June 1st, 2011

Forget it, I’ll Just Eat Books: How I Confronted My Spending Habits

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“I just blew all my money on books. Please feed me.”

Ever told yourself that you’re about to make a foolish and absurd purchase, then handed your card over without another thought? Yup, me too.

It happened when I went sky-diving over the Pacific last year (foolish and crazy), when I bought a neon pink toucan wall clock last month (and yes, it’s ridiculous; see the picture below), and again last night, when I fussed over a pricey dinner bill, then turned around and rang up $60 worth of books at the bookstore next door.

Foolish? Maybe. Absurd? Definitely.

Last night, several perfectly fried crab cakes later, my boyfriend generously covered our dinner bill after I complained about our expensive eating out habits. So you can imagine his incredulous stare after we left the restaurant, when I caught the “Sale” sign at the bookstore and then spent more cash on used books than what our entire dinner cost.

Naturally, I justified:

  1. I’m recycling, honey. It’s good for the environment.
  2. I’m studying, honey. It’s for work, because duh, writers need to read.
  3. It’s an investment, honey. In my future library.


What I should’ve said is the truth:

“I just blew all my money on books. Please feed me.”

Even the most money-savvy people can be a little indulgent. For me, it’s books. For my boyfriend, it’s video games. For my coworker, its $40 lunches with a glass of wine on Thursdays. For you, it’s something else entirely.

I’ve called it a schizophrenic economy before—we scrimp by driving 5 extra blocks to save 5 cents a gallon at a cheaper gas station, yet we splurge hundreds on non-necessity items (iPad 2, anyone?).

The key to spending indulgently is to spend on what’s worthwhile to you. But keep yourself in financial check by asking:

  1. What are you willing to scrimp on and where do you splurge?
  2. Are you squeezing necessities out of your budget to finance your indulgences?
  3. Is it money well spent, or are you just spending your money?

Everyone has their spending weakness. Just make sure it doesn’t weaken your budget.

What’s your splurge-worthy purchase, and how do you keep yourself in financial check? Tell me below!

Keep up the Karma,

Justine Rivero, Credit Advisor

Image via.

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. Personal care products like shampoo, body wash, and makeup especially. I have always had a strange inclination to want to try new types and brands which gets pricey!

    Megan at 11:44 am on June 1, 2011
  2. Oooh, I fall for that one, too!
    – Bethy

    bethy at 2:53 pm on June 1, 2011
  3. I have a weakness for purchasing B.S. on credit cards. I applied for a loan (it was granted), however I found out that my debt ratio is a HOT MESS, thank God I have a high credit score, but I was warned to really get my debt down. I’m so bad at going into a store (only to get two/three items), hour later I have blew $50 + on B.S. that more than likely I already have at home, because of them dang plastic demons that I have lurking in my wallet. Am going to do better as far as using plastic…I think having plastic demons is worse than crack. I’am doing better, but not great 🙁 I love eating out everyday for lunch and do faithfully….I need to start taking my lunch more often.

    Clara at 6:41 pm on June 1, 2011
  4. Yeah, it’s definitely easy to over-spend on credit cards. Check out some tips in this blog post on recipes for lunches and dinners (you can use the leftovers for brown bag lunches)!

    bethy at 9:17 am on June 2, 2011
  5. Greens =) Its a necessity for community empowerment, unity, and sanity purposes.

    Princess at 3:55 pm on June 16, 2011

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