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Recently, I went on a date with my husband to a store selling hats. I don’t often wear hats, but there was a black felt hat I became fixated on. See picture above. Isn’t it darling?

I tried it on and it made me look cool (at least I thought so).

The hat was around $40 and I knew it was not in the budget, so I didn’t buy it. But, I was jonesing for it.

That was a few weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. I found one on Amazon that is very similar and it’s only $20. Dangerous words…only $20. A bunch of thoughts urging me to buy the hat came to mind…It’s a deal! You’d be positively dumb not to buy it. It’s only $20. How much could that affect your budget. C’mon! Your birthday is coming up. You’ve thought about it for weeks. This is not an impulse buy. Do it! 

I felt my pulse quickening, I felt a tingling sensation in my shoulders. I could feel that edgy, nervous tightness in my stomach as I thought about buying it, knowing I shouldn’t.

I looked at how I was tracking against my monthly budget. One of my best friend’s parent’s passed away suddenly and I plan on visiting her out of town next week. I plan on getting a haircut when I visit her, since her husband is my hairstylist and is incredible! I got a new life insurance policy and it seems I was triple-charged for the month. Of course, I will need to look into that and it maybe easily corrected, but I don’t know for sure.

After I reconciled my budget, I realized the hat did not have as much allure to me as I had previously thought. I would rather stay on track with my budget and wait to include it next month over buying it and feeling stressed.

There are times when I feel that powerful feeling where I want comfort and temporary relief from life. Instead of making the purchase, I make an effort to look at my budget or look in my cash envelope. It doesn’t always work, but most of the time that extra step allows me to make a conscious decision versus an instinctual one.

I will have the hat. Yes, I will. But, not until next month.

What helps you to take the emotion out of purchases you really want to make?