Meditation. I’ve been trying to convince myself to mediate for oh, let’s see, like a good 3 years now. I’ve heard about the benefits of it and it really makes sense to me to utilize a free resource that could quite possibly be really great. If I could just convince myself to do it regularly that would be awesome. Every once in awhile I’ll have these little bursts of motivation to meditate. I’ll do it for a bit and then get distracted and forget all about it and then remember about it again and it just goes on and on like that.
I have a friend whose parents are both around 90 years old. I asked her what their secret to the long life is and she said that back in the 70′s they started doing transcendental meditation and that they each meditate for about an hour a day!Say what!? That’s crazy that they’ve been meditating fot that long. And I guess they have relatively few physical/mental problems too for their advanced years.
Meditation sounds like a good idea to me. I guess that’s why I always find myself starting it and then I forget what a great idea it is and then there it goes. It’s not that I have anything against meditation it’s just that I can’t seem to find any consistency with doing it with any sort of regularity.
The reason I bring up all this meditation business is because I’m finding that when I have a ton going on (like now) that my default is to want to make things easier on myself by spending money on the things that make life easier. Yeah. totally makes sense. Not being sarcastic. I mean, it’s really easy to not spend money in the winter when no one is really doing anything except watching movies indoors but now that it’s really nice out and there is a lot going on there are so many opportunities to spend money on things I really shouldn’t. I thought the Spending Fast was already hard as is but it feels like it just got harder.
So, I think I’m going to try walking meditation or running meditation (it’s hard to sit still huh) so hopefully I can center myself and resist spending money a bit easier.
So, I have to confess. I fell off the Spending Fast wagon and went to a Roller Derby bout. It was $17 bucks and it was so much fun! It was the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls Vs. Albuquerque. A group of girlfriends were going and I, well, just bought a ticket. I didn’t resist it. I didn’t even put up a fight with myself in my head. I just wanted to have some fun with them so I bought a ticket and went. It had been too long.
Well, I told you I’d tell you so, there you have it. I told you.
Actually, I think since I’ve given myself the “allowance” to spend $35 per month on the hub that it’s been harder to not spend then when I wasn’t allowing any myself breaks at all. Spending the money on the hub is a bit of a necessary evil because the fast was causing so much unwanted strife with us.
Part of me thinks that it’s a good thing to have to allowance even though I don’t really want to because I’ll need to be responsible after the fast and this is a good way to practice that.
While I don’t want to be a “fit” for Debtors Anonymous OR Spenders Anonymous I have more check marks for the Spenders Anonymous checklist than the Debtors Anonymous checklist.
Compulsive Shopping Checklist
Do you “take off for the stores” when you’ve experienced a setback or a disappointment, or when you feel angry or scared? Yes in the past
Are your spending habits emotionally disturbing to you and have they created chaos in you life? kinda, yeah. i guess that’s partly why i decided to do the spending fast… to get the chaos controlled…
Do your shopping habits create conflicts between you and someone close to you (spouse, lover, parents, children)? Yes, the non-spending has too
Do you buy items with your credit cards that you wouldn’t buy if you had to pay cash? yeah
When you shop, do you feel a rush of euphoria mixed with feelings of anxiety? yes
Do you feel you’re performing a dangerous, reckless or forbidden act when you shop? in the past i’ve know i shouldn’t spend money but did it anyway, so yes
When you return home after shopping, do you feel guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or confused? guilty, yes and ashamed too because it meant that money wasn’t going to pay off past debts and spending the money meant it wasn’t going into savings either
Are many of your purchases seldom or never worn or used? no, not usually
Do you lie to your family or friends about what you buy and how much you spend? i have
Would you feel “lost” without credit cards? no
Do you think about money excessively – how much you have, how much you owe, how much you wish you had – and then go out and shop again? yes, i did
Do you spend a lot of time juggling accounts and bills to accommodate your shopping debts? not now but i have in the past
I have to pass this along in case you haven’t heard. Starbucks is giving away free coffee on 4/15/10 to people who bring in a travel mug for the coffee! They are doing this for Earth Day and to encourage people to use reusable mugs. Hey, a free coffee in a reusable mug sounds good to me.
Free is better than $1.98 and fancy coffee is better than 4 months of Mr. CoffeeMaker coffee. Can I get an Amen!?
So since I’m been officially trying to switch camps from being a Spender to a Saver it’s got me thinking… are people born one or the other? Do people pop out of the womb saying “I want that so I’m gonna buy it” or do they come out saying “I want that but I’m gonna save up for it”?
I vaguely remember being a kid and standing in line at Kmart with my sisters and mom thinking “I’m not going to ever spend any money. I’m going to save all my money so I can be a millionaire when I grow up.” Uhh. Yeah. That wore off quick when I found out that I could buy a mini gum ball machine, keep it in my room, re-buy the gum from myself with a penny and taunt my friends with my luxury gummy life. I guess my millionaire dreams ended there.
Here’s a excerpt from an article I found online about this topic. It is written by M.P. Dunleavey:
“Why a spender spends Actually, when you talk to financial psychologists and planners about what makes a saver or a spender, they all agree that emotions play an important role, perhaps even greater than habit.
