I’m going through a rough patch right now, and will stipulate – I’m an emotional spender. (I used to be an emotional eater too, but thankfully I seem to have that under control). The more stressed and unhappy I am, the more I chafe trying to stay within our budget. Goals? Sure, but why. They become less important. I get cranky because I want to go out to dinner, but it’s not in the budget. A pedicure? No money for that.
I know I wasn’t happier before we started tackling our debt, but sometimes it seems that way – even though we may have been paying 20+% interest on our credit cards, I could grab takeout, or get a pedicure, or buy myself cute shoes or a new book. Not realizing how much of a hole I was digging allowed me to blindly buy.
Now, I’m emotionally a wreck, and resent the heck out of our budget, and the knowledge that sure, I could spend. But I’ll be paying for it for a long time, and all I’m doing is digging a deeper hole (and the hole, and feeling trapped, is contributing to my current emotional state).
We’re not super frugal. We cut in a lot of areas (food, clothing) in order to have other things (a new house, our triathlon hobby). We hardly ever go out for dinner, we had takeout pizza last week for the first time in at least 2 months, and as for movies? Maybe 3-4 a year, with coupons and discount snacks. At the cheap theatre! We used to do these things a lot more often. I miss doing these things. And every time I run the budget to try to find a little wiggle room, I’m left empty.
The answer would seem to be, earn more money. And we’re trying – we advertising side hustles, we’re still trying to find someone to rent our spare room (no luck yet). I’m even applying for part time jobs at local retail stores. But you know what? I’m tired. Super tired. I’m not sure I have enough energy to keep doing this, and I’m definitely not sure I want to.
So today is a long, rambling Monday morning post with no real answers and no solid take aways. I’m cranky, and sad. I’m struggling to restrain my spending (I blew most of my allowance and all our personal care money this past weekend – 2 magazines, 2 books, manicure, pedicure, and haircut & colour). I did avoid eating out (points to Bruce for preventing that), and nothing I bought was truly outside our budget – I can blow my allowance on anything I want, and I haven’t had my hair cut/coloured in 4 months – I was a month overdue. But I need to get a grip, and I need to figure out how to stop being sad.