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If it's as cold as it is tonight, this vintage wool dress could be perfect for my outdoor Easter wedding.

***If it’s as cold as it is tonight, this vintage wool dress could be perfect for the outdoor wedding I plan to attend Easter weekend.***

Learning the difference between wants and needs is Finance 101. Until we complete that course, we’ll be forever tortured by material things that seem to shout or whisper, “Buy me.” Trust me. I know.

Shopping can become an addiction as crippling as any other. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, work, clothes or food, all addictions come from a place of craving, lack and emptiness. And who among us can’t relate to that? We can choose to listen to a different voice.

Here are four simple questions to ask when you’re about to make a choice that supports an addiction.

  1. What am I feeling right now?
  2. Is this a want or a need?
  3. Is there a healthier alternative that will make me feel better in the long run?
  4. What will happen if I let this craving pass without reacting to it?

There will never be enough alcohol, food, clothes or work to satisfy the hole in our hearts. Until we answer those questions, we’ll remain hungry.

To that end, I want to correct something I said in this post. I said there is no budget option for wedding attire, but there is. It’s called shopping your own closet—because there is no law that requires a new dress, unless, of course, you’re the bride. Even then, it’s debatable.

Last night, I took a new Talbots catalog to bed. I craved this green silk dupioni shirtdress for the wedding I’m attending Easter weekend. I also drooled over these matchy-matchy shoes to wear with another outfit I have. And then it hit me: I already have close facsimiles of these (and many other options) in my closet.

Goldenslipper want have

I don’t need them; I wanted them. Not buying them is part of a commitment I made earlier this year not only to buy less, but to buy vintage and second-hand whenever possible and to question every purchase. It also saved me $350 that I really can’t afford to spend right now. Everybody has a budget. Where’s the shame in that? There’s a new thought!

One of my good friends has lost a significant amount of weight by changing her thoughts about food. Rather than taking it as entertainment or comfort, she thinks of food as fuel. What’s a clever, uplifting thought that helps you avoid the pitfalls of an unhealthy attachment?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.