Ever since the days of Adam and Eve, humans have met with a foe known as temptation. We all know it, and we all deal with it in various ways in our daily lives. For some of us, temptation may take the form of a calorie-laden sweet or other delicious morsel as we try to maintain our weight. Conversely, for me anyway, there is always the temptation to sleep in rather than get up and go to the gym in the mornings. And in other ways we may face temptation in our financial lives. We’ve probably all faced the inner struggle of knowing that we really should stay in and cook, but our favorite restaurant is calling our name and oh wow if we get there before 6 we can catch the drink specials too. Or perhaps in the grocery store they are baking doughnuts as you wander through the bakery aisle in the morning and your empty stomach growls appreciatively. Gee, doughnuts don’t cost THAT much, do they? Like I said, temptation is everywhere, folks.
I have struggled with temptation in various forms over the years. Certainly the food and exercise piece is a biggie for me, but another big one for me has been clothing. As I recently wrote about, I cleaned out my closet a couple weeks ago. I have been a major clothes horse for years, and a big part of the reason was because of little self-restraint in this area. But another part of the reason was because temptation often hit my mailbox in the form of some of my favorite catalogs.
Somewhere over the course of the last two years or so, I have become a major junk mail hater. I think this is possibly because at one point we were literally getting so much junk mail that we did not have time to go through it all during the week and would have to spend upwards of an hour going through it all on the weekends. So I spent some time educating myself on how to decrease the amount of junk mail coming to your home, and it has made a huge difference in the amount of junk mail that we get. But I didn’t stop just at junk mail. I also stopped the catalogs coming to our home (see the same link). It is truly unbelievable how much less mail we are getting these days. And you know what? I haven’t missed the catalogs at all. And likewise, I have not spent a dime on catalog orders since we stopped getting catalogs to our house, which was almost a year ago now. You know what they say- out of sight, out of mind! That’s definitely been the case for me.
So how else can you remove temptation from your life besides stop getting catalogs? Lots of ways! I have pretty much stopped going to retail stores for the most part, for example. This is because I don’t even want to be tempted to buy things I don’t need. I go to grocery stores for food and hit Wally World maybe once a month for things like laundry detergent, etc. These days I buy as many household items as I possibly can on Amazon– which often involves buying in bulk. Last month we bought something like 16 bars of soap, which has a unit price cheaper than we can find in local stores. We also pay no tax and get free 2-day shipping. Double bonus! And we won’t have to buy bar soap again for quite a while.
The list of ways to avoid temptation goes on and on. Don’t want to be tempted to buy a new car when you’ve got a well-used-car budget? Easy- don’t go looking at new cars. Seriously, they don’t exist. And if you know that your budget for a home is $200K, then there is no point in looking at homes that cost more than that. I know you might argue that perhaps you can talk the seller down, but what if you can’t? Best not to tempt yourself!
What are some other ways that you’ve used to either defeat or avoid temptation?
Photo credit: mario