One of the things I’ve learned about myself, and about money, is that if I don’t have a plan, my budget is going to suffer.
Example: A couple of weeks ago, we attended a birthday party for my daughter’s friend. We budget for gifts each month, but I kept putting off buying something, which meant that we needed to swing by the store on the way to the party and pick up a gift. In our haste to get out the door, we also forgot to grab one of the gazillion (no joke, y’all!) gift bags I have saved and stored in a closet.
Instead of intentionally picking out a gift the week before and wrapping it in a gift bag we already had, we ended up buying a present AND gift wrap at the grocery store on the way – which ended up costing about $10 more than if I’d bought it at Walmart and wrapped it with my own wrapping supplies.
In the bigger scheme of things, this isn’t a huge deal – but when you add up all the times something like this happens, it can become a big deal!
I have also experienced this with back-to-school shopping. It’s SO easy to get lured in by low prices and cute fall outfits when shopping for the kids.
But I feel so much better when I shop with intent, off a list I’ve created for each kid after cleaning out their closets and seeing what they _really_ need.
Shopping with intent is something I have to make myself do every time I shop – in fact, it’s something I’ve started practicing even BEFORE I shop (_do I really need another pair of leggings*? do I really need this lip gloss when I already have eight tubes of lipgloss I never wear? will I really wear those shoes?_).
Here’s your homework:
Start shopping from a list (if you’re not already!). Not just a grocery list (although if you’re not meal planning and shopping from a grocery list now, you need this in your life!), but a list for every shopping trip.
Before you go clothes shopping, clean out your closet and see what you really need. Do the same for your kids.
At Christmas time, make a list of every person you need to buy for and write down the gift you’ll be purchasing for them. Designate a budget for each person (don’t forget shipping costs!). You can start this at any time during the year. Imagine a Christmas where you’ve kept to a budget and finished shopping early!
Write out the birthdays of everyone you need to buy gifts for. Designate a budget and a gift to each person.
I have a “secret” place in my closet where I hide gifts for Christmas and birthdays that I pick up throughout the year (sometimes I forget what I put up there, and it ends up being Christmas for me..ha!).
Shopping with intent will change the way you save, and it will save the way you spend!
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