What’s your gazingus pin?

I could have sworn I already did a post on this.  But I was trying to type up a tiny rant and wanted to link to it and I could not find it!  (Right now I’m thinking it was a post on a forum and not on the blog.)  And the tiny rant won’t make as much sense if you don’t know what a gazingus pin is.  So this post is so a future post makes more sense.  :)  Also, it’s an awesome idea by itself, thanks go to the book Your Money or Your Life for initially posing it.

A gazingus pin is something that you just buy.  You may not have it in that color.  You may not have quite that flavor.  You tend to have a lot of them, far more than you really need, and sometimes you may even have more than you can use.  Common examples are flavored lip balm, or shoes, or yarn.  Alternatively they could be the latest electronic thing, or power tools, and so on.  They’re tiny pleasures, but if overdone, the pleasure can be diluted because it has become a habit more than a treat.  And sometimes they’re not so tiny pleasures because the gazingus pin in question is expensive or the sheer quantity of pins adds up disproportionate to a person’s budget.  When either one of those scenarios happen, it’s a good idea to think mindfully about the spending habit and maybe even cut back on it.

At grumpy rumblings, it’s pretty obvious that both of us have the same gazingus pin:  books.  And this isn’t a habit that we’re willing to give up.  However, it’s a habit we can afford.  We don’t let it interfere with maximizing our individual utilities subject to our budget constraints.  We also put book-wants on our Amazon lists rather than just buying them.  Using the Amazon list in this way, btw, is a form of delaying gratification to get only what you really want— a month or so before Christmas or her birthday, #1 will cut out the books she didn’t really want, thus limiting the total number of book purchases.  Eventually all those books will get read and/or reread.

What’s your gazingus pin?  Are you buying the right amount of it?

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50 Responses to “What’s your gazingus pin?”

  1. NoTrustFund Says:

    Books for me, too. And it’s gotten worse since having prime and now that it’s winter. I buy books much faster than I can read them.

    It used to also be cashmere sweaters. But that was back when I was single with lots of disposable income. And you could get nice ones for less than $100. Now the sweaters are more expensive, I have more expenses and savings goals and thy are not as fun to wear when dealing with baby spit up and runny noses on little ones who like to be carried. So I’ve pretty much gone cold turkey on those. And I’m just as happy. Maybe happier.

  2. graduateliving Says:

    Cardigans. It’s silly, but I have one in almost every color. I get excited for new ones. It’s a running joke in the family and with my friends that my mother, sister, and I are queens of cardigans – too bad I don’t live near them anymore so I can swap with them (since we’re all the same size).

    I would say books if I wasn’t still reading 1,000+ pages a week for coursework, but at this point going to BN is depressing since whatever I pick up I won’t be able to read until May (at the earliest!)

  3. TodayWendy Says:

    Definitely used to be books for me, but then I realized that I was prioritizing reading the library books because they had to go back, so that if I really wanted to read a particular book I was better off getting it from the library. I did it with yarn too, until I had so much that it was stressing me out, so I stopped buying that for a year and made a pretty serious dent in the stash and it made me feel so much better. Now I think I’ve started doing it with tea, but that’s partly because I’m experimenting with a ton of different types to figure out what I like instead of just drinking Earl Grey all the time. But I think my husband would be happier if our cupboard wasn’t full of little bags of tea…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have an entire shelf of tea stuff, even though my partner is on a coffee kick (and I can’t have caffeine)… hm…

    • hush Says:

      “Definitely used to be books for me, but then I realized that I was prioritizing reading the library books because they had to go back, so that if I really wanted to read a particular book I was better off getting it from the library.” Yes, THAT. That’s the exact realization I had about 3 weeks ago. But I love my books and I will keep buying them, especially when they’re $1 at a thrift store, because as n&m said “Eventually all those books will get read and/or reread.”

  4. Debbie M Says:

    Books, whooshy skirts, mugs, yarn, sewing patterns, fabric, and t-shirts USED to be gazingus pins. I still check out too many books at libraries, but it’s not so scary now that they can be renewed online (even if you can’t find the book–oiks). Otherwise, I don’t think I have any anymore. Oh, except free snacks. When they are around, yum. Which is a big part of why I weigh too much.

  5. First Gen American Says:

    Fleece jackets and blazers.
    I’ve kicked the overdosing on book habit, but that tends to go hand in hand with new hobbies and I haven’t had time for new hobbies lately.

  6. Linda Says:

    I think these days it may be blogs in my Google Reader. ;-)

    I’ve slowed way down on yarn purchases. When I first started knitting I was into collecting yarns that were just interesting fibers. I have a pretty big stash full of stuff that I will likely never use, so I am determined to start selling some of it off.

    While I love to read, I’m doing pretty good controlling the number of books I queue up, but I just seem to keep adding new blogs to my reading list!

