It’s the first weekend of October, and I’m a sucker for fresh starts. I know it’s all semantics, but I’m going to work with my extra boost of internal motivation here and make October my most frugal month yet.
As I sit here trying to flesh out how to make this my most frugal month, I’ve come face to face with some nasty habits that have cropped up this year that I’ve hid from others and to a certain extent, from myself. I’ll elaborate. I can write down “no takeout” or “zero entertainment budget” for October, but I already do that; I haven’t been out socially to a place that required purchasing food/beverages with friends since July, I bring each and every breakfast and lunch to work, and cook at home every night. So where on earth is my money going?
Simply put, I lie to myself. That’s right. I’m a full-fledged adult with powers of reasoning and reflection and I straight up do certain things “sneakily” as if I am not going to notice. Yes, that’s inane, and let me explain. I’m at an age (30) where all my friends are either getting married or having babies. I have a lot of gift giving occasions to attend lately, to which I must bring a gift. However, I seem to convince myself that a gift-giving occasion means I can pick myself up a little gift along the way (no, this is not a conscious conversation I have – it’s like I have someone else living upstairs in that melon of mine that makes these decisions, and is in cahoots with my body who then mobilizes upon her wishes). I’ve been “sneaking” in my own wants whenever I have to buy a need (groceries, toiletries, etc) or gift and pretend like it didn’t happen.
Now that I’m onto …err, myself, I need to put this to a grinding halt. I’m having stern words with that voice in my head that says “Treat yo’ self! This is your 3rd baby shower gift this month, pick up the cute belt you saw on the way to the baby section! Spending all this dough on your friends, how kind. Now put that cute dress on sale in your Amazon cart, you deserve it!” No, little voice, I deserve the calm of not losing sleep anymore over my colossal debt because I’ve made strides in paying it off. You keep those thoughts to yourself and close up that pie hole.
So there it is. In October, I’m sticking to my good habits (zero entertainment budget, eating all meals at home, etc) while eliminating that voice that tells me I can sneak in a little something for myself whenever I go out to get new dish soap or baby blankets or serving set or whatever necessity/baby gift/wedding gift I need to buy. There will be no “me” money and no “treat myself” money spent because I know the money I put towards my debt is the biggest gift I can give to myself, and the rewards of eventually living debt free will be the greatest treat of all. Less small picture, more big picture.
Have you ever found you lie to yourself about your spending habits? Any little loopholes you use to justify unnecessary spending?