Floodgates of Unnecessary Purchases

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.

Kelty Versant Duffel
I even pack my laptop in this bag on most trips in the US I take for work. Remember I love to run so there is running gear in there too! 

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 mind set 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.

Kölner Dom - Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Walking down the steep steps of the Cologne Cathedral!

Ok, two more plugs as I am still running in those Asics shoes above and the prAna pants are amazing too. I can get by wearing them to work because they look good depending on what shirt I wear.

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?

Thoughts?

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