I usually refrain from shopping at this store due to the overwhelming temptation to buy everything. From the enticing smell and trendiness of Starbucks greeting you upon arrival, to every single (this is so me!) item screaming your name, it is, at the end of the day, a place I cannot afford to love. I am often price comparing groceries, and Target has never really won any store comparisons, but lately I have heard they are a little lower on a couple of items. There is a store on the way home from my normal shopping places, so I stopped in to get 4 grocery items they offered a low price on.
When checking out, my total on the screen was $8.22. The cashier said aloud, $82.20 then quickly corrected himself and apologized by saying, “Sorry, I am used to seeing large totals all day.” I chuckled and told him I completely understood. Then as I was walking out, I felt sad for a moment, and the Starbucks that so enticingly greeted me upon arrival was now mocking me upon my departure. I felt poor. Poor for only buying $8.22 worth of items in this super-store; then poor again because who wouldn’t love a delicious $5 latte, but I simply didn’t have room for that impulse buy in my budget.
Then, as it always does, pride came around and got in my passenger seat as I was pulling out of the store. I could have purchased hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise. I could have purchased that $5 latte. I chose not to. I chose not to because what I truly want is to be debt-free, and to keep the momentum of throwing a couple grand a month at my student loans; not to have that perfect tote bag, or to have that wonderful smelling candle on my dresser. I can have those things later down the road, but for right now, I have a way bigger goal in mind, and I would be foolish to place a bag and a candle as a roadblock in my own path. By the time I got home, I felt overjoyed about my $8.22 purchase, and more motivated than ever to keep going.
I am not saying I always walk away from tote bags and Starbucks, but for the majority I do, and in this instance, I did. And I can tell you, it feels better in the long run to walk away. For those of my peers still in debt and prowling the isles of Target, may the odds be ever in your favor. My hope for you is that you find an accountability friend. A friend you should alert when entering Target so that he/she can give you a fake emergency call about 30 minutes into your trip that ultimately saves you from the super-store’s predatory ways; just as you would want on a horrible first date. That right there sounds like my kind of friendship. Stay the path, friends!