Looking Ahead With Lauren: Confessions of a Spender Trying to be a Saver

mackelmore-thrift-shopI’ve always been a spender. I was one of those kids who spent their all of their Christmas money and gift cards on December 26th. While I try to spread them out a little more now, most of that money is still gone by the end of January. I can’t help it – I love shopping! But these days, I have more bills to pay and working freelance can be challenging when it comes to money. I’m hoping to move out to my own apartment with a friend in the summer, so I am trying to really scrutinize my spending habits to make sure I can afford to move.

It is crazy how things add up! For example, let’s talk today – a Sunday Funday. My friend invited me to get manicures and pedicures… there goes $43. We were hungry after and decided to get lunch… another $10. I go up to the rink to watch my boyfriend play two games of hockey so I got him a Gatorade ($2) and realize my car is on E on the way home ($44). Add that up: almost $100 in a few hours! I had to do a double take!

I’m always stuck at a conundrum. I’m young and want to have fun and enjoy my life. That means spending money on movies, dinners with friends, going out for drinks, etc. At the same time I want to save money and be responsible for later in life! I’m realizing that like all things in life, it takes balance and discipline. I probably can’t afford to get dinner and drinks every weekend, but I certainly won’t let myself sit home bored every weekend either. I decided to track my money for a while and see how much I am really spending at what to cut down on.

I can already tell a few things I’ll be cutting down on: shopping for clothes and other unnecessary items because I’m bored, going out to get lunches alone several times a week and luxury items regularly like massages or facials.

What I don’t think I’ll really cut down on: getting dinners with friends (I may cut back, but I don’t want to give up the social aspect. Much of the time, grabbing food is the only time I can see certain friends and I think the social aspect is worth it. I can certainly give up getting food solo more often), luxury items every once in a while (because don’t you need to splurge on a massage on your birthday?) and going out with friends.

Hopefully tracking my money will show me how much those little things add up and how to stop buying so much. Fingers crossed I can save and make enough to share some new apartment photos in the summer! :) Tell me: what do you struggle with money and shopping? Are you a spender or a saver?

For more from Lauren, visit Lauren’s Thoughts.

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