Word of the last two weeks: Temptation

Must be something in the drinking water. Over these last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself wildly tempted to spend on “wants”. Sometimes my smarter self won, sometimes temptation won.

I think it started when I took off a few days to go up to the rental and do the usual repairs and touch-ups. When I have those kinds of days at the rental, I get what I need to get and do what needs doing. When I repaint, I tend to use the paint colours that are (were) there. I think I purchased 4 gallons of paint. I ordered new flooring. Had to buy new hardware for sliding glass door. Replaced one light fixture. Put privacy film on glass in front door. Repaired a screen. Ate meals out, although all on the cheap. Even had to buy a towel because I forgot to bring one with me, and when I a friend invited me out for lunch I knew a shower was in order. I opened my wallet more on these four days than I have since January.

Sure, I can say it’s all a write-off, which it is. BUT first, I do have to pay for it!

Since then a friend gave me a 40% coupon off any item for Banana Republic. I NEVER shop at Banana Republic, but the coupon encouraged me to drop in. A dress called my name from across the store. Fit like it was made for me. It was hip and sexy. It was also $160 regular price. I didn’t buy it, but it haunted me for days. On the weekend I went back and tried it on again. It was still nice, but I decided that I won’t part with $100 for it.

Meanwhile, for some reason I’ve dropped about 5 lbs over the last few weeks. Never in my life have I uttered those words. Some pants are just too baggy. I gave a few pairs of pants to the local thrift shop. I really don’t need any new pants, but you can be assured I tried on a bunch. No, I didn’t buy any.

I did spend money on two lounge chairs: total cost: $233. The chairs were regularly $130 each, on sale for $99 each at Zellers. I had another 10% coupon I used, which brought the price to $203 with taxes. Then I had to call a van/cab to get me home with them. Add another $30. While I’ve wanted lounge chairs for almost a year, and I’ve never seen any I like for under $200 each until now, this was a want, not a need.

Oh, while I was at Zellers, I picked up two new summer tops, for $17 each.

Neither of these things was in the budget.

While I love the new chairs (so do the cats and the kids), and I’m sure I’ll have years of enjoyment out of them, I wonder if I’ll be reporting a $200 deficit one of these months. If I do, I have nobody to blame but myself.

This has been a good week for me to read some tough and sensible messages from a couple of fellow bloggers.  Jacq at Single Mom, Rich Mom has been talking tough about getting out of debt. She’s talked about hitting rock bottom, and how stupid we can be/have been about money. She’s right. It’s really very simple, this budgeting stuff. It’s not always easy. Her tough talk often causes me to reflect on my own past (and current) stupidity and focus on what needs to be done to get outta debt.

Makky’s Mom at Tay’s Milestones almost has a year under her belt with disciplined budgeting. That year wasn’t all roses and sunshine. The journey, she says, has been “life altering”.

Often, I view this journey to be similar to losing weight. (I’ve lost and kept off 70 pounds over the last decade). In my weight loss journey, there was no straight line to losing weight and keeping it off.  I lost some, gained some, lost some more. Got to a goal, then gained some, then couldn’t lose it, then eventually lost it again. Over the last year or so, I’ve managed to arrive at some “sweet spot” where maintaining my weight is like second nature. I don’t obsess over it, but I pay enough attention to it in order to stay in the right weight zone.

I’ll look forward to finding my financial “sweet spot” and keeping my hands outta the fiscal cookie jar. Perfection isn’t attainable, so I won’t strive for that. I will keep my eyes on my goal. I’m imagining what I might write about it when I can honestly say my line of credit is zero. I’m imagining a little inexpensive dinner out with the girls. I’m excited to identify a new savings goal once the debt is retired. All this discipline can get a bit dull, but the freedom it’ll offer me won’t be dull at all. That’s where I want to go.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I think I confessed this on my blog at some point, but IIRC I didn’t go into a mall / shopping center for 2 years when I was in financial meltdown mode. By the time I did go back (during Christmas), I actually felt agoraphobic, like I was going to have an anxiety attack or something. It was the weirdest thing.

    Now I can go window shopping all the time with friends downtown (never go to malls and prefer never to go to Walmart even unless I’m picking up dog treats) and the thought just doesn’t occur to me to buy anything. I kind of feel sorry for everyone scurrying around with their bags.

    Funny enough though, I will go shopping when I’m on holiday. When we were down on a ski trip in February, I managed to pick up over $500 of clothes for me and the kids at Macy’s for $80. I think I’ve made some little mental rule that I won’t shop for clothes in Canada. The rule works and that’s all that matters I guess. And I’m still living off of the $5,000 worth of clothes I bought for $500 at Lord and Taylor’s going out of business sale in Orlando 3 or 4 years ago. I had to buy an extra huge suitcase for that haul. 🙂


    • We Canucks all must love to shop when we’re in the States! They seem to have far superior sales there! I think I’ll adopt your strategy and just stay out of the mall. I don’t hang out there, but I did find myself browsing around last weekend. Should have picked up a library book instead 🙂

      I’m still thinking I’m the luckiest chick in town. I do see the light at the end of a reasonably short tunnel. Now I’ll just suck it up (since I created this myself) and ride it out. It’s great to have awesome company for the ride – thanks for your words of wisdom Jacq!


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