There was a time I spent a little too freely. I’d buy things when I wanted and worry about paying for it later on. For lunch I’d go out with the intention of window shopping to waste some time but come back with a sweater and new pants instead. It felt good when I’d buy something but the feeling would wear off especially when I’d get my credit cards bills which were slowly adding up in the thousands.
I’ve since curbed my spending ways (somewhat). But every now and then the itch returns and I get the urge to splurge. The frugal/saving side of my wants to let go. It’s like you see on a TV show when the devil and angel both appear on one of my shoulders and they argue it out. The angel usually wins out but sometimes the devil makes a good case!
So here are some confessions of a recovering spendaholic. These are things I sometimes think about and get the urge to spend on. I usually hold myself back but other times…
- Buying things for the kids – Every now and then I’ll see something that I really want to get for the kids. I’m aware I could be spoiling them and odds are what I buy will end up as clutter but some things are just too cute. For example: We were out recently and I saw a Star Wars Yoda shirt that was just too cool to pass up (little guy loves Star Wars). I took our son and went and bought it for him.
- I’ll go on Amazon and roam around looking for new things - I’ll go through pages of their Recommend stuff and add things I like to my wish list.
- I love catalogs - We get a bunch of catalogs in the mail. My wife sees it a junk mail but I have to go through them and look at all of the cool new items. The seasonal Campmor catalog is like porn for me (Note – I just came back from checking out the sales on their site. Couldn’t help it!). I thumb through the pages and earmark things I want. Ahh, camping gadgets!
- I want to buy what I want for lunch - Sometimes I’m working and I want to go all out and check out all of the interesting restaurants in the area. Too bad the area in Manhattan where the restaurants can be quite pricey.
- I drool over the new aluminum Macbooks – I bought a refurbished Macbook back in November. I love it and it suits my needs perfectly. Still, I love the new aluminum ones and I’ll check the Apple site to see how much the refurbished ones cost.
- I’d love to get an iPhone – Damn if iPhones don’t look cool, huh? Is there anything they can’t do? I mean if I had on I’d have to be more productive wouldn’t I? What keeps me in check is the monthly service charges and the fact that I already have the incredibly inexpensive Sprint SERO plan.
- I want a “cool” stroller like I see in Manhattan – I walk around and there are so many fancy, space-age looking strollers everywhere. I want to stroll my kids around in one of them!
- I’d love a new telephoto lens – I have a DSLR camera and already have a telephoto lens. But one of those huge lenses where you can get REAL close would be super cool to have. (I love looking through the giant B&H catalog).
- Search online for messenger bags I want – I had a decent messenger bag that I used to go to work. I had it for years and it finally broke down to where it was unusable. Now I use a messenger bag I got from my company. It certainly serves it’s purpose but things just don’t fit “right.” So every now and then I look around for a new bag.
- I need a hip Moleskin notebook – They look so cool. I check them out every time I’m on Barnes & Noble. I tell myself it’s for productivity and I could use it in all sorts of ways. I’d break down and buy one if I didn’t already have a perfectly usable notebook already (just not a cool one like a Moleskin).
- I needed a Fisher Space Pen - I love a good pen that writes well. It’s a pet peeve of mine to use a pen that just isn’t good. I ran out of my current pens and I was already obsessing over the space pen. I gave in and bought it. It is really cool and closes real small and I carry it everywhere. Did I need it though….
- Want to go out for dinner – We’ll go out to eat every now and then. We’re a lot better with our spending than we were when my wife and I were both working, bringing in two incomes. In fact we enjoy eating a home cooked meal with the whole family at the dinner table. But sometimes we just want to throw caution to the wind and eat out where we want and not worry about the cost.
- I kinda want “too much house” – Yeah, a simpler lifestyle does actually feel good. But having a really big house can be fun too, right?
- Looking forward to a flat screen TV day – One day we’ll have a flat screen TV. Eventually our TV will break down. Still, I’d like one now that we could hang on our wall. Yeah, it would look real cool up there watching Star Wars!
- I drool over Guitar Hero and Rock Band – How cool of a video game are these?!? Not only can you play guitar but also drums?!? That’s awesome! Of course I’d also have to buy a video game system first.
- Imagine the possibilities of open credit for Sam Ash or Guitar Center – Remember how I talked about the Campmor catalog as porn? Sam Ash and Guitar Center are worse! I walk through those stores and I have to remember to wipe the drool from my chin (ahhh, a PRS semi-hollow electric or a Warwick Dolphin, droool). My wife refuses to go to these places with me.
- I need a fancy Bluetooth mouse for the laptop – There are just times when the tracpad gets tiring to use. For those times I need a mouse. But not a corded mouse. No, I want a wireless Bluetooth mouse.
- On the subject of Bluetooth – Ditto an earpiece for my cell phone.
- Neoprene cover for the computer – I have to keep the computer safe don’t I?
- A couple of cool lightsabers – How else can I play Star Wars with my son without a pair of cool lightsabers?!? (I’m starting to see a bit of a Star Wars pattern here).
So there you go. Sometimes my mind wanders a bit and I start thinking about stuff I’d like to get. Usually I control these urges. Sometimes… Hey, it’s about moderation and knowing your financial situation. So long as you can live within your means and still save it’s ok to splurge every now and then.
What about you? What gets the spend urge going in you?