Have you ever been gearing up for a trip and fell into the trap of buying a lot of things because of that upcoming “trip”?
Earlier this year I went on a 2-week business trip to Germany and the above scenario happened to me in the weeks preceding me leaving the US. It started with the question of how can I pack most efficiently as I didn’t want to check baggage through since I wanted to be somewhat mobile on the weekend. So as I was looking over my typical packing, which is normally pretty minimal as for a week travel in the US I use my Kelty Versant Duffel.
However, knowing I was going to be gone longer and over the weekend, I knew I would use a little bigger bag but really wanted to try to squeeze everything into a small carry-on suitcase order to make travel from hotel to hotel much easier. So I decided to update my list a little bit before I knew it I was looking at my things and thinking there was probably something better than I could buy instead of taking similar items that I currently own.
The Problem Started Brewing
While packing my clothes I got this idea that if I bought some pants that would be comfortable enough to wear walking around but still look nice enough to wear to work a couple days over the trip that would be money worthwhile. So what did I do, what everyone does when they want something by heading to Amazon. However, it didn’t stop there…
I wanted to work out so I was going to take some running shoes, however, the ones I had wouldn’t work for casual at work and running as they are bright yellow and pretty worn at this point. Speaking of shoes though, maybe I should just get some new casual / dress shoes so I might not have to bring my actual dress shoes. Don’t you think some new socks are in order too? Also, I didn’t want to take my two phones along (long story), so I needed to buy a new phone workout band for the time I was away. Finally, I needed a different phone charger as the long cord just wouldn’t cut it as I didn’t want all that excess cord in my pocket when it was charging on the go. Before I knew it I had a list of “Needs” that probably totaled more than $400 and in 2 days boxes started showing up from Amazon.
You see what just happened there, it was so easy for my mind to justify purchasing and elevated things from a “Want” to a “Need” prior to my work trip. Once I had my mindset on packing light, I opened the floodgates of unnecessary purchases and I ended up with things I typically wouldn’t have bought myself till it was absolutely necessary.
Backpedaling to my Frugal Self
In the end, I came to my senses before it was too late and started to backpedal on what was really a need for this trip. Thankfully all of the items I had purchased had free returns. I did still end up keeping some of them and I feel good about it to this day as I know I have used them every week since.
When was the last time you were getting ready for something like a big trip and you all of a sudden let the floodgates of purchases happen?