Monday, September 17, 2012

Losing My Way

I have to confess something to you, and its something serious, not a Friday funny. Financially, I have lost my way. You know how I listen to Dave Ramsey everyday right? You know how I talk about Dave all the time? I know his principals, I know his teachings to a T, but I have not followed them at all. These past few months, I have gone off the deep end financially. I have spent so much money on so many items. I have fallen hard into the big deep whole of consumerism.

Its funny, because it just kind of snuck up on me. All this spending started with a treat here, a splurge there,  another one off. Each time I would tell myself, just this one time. Each time I would tell myself, this is it, no more splurging. I would tell myself once I have this, I wont want anything else. Once I buy this for our house, it will be complete. I kept giving into the lie. I kept looking for stuff to fill me up when I was bored, mad, happy, excited,or sad.  I kept shopping. All of the money was unbudgeted. 

Do you know the feeling I am talking about? The lie that we hear in our heads of "If I just had _______, then everything would be complete." What do you fill in the blank with? 

These past few months kind of feel like death by a thousand cuts. I have not purchased one thing that has been super extra extravagant, it has been a lot of small trips. I think I have swiped my debt card at Target 100 times in the past 3 months. I am serious about that. 

All this time, as I spent too much money, I always felt bad about it, and I told myself this was the last time. But, it was never the last time. As someone who prides herself on discipline, it is something that I have been severely lacking for the past few months. 

It all stopped yesterday. P was totaling up our receipts from August to see what we spent, and he couldn't even finish because we had swiped our card so many times. There were so many random purchases that he could not tell what they were for. Last night P lovingly confronted me and we had a great discussion about our finances. 
I just got caught in that consumerist hamster wheel. All the money is coming in, but we were not making much progress because of our spending. Now, it was not all me. We ate out a lot, and bought things when we were together, but I defiantly led the pack. I didn't say no to much, and I was so flippant about money. Honestly, it felt like I was about 3 steps left of center. I could see and feel where I needed to be. I could see where my old frugal self had been, but I kept spending and I ignored that voice in my head that told me what I was doing was wrong. 

We are not in financial ruin, nor are we hurting at all, I hope that is clear. But, for very disciplined couple, this has been a spendy summer. I had to make 2 purchases today, a train ticket for the month, and a stop at the bank to pull our fun money. I am handing my debit card over to P for the week. I have our envelopes for food or gas, but we don't need anything. I am putting a freeze on spending this week. 

Honestly, it feels good to get "caught." It feels good to be honest. It felt good to be confronted. 

As I sit here and look around, I see how much I have. I don't need to buy anything else right now. I am content. I have found my way.

What could you fill in the blank with? Are you giving in or holding strong?


~Carla~ said...

It's hard to find your niche sometimes isn't it? Hubby & I have been talking money too, and it's hard to stop with bad habits sometimes... I'm rooting for you! At least now you have a plan in place to stop spending and can move forwards!

Michelle said...

We are the same way. We swipe our cards way too much and we need to stop.

Denise said...

I am doing okay - I have been budgeting fun money but then it seems we have had a lot of unplanned things come up with school and sports. Somedays I can't listen to Ramsey because I feel guilty that we are not doing the best we could be - thank you for writing this - It was just the kick in the butt I needed to really get serious again!

Brooke said...

i'm struggling to find the balance - we have more than most, so i don't want to be stingy or miss out on life BUT i also don't want life to be defined by what i have or how much i can spend.

lesley: the dream tree said...

i am the worst with finances. i couldn't even tell you how much is in our account right now. i just swipe and swipe and hope it's in there. finances literally sends my anxiety over the top. i need a dave ramsey slap in the face, but don't know where to even start!
oh, i would fill in the blank with a pair of straight leg jeans, new curtains, several DIY projects, and more crap for my camera.

Rochelle said...

Seems like we are soul sisters! I jumped off Damn Ramsey too after giving up on my husband. Of course now he's all fired up to pay off bills and i'm not ready to give up my spending.

Anonymous said...

You can't have everything! Where would you put it?"

Hi, It's aunt J. Your blog is wonderful and if we wern't in a
hospital, I'd shout YOU GO GIRL! :-). Just wanted to share one of my favorite quotes!