Two years ago, on August 2, 2009 I ruptured two discs in my lower spine. I don't want to linger on that fact for very long in this post, but instead use it as a means of an explanation. You see, after I was hurt, I didn't have much to do. I couldn't work, well as a reality check I could barely even walk.
I spent the majority of the first three months in bed. After that point I couldn't take it, and started going out more, regardless of how much pain I was in. With obscenely ridiculous mobility issues, about the only thing I could do was shop.
After watching various arts and crafts shows online, and being an artsy person to begin with, I found myself in an art store a couple times a week. Holding on for dear life to a shopping cart. Limping my way down the aisles. It wasn't a pretty sight, I know. Sweat would start to build on my face after the first fifteen minutes as the pain would build up. The limping would sometimes get worse, and sometimes get better as I stretched out. Random bursts of pain would shoot down my legs to accompany the constant burning of sciatica. Add in the fact that the discs were pressing on the nerves that also go to the bladder, and you can paint a rather dismal image of an angry,hobbling,sweaty mess trying to bargain hunt.
Many a random shopper had to suffer the stare-of-death if they dared to enter MY aisle.
But I have made the observation in the past few months (OK longer than a few, but I am just now doing something about it). I am developing a shopping addiction.
What started as a practical application of time, small funds, and the desire to get supplies at a good deal, turned into an absent minded constant spending of money, that I began to quickly run out of. While I had steady checks coming in for disability, there was also an extra steady out put.
Now to clarify, (justify if you like) Everything I have bought in the past two years has been some sort of artistic supplies that I will be using to (hopefully) start a side business as I finish up college- also an artsy/theater/costuming degree. So I have been attempting to “invest”, especially in the leather working, because it is not cheap- not even to start. On another note, everything I have bought has been on sale. And not just like 10% off, but 40% or more. So if I had waited, I would have spent even more money later.
The original concept of this was great. With coupons to every store, I was checking and comparing prices online before driving anywhere. Nothing at regular price. Clearance sections and generic brands first. However my application is now questionable, as I have enough supplies to last me eons for each of the different hobbies I am interested in. And that’s another issue. I keep finding more things to try, and therefore more supplies to purchase, but never actually making anything with it.
I am beginning to stress out over money, while feeling better after shopping. Which is odd because I used to HATE the process of shopping. In fact I called myself a "purchaser". I knew what I needed and didn’t buy anything else. A get in, get out, get on with it mentality.
But I have been irresponsible with what the Lord has given me these past few years. And enough is enough.
So, long explanation longer, this is my resolution:
A year of no un-budgeted,frivolous, reactionary, impulsive spending.
I will have rules for how,why,when, and how much I can spend, with a set amount going to tithing first. Every time I need (actually need) to buy something, I will have a list. Nothing can be bought if it isn't on the list.
So here are the rules,
Money can only be spent towards or in the event of:
Bills (that are already established, no new financial commitments)
Groceries (with a list and menu planning)
Gas (with mileage and trips planned-no frivolous driving- which used to be a “hobby”)
Repairs (for various house hold and automotive items-only after saving)
Medical (in savings)
Supplies (only office/adhesives, and other notions such as needles,thread, and like items that are required to use up what I have already purchased)
$40 a month (to be used for outings for the whole month. When its gone, its gone. this seems like a lot, but I can easily drop $40 or more a day without even thinking about it)
No spending on:
Clothes ( I won't go there)
Shoes (where did they all come from??? 0.o)
Accessories (I don't wear what I have now, and if I buy another purse I should be committed)
Specialty art supplies/items
My blog and youtube channel will have posts on this topic. I am sure some will be of me having a melt down, but others will be of me trying to be creative with what I have and make this work. A name for the thread will follow later..for now its too late at night to be that witty ; )