Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So the Holidays are winding down...and reality is closing in.

I know alot of people get down around the holidays. I am usually really good before the holidays. I love the excitement of Christmas. The decorations, of course the buying, the wrapping, but I really like the giving. I love to give presents, maybe to the excess. There is something nice about making someone else happy. Unfortunately I do not always have the money needed to buy the presents that I buy, which gets me in financial hot water. This Christmas was no exception. I was really good until the week before then I got caught up in the buying frenzy...
Credit cards were used, store accounts were was bad.Amazon makes buying too easy. Does it make it better that I was buying for others? Some of the things I bought went to poor migrant families who had nothing for Christmas. I felt that because it was for Charity and it wasn't things I was keeping it was OK, it was worth it.

I have found that the more I put out into the world, the more I am getting back. I have been donating things, money and time to charities and people in need. I have found the world to be returning my generosity.  My 3 yr old and I rang the Bell for Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign for an hour the week before Christmas. I felt good for showing him how to help others, (until a family member belittled and attacked my choice of Charity). I feel overall I have put more out into the world this year than maybe any year prior.

However now that Christmas has past, this is when my depression sets in. The reality returns cold and biting. The bills, the overdrafts, the negativity. The overwhelming realities of life.  Snow seems dingy and dirty, the Christmas cheer has passed from people's faces. The uncertainty of a new year approaches with the regrets of things not done or unfinished in the past year.

I watched Hoarders last night with sense of fear and awe. I understood their pain, their inability to move forward. A therapist said the the Obsessive is the buying and spending and accumulating, with the compulsive actually being the inability to let go. Am I where they started....I can't go there.

I have to CHANGE in the coming year. I am getting to the point where I don't want to leave the house because I am embarrassed by my appearance. I have no clothes that make me feel presentable much less good. I don't want my children to be embarrassed by me or our home. I must fix our finances so we don't end up in bankruptcy. I have made this mess and I must figure this out.

A friend recently asked "Do you think others see you, the way you see yourself"

I know they don't. I still see in my mind the thin, pretty, successful, put together women I used to be, but when I look in the mirror she is no longer there. Reality Bites....

Disappointing....isn't it!

I am a disappointment.

It seems that no matter what I do, where I go, what I choose I end up disappointing someone.

My weight issue is a disappointment to several members of my family, as I used to be so thin and pretty.

My choice to give up my career as an attorney to stay at home with my children is disappointing to my family as I am wasting my education.

My financial problems are disappointing to myself as well as those around me, as "I really should have it together by now"

My clutter and buying obsession is a disappointment to those around me (as well as myself) as I should be able to "just stop and get rid of stuff".

I was supposed to be thinner, I was supposed to be prettier, I was supposed to super career woman, I was supposed to be financially secure, I was supposed to be domestic and neat, I was supposed to be normal.

But it appears I am none of those things.....I am just a huge disappointment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Uncomfortable appearances....

So it has gotten to the point that I don't want to go anywhere where people know me. Especially people that have known me for a long time, those who knew me back when I was thin..

I was recently told the story of one of my much younger cousins seeing a picture of me from when I was in college. And she was like "who is that?" My Aunt told her that it was me, and her response was "She was gorgeous.....what happened?".  This story pierced me to my core. I am I that unrecognizable..have a become so large that I am not at all who I was.

And so I worry constantly when amongst people who knew me "before", what are they thinking, are they are talking about me know, will they later, do they pity me, do I disgust them, are they disappointed in is so embarrassing...

I am so embarrassed and uncomfortable ....I just want to hide.

When I shared this revelation with my husband his response, well then just lose weight.

If only it were that easy...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

mommylogues- ramblings from my heart....

I have decided to add a new aspect to my blog...mommylogues. This is will discuss my issues, thoughts and dilemmas with motherhood. I will be speaking from the little place inside that rarely get the time of day.

So here is my first one...

