I have no snazzy way to introduce my latest confession. And honestly? This is really the first time that I'm admitting it to myself because guess what? It's really hard to deal with on your own.
I? Am a shop-a-holic.
And by that I don't mean that I buy super expensive things and own a bunch of fabulous stuff. That's actually not the case at all. Pretty much the only difference between normal shopping sprees and a real shopping addiction is the fact that finances be damned- you are still out there shopping. And that is definitely me. If I feel bummed out or sad, I shop. If I'm ever bored (which really isn't often), I shop.
Let's say I'm making my weekly trip to Target for house stuff. I'm loaded with coupons and I'm doing really well. If I see something I want (a book, a cd, a shirt, a necklace, a purse, or some other random thing I don't need in my house) I put it in my cart. Then I roll around for awhile, take it out. I should know better- I don't have the extra money. Then I have the ability to talk myself into it and leave the store before I change my mind. I will literally hold something in my hands and pace until I no longer feel guilty about the purchase. If I have an extra $100 in my paycheck? It is gone within hours of my paycheck being deposited. It's like I can't help it.
But usually when I get home and start looking at the things I've bought- I get sick. I'm seriously sick knowing that all the money I just spent I could have used on house stuff. My savings. Whatever.
I can spread $50 over two weeks for necessities like you wouldn't believe. But give me $50 for two weeks of fun stuff? And I feel like Lindsay Lohan being taunted with a crack bowl.
So after watching a show about shopping addiction about two months ago I decided that I had to be done. While I'm not able to completely cut myself off I've given myself an allowance. The rest of what I would have spent needs to go back into the savings. I won't lie- it is AWFUL. I have to avoid some stores because I just can't do it. My next problem is that almost all of my clothes are too big for me. Which is a really nice problem except that I know that I have to gradually buy new pieces. One at a time and for as cheaply as possible.
The one thing I have had a REALLY hard time cutting back on is my scrapbooking stuff. Especially now that my only scrapbook store (we have a Michaels, but it's not as awesome) is closing at the end of this month so that will make that problem a bit easier. But until then? The clearance sales??? Is killing me knowing I could be buying that stuff.
I will admit- seeing my savings account having a positive balance that is steadily climbing DOES help. It is nice having the extra $20 to take the kids for happy meal dates on Fridays. It is really nice to be able to buy a movie and not freak out if I'll have enough gas money for the next week.
But it's hard. It's probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Fortunately, one of my super awesome and wonderful and fabulous blog readers, Amber, surprised me with an entire box of goodies. I almost cried when I opened the box up. She had no idea of what a struggle I've been having since I'm running out of stuff for the kids' scrapbooks so the fact she literally loaded me down with awesome stuff is amazing. I won't lie- my panties were totally wet going through it all.