Monday, April 25, 2011


How do you put off buying something you really want but is not a need?

I've been having a really lively game of fighting temptations to paint rooms, buy bedroom furniture, and add home decor accessories. I also want an army of hostas for the north side of the house and new shrubs for the flower bed in the front yard. The backyard keeps whispering to me to put in some flagstone and moss.

I want it! I want it I want it! 

Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and stick to it. But I still want it. What do you do to put off impulses?

The other night, I approached my husband for a self-imposed intervention. I say "self-imposed" because my husband is one of those loving husbands who wants to give me the world. He will say "yes" even when he really should say "no." Oh, once in while he puts out a brave "no," but it is no match for my "pleeease... I really want one," and he caves. When our daughters figure this out, we're screwed.

But the other night, I really needed him to say "no" because even though I am generally a fiscally-responsible person, I had a bad itch to be a kid on a toy spree. However, knowing I was still married to a doting husband, I presented a cautious plea:

"Honey, there are some things I really want. In fact, I want a bunch of things right now, and I am having trouble not wanting to buy them right off. I will tell you what they are, but I am not telling you that is what I will do or that you must agree to them; I am just sharing. If you think it's not a good idea. Go ahead and say so."

See how much I'm trying to help him say "no"? I rattle my list of desires to him.

He doesn't say "no," but, in an attempt on his part, he does smile and say, "We'll see in time." I walk away before I give in to pleading.  He's not ready to rebuff my begging. Man, oh man, it's hard sometimes to not be part of the world. Or at least buy a part of it.

We have the money to buy these things, but that doesn't necessarily translate into meaning it is the right thing to do or the right time to do it. How do you strike a balance between having fun and living on a wise plan?


  1. You know, I don't know how to find the balance. My husband is usually the one who can say "look honey, we can't live like Scrooge. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and I think that some fun things now and then are necessary for our happiness." I'm the one who says "Honey, I've been living without cheese on my sandwiches for a week to make it last longer. I'm so miserable." Just before I read this post I was in the midst of decided if I should buy a book I've been wanting. I have a gift hard that would cover half the cost but the other half is still, well, the other half. It's almost the end of the month and we've had extra expenses this month so should wait. But another part of me says What if the deal is gone?? I don't want to pay more! I'm torn. Truly torn.

  2. What if part of your budget included a line for yard or garden or home fun? You could "save-up" in that category as you wanted, but when something came along that you wanted to get, the money would be there. You couldn't spend more than what was in the account. It also might help to have a priority list in case you can't afford everything you want right at the moment. Maybe you could buy a few hostas soldiers instead of a whole army and then let them grow. That would get the process started and let time make up the difference. Good luck!

  3. Lydja, what book is it?

    Shannon, I hadn't thought about just buying a few hostas and letting them spread! ha!

  4. We each have a monthly "allowance" to spend on such things. (When we first got married it was $1. Now it's more.) If what I want is more than my allowance, I wait that many months until my allowance adds up. I often decide I don't want it after all. Usually I'm happy to spend "my" allowance on things for the house and yard and kids, because that's what I care about. Sometimes, though, it seems more appropriate to save and decide on it together. For example, in the summer we have a "yard" section in our budget. We don't buy it all in one summer - next year WILL come. (We also put money into a temporary savings that we use on big projects like patio, playset, chicken house etc. It's a big purchase, but we save for it beforehand. We're having one delivered next Monday and I am beyond giddy with excitement!!!)

    Also, when I see something I'd really like, but not enough to spend my allowance on, I write it on a list. Husbands actually LOVE a long list of things to choose from when your birthday comes around. They know you will love it and if your list is long enough, you'll even be surprised! =o)

    That's what works for us. It feels good.

  5. Oops I forgot the main thing I was going to say. Doing what I said above, I find that I don't "want" things anymore. (Hard to explain.) It's like this - My kids used to go through the store with me begging "Can I have that? Can I have that?" and I would say no a hundred times. They kept wanting. But I started saying, "Let's go home and count your money. If you have enough and you still want it next time, we can come back and buy it." Even my three-year-old caught on. Adults can too! Yes, I can have it, if I'm willing to save and pay!