Confession time: I am really, really effing awful with money. I don’t know what happens – one day my paycheck is there and the next, poof! Gone. On all the stupid things they tell you to watch out for, too, like buying lunch every day or getting Starbucks. That stuff really does add up!
I was thinking about that today when I was driving home, and I was thinking about how I hadn’t written my Monday blog post yet (whoops) when I realized that over the years I have wasted a damned lot of money in the name of spirituality. I think when I was first starting out on my spiritual path, I had this idea that I could fake it till I made it – that is, if I bought the things and had the knowledge that all the soulful babes I followed on Tumblr had, the rest would fall into place. Kind of like how I keep buying cute workout clothes in the hopes it will magically transform me into one of those hot yoga babes… whoops.
In a way, I don’t think that mindset was a total waste – I do think that having a little collection of spiritual items that make me happy has gone a long way towards helping me want to do the soul work needed to call myself “spiritual.” But the key word there is little – and my collection is pretty sizeable.
I wondered how much money I could have saved over time if I had only bought the items that I really feel like I need – the ones that I use all the time and that bring me joy. I added up the totals of the things I never use or that didn’t serve me and it was kind of a doozy. Keep in mind, these purchases were all made over the course of several years and mainly while I didn’t have to pay rent, but still – it kills me to think of how much money I sort of flushed down the drain because I wasn’t smart about my purchases. I’m linking to each thing so you can see what I’m talking about and possibly take the plunge if it seems right for you, but the point is to not spend money on stuff you don’t need, capisce? Don’t be like me – here are the 4 things I wish I hadn’t spent so much money on in the name of ~finding myself.~
1. Tarot and oracle decks
Okay, this one pains me to admit because I really love my deck collection. Once the tarot bug bit me I went on a binge, needing every deck that “called out to me” (aka all the ones I thought looked pretty on the Internet.) While my decks are lovely and I adore using them, to be honest I can’t use any of them as much as they deserve because I just have too many. I have a few favorites that I come back to time and time again and that’s really about it. The prices listed below are the ones I can currently find, since I really don’t remember how much I paid for them at the time!
Decks I just never connected with or didn’t need:
The Cosmos Tarot and Oracle (which I’ve since sold) $35
The Lumina Tarot (also sold) ~$75 after shipping
The Wild Unknown Second Edition (let’s be honest, I didn’t need the first AND second) ~$60 with shipping
The Nomad Tarot $40
Paulina Tarot $17 (gave this one away)
The Victorian Fairy Tarot (I actually adore this deck, but I never use it for some reason) $24
The Oracle of Mermaids $20 (sold)
Myths and Mermaids: Oracle of the Water $20 (given away)
Art Noveau Oracle $10 (given away)
Another one that pains me to admit. I am a BOOK FIEND. I have four bookshelves in my tiny apartment all packed with books. I love books. I love the way they feel and the way they smell, and how you can read them in the bath with a glass of wine and not worry about dropping it in and killing it forever. (I mean, okay, you actually do have to worry about that, but not the same way as with an e-reader.) But one thing I’ve learned is that buying books does not automatically make you an expert in what they’re about – you have to actually read them, too, which takes time. That, and the fact that even if you DO read a book, that doesn’t mean the information will be valuable to you. Sometimes it’s a bunch of hooey.
Don’t get me wrong – maybe you read these books and loved them! Maybe they work for you and that’s awesome. But for me, they no longer fit the spiritual path I decided to pursue, and some of them had a lot of cultural appropriation and misinformation (looking at you, Silver Ravenwolf) and so it was kind of a waste of money to get them in hard copy when a cheaper, digital version would have sufficed. Also, sometimes a Google search gives you all the information you actually want and you don’t need a book at all.
Books I regret purchasing:
The Complete Herbs Sourcebook (I like having this because it makes me feel witchy but I’ve honestly never read it) $12
The New Herb Bible (at least this one was on clearance at B&N) $6
The Ultimate Guide to Herbs (who did I really think I was with all this herb stuff?? I can’t even find this one online anymore) $15
Okay, I’ve been guilty of buying too many journals for my entire life, but especially when it comes to journals for spiritual purposes. God forbid I write about my daily tarot draw in a mere notebook – it has to be a hardcover journal with gold-embossed pages and a ribbon bookmark! And I need another one of those for my astrology notes! And another one for my regular notes! And one for my dream journal! And then a new one because really it was kind of intimidating to write in this really fancy one after all, but I’m just gonna keep it anyway because it looks pretty… See where I’m going with this?
There are really only two in particular that I bought and don’t use for anything, so I’m gonna say this was a total of $30. Which isn’t TOO bad, but like, come on Dana. Get it together here.
Ah, crystals. I mean honestly who DOESN’T want to be surrounded by pretty crystals all the time? It seems like everyone and their mother has a crystal collection, and I decided I needed one, too. Which is fine on the surface – I mean, crystals are really pretty, and they double as decor so it’s not a total waste. But I mean I went CRAZY. Getting tipsy on wine and ordering crystals on the Internet was my Friday night routine for a while (along with reading books in the bath, of course.) But between drunkenly ordering a pound of rose quartz wholesale from Amazon (why????) and not researching sellers beforehand only to have my crystals arrive broken in the mail, some of my purchases were a little ill-advised. Like with tarot decks, there are only a few crystals I use regularly and I would have been perfectly happy if that was the extent of my collection. All in all, I spent about $40 on crystals that I don’t even use, which again, isn’t too bad – but it all adds up, my friend.
All in all, I’ve spent $468 on things I don’t need. Yowza! I wish I could have that nonsense back to use for stuff I DO need (or at least stuff I think I need now and will come to regret later down the line. #Yolo. Kidding.)
What all this taught me: Don’t make impulse purchases. I mean it. If you’ve had more than a sip of wine, close the laptop. Amazon will still be there in the morning, I promise you. Also, EBOOKS ARE YOUR FRIEND. Really think about what you need in hard copy and what you can live with just looking up on the Internet. I could easily have learned about herbs in my area if I really wanted with just a quick Google search; my books about herbs have never been used.
Finally, and most importantly, spirituality is free. While mala beads look gorgeous on Instagram and giant crystal collections might have you drooling, at the end of the day those things aren’t going to fill you up inside. Spirituality comes from connecting with yourself and opening your mind. It’s about learning new things, but also acting on what you’ve learned. Most of all, it’s about living consciously – something I’m seriously trying to incorporate into my budgeting strategies. If you’re eyeing a fluorite wand or you really feel like you want a hard copy of a book you saw, go for it. But remember that you have to do the work, too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry into some (super cheap) ice cream.
Have you purchased anything you regret?
P.S. If you want some FREE ways to incorporate spirituality into your life, check out 8 Little Ways to Be More Spiritual!
(P.P.S. Amazon links are affiliate links! They’re not sponsored – it just means that if you order something, I make a tiny commission. Thanks for your support <3)