Have I lost myself? I am a wife, I am mother, I am homemaker (such a weird term), but who I am, where is the real me...I feel like I used to be so much more. A dancer, an artist, a student, an avid reader, a player of board games, an attorney....

There used to be so much time for much time for hobbies, and fun. Now the most likely "me" time I get is to take a myself...and I am loathe to admit that these days, my showers aren't even a daily occurrence. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day...

I remember back in the B.C. (Before Children), having endless amounts of time on my hands. Reading, and board games were a daily occurrence...and that strange phenomenon of "having absolutely nothing to do". Do you remember that...being bored...being able to sleep till noon, just relaxing...sometimes it seems so long ago, like the memory of another life.

In a way that is what is was. It was a another life, a different life. My daily existence is so fundamentally different that is used to is like another galaxy! Maybe this is a factor of waiting to have children. It seems that people I went to high school with that got married and had kids right away never had this huge "culture shock" . Their kids are now old enough that they are in the position I was in the B.C.  Maybe it was easier for them because they never had to mourn this loss of personal freedom, as they had yet to really experience it in adulthood.

I waited until my 30's to have get married, and have children. I was so set in my ways by this time that it was a "HUGE" adjustment.  Our B.C. lifestyle was definitely not compatible with children. We lived in NYC with nominal responsibilities beyond our careers. I dressed up for work, everyday, wore makeup, did my hair, wore impossibly high heels. We worked long,  late, irregular hours, went out with friends at the drop of a hat, ordered food in almost daily, went to movies, clubs, and bars several times a week. Went to the gym everyday. Sunday brunch was a ritual. Housekeeping was never our strong suit, we sent our laundry out and picked it up clean and folded.  We did have a dog, but he didn't (and still doesn't) get the amount of attention he deserves. All nighters either for work or fun were a regular occurrence, and we made do, sleep deprivation and all.

Now things are different...we moved to a suburban area to be closer to family, my daily existence now revolves around my two little ones, I (temporarily?) gave up my career to take care of them. I traded my heels for flats, my suits for jeans and sweats (occasionally pajamas, LOL) . We have cars, and a mortgage, and of course the debt left over from school and our crazy single days. Sleep deprivation has taken on a whole new level, my older self being much less able to function after a sleepless night with sobbing children. I get called "mam" ugh..

I guess we moved from a very "egocentric" existence to one more centered on family and that is not a bad thing at all...but it is a hard change. I still struggle to be domestic (this may just never really happen).  I want to be that awesome "stay at home" mom..but most days I barely get by much less attain "super mom" status.

Please don't take this as complaining, as I realize I am extremely blessed to be where I am and have two beautiful children and not everyone is this lucky. But I have to admit that I sometimes miss my old life, the B.C....

I miss myself. I look in the mirror and am startled by the women staring back at me.. I have defined myself by different standards for so long that I have a hard time finding "me" in my current life. I sometimes look wistfully at my old career wardrobe and plethora of beautiful heels, and recently tried a pair on, ones that I had loved, ones that just always made me feel good whenever I wore them. They felt they didn't quite fit right anymore...

I am beginning to realize that is has been a long time since I have seen "myself" and heard my "voice"....I am so much more than just "mommy", but the amount of energy needed to be successful in a day of mommyhood, leaves little reserved for anything else...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shutterfly, more bang for your Holiday buck!

So it is time for Holiday cards! This can be a complete bank buster, especially if you are like me and want something unique and personal, something that will be saved by family instead of tossed in the trash at the end of the holidays. I have gone the cheap route in the past, with the bargain discount store cards, total waste of postage. I have tried store bought photo cards, expensive with low quality. I have printed photo cards myself, time consuming, inconsistent quality, and more expensive then I thought. Then I found Shutterfly and I will never go back to my old ways. They have an enormous selection, there is a card for everyone's taste on their site My personal favorite is the The Family Wall Card . It is a great value, pick pictures from throughout the year to share with those family and friends that you don't get to see that often or use all the different poses from your holidays shots that are so hard to choose from.

