Thursday, October 21, 2010

Journaling - Day 2

Yesterday was a good day for me.  I did not spend any money.  I did not debt.  I resisted the urge to drive my daughter to school so I could "run errands" while she's in school.  ("Run errands" is my denial phrase for "just really want to go shopping.")

But today is different.  Today is payday.  And I'm a nervous wreck.

In my compulsive spending past, I would think more about how I could spend my money and what I could spend it on, rather than do the responsible thing like, oh....I don't bills.

It's always the same story.

Each pay period I tell myself that I will be responsible.  I will track what I spend.  I will not do any unnecessary shopping - which means staying out of the craft stores (which are my crack), book stores, clothing stores.  Basically anywhere which requires me to pull out cash or my debit card.  (I no longer have any credit cards - which I will get to in a future post.)  But the debit card is just as bad.  It's like using a credit card, but it's only using the cash you have on hand -- which is usually already earmarked for responsible things -- car payment, insurance, mortgage, etc.

But inevitably, the temptation kicks in and the urge grows so strong that it's literally hard to ignore that deep-seated need.  And then the cycle begins.  The mad dash to shop -- to buy things that I just don't need - all because I want it.  I have to have it, although I don't know why.  The euphoria of finding good deals.  Of finding something I really like and instead of buying just one - I buy one of every basic color.  At craft stores I'll buy supplies, telling myself all the while that it's a project that I'll get to.  When in reality I've got LOTS of projects I'll "get to" sitting in my garage, my laundry room, on my living room floor.

But then there's the other side.  The downside once the binge is over.  The buyer's remorse that sets in.  The guilt that eats me up inside.  The negative self-talk that I go through over and over and over.  And it's always the same.

"You're so stupid.  How could you do that again"

"You just have no self-control."

"You're useless and worthless.  If you can't control this, then no wonder your life is so screwed up."

"You're such a disappointment to everyone."

And then once I finish that conversation, I just tell myself that I'll "make it right" by taking some stuff back.  Completing the cycle.  At least until it starts all over again.

So we have -- the urge, the act, the euphoria, the remorse, the guilt, the self-hatred, the return (act of contrition).

In the midst of all this, I would try to hide my spending.  Trying to stay one step ahead.  Trying to detour my husband from wanting to spend money -- usually on stuff for the house.  I'd get angry when he'd want to spend money on a 6-pack or go to Happy Hour.  I recognize that as displaced anger.  Anger towards him, when I'm internally angry with myself.

But is going to be different.  In Debtors Anonymous (that will come in another post), we are taught to immediately start tracking our spending and to take it one day at a time.  In my case, it has to be one hour at a time.  We are also encouraged to be held accountable - which is where this blog comes in.

By writing and sharing, I am holding myself accountable.  And just for today, I will take it one hour at a time.


Christy said...

Wow, I know every aspect of what you go through.

Tracey M. said...

Your writing really hits home. I just had a "binge day" stopping at the Saver's store (which is our mega thrift store) and spent way too much (over $100). Lately is seems like I can't go a day without buying something. I'm so glad for the encouragement through your blog to stop in my tracks and get honest and do something. I pray the Lord will bless each step you take in this.

Hanna said...

HI there! I am your newest follower from the Friday Linky:) I love finding new blogs and yours is lovely:) You can find me at
Be sure to check out my giveaways. I only feature gorgeous handmade stuff:)

I can relate to the spending! Not sure if I have an actual problem but whenever I have a bad day I am looking everywhere to spend, spend, spend. Blessings to you. I hope yo see you soon.

Songberries said...

I'm a new follower, will you follow me?

Le Chateau des fleurs said...

This is super cool! I am glad you are writing this blog! You will help others too.
We all have our problems./ I am glad you are taking this by the horns. You can totally do it!
Come say hi and follow back!

Mrs. A said...

New follower from Hop Along Friday! Come visit me:

Shanee said...

I'm your newest follower from the Friday Blog Hops! Come check out my blog at:

Have a great day!!

KBraden said...

I am your newest follower. I'd love it for you to follow me back at

Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews said...

Good luck not spending...I know it is hard after payday.

I just found your blog on one of the Friday blog hops! Have a great night.

Amanda @

nic said...

haha. thanks for your sweet comment! Everyday at work I walk past those ugly signs and wish...

So, I browsed through your blog briefly and it makes me really excited that you're passionate about changing your financial circumstances and your habits! I am a budgeting money nerd! I found this blog last year when I first started writing: it's I have gotten so much incredible advice through it. Check it out! Praying for you!

Anonymous said...

good for you for trying to change your spending habits. I worked in the financial industry before I became a stay at home mom and dealt with people who had come close to the end. Not yet at bankruptcy but if they stayed on the path, they'd be there within 6 months. Let me tell you, you don't want to be 65 years old at the end of your career and realizing that you cannot afford to live for the next 20 years. Good for you for seeing you need to make a change. Your 65 year old self will thank you and thank you!

Found you on FFF, have a frugal weekend ;))

Nancy said...

I am a new follower

Rachel said...

Thank you so much for posting your heart. I look forward to reading more about your journey. The things you write about spending relate very closely to how I feel about eating...and it would be very difficult for me to keep a blog about my eating habits. Again, thank you for sharing.