It’s been a month now since I have last entered a Target store…okay, that’s a lie, its been 3 weeks and 1 day.
But, let me tell you, the struggle is real…Super real!
In the efforts to help my family save money and one day be able to do things like send our kids to private school or go on a vacation, I really needed to buckle down.
It’s really amazing the amount of crap one person can spend money on.
I would know, I’m an expert.
My issue is that between August and January, we have all our birthdays as well as Christmas. So, these are the months I usually go a little crazy and spend, spend, spend. I also get use to the spending and spend more. By the end of the year, we are freaking out because of all the spending!
I am usually the one to pat myself on the back and say that as a family we don’t eat out a lot or our kids don’t get toys unless its their birthday or Christmas. Yea, me! But, I tend to forget the weekly Chick-fil-A outings and Starbucks binges. Getting bored and heading to the local fancy coffee shop with the kid play area is not helping my wallet out.
But even with our “limited” eating out (insert eye roll), the place that always gets me is Target.
As many joke on a daily basis, this store is an addiction and you can never leave with only one thing in your basket.
That is why, I had to quite cold turkey. Well, that’s another lie, I actually had to limit myself to a once a month outing.
For me, if I walk in to Target with 3 items on my list that add up to only $20.00 or so, I will find myself saying, “well, I’m not spending that much money today, so I can buy a few more things.” I’m 100% sure that 95% of the people who walk in to that store say the exact same thing to themselves.
So, a cheap trip to buy sponges and toothpaste turns in to an expensive trip to buy the kids new clothes, me a new pair of workout shorts, the kids a small tsum tsum toy and oh, look, my cartwheel says that all women’s t-shirts with ironic, trendy sayings, are all 5% off today, totally a bargain!
I’m always scanning the clearance racks, looking for anything that I am in despite need of. Oh, and lets not forget the “$1.00″section in the front of the store, that somehow is now more like “$3.00 and $5.00”. Target was also brilliant in the fact that they saw the worlds addiction to Starbucks and stuck one in every store.
On another note, Starbucks is definitely not just for adults as we all know. So, when I’m done bribing my kids with, “if you stop acting like crazy people I will buy you a cake pop! ” I am finding myself spending another $10.00 or more on cake pops for 3 kids as well as a fancy coffee for myself.
Wahoo, look at me, I got out of target this week with only spending $`150.00… (Oh, wait, not good!)
So, when one day, I had a heart to heart talk with myself, a small intervention if you will. I realized that I go to Target at least once a week maybe more. I spend a crazy amount of money on things our family does not need and in the end, we are wondering, “where is all our money going?!?!?!”
I have decided that I am only allowed to step foot in that store once a month. I have started making a list of all the items we will actually be in need of for the whole month and I will then make my trip to Target. We already get our toilet paper, paper towels, dog food and baby wipes from Amazon’s Subscribe and Save, so those are some items we don’t have to worry about.
But, here is my thing, if I’m going to Target and getting a ton of items that I know are going to cost a good amount of money, then I wont buy other items. I wont be thinking that I can spend a little extra money. It’s literally only a trip for things we can not live without for a whole month.
So far, I have done this once, but it really worked out for me. I had actually scored pretty well and everything I needed was on Cartwheel and I earned a $5 gift card as well for buying some items we needed. I ended up leaving the store (without Starbucks!), spending only $115.00 for the whole month. Instead of $100.00 or more a week!
I am also applying my new practice to Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and any craft store. I figured, between my husband and I, we were probably spending at least $100.00 a month on Starbucks. I was also finding myself at a Chick-fil-A a few times a week and my addiction to yarn a picture frames was getting out of hand.
My life is not empty without these things. I actually find the challenge kind of addicting. I find myself proud of the will power I have had this month. It’s all about baby steps and really finding out what is most important to yourself and your family. Our lives are not less fulfilled because I didn’t buy that shower curtain I saw on clearance. We will actually be able to do more with the money we are saving. In the past, I would have said no to certain outings because we didn’t have the money. I wasn’t stopping to figure out why we didn’t have the money. I just knew we didn’t.
I am hoping I can keep this up. Quitting my weekly Target outings has been really hard for me. But, just like all things, I will get use to it and will not “crave” it as much as the months go by…I hope.
Wish me luck!