Retailers count on us buying reactively. They place sale signs where they are highly visible, they use bright orange tags to grab our attention, they tell us about how much we'll save if we buy just one more of something. It's up to us as the consumer to decide what really works for us. We are not really saving money on something if we don't need it, aren't going to use it, or just put it in storage until it's forgotten. In my case, last Tuesday, when I went out on the town with my Fun Dollars, I really had to put my blinders on. I went to seven different stores around Flagstaff in search of ONLY the items on my ongoing wish list.
I keep a list in the back of my day planner that's titled "I Want" List. Whenever I think of something that I could use, or need, or just want, I write it down. I can't always take immediate action to purchase something when I think about it. Sometimes, it's because I'm low on Fun Dollars, sometimes, I'm not near a store that has whatever it is I'm thinking about (Sedona has very limited options for shopping.) If I write it down, then I can reference it when I am out shopping in a bigger place, like I was in Flagstaff that day.
As I walked through each store, I saw so many things that I wanted. Cheap things, sale things, buy one get one things, cute things, useful things, all of which I could have reactively purchased, but didn't. In doing so, I ensured that I was getting the most out of my Fun Dollars. I didn't want to look back on a day of shopping and have a sinking feeling about what I purchased. I knew that if I stuck to the list, I would feel as though I had accomplished something.
*fast forward to the next day*
After a successful day of shopping, I came home with some things that I was glad to call mine. And after exercising every ounce of proactive-ness I had on my shopping day, I must have been running low, because I made a very reactive decision with my Fun Dollars. I answered the doorbell, thinking it might be the mailman or the UPS guy. It was neither. It was a wounded veteran. He was very smooth and like able. As the wife of a salesman I could see each step of the sale he was going through. Build report, assume the sale, on and on. Even though I knew where he was going with his schpeil, I still said yes to support his cause (sending care packages to troops who have not had anything sent from home in six months or more.) I have him my last ten Fun Dollars. I didn't feel bad about it, but it was a reactive decision. I didn't know how to say no, and I'm not sure I wanted to say no. Even if he was full of it (but I don't think he was, he was missing an eye, which he showed to Carrick.)
So after all that thought, care and planning, after all that effort to be proactive, I learned that it is an ongoing process. I am never done learning and practicing it. The more I do it, the better I'll become at it, but mastery is the journey itself.
Care package to Army Troops- $10.00
Balance this pay cycle- $90.00