Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Off the wagon?

I had run out of a few "necessities" and thought I'd walk up street to the drugstore. Facewash. yes. Pads. yes.  Deodorant. check.  Maybe some lip liner. On sale. Lipstick. Why not. But let's add hair color, dexatrim, 5 hour energy, and razors. It came to $90.02. Really? Now I'm looking at the receipt and see I was charged 9.99 for something called SGL Brothers? What? So, on one hand I'm annoyed that I spent that much (the dexatrim was expensive, but I am constantly hungry); on the other hand, I'm annoyed that I was charged for something I didn't buy. How did I not notice that? Ugh. Back to the store.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

it's like crack

Money spent lately: plane ticket for my son, chocolate for Easter, chocolate for a prank, lunch for myself and a co-worker (burger and fries, no less. and it was bad. Bleah!), 3 books from a used book sale ($5).

Was it worth it? Some of it. Definitely not the burger. But I haven't bought a thing on Amazon, so I'm pretty proud of that. I don't take cash out when I'm at the grocery store. I try to leave my cards at home. I've been bringing my lunch (except for today). Not perfect. Not great. I'll get there.

Friday, April 15, 2011

working for the weekend

There's something I would like to do tomorrow, but I know if I leave the house I'll spend money. OK then. No dessert until you eat your vegetables. You made your bed, now lie in it. A penny saved...... I'm sure there are more adages (?) I can add.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I gave in

I got another membership solicitation from my favorite NPR station, which I listen to regularly. I'm so annoyed that congress (yes, little "c") is considering cutting funding. So I caved. I saw the email (cue guilt trip) and did it. And naturally not the minimum- no, no. Must be big spender. Good-by $100. Trade one guilt trip for another. Nice job keeping the balance.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hanging in there

So far, so good. Sooooo difficult. Haven't bought anything online. Or anywhere. Feeling good.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And lead us not into temptation

Taxes will be less than I had set aside. Thus leaving a nice chunk for me to fantasize about.  Ignore it. Ignore it. Continue with the plan. I've convinced my son to start listing things on eBay and Amazon. He can keep 50% of the selling price. De-cluttering and making money at the same time. I hope it works.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 3- laziness

Used my debit card to buy lunch. Had the same food at the house, but didn't assemble it. So I wasted $6.00 on tuna, lettuce, bread (purchased separately and assembled at work), chips and a drink. Really? I have got to get my act together.

Hubby has a share in a recreational vehicle. Three people takes turns using said vehicle over the year. Hubby has already paid his share and now the "owner" says the vehicle needs major repairs and can't afford to fix it. Normally hubby would say he would pitch in to help, but there is no money to help- because I've been spending it. On $6.00 lunches. Sometimes $10. Yesterday it was $15. And I tipped a coat check girl $2. It just slips through my fingers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The cc balance is really more like 18k. In addition to that reality, yesterday I made a payment on braces and they said I had a balance of $400 something. I said "are you sure? I have two accounts here." Oh yes, was the reply. Today...the phone call. So sorry. The balance is really $2355. Thanks. Just thanks.

These were the words the financial aid office said to me when I was in college. "Here's your student loan check. But you're all paid up." "Are you sure?" Yes. Adamantly yes. But it wasn't true. And I spent the check on lots of Christmas presents. Two years in a row.

I don't blame anyone. I'm bad at getting things in writing. Like the raise I was promised. Or the time I worked for some guy and he forgot to pay me. I trust people are telling me the truth. It's strange, but I am a cynical optimist.

Day two- damn

I was driving in to work and thinking about money- like always. How to keep track of all the spending. Just when I think I have everything recorded, something else pops up. College textbooks. Arg. Prescriptions. Arg. Not cheap stuff. I use Quicken to keep track and send me reminders. But fuel for three cars doesn't pop up. We're also planning a wedding and that is a constant shopping opportunity. Then I look at my house. Fix the bathroom. Landscape the yard. Lose weight (yes, I've gained weight which means I need new clothes). Or I could just get off the couch and mooooove. Find a different job that pays more? How about just doing a better job at this job. Oh the guilt. Constant. Constant. Constant. Say a prayer. Ask God for help. Breathe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day One

My name is not really Ann and I'm a shopaholic. To the detriment of my family, my marriage, my faith, my financial well-being, to my future and to my own mental health.

I have a large family, lots of friends, and lots of hobbies. I spend on all of them and then spend on myself. When the Amazon update shows up in my email, I feel a spark. What now? Amazon's logorithms have me figured out. A new craft book? A new business book? Something for the kitchen, perhaps?

My daughter recommended I start this blog as a way to deal with my issue. She is brilliant and said the most amazing thing to me: If you can see a therapist to stop crying, why not see a therapist to stop spending?

Stop. Spending. I have tried for so many years. It's in me. I remember being little a having a quarter and desperately needing to trade it for something, anything. One time I spent 75 cents on a cake topper that was for a 25th wedding anniversary. Why? What was the point? I was about ten years old. You can't leave the house without bringing something home. And you have to buy five of them, because... you just never know.

Each time I run up the credit cards, my husband is unaware. Then it finally comes out. He's angry. I'm guilty. He's the hard worker. I'm the spender. We could have gone here or done this, but now we can't because we have to pay off the cards. I try desperately to keep it under control, but it never works. Refinance the house. Take out a home improvement loan. Borrow against the 401k. And load up the cards again while paying off the previous debt. So much guilt. It's like being unfaithful. Cheating. With money. The hiding. The lying. The cover up. The pressure to be good. The high of getting a package in the mail.

We didn't have much growing up. I was afraid to ask for thing, because my mom was always complaining about money. So I got a job and didn't save a dime. I spent it on myself, since no one else would. I spent it on other people. I blew my student loan- twice. Twice.

I have many interests which (I believe) require me to buy all of the supplies. Which I never use. or rarely. I celebrate when I actually finish something. I stare at it for a long time. But I can't remember ever doing a project that I didn't run out and buy something for it.

So today I semi-publicly declare that I will get rid of the $15k I have managed to charge. I will avoid Michael's and AC Moore and Amazon and Ebay. I will distract myself from the email alerts and advertising that tempt me. I can do this. I have to do this.