#342: Avoid buying things for the future

08 Dec

A year ago today, I was lamenting the fact that I wouldn’t be going on that weekend’s planned tropical vacation to the Dominican Republic.  It had been an all-inclusive trip (which I’ve never experienced before and, to someone who grew up without money, is pretty much the best-sounding idea ever–you can eat and drink and do whatever you want without paying extra.  I’ve heard the food is never that great and activities are limited, but I don’t care.  One day I will go on an all-inclusive tropical vacation and I will love it.  I promise you that).  Not only that, but I had gotten an amazing deal on it (honestly, I was possibly even more upset about missing out on the deal than having had a year-long relationship crumble).

Seriously, not going on this vacation was breaking my heart.  I had planned it over the summer and had been looking forward to it ever since.  Now, maybe you think I shouldn’t have booked it so far in advance, but that point is moot; I book things in advance.  That’s just what I do.  I hear an idea for a fun activity, I want to schedule it immediately, whether or not it’s practical to do so.

The same goes for buying things in general; I get stuff that could potentially be useful in the future but probably not.  Over the past year I have purchased: a set of design-your-own speakers even though I don’t have a music-playing apparatus; a box of Scrabble coasters even though I’m not going to use them in my apartment; a Christmas stamp that can be used to make homemade cards even though I’m not going to make them.  There are probably more, too, but they’re hidden away gathering dust so I can’t think of them right now.

Yesterday, though, I was doing some purposeless shopping (which is the best and worst kind), and I came across some pillowcases that I thought I might someday want to turn into a cool wall hanging.  I brought them to the register and asked how much they were because the price wasn’t visible.  The cashier took over 6 minutes to try looking up the price before I decided it wasn’t worth it.

“Nevermind, I don’t want them,” I said.

“Are you sure?” the cashier asked.  “I almost have the price.”

“No, I’m sure.”  Don’t try to convince me to get something I don’t need.

“Sure?  I can get the price in a minute.”

“No, really.”  Stop trying to get me to buy something I may never use.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, seriously, stop.  I don’t want them.”  And now the line behind me is long and impatient, which is the real reason I’m not going to get them, but I’m going to pretend it’s because I’m being practical and not focusing so much on the future, deciding to live in the moment and pay attention to the present.

So.  One less thing to store away until one day I finally realize I’ll never use it and throw it out.  Who wants to book a tropical vacation for next year to celebrate?

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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Money


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