It’s so easy to see the spending faults of others.
When we see it in ourselves it hurts! It happened to me.
Recently I noticed a pattern in my spending that took me aback. I thought I had identified all the ways I could be tempted to spend unwisely. I had it under control. I was satisfied that I had planned for every possibility.
Oh so wrong.
I found out I had a blind spot, a big one.
This comes in the form of a friend that I have known for years. Apparently I have feelings of rivalry with this person. I just didn’t realize it until now.
We were on a day trip with this friend and her husband. Somehow she always found the most interesting souvenirs that would be perfect to display at home. So I bought the same ones she did. So nice to have a friend with a good eye, right?
Then we visited them at their home and once again I marveled at the deals she found. She has just bought a painting online at a tremendous discount. I loved it! It had beautiful cheerful colors and was so cheap that I ordered one right away while we were at their house.
She told me she ordered from that site often for the great deals in the clearance section. You know how I love deals! I checked out the site some more that night and found a beautiful necklace at a decent discount. Yes, I ordered it.
Now that these items have arrived at my house I realize they reflect my friend’s taste more than mine. And the painting is still in the box as I can’t imagine where it would look nice because it’s not my style of decorating.
How could I have been so stupid? Easy. I was trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” I just didn’t recognize the Joneses in this case. Maybe because my friend is my sister. Could be a little sibling rivalry happening here?
It ‘s hard to admit it, but it must be what’s going on. I can resist the Joneses except when it’s my sister. Ouch. I didn’t see that coming.
I always thought of “the Joneses” as people not in my family. Looks like family can be some of the most powerful Joneses since they are in disguise! They can have a stronger hold on our self-image because they were part of making it for all the time we spent growing up. No matter how old we are, they are still a part of us in some way.
We all have our weak spots, sometimes it’s a place, not a person. Sometimes it’s a holiday, like Christmas.
All of these catalysts that make it too easy to spend deserve our attention. If we can face it them we can begin to counteract the temptation.
Setting a spending limit for these occasions can make a big difference. Just going with what “we feel like doing” cannot be trusted in these situations.
Setting a budget for gift spending during holidays, birthdays, etc. helps so many people. Why not for the tempting spending situations too?
I love my sister and love spending time with her. And she loves to shop. Knowing that I tend to spend just to keep up with her makes me feel pretty childish. I guess I have to get over it in several ways!
Is there a person who seems to make it’s easier for you to overspend? Please share any tips you know to help the rest of us with these situations!