I bought some stuff this week, probably some stuff I really didn't need, but knowing is the first step. I ordered 2 books from Amazon, but those were paid for from profits made selling books, so those fit within my rules. Got 2 X-Box games off Microsoft's retail training site, but those were at a 84% discount off retail, and can be later traded for new games, so that's kind of okay. Also, bought some home supplies at Target, but those were on a gift card from Christmas, so none of my money changed hands. I bought an camera mount for my Point & Shoot that will make it much easier to shoot panoramic images. This purchase was justified by my continuing goals of becoming a better amateur photographer, so it kind of fits.
This brings me to one of the first habits I need to change: How easy it is to justify all the unneeded stuff I purchase.
I'm a sucker for discounts, sales, and clearance merchandise. Last week, while in Wal-Mart for a reason I cannot recall, I noticed a clearance tag on this: Ultimate Bumblebee from the Transformers movie line. The original price tag was $79.99, and not once did I consider buying this large hunk of plastic, because it didn't look very good, and did not look fun. Now, with a clearance tag of $39.98, I wanted one. No, I needed one. Luckily none were in stock, and I have not been back once to check.
Each time I see something on clearance / sale, I need to stop and think, would I have bought this at full price? If not, then there should be no reason to buy it for less money.
Same goes with coupons. Borders sends weekly coupons to my GMail account, because I am a member of their Borders Rewards club, in which I get a slight refund, which can be spent in Borders stores. Coupons come in, offering me 30% off any book or CD in stores, tempting me back in the stores.
Problem: There are no books I 'need'. I'm sure I could browse around, find an impulse book, buy it, and then put it in the 'to read' stack. Not going to do this time, even if it means loosing out on the five bucks.
Next time: How Amazon helps me buy less books!