  7. Rumpus Says:

    Drinks of various sorts. I’ll buy/order drinks based on the name or an ingredient or the color, or pretty much anything. I think I’m a drink enthusiast, especially root beers or anything with caffeine. The drinks themselves aren’t so bad because they don’t require storage space, but I’ll buy things to make drinks like tea pots and coffee grinders and such. Equipment purchases aren’t automatic buys though.

    • Rumpus Says:

      That reminds me that last time I was at a vaguely snooty place I got an elderberry infused drink and when I ordered it the waiter gave me a disdainful look. After trying it, I decided he was right and I deserved the disdainful look…but then why did they have it on the menu?

  8. undinenotofgeneralinterest Says:

    Apps. Apps that do the same thing as other apps that I already have (like writing apps). And fountain pens.

  9. chacha1 Says:

    Oh, yeah, books. :-) I had close to 2000 at one point and I am prepared to estimate that 30% of them were unread.

    Finally got the better of that. I am on a pretty strict 1 in = 1 out policy with physical books, and I don’t buy books for the Kindle unless I have fewer than a dozen unread, which means I have some serious reading to do before I download any more. I am reading through physical books and getting them out of the house. It’s not that I love books (and reading) any less, I just hit a point at which I was unwilling to devote any more of our living space to the books.

    Also: gemstones. I have a whole drawer full of semiprecious specimens, most of which were acquired with the idea of using them in art/jewelry projects, but the collection outgrew my production years ago. I could conceivably catch up by the time I’ve been retired for 5-10 years. Again, I hit a wall: did I want to be a rock COLLECTOR? Um, no. So, no new rocks.

    Also: beads. I have recently sorted through my mind-boggling collection with the intent of selling off some of the stash. If I haven’t used something in the past twenty years, there is very little likelihood I will use it in the next. With these at least I have actually determined that a few pieces are so rare and/or make me so happy that I will never use them because I simply want to keeeeep them my precioussss, but the vast bulk of things are to be USED, dammit.

    All of this said, I have to avoid places in which I might reasonably expect to be tempted to buy books, or rocks, or beads. Because they are shiny and delicious and I want them.

  10. bogart Says:

    Bags. Which is funny because if you saw me and my bags you would not think, “Wow, she is really into bags!” (Purses, backpacks, suitcases, hip pouches, reusable grocery bags…). But that’s because I rarely (actually) find a bag I like better than my current bag(s). I know my problem is that I’m seeking to defy the laws of physics (I want something that’s physically tiny but holds everything although it weighs nothing, even full. Especially full!), and briefly, was similarly afflicted WRT baby carriers (but that’s behind me now, at least until the grandkids roll in!).

    On a positive note, I have found something almost perfect in one category: Envirosax grocery bags

    • Linda Says:

      Yes! I have this thing about bags, too. Maybe that’s my real gazingus pin!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’m thinking it’s about time to retire the 7 year old conference bag I’ve been using to carry my work around…

      • bogart Says:

        I keep my computer bag even though its over-the-shoulder strap (attachment, not the actual strap) argh: broke. Because I like the bag better than any other (and haven’t found similar, and it’s no longer sold). Just because of how its laptop pocket positions the laptop! See, I am obsessive! I recently talked my work into buying a tablet I get to use, so I’m no longer carting the laptop — or the bag — around, so much. Though I’m still getting used to the tablet. We’ll see.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Could you sew on a new strap?

    • Leah Says:

      I love Envirosax grocery bags too! I just have one, and I have held off on buying more because I have plenty of other reusable bags. But I’d love nothing more than to buy, say, 6 or 8 envirosax and completely get rid of every other reusable bag we have.

      • bogart Says:

        I don’t use our other bags. Therefore, I am justified in buying Envirosax bags (no?). I gave our other bags to Goodwill! Amazon has the Rosa 5-pack (not my preferred prints, but maybe yours), a set of 5, for ~$34, free shipping. Just sayin’!

  11. oilandgarlic Says:

    Pillows.
    I would have said books long ago, but the library cured me of that. I also love magazines but have a free subscription rule so I don’t feel too bad about these.

  12. Practical Parsimony Says:

    I love books, but had too many for my seven bookcases. I don’t really mind them lying around, but my available room for them was lessening. So, I got rid of all classics I had read. Shakespeare went. So, did many others. I kept books that I won’t find at used book stores and have only bought one book since I got rid of 800 books a few years ago. Ten books each day were culled until every book fit on the seven bookcases.

    Sewing fabric and notions were a passion. I was a prolific sewer, but an injury slowed the sewing, halted it. However, I continued to purchase material. After two or three years of purchases and no sewing, I finally came to my senses and quit buying sewing notions and material.

    Lamps were all over the house waiting for me to restore and for new handmade lamp shades I make. When I was no longer doing this fulltime, I got rid of dozens of lamps. I still make a lamp shade now and then, but all the lamps I really want for my own are boxed and stored. The rest are gone.

