The Price of Packing Your Bags

Being a real live adult doesn’t really set in until you go to buy a rug and some plates and the cashier asks for $50 and your left kidney.

Moving out will make you realize all of the things you never knew you needed: a vacuum, lightbulbs, toilet paper, sponges, dustpans and hydrogen peroxide ????  With all of these new expenses, I had to do a major re-evaluation of what I wanted to spend money on.

If you’re looking for ways to save money, you are not in the right place.

It’s not that I’m “bad” at budgeting, necessarily–I’m just weird at budgeting. By this, I mean I will live off of solely canned goods for two weeks straight, because I then I do this *super cute thing* where I impulsively buy a whole new furniture set on a whim.

Fact: If anything has a really high price that is crossed out in red and replaced with a much lower price, I have to buy it.

Was the first price outlandish to begin with? Yes.

Is the second price still too expensive? Probably.

Do I need it? NOPE.

But into the cart it goes!!!

…and then its chickpeas, black beans, and corn until my bank account recovers.

Although a small part of me dies a little bit every time I see my paycheck get slashed in half on the first of the month, it’s forced me think a lot about my spending. How we spend our money is the most literal representation of what we value and prioritize. So if we continue to spend money the way we do right now, is that an accurate representation of what we value?

(That feels like a very adult question and tbh I’d rather go get an oil change or make my own dentist appointment than confront that question but here we are.)

Right now, it’s all about finding a balance between living in the moment, and saving for the future. So I’m taking a look at how I spend to decide: save instead, or splurge?

1.   Food.

Think of all the random birthday dinners, impromptu lunch dates, and 2 AM pizza runs that come up out of the blue. Those are the times when you’ll want to splurge. A random Tuesday where you were just too lazy to pack a lunch? Earn that “treat yoself moment” and grab a can of soup, a grilled cheese, or a frozen pizza. You’ll be fine, sis. Save it.

2. Clothes

Go through some of your parent’s old photo albums and I guarantee you the words “THAT was in style back then?!” will go through your mind a hundred times. We’re all going to look back and think that, so do you really need that Gucci belt? That 6th pair of jeans that is a half shade darker than the rest of your jeans? Spend money on pieces you love and can wear again and again. Think of all the money you would have now if you didn’t spend all of your money on Holister graphic tees you just ~had 2 have~ when you were in eighth grade.  Save it.

3. Make up and hair

Honestly, this is my weakness. This category is where my impulse buys normally go. Although I am more than okay with “Wet ‘n Wild” concealer and off brand blush, I could spend all day on hair products, hair tools, hair masks, shampoos, conditioners, I want it all. If you’re like me, I have no guidance. Avoid those aisles in the store and hide your credit card when you’re wine drunk and online shopping. Godspeed.

If I’m not splurging– what am I saving for?

1. Travel

Like most people, I don’t want to be 45 years old, receiving postcards as I count down the days until retirement. I want to look through my old post cards to decide where to go next. Okay, you can enjoy that Chipotle now, but wouldn’t you rather eat calamari in Greece?

2. Presents

You can only play the whole “oops, I’m broke! We’re friends though, you get it :)” card before it’s rude and thoughtless. Do you wanna be the person with the new outfit every week or the person who makes the people in their life feel like they matter?

3. General big kid things

Yes, it sounds gross, and it kind of is gross, but life comes at ya fast. Goals are goals. Whether you want the dog/the babies/the cute house on the hill, own your own karaoke strip club bar, or be a nomad going to Burning Man every year, you’ll be happy you didn’t waste your money on the Holister shirts now.

This post might be more for me than it is for you. A self-motivating, self-therapy, self-get-your-ass-in-gear diary entry.

Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear tips and tricks that may have helped you save some $$$.


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