There's a car insurance ad on the radio right now. In it, people are confessing their deepest darkest secrets, only instead of talking about things like having sex with unwilling sheep or about laying off the hundreds of employees and then taking a multi-million dollar bonus, they are talking about being cheap. "My son asked me why we were in the cheap seats. He actually said 'cheap seats'!" "I used to go out to eat several times a week. Now I never do" OH NO!!! THE HORRORS!!!
Anyway, for me, walletitis is a chronic genetic condition that I inherited from my parents. I have no shame about it, and saving a hundred dollars on my car insurance isn't going to be a miracle cure.
It's getting worse, now, as you might expect. I just assumed everyone did this when facing a layoff, but that's not the case. I'm trying to still spend money on things that I enjoy and mean a lot to me, like doing stuff with friends or that occasional 'must have' purchase. I'm just trying to cut back on the mindless stuff, like all those random things I pick up when I got to Target or Costco.
I once read an article that suggested that a good way to save money is to watch out for those $30 purchases that slip under the radar several times a week. If you do this four times a week, as many people do, you'll shell out more than $6000 in a year on random stuff. With that, you could take a vacation and put some money away or even go on a major shopping spree. I can relate to this. I'm cheap on the big stuff but lots of little stuff slips by. Since I've had walletitis all my life, little stuff is my big weakness. Last week I was over at the career planning office for some classes. Since I was there all day, I decided to go grab some lunch. Lunch: $10. My sense of smell was all jacked up that day, and my sandwich tasted weird, so I didn't eat it all. I was still hungry, so I went into the Whole Foods next door to get a carton of milk. I walked out of there $10 poorer since I also bought cheese and 5 lbs of tangerines. Then, since I was right next to CVS, I popped in to get this caffeine-infused eye serum that I saw advertised on tv. That was another $13. Ooops, there's my $30 and I didn't even notice it, and yet I agonized over whether I should get the $50 sale boots at REI. (I did get them.)
Walletitis...I HAZ IT!