I am down. And the only thing I want to do is spend money. I want to buy a Playstation DS and Brain Age. I want to buy Set. I want to buy Cheez-its and Dr. Pepper. I want to buy any little gadget I see in Wal-Mart or Walgreens or wherever I’m shopping at at the moment.
Why? Why do I think that purchase is going to make me happy? Why do I think that something outside of myself could please me, ease me? I know that isn’t possible. I have to make myself happy. Do things for others, do things for myself. Buying things is only going to satisfy me on the surface, but tomorrow when I wake up, I’m just going to be down again because the newness has worn off.
Spending money isn’t actually a stress-release valve. It doesn’t let any steam out for real; it just simulates it. And unless I have been saving for the thing that I want to buy, it will just add more financial stress in the long run. I certainly don’t want more debt, because it sucks. I like PAYING for the things we buy. Little stress now, because I can’t HAVE everything I want RIGHT NOW (wow, I sound like a spoiled brat!), but much less stress later because we have paid for everything we HAVE purchase. *sigh*
It’s a long, hard journey, to change myself from a spender to a saver. I know Hubby can’t always see the improvements I’ve made, but I certainly can. Back in the olden golden days, If the bank account was low, I’d put it on whichever credit card wasn’t maxed out. Then, when the beginning of the semester came around, which means scholarship money, I’d pay off a credit card or two, and just start piling it back on. No self-control.
Now, I shop, browse, whet my desires (which I shouldn’t even do, because it makes this transition more painful), and go home empty handed. I MIGHT buy something small that I truly enjoy, like a pack of uni*ball visions or a nice journal or something less than 10 or 20 bucks. I might even consider buying something bigger with a credit card, and twice in the past month, once for $30 and once for $8, I did put it on the card. But most of the time, I’ll just consider paying with plastic, carry it around for a while, then put it down, victorious.
Everything is paid for with the checking account. That’s a huge success right there. I like seeing this developing self-control. It’s painful, though. And it’s a long process. I love not having a bunch of irrational, unreasonable debt. We owe a little bit right now, but we did it purposefully, for things that we considered buying for months. And we never put the entire purchase on the card; we always paid for part of it with cash. *sigh* Maybe I just needed to get this all out to someone who’d listen without telling me how much further I have to go. I prefer looking back and seeing the successes than looking ahead and see the mountain still ahead of me; it gives me strength and doesn’t make me feel bad. Ah. Sweet release.