shiny things vs life experiences: the eternal struggle

So guess what?? Remember a couple of days ago when I said that I couldn't afford to buy Rugs Usa's moroccan pouf even though it was on sale? Remember how I said it was because I had to save for an upcoming adventure? Well that's because last week I went and made plans to fulfill one of my ultimate, all-time bucket list items. In exactly three weeks, I'll be boarding a plane to go do this . . .

Yup, it's whale shark season in Belize, and I'm dusting off my diving license and getting my butt in the water!!

I think it goes without saying that I'm so excited I could burst (seriously, it's a little ridiculous), but it's not all sunshine and roses. Because, well, I have a little confession to make: I kind of can't afford a trip right now. Like, not at all.

A little over a year ago, right before starting this blog, I spent an amazing, beautiful, perfect month trekking through Thailand and Cambodia. I had to use every last little bit of money I could scrounge together after spending my savings to start over, but I justified it by saying it would be my last big trip for a while.

And then last month happened, and suddenly the week in New Orleans I had planned turned into two by the beach. And if you've ever been diving, well . . . the cost ain't little. So I'm finding myself budgeting like I've never budgeted before, and doing my damnedest to stick to some seriously tight allowances so I can make it all happen. And all I have to say is - this shit is hard!!

Don't get me wrong, I live on a single lady's income anyways, but when the amount you have set aside for the week only really covers food, it can be a bit of an eye opener! I don't think I realized before just how many things I want, or convince myself I need, over the course of a given week. Or how incredibly difficult it is for me to walk away from what I see as a deal! That moroccan pouf, a brass tulip pendant light I found on CL, velvet ribbon for my curtains, this gorgeous fiddle leaf fig at IKEA . . .

  . . . all things I've debated breaking my rules for in the last four days alone! It is literally agonizing for me to drag myself away, especially if I know it's something that would normally cost more (read, will cost more later if I pass it up now). My head knows that travel is always worth it, but my deal loving heart, oh it just wants to take all these pretties home. So so badly.

And then there's my friend who says I shouldn't do either and should just save for the future. We'll go ahead and ignore him.

Do you guys often find yourselves in the same predicament? Do you scare yourself with how little willpower and how much buying power you actually have??

Thanks for listening to my rant today loves, I apparently needed to take my shopping energy out somewhere, and that somewhere is here!

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  1. Hi Elyse, I've been popping into your blog for a while now. You're young and single, go do the travel thing while you can. Life has a way of catching up with you and then travel seems impossible. Who cares what rug you have or whether you have the latest in light fittings? Enjoy today and enjoy the diving, it's an experience not to be missed!

  2. Girl, I am living this exact life right now. My life is shockingly spartan now. SO different from Montreal. I buy...nothing. I only spend money on food. For the first month, it was weird. Then, it wasn't. Now I actually take a lot of pride in not spending money and living and eating simply. I am living like this because A) living your dream takes serious sacrifices, and B) TRAVEL!!! I agree with Sharon, when you're young, travel is one of the best things to spend money on. It's an investment in yourself, your creative faculties, and your spirit. It shapes who you become. And after you do the first couple of agonizing walks away from purchases, it gets easier to walk away every time. Do I still fetishize dream purchases? Hells yes, my pinterest "wish list" board grows by the day. But spending less starts to feel really good really fast, especially when your bank account grows and your debt shrinks and suddenly more possibilities for adventure pop up :)

  3. I often thwart my need to consume - food, drink, things, etc. - with a creative exercise. Make something. Give your brain something to fixate on, to repeat. It's like running, or anything repetitive, and it helps my brain undo a bit. Besides, those fiddle leaf figs and moroccan poufs will be but flashes compared to the memories of traveling, of finding yourself a bit. Granted, I'm not one to condone spending what one doesn't have, but, well, if you've already booked the tickets... I mean, what are supposed to do? Lose your deposit? I don't think so.

  4. I killed my fiddle leaf fig tree in like 3 months, so I'm pretty sure the memories of your trip are going to far outlast that.

  5. I have recently decided that instead of buying a lot of inexpensive "shiny things" or a pretty top I see at a local store, I will really make sure that before I buy, that it will be something that I will love for a long time. It has really helped me to not to make impulse purchases. Instead of buying 10 nice pieces of artwork, I am going to save for that really WOW piece of artwork, that is truly special and unique. I have been doing this for a few months now, and it is really quite a nice change in my life as well as my bank account!

  6. Totally agree on spending your money on amazing travel memories instead of "stuff". . . ,we are in the process of planning a Thailand trip and would LOVE your opinions and advice!

  7. Girl, you are reading my mind. I am trying to move cross country, and every weekend I find myself spending on "stuff" and I could save that money for my move! It is very tough to see the big goal and the big picture but that trip will serve you more over the years and do more for your life and happiness than those few small things! xoxo -e (modern24seven)

  8. Yes. I am powerless in the face of a good deal. And nowadays there is a good deal everywhere you look! I don't regret anything I've bought in the past year (salary went up and so did spending), but I also really wish that I had saved a little more. Trying to do that now, but it's hard. Especially since I'm moving to a new place next month and really want to decorate.

    I know it's hard, but keep up the good work! Your trip will be amazing!


Your comments make me borderline giddy! Thanks so much for taking the time!