Argh, we keep buying things

We’re supposed to be saving for a car, amongst other things, so I’ve decided to publicly out us as consumers. This is a first world problem, I know.  Forgive me if I sound like an annoying brat in this post.  It’s not my intention.

Ben and I used to live on one minimum wage income when I first moved to NZ and wasn’t able to obtain a working permit right away.  We’ve come a long way since then.

We aren’t materialistic people (at least I don’t think I am?).  My pets, friends, and family mean more to me than any of my belongings.  Things can be replaced.  They come and go from our lives, and that’s the way I like it.  I think when you move across the world with only two suitcases of belongings, you realize that your life isn’t made up of what you have.

We don’t have many big new shiny things.  Ben’s mobile phone has been dropped into a furnace and looks like a burned piece of plastic, but he doesn’t want to buy a new one because it still works (I think it could actually be hazardous to his health).  Mine is a lovely hand-me-down from an awesome coworker.  We did just buy The Beast, but that was on our list of things we were saving for, and we are using it daily!

But we keep buying little things lately.  Maybe it’s because we’re finally at a point of being comfortable with two full-time incomes (this has never been the case for us while we’ve been together).

For instance, Ben got a hammock the other day, when he got our new garden security. Ben's hammock

I’m really happy he got the hammock (and the garden critters), because I know he’s wanted one for years, and we’ve never had anywhere to put one.  And it only cost $20 so I can’t really get mad at him for it, either, since it’s not like he spent a fortune.  He loves it, and will get many hours of enjoyment out of it.

But we both do this.  We buy little things that we don’t need because we want them.  And these little things eat away at our paychecks.

Pizza.  Garden security.  Or things like Winter’s paw happen and eat away more money (that was needed and not wanted, but just an example of what happens).

It has to stop if we’re going to save for the things we actually really would like to have in the future.

I’m making a pact with myself.  No more needless spending.  I shall be nagging Ben too, in the most loving way.  We’ll see if he thinks it’s loving? Harhar!

I’m also going to make a list of what we’re saving for and stick it on the fridge so we see it every morning, and so we can focus on that.  Seeing things helps.

Sadly we’ve never been the budgeting type (unless we absolutely had to, for things like immigration fees, or when we only had one income, etc.), and I know you’ll probably think that’s ridiculous.  Maybe it’s time to go back to a strict budget.

Is there anything you’re saving for?  Do you have any saving tips that you found made it easier for you or your family?

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 03:03:39

    We stink at saving money. I just want to save up a nice cushion of funds in case “something bad” happens. I am a saver, my husband is a spender. Growing up, I had nothing and he had absolutely everything. We didn’t talk much about money before we got married. That was a huge mistake, because if we fight it’s about money. We get paid on a Friday and I have to arrange for any bills that need paid, to be paid before my husband can get to the money because once Friday morning hits, my husband has already spent whatever money is left. I am embarrassed to say this, but before we just got paid this past Friday, our checking account had $.26 in it. That is 26 cents. And it was like that for at least 10 days. What if something had happened – car broke down, medical emergency?? My husband just doesn’t get that, and unfortunately it’s going to take something bad hapenning before he realizes that he’s selfish. We got paid Friday (3 days ago) and already we’re down to less than $100. I hate that part of my husband. We’ve talked about it, we’ve fought about it but he’s not willing to change!!!! I don’t know what to do

    Reply

    • gwen
      Nov 13, 2011 @ 13:58:55

      Some of these comments that folks are leaving might help!

      Ben and I used to fight over money a lot, but we haven’t in a long time. I think I had to tell him that our money situation was really stressing me out, and that if he wanted to help with that, we had to reach a compromise :)

      Reply

  2. Catherine Wagner
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 03:08:48

    The 24-hour rule works best for me – if you still need it after 24 hours, you can buy it. Usually, I find that I don’t want it as much as I thought once the time is up.

    Reply

  3. Jules
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 05:34:57

    We have a budget for our household income, and built into it is some spending money for each of us. We can do whatever we want with that money, whether it’s buy clothes, fast food, or movies, video games, stupid things we want…. You have to allow yourself some room for these purchases, or you end up frustrated and angry at your budget after a while. Start off with a small amount each, and just see how it goes. Sometimes it’s those little things that bring us a lot of happiness. :)

    Reply

  4. Rilla
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 12:25:18

    We’re terrible at this as well. I’m the one that buys all the little things – small things here and there I like such as candles, a shirt, a new mug or picture frame. If it’s over $10 I can usually talk myself out of it. Mark tends to spend more on the bigger things – video games, headphones. While his drive me more crazy because we see more money gone in big chunks, I know mine is just as bad because I just whittle down the money slowly but surely.

    We are TRYING to save to pay off/down some of our credit cards. There are a ton of things we need to fix up the house and lots of things we want for the house. And then there is always the wanting to have the ability to add a child into the picture…a little wiggle room I’m sure is helpful there.

    But we like to get our little things! And food. We buy a lot of food, whether it be going out to eat (and not always expensive places, but still) or buying snacks for around the house.

    It really needs to stop for us too. We get really good at saving for a little while, and then something happens or it drives us crazy and we fall back out of the habit.

    Reply

  5. Carolina HeartStrings
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 12:16:41

    Even when you’re saving for the big things you still need to be able to buy things like that wonderful hammock. Life has no guarantees, along the way stop and treat yourselves and if you can do it without splurging all the better. Enjoy the hammock – TOGETHER!

    Reply

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