I tend to be a people pleaser, which is both bad and good. It’s good because there is nothing wrong with wanting to make others happy, except when you put their needs and opinions before your own, then it becomes bad. There have been instances where my people pleasing ways have gotten me into trouble, like when I used to tease my hair to Jersey Girl heights to fit in and be taller. I kid; I kid. Sort of. It did technically make me taller. 🙂 All kidding aside, my desire to please others also made me more susceptible to following the herd, especially when it came to how I spent my money. And that is bad.
My Name is Tanya and I’m a Recovering Mindless Spender
I’m not proud of it. At all. But I am on a journey to mindfulness by increasing my awareness on how I live my life, which means taking a good, hard look at how I spend my money.
I didn’t like what I uncovered.
While I never claimed to be a money savant (kind of wished I was one though), I considered myself to be pretty money savvy. Debt was bad; living within your means was good. Saving for retirement was good; gambling your paycheck away was bad. In other words, Tanya know good money management (you have to read that like George of the Jungle would. And if you don’t know who that is — don’t ask. I’ll just feel really old). So I happily (and ignorantly) went on my merry way, spending money with abandon and reassuring myself it was okay because I didn’t have debt.
Life was good. Or was it?
Nothing But an Apartment Full of Stuff
The truth is life wasn’t all that great. I had lots and lots of stuff (that I paid cash for!) and yet nothing of real meaning. I felt empty, like a piece of me was missing. Apparently, I thought it was hiding at the mall because I kept shopping to feel good and fill those lonely places inside me. But the holes just kept getting bigger and I kept buying stuff.
Full confession: I used to donate clothes to Goodwill with price tags still attached.
I won’t deny that my closet still houses a few items with attached tags. In fairness, I did try to unload them at a yard sale with Tonya from Budget and the Beach. I can, however, happily report that all those clothes were from my mindless spending days. Today, I only buy what I’m going to wear because I know that tiger-striped tube top ain’t ever gonna look good on me, no matter cheap it is or how much weight I lose.
And nobody should wear a tiger-stripe tube top anyway, unless you’re JLO. JLO can.
A Wake-Up Call Mid-Shopping Spree
Like many people, I got laid off during the Great Recession. Unlike most people, I was pretty excited about it. I was ready to try something new and financially okay, which helped me feel more optimistic than fearful, but old habits die hard.
One weekend, I found myself shopping at one of my favorite stores and had picked out several jackets to try on, when it hit me … what was I doing? These were work clothes and I didn’t have a job. Boredom and habit had me shopping, but there was no true need. Then I heard the voice of my former boss, Shannon, (yes that one) in my head, reminding me about joyful spending and making value-based decisions. She would often talk about those concepts with her team, and I’d always nod my head in agreement. Joyful sounded great, but I never really internalized it until that moment.
The jackets were cute but were they really the best use of my money? Would they really bring me joy? The answer was “no” in this situation, and I put down the clothes and walked out of the store. More importantly, I chose to invest my money in taking courses on web design and writing. Things that would bring me new opportunities and yes — joy too.
Another Personal Finance Blog? Awesome!
I thought long and hard before deciding to add my voice to mix. But I know there are plenty of people who falsely believe they are money savvy because they live within their means but when you did deeper, you see how un-savvy they really are. They don’t spend mindfully and waste money on unimportant things, like I did. They are unknowingly ignorant and their financial situation is more precarious than they realize. This is why I decided to create A Mindful Migration. A safe place where we can learn learn how to make mindful choices with our money that honor what we want out of life, whether we have debt or live within our means or want to indulge in the finer things in life or be a minimalist.
I hope you’ll join me in migrating to mindfulness and living with intention. Thank you for stopping by and please take a few minutes to explore the website.