Day 18

I loved this email from Mrs. Frugalwoods today!  Here it is as a quote:

Had a rough day? Feeling frustrated with your job/kids/both? Then buy something to make yourself feel better! All your problems can be solved with the swipe of a credit card!

Sounds pretty crass, doesn’t it? And yet, we all fall victim to this ‘treat yourself’ mentality. It’s so prevalent in our culture that we’re largely inured to it. The problem with treat yourself is that it’s the epitomization of what I like to call “road-bump opiates.” Treating ourselves in increments throughout the week–with a manicure, a latte, a muffin, a new pair of shoes–is a surefire way to derail our overarching financial goals. Treats like this eat away at a monthly budget because they’re often seemingly insignificant amounts. But, when we repeatedly treat ourselves, we’re creating a cycle of expecting treats. We become acclimated to these hits of consumerism and we require them over and over and over….

Plus, consider this: if you’re treating yourself because you don’t like your job, in essence, you’re ensuring you’ll have to continue working that job for quite a long time.

Today’s mantra: “Treat yourself” culture stymies our financial goals with continual hits of capitalism that prevent us from achieving lasting joy in our lives.

Today’s action: Squelch the treat yourself urge by reminding yourself of what you really want out of life (hint: it’s probably not a latte).

Okay . . . let’s begin.

When I was younger, this was the deal.  I had money, on plastic, and swipe away I did.  Mr. 182 had plastic, and if he wanted it, swipe away he did.  Now, we have debt.  The banks encouraged us by raising our limit for every $1.00 we went over.  “Oh, well,” we said, and swiped again.  “It’s covered.”

Yeah, we loved our whatevers for a minute or two.  We don’t remember what they were.  We felt great at the moment because we needed it!  Capitalism at its finest – lure, and be lured, and then pay, pay, pay.

Well, we are not completely out of the woods with that.  Amazon has replaced the trip to the shopping mall.  The credit card is easy to access.  We now click “buy” instead of “goodbye” . . . but this month and this year is our intended cut-the-Amazon-addiction.  Not easy.  And it really is the same wolf in sheep’s clothing:  buying something on the spur of the moment, no matter what it is (book, tool, etc.) on Amazon with our sponsors and pals, Mr. Visa and Ms. Mastercard.

This is the hardest thing of all!