Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Shoppers Remorse

So I am done with my shopping now, but I realize I spent about 100 dollars more than I wanted to. Some of it was on "incidentals" that were part of a fun day of shopping out with my mom. Other items were small, but somewhat pricey treats for myself that I couldn't pass up once I was in the mall. And finally, I just plain overspent on a couple of people. I am a soft-touch. What can I say?

The nice thing is that all of this money was "extra" that was earned from side income and therefore this didn't go on credit cards and also did not impact my normal bills/income cycle for the month. I generally regard the secondary income as "play" money that I either save, spend, or invest and don't worry about it too much.

However, it is difficult because I definitely sense that there is a bit of an issue with regard to emotions and shopping. I rationalized many of my purchases by reiterating that I was "making more so I could spend more". Or that person X "really deserved it" or I love person X so much that I "shouldn't think twice about spending this money on a gift". All of these emotional rationalizations are, of course, absurd. Money is no substitute for love.

The other major reason I didn't stick to my budget was that I wasn't keeping track. Does anyone ever get into trouble not because they overspent on gifts, but that they spent too much on "lunch" or "dinner" out while they were shopping or spent tons on decorations or food? I wonder how much overspending at the holidays happens because of that incidental stuff rather than gift giving.

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