A huge source of our discretionary spending is being bored and going somewhere as a result.
Okay. Almost ALWAYS Target. I think of some legitimate reason to go (diapers, medicine) and end up wandering around. Which is dangerous when I’m having a good day and need to celebrate/having a bad day and need a reward/just breathing. It’s a way to indulge and relax all at once. Sometimes to kill time with my little sidekick.
So, in an effort to maybe NOT spend all of our money just because I’m bored or emotional, I made a list of 10 things for me to do instead of going to Target. And I’m sharing with YOU to keep me accountable.
- Cook or bake. Bonus: at the end you get to eat it.
- Go for a hike. Yes, it’s getting cold, but not so cold that we can’t just bundle up a little more and rough it.
- Do a puzzle and watch Friends. My favorite way to relax – it feels so luxurious to just watch TV, but I’m also doing something with my hands.
- Get rid of 3 items in each room – throw away or donate. This helps me realize how much stuff I have and might make me less inclined to go accumulate more. Plus! My house is more pleasant when it’s rid of the things I don’t use or need.
- Go treat myself to a latte. Why does a latte feel so much more frivolous than Target? It’s maybe $4 and I don’t end up with more junk in my house afterward.
- Sew something. There is something about creating something with your own hands that is so incredibly rewarding. My craft of choice is sewing, but I haven’t made anything in ages. Perhaps it’s time check in with DoYouSew.com and get some insporation! I could fire up the ol’ machine and finally use that train fabric I have for Gabe.
- Buy a gift. So you want to spend money, Ash? Perfect. Just make it for someone else for Christmas or birthday or just because. Then you get some retail therapy with a purpose.
- Go grocery shopping. The only kind of shopping I can do without a hint of “Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t buy this.” Again, I can spend money but don’t feel guilty! And it’s consumable so no junk left in my house in the end. (Unless I buy too much fresh produce. RIP, shriveled cabbage currently in the vegetable crisper.)
- Hang out with friends. Getting lunch or spending an evening with my friends is better than rewarding myself with Target time. I think I crave community and social interaction that I’m not getting as much without my day job, so this keeps the restlessness at bay and I won’t fill an emotional void with crap. (That might be taking this too far/crazy. Not sure. I am married to a psychologist.)
- Go on an adventure with Gabe. Like I said, a lot of times Gabe and I end up at Target together if I want to get out of the house but have nowhere I need to go. SO. Let’s go somewhere else! Go get some donuts together, or walk around a new park, or take advantage of the free Thursdays at the art museum. We have been doing more “Mama-Gabe Ad-bentures!” as Gabe says. It’s so fun.