Bob Kenney is the executive director of More Than Money, an organization that was designed to help wealthy people do more with their money than just make more of it knows from experience that whether you’re a saver or a spender has nothing to do with how much money you have. He’s seen wealthy people who pinch pennies and equally rich folks who are spendthrifts.
What matters is whether what they have is ‘enough,’ and whether they tend to react to that perceived scarcity or surplus by buying or saving.
The same fear of not having enough might inspire one person to save money and another person to spend it lavishly — regardless of how much money they actually have. Kenney’s point is that even rich people sometimes have to be taught to save. More Than Money sponsors community discussion groups for its members, and people often help to rein in each other’s spending. ‘If your peer tells you, ‘You don’t need three homes,’ you’re going to listen to them,’ Kenney says.
I wish someone would tell me I don’t need three homes, but Kenney feels that part of the problem with big spenders at all income levels is that changing your behavior ‘is almost countercultural.’ ‘Every place you go you’re pushed to buy more,’ he says. ‘But how much more do we need? It’s easy to forget (about saving), because the dominant culture wants you to believe you don’t have enough.’
A sense of control and a goal Not everyone spends out of some underlying emotional need, however. ‘It could just be a bad habit,’ says Margo Geller, a wealth counselor with GV Financial Advisors in Atlanta. ‘It’s like eating junk food. If you grew up in a family that ate potato chips and McDonald’s, you’ll probably do that, too.’
Kenney says a lot of people are on automatic pilot. ‘They’re stuck in third gear and can’t get out of it. They go shopping without a thought, because it’s time to shop, because they pass that store or see the word ‘sale.”
So how do you become a saver? Well, I could give you the bad news about discipline and all that. But I’ll tell you the truth. It’s not about discipline: Learning to save is about wanting something else more than you want to spend.
It’s true that it helps to ‘pay yourself first’ and all that classic personal-finance advice. But you won’t do it unless you want something really, really badly.
I never saved a dime (this is sad, but totally true) until I wanted to buy a house. Suddenly I was the saving queen. Now, I have to confess that as a longstanding spender, I’m not comfortable saving. It’s unfamiliar. So my desire to save battles with my desire to spend — on a daily basis. If not hourly. Especially when the Bliss Spa catalogue arrives in the mail. I hate that damned thing.
But increasingly my desire for certain things — more money for retirement, a new car, furniture for the house — is gaining the upper hand. And that’s how I’ve learned the little secret about being a saver that no one ever tells you.
Saving is even more fun than spending. (No, I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes.)
When you’re a spender, you can’t believe anything could top the feeling of indulging yourself. But talk to anyone who is a natural saver and they will tell you how fabulous it feels to be in control of your money, to know how much you have and that there’s plenty of it — and you’re watching it grow.
My friend Val is not only a natural saver (a habit she learned from her very money-savvy mother), but she dislikes spending. When she and her husband moved, it was stressful for her — not because of the hassle, but because she had to spend money to do it. Recently, she and her husband took a vacation, for which they had saved (nothing on Visa, OK?). She was glad they were able to pay for their getaway, but what made her happiest was coming home and knowing she was going to start saving again.
I can’t imagine I’d ever dislike spending money. No way. Not while there’s a Crate & Barrel still standing. But I am getting the idea that saving money can bring equal pleasure — and a really cool feeling of power. That kind of makes me want to keep saving.”
So, with that said the Nature Vs. Nurture debate is coming to And Then She Saved…
What you think? And are you a natural saver or natural spender?
The other night I went to a Silpada party. Have you heard of this brand? It’s fancy sterling silver jewelry and the party format is like a classic Tupperware party minus the presentation. So instead of plastic storage containers it’s nice jewelry. Uh. Awesome. This was the 2nd Silpada party I had been to and I was in the Spending Fast mindset. I was prepared! I was ready to not spend money no matter what shiny pretty things I tried on and convinced myself I needed. I told myself that I was going to socialize with some people I hadn’t seen in awhile and that’s what I planned to do and then did.
Luckily this was a Botox ‘n Bling party so there were quite a few girls who were getting botoxed and that was better than any other entertainment around. It also happened to be a very good distraction from the shiny stuff I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. I always found myself gravitating to the display boxes like they were magnetic and so was I. But I’m not and they’re not. I just like the stuff.
A very smart friend of mine said “Hey, Anna, you should host a party and then you could get free jewelry”. Oh! My! The! Wheels! Started! To! TURN! I thought about it for 1/2 a second and then signed up. I was given a bottle of wine (saving it for the guests at the party) and a picture frame (perfect re-gift).
This was the perfect loop-hole to the Spending Fast! I knew I could make treats for people out of ingredients I already owned and that I would be able to score some great jewelry in the process. Yes! This was perfect!
For some reason this party has got me thinking competitively. They say the average host makes $300 in free jewelry. I want to make $400! Really just to see if I can!
So, the party is April 14th and if you think you might like to order something let me know and I’ll send you the link to the online catalog.
Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this!
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