How the Spending Evolved
Since the quarantine has started, I’ve found myself online shopping more frequently, building poor spending habits. I know that it’s a byproduct of me not having the luxury to just go out and shop but I think it is also something deeper than that.
Not only have I carved out more funds for simply “spending” and “hobbies”, but there’s also been an uptick in transfers from my savings for purchases I now know were optional in hindsight.
Why Have My Spending Patterns Changed?
Why have I been spending so much more money? At a time when I thought I was becoming more responsible with my funds, I’ve found more and more reasons to acquire material things that I absolutely do not need. Specifically because we’re in public less, I don’t need those things or certain items no longer serve my daily routine. Yet, I found myself still piling up my online carts with things I “needed.”
Has shopping become my new pastime?
I wondered if this was the case because of the items I chose to purchase. Many of them were legitimate purchases but only if our “normal” lives were intact such as going to the office for work. I could’ve passed on some clothing purchases or Amazon Prime deliveries. I think with less time out of the house, I used that extra time to shop. Also out of my control was my increased exposure to advertising via emails,online ads, and social media ads. Those opened me up to new items, brands, and shopping opportunities. I stopped myself when I realized that I was falling victim to ALL THE ADS and making the purchases.
Related Post: Managing Money Mindset During Lockdown
I Had To Analyze My Relationship With Spending
I want to be a good steward of my money but I fear I’m falling into the same bad spending habits I had before. For a short while I was focused and disciplined to spend less money because I had no choice. I was underpaid, with lots of credit card debt, and little space to acquire more debt (thankfully) due to my credit situation. With more cash flow to fill the pockets of previous credit spending, I’ve just been blowing through the money like crazy while still praising myself for the saving I was doing and other smart money decisions. These were just masking my poor ones a lot better.
My New Parameters Around Healthier Spending
After realizing that I had let the influx of more money fuel my spending nature, I took a step back to “recalibrate.” Journaling about it and figuring out the root of the problem really helped me. Once I got a grip on what was going on, I finally came up with these new parameters to follow, at least while I am working from home and have more time to shop online and accumulate all these things I don’t need right now.
- Limit clothes shopping to quarterly unless it serves my current lifestyle (i.e. workout attire for home workouts instead of business casual outfits for the office)
- Prioritize my wishlist for investment pieces or items that will save me money (I have my eyes set on a new iMac and a DIY sugaring kit to replace waxing appointments)
- Limit Amazon shopping and prioritize buying black, small, and local.
- Focus on nesting excess funds to carryover into next month
- Ultimate goal: limit monthly spending to 10 transactions or less (outside of bills)
Goal: Intentional Money Spending
Overall, I want to be more intentional and if I find something discretionary that I want, I’d prefer to have a simple “formula” or “process” that I follow that can justify getting it or easily determine whether I should pass on it.
That’s where my budgeting course and budgeting system comes into play. Whenever I feel myself go off the rails, I literally come back to the basics and align with my budgeting rules. You can learn more about this system and use my budgeting template too. Purchase the template at my shop or get the full interactive eBook on Etsy.