Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One way to decrease spending

In January, I went through a time of wanting to buy things. This happens to me periodically ;). I had read about the "30 day want list". The idea is to list items that you want, and then look at the list in 30 days. If you still want the item after 30 days, and have budgeted for it, then consider buying it.
Here is my list from January:
Jan. 17
blinds for dining room

paint for kitchen

new towels

scrubee thing from Flylady

What was the result of my experiment? Well, I didn't buy any of the listed items, so I guess I certainly didn't need them. I don't think my quality of life has suffered at all.

Did I save money? Maybe. If I had purchased all of the items, I would have spent over $150.

  1. Instead of the blinds for the dining room, I saved the budgeted household money until March when I spent $60 on a mirror for over the dining room mantle. I didn't use the 30 day list in March!
  2. I still need to repaint the kitchen, but this will not be on my list until next year.
  3. My mother gave my some towels that she no longer uses.
  4. I still need jeans, but these can still wait until September.
  5. I really don't need the "rubba scrubba".

Final analysis: It seems that for some items, I merely postponed spending, because I will eventually have to purchase them--paint, jeans. This is useful information. I can compare the advantage of postponing spending to the advantage of having the item now.

I think this strategy is useful for me to remember when I am tempted to spend on wants, especially when I am debt-free and have more discretionary spending money. In order to instill this habit by October, I'm going to start now. I'll let you know how it goes.


Sharon said...

I love the idea of the 30 day list. That is what I will be doing in August (when I will be saving instead of spending!)

Leigh in Tennessee said...

This is a great idea. I've really been curtailing any extra spending the last couple of months and trying to focus on wants vs. needs. The 30 day list looks like it might be something I want to implement.

Oh, and something else I've discovered - paying with cash instead of credit, or even debit cards - really makes me slow down and think about each purchase.