I enjoy reading what people spend their money on in a course of 24 hours, so I thought it would be fun to detail all the things I didn’t buy to illustrate how many temptations we encounter everyday.
24 Hours in Maine
On this particular day, my friend was visiting from Florida and wanted a New England tour. So we split our time between Peaks Island off the coast of Portland and the city itself.
Before we get into it, I want to say that I don’t like shopping; I avoid malls or strip centers like the plague. And It takes a lot for me to part with my money, so I know that if I’m hemming and hawing about whether to buy these things, then others who enjoy shopping more than I must face even more temptations on a daily basis.
Before I left for the trip, I knew that I wouldn’t want to pay to eat out 3x per day, so I packed some cashews and Larabars to have for breakfast. That saved me around $8-10 for breakfast this morning. (Because I buy in bulk, the Larabar only cost me about 95 cents.)
Minimergency Kit $18
This tiny kit for brides-to-be had all the essentials you’d need in a pinch, like bandaids, bobby pins, and floss. It’s a great thing to have even if you’re not about to walk down the aisle, but I told myself that as practical as it appeared, I didn’t need it.
Cute Racerback Tank $26
My friend and I stopped by a souvenir shop on Peaks Island that was having a 40% off sale. Very tempting! A cute mint-colored racerback caught my eye, so I checked the price tag, thinking I could potentially be swayed if it was an unbelievable deal. Then I pictured the charge on my credit card account and decided, “No.”
Children’s book $15
I love children’s books, especially Christmas ones! After moving on from the cute racer back, I ventured over to the small books section. Generally, I feel less guilty about buying books than clothes. However, the books were not part of the 40% off sale and, as a grown adult, did I really need a children’s Christmas-themed book? I flipped through a few pages and moved on.
Bottle of water $2 (twice)
I filled up one of my reusable water bottles in the morning and carried it with me throughout the day, so I wouldn’t have to fork over money each time I was thirsty. It helped me in a couple situations when we got food by ordering at a counter instead of a restaurant, where I would’ve gotten a free glass of water. I know this sounds like small potatoes, but at this point in my life, if I can save myself a few dollars each day by filling up my own bottle of water, I will. Some people don’t want to stress out over buying a bottle of water and that’s fine!
Dish for handsoap $10-22
Another shop we stopped in was filled with cute household items, including candles, aprons, and soaps. When we walked in, I told myself, “I’m not buying anything. I don’t need anything.”
That didn’t stop me from trying on the different tester creams. I’m going through a transition where I’m trying to buy hygienic products (shampoo, body soap, hand soap) that are made only with natural, plant-based, nontoxic ingredients, preferably with as few ingredients as possible. Before long, I noticed some bars of body soap that are made with just vegetable oil and an herb/plant/flower. The shop owner told me she and her sons use them and love them. Since I needed new body soap, I allowed myself to buy a bar of it.
But… then I noticed a bunch of cute soap dishes! One in particular was shaped like a tiny bathtub. I reminded myself that I only needed the soap and not the dish (as cute as it was)!
Total I could’ve spent but didn’t: $95
I saved myself $95 in one day by not buying all the things that tempted me! When I think about all the possible purchasing decisions I make in a day, it’s crazy to think how easily money can just fly out the window if I’m not intentional about my spending.
I also want to point out that all the things on the list (except maybe the breakfast/water) fall under non-necessary purchases. I didn’t need a soap dish, a mini emergency kit, a new tank, or a children’s book. When combined, they add up to a pretty significant amount of money.
If I were to be tempted to buy $95 of unneccessary goods everyday and gave in every time it’d cost me more than $34,000 per year! If I gave in just half the time, it’d cost north of $17,000. Even giving in once a week to a $95 spending spree of non-essential stuff costs about $5000 per year.
I don’t think that means we shouldn’t treat ourselves from time to time. I just want to create awareness over how often and how easily we’re tempted! To be honest, if someone sat me down in front of a different online clothing store everyday, I’m sure I could find something I’d want to buy each time. But I also know that I can’t afford all of those purchases, that I probably wouldn’t need them and that they surely wouldn’t bring me long-term happiness or fulfillment. Only God can do that!
So I encourage you to look at all the things that you’re tempted to buy but DON’T buy on a daily basis. Becoming aware of all the ways we’re bombarded with opportunities to spend, spend, spend will give you power over those situations. I’d love to hear what you’re NOT spending on!