Are you a creature of habit?

                I am.  I am a HUGE (bolded to let you know how true it is) creature of habit.  It’s actually kind of sad—I am not a huge fan of surprises and much prefer to be told about a surprise ahead of time and then pretend to be all surprised.   I also really only like to use a specific stall in the bathrooms at work (maybe more than you need to know).  I love using the same machines at the gym (okay but honestly I think that is valid.  I feel like some machines run better than others) and love having routines.  What on earth am I telling you this for? Well besides the fact that I wanted to, I actually have a point. And it pertains to my finances so how cool of a point is that? (Okay at least pretend to be a tiny bit excited)

                In the past, every pay-day, I would go to the mall, bookstore, video store, or to my internet and buy something.  I’ve posted before about how I felt it was my right and all that good stuff.  What I didn’t say was how often I would go and FORCE myself to buy something.  Yup, FORCED myself to buy something I didn’t want nor needed.  I would go into a random store and find something that I could “see myself needing/using.”  Granted not all of it ended up being wasted money.  I know that I bought some useful things but that’s how it all started.  After a few times of buying needed (or wanted as I know they weren’t all needs) items, I was so into the habit of going into a store or going online and buying things that I would do it every single payday.  Or whenever I received money.  

                Recently I’ve been going through the books that I owned back from when I was on the East Coast and that got shipped out to me.  I’m sad to say that the majority of them have been sold off, given away or donated.   I hadn’t even read some of them—they were just items I bought.   I have decided that I will not buy another book (okay not quite but I’ll explain that in a second) until the huge stack of unread books is gone or at least severely diminished.  Honestly this is a stack that is up midway up my chest and two books deep.  Why did I continue buying books when I had all of those unread ones? Ugh I wish I had a better reason than “because I wanted to spend money” but I really don’t.  I could have gone to the library and checked out the books to see if I like the authors (as most of them are authors I haven’t read before) but I justified it as “it doesn’t cost that much with my discount.”  Sadly I didn’t think of the fact that I could have saved that money or spent it on debt.  (And I’ve done the math—it would have been well in the thousands range that could have been put towards debt or savings.)

                And it was hard to break out of this habit.  Even when I had so little money that you would think that I would make the correct decisions regarding it, I would still go into the store and buy something. I had to stop buying anything for a while. In fact, it has become really hard for me to spend money as I’ve grown so used to saving it that it almost pains me to part with it.  I did decide that I cannot have a “no” command when it comes to the books—that’s just dangerous territory for me as I could very easily break and revert back to the spendy me.  Instead, I composed a list of series that I’m reading and am allowed to buy the books from that.  It gives me a treat every now and then but I’m still not buying every single time I go into a store.  It actually makes me feel good to leave empty-handed knowing that there isn’t anything I truly want and I’m not just buying to buy.

How about you? Are your habits keeping you in debt?

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10 Comments on “Are you a creature of habit?”

  1. Hilarious – the bathroom stall thing – me, too! I always go to the same one. I’m a book lover, too! Stacks and stacks of them.

    As far as the habit of spending money part, that’s me somewhat. Like having to buy a hot dog at a basketball game or popcorn at the movies. It’s what I’ve always done, so I think I NEED those things when I’m there. All of this is definitely a learning process and think we’re on the right path.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one with the bathroom stall thing. I am a huge fan of popcorn at the movies and will get it every single time–even if I just ate. I’m slowly working on that. I agree about being on the right path–habits are hard to break over night so it is slow. But we are getting there.

  2. Rachel says:

    I love visiting the library for books. They don’t cost anything and if I really love it then I’ll put it on my list of books to get. Sounds like you have a really full collection 🙂

    Humans are all creatures of habit, but I think once you make the effort to change a habit and do it three times, your new way becomes the new habit! Good luck.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I do have a full collection–and even though I’m “limiting” my books I will fully admit that there are certain ones I have to buy. They are the ones I’ll reread over and over and over again. 🙂

  3. I definitely love a routine also. And yes, I use the same bathroom stalls – I hate when I go in and all of them are full except for one which forces me to use that one. Anyway, I’ve been learning to be more spontaneous (if that’s possible) and it actually brings a lot more fun into my life that I wouldn’t have had without it! There are definitely good times to break routine but I agree, it’s hard.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Do you know how happy I am to know I’m not alone with the bathroom stall thing? Spotaneity is hard for me as well–I appreciate it sometimes but I need to learn it too.

  4. That’s interesting — you could still do that, if you went to Goodwill or something. That way you’re feeding the “buy something” instinct without spending more than a couple bucks.

  5. Dani says:

    Sorry, just found your blog, so Iw as doing a little backreading!
    Anyway, withe the book buying at least, you could join a site like paperbackswap.com (they swap hardcovers too, it’s just the name). That way, once you’re done with some in your pile, you can get new ones (like the series ones you mentioned) for free! Just an idea– I love that site. They have so many to choose from too.

    Also, I’m a same-stall-user as well. I will actually come back later if someone is in my stall!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I’ve heard really great things about that site and I have been meaning to look into it. Alot of females are same stall users which I find great–I’m no longer alone 🙂

  6. […] of Debt talked about being a creature of habit which I can completely relate […]


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