My spending has been out of control. Again. Which I know I admitted about a month ago (two?) when I did a random but necessary blog post about how I’ve unlearned all the lessons I had learned, but I think it even got worse after that. I know I went into Old Navy and bought pants and a shirt (I didn’t even wait for a SALE!) for like $100, spent about the same amount on new earrings, bought a bunch of new things for the girls for summer (even though summer HAS NOT ARRIVED YET HERE IN ALBERTA) and was planning to order a bunch of new jewelry when the line launch came out on Friday, even though I haven’t sold a BEAN from my “business” in like a year…
So I need to go back to rehab. I just re-read my post from January 2018 that said I was going to do three months of consumables only, and that might be a good shock-therapy start. We are still living on one income since the baby is only 5 months old and I can’t realistically go back to work yet. He doesn’t need me need me as he’s been on formula/bottles for about a month now, but he’s still sooo little, I can’t bear to leave him yet. Also, I’ve been considering what I really want to do with my life (if you stick around I do this about every six months or so and come up with something new to try for a while. So far I’ve tried editing courses, I took a psychology course to see if I’d want to teach that…I almost applied for a nursing degree…)and considering going back to the old dream of being an English academic. This, as you will realize, costs money. Money that I am currently spending, on stuff.
And I struggle, because I loooooove shopping, I love getting a new thing in the mail, I love the “freedom” to just pick up what I want when I want it. Whatever it is, clothes for me, for the girls, for Sebastian (the baby), earrings, purses, shoes. It all brightens up a time that has been incredibly difficult for me. I have been at home, not working, for two full years now. That was never the plan. And it’s HARD. Being home with a four year old, a newborn, and a very precocious and busy 6 year old has been HARD. And I cheer myself up via shopping. Too bad I’m not an exercise addict instead of a shopping addict, then I’d have a six pack instead of a lot of jewelry. But realizing that as my kids get busier, their activities get more expensive, and we have less and less money for STUFF has had a big impact on me. I’m the reason we don’t have enough for their activities. It’s my spending that’s making my husband so stressed out, and making him question whether we have enough so that the 6 year old can do all the dancing she wants. That’s on me. And my earrings. And my purses. And my online shopping addiction. How embarrassed and ashamed do I feel?
I started reading this book that talked about “opportunity costs” which means that if you spend $100 on earrings (for example) then what is the cost of that in terms of other opportunities? For me that’s almost a month’s worth of dancing fees for my girls. A months worth of dancing is worth more to me than earrings, but I hadn’t ever looked at it that way before. SO it’s a two-pronged approach:
1. Look at how much things cost me in “opportunity cost”. If I spend this, what am I taking away from my kids?
2. Cheering myself up in other ways like exercise, fresh air, and possibly taking a graduate level English class and start moving towards a career away from my children so that I’m not facing ten plus years of drudgery/stay at home mom-life which is usually what makes me reach for my shopping. (This mayyy include cutting down my instagram use significantly as this is where I find allll the things I want. Leopard print earrings, shoes, the latest jewelry trends, allllll on instagram in one handy place.)
I’m still panicking internally about this, by the way. And likely will for some time. Do it for the children Meaghan, DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!!!