Putting off purchases is the epitome of frugal. You make things stretch; you find out what you can do without. It’s an interesting exercise — and one that I’ll pretend is existential rather than my own poor planning.
Unfortunately, this experiment inevitably bites me in the ass. I feel great not buying things. So great, in fact, that I decide to put off replacing a product. And then another. And another. Until I’m suddenly in need of a lot of things, many of which can’t be put off anymore.
Which is how I found myself buying three, not-cheap hair products yesterday.
I’ve known for months that I need to get a conditioner. As in, it’s been a year or more since I regularly used conditioner. It was just so nice not to buy a bottle. But my hair has definitely paid the price.
Meanwhile another product has been running low for two months now. But, again, the allure of not buying things was just too strong.
Finally, there’s a new product that I’ve been considering for over a month. I put it off, but I think it’s about the only thing to help me combat my hair’s frizz and general insolence. Especially now that summer is upon us.
Since each of the three costs over $20, it was awfully easy not to buy them. But it’s getting ridiculous. I’m an adult and I need to start taking care of my hair, or I’ll go crazy… -er.
I just keep reminding myself that this stuff lasts. (I’m just now running out of the shampoo I bought last July.) Also, I get 8% back from Ebates. That’s something, I guess.
The one positive spin I can put on this situation is one of cost consciousness. If you buy slowly over time, the cost is easier to swallow without as much thought. Buying all at once, the prices are a lot more stark, and you have to evaluate whether the expense is worth it.
So I thought about it. I do hate that I spend this much on hair products. But I’ve tried a lot — a lot — of brands over the years, and this is by far the best. So there you are: evaluation over. Time to accept it, stop bitching (out loud anyway) and click the purchase button.
Another issue with breaking up purchases: Isn’t it easier to go overboard? Say I buy one item a month for three months. The shopping has become something of a set expense. Seems kind of easy to just get into the habit of buying one product a month.
At these prices, I don’t think that would happen, but who knows. It seems like we’re all seeking that one product, that last missing piece, to finally have everything we need — be that a new hair product, piece of makeup, a gadget or even a hand tool.
I’m pretty sure I already know your answers but… Do you buy slowly over time, or face the music all at once? Which helps you control spending better?