Last night, I had an epiphany that saved me $1,000.
This year, my husband and I decided to do a few updates to our house, including a closet remodel and new flooring. Needless to say, it's been a pretty expensive first quarter but I still had every intention to keep spending money on new furniture and anything else I wanted.
The closet I remodeled is in a spare bedroom that I turned into closet room/home office/beauty room also known as my "girl cave." Yeah, I know I'm doing the most, but stay with me here. Up until yesterday, this girl cave was about to be a room full of cute new stuff and once I got it all decorated, I was going to stunt on Instagram. I'm talking photoshoots in front of my new closet, desk, and all that!
But last night, as I started moving my old furniture around the room in anticipation for the hotness that would soon come, I realized that it wasn't old at all. I simply wanted new stuff because my new closet is white but my existing furniture is black.
I thought that I needed to make the room an Instagram-photo-worthy space and that everything needed to match this ideal in my mind.
But why though?
When I asked myself this question, I was shocked at much of a conspicuous consumer I am.
I tricked myself into believing I needed this dream room to inspire me to work hard and create epic stuff when in all actuality, I rarely even use the computer in that room. Most of the time, I use my laptop in bed and that's where I get the most work done. And let's not even mention the new desk I was going to buy to use as my makeup vanity when I wear makeup once a week because I'm allergic to waking up early.
I had to check myself real quick.
I was about to purchase this new furniture when I hadn't really used what I already owned. Yes, most of it is inexpensive and from IKEA. I called myself wanting to get some "quality pieces" but knowing me, I'll probably want to refresh the design in that room two years from now anyway.
So I decided that the $1,000 I was going to spend on new furniture will now be a payment to my principal student loan balance.
I'm not sharing this story to tell others not to treat themselves to the things they want, but to encourage them to appreciate what they already have.
I was absolutely inspired when I read about how Necole turned her bedroom into a zen oasis and I definitely plan to update my bedding and take some of the tips she gave but I don't need to break the bank to create a similar impact.
I know so many people may identify with the "I work hard so I can treat myself" ministry but it's possible to treat yourself to too much, especially if you're not debt free. Even if you are, the extra money you spend can go towards your retirement fund or in an investment account. The advice I gave myself last night was simple:
"Just because you can pay for something doesn't mean you can afford it."
There's so much I could be doing with my money and creating Instagram content shouldn't be on the list. Not only do I plan to make the furniture I have work for me, but I plan to adopt this way of thinking in other aspects of my life. For example, I don't need a new outfit for every outing. Instead, I'm going to get creative with the pieces I already own.
Maybe in the near future, I'll buy a new rug or small décor items for the room but for now I plan to prove to myself that I can use the space for what's intended for. And only when the work I do from the room generates income, may I choose to invest in some quality pieces.
Or maybe I'll continue rocking it out with my good ol' $30 IKEA desk. Who knows?
xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image by Shutterstock