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!