Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SSF: Triggers

Triggers{via pinterest}

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'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?


Ez said...

I totally understand your need to just not spend rather than spend in moderation, I have the same issue with food...if I just done have those delicious goodies ie. chocolate or cookies then I dont eat them but if I buy them then I cant just eat in moderation...I have to munch until they are all gone!

I have just started my first blog so please feel free to drop by some time :-)


Jane @ In the Pink and Green said...

Ok, I'm glad that I am not the only one that is like a 5 year old when it comes being unable to resist nail polish! Seriously, when I'm at Target or the grocery store one always seems to find it's way into my cart, and at $7 a pop, that adds up! Oh and the coffee thing too, I'm a sucker for Starbucks, such a bad habit!

I really admire you for doing this spending freeze, and while I didn't officially commit to doing it, you are definitely inspiring me to look at my own spending habits and make some positive changes. I look forward to following along as the month continues! :)

garden state prep said...

It's cliche but I stress shop. If I need to get out of the office, my first thought is to go "walk around" Target or a local shopping mall or even a Whole Foods.

Nicole said...

I have a hard time with clothes in general. Dresses were a big thing for me this summer. I couldn't help myself, and found every excuse in the book to convince myself to buy it. But my true weakness, 24/7, every season of the year, is shoes. Love them!

Alivia said...

I'm completely with you on the "all or nothing"/moderation is the devil subject. And I have so much respect for you; you're doing so well! Maybe I'll give myself a spending freeze in October...

Angie said...

You are not alone and neither am I when it comes to nail polish! I don't know what it is about those little bottles either, but OMG, they're like crack or something! Nail polish and costume jewelry are def a trigger for me!

I am proud to say I haven't purchased anything non-essential since 9/1 when your SSF started!...even tho I didn't email/post that I'm doing it with you guys. I'm on the wagon with you, we can do it, keep encouraging each other!

Take care and Boomer Sooner!


Lindsay said...

OMG I completely know how you feel with this! Its almost as if as soon as you CAN'T have something, you want it that much more. Way to go not giving in!!

I've been doing pretty well this week with my (non)spending... The only thing I've really been having difficulty with is buying snacks. I tend to be one of those people who goes in for 1 or 2 things and comes out with what I need plus a bag of candy, and some chips. But not this month! I will not give in. Nope. No way.

Norma said...

those vs tops get to me too!!


Kindra said...

i totally feel your pain on the wanting to just run and get something to eat instead of cooking! so far we have eaten in all week! follow me and read my triggers @

Glitterista said...

I have a love/hate relationship with Target now that they have OPI and Essie. Before it wasn't so tempting to grab a new bottle or two, but I can't seem to leave that store without one now. I also have a really hard time with Rue La La and other sites like that as I quickly buy something bc I don't want it to sell out without really thinking about it.

In2itive said...

I personally tried and failed (miserably) at the spending freeze. I ended up spending more $$ that month than I normally do. Moderation doesn't work for me either but what has worked or is working is a monthly budget for me and my stuff.

I've come to the realization that I'm not going to stop shopping (it took a long hard talk with myself to realize this) but after setting a monthly amount for misc stuff like nail polish (yep, I'm obsessed), clothes, accessories (I'm a bracelet junkie), dinner with friends, etc...I’m able to control my spending. The kicker is I’m only paid 1/month so I have to make sure I stay within my budget. I pull out my monthly amount in cash (no debit cards, credit cards can be used) unless ordering online, but then only a debit card.

My hubby is aware of this amount and reminds me to stay within my amount. Since setting a $150/monthly “ME” budget I feel more in control of my spending. I also don’t penny pinch my $150 either (meaning I don’t try to get as much as I can for $150). If I want a pair of $98 pants I get them because I feel like it’s the only big purchase I’m going to make that month. I also buy less disposable clothes, jewelry, junk food, accessories. My shopping/spending is more focused and structured. I also have one big rule.

*I don’t GO OVER and take from the next month but I can save from one month to add to the next.

My trigger is JCrew and they are currently having extra 30% off final sale items, well, I spent my budget already on two sweaters from the store plus I had dinner with friends. As much as I would love to order something, I can’t and I won’t!! Before, I would have purchased the sweaters and still found $$ to order something online. I feel I have more control and I’m proud of myself. I also have $5.00 left-LOL

Jamie said...

Oh my goodness, can I just tell you that I have the same weakness for nail polish!!! I just blogged about my triggers and some tips as well!

Anonymous said...

Your #5 is my #1 trigger. That is where most of my weakness was this past week. I am going to call this week of SSF a success for me :)

organic foundation said...

Yes it is good to be abreast with the trendy fashion as there are often changes and you have to follow them to look stylish...I too love black leggings and my jeggings too.

Jackie Wessel said...

SHOES!! I dont know what it is- but i cant resist heels, wedges, awesome boots! Every time i set out on a quest to buy some comfy, super cute flats- i fail miserably! Sandals too! I have about 3 good pair that i wear too often and when i need more... i end up with wedges! ugh! anyone have any suggestions as to good flats and how to avoid the too tall but too cute shoes i really want but don't wear as often??