Another great value and gift idea is their photo books. I have always wanted to scrapbook. I have the supplies, and the photos but with two young children I just don't have the time. I decided to use Shutterfly photo books to make digital scrapbooks instead. It is incredibly easy and so much faster than scrapbooking. I have been doing a book to commemorate each year of each of my children's lives. I have even ordered extra copies for the grandparents that live in Florida to make them feel more connected to us. With all the great deals and specials Shutterfly offers this is a very cost effective way to save our memories forever and share them with our families as well. Be sure to check them out! Shutterfly Photo Books

Where do I go from here? Go with God?

So not much has changed in the past two weeks. The Thanksgiving holiday was stressful. The money or rather the lack thereof adds a hard edge to the holiday season. I applied for the a full time job.(which I stumbled upon while googling, which was completely a match for my past experience). Although my heart is still thoroughly torn on the idea of going back to work, I figured it worth a shot. My husband's thought was, throw your hat into the ring, and see what happens. He said you don't have to take it (if it is offered) if you really don't want to, just make it an option. So now I wait, it is all in god's hands.

Trying not to spend during the holidays is hard. I have some gift to get. Our family has decided to only buy gifts for the children and not for the if you are over 21 you are out of luck. LOL  I have been really good at finding deals though. I have found deals on getting free toys from, and have used a bunch of coupons. I scoured the clearance racks at Toys R Us. I was able to get gifts for 9 kids for just under $100. And it was nice stuff too! It has been hard however to be shopping and not buying excess. In fact I did over spend at the Old Navy Friends and Family sale. 30% off of the already low clearance prices sent me over the edge. But after stewing over it for several days I took back half of my purchases only keeping the really cheap items. I know I probably should have taken it all back but I just couldn't. So I met myself half way.

I am now looking for a financial adviser. I need a little advice beyond what I know. I am not sure how to go about finding one that will meet our needs, so I asked some friends for referrals. I have been in contact with one person, but I am not sure he is the right guy. But I will let you know what happens.

I have really implemented my coupon binder and I am really trying to only buy food items that I have a coupon for or that are on sale. On my most recent trip to target I ended up saving over $12 in coupons! I was so proud of myself. Plus I didn't buy anything I wouldn't normally buy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So maybe it is time....

I am seriously considering going back to work. As much as it breaks my heart, it seems that financially I cannot be a stay at home mother anymore. This is something I have been struggling with for the last week or two. I keep going back and forth. I always said I would seriously consider going back to work once my daughter turned one. Well she will be one next month.  It just seems like it came too quickly. I though I had more time. It feels like the last year has flown by. I don't like it.  This is an extremely emotional topic for me. I have spent many moments in tears just in the consideration of this massive life decision.

I am not a perfect stay at home mom. I am not as good as I wanted to be. I am more tired that I thought I would be, I am not as patient as I thought I would be, there is so much I wanted to do with them, intended to do with them, and it just did not turn out as planned. So many crafts undone, and cookies not baked. Is going back to work admitting defeat? Have I failed them? Have I failed myself?

I know that I have made this mess. And I feel extremely guilty that my irresponsible money habits have put me and them in the position of leaving them and going off to work.  The guilt eats me up as night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep. I will miss out on countless special moments with them because of the debt that is drowning us. But they deserve more.

They deserve security...if I don't do this, how long can I keep us from plummeting into the dark abyss of bankruptcy. We could lose everything, and I can't let that happen to them.  But how to I leave them with someone else. It is like leaving your heart....

My little girl is not an easy child to take care of. She is what is politely described as a "high maintenance" baby. She cries....alot!, she is hard to calm. I worry that someone else would not be patient enough with her. I worry someone else might hurt her or worse. How do I do this....?

