I can’t believe it’s already June! Although given that the temperature was 90 degrees and disgusting today, I’d think we were in the middle of August. On the bright side, the start of a new month means the start of a new Simple Saver Series challenge! June’s challenge: stop shopping out of boredom.
As a refresher, the Simple Saver Series is a monthly spending challenge I host on the blog. The idea is to look at our little, seemingly innocuous spending habits – like a Starbucks in the morning. While those purchases seem small, they add up big over time (like over $1,000 over the course of a year). The good news is, that also means small changes – like cutting out one or two coffees a week – can add up to big savings too. So every month here I’m posting a suggested spending habit to cut back on. I’m not asking you to stick to it stringently, just suggest you try it out and see if any of these monthly challenges become a more permanent change you want to implement.
So this month’s challenge is to cut out shopping out of boredom. I for one am often guilty of this. I’m bored on a Sunday so I pop into a store to browse. Or I’m sitting at my computer and procrastinating by checking out J.Crew online. Or I have no reason to shop, but Bloomingdale’s is having a great sale so I figure I’ll just stop by and see if there are any good deals. The point is, I very rarely find myself going to the store because I desperately need something specific.
In reality, there are about a million other things I should be doing when I’m bored that are more productive than shopping. Like reading. Or going to one of DC’s many free museums.
Not to mention, when I shop as an activity I often find that I buy things that I don’t really love just because they’re a “good deal.” When in reality, the good deal probably would have been not spending any money in the first place, even if that means waiting to spend more on the right item. As my mom would wisely say, “it’s better to buy one shirt you love than two cheap shirts that are just so-so.”
So this month I’m cutting that out. I’m not saying we should give up shopping altogether. On the contrary, actually. If you have a specific item that you NEED, go out and get it. I’m sure many of you will be picking up Father’s Day gifts soon. But don’t go shopping just to fill the time, or because you think it’s your only chance to snag that deal.
My advice? Before you go shopping this month take a minute to think about whether you’re going out of need, or out of boredom.