Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spending Diet Update - Where I've Failed (?)

Since I'm blaring it from the rafters about paying off some debt and doing pizza and movie night on the cheap, I feel that I also must confess to where I haven't been so good lately.  I still can't seem to grasp the concept of not spending any money on anything that isn't a "need," but, as Justin pointed out when I started this thing back in January, it's a diet, not a fast.  If I cut myself off from all spending, I will eventually have a total manic spending attack and destroy anything good that I have achieved.

So, in the interest of total honesty and accountability, here is where I've stumbled:

Clothing.  Oh, clothing.  We used to have such a good relationship.  Then I had the hysterectomy last April and suddenly my waistline began expanding and nothing in my closet fit me anymore.  In fact, as you are all well aware, clothing has actually been painful if it's been around my waist.  I have simply not had a choice if I want to wear clothes and not go around completely naked.  Justin probably wouldn't mind, but the neighbors would be shielding their children's eyes, completely horrified.  Not to mention the fact that even though it's now April, whoever decides the course of Virginia's weather has postponed the onset of spring, making it uncomfortable to not cover your extremities.

But I digress....

Let's get to the confession.  Here is what I've done in the recent past in terms of clothing:

Yes, that's the dress I agonized over for weeks from Vermont Country Store and it's the dress you see on me in my profile picture.  I love this dress and it makes me feel pretty, something that hasn't happened in a really long time.  Can you actually put a price on that?

A couple of fantastic Old Navy deals, made better with free shipping and a 25% off email coupon and a sale.  Old Navy is my go to place for comfortable clothing, both for me and for the kids.

I will also confess to one more dress from the Vermont Country Store (they have a fantastic selection of pretty, feminine, comfortable dresses that don't pinch at the waist.  The other dress is in the dryer right now, so no picture.  Being in the dryer means I've actually worn it, so I would chalk up any purchase that is getting worn on a regular basis and is comfortable as being a "needed" item.  My one other clothing purchase was not for me, but for the kids.  While we were in New York, we happened by a store that was going out of business and I found two pairs of shorts in Jamie's size and a t-shirt for Joey for a huge percentage off the original price.

I've been doing much better on my purchasing of reading material by using the library.  After finishing my last manuscript for a children's book, I thought I might avoid the cost of an illustrator by trying to do it myself.  The first place I looked for help was at the library and I came up with this:

Five books on the subject, two directly relating to illustrating children's books.  Plus a couple of novels I might have dowloaded on my Kindle...savings all around.  Then I decided a trip to Michael's was in order to get a sketch pad and it was all over.  Here's the result of yesterday's outing:

Two books on drawing cartoon characters and animals, watercolor pencils, brushes, a watercolor pad, a drawing pad, and...okay I went to Borders.  Did you know they're closing 200 stores?  There, along with the Michael's in the parking lot was the Borders that is closing in our town in 9 days.  They are down to 60% off and I knew Justin had been wanting a Jeff Shaara book.  I texted him from Michael's and asked if he wanted me to go look for it.  Oh, never, ever let me loose in a bookstore.  I'm like a kid in a candy shop.  A going out of business sale, every item 60% off, novels for $6.00.  Oh. My. God.  What you see in the picture above is one book for Justin and two for me.  That was restraint, people.  I could have cleaned that place out, but I was mindful that I had already spent a not untidy little sum at Michael's and already have a bunch of books on tap.  It sure was fun to wander around that place, though.

On April 13th, the whole ugly truth about my lack of ability to control my spending is going to come out to the world on the And Then She Saved website.  I held nothing back and I admit to some nerves about my history being on display to her vast number of readers (not to mention my own friends and acquaintances).  Once it's out there, it's out there and I do wonder if people will being looking at me in a whole new way when the truth of the extent of my struggle with bipolar disorder and spending is revealed.  I can only hope that I am getting better at controlling my spending.  Yes, I have spent money over the last couple of weeks.  But I have also paid off several bills and will start working on another one.  I am calling that a success because I did not go running out with the tax refund to buy those expensive toys I want.  I bought clothing and materials to further the career I'm working on.  To me, that is progress.

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