Nightmares – Er – Tales of a Spendoholic (Episode 1)13.02.2009
Last night I saw an advertisement for something I could use. It doesn’t really matter what It is. Let’s just say that if It functions as advertised, it would make me look nice and probably boost my self esteem as a result — basically, the next best thing to magically making me a Supermodel overnight.
Anyway, It was one of those special deals with “order now” and “get this extra thing free” plus “get this other thing half price”. You know what I’m talking about, right? You’ve wanted one of those before. You may even have ordered a few. The whole thing was very seductive. If you called right then, you could get the whole special deal. (How do the sales people know when those advertisements are running really?)
Now, I’ve been reading The Budget Kit and a number of budgeting and personal-finance-related blogs lately, there’s a big focus on differentiating needs from wants, and a bigger focus on restricting the purchasing of wants or prioritizing them, especially when you are in financial trouble. So…I took some agonizing time to consider whether It was a need or a want. Clearly, It isn’t required to sustain my life — It isn’t food, water, medicine, air, shelter, wood for heat…Therefore, It is not a need.
Thus, It is a want.
Having divined this truth, since I am attempting to spend as little unnecessary money as possible, to straighten out my finances, to get back on track, I did not make the purchase. I agonizingly did the right thing. Non-spendoholics must not even have to think about such choices. They just know and do the right thing and there’s no residual disappointment.
Unfortunately for me, my new little frugal angel and my old spendoholic devil manifested themselves last night as I slept. I spent the night dreaming that I was arguing all night with my mother about whether or not she would allow me to buy It; she kept insisting that no one needs an It, but I argued that she used to encourage me to get one when I was a teenager and I had a perfectly good one in my 20′s that wore out. This It is better.
The whole thing has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I hope it will get easier.