It’s Week 24 of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge, here’s our challenge for this week:
If you missed any of the other posts in the series, check them out here.
Week 24: A Book you Learned From
I’ve probably said this a million times on the blog already, but I didn’t grow up frugal. I never helped my mother clip coupons or help my dad pinch pennies. I didn’t spend a lot of time saving money or saving up for big purchases. When I first made the decision to transition to a frugal lifestyle, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. I felt like there were all these books and blog posts pulling me in different directions.
I didn’t know what I was doing and I felt like I spending all kinds of money on things I didn’t need. None of this advice was getting down to the root of my problem, and I didn’t know what the heck was wrong with me! I mean, everyone else could do it right? In January, I started my first book of the year The Recovering Spender. I had heard great things about the book, and felt like it spoke to me.
My whole life I was a spender. I would buy things only to purge them all later. I was great at finding deals and spending butt tons of money on everything from clothes to decorations for my room. I bought new comforters, wall art, and shoes for my closet. After just a few months of owning these possessions, I would donate them or trash them, and start fresh. I never considered myself a spender, until I read this book.
As Lauren walked me through her spending phase, my heart dropped. I realized that I was reading my life story on those pages. I was buying outside of our means, and spending it on junk I’d later purge to meet the minimalist lifestyle I wanted to live. It took me years to realize my poor spending habits, and change them. I had to learn to control my spending by avoiding triggers and staying away from certain stores.
Spenders will always be spenders, they are just one store away from going into relapse. This was something that Lauren’s book taught me. I was always so sure I had shaken my previous self off, but in reality I was just one bad purchase away from being right back where I started.
I struggled for years as a spender before finding this book. I spent months trying to coupon and be a frugalista, without first controlling my spending habit. It was a vicious cycle, and I was to blame. I never tackled the root of my problem before trying to change my ways. Lauren’s book made me realize the way I was living, and how to overcome that lifestyle that was deeply rooted inside me.
I’m a spender, but that’s okay. I’ve also learned to be a saver, and create both emergency and sinking funds for us. I’ve learned how to budget and cook at home. I’ve learned how to coupon without overbuying. I’ve learned the difference between a good deal and a good sale. But before I could do any of that, I had to come to terms with being a spender, and learn not to spend.
If you are a spender, or your loved one is, I highly recommend this book. It’s packed full of useful tips and tricks, but also tells a great story of how one woman could overcome her spending addiction. If you are a spender, I challenge you to work through this book just as I did. You’ll be surprised at how it could change your life.