Lists to the Rescue

This time of year there are so many sales on things. To an easily distracted girl like myself, all these bright shiny things could be really bad on the pocketbook. I really need to find that elusive money tree …. or win the lottery … or both!

I talked myself down from buying an Kindle Fire. It was in my Amazon cart, I couldn’t bring myself to press the “Place Your Order” button. Thank goodness I realized that the cost was half-way to the new laptop that I desperately needed and had been saving for for most of the year. I ended up with a Dell laptop that converts into a tablet that I had been not-so-secretly drooling over (and that went on sale online on Thanksgiving Day at NewEgg!).

Three images of the Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet PC

My mom gave me the best coping strategy for this ever. Growing up, I was expected to write out a gift list in August (my birthday is in September). Whatever went on the gift list became off limits for me to purchase for myself until after Christmas.

Whenever my sister and I were asking for things that we saw on television in the period between my birthday to Christmas, my mom’s response was always the same, “Put it on your list!”.

It did backfire on my mom one year, though. My sister and I went through the Sear’s catalog and put down TONS of stuff that we wanted on our list … using only the order numbers, not the names. I’m so glad that in recounting the story now, she does laugh about it.

I have continued the list writing strategy throughout the years, and I actually keep track of my wishes throughout the year. It’s amazing how when the time comes to give people ideas of what I’d like, so many of those items are no longer that appealing.

My mom has me so well trained that to this day I feel like I need a special dispensation to purchase something for myself that is on the list (the laptop and Kindle Fire never appeared because I knew no one would ever buy them for me), and items that have already been given to people as gift ideas are strictly taboo until after the 8th candle has gone out or after Christmas, whichever is later. This is saving me a ton of money in impulse buying as those items go on massive sale.

I must admit that on the first night of Chanukah I did give myself a gift – a fantastic kitchen gadget that I first saw at my sister’s house as DH2U and I were spending quality time with the nephews.

Pineapple slicer covered in pineapple slices sitting next to a cored out pineapple shell

It peels, cores, and slices an entire pineapple in seconds, and it’s so much fun! I picked up a pineapple over the weekend just so we would be able to have minutes of entertainment once I opened up my “gift”.

With my mental safeguards in place, I think I am safe against impulse-buying-caused financial catastrophe. Then again, I’m still looking for that money tree … and the winning lottery ticket!

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