A few weeks ago, I shared about my personal financial crisis. Ever since then, I have immersed myself in financial advice – Dave Ramsey (which is the program we are actually following), Suze Orman (at the suggestion of a reader of this humble blog), my parents (who are smarter with money than anyone I know – professional or otherwise), the girl at my hair salon (whose suggestion was to spend more to revitalize the economy – somebody needs to give that girl a book deal).
I have spent more time than I care to admit with our checking and savings accounts. I know my 401k better than I know my gynocologist. I have spreadsheets and budgets and calculators and sharp pencils. I make meal plans and am averaging only about $70 at the grocery store every week, which is down from about $150. And I haven’t seen the inside of Target yet (although I do sometimes sit out in the parking lot and cry).
In short, I’ve been a pillar of strength.
But, I’m cracking. It started yesterday morning when I ordered curtains for the baby’s room from Target’s website. I figured it was safer for me to go to Target online than in person. And besides, the curtains were only $25. But as I congratulated myself on my bargain shopping, something snapped in my head and I decided to hunt around the website a little more. Just some harmless cyber window shopping. Before I knew it, my shopping cart totaled over $150. It was uncontrollable. It was a force larger than me. I couldn’t help it. My shopping cart was like a mythical force.
Finally, I snapped myself out of it and immediately emptied my cart of everything but my curtains and then I checked myself out and decided to take a walk to calm myself down. The pressure was too much. I couldn’t handle it.
How long can I last without shopping? Without so much as one purchase? Without the joy of a full shopping cart? Without the satisfaction of sliding my debt card through the card reader in checkout lines?
I’m cracking under this kind of pressure. I need a new hobby. Like knitting or quilting. Actually, I should really go for a contact sport. Something like rugby or football. This problem can’t be solved by crafting. I need to release this energy.
I need to beat someone up.