A personal challenge

I remember when I was 10 years old, and I was offered a (small) job at the daycare next door to bring garbage cans to a fenced area on weekends after trash was collected. It was an easy¬† job, and I thought I was high-rolling with my $10/month salary. At the time, my biggest hobby was making friendship bracelets, so I’d always buy DMC floss in various colors whenever my parents brought me to Wal-Mart. Life was simple and $10/month was all that I needed/wanted.

When I turned 14, I started taking on baby-sitting jobs. I earned about $30-$40/night just watching kids make a mess of a house with their toys. Easy stuff…at the time, I even brought my newest hobby, cross-stitching to the homes and worked on that. After the kids went to bed, I’d just throw all of the toys in their containers and I was done. $30-$40 a night? I WAS RICH!

I won’t even tell you how rich I felt in high school, when I made $5.15/hour as a cashier. That was awesome AWESOME money.

Now that I’m in the real world, I’ve come to realize that I hardly ever SEE my money like I used to. Once the paycheck comes, an allotment goes to our joint account for bills/groceries, a good chunk of the rest basically pays off the dental work that I had done a year ago (remember to floss daily, folks) and the rest, well?

The Internet. Ahh, Internet. You make things so easy. No need to find a parking spot or lug bags around…no. I can just put items in a virtual cart, make an account that saves all of my information, and simply, 3 clicks later, my items are en route to my house. So convenient…so crazy. It’s so easy to spend $100 here and there on random things, and then you look at your bank account balance and feel like everything went way overboard.

So, last month, I decided to not make any Internet purchases (with the exception of my dog’s flea meds). The first few days were hard, and over the past 30 days, I missed so many great sales. I had to remind myself that with a sale, you are still spending money, and do you really NEED that?

No. I didn’t. All I needed that month were flea meds for my dog. That was my need.

There was a small crisis that took a good bit of thinking to get through. In the middle of the month, my iPhone case cracked (plastic). I wanted to buy mine off Amazon so badly, because we all know iPhone cases online are dirt cheap. I remembered my promise to myself, and ended up scouring Target and Best Buy for a deal. While not spectacular, I found an opened box iPhone case for $16. I know the Otterbox’s were $10 on Amazon, but I would have had to spend $25 to get free shipping. In my head, I saved $9, at the very least, since it’s nearly impossible to hit exactly $25 on Amazon.

July 1st is today, and I don’t feel tempted to attack a clothing store or accessories. Yesterday, I wanted to buy a cookbook that was 50% off, but last night, I realized my library carries it. I don’t need that $20 cookbook…not at all.

So, on my first day of the Internet buying ban being over, my debit card is nestled in my wallet for the day.

Since it’s a new month, I’m going to tackle a new venture that is a slow money drainer: coffee shops. It’s so convenient to make that my breakfast, but it’s absurdly pricey. So, this month, I’m giving up coffee shops. This should be fun….wish me luck with this one!

Have you found yourself spending too much on the Internet? How do you restrain yourself?

Comments

  1. Great job! I don’t usually spend too much on the internet, however I do spend a lot on triathlon gear. When I balanced my account for June I realized I had about $200 more than usual. My first thought was – what do I need? How crazy is that?? I realized I don’t need anything and decided to move part to my savings and let the rest sit to have a bit of extra spending money for my vacation.

    • Oh gosh! I’m the same way…totally. Extra money = time to splurge, and I really am trying to work on that. :)

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