Now as a grown adult I've struggled with managing money. Its probably one of my biggest weaknesses. It is a big challenge. I can make a budget but have never felt capable of keeping it. I honestly don't know how. We save a good amount but that is because I have it automatically transferred and most of our bills are paid automatically. With the new year came a challenge and desperate plea from my dear husband. He has been so patient and forgiving of my spending and lack of restraint. (In my behalf I am great at not spending money on big ticket items (say over $50), but I easily find myself spending $100 at TJ Maxx on shoes, clothes, home accessories (you know 10 items $10 each kind of deal). He wants more assurance, more peace when it comes to money. Can you blame him? Poor guy!
So, he devised a plan to give me an allowance. At age 29 I have an allowance. hahaha! At the beginning of every month I transfer the agreed amount to my own checking account and then use a debit card for that account so we can easily track how much I am spending and what its on. So far I have come to the end of each month with a chunk of my money still not spent. Last month I still had half left over. Now that I know the amount is limited I find myself asking more questions, "Is this really what I want?" "Will I forgot about it soon after the first time or two wearing it?" "Is this really how I want to spend my money?" "What is at the top of my list for things I want/need?" I only overspend really on things like clothing and home decor so that was the stipulation of what got lumped into that category. It feels good to start developing self-control and really assess how I am spending my money. I will say I find myself buying more expensive items but that is because I have decided what I really do want/need and then saving up for it or committing to spend more which is fine when you're not buying all those $10 items that you forget about soon after the purchase. I am buying less clothing but holding out to find the items that I "can't live without" or I really need for my wardrobe. I'm definitely not perfect yet. Both months I've come down to the last few days of the month and then made a trip to TJ Maxx and found myself sucked into buying some items that probably don't fit the bill, but I've returned them once I'm home because I know its not how I want to spend the money. So, if I do good 3 weeks out of the month and that last month is a struggle but in the end of the whole month I'm under my limit I'd say pretty good improvement!! We'll see how March goes. I am realizing that if I just save up my pennies I can have the things I really want that cost more and in the end will be more satisfied with how I spent my money (like that headboard and nightstands I'd really like to have in my bedroom).
So after two decent months how did I start off March? I finally convinced myself to buy the adorable Thomas Paul Octopus shower curtain for the bathroom makeover. I did find an alternative for much less at Target that had stripes, but I just realized that the shower curtain was what I really wanted and would really make the changes in the bathroom what I wanted in the design. I decided against changing out the lighting or hardware or doing the beadboard so that spending a little more on this will be ok. And I feel much better doing it now since I know I didn't spend all that money on silly little nonsense.
Any money tips you've found that really work? How do you restrain yourself? I'm just trying to keep myself out of a SA (shopaholics anonymous) group. Is there such a thing?