I also feel extreme guilt as my son had 3 1/2 yrs with me at home. Don't I owe my daughter that much as well? Am I short changing her? Will she hold this against me later? I will miss so do other moms do it?  How I can I entrust the most precious things in my life to someone else? Will the thought of this ever NOT make me cry? How do I choose a childcare provider?

And then there is the issue of do you balance the job, the kids,the marriage, the housework...I worry that I won't be giving anything 100%, how can I be completely there for everything...something will suffer, something will fall to the wayside.  Especially if my children continue to sleep so poorly at night, how will I do a good job. It is one thing to suffer through your day at home with the kids while dead tired, it is another to try to succeed at the office while severely sleep deprived. How will I fit quality time into the little time left between coming home and bedtime...will I always be left wanting more?

I do think, that if I do go back to work and if we use my salary to pay for daycare and then devote all the remaining only to bills, and keep our current budget, we could probably get all of our debt, excluding our mortgage, and Federal Student loans, paid off in under two years....could we be that disciplined? It that worth the time I would lose with my children....

I just don't know...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Xmas decorations already? Tis the season to Shop?

So I am feeling a bit better. Have had family visiting from out of town which kept me pretty busy for the last few days. As part of their visit we visited a local shopping mall as they wanted to buy a gift for my children. Couldn't believe there are xmas decorations up already! I mean it is not even thanksgiving yet! This coming xmas season is stressing me. I worry about being able to control my spending when there is so much "pressure" to shop. And it seems that everything is so expensive. I know that I will have to shop, as there are some people I have to get gifts for. Mostly the children my life, my own and my nieces nephews, and friend's children. We have decided not to exchange gifts for the adults in my family, which will make the spending much less, as I have a very large family.

Things have improved since my last post. Not great but better...

I have been pretty controlled with my spending, not perfect, but who is. In order to cut my budget I decided to cut my own hair...which could have been disaster, but luckily turned out okay. So this saved me a ton of money..I usually spend about $76 on my hair, as I usually don't trust anyone but my stylist.  Would I advocate this? Probably not. Would I do it again? Maybe. This will buy me at least a little time before I need another haircut.

I have cut tons of coupons this weekend, and am preparing a grocery list and meal plan for the week. So I will report back on the final tally.

As for the weight loss efforts. I have committed to drinking more water, and have tried to choose healthier food options. In the next week I hope to figure out how to integrate some exercise into my schedule.  Sorry this post isn't more interesting but still a bit emotionally and physically exhausted from all the recent drama in my life. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Only the Lonely....

So I have been thinking...even though I am married and have a family...I AM lonely. It is strange when you are surrounded by people who are supposed to love you but in your heart you feel like no one has your back. My children are too young to factor into this...I have their back and I love them unconditionally. But for the rest of my family it is another story. A recent situation resulted in me needing someone to learn on and be there for me..and I was not able to find anyone. The family I reached out to turned me away.

I am not trying to place the blame on anyone for my situation but all I can say is that the people around me tend to add to it instead of help. I moved from the big city back to my hometown a few years back in order to be closer to my family. And now I am questioning that decision ...

I feel like no one really knows fact I may not even know myself anymore. I have gotten so far away from who I was, that I barely recognize the face in the mirror or the life I am living. Things and activities that used to define me as a person are not even part of my daily existence anymore.  How did I lose myself...I don't like the person I have become. This is not me.

It is hard when you love people but do not the like the choices they make or the way they behave. I love my family and spouse but I have found lately that I do not like them.  Did you ever stop and think if these people where not my family would I like them and want to spend time with them? Makes you think doesn't it....

Sorry this post is a little rambling and scattered but that is how my mind is right now. I have reached a breaking point. Things have to change or I may need to change things! I am beyond tears at this point, I am emotionally numb...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pictures Don't Lie..

