Multiple shopping cart tabs open at once, bored moments turn into window-shopping walks down Main Street which invariably turns into, "Oh, I love this!" You're suddenly chatting up the checkout girl and before you know it, you're pulling out your wallet.
Storm clouds roll in, you get hot and sweaty -- you most definitely know something she doesn't know. You are trying to save! You are trying to break your compulsive-over-spending habits.
You can't possibly make another excuse for why you "need" this thing, you've run out of justifications and soon you'll be out of money - further from your financial goals then ever before -- at ZERO.
Clutching your card, your mind races: "This is your chance!!" you scream to yourself, "Walk out!!"
But it's too late.
The humiliation of backing out now is just too much to bear. You sign on the dotted line. Walking out, you're lower than ever with a pretty bag in hand containing something you will most likely never wear, never use or ever enjoy. Not to mention, you're now that much further from getting what you REALLY want and were trying to save for.
LOSE, LOSE LOSE!
I am most definitely a compulsive over-spender -- lucky enough to be able to afford nice things when I want them, but as my mom has always said, "Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to have it!"
I was done lose, lose, losing. If I got to the point of no return by pulling out my card, how could the process be aborted?
I've muttered mantras as I walk into stores.
I've tried locking cards into drawers.
I've even tried not going to stores at all!
Nothing works. We compulsive over-spenders find a way to spend every time...
I needed a brash interruption to rescue me from caving. Note to self: What was I saving for? How could my card remind me?
I cut out four credit card shaped pieces of paper, drew what I was saving for on each one and put big Xs over the sketches. I pasted the drawings onto each card and then promptly cancelled three of them.
Now, I pull out the card and WHAM! My card throws me and the rest of the store some serious shade:
"You use it, you lose it! Say goodbye to what you're saving for!"
The icing on the cake is when the cashier asks, "What's this??" Now I have to explain that I am not supposed to be buying said whatever-the-f*ck.
Out I walk -- head high -- sad that I didn't get what I had truly loved, but happy that my bank account is intact. I'm one step closer to breaking my bad habit.
Slowly but surely shopping cart tabs disappear, I find myself spending more time producing and sharing and less time consuming. I will have what I'm saving for (and more) sooner than ever!
WIN, WIN WIN!