I have a confession to make…

30 Jul

I have a problem.  With shopping.  Most of the time I can control it.  In fact, 85% or more of the time you would think the opposite – that I am tight-fisted and even downright cheap.  The majority of the year I don’t buy myself a single thing – not one piece of clothing, not even a soda or bag of peanuts at a convenience store – nothing.  I save nearly every extra penny that I have.

The normal exception to the rule is the month or two leading up to Christmas.  I generally can’t control myself when it comes to buying gifts for the people that I love.  I have always prided myself on thinking things through and finding the perfect gift for each person – something they would treasure, something that fits their personality or interests, something they have probably wanted but just didn’t splurge on for themselves.  I would also make sure that all of my gifts were wrapped up really pretty and had a special feel.  No cop-out gift bags allowed!  Sometimes half of the fun is unwrapping a gorgeous gift, anticipating what may be inside, and seeing a peek, just the corner, before revealing the prize.

The last few months, though, I have blown all of that out of the water.  I made my Christmas spending last year look like a minor blip.  Even at Christmas-time I usually don’t raid my savings.  I’m just not putting all of my spare cash in there like normal.  This time around it is a whole new ballgame.

Here are some examples.  In the last month and a half I have spent probably $400 at Victoria’s Secret alone.  Yeah.  Damn you semi-annual sale!  I have spent $530 at my chiropractor and need a “refill” for my next 10 adjustments of another $530.  I spend a few hundred on a new tattoo and piercing, and I plan to spend another few hundred on another tattoo soon.  I have spent over $1,000 on my diet products and paraphernalia (scales – both for food and my body, shakes, juice, diet drops, multi-vitamins, specialty products like coconut oil, green tea, etc.), not counting the food.  Eating healthy is way more expensive!  I am the queen of deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, Woot, and others.  I have spent money on t-shirts, kitchen gadgets, clothes, shoes, and more.  When I see something I like or want, I just buy it.  I have never been like this ever.

My husband’s birthday is also coming up really soon.  He isn’t someone who does a lot for birthdays (a point of contention with us in the past), so he also doesn’t expect a lot.  He would be happy with a “Happy Birthday” and a kiss.  I just cannot accept that.  I have to do more.  It is a compulsion.  I don’t even know how much money I have spent already on his birthday, mostly because I don’t want to know.  Everything I have gotten he will use, he will love, and he has either talked about wanting or fits in with his current interests.  That’s not really the point, though, is it?

This is a new experience for me.  It is a new feeling.  Not caring how I spend my money, getting whatever I want, indulging myself, splurging without guilt.  Well, not entirely without guilt.  I wouldn’t be writing this otherwise, right?  I know I am worth it, but does really mean I need to spend it?  I know the answer is a resounding “no.”  Still, when I get a new email from Victoria’s Secret or Yankee Candle or Amazon, I can’t help but look.  And when I find that next thing I want, I may just go ahead and buy it.

When I take a hard look at all of this I know it is just another way to make myself feel better.  It’s a self-esteem thing as much as it’s about the “stuff.”  Do I really make myself feel better in the long run by spending money?  No.  Because at heart, I am a saver.  I feel good when I have security.  When I have a “back-up plan.”  When I can open up my savings book and see a lot of zeros.  At the same time, it does feel good to be a little out of character.  To think about myself first, for once, and not worry about “what ifs.”  It feels nice not being the “responsible one” all of the time.  Now I can see the draw of being a bit reckless and rash.

I think what I need to find is a little balance.  Some moderation.  I’ve officially decided that I am done with my shopping for Mr. Mess’s birthday.  I also deleted an email from Victoria’s Secret this morning without checking out the cute dresses that they have on sale right now.  I am trying to stop when I have the urge to buy and see what’s really behind that impulse.  Feel whatever it is I am feeling.  Give myself an hour and see if I still want it.  So far so good.

I don’t think I’m going to go a year anymore without buying anything for myself, though.  That’s too frugal.

I need balance… Just not this kind.


