Sunday, May 4, 2014

Worth the wait?

Probably not what you were expecting (sex education is not something I plan to cover in this blog although I can recommend this book for dads of teen boys) but a conversation with my wife this morning prompted some reflection about how we kept our miscellaneous spending in check this month for the first time, well ever.  Misc is the bucket all of our non-necessary spending goes into, which you would think would be the easiest to control but it always seemed to be the most unpredictable.  

A while back we started planning out expenditures in this category a few months in advance but still struggled to stay on budget, mainly because the anticipation of waiting led us to buy everything on the list as soon as the month started and other things inevitably popped up later on.  Realizing that, we decided to wait until the end of month this go-round, a change that seems to have helped quite a bit.  We also started giving ourselves a little fun money for guilt free spending that had a nice side effect of actually reducing the budget since we were splurging on ourselves more than we realized in previous months. 

A few purchases ended up being put off due to unexpected expenses, but even more interesting is that by the time the end of the month rolled around there were a few things we realized we really didn't even want or need. It seems waiting is a good litmus test, a phenomenon discussed in this post and also highlighted in item 4 here. My personal expenses aren't typically clothes and shoes, although I did buy a pair of fantastic $10 padded bike underwear off Amazon a few weeks ago (much to the delight of my backside), but I think the same principle applies to anything you're prone to buy impulsively. For me, anything that appears to be a deal is a temptation,  a genetic trait inherited from my frugal father who's kryptonite when I was growing up was Open Box Buys at the now defunct Circuit City. 

As I mentioned here, we (ok I) typically research and price match for quite a while before making large purchases, but the same logic can be applied to smaller non-necessary purchases as well. I tested this using our shared Amazon cart this month and everything I put in at the beginning of the month went unpurchased except for the aforementioned bike undies.  The added benefit of this method is you get to see the price swings of your items of interest,  something the Mrs used to her advantage to optimize her fun $ on some fancy new cosmetics. Some sites will even send you a discount code to entice you to compete your order as an added bonus. 

Nothing ground breaking here and probably common sense to most, but figured I'd share since we saw some immediate results putting these things into practice this month.

No comments:

Post a Comment