I like to think that I’m pretty good with money management. I spend way less than I earn, save a significant portion of my income and for the most part live a pretty frugal lifestyle. But I’ve been combatting a major problem lately – boredom spending.
Over the last two months my town has gotten snowfall after snowfall. The weather has been in the negative degrees and school was cancelled more than it was in session last month. Sitting in the house all day, every day was starting to get the best of me.
I’d do or go anywhere just to leave the house. And since the roads have been on the treacherous side, with at least one foot of snow on the ground the majority of February that meant going somewhere close.
Since I’m now living near town and farther away from my family that made me close to the stores. So, I’d take a trip to K-Mart out of sheer boredom. After the first trip in late January that resulted in me buying over $100 worth of junk I knew I had to find another solution to kill the cabin fever.
If you find yourself spending out of boredom and praying for the snow to leave the ground, here’s what has helped me combat boredom spending.
To Avoid Boredom Altogether
Knowing that I made the mistake of shopping out of boredom I decided the first thing I should do is prevent the boredom altogether!
Working on a Side Hustle
I have two young kids so working extra on my actual work with them home has not been ideal. Instead I had to turn my attention to things that my daughters could do too. (Because they’ve got a serious case of cabin fever as well!)
However, if I wasn’t entertaining my kids all day you better believe that working on a side hustle would be at the top of my list. I encourage you to work on your side hustle or start one if you’re locked inside all day due to the weather.
This turned out to be the very best thing the girls and I did together. We have went through every single nook and cranny in the house – kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, shoes, clothes, and toys. It felt amazing to get the house so organized (although it’s been hard to keep it that away.)
Finding Stuff to Sell
In our organizing process I ended up with several boxes full of stuff for us to get rid of. The next step is to list all of these things on Facebook Yard Sales to earn some extra cash!
Things to Try to Avoid Boredom Purchases
Trying to avoid being bored is the first step but let’s face it- we’re only human and sometimes getting out of the house is all we can think about. So if you head to the store just to get a change of scenery here’s how to avoid coming back with impulse purchases and a load of regret.
Write Down What You Want to Buy and Then Wait a Day
Take a notepad and pen with you. Instead of buying something on impulse write down the item that you liked. This way you still get a glimpse of satisfaction and can instead wait 24 hours before deciding if you want to purchase the item.
Always Make a List Before You Get to the Store
Don’t go to the store without a list. Seriously – sit and think of every single thing you plan on buying before you leave the house. Then when you get to the store stick to the list.
If you’re tempted to make a purchase revert back to step number one.
When I start craving some sunlight and warm weather I just reminding myself (and cross my fingers!) that spring is right around the corner.
Boredom or impulse spending can completely derail you from your financial goals. Be aware of how you feel when you’re spending. As long as you’re aware of your actions and are proactive about staying busy you’ll be able to save your budget (and your sanity!)
How do you combat boredom spending?
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.