So I saw a picture taken of me over the weekend wearing my favorite green a-line coat and was shocked. I looked liked a walking green house! So I reluctantly got on the scale..OMG!  I am 70 lbs heavier than I should be. I am not a tall girl either. I am only 5"1' so this is a problem. So since I am tackling all the other excess in my life on this blog I am going to add in this weight issue too. So check out the side column for my weigh-in tally and other useful info. So here it goes...healthier life here I come!

Organization here I come!!

So my house is currently cleaner than it has been ever. The floor is clean and bare almost everything is put away. (the Garage however is a disaster but baby steps). We had to have an home owners insurance inspection last week and that was the motivation I needed to really make a dent in things.  I have to say we worked out butts off. There were tears, exhaustion and at times it was extremely overwhelming but overall a success. BUT There are still things to be done. Boxes in the storeroom to be sorted through and unpacked. Some laundry put away, closests and cabinets need to be purged and organized and of course the Garage needs to be dealt with. Overall though I feel like real progress has been made.

However the next step is how do I keep it this way? This is quite a daunting prospect for someone who has no idea on how to upkeep a house, what things need to be done I Googled.  And I found this awesome chore chart on . It actually breaks down the upkeep of an regular household into manageable daily chores, each day it mapped out with a short list of household duties that if done keep you from having massive amounts of cleaning to do any one day! This chart has been a godsend and giving me a road map to follow and keeps things from getting overwhelming. I have been doing this for almost 1 and  1/2 weeks and am getting progressively better at getting all of it done. Still get a little behind but this chart keeps me on track. I can't say enough good things about it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bogged down by stuff...

There is so much I want to do...start my own business, go back to painting, scrapbook, write a book, and the list goes on....but I feel like I am at a stand still. The "stuff" in my life is holding me back, keeping me stagnant...making me miserable.  I am trying to focus on not spending...everytime I go to buy something I am trying to pause and ask is the more important than getting a new house. I think it is helping. More often than not I am walking out empty handed! Yes there are many accomplishments that must be made before the house is a reality....but the house is a tangible thing I can focus seems more inspiring at the moment than paying off the credit cards. Of course the debt must be paid before we could qualify for another mortgage.

I really want my children to have a better life...than what we have right now. I am purging for them and for me. So far this week I have packed up three huge black trashbags of clothes to get rid of, and have put forty pairs of shoes in a box to give away. It is a start...

However, I am having a hard time with just giving stuff away....I keep thinking I should try to sell stuff and at least get something for it, but at the same time just want it out of the house...does anyone have any thoughts about this?

I am very thankful for those of you that took the time to read my posts and I really value your advice and suggestions and will be looking into every one of them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The uninspired life....

I am overwhelmed by my situation. The clutter and stuff has become a huge weight on my heart. I feel immobilized by regret and debt. I want to change...I want the stuff to all just go away. Yet I cannot seem to let go. Why can't I find the motivation to fix this, to fix me...I want to be better, I want to be normal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fat & Broke! The connection between overspending and overeating?

So I sit here writing this as a formerly skinny person. I was skinny for the first 25 years of my life. And then I stated to gain, and looking back I now realize I was gaining more than weight. This is also the time in my life when I slowly started gaining debt as well. According to recent studies overeating and overspending are related. Both being components of OCD. I have been very unhappy with the weight gain, as it seems like I am no longer who I thought I was, I look in the mirror and don't even recognize the face looking back at me. The debt has now defined me, and I hate that. I feel that people that know look at me differently then before. Like I am less of a person, and the body weight doesn't help. As a former skinny person, I can tell you that people treat me entirely differently now. Not sure what is worse, the negative attention or the total lack of attention ( I have become the invisible lady when shopping). So what was the trigger that changed my life? I am not sure the only event of significance that I can come up with was a traumatic breakup which left me in a spiral of depression for a long time. I eventually seemed to rise up from the depression, but now I wonder what lingering mental issues were left behind, and what do I do now. I do not like what I have become, and want my old self back....I don't want to be fat and broke!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The road to Hell is paved with credit cards....

