I did something really dumb that cost me $750. It’s so dumb, I’m a little embarrassed to even tell you about it.

That was the price tag on my fancy schmancy progressive eyeglasses. I went for the pricey frame and all the bells and whistles because I do enjoy seeing well. But if you’ve ever worn the “progressive” style of lense, you know that they are not 100% awesome. So I have a second pair I call my computer glasses. That means I am switching back and forth quite often.

The pair I’m not wearing I jam in my purse. I also enjoy carrying a fairly large nail file in there, the kind that has fine sandpaper on both sides — the kind that can sand the finish right off polycarbonate lens material used in eyeglasses.

Yep, that’s what I did. And yes, I do have a great eyeglass case that holds two pair of glasses, but it’s annoying to take the time to find it and then open it to switch out the glasses.

I don’t know how many times I jammed those pricey progressives in my purse and scraped them up against that nail file. What I do know is the scratches became so severe, those $750 glasses were ruined. And because the frames were unique, replacing the lenses was more costly than starting over with more sensible frames.

That bad habit hurt so bad, I had to have a little talking-to with myself. This is ridiculous! You have a case, stop whining, dump the excuses already and use it!

The first day I had the new glasses I thought I was going to go mad. But I forced myself to find the case, to take the time to open it, switch out the glasses and then replace the case in a spot in my purse that would hopefully become quite handy. It was awkward and time consuming.

The second day, same thing. Still annoying.

Third day, not so bad. Fourth day, don’t remember.

Fifth day, voila! It started to feel quite natural.

After three weeks, I am home free. I do the find-switch-replace thing so automatically, I don’t even think about it. I always know where my computer glasses are and I always know where my progressives are, too. And since my case holds two pairs of glasses, I always know where my sunglasses are, too. And I still carry my nail file in the same place.

This expensive episode has reinforced for me the power of habit — doing something so often it becomes almost automatic. When it’s a bad habit, well, that’s bad. But turning things around to intentionally developing good, wholesome, life-improving habits — it is truly amazing. And might I add, the power of habit is free.

The power of habit is something all of us possess if we will but draw upon it. Anything you wish to change or adopt into your life can be done by creating a new habit or breaking an old one. Think about it!

Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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