14 Responses to “I have a confession to make…”

  1. letterstotheotherwoman July 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Had a terrible morning that included leaving my office in tears and an emergency counseling session. Where did I end up on my way home? Macy’s. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I’ve been comforting myself with food recently (the only thing I miss about D-day is the wonderful effect of the A diet), and I did NOT want to go up a size, so I didn’t buy much. Deliberately avoided the shoes. 😉

    • beautifulmess7 July 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Yeah, I think that’s why shopping has increased lately… I have been decreasing my dependence on my other crutch – food – by going on a diet and eating healthier.

  2. Ariella July 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Sometimes we need to splurge on ourselves at times. I am guilty of shopping as well! I do believe that you can splurge as long as you have your bills paid! Why not? We only live once right? No, but seriously, sometimes you just have to do something for yourself. And yes, it is about boosting your self esteem. I go through splurge phases. Usually after John cheated I would go out on a shopping spree. In a sick way, it would make me feel better. My weakness? Purses and sunglasses. It used to be shoes, but in my business now it is more casual so I don’t wear heels anymore. As long as your spending is not affecting your financial stability, I say go ahead! If you are a saver, there is no way you are going to lose control and all your savings. Sometimes we just need it to be all about us!

  3. Hope July 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    I am trying to simplify my stuff – clothes and the like. I can buy anything I want but over the years I realize that it doesn’t make me happy. However, I also realize that it’s terrible to save (especially for others to spend on prostitution). Therefore my philosophy is that buy whatever makes you happy but do it for yourself and your own happiness. And keep your savings balanced – you need the money for your future as well.

  4. Summer July 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Good for you!!! You deserve it and if it makes you feel good……. Even better!!! Enjoy

    • beautifulmess7 July 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Thanks! It is nice to have a little affirmation and realize I really haven’t done anything THAT crazy. It’s not like I’m dropping thousands on designer handbags or something.

      • Wendy July 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

        Oooh…there’s an idea. *shame on me!* Purses are my weakness.

  5. Wendy July 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I have an issue with spending money, too. It seems that every time we have a little extra, I can never put it in savings. I HAVE to find something to spend it on. This has really hurt us over the years because we never had any savings. And when the housing market went to shit, it greatly affected my husband’s business. OUCH. We had no security…no cushion. Because of that, I have learned how to live frugally, save when I can and not buy things I don’t need. I have also learned how to coupon very well! 🙂

    But, you do have to treat yourself once in a while. Unsubscribe from the newsletters and when you WANT to look, go to their site. They post the same deals there. That way you don’t have the temptation to over-spend. And you won’t feel bad if you didn’t snag up that awesome deal they posted to lure you in.

    • beautifulmess7 July 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Couponing! Definitely! Even when I splurge on myself I rarely do it unless I’m getting a great deal! 🙂 You should have seen the haul I got for the money I spent at Victoria’s Secret. I went through my top drawer and tossed a ton of stuff. If was like a completely new underwear wardrobe – including some fancy, pretty stuff.

      It probably is a good idea to unsubscribe to the emails. I’m not sure I have that will-power, but I will try.

      • Wendy July 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

        Oh I bet you have all kinds of new goodies! I would love to replace a lot of things in my entire wardrobe, but since we moved across several states last month, we need to get adjusted financially.

        • beautifulmess7 July 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

          Yeah. I understand that. I think part of this little binge might be how extremely tight our finances were there for a while. Mr. Mess was unemployed for a bit, then under-employed, and now we are getting back into the regular swing of things. That means a lot of “extra” money for me.

  6. A Dog With Fleas July 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I think you owe it to yourself to splurge a litte on yourself after all that you’ve been through. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It doesn’t sound like it is an everyday habit, and sometimes we just need to reward ourselves. <>

    • beautifulmess7 July 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Yeah. I agree that sometimes I deserve a reward. I think I might have gone a bit overboard, though. Still, I’m in a really good place financially, so I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m just going to rein in the spending a bit.

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