Poor impulse control – OMG we are leaking money!

Sunday was a planned shopping day. Our hit-list included:

  • Farmer’s market/auction for lemons, roasted peanuts, and broad-brimmed hat for M.
  • Hiking boots for me.
  • Costco for organic eggs and produce.
  • Grocery shopping for everything else.

What happened instead:

  • Farmer’s market/action for lemons, roasted peanuts, and broad-brimmed hat for M – done.
  • Lunch out – close encounters with fabulous cheeseburgers.
  • REI to search for hiking boots – no luck there, but instead came home with 3 different hats for M, a broadbrim hat for me, and mosquito netting. Ugh. 
  • Another REI in search of yet another hat in the right size for M. Success.

Then last night we are at it again:

  • REI for mosquito netting for M, only to find amazing hiking shoes for me that were still $82 on clearance. But they fit really well and are about half the price of the full price pair I had been contemplating. 
  • Costco for organic eggs and produce, plus the pair of family radios we have been considering for months for our adventuring in places where phones do not always work (like everywhere we go).
  • Grocery shopping ended up being Whole Foods, where we stopped for a specific bread product they carry and which is me paying the convenience tax and not wanting to go to yet another store. 

I could say I have no idea what came over us, but in truth I have zero regrets about any of our purchases. Well, maybe the ridiculous amount of money I paid for basic staples at Whole Foods, but I will get over it. Occasionally I apparently feel the need to waste money spending more at the whole paycheck.

The mosquito netting and hiking shoes are needed for our outdoor adventuring. I might rethink the hiking shoes if I am still slipping and falling down while out and about in them, but for now I am pleased with the purchases.

But M’s bounty of hats was the real find.

Before meeting me, M had a particular style of running hat that he loved and had no reason to believe would not be available forever. Unfortunately, as our fruitless searches off and on through the last 15+ years have shown, that is not the case. So maybe 10 years ago he switched to another style by Peter Grimm, thinking it was classic and would be around for awhile to come. Nope. Not the case at all. While has has been using a modified baseball hat for running and roaming around outdoors, we have half-heartedly checked for these very specific styles of hat without success. 

Until Sunday. At REI. 

We found the precise floppy bush hat he had all those years ago. It fit him perfectly (M has a small head), and I did not even check the price tag. We were buying it. That it was on clearance and marked down to $18 made it palatable. Then we found the Peter Grimm style hat in a reasonable charcoal gray. One is sail cloth, for roaming about in public with me, and one is those high-tech polyesters for running. Perfect, let’s get both, again without checking the tags. Again I was pleasantly surprised to find both on clearance. The third is a broad brimmed crushable hat that sheilds his neck and his ears. This one is specifically for hiking. While definitely more a want than a need, we have learned that when we find things that work for us and that we will use we had better buy it.

As for me and my broadbrimmed hat, I have one, but it was beyond frustrating. It had no hole for my pony tail, so I was stuck either wearing my hair down or in a pony tail or braid lying against my neck. Plus, my other hiking hat would not allow me to wear my pack and look up, as the brim would bump into the pack and push it forward over my eyes. Drove me crazy on Saturday, and as the day wore on, and after getting it covered in dust after the first of my falls, I was ready to leave it behind. I was resigned to going back to the baseball cap and wearing sunscreen on my ears and neck.

Then I found the perfect replacement. Broad brimmed in front and over the ears, curtain in back that hangs down and shields my neck. Best of all: a hole for a pony tail. It was not on sale, but it was too perfect to not take.

So with our excesses in haberdashery, it was an expensive weekend. 

But here’s the thing: we budget for these types of impulsive purchases. We have a line item in the budget for clothing and accessories and another for adventuring, where I tend to include such specific items are hiking shoes and hats. We spent a number in the debt repayment abyss, another few years in the building savings, and now understand the freedom that comes with healthy savings and planned spending habits. I still feel the spending “high” that comes from finding and acquiring some coveted item. I also have the big dreams of the next big phase of home enhancements that will come with great inconvenience and 5 figure price tags. It does seem like every day I weigh the choices between a more comfortable retirement with the cheeseburgers at my favorite hambuger joints, but M and I are big believers in balance and strive for that. 

In the many blogs I regularly read, I enjoy observing other regular people on their journey to financial balance and I even learn things from reading their comments. Unfortuantely what for us was an enjoyable weekend buying carefully selected and considered items might sound like wasteful spending to another. To each their own, but personal finance is personal, first and foremost. No one is starving or homeless in our home or even without our sphere of influence. Spending money earned should not be frowned upon, and I do not feel guilty about a single cent. 

It was a good weekend.

8 thoughts on “Poor impulse control – OMG we are leaking money!

  1. Don’t quote me on this, but I *believe* that July & August are national “Money Leak” months… lol! The same thing has been going on for us. Like you, I bust my butt to work for these money leak months and those who want to call me a horrible person, well, go ahead. I sleep well at night. lol! Your hat sounds awesome by the way… i’d love to see a pic! I need to keep the sun off my face and didn’t even know they made hats with ponytail holes!! LOL!!

    • Exactly! I was already composing in my head this morning, tallying up how much money we’ve spent in the last 2 days, and realizing that there will be others out there being critical of our choices. I’m so over it.

    • Reality kind of sucked as well. 🙂 After trying on multiple different pairs/styles, I liked the way these fit and felt and M pronounced them adequate for our journeys.

  2. I know the feeling! Two weekends ago we spent $350 on stuff. I wouldn’t call it wasted money, but it sure adds up quick. I would have also bought multiple hats if I had a hard time finding them otherwise.

    • It seems to be the spending season! We have learned to no wait when we find the things we want or need. If we leave to think about it further (M is famous for this), I can almost guarantee it will be sold before we get back.

  3. I was always a bit of a slipper and slider when out hiking (something I am longing to get back to after a few years of, for no particular reason, never getting around to it). I have found using sticks to be a great help – if you don’t already use them you could consider that. The important thing is to have the right grip – I didn’t really understand the benefit of them and more just used them because it had been recommended for the first big trip I did but then one of the guides saw how I was holding them and showed me the correct way and hey presto, it all made sense. Thanks for your description of your trip the other day, by the way, it’s serving as inspiration for me to really get back to getting back to it. Even a shit hiking day is still a good day by the time it’s over (or the next day at the latest).

    • Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I am toying with the idea of walking sticks, but we’re going out again this weekend and will see how I do with the new hiking shoes. I may create a standard Saturday hiking edition here on the blog, because we have plans for the next few Saturdays. Hopefully no more tumbles to report! I am also a very novice hiker and am just in that painful “get in shape” and organizing gear phase of things. It should be more fulfilling and enjoyable as we move alone.

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