My husband always teases me about how tunnel vision-ed I can get. I know it’s true. When I’m thinking about something or focused on something, I really don’t hear or see or notice anything outside of that.
Personally, I think that’s part of why I had an easy time playing softball and playing softball well. It’s easy for me to block out outside interference and/or distractions when I’m concentrating on a task or goal.
I’ve also found tunnel vision extremely useful when shopping on a budget. No longer do I walk into stores and just wander around looking for “good deals” or “cool stuff” to buy.
Now I go into stores with a plan of what I want to get based on what we need, what’s on sale, and/or what I have coupons for.
Now that shopping has become a specific task with specific goals and a plan that is laid out BEFORE hand, I find that my tunnel vision totally kicks in. I go into the store with a purpose and very rarely does anything else catch my attention. Very, very different from how I used to shop just a few months ago.
I actually walked into the grocery stores the other day and only walked out with pampers, wipes, and one whole chicken. That’s it. Three things. I saw a lot of other stuff, but when I got to the register I realized that I hadn’t grabbed anything except what I went into the store for.
What a strange experience. That’s when I realized shopping had become victim to my tunnel vision.
Shopping with a list is not a new thing. I made shopping lists before, but was never on a budget. Before my shopping list helped make sure I didn’t forget anything I made the trip to the store for. In a way it was a “buy-at-least-this list.”
So I’d go into stores for the 2 or 3 things and end up with an entire shopping wagon full of stuff by the time I left. I know you know what I’m talking about.
This has NOT happened at all since we
1. got on a written budget
2. started creating a plan BEFORE going shopping
3. started using cash and a calculator when shopping
Now my lists lean more toward “buy-at-most-this.”
I no longer care if I’m “missing out” on a “deal” because I’m too excited about the stuff I AM getting for my money.
I no longer walk into stores after pay day thinking, “Yay we have some money. What can I buy today?” while just walking around looking for random completely unplanned buys.
In fact, I often find myself putting things back just because $40 looks a whole lot better on my calculator than $50. Yes, I really do use a calculator when I shop. It’s amazing the difference that small change makes.
Do I really “need” to get that extra $10 worth of stuff? Nope? Then it goes back on the shelf! And I smile because my total just went down and it’s that much less cash I have to part with at the register.
Oh my goodness I think I’m going to end up being Pake with a capital P! (aka a major tightwad)