Friday, April 1, 2011

The Cost Benefit Analysis

Do you get a slight rush when you get a great deal? I mean, I know I do. When I start with a very large total at the store and then my total drops down to just dollars I find myself overcome with a slight, dare I say it, coupon high. This seems harmless, and to most, it is. But is this couponing high feuling what could be classified as an addiction?

As a therapist, I've seen many clients with addictions: Food, Alcohol, Drugs, Pornography - most of us know about these and quickly pat ourselves on the back for not having an issue with any of these but maybe you're couponing behavior is bordering the addiction line and you're not even aware of it.

Saving money is a great and wise thing to do. I think everyone should be more conscious of what they are spending and should take the time to coupon. Most of us are saving money because we have to. We're gaining some wiggle room in our budget because of diligent efforts of clipping coupons, searching deal sites and getting different items from several stores. But, what is it costing you?

Typing up deals on this blog is like a part time job for me and I have to try to sqeeuze in time to post deals, find deals and do some shopping research of my own. But, I have to constantly remind myself that I am first a wife, mother and homemaker. You can defintely find another deal site out there to get your information from but my children will never have another Mom, my house does not have a maid and my husband does not have another partner - it's just me. I had to find something that worked for our family - getting up before everyone else does, posting a few deals during my boys naps and while my boys are out for their usual outing on Saturday mornings.

There was a time when I would spend Friday nights clipping coupons, writing up posts and preparing for shopping trips instead of investing in my marriage. There was a time when I was more concerned with when the doors opened at CVS on Sunday Morning than preparing my heart and mind for worship. I clearly had my priorities in the wrong place.

The very definition of addiction is this:

"The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming"

Ouch. That stings. Because I know, that for most of us, this has been true of couponing at one point or another. So why do I say all of this? I just want you to take a moment and see how couponing is affecting your relationships. Are you spending quality time with your husband or are you clipping coupons? Are you spending time with your children each day or are you letting them watch a few extra shows so you can surf deal sites? What message are you sending those around you?

Ask your spouse what they think of your couponing behavior and furthermore if they asked you to give it up, would you? Could you?

If the cost of your deal hunting and couponing is a poor relationship with your family and those around you then listen very carefully - IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

There will be another toothpaste deal but you can not get back that priceless memory of talking to and building up your spouse. There will be another cereal deal but you can't go back and read that book to your child. There will be another sale on deodorant but you can't get valuable time with your loved ones back.

Nancy DeMoss said, "It's true that there is not enough time in the day to do everything but there is exactly enough time to do what you are called to do."

Anything in life that costs you time, memories, investment and energy with your family is not worth it. Period.

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