[video] Curbing (online) impulse spending

[Watch “Curbing (online) impulse spending” on YouTube; running time 2:24]

What this is:

Having taken quite the hiatus from earning money last year, even dealing with it, you might say, I’ve been getting very serious about becoming a grownup with money. I promise not to turn this blog into a big, long, snoozy preachfest, but as I think of little ideas that might be useful or fun to share, you know I’ll do it. Because that’s how I roll, baby!

In this video, I explain a little browser-bookmark action thingy I do to maintain some control where there might otherwise be impulse spending. Basically, it’s a semi-nerd version of creating a little distance between you and the purchase, to see if you really want it. You’re probably doing this anyway, because you are way smarter about curbing your impulses. As I say in the video, I’m not half-bad at it in real life, outside of bookstores and when there is delicious (legal) food around.

Some notes on this week’s video:

I got all CRA-A-A-AZY with ScreenFlow this time and taught myself two new tricks. See if you can spot ’em! (Just kidding, I learned how to make things bigger and smaller and how to make a spotlight thingy. I feel omnipotent and will probably try to chew through a car bumper now, just for fun.)

The site whose amazing stuff I’m lusting over is Tinkering Monkey. I want that Don lamp so bad I can taste it. (Tastes like car bumper! Rrrrrawr!) But the pendant, now that’s a nice, modest treat a lady could get for herself if she did a really good job at something-something, right?

Sigh. I can point fingers all I want, but I’m as much a product of consumer culture as anyone I’d be pointing at.


UPDATE [03/16/11]: I’ve removed the pendant from the menu bar because (drumroll) my friend Mike Monteiro surprised me with one at SXSW. Thank you, Mike! And I love you, little tinkering monkeys!


  1. A non-video hint of my own: I happen to like the “table” function in most word processors a lot, so if I stumble (no cap on that word) upon A Thing I Must Have, I enter it into the table, complete with cost, shipping cost, and hyper-link, so that I can go drool over it at will. Amazingly, when I do that, the drool dries up over time for most things, and I am left with only those things I really want to live in, around, or with.
    That way, wantin’ ain’t gettin’, and gettin’ ain’t gettin’ me broke.

  2. @Jess — Sorry. I know. Sorry!

    @Vivienne — Another fine solution. As for the car bumpers, I’m really supposed to steep them into a (weak) tea. Playing with fire, I am!

  3. I didn’t know I could make a folder for my menu bar–duh! Thanks for the lesson. I always learn something new from you.

  4. Colleen,

    Great video! I love your tips. Sounds like I need to start a bookmarks folder for things that I want to get, too – although mine will probably end up having a scrollbar. Lately I’ve been using social bookmarking sites such as Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com) and Svpply (http://www.svpply.com) to keep track of stuff I want.

    Well, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for featuring Tinkering Monkey in your video. We just launched this week so it was a very unexpected and lovely surprise.

    Paula Chang

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