Part of budgeting is prioritizing how we plan to spend, save, and give. And we do that because we usually can’t buy everything we want and still have enough for the things we need.
Our friend, Wayne, shared how he made plans to buy a new dinnerware set — and re-prioritized along the way.
“My wife and I have been wanting to replace our dinnerware. We have had the same set for about 20 years and there are a lot of chips and nicks. We had been planning for the upgrade and had been setting money aside until we had enough saved. While we were saving, some other kitchen projects came into the picture. With the new dishes, we decided to reorganize our cupboard space and pantry. In the end, we decided to spend a considerable portion of our savings on organization. By using our budget, we decided to go with a less expensive dinnerware option and divert some of the savings to organization. Taking the time to plan out what we wanted helped us determine when we could do it and also gave us time to re-think our priorities and adjust as time passed. The boxes are still arriving. Next up: the bedroom set.”
- Notice when you think “I need to spend” versus “I want to spend.” You’re working on building the habit of planning before you spend. So as you live life today, take notice of your desires to spend. Specifically, notice the moments when you’re feeling like you want to spend versus moments when you need to spend. Are the things you want to spend on necessary? Is there enough in your budget to cover that purchase? If it’s a yes — go ahead! If not, how might you adjust your choice?
- Check out Steve’s story. We all fall victim to the urge to spend impulsively, and that’s not always a bad thing! We build fun into budgets so that we have space to spend on things we want. As long as there’s space in our budgets, we can spend. Steve has figured out a way he can determine if the things he wants to buy are really worth spending on.
- What did you learn from Steve’s story? Did you find that you altered a choice to spend today? Comment below and let everyone know how the day went.
Note for couples: It’s easier to notice someone else’s impulse spending than our own. But to be a good partner, we actually need to take a look at ourselves first. Take the opportunity to tell each other what you each noticed about your own wants and needs today.
-The Goodbudget Team
17 thoughts on “Priorities, Priorities, Priorities”
The other day I had this feeling. I saw a sale and was like OOO I WANT THAT, but got called to another activity, sidetracked, and when I eventually saw the thing again I had realised I was drawn by the sale rather than an actual need for the item in question… phew
I think that it is interesting that we all have these “impulsive” moments. I think it is easy to think, “oh, I am the only one who struggles with impulsiveness but that isn’t the case.
Usually if I am thinking about making a purchase and it’s been several days or longer of thinking about it and I see a sale, then I move on buying it. But if there is just a sale going on, I don’t really look at it because I already know it’s just a business using manipulative marketing skills to get me to buy something I don’t really need or even sometimes want after I’ve bought it, so I keep that in mind constantly. I am definitely one to save when I can, and if I can get something for less I do, but only if it’s something I already know I really want.
I have a list app on my phone. It’s organized by store type. This way when I’m going into a store for an item I can open the app and look for items on the list rather than wander thru the store trying to remember what else I needed and pick up impulse items I don’t really need.
By the world’s standards I am a millionaire. I really need to think of people who are much better at using what they have, using it to its full extent. Buying more things will never simplify my life.
I am working on making myself wait 2-3 days on what would be an impulse purchase. If I still really want it after a couple of days, I have to answer how often I will use it and where I will put it. Often, I don’t even remember to come back to it – but if I do, thinking about how often I would really use it and how I’m going to make room has stopped a lot of silly purchases. It also gives me time to research quality and look for the best deal instead of just pulling out my credit card!
I do this all the time. my friends get mad at me when we go shopping. I will get something, hold on to it throughout the store, and then right before we leave I put it back 90% of the time. That is how I know if I really want something.
Like in the example I used yesterday I chose not to eat out because I knew that I might want to go out with my family at a later date and I wanted to make sure that we had the money to spend then. Making the decision of what I needed to spend on rather than what I wanted to spend on was gratifying.
100% I see a sale and think straight away I want that even I I don’t need it I make excuses to make myself buy it and tell myself I need it.
I can totally relate! I see a sale and immediately want to buy stuff because I think I’m saving money. In reality, I’m just spending money on stuff that I didn’t need to begin with.
There are several things that lead to impulsive buying emotional trauma stress from work or family etc and our way to be hard on myself and down myself for this however it’s more important to analyze the reason for the impulsive boy to learn from it!
If I stay at home I want spend anything.
I always spend because I WANT something and I think “it’s there so I can” but in reality I don’t think twice about it. Steve’s story helped me to realize I need to think twice. For example seriously pack lunches everyday so I don’t WANT a burger meal from a fast food joint everyday ♂️
Because our family budget is so tight needs have to be prioritized over wants. I get around the “impulse” buys by looking for the item secondhand. I have 2 kids with birthdays this month and one is desperate for a snowboard, all his friends are on the hill now. Brand new snowboard gear is out of the questions but second hand with cuts to his party plans we did that. Now it’s up to him to pay for the lift pass!!
I’m kinda living on a tight budget now.so no extra expenses.
Amazon is a huge area of impulse shopping/spending for me. I will make better use of the save for later option so I can reflect and review my budget.