How Do I Stop Overthinking Every Purchase?

overthinking every purchase

I love taking trips to the store with my husband. We have so much fun goofing around together.

Today, we ran many errands that landed us at CVS, Walmart, Harris Teeter, and Rite Aid. I had a plan for each location. I came armed with coupons and sales circulars. Before we left, I made a list of all the items I wanted to purchase and calculated how much the entire shopping trip would cost. 

I realize that sounds ridiculously anal, but it’s the best way to bargain shop and stock up on necessary household items when prices are low.

I’ve been much less obsessive about saving money lately. I stopped shopping at Rite Aid and CVS every week. 

I now travel there only when there is a great deal and only when we need something. This is a sign of significant progress.

Stop Overthinking Every Purchase

When I shop by myself, I am very good at avoiding temptation. I stick to the list and rarely deviate from my original intentions, but I never know what will happen when my husband comes along for the ride.

I spend more money when he’s with me. He thinks nothing of adding various products to our cart regardless of whether or not they are on sale. I know it’s cheaper to purchase lunch meat and make sandwiches, but I know he’ll head to the sandwich counter where someone will make them for us.

I know he’ll reach for the container of soup, although Harris Teeter isn’t running its monthly buy-one-get-one sale, and I know that he’ll think nothing of buying a box of popcorn, even though it’s not on sale that week and I don’t have a coupon.

When we shop together, I find his attitude contagious, and I watch myself adding items that I would never have picked up if I were alone. When I’m with him I think, that nine-layer dip looks good, and that brie cheese looks unbelievably tasty. I’m always amazed by how much extra food shows up on the conveyor belt at the checkout counter.

Stop Overthinking Your Money

I still cringe a little as I watch the register screen fill with full-priced numbers, but I’m so happy to be with my husband that it makes my saving tendencies seem much less important. I think going out with him helps me put things back into perspective.

We make good money, and we don’t have to use coupons for everything we buy. So how do I get myself to stop overthinking every purchase when my husband is not with me?

Update: I wrote this post many years ago. At that point in my life, I pushed back on purchases, lived stingily, and never bought anything for myself

Years later, I’ve learned to save fun money and enjoy it. I’ve even learned to spend money on myself without feeling guilty.

7 thoughts on “How Do I Stop Overthinking Every Purchase?”

  1. I always spend less when I don't go grocery shopping with the husband. Example: yesterday, we stopped at the meathouse for sandwich meat and cheese, and ended up spending $50. bad spending habits are contagious and we feed off each other because we act like we're still dating and it's a "date" so we can splurge rather than thinking "oh crap we're married and on a budget, and we have to pay for your $350 flight to Seattle next week!"
    if we had the money, i wouldn't worry about it as much. but we just don't have the money. so again, i try not to shop with my husband.

  2. Generally speaking, guys seem to be a little looser with money than ladies. I don't think there's anything wrong with you "overthinking" – it probably helps balance out both your spending habits.

  3. If "overthinking" each purchase when you shop alone means a consistent pattern of denial and regret, then you should definitely do something about it.
    However, it sounds as though you're pretty comfortable with your solo shopping habits. If it ain't broke, don't fix it?
    I agree with commenter "Sense," though: Allow yourself a little fun money. If you spend it, fine — that's what it's there for. If you don't spend it, roll it over to the next shopping trip. And so on.
    My feeling is that you're doing a good job, so try not to obsess over every dollar. Ask yourself, "Do I want it badly enough? Will it be worth it? Will we enjoy it? Can I afford it?" If the answer is "yes" then go ahead and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

  4. I love the idea of giving myself a little fun money each month. It's like a license to let loose every once in awhile. I'm very type-A and I can't really blow money without a little voice in the back of my head telling me it's okay to do so.

  5. Spouses help to balance each other out. We're each other's insurance that we don't become too anal, too stressed, too anything. It can lead to much happier living circumstances when you have a partner like this.

  6. Spouses help to balance each other out. We're each other's insurance that we don't become too anal, too stressed, too anything. It can lead to much happier living circumstances when you have a partner like this.


Leave a Comment