Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Want a new ____? What's wrong with the old?

Lotions?  Soaps?  Candles?  Conditioner?  Mousse?  Leave-in conditioner?  Eye shadow or liner?

I could go on and on.  I have bottles with one squirt used, bottles that are half empty, and bottles with only one or two uses left.  I have bottles that are still sealed.  These are bottles I forgot were there, so new bottles were purchased.  I have bottles I received as teacher gifts and bottles I bought myself.  I have eye liner pencils that are perfectly fine except when I needed it, I couldn't find my sharpener, so I bought a new pencil instead.  I have samples of products I would not have ever purchased myself.  I have multiples of one scent or brand because they were buy 2 get 1 free, you know!

I really do try to not spend excess money.  I buy economical brands or choose carefully if I'm going to decide to pay more money for a finer quality item.  As a teacher, lotions, fun soaps and candles are an easy, cute and fairly inexpensive gift, so they're very popular.  I used to keep the Christmas scented soaps in my Christmas decoration boxes to pull out next year since they weren't even half used...except I received more the next year, and then what?  As of right now, I have twisted peppermint, holly berry wreath, and winter candy apple soaps going at the kitchen sink and bathrooms.  They're almost finished and I can't wait, because I've already purchased fresh new spring scents that are sitting lonely under my kitchen sink just waiting to brighten the room with their lively colors and smile inducing smells.

I reached in my bathroom cabinet today for a bottle of lotion and stayed my hand because of how many there were.  I don't use lotion all the time, but I think there are currently 5 containers in some stage of use in my bathroom cabinet.  I'm positive there are more in my car and one under the sink in the half bath downstairs.  Throwing perfectly good items away is ridiculous.  Purchasing new scents just because they smell good is equally ridiculous.  My goal is to start using what I have regularly.  Lotion is good for my skin.  I need to be using it.  One person can only wash her hands so many times, so the soap takes time, but soon, very soon, I will be able to throw away and bring out the new.  Candles will be burning because they create welcome smells.  I'm out of my regular conditioner, but I have another bottle of a seldom-used conditioner that I will be using in it's place instead of buying a new bottle of my regular.  Perfectly good items need used.

I'm not allowing myself to buy one single item in any of these categories until I have made sure I don't have something else that will work equally well, even if it's not my favorite.  Being a good steward of finances means exactly that...not spending money when I don't have to.  We all have ways we'd rather spend our money.  I'm trying to get into grad school.  I'd really like to buy a house some day.  Yes, soaps and conditioners and concealer isn't expensive.  I get that.  But every $5 and $10 adds up and if more money can go in savings, then there is more in a down payment account later!

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