    Serving dishes are another favorite. Each Christmas, I buy at least one as a gift to myself. I get rid of a cheap serving dish or one i have had and do not like. All the antiques and the new ones stay. This year, i purchased a 8″ square, footed cake/dessert stand.

    For years, I collected A&W Root beer mugs. When antique dealers realized I would buy anything they found, the prices went from a quarter to ten dollars. So, that temptation is now gone.

    I still cannot resist tiny spreaders that i find in boxes of four at yard sales or on sale tables in nicer stores. They are tiny, easily stored and make great gifts for others when I give them hot pepper jelly I canned. Since I cannot walk far or stand much, I seldom buy those.

    That leaves me with practically zero book purchases. The library is two blocks away. I don’t sew, and I never buy fabric. No lamps follow me home. The mugs are out of my price range and desire. I find few spreaders and buy one serving dish a year.

    I never heard of a gazingus pin.

  13. Virginia Says:

    I used to have stupid thing about candles…

  14. Steph Says:

    Books for me. Tea, too, as I was reminded by several comments above.

    I really want to say that a grad student budget and schedule has helped limit my spending on books…but it hasn’t. I could definitely spend more, and I’ve made good use of the library for books, but nonetheless I’ve spent more than I probably should. One thing I’m actually not doing very often anymore is used book shopping. I tend to buy too many used books because “they’re cheap” and “if I don’t buy it now it might not be there again”. I purged >50 books this summer that I’d bought and never read. Now my rule is that I only buy a book if I know I’ll read it then, and I buy one at a time. So I usually pick out specific books that I knew I wanted ahead of time; I’m getting better about spontaneous purchases.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I still have unread books from similar sprees. I really need to finish going through them. Sometimes there are some real gems, but a lot of them really aren’t worth reading if I haven’t read them already.

    • chacha1 Says:

      Steph, when I lived in Atlanta, my primary entertainment was hanging out at Oxford Books. Used bookstores now are a definite No Go!

  15. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Hats: baseball caps and winter beanies. I have dozens of each, many of which I’ve never worn. Because of course I always wear the same few that are my favorites!

  16. Leah Says:

    Reading the comments made me realize one: jewelry. Specifically, necklaces. I don’t change my earrings (just have one pair I adore and wear constantly), and I only wear my wedding ring. Bracelets are fun but a summer time thing, as I don’t like them interfering with sleeves. But necklaces? I love those.

    I mostly get them as gifts, thankfully, but I still own an awful lot. And I don’t have the heart to cull them, somehow, even though I have ones I have never, ever worn. I look at ladies in magazine pics wearing funky necklaces, and I think “I could pull that off.” In reality, I have a number that I love and rotate through regularly — maybe 6 or 8? And I have a set of 6 or so that are fancy ones that I pull out several times a year and love wearing.

    Man, gazingus pins are tricky, aren’t they?

  17. rented life Says:

    hmmm…books and music, I think. With each I’m far more selective than my husband, because there’s so much I own that I haven’t read yet and because mom and I are pretty good about book swapping so that makes my reading list even longer. (Some of her books have moved with me a few times…oooops) Husband is a collector of certain books. I could also say necklaces because every time I do a major wardrobe shopping trip I buy a necklacae. But I also wear them. I wish others understood my taste though because the few gift ones I have I haven’t worn.

    Thankfully I’m pretty good about making sure we don’t go crazy, but my husband in a discount book store can be dangerous. We save up for those trips.

  18. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    I thought of another one… sets. I have a hard time not buying sets of things or completing sets. For example, I was seriously tempted to put that set of cloth grocery bags on my amazon wishlist, not because I need 5 cloth grocery bags, but because it was a set. (In the end, I didn’t. We’ll keep with the conference bags for groceries until they finish falling apart.)

  19. Marcia (123 blog) Says:

    what a fun post!

    Definitely books – I still do it, but now they’re Kindle so I don’t see the complete madness physically taking up my space. I have a goal on my 38 things list to get 5 shelves down to 3. I’m nearly 38.5 (next week) and I’m down one shelf to 4. But I don’t think this one will get done.

    I used to be like that about watches until I realised exactly how crazy I was being. I now have two or three that I wear :)

    But handbags are my real gazingus pin – I buy them all the time and I love them all. i have 3 yellow (my latest craze), 3 grey (another craze), 3 blue/ teal and about 3 red. Then TONS in other colours. I change them a couple of times a week – it’s madness. I do however, declutter regularly. Late last year I sold 10 and I probably need to go through them again :)

  20. Carnival of Personal Finance: In the Name of Love and Money Edition Says:

    […] from Grumpy Rumblings of the Half Tenured presents What’s your gazingus pin?, and says, “Nicole and Maggie explain the concept of gazingus pins and what yours […]

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