Last week’s Blog Post was about my latest book being published, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic. Thank you to all who sent me such wonderful comments. It is indeed very exciting! A friend has a book launch party scheduled for me in Raleigh, and my two book clubs have selected Spendaholic for our May readings. And there are other book promotion activities planned. I am honored and blessed.
If/when you read the book, you will find that I state that the book is about me changing a behavior I needed to change, and that if others are inspired to change, that is great. But I knew I needed to change, and the year of no spending changed me in three significant ways. One, I made a commitment, not just a goal or a plan. Commitments are stronger, and once made, not easily broken. Two, I am no longer (usually, that is) an impulsive spender. I am able to walk away from a purchase, knowing that if I decide to buy it later, it will often still be available, and if not, that is ok. My third change is that I also do not (again, usually) waste money. An example is choosing to have water with lunch instead of watered down tea that isn’t worth the money it costs. I know some of you are thinking, “that is small money,” and yes, it is, but small money adds up.
I realized years ago that one reason for my spendaholic behavior is that I have a need for beauty; a need, not a want. So, when I see beautiful things, and especially if they are at a good price or on sale, my temptation to purchase them is very strong. Too often those have become impulsive purchases. Later, I have sometimes, or even often, found that they do not fit where I plan to use them. I had a great example of this yesterday.
I purchased a beautiful loveseat several years ago for our beach condo. When doing some redecorating a few months ago, my decorator stated that the loveseat was too big for the space it was occupying. I saw it through her eyes, and realized that she was right. But since I loved it, I couldn’t get rid of it. I put it in my storage shed. Yesterday I decided that I needed to do something with it, but what? I almost convinced myself to recover it and use it somewhere else. I called an upholsterer and got a price and fabric yardage needed, and loaded it in the van, planning to transport it from the beach to Raleigh, then to the upholsterer almost an hour away from Raleigh. Then I came to my senses. I realized that I was going to spend too much money to try to make the loveseat fit somewhere else, and in so doing, I would be having to decide what to do with the item that is currently occupying the space where the loveseat would go! That would likely result in spending more time and money, and I might not be any happier with the change. This was spendaholic behavior at its finest. I decided to make a different decision. Instead of my plan to reupholster the loveseat, I took the loveseat to a consignment shop.
Motivational guru Jim Rohn said many years ago that one positive change results in more positive changes. He used the example of eating an apple instead of something unhealthy, and that in doing so, it becomes easier to get outside and take a walk. I find that to be the case with the publication of Spendaholic. The book’s lessons are so much on my mind that I feel like a hypocrite if I waste money. Recovering that loveseat would have been an example of wasting money. The loveseat is “sunk” cost, it is money already spent. But spending more money to try to make it fit somewhere else would be foolish. While I have done just this many times in the past, I now want to permanently change that behavior. I believe I took a significant step toward that with this loveseat decision. There are other items in the storage shed that I need to deal with in a similar fashion.
One of my commitments for 2017 is mindfulness. I want to be more mindful in general, and to be a more mindful spender in particular. To do so, I will need to make different decisions about spending than I have in the past.
There are only three decisions we can make about money which we already have. We can spend it, invest it, or keep it. If we invest it, it can grow; it can also lose its value. If we spend it, it is gone. While we may be spending it wisely, the money is still gone. If we keep it, it doesn’t grow, and inflation may result in the money being worth less, but that is still better than not having it at all.
Now, I assure you, I am not an expert on money.
But I do know a lot about spendaholism, and how to change that.
Here is the link to the book: Click here