So it has gotten worse instead of better, or maybe this is just the fallout from my binge but the bills are rolling in. Some how I forgot to schedule payments for two of the credit cards and just realized that they were both past due by 2-3 days. I am feeling very low...the emergency card is actually maxxed out and I didn't even realize it. I  need to cut off my access to paypal and amazon. Both have the credit information saved in them. So they are an easy temptation and computer spending doesn't really feel like spending actual money. It is even more removed from just using a credit card. I must stop....I need help....but I really don't know how to find it. It is a dark time right now...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

So no news is bad news....

So my lack of recent posts is a bad thing..I have fallen off the proverbial wagon so to speak and landed myself in a mess of bargain shopping. But I am ready to start anew...

I am in the process of slowing going through my family and my belongings and cleaning house. Selling what may be worth something, and donating all else that is no longer needed here. I have an appointment to consign some clothing. Thought that might be a way to make back some money. I recently sold a ton of things at a children's consignment sale, and made a good amount of money, however I think the burn out from the prep and purging of belongings may have set off my most recent shopping binge. So I need to regroup and figure out how not to rebound from major purging.

Getting rid of my things is HARD....much harder than it should I have suffered some remorse over letting a few things from now on I am trying to focus on the end Goal more to help justify the process.

The Goal being making the purchase of a new home in the next two years before my oldest starts school. Want our children to be able to attend a great school, which necessitates moving to a better school district and that is more important than anything I might buy. So that will be my major motivation.

The first step is going to remove all spending potential from my wallet with the exception of a limited predetermined amount of cash and then keeping said cash in an envelope with a picture of a house and my goal written on it. This should make me think before spending any cash from that envelope.

The second step is going to be keeping myself busy enough so their is no time to go shopping.

The third will be working on a budget and a meal plan..but more on that in later posts..

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cash for Gold Now!!!!

So I went through my jewelry box and cleaned out all my rarely worn jewelry. I mean some things have not seen the light of day in over 15 yrs. I went to the kiosk in the mall that said "Cash for Gold, Highest prices paid Guaranteed". I had seen the ads on TV for the mail in companies but that seemed a bit shady to me. So I took a small bag of jewelry to this kiosk and asked for an estimate. I was expecting maybe $150 or so. So you can imagine my amazement when he said $300! I took it and ran!! Ran home that is to clean out some more. The next trip to the Gold Kiosk netted me another $350! So you might want to try  this if you have any rarely worn jewelry!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Declined.......Some days are harder than others....

So it has been a tough week. Actually ran out of money on Monday and no paycheck until Thursday. On top of that the car was out of gas, so my husband actually gave me a card to get gas, he deemed that a necessity. Unfortunately I went to use the card for gas and it was declined! So embarrassing.   It turns out that the little slip up I had a few weeks ago was more than I thought. So there was no room left on the card. I was so disappointed in myself. And because of that, I had to basically stay home the rest of the week, since I did not have enough gas to go any where. What an eye opener.

On another note, I decided to try a new app to track my spending. So I downloaded Argosity affiliated with This was a free app and so far it has been really easy to use for tracking my spending as I am out and about. I would recommend it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Freeing and Re-Capturing of the American Express Card : (

So I had a minor setback, I liberated the Amex card from it's captor and had some fun with it... Luckily I didn't do too much damage, couldn't do too much damage as the majority of my favorite bargain hunting shops do not take American Express. I probably spent about $40 though...

The next morning, I went to get some coffee and a bagel and went to pull out my card and it was missing. I was so embarrassed, I had to dig through my purse to find enough change to pay. Boy was I fuming. I surmised (correctly) the hubby had discovered my coup and had kidnapped the card back during the night. I just wish he would have told me and saved me the embarrassment. Not too happy with him right now, but he isn't happy with me either.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The slippery slope to....hoarding?

