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Want vs Need

If you are a regular here, you will know that the past four years have been to put it mildly – challenging. I have been made redundant not once but three times since 2010, although two of those jobs were freelance gigs but I still was doing them on a long term basis.

Well I was hit with the lucky stick recently – I got a nice little production job that put me in the black for the first time in ages. I immediately paid my bills for the month then decided it was time to visit my mother in New York.

This decision was based on need not really on want. I would have been much better off by paying off some extra on my bills but the guilt got me. I hadn’t seen my elderly mother in over three years and when you deal with an older person, you never  when their time on this mortal coil will be over so I went to New York.

Before I went to the shopping Mecca, I had a big talk with myself – “I will not be tempted, no matter how cool something was or how much cheaper than in London” then I gave myself a mantra – I will only spend on needs not wants. That phrase is it a need or a want went though my head the whole time I was there.

I had pretty much spent my entire financial cushion on the airfare so my disposable funds were minimal. I had a bit of cash to spend on food and two train tickets I needed to visit my best friends. I was very good at avoiding temptation – I did not go shopping except to the Gap Outlet to replace my gym outfit that was falling apart.

Every time I saw something desirably, I asked myself  – do I need or just want this? It was amazing! I completely lost the will to buy stuff. On past trips, I would convince myself that it was a good idea to buy things that were cheaper in the US but this time, I kept my eye on my bank balance.

Keys to not spending excessively on holiday 

  1. Know exactly how much money you have to spend.
  2. Define in your mind what is a want versus what is a need – no, that fun snow globe is not a need nor are those cute shoes.
  3. Have a mantra to clear the shopping haze – we all get a bit giddy when shopping on holiday.
  4. Leave the credit card at home if you still have one.
  5. Remember we live in a global economy, just about anything you see and really, really want can be bought online when you have more cash.
  6. Avoid your personal shopping traps – is it shoes? Dresses? Jewelry? I completely stayed out of shops that would be tempting, if you don’t see it you won’t want it.

Have you been in this situation? Do you have any additional tips how not to spend on holiday?



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