Emotional spending

I’m preparing for my Weight Watchers meeting this week. The theme is emotional eating. I’m often drawn to the parallels between managing weight and managing money.

Any of us who have had weight issues have struggled with emotional eating. Hey, there are times I still do. I just do it less than I used to.

Over the last few weeks, I’m wondering if my emotional spending is as under control as my emotional eating is. I feel like I’ve been a bit of a spend thrift lately. As you know, lately I’ve also been under a fair amount of stress with illness in my house, lots of stuff going on at work, and just general fatigue. How does one run away from it all? Buy something.

I think it started with the $100 my Mom gave me for Christmas. Normally, my parents and I don’t exchange Christmas gifts of any magnitude. For whatever reason, Mom decided to surprise me this year. The cool brown bill came with a note “buy yourself something you wouldn’t normally buy”. The cool $100 led me to Danier, where I purchased a little black leather purse on sale that I’d been eyeing up for some time. It came in a $111. I love my new black purse.

Then I realized that my new black purse didn’t really go with my brown winter coat. Wasn’t it a miracle that The Bay had coats on sale one weekend, 70% off, and more still when you used your HBC card? Well, that little black winter coat for $60 was just too good to pass up. Another customer and I in line both agreed the coats were simply too cheap to leave them there. Weren’t we great little shoppers?

Imagine how ridiculous my brown winter boots looked with this ensemble? Remarkably, Mark’s Work Wearhouse had a “buy one at clearance, get another item 70% off the clearance price”. Sure do like my new black winter boots.

All this to say, I’ve been on a bit of a spending spree of late. I’m pretty convinced it’s emotional spending. I’m trying to make myself feel less tired, more appreciated, a bit pampered. Sure, I can give you a rational justification for almost any of it. I could have done that with my emotional eating too.

With my take home pay decreased (as I move from independent contractor to employee), I haven’t picked a particularly opportune time to go off on a little shopfest. My income for my part-time gig at Weight Watchers is likely to increase a bit because we’re pretty busy these days, but still, I have to nip this in the bud.

Last January my resolve was absolute. This January, I see myself closer to my goal (line of credit at zero) and I’m feeling a little cocky. I’m also realizing that I don’t have a cushion (yet) for repairs needed to the house this spring (soffit, facia and eavestrough). Will I need to dip into my line of credit to do that? How will I resolve that in my head if I get to zero, or almost to zero and have to take out more cash?

Over the next few days, I’ll add up the damage of my spending spree, and rejig the budget some more. The difference this time is I won’t keep on this path of destruction. I’m getting off now and getting back to making progress. As I told my daughter yesterday, there is no perfect – there is only progress.

I won’t beat myself up for these infractions, but I will get focussed again on my broader goals. Being debt free is not the default position – it is the result of contined behaviors that we used to arrive there in the first place. This week, I plan on remembering that, and getting back my resolve of January 2010.

 

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6 responses to this post.

  1. I completely sympathize, both from the money point of view and the weight point of view. All it takes is one chink in the armor of resolve and a week later you find yourself several pounds up and several dollars short.

    Reply

    • Hey Jolie,
      Seems I can recover my weight issues faster than my money issues. My weight issues usually only impact me. When it comes to money, I’m mindful as the sole provider that any “spree” I have impacts my family.

      With eating, I get that one has to have treats. I seem to be able to do that within reason. With spending, not sure I’ve arrived yet. Hey, with eating it took years of practice, not sure why I wouldn’t think this would be any easier!

      Reply

  2. And this is how you spend your holidays? lol! I don’t think your spree was too bad (this coming from someone who bought a new winter coat (reg. $148 on sale for $45, I mean really…) plus a hat to match (luckily I already had matching gloves and my black purse and boots go well with the grey coat) AND while the hat wasn’t marked ON SALE it was half off when I got to the cashier so how about that! That was my gift to myself (I think this is where we say “we’re worth it”) but we know better. Oh well, it could have been worse…it could have been a cruise!!

    Reply

    • LOL @ cruise. Thankfully, a cruise doesn’t tempt me. Although it’s about the only thing!

      Was that you standing in line beside me at The Bay? 🙂 Well congrats to us both on the good winter coat deal. Aren’t we a pair?

      Reply

  3. Uh oh, we’re posting the same stuff today!

    Were you looking at sale flyer p0rn? 🙂 Just asking because that’s how I’d usually fall off the wagon. I wouldn’t go looking for the things until they tempted me with them in a flyer. Now Canadian Tire, the Bay, all of those flyers… go straight into the fireplace or recycling when I get them. I can’t even open them or I’ll want that great deal.

    Coincidentally (or not), I bought myself a new purse with my $100 xmas money from my dad. Mine was only $63 – and it was RED, so fortunately goes with my black winter coat and boots (I hope!) Now you’ve got me thinking though, I do want a pair of hiking boots for next year, wonder if the sale is still on at Mark’s… 😛

    Reply

    • Oh my Jacq, perhaps we all just need to see a bit more sunshine? Of course I was looking at flyer porn. I LOVE flyer porn. I must say, The Bay has totally targetted me with their marketing of late. I can see stuff I don’t need in most flyers and just pass it over. Somehow, The Bay has come to appeal to my psyche. Originally I blamed my Grandmother (rest her soul). She loved The Bay. I realize now that she shopped there exclusively because they were the only major department store to give her credit. Still, perhaps it’s in my childhood that The Bay is like going home, or something.

      Not sure about the sale at Mark’s…but good luck finding them (and not much else) when you go hunting!

      Reply

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