 on subscription boxes (Ipsy, Goodies, Sample Society), but they are my monthly treat. I don't buy too much else for myself normally.

Are you putting back a certain amount every week?

I always forget to take my blood pressure pill too. It's hard to remember when you are rushing in the morning!

Rachel said...

We have designated "blow money" and it's really teaching me how to "save" for those things I really want. Although, it mainly gets blown at lululemon or on race bibs... :)

Kristen :) said...

My goal for May is to get my credit card paid off; too much holiday spending and not paying it off weekly finally caught up with us and I like the idea of crossing debt off my list! I don't love having to give up my coffee runs and buying running stuff but you gotta do what you gotta do!

Beka said...

That is awesome!! I go through phases where I spend spend spend on things - that I DO normally use like workout clothes, new flip flops, or snacks, but things that I could definitely do without. I didn't NEED those extra shorts - I already have 100 pairs. haha.
In April I did much better - mostly because i've been working more and not had near as much free time!

Free time = shopping spree time.

Karen said...

I don't usually set goals specifically, but we set aside a lot of each one for different things, including an emergency savings. We haven't really been big spenders on random little things (and live in a small town so shopping is limited too), so we can spend more on travel.

Part of what drives my spending habits is that I feel claustrophobic with too much stuff, so it really helps deciding whether I need something or not.

caitlyn @ city and the cubicle said...

great post! i've really been thinking about the unnecessary purchases i've been making and trying to cut down.

Kelly Wade said...

I've been pretty good about not shopping, basically because I can't. But I have been known to head to the mall when I've had a particularly bad week or swear I don't have a thing to wear out on a Friday night.

lpnedwards said...

Well said - the whole post. I love that you really took a look at what you bought, why you bought it, how you felt, etc. I think I need to start doing more of that. Your goals are great, too. They're totally achievable, and I think you'll really feel accomplished at the end of the month.

Amanda said...

You should definitely finish Born to Run. I loved that book! My 1st goal in May is to turn off my computer and TV at 7:30 each night at least for 1 week just to see how it goes.

Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers said...

Great job with the savings! It's great that you didn't miss anything. I'm usually a saver, but even I have my weaknesses!

I'm considering the detox challenge too. Good luck with it!

holls171 said...

I'm definitely more of a spender and I need to track my spending better. Honestly, when I set my goals for May I didn't even consider any financial goals! Looks like I may be adding another goal for the month...

Great post!

Mary said...

I think these are awesome goals. I can be the same way sometimes. I will actually reward myself for saving money by heading to Lululemon for a treat. It is totally ridiculous, and negates all of the saving I did prior. I love that you are taking this on.

I am drastically changing my spending because of my career change. We are doing little things like eating at home more, and setting a spending budget for frivolous items so we can manage our finances during this time. Its not easy, but I definitely think it is the right thing to do.

Curly Pink Runner said...

I love your May goals! I'm working on mine!!
I've always been a compulsive saver; spending money is NOT my favorite thing to do. This has come in handy since my current employment has a tricky pay schedule.

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