There are times when I go shopping and I have the most difficult time using my Creative Not Spending skills. It can be so much fun to spend! It's like being a kid in the candy shop... the lure of this huge selection of STUFF is tremendous! But today, I was focused. And this is the way I usually shop. I make sure I know what I need or want. I make my list accordingly and when I go to a store, I go in and get what I need and I leave. I don't wander, I don't even look around. Years ago, when Walmart first came to town, I loved going there. After a few years of shopping there, (I'm a slow learner) I realized that every time I went to Walmart, I spent about $100.00, even when I was just going 'to pick up a few things'. A hundred dollars! I couldn't believe it. That's a lot of distracted shopping. I decided to stop going to Walmart and it really helped. I spent a little bit more for some things, but overall I creatively didn't spend about $80.00 per month. That's almost a thousand dollars a year. This is important to know. Spending habits can be hard to break.
A Focused Shopping Example Today I went to town to buy a vacuum cleaner. I had shopped online and reviewed the price of a new one. So I decided to see what was available used. I knew I didn't need a new one as I don't use a vacuum that much any more. I have very little carpeting, mostly wood floors and linoleum. So the first stop was a thrift store. Sure enough, a great deal for $16.50. It was a Kenmore canister. I tried it out at the store and it worked great. Good suction, the filter was good but needed cleaning. The hoses and tools were all in good shape. Not too loud, not too heavy and it was clean. Done! Next was groceries. I love grocery shopping. I would spend hundreds of dollars if I could. But I stick to my list. I have a lot of food in my freezer from my garden. This is the time of year to use that up. For example, I don't want to have last seasons green beans in the freezer and then add fresh this season. I spent $25.00 on basic necessities and planned my food for the week around what I need to use up in the freezer and the pantry. Key word is necessities. I don't wander. I get what I need and go. Done. Next was gas. I don't go into the store, I buy at the pump. No temptations. I turn off the advertising at the gas pump, fill up and go. Done. Another stop was the big grocery store that I have to go to because Aldi doesn't sell everything I need. I bought Corn starch. That's it. Done A few things at the Hardware store. 3 items. Done. On to Hobby Lobby. I was especially proud of myself for not wandering there. I was going to buy a planner that was 75% off. But as tempting as that was, I realized it would not have served me and I would have wasted my money. So I walked out empty handed. Done. Focused shopping allowed me to go home to 'spend' time with my sweetheart and my lovely home, with money in my pocket to add to my dream fund.