Valdosta Daily Times

Business

March 2, 2014

Brittany's Budget Diary

Stupid things we all do with money

SAVANNAH — This week, I came across a very interesting article that talked about stupid things we all do with money. As a budgeteer, I went into this article thinking I was above it all. At the end of the article, I learned that I’m not such a smart cookie (shhh, don’t tell my editor).

Once I had a very big chip knocked off my shoulder, I started to evaluate my spending habits. Some of the things I was doing to “save money” were in fact, doing quite the opposite. Now, I am not the type of leader that can’t admit my wrongs . . . I usually just completely avoid them and blame my husband. However, this time I’m going to sit up tall in my big girl britches and tell you some stupid things we all do with money. You’re welcome.

 

Avoid obligatory fun

Most adults know what I mean by this. We all have those friends or co-workers who are always, always, always trying to take advantage of our friendships and get us to buy something. Whether it is Mary Kay parties or Tupperware extravaganzas, we all know “that person”. As adults, we have to stop treating shopping like a recreational activity.

 

It’s not really “free” shipping.

This point stuck out to me the most in the article I read, because I am probably the biggest offender. Around Christmas time, there was a big sale at UrbanOutfitters.com, and I initially planned to just buy one shirt for husband. However, when I saw that I qualified for free shipping if I would just spend $35 more, I took the bait. I ended up buying two other things that I didn’t really plan to, and in retrospect, it would have just been cheaper to pay for shipping.

 

I’m shattering the myth

Shopping in bulk is a lie

I know there are so many people that swear by shopping in bulk, but in reality, it’s not as much of a money saver as you think. If at any point you are buying things that do not align with your original budget, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

 

Sales are not a budgeteers best friend . . .

I can’t even believe I am telling you this, but sale shopping has a dark, seething, underbelly. How many of you have found yourself going to a department store just because they advertise a big weekend blowout sale? Don’t lie. I actually had to start throwing away the sales papers that come in the mail because I was buying stuff just because it was on sale. A lot of stores also like to do the whole BOGO deal, but a good rule of thumb is if you don’t need two of them, you probably don’t need even one.

 

Stop tying emotions to your bank account

Let’s say you have an awful week, and you decide you want to unwind by going to the nail salon. You get a mani, pedi, the works. The next thing you know, you’re out $40 or $50. Maybe you’re a little depressed and you decide that you are going to cheer yourself up with a new outfit from head to toe, that’s at least $100. We all do or have done something like this, and whether we knew it at the time, it basically says that we think money can solve our problems. In reality, spending like this will only cause you more stress because you are spending money you really don’t have.

 

Add up the little things


You found a cute pair of earrings for just $12, you subscribed to that fashion magazine because it’s only $15 for the entire year, Netflix is just $7.99 a month so why not? Again, I’m very guilty of these little spending habits, and I’m sure you are too. Sit down and add up the “little things” and watch the amount grow. It’s unsettling.

 

“Oh, I’ll just charge it and pay it off later”

If you have the money to pay for something, pay for it. Don’t charge it and pay it off later, because chances are, you won’t pay it off without incurring months of interest. Sometimes you can’t avoid using a credit card, but if it’s not an emergency, have some willpower. If it’s truly a worthwhile purchase, it will be just as important when you save the money up yourself.

 

I was trying really hard to make it to ten stupid things, but I just couldn’t shame you or myself any further. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BudgetBrittany and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany.

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