My New Year’s Resolution…A Few Months Late (Next Year’s Resolution: Stop Procrastinating!)

March 27, 2009

Hi, my name is Bethany, and I’m a shop-aholic. (All of you: “Hi, Bethany!”)

There. As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

My problem is shopping. It just comes with the territory, I suppose, when you’re an interior designer. I basically want to shop for a living (just kidding–interior design’s a lot more complicated than that!). But seriously, if I could, I would spend all of my money on $3000 chairs from Design Within Reach. Luckily, (or unluckily, I suppose) there are always cheaper things that catch my designer-eye. Vases, art, pillows–all of these things are cheap enough to get me into trouble. “Hmm.” I say to myself. “I don’t really need another lamp, but this one’s only $20!” It’s a serious problem.

DVDs are another weakness, though this is one I think I’ve begun to conquer recently. I used to be the worst about buying movies–any movies–just because they were only $5 or $10. I now have a huge DVD collection, full of DVDs I’ve never seen, or ones that I’m not even that crazy about–but at least they were cheap. Recently, though, I’ve found myself more easily able to restrain myself, even when Best Buy’s having a sale. The last movie I bought was “A Fish Called Wanda”, which barely even counts because it was only $3, it was several months ago now, and that movie’s just worth it anyway.

But all of this to say that I’ve decided to seriously start saving some money. I know that I’m not going to become a millionaire on the CP, and probably need to have some money saved up just to make ends meet and be able to afford to do all of the fun things that I NEED to do while I’m in Florida.

I’m planning on working full-time this summer, so that will help me put up some money. But before I get all of that extra money, I need to get better about taking care of the money I have now! For the last few months, I’ve been putting away 10% of each paycheck into my savings. It’s a slow road–seeing that you have $50 put away after several weeks doesn’t exactly make it seem like you’re a Rockefeller. But my balance is finally starting to get large enough where it actually makes me a little bit excited to put money into that account.

And, so, it’s finally time for me to say it–I’M GOING TO STOP SPENDING SO MUCH CRAPPIN’ MONEY! Whew, I feel better. I’ve been inspired by blogs like http://mynobuy2009.blogspot.com/, where the blogger is trying to completely cut out all non-necessary spending for the year. I don’t know if I’m going to take it quite as far as she is (I don’t want to steal her idea! :)) but I’m definitely going to try to reevaluate. I buy so much stuff thinking how happy it will make me. It’s not that I’m trying to fill some hole in my life, it’s just that I buy a new shirt thinking how much I’ll enjoy wearing it, and how much easier it will make it to get dressed in the morning if I have that one extra shirt. And it does make me feel nice to wear new clothes..but I don’t need them. And 4 or 5 months after I buy it, once the weather turns, that shirt gets stuffed into the back of my closet, and it will then be part of the problem–the closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear.

I want to make my resolution public, so I’ll do better about sticking to it. If I feel guilty about buying stuff; if I feel like I might be letting people down, it will be easier not to spend. And that will give me the push I need. Eventually saving will be its own reward, but right now I need the extra oomph of guilt.

I should say, though, that eating out, going to the movies, anything like that, is not being cut back. I don’t need to save money that badly, and this is almost more about just streamlining my life than anything–I want to just not buy so much darn stuff!

Have you made any big budget cutbacks recently? Got any fool-proof tips? Now that the comment function is fixed, I want to hear about them!

P.S. I’ll still be buying some new frames for those cute prints I bought out at West Elm last week. I need to start off with baby steps. 😉


One comment

  1. Instead of constantly buying crappy on-campus food that costs way too much from our Tiger Den, I got a mini-fridge from my DBF and I’ve been keeping apples, carrots, other healthy and relatively cheap foods and drinks to keep in my office. And taking my lunch. I’ve also budgeted how much gas I use weekly, and how much I can spend on food, and keep an extra $40 just because (this sort of adds up to $100 a week) and put the rest in my savings. (Mostly, because I’m going to Disney twice this summer (1 week and June and either another week in August or a long weekend in October… hellooooo free dining!) and I need to save up!)

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