Posted by Tim Stobbs on December 2, 2008
It occurs to me I’ve fallen into a trap. Normally prior to Christmas I don’t buy anything other than the must have items like food and beyond those the odd lunch out (perhaps two a month). Yet this year I’ve been spending a bit more on treating myself on little things that really don’t matter.
I felt lazy this weekend, so I bought some fast food instead of cooking. I was out getting some things to finish my new living room floor and I stopped off and buy the kid and myself a chocolate bar. And so on. Yet each time I thought at some point. Well I deserve the treat, I got a new job.
The excuse has worn so thin I can see the other side now. I’m justifying to myself things I really don’t need or even want all that much. So what happened?
I’ve realized that these major life changes, like a new job, cause all sorts of low level stress that builds up and had myself trying to make myself feel better with little things. Of course this doesn’t actually work, ask anyone with a spending problem and they can tell you about it. It’s a bad habit that just feeds on itself.
So now I’ve seen the pattern and I’m going to actually deal with my stress in more healthy ways. First off, spend some time by myself each day either reading or doing something else I enjoy to just relax. Second, I’m going to write up a to do list of some of the more minor items that have been adding to my stress level and start systematically clearing them off. That way I should be able to start just relaxing a bit more when I have some down time and stop worrying about the little stuff.
So has anyone else fallen into the ‘treat myself’ trap? If so, what did you do to get out of it?