Note: this isn’t an update to my spending log, but it is related to minimal marathon spending!
Happy early Thanksgiving! After you’re done stuffing your belly with potatoes and turkey and watching football in a food coma, it’s immediately time for another pseudo-holiday that is pretty quintessentially American:
Black friggin’ Friday.
I usually do not get drawn into the allure of Black Friday “deals”, but even though marathon training doesn’t start for almost 7 months, I find myself tempted to take advantage of steep discounts on running stuff this week.
As in: I know I’m trying to cut back on spending and all, but…oooh, a race registration fee at a steep discount! I mean, yeah I didn’t really want to do this race before, but it’s so CHEAP!
No, I don’t need new shoes right now…but I may need them when training starts so might as well get them while they’re on sale, right?
Well, I have developed a mantra to help me through temptation on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and any other time I’m tempted to buy running stuff because it’s cheap or I’m bored and in search of a fleeting acquisition high:
You already have everything you need.
Nothing bad is going to happen to you by skipping out on buying this product. The only thing you will lose is the fleeting “purchase high” that never actually translates into real added joy in your life.
You will make it just fine without it.
You will not lose any happiness without it.
You will still be motivated to run without it, because you already love running.
You can save that money instead, or use it for something else you need.
This isn’t to say that never again will I buy something I don’t need. It’s more about being mindful of where my money goes and recognizing where that urge to spend is really coming from. As the saying goes, “a fool and her money are easily parted.” Treating myself is nice, but by definition, it’s not a “treat” if I indulge any time I want and without having to earn it. All those unnecessary purchases I justify as “treats” or by saying “just this one last time!” don’t exist in a vacuum – they add up, and each one enables the next, and no one of those purchases brings real happiness but the accumulation of $$ thrown away on those purchases will eventually bring real unhappiness.
I believe there is a balance to be found. A healthy amount of consumerism is good for our economy, but I also know that companies only have their own interests in mind, and they pay their advertisers a lot of money to manufacture a nonexistent need and keep me in the cycle of feeling like my life is not satisfying enough but it will be if I buy their products.
So this Black Friday I’m remembering: I already have everything I need.