I'm a week into the September Spending Freeze, and I have to be honest, its been surprisingly easier than I expected. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been easy, but easier than I expected. So a week into it, I've noticed two very specific things.
1. Holding myself to no spending is much easier than holding myself to reduced spending. I am apparently a five year old who can't grasp the concept of moderation.
2. Some things have been easy to give up, but others call my name at the grocery store, haunt me in my dreams, and plead to be purchased. My Freeze kryponite, or what I now maturally refer to as my "spending triggers."
I've probably always been aware of these spending triggers, but the spending freeze has called them to center stage. When the items used to call out to me, I'd try to resist, but after a few seconds, I'd quickly give in. But now that I can't give in, I'm forced to endure a longer period of "But you need me! I'm fabulous, flawless, and will make all your dreams come true!" Triggers are the things that seem to trip me up the most often and the easiest. So after a week on the Freeze, here are my top 5 spending triggers.
1. Nail polish. I don't know what it is about those small glass bottles, but lately I've noticed my insane weakness for them. I see all those candy colors and go weak in the knees. I feel the need to own every single shade of pink and every hot color for the season.
2. Mid-afternoon coffee. Its 2:00 pm and I've had back to back meetings and committments all day. I was up late and got up early to Jazzercise. I have four more hours of work, and I can't keep my eyes open. And there's an Einstein's across the steet. Temptation hell.
3. Black leggings. I don't know what it is about these stretchy lovelies, but I buy them like they're going out of style. This habit started when we moved to Chicago and has gotten a little out of control. My legging radar is elegantly honed, and it pains me to hear it beep as a I walk away.
4. VS Pink tees. To go with my black leggings of course. While I try to avoid pants with words scrawled across my backside, I can't stay away from their tees. They're the perfect sheerness, perfect length, perfect deep V, and perfect sleeve length. (I loathe cap sleeves.) After the big sorority shirt cleanout of 2009, I've been rebuilding my loungewear collection, and these tees are easy to buy in bulk. I love them.
5. Its Friday, I just got home, there's nothing for dinner, and I'm starving. Every bone is body is thinking, "Just go out...it'll take too long to cook...wouldn't a dinner out be way more fun." Enter the moment where I throw my keys across the room in an attempt to keep myself from hopping in my car and zooming to one of our favorite dinner spots.
"But why even talk about triggers?" you may ask. My thought is that if we're to succeed, we need to be aware of what trips us up. We've all heard the phrase "the first step is admitting you have a problem." I've done that by taking this challenge. I have a spending problem. The second step for me is getting specific about where my sticky spots are and where I get tripped up the most often and the easiest. Knowing my triggers. Word.
I'm going to revisit these triggers, as well as other hurdles I'm experiencing over the next month and give some insight/helpful hints into how I'm dealing with them. You didn't think I'd just list my problems and leave you fend for your own solutions did you? :)
So whether you're participating in the Freeze or not, I've got to ask, what are your spending triggers?