So I saw that show Hoarders the other night. And usually I am appalled at the filth these people are living in. But in this episode they actually showed someone that was "clean" but was just being buried by her stuff. This made me take a look around at my house, and the clutter that seems to be slowly overtaking all the available space. And I got a bit this where I am this how it starts? I mean those people weren't always that had to start somewhere and progress from there. right?!?  For a moment I couldn't breathe. I have to STOP now...I have to start purging!! My children deserve to grow up in a normal house, they need space to play and I don't want them to be embarrassed to bring their friends home...

I am not sure how I got to this point...I am still trying to figure that out...but I must keep this from progressing any further!!  I don't want to be that person...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So what to do and sold, the new plan!

So I can't go back and undo my spending past. But I can move forward and try to right my past wrongs by saving and selling! I have never been that much into coupons and such, but I am going to try to start saving on everything I buy. I also am going to start selling off things I already own. I plan on keeping a running tally of my saves and solds, and then deducting it from the $50,000 worth of credit card debt I have. Feel free to donate a penny or more through the link below. I will keep track of that too! So the rules for the save entries is that is has to been something I would have bought anyway (eg. toothpaste) and for the sold, it I sell it for a profit over what I bought it for I will have that listed as well.

So my first SAVE is $1.00 off of my husband's deodorant, with a mobile Target Coupon. If you don't know what that is go to Target's website and check it out. Target will send mobile coupons to your cell phone and then the cashier just scans the barcode off your phone screen...pretty cool.

And my first SOLD is a dog bed, that my dog hated and it has been sitting in my garage for the last 3 yrs, $25.

I will keep you updated on my progress. Right now I am in the process of setting up a coupon binder and filing system so I can make the most of the coupons and savings available. Pictures to follow!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's a better day...a cheaper day...a new beginning?

So yesterday I walked out of a thrift store with nothing..I was waiting in line, my baby was crying, I had to go pick up my toddler (an was in danger of being late) the line was not moving. I thought for a moment...was the three things in my cart worth my little one's tears or possibly being last to pick up for preschool. I looked down and realized that my children were much more important than any bargain find...their happiness insurmountable. They are wonderful. They deserved more...more of me...less stuff! And so I left...with out the STUFF! A small victory!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This is not as easy as it should be...

So here it is nearly a week into this new way of life and I am failing miserably. There are too many temptations and too many ways around not having credit cards! I mean I though by staying home all day, I couldn't possibly spend least not that much. But Babysteals deals that couldn't be passed up ( and the credit card info is already saved to my account there...I know BAD!) and yes...a door to door salesperson, who was willing to take a check, so now I am the proud owner of a gallon bottle of concentrated eco-orange cleaner, a environmentally safe and non-toxic household cleaner guaranteed to clean anything and make over 200 gallons of cleaner, at less than 50 cents a gallon...yeah you do the math! So not only did I spend money, I also now have no excuse not to clean....double whammy....ugh~

Friday, August 6, 2010

How do I keep from shopping...

Not sure what to do. I miss my shopping..I love to bargain shop, as in hit all the thrift stores in the area. I almost never shop at regular stores. It is the thrill of the hunt, find the unexpected. It is a treasure hunt!  There is nothing more satisfying than finding something that costs tons of money at Goodwill for $3.99. It is the rush of getting something for almost nothing! Only there can I walk out of the store with a cart filled to the brim and have spent only $50. I know I need to stop, but I don't want to...I need my fix. I am a much nicer, calmer person after a bargain trip. What do I use to take it's place, or am I destined to always be on edge without it. I need to figure something out...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How does the money go so fast...

So we are out of money again. It seems like it evaporates so quickly. I have to reign in our spending, my spending. Even though the credit cards are gone, I forgot about paypal, and that all the information is stored there. So I spent a little... but in a grasp at redemption I also made a charitable donation. It doesn't right my wrongs but if I spent for others it is better than spending for myself, or at least that is what I tell myself.

