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I didn’t buy anything!!

October 10, 2013

Major success yesterday…I went into the mall and I didn’t buy anything! I’ve been super busy the past 5 weeks with school and work and life and one of the things that kind of got neglected was my face. No seriously – I haven’t had my eyebrows done in over a month. This might not be a big deal for some people, but I’m pretty much a hairy beast and after 5 weeks, it looks like I have bushes above my eyes and a beard. I mentioned in my last post, I mentioned that we are going to a friend’s engagement in Dallas next weekend and I did not want to show up looking like a man.  It worked out that yesterday  I had a meeting at HQ so I was right next to the nail place where I usually get beautified, so I made an appointment. The one bad thing about this place is that it is right smack in the middle of an enormous, and growing mall, which equals lots of temptation.

My appointment finished up earlier than expected so I had about 15 minutes to kill before I had to head to class. Naturally, I decided to check out some of the stores on my way out. I stopped at Janie and Jack to check out things for the kiddo and Victoria’s Secret to check out things for me. Those with kiddos probably know that Janie and Jack has the best clothes ever, but they also have the most ridiculous prices ever! I usually get the kiddo a couple things from there each season when they are super on clearance (like a t-shirt for $5, a button down shirt for $11, or rainboots for $10), and they had a sale so I stopped in to check out the goods. While there were some cute things on sale, nothing met my criteria for the price/functionality ratio I wanted, so I just walked out. Same thing happened at VS – nothing I liked was really priced right, so I walked out. And you know what? It felt amazing to leave the mall and not spend any more than I had planned!

I have to attribute my success on this front to our debt reduction mission. As part of this, I have been logging our spending every day. In the past, I only tracked our spending on a monthly basis. I mean, I would still look at our bank account and credit card statements a couple times a week so I had an idea of our overall spend. However, because I track and categorize expenses daily, I know how much we have left in each budget category as well as how much we have left to spend overall. Knowing that we had already spent most of our budgeted amount on the kiddo really helped me walk away from Janie and Jack (especially since my mom just bought him a bazillion things for the fall!).

The other thing that helped me exert some self control was making a game out of our debt paydown mission. The other day, the hubby and I were reviewing my projections for the coming month and we really really want to take a huge chunk out of the remainder of my car payment. So, we made it a goal to put $300 more than we planned towards the Honda loan. Now, we may or may not meet that goal, but it gives us something more to work towards and keeps us both motivated to make it happen!

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid spending pitfalls?

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