One day while rolling into our garage and talking about our expenses, I asked my husband, “Where is all our money going?” I am the spender of the couple, and also do most of the groceries and miscellaneous purchases like gifts and clothes. I am not the best at keeping the budget up to date, and thinking of all the entries I had to input that day made me cringe. Most of our expenses are small: $5 in this store, $15 at the burger joint, $30 at the grocery store; however, they add up and accounting for them is a hassle. Not wanting to go through this chore, I thought that I can make things easier by spending less.
I am going to ruin the ending and tell you that our expenses did not go down significantly. I think that we just had some miscellaneous expenses that took good hits at our budget. Fortunately, I still have a discovery that I want to share with you.
I love to shop. We already discussed that. However, I continue digging into the reasons of why I do it, because it has become a bit compulsive and its results go against my main goal of a simple and frugal life. Two of the obvious reasons have been boredom and the thrill of the chase. With smartphones, it’s super easy to drift into the interwebs and not truly come back until you have been satisfied with whatever you were doing or are again, bored. I say this because we tend to keep going back to our devices for more entertainment. We’ve turned into something similar to TV-addicted couch potatoes. We just sit there expecting the entertainment to fill our lives and wash away our worries. So ironic, for that life pushes us into non-conformity and spending money, instead of helping us solve our true problems.
I can’t always fix boredom in my day-to-day. Sometimes you are alone, waiting for your name to be called and your phone keeps you from wanting to wrestle with the clock’s arms. Yet, that is not the majority of my life. I spend most of my time at home, where I live with my wonderful family and have many books to read, a spacious kitchen to cook in, and most times a sunny day to go out even if its for a very quick, hot walk. Even the devices I go to have apps that aren’t only for shopping or entertainment. I can watch a documentary, listen to a podcast or even read an article. I can use my time there much better.
Now to the thrill. I love sales and finding things that are perfect for me. It might be my skinny super high-waisted GAP jeans, which I now own in different colors or that perfect blood-red lipstick that I am still in the hunt for. All the options and constant launches have made me a non-conformist. Won’t you say though, that I have enough and it’s lame to shop just for a thrill? Isn’t there more to life than a thrill? Yes.
The reason why I have this blog is because I want to invest my time into something that has great returns. Boredom or thrills just return pennies to my time. I want to share what I have learned so that others can be happier with their lives. I want to be a catalyst for improvement.
This might require a little investment, but not as much money as I tend to spend on non-necessities. See, there is no problem in spending money. Having a simple life is not about only having a few possessions or not being luxe; it is about prioritizing what you really want or like. Take all the layers away and go straight to your goal. While I can derive pleasure from a great find, it’s not what I truly desire. Money and spending is not the end, but the means to a better life. The improvement might be physical, like a comfortable living area or a great pair of jeans yet besides our daily needs, the goal in spending should be personal betterment.
Understanding why I spend money uncovers my true needs and wants. In my current space I can definitely get more of what I want without cash. This is because I don’t want more things. I want clean and cozy spaces at home, and to be able to provide to our family and give. Contrary to shopping, the fruits of this labor is not immediate. I have to remind myself that I have already decided for a different type of contentment and only time will help me appreciate its sweetness. I desire to spend on the essentials and make any other charges an investment for our lives.
What are some reasons why you might indulge? Please share, since I might see myself in those too!