Posted by Tim Stobbs on February 18, 2009
This last weekend I was in Edmonton on vacation. As part of my vacation budget I had $200 cash for spending money to buy ‘stuff’, so with shops of every kind in West Edmonton Mall you think I could spend all that? No, I still have $20 left. I’m a failure at being a consumer and doing my part to get the economy going again.
Actually what was fun about my list of things I brought home was I picked up a new winter coat for $63 (which I needed more than wanted, my old one might last one more year before it wasn’t usable). The new coat is one of those two layer types that come apart and when I tried it on in the store I started sweating all most at once. So I’m thinking I should be happy with it for the next decade.
Yet apart from that I spent another $30 on books (pure want there), $35 on three DVD’s (one had been on my to buy list for two years) and a small gift for my youngest. Then $30 on booze to take home, because I was running out of ideas for things to buy.
Yet what struck me the most about my trip was how disinterested I was in most stuff now. I can look at things and go “Oh that’s nice, but I’ll never use it” or “That’s cool, but I don’t have a place for it” or “That’s a good price, but it’s not exactly what I want.” I’ve managed to really decouple my mind from just buying completely mindlessly. I usually now buy things with a specific want/need I’m looking to fulfill. If the item doesn’t cut it I just walk away.
So my question to you all is this: is this a normal development for people after living frugally for a while? If so, are you there yet yourself or what changes in your spending have you noticed?