Spending money on things I don’t need is painful to me. I hate it! I’d rather save money for food or travelling. But yesterday after chatting with my friend Carolina, I realised I need to invest in some new bras since it’s so hot here in Palma.
Deviating from my budget stresses me out. Fortunately, my discussion with Carolina helped me come to terms with spending a little extra money in situations like this. I do have two regular bras and have been wearing them in Berlin, Poland, and now Palma, but they are too thick and incredibly uncomfortable in this heat. I purchased these bras before I moved to Scotland in December so I needed thicker bras to last me through the cold and rainy Scottish winter.
As you can imagine, the weather in Palma happens to be the complete opposite of Scotland. I’m not properly equipped to live in this heat!
Carolina convinced me that I should invest in a few lighter, more comfortable bras since I’m going to be stuck in this heat for quite some time, and especially since I plan on travelling to Central and South America next summer.
I was resistant to spending money on more bras, because I already have two (albeit uncomfortable ones), but she helped me realise that I need to relax my rigid tendencies when it comes to spending money and lighten up with my strict adherence to minimalism. While I don’t NEED these bras, they would make my life much more comfortable as I explore Palma and the rest of the cities on my itinerary. They won’t take up that much space in my bag either, so I finally decided that I can in fact justify spending money on them.
Being so undecided about spending money on something that seems trivial sounds absurd, but I have to deal with decisions like this often as a minimalist nomad. Shopping with intention is essential to my lifestyle. I need to think about and consider every single thing I purchase (besides food, really, since I eat it right away) because I carry everything I own on my back. I can’t simply buy anything I want or anything that strikes me at the moment because then I’d end up with far too many things and couldn’t fit them all in my bag.
I’d also end up spending way too much money if I gave into every impulse buy. Often I’ll think I need something, let’s say another storage bag to keep all my electronic cables organised, but instead of buying one right away, I consider it for a few days and brainstorm other ways to solve this problem. Come to find out I already have something in my possession (a zipper pencil bag used to store cash) that would work perfectly for storing my cables. Problem solved, and I avoided spending money on something new!
Even if you aren’t super minimalist like me, I think everyone can benefit from slowing down when it comes to shopping. The next time you feel like buying something, take a few days to think about it. If it’s a larger purchase, take weeks if not months to consider it before you make a decision. Do you really need it? Or do you already have something at home that could work just as well? Could you solve the problem by making something yourself? (If you find that you still need the item, research and compare prices of used and new items in various stores and even online.)
I find that slowing down my shopping and thinking about every single purchase usually means I don’t spend money, or I come up with a better, more efficient and affordable solution.
And if you slip up and purchase something on impulse, you can still rectify the situation. Keep the receipt and think about your purchase for a few days before using it. You may decide that you don’t really need it after all. If that’s the case you can always return it! I ALWAYS save receipts for this purpose. Just because you paid for it and are home with the stuff doesn’t mean you have to commit to buying it.
Today I purchased four new bras and I haven’t removed any of their tags just yet. I’ll try them on one more time, and then remove tags from them as I use them. Right now I’m even considering returning one or two but I’ll see how I get on with them first.
I’m glad I went shopping today and am looking forward to being comfortable as I explore Palma for the next week or so! Being comfortable is so important to me, I can’t believe I was so resistant to spending a little extra money to improve my well-being! I need to remember to not be so strict when it comes to situations like this. It’s okay to deviate from my budget once in a while as long as I take the time to think it through, and especially if the benefit of having new items (like comfortable bras) outweigh their cost.
Do you have a hard time spending money on yourself?
Do you maintain a strict budget or do you allow yourself some wiggle room?