Did you know that today is National Splurge Day? I had no clue that there was such a day until I read this post over at Budgets Are Sexy and Jonathan of My Money Blog left a comment about it. I've heard of funny "holidays" but this takes the cake. I for one do not plan to celebrate this holiday.

This past weekend though, I had an overwhelming urge to spend money. I had no clue what I wanted and I had no price limit. I figured that I'd
paid off my car loan 4 years early so I deserved to treat myself. I went into my favorite electronics store, Best Buy, ready to shop. I walked around the store a few times until I finally came upon a Bose DVD Home Entertainment System. The regular price was $999 but it was on sale for $899. I figured I should probably grab one while I was on sale. Reality set in shortly after I put the box in the cart. The little voice in my head was saying "stupid, stupid, stupid". I walked around with it for a little while longer trying to figure out how I could make myself feel good about this purchase or make it make sense. No matter what I did, thankfully, reality kept coming back to me and telling me that I didn't need this. I put the system back and immediately left the store.

What helped me not make a purchase I would regret for along time afterwards?

Remember the Goal. Remember what you are saving for and what you are trying to achieve. Blowing $900 right now may not seem like alot but in the long run, it adds up. I keep a picture on the refrigerator of a house that I would love to buy but simply cannot afford right now. If I keep saving, I can possibly achieve my dream of owning that house or a house like it.

Don't Shop Alone. If you feel the need to go shopping, don't forget to take along moral support. It can be a friend or relative or whomever but it needs to be someone that will tell you "STOP, YOU DON'T NEED THAT" and not someone who will help you rationalize the purchase.

Avoid Temptation. Do your best to avoid all the crazy commercials advertising all the latest and greatest "stuff" that you can't live without. It's hard and temptation is everywhere but you are stronger than them. You have a goal to work towards and you will not let the company marketing ploys kick you off track. I know I should have never gone into Best Buy because I am a recovering (slowly) electronics junkie.

Wants vs. Needs. Doing a quick analysis can help save you from making a terrible decision. Do you "want" that item or do you "need" it?

In the end, I avoided making a huge purchase that I would have regret as soon as I walked out of the store. I decided I would treat myself, but for alot less. I had a nice steak dinner with one of my friends. I dropped $65 on dinner and drinks but that is much better than spending $899. There is nothing wrong with splurging; as long as it's done responsibly.


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  1. Tom // June 18, 2008 at 12:28 PM  

    A quick comment on wants vs. needs. Aren't there only 4 needs... Food, Shelter, Clothing and Transporation? Isn't anything above and beyond those 4 basic necessities a want? It seems like a lot of people want something so bad, they convince themselves that they need it or life is over...

  2. Anonymous // June 18, 2008 at 12:44 PM  

    "Window shopping" is deadly for me. Unless there's a specific purpose for being there, I need to stay out of the store! With a purpose, I still have to trick myself and ensure I have very limited time to get in and out. That's why grocery stores are such a trap. There's no choice but to go in. There again MUST have a list!
    Online shopping is even worse. They make it sooooo easy! I've developed a bunch of tricks, but it's still difficult sometimes.

  3. Anonymous // June 18, 2008 at 3:50 PM  

    hahaha really i know that voice" stupid, stupid" I sometimes imagine little people inside me having another life. Not related but when I use mouth wash I always imagine little soldiers are killing germs in my mouth:)

  4. Anonymous // June 19, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

    Happy day AFTER National Splurge Day - which should be called "National You Better Save for an entire Year" day to make up for any big splurges ;)