Home » Mission: Self-Control

Wanted: Self-control

Written By: Jodi on January 10, 2008 One Comment

For being such a timid person who is a recovering worrier, I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to buying things.  I see it, I like it, I want it, I justify it and I buy it.  Especially if it’s on sale. I have a very hard time passing up a ‘good deal’.  I put that in quotes because, of course, the fact that something is on sale doesn’t necessarily make it a good deal or a good buy.  I tend to figure up the savings rather than the cost, which is dangerous.  I need to remember that if something is $50 and it’s on sale for $30, although that is a savings of $20, it will be a savings of $30 if I simply Don’t. Buy. It.  What a concept!

What got me thinking about this today is the A Year Off blog.  This blog is in transition right now, but basically Chris has decided to cut back drastically on their purchases this year.  They are deciding if things are wants or needs and only purchasing the needs.  The purpose is not so much to save money, although that will be accomplished too, but more to cut down on the amount of stuff that is coming into their home and causing clutter.

I so need to do this!

So I’m going to give it a shot.  As I was discussing this with a friend this morning (who may be joining me in this venture), we decided that the basic issue here is self-control.  We like to buy things.  It makes us feel good.  If it’s a bargain, it makes us feel even better and gives us some kind of bragging rights because we are such good shoppers.  Look at us, aren’t we good stewards for saving so much money? Ummm…probably, not so much.  Not spending money on things we don’t really need would be much better stewardship, I dare say.  This seems obvious, but I really haven’t sat down and thought of it this way.  It’s much more fun to just keep buying things, right?

My house continues to overflow with miscellaneous ‘stuff’, most of which is pure clutter: items that seemed like good ideas at the time but haven’t lived up to their perceived potential, things that have been outgrown or worn out, and of course the dreaded “I might use/need this someday” treasures.  It’s seriously out of hand, and yet I keep adding to it.  People, I need to locate some self-control and fast!

In my defense, I am not the only guilty party in this.  Everyone in my family is a contributor to the problem.  I don’t know if they will go along with me on this or not, but it doesn’t matter.  I’m making the decision – for myself – that I will be conscious of what I’m buying.  I will not buy just because something is on sale, a good deal or a bargain I can’t pass up.  I can pass it up, and I will.  I hope my family will follow my example, but this is a personal goal – I need to grow in this area.  If they are also convicted, so much the better, but I’m not going to push it.
I’m not going to be militant about this, but I am going to do my best to stop buying ‘wants’ and stick to ‘needs’.  My needs might be different than other people’s needs.  I feel that I ‘need’ to redo my bedroom and bathroom.  They are in the middle of the process and I don’t think putting it off for a year is going to add to the serenity of my home, which is also a by-product of this little venture.  So projects that will actually be completed and not add clutter to the home, but enhance it, will be allowed.  But the purchases made must be consumable or serve a legitimate purpose.

So there you have it.  I’ve gone public with it and can’t back out now. :-)   I plan to post about my successes (and failures, should there be any *cough cough*) so that you can hold me accountable.  This will not be easy for me – but I think ultimately it will be good for me and for my home and family, too.

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One Response to “Wanted: Self-control”

  1. Gina says on: 11 January 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Sounds awesome, Jodi:) I pray you all the self-restraint you will need for this endeavor:) And good for you for getting out of the commercialism – I like that thinking about the bargains, you save even more money not getting it at all:) Nice. God bless you in your decluttering adventures!

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