Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Breathing Room

Impulse shopping is really, really fun. There’s the enticement of an email, the excitement of a deal, and the endless possibilities that this next purchase will open up. Anticipation builds as the fulfillment and shipping process plays out and crescendos at the unboxing.

As we mature as people, and in the management of our finances, it becomes clear just how damaging impulsing can be. What feels great in the moment fades to the reality that’s transpired. You changed your priorities, and now that you bought the new thing, some other thing must be deferred or delayed.

While true that impulse shopping feels good, so does a lack of chaos. I aspire to a boring, predictable financial life where the system mostly runs on autopilot. I want a financial life that allows me breathing room to make decisions, where I can add in new priorities without wrecking the essentials. I want to make decisions about what I’m going to impulse on at the beginning of the month, and then be ready to make that leap.

There are a minimum number of things that we have to buy every month: cleaning supplies, food, gas. When I feel that urge to impulse something, if I want to keep that breathing room in my financial life, I need to save it for later, think about, and plan to buy it in the next month.