minimalism · Personal Finance

Stop Buying Stuff: My first almost blunder

At the end of every quarter, my kids’ school holds a book fair. They get the kids excited about it for weeks prior. My daughter came home yesterday with a list of five books she wanted to get. This is huge for my daughter who has dyslexia. Usually she wants to buy pens or posters and I have to force her to get at least one book. So without hesitation, I told her “Sure, we can get them. Let’s get them all!”

And then I remembered my challenge. I went back-and-forth debating whether or not I should bend just this once because how can you say no to kids and books. But this is part of my struggle. I always find a way to justify the things that I purchase even though I shouldn’t. To be honest, she has quite a number of books that she has only read past the first chapter if that!

Luckily, I remembered that her grandmother gave her a gift card for getting all As last quarter. So I told her, “Woudn’t it be cool if you used your gift card to buy whatever you want during lunch time or recess?” She liked this suggestion and quickly agreed to it. I think she like the idea of having a fake credit card to use in front of her friends which is something else I probably should address in the future.  

So technically I am not buying anything and bring it into our home. However, stuff will still be entering our home so I may have broken my rule a little bit. But in this case, I think I made a good compromise. Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to tell my son when he asked to go to the book fair. He’s already asking about what happened to his book I got from target the other day! Whoops!

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7 thoughts on “Stop Buying Stuff: My first almost blunder

  1. Yes, books are almost always the exception to our rules. I did KonMari some books (well, a lot of them) but we still love reading and we want our home to include lots of books and bookshelves. 🙂 It’s hardest to say no to my kid when she wants new books! Those book club things they send home all the time from Scholastic – sheesh! It’s not easy to say, “No, you can’t have all 20 of the books you circled…” but we have to sometimes! It’s just not always in the budget. I feel your pain. I like the suggestion above about 5 in, 5 out – a great application of the rule!

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    1. Yes! It’s hard. We have way too many books. I’m going to try KonMaring some of them this week with the help of the kiddos. Let’s see how that goes! 🙂

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  2. That is a really good compromise – you’ve got to get creative!
    We get something similar – every term a kids book catalogue gets sent home with the kids (clever marketing). Like you I want to encourage my kids to read but want to stick to a budget. So this week it came home and they wanted a book each and I suggested they use their pocket money for the next 2 weeks to buy the book, and they agreed. Win, win for everyone and it also means they don’t want to buy ‘junk’ with small amounts of money.

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  3. Maybe make your daughter a deal that she can get a new book once she has completed an already owned one, thereby providing motivation to ensure that any new books won’t end up partially read on a shelf. We have to stay stocked up on books in our house, as we have been reading to our kiddo since he was in utero and continue doing so to this day for an average of about 1.5 hours a day (he’s 18 months old now.) We live about an hour from the nearest library and it would cost us about $40 a year for a library card since we don’t live in their county. Therefore, Amazon keeps us stocked up on Dr. Seuss and others on a semi-regular basis. It’s been an expense that we readily justify due to the fact that our son loves reading and it’s an incredible bonding experience that is simply priceless. Thanks for bringing up some emotional fuzzies! 😀

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  4. Books for my kiddo are definitely a budgetary weakness! We’re extremely lucky to live near lots of libraries. Even so, I find myself sneaking books for him into my budget whenever I can. For myself I just get e-books from the library on my iPad, but he focuses better when he’s reading actual paper . . . definitely one-in, one-out is a good approach. Especially if she has books she isn’t even interested in enough to finish them! If only the resale value of used books were high … ha!

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