Although it has taken me half a lifetime to learn, I am still amazed at the power that a night of sleep can have on the decision-making process. I’m not certain of the science behind it, but I am confident that delaying a decision with a night of rest has saved me from bad purchases, unacceptable job offers, and general malarkey.
I didn’t employ this method of contemplation (or procrastination, as some have mistaken it for) until I was well beyond the years of frequenting malls and going out to eat or drink with friends and acquaintances incessantly. I sometimes regret all the money I wasted on things that I didn’t really want or need to enjoy the moment. That’s something else I’m just currently learning as well, the value of my time, but I’ll save that for a later occasion…
Enjoying a night of repose has helped me fight urges to make frivolous purchases. It has helped me so much that it is a technique I generally employ for any purchase over twenty dollars. It’s not necessarily a strict rule, but I find that when I make use of it, I am able to resist temptation more easily. I believe that this is true for two reasons. First, I have had time to let the initial “charm” that an item might have, wear off, and secondly, I have had the opportunity to define where (and even if) that item will actually fit into my life. As I strive towards a more organized space, I have to be more conscious of the items I bring into it.
This is not to say that “sleeping on it” prevents me from making any and all purchases. In fact, I still invest in items regularly, but I’m usually much happier with my decision after I’ve delayed it for an evening. If I still want something after stalling, I can safely assume that I am desiring the article for its own merit rather than its perceived attributes.
For big-ticket items, of course, several days (and several slumbering nights) may be necessary to be able to give a final stance. Though, I try not to discount the small items that I spend money for either. It all adds up, and if I’m not careful (as was true in my youth) all those small acquisitions can turn into a very sizable bill (see my youth, above).
Something that also regularly happens for me these days is that my mind will (or has the opportunity to) come up with different solutions to an issue overnight; for example, I am perhaps smitten with some particular organizing bins in the store, but after waiting for a night I recall that I already own such items, they’re just packed away and I need to retrieve them. On other occasions, I will realize that I can borrow an item, or perhaps search for it second-hand.
Although I do very much regret spending money that I don’t need to (frivolously), I would like to make clear that I have no reservations about spending money on a well thought out purchase. To me, the point is to make sure the item fits my personal criteria (budget, usefulness, aesthetics), and then procure the item without guilt or self-reproach.
Being responsible with one’s money is a form of self-care, in my opinion. Take care of your money, and it will take care of you; a good night of tranquil repose might be helpful to both…
Rest easy, and stay cozy!