I wanted to share one experiment that Im doing with myself.
Im not that much of a wasteful or shopaholic old boy, but still I have my weaknesses. Im 39 y.o. approaching 40.
I have some savings, enough to live without a job for about 6 monts just in case I get jobless, which may happen today or next week. We never know!
This is the experiment Im currently doing with myself: I felt some "need" to buy some stuff. I was fighting inside myself, telling myself "that's wasteful spending, you don't need those stuff" On the other hand, I said "Ok, but I really want that stuff and I promise not to ask for more afterwards". After a month or so of so much sleepless nights I came to an agreement with myself. I sealed a pact with myself:
I know I want to renew my wardrobe. Perhaps I could still keep my current clothes for about a year or so. But I wanted to renew it now. Ok, I said to myself, lets renew it now.
This is the pact: I will allow myself to freely buy good quality brand clothes as long as they are not designer fancy clothes. No boutiques nor special clothes. Only good enough long lasting clothes. But when Im done, not a single extra dollar should be spent on clothes anymore for a period of 5 years. I said to myself buy whatever!! I set a maximum of US$1,500.00 to renew my wardrobe.
Somehow, as Im closely approaching to be 40 y.o., I thougth it would be ok to renew my wardrobe. To change my look. Im gonna be 40 early next year so I want to get there well dressed. I have never been picky about clothing or so. But something happened to me that I ended up spending about US$2,300.00 in clothes. They are average good quality clothes that I expect to last about 5 years as I have previously bought these same brands and they really last (I dont know if it is ok to publicly name brands here in this forum but just in case I don't do it). So I made a budget of US$1,500 but I ended up wasting more than twice my initial budget. I kept telling myself "this is gonna last about 5 years so it is ok, better do it now". It took me about 2 to 3 months to spend those US$2,300.00 on clothes. I didn't do the spending in one night, obviously.
That was about 4 months ago. At this time I don't feel the urge or any need to go shopping again. I have visited several malls and clothing shops with friends and I see clothes and feel nothing. No urge, no pressure to do it. I go with friends so they ask me to go with them if they want to buy some clothes. I help them decide. I see plenty of nice clothes but feel nothing. No need, no urge no impulse to buy anything. It seems as if Im honouring that part of the pact I sealed with myself, effortlessly. Im cured.
I thougt "I will pamper myself as a little kid and I will understand there is a limit for everything". At first I was scared. I had never spent that much money on clothes, never, ever before, not even half that amount. But for some reason, I allowed me to do it. And it seems the experiment is working fine. I have a new wardrobe and I feel content with it. Do not think I lack anything. Im happy with all of my purchases. There is no single garment I regret. I like them all, I use them all. We are approaching Christmas and black friday and so on but I feel nothing.
Now, as it seemed to be a working strategy, I attempted to do it with some capricious wants I have. You know, in the past I wasted a good deal of money because an expensive hobby I got into. Im talking about RC helicopters and nitro powered scale trucks. That's a hobby I finished more than two years ago because it is sooooooo expensive that I decided to get out of it eventhough I sometimes would love to go back. I already sold my RC helicopters and nitro powered trucks and got peanuts for them compared with the huge amount of money I wasted on them because they have a pretty bad investment return. That's the way it is and I accepted it.
Then, I replaced that hobby with another one, less expensive and more practical and still lots of fun. Im now talking about small HO scale slot cars. A toy that I played with when I was 5 years old. It has worked. I pampered myself and this significantly less expensive hobby gives me lots of fun and I spend a lot less money than my previous hobby. So I proceeded to make a second pact with myself. This time I allocated a total of US$1,500.00 to buy whatever scale cars, tracks and accesories I wanted and promised not to spend a single dollar afterwards. I respected the amount, I ended up spending about US$1,550.00 in cars, collectible scale cars, etc.
How I feel now? After a month, I feel satisfied. I test myself. I intentionally get into hobby shops and ask for prices, I ask sellers to show me what is new in the hobby. I intentionally get into web pages selling HO slot cars and spend some time looking at them, reading about them; I want to put myself under test. I want to test my tolerance mightily. I browse several pages and see if an impulse sparks, if some urge rises, see if Im cured. See if I honour the pact I did with myself.
So far I have honoured the pact, effortlessly. In spite of seeing some beautiful vintage models sometimes at a really good price... I just feel I have enough... Im content with what I have---
So, instead of fighting myself, I trusted myself, I pampered myself, I was generous to myself. So far it seems it is working
But I know it costed me dearly. If you add, $2,300 + $1,550 it is about $3,850 !!!
Thats a lot of money!!!!!
I had never pampered myself that much in the past!!!!
Sometimes I feel shame, I feel guilty, I feel remorse, I feel fool, stupid!!!!
But when I realize Im honouring the pact, I think those $3,850 might have been worth.
I had never ever wasted so much money in one single year on things that most likely I don't need!!
But it is working, somehow.
Im commited to honour my own pacts and respect myself.
So far I feel confident but I can not claim victory. Im cautious.
Im humble. I know it is working. I keep testing myself. I get into shops, toys and clothes, I ask for showing me these and that. I get into web pages, I browse. I feel nothing, Im content.
I made a dangerous move, a dangerous experiment and the first outcome shows good evolution, it seems it is working....
I do not recommend this experiment to anyone.
I think it is working for me. I commited to not buy anymore clothes in a period of at least 5 years from now. (That will be 2017) I commited not to buy any more model cars for the rest of my life.
Let's see if I can endure the test of time, which is the hardest of all!!
What do you think?
Saving & investing, frugality & simple living. They're all part of the wealth equation.
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