So I am having a pity party today. I am feeling bad that I got myself into this situation. I feel bad that I feel powerless to fix it. I feel bad that my children may suffer for my irresponsible addiction.  I feel bad.....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I shop, therefore I am or at least closer to who I what to be?

 So I just ordered this book, from ebay (I could never pay full price!)
I know, I know still shopping. But that is the thing, for other addictions you can go cold turkey and just avoid the addiction. But in our society shopping of some sort is a necessity, have to buy the things you need to survive...

I will let you know when it comes, and see what it has to say about the situation!

But the title alone has got me thinking!

So why do I shop? What do I buy? I know you are wondering. (all of the following were purchased extremely cheaply at a thrift store or garage sale!- as though that somehow makes it better.)

Things that currently live in my garage:
Tons of toys for my children, ride on toys, dolls, cars, legos, etc
Lots of excess cooking gadgets and appliances

Other things around the house:
Clothes, for me and for my kids (all brand name of course)
More toys and kids books (no such thing as too many books right?)
Shoes for all of us!
Endless supplies of craft materials and paints for my toddler
Scrapbooking supplies for the scrapbooks I would love to make (but still haven't)
Stamping and card making supplies for the cards I would love to make (but haven't done recently)
among other stuff!

I buy things for the person I would like to be. Maybe it is to inspire me to get there. I have a bread machine that I bought at a thrift store. Spent countless hours scouring the Internet for the manual, attempted to make one loaf of bread (only useful as a doorstop), and relegated it back to garage. But I want to be that person who bakes their own bread, I want be the mother that has beautiful scrapbooks of all of their children's moments, I want to be that women who makes the beautiful handmade cards. I want to be someone other than who I am right now, maybe it was someone that I used to be, or maybe it is what I aspire to be.
I know how to buy the supplies, that is for sure, but the next step seems to allude me...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whip me, beat me, but please don't take away my credit cards.

Hi, and welcome to my life. It probably will take a while for us get to know each other. I am a thirty something stay at home mom, with a dirty little secret. I have a shopping addiction. I love to shop, I need to shop, I must shop. But more specifically it is an an addiction to Bargain Shopping! Thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation army, you name it, they know me by name. I never really thought this was a problem until last week. People have "joked" with me for years about my shopping and spending. I never really thought it was funny though. And amazingly they probably didn't know how much time I really did spend shopping.

I come from your average middle class suburban family, went to college, went on a got a professional degree. Lived in NYC for awhile, got a dog, got married, had a baby, bought a house and  moved to the suburbs, had another baby, pretty much your average American family now, or maybe not. I also have a large amount of debt. College loans, professional school loans, mortgage, and Credit Cards...more than a few, all with very large balances. These large balances are mostly my fault, I have paid off and rerun up the balances on these cards several times, as this point we are talking about Approx  $50,000 in credit card debt. Yep you saw that right. When I added up all the numbers last week, I had an anxiety attack, and then I realized...Houston, We have a Problem, or rather I have a problem.

So I have a problem and I don't know how to solve it.  But I intend to try and figure out why I am like this ( I wasn't always), how do I treat this, and how do I pay off all that debt!  I intend to chronicle this journey to recovery, please feel free to offer your suggestions and direction as I obviously have made quite a mess of things on my own.

The first step, the credit cards are gone, and I have to admit I feel a bit panicked. I feel stifled and caged. and mostly a bit lost.  I walked into a store earlier this week and then turned red when I realized  I have no way to buy anything. For a moment I felt like the air had been knocked out of me. Then I turned around and pushed my kids out of the store, and my son asked why we were leaving, and I said "Mommy forgot that she didn't have any money",  and he said "mommy that's ok, just charge it!" He is 3, I went back to the car and cried, I don't want to fail my children the way I have failed myself.  So please give me strength to complete this journey to a debt and addiction free life.  Because the person who said money can't buy happiness was completely right!