It is day 5 of summer vacation, and since yesterday I have been feeling the ‘Saver’ in me losing power as quickly as a teenager’s iPhone. My daughter and I have really enjoyed the free activities at the library, taking picnic lunches to parks, and swimming at the local pool. In the back of my mind, though, I find myself thinking ‘Hmmm….lunch at the mall sounds good’ or ‘Maybe I should switch my meal plan this week’ or ‘Thai-iced coffee!’ I have yet to do any budget damage.
As I observe myself having these money-spending thoughts, I keep going back to one thing: I am not working this summer. Normally my job in a kitchen is a source of much focus, physical movement and adrenaline. I think that focus and intensity spills over into the rest of my life when I am working and now that is gone. It’s summer-time and the living is too easy!
I don’t plan to work this summer — being home in the summer with my daughter is a great luxury and source of joy. Now I am aware, though, that my desire to add excitement to the day is just my brain noticing the absence of my job. I am also realizing that when retirement comes some day, two people not working could equal two people wanting to go to the mall and get drinks at the coffee shop every day.
And that Thai-iced coffee? I am enjoying a home-made version that vaguely resembles the real deal: leftover coffee, chilled; add sweetener; pinch of cardamom; top off with milk of your choice and ice.
What do you do when you have the desire to spend out of boredom?
Thanks so much for the shout out and the craving for a delicious iced coffee! 😀
You are welcome on both counts!
good post – I think you hit the mark talking about the desire to spend sneaking up on you when you have time on your hands. We all know the “pull of the mall” but there are more important things at stake than accumulating more stuff & debt.
When I am tempted I sometimes ask why & what do I really need. More meaning, better organization of what I already own, more tasks done at home, more in my relationships? This usually helps my contentment level and keeps the money in the bank!!
Thanks for your comment. Good points about better organization, more tasks done, etc. Sometimes it seems easier to roam the mall than tackle a project, but so much more satisfying to just get started on things you have been meaning to do.
Great post! I am also feeling the summertime restlessness. I don’t work at one of my jobs during the summer and now with this extra time on my hands, it seems like all I want to do are activities related to spending money (concerts, cloths, eating out, ICED COFFEES!!)!
Usually, when I am really having a hard time wanting to spend because I’m bored, I:
a) look at my savings balances – seeing those numbers encourages me not to blow money on something I haven’t planned on just because I want it right then
b) bargain with myself: if I still want whatever it is in 72 hours, then I will start looking into working it into my budget/making it feasible to purchase or save for.
Truth be told, I’m not always the best at sticking to my guns in the summer – when I see the gourmet popsicles at the farmers’ market and it is 95 degrees with 90% humidity… well, suddenly spending an unplanned for $3 doesn’t sound so terrible!
I am glad to hear I am not the only one! I think I am still settling into some sort of summer routine. Thank goodness for the wealth of free events going on around here. Free screening of ‘Frankenweenie’ at the library, anyone? 😉
One thing that works for us is actually setting aside a tiny amount of money that we can spend on an outing for coffee, or a Redbox movie, instead of only what the library has, or a $1 ice cream cone during “happy hour” at a place nearby. They’re not big spending sprees, but they seem to satisfy the wanting to do something that costs money. We set aside this money all year long, but I try not to dip into it until the kids are out of school, so they can be family things.
Most of the time, though, I’d rather make myself a thermos of coffee, just how I like it, and a thermos of cocoa for the kids, and head down to the beach early in the morning, than sit in a coffee shop. Bring homemade donuts with the coffee and cocoa, and the day is off to a great start!
I love iced coffee. I’ll have to try your version with cardamom.
Great idea. I have one more paycheck left from working at the start of June and maybe I should allocate some of that. I really want to see Monsters U but I have to coerce my daughter to go!
The iced coffee would be great with almond milk and/or almond extract too (and the cardamom!).
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Spending out of boredom happens to me also. This year I tried to get smarter about summer spending by budgeting a small amount of fun money per week for spontaneous purchases. We also budgeted for admission to the pools and bowling because even though we have free bowling with a free hot dog we always end up buying SOMETHING!
I think that is a great idea. For older kids, it could even be an intro to managing money (a lot of fun one day? spread the fun out?)
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