Monday, June 3, 2013

What To Do When You Want to Spend

The urge to shop generally creeps up on me over the course of a couple days. It starts as a little twinge at the back of my spine, a little thought that I just might need something, and ends up as a serious nagging that if I don't have that dress/rug/painting my life will not be complete. (That description is ever-so-slightly melodramatic). 

I think the solution is to stop the urge while it's still a twinge. To do that...its important to figure out why you feel the need to spend. For me, its generally one of a few things: 

Problem: I feel insecure. If my skinny jeans are feelings less than skinny and my bon-bon intake has been at a high, I start to feel uncomfortable in my skin. I want new things that make me feel good. 

Solution: Do something else that will make you more comfortable. For me, a long run, or an extra sweaty session at the gym is usually a cure. Most people do not gain weight in a matter of a few days. You feel bad in your clothing, you do not look different. You need to change your perception, not pull out the plastic for a new dress. So do what it is that makes you feel better, a workout, a long walk, or focus on healthy eating for a few days. 

Problem: I am disorganized. I am generally an organized person. I don't like a lot of clutter, especially since we live in a one bedroom apartment - with animals.

Sidenote: This is actually an issue as boyfriend is a clutter-monster. How can one person generate so much paper/letters/stuff that has no place? I purchased baskets for these things, and am forever putting his useless crap clutter into them. This starts arguments about where things are - "In a basket!" "Which one?!" "Not sure...check the kitchen" --- angry silence. Take whichever side you choose - but in a 750 sq. foot apartment with a dog and two cats, you need ALL the space you can eek out. 

However, we all get disorganized at times. With traveling, work, school - you get busy and things fall behind. I want to buy things for the apartment when it gets messy. When I don't know where my things are, I can tend to forget that I actually own the thing I think I need to buy. 

I share this for the sake of honesty. I was changing over my wardrobe from winter to summer and things were a MESS

Solution: Organize. One way I like to do this is by placing the clothes I'll wear most during a current season on a clothing rack in my bedroom. If I can see everything, I'm more apt to realize I actually have quite a few options. Organizing also forces you to come into contact with the skeletons in your closet: read - the dress you just had to have, then put in your closet and never wore. This also discourages shopping. 

So clean your apartment, organize a bit, and you may find that you don't need anything at all. 

Problem: I am bored. This might be the reason people spend the most. Since I've been trying to spend less, I am trying to go out less. However, when the weather is nice and outdoor patios are calling to me, This can be ROUGH. Maybe I'm spoiled, but one too many nights cooking at home and I want to go out and explore (and yes - spend). 

Solution: Get excited about little things. 

Make dinner special somehow. I have a new goal this summer to perfect the fish taco. I love them, but when I make them at home they lack the pizzazz of restaurant fish tacos. A challenge like that makes it fun to cook at home. 

Find a show to get excited about or have a girls night in. I don't watch much T.V. religiously. A couple staple shows can give you something to look forward to. Sunday nights are reserved for Game of Thrones (I am still grieving, even though I knew last night's episode was coming). I'm currently also loving Hannibal (Thursday nights at 10 on NBC). 

Girls night in is great, you get to spend the evening having conversation with the people you want to talk to, without waiting in line for drinks or yelling to hear one another. I'm not saying that anyone should get glued to the T.V., just that if you don't watch much already, it might be fun (and economical) to substitute cocktails or a meal out for a night in. 

Prepared for a Friday Girl's Night In 

Play a game. I'm a big fan of scrabble. Cribbage is another favorite; my boyfriend and I learned to play it over painkillers with a bartender at a dive bar in Vieques, a small island in Puerto Rico. I am the current reigning champion. (I also handle winning with grace)

The main thing is to identify what it is you actually need when you think you want to spend. Do you desperately need a new pair of jeans, or do you need the peace of mind that comes from a clean apartment or a good workout?

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