We’ve come a long way

Tony and I had a lovely time yesterday celebrating his birthday. We slept in, enjoyed some coffee cake for breakfast (something he loves, but I never let him buy), and then headed out to enjoy the beautiful weather.

He received some cash from his parents to buy himself a gift, so he wanted to browse the bookstore. We ended up at the mall where we browsed Barnes and Noble, Banana Republic, and the closeout sale at Linens n Things, among other stores.

This type of browsing used to be a typical Saturday for us. Except three years ago, we would have ended the day with a car loaded up with shopping bags.

Though we debated whether we should buy something at each and every store we browsed, we didn’t buy anything yesterday. It wasn’t until we were in the car on our way home that we realized that we almost spent money in every store we visited.

I really wanted some framed artwork at Linens n Things on sale for 30% off (final price would have been $30). Tony wanted to buy a collection of short stories at Barnes and Noble for airport reading ($15). I’ve been looking for a deal on some khaki pants. I found a pair of brown plaid dress pants on the clearance rack at Banana Republic. They weren’t really what I was looking for, but everything in the store was 30% off the lowest ticket price ($30. Yeah, that’s with 30% off the clearance price. Why is Banana Republic so expensive?!)

Instead of impulsively purchasing, we discussed each item.

Sure, the artwork was a great deal and we’d been looking for something just like it to hang in the kitchen, but we’d already reached our shopping budget for the month. The final verdict? We’ll head back to Linens n Things in two weeks. If the artwork is still there and we still want it, we’ll work that $30 into our budget.

I told Tony he should buy the book if he wanted it. After all, it was a birthday gift from his parents. Ultimately, he decided he’d rather order the book on Amazon for less and wait a little while for shipping.

As for the pants, I’ve been shopping around for a pair of khakis to wear to work in the cooler months. I have plenty of dress pants from my last job that I rarely wear because my office is casual. I’m looking for a comfortable pair of business casual khakis. While the pants at Banana were really nice and on double sale, I decided against them because they weren’t what I was looking for. They were too dressy. Buying them wouldn’t have satisfied my need for casual khaki pants, so I’m going to continue looking for the right pair at the right price. That was tough, though. I shouldn’t have tried them on.

I also stopped in at Victoria’s Secret where I used a coupon for a free pair of underwear (no purchase necessary)!

In the past I might have gauged the success of a shopping trip based on how much we saved. If we had bought everything we wanted yesterday we would have “saved” $60. The problem with that is you’re not really saving anything if you’re spending money on things you don’t need. Even with the discounts, we would have spent $75 that we didn’t need to spend. Now I judge our success by our ability to avoid spending money on unnecessary items and get a good deal on the necessities.

Oh, and we won’t be going back to the mall any time soon. The temptation to spend is just too great. :)

One thought on “We’ve come a long way

  1. Dani

    That is something I have had to learn too. It is not really saving or a bargain if it is (a) still too much money to spend or (b) it is not really what you want or need and probably will not use. It sounds like you guys are right on track. Congrats!

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