I’ve always been a shopper. The thrill of the retail kill is addicting. Finding that perfect pair of jeans that make my butt look way better than it actually is (They were sooo worth $170); or nabbing that necklace that’s going to tell everyone what an “on trend” and chic mama I totally am is like a drug. There’s nothing better than the high you get, albeit fleeting, when you hand something to the cashier and say; “I’ll take it.” The thrill of a new purchase and the rush of feeling like I have the money to blow it as I choose is empowering… That is, right up until the buyer’s remorse kicks in. Of course the absolute worst is when I come home and my husband catches me red handed with packages in hand. CRAP, busted. And then he corners me with the question every woman hates: “Honey, how much did you spend on that?”
Do you know how many times I’ve had to make fancy footwork dancing around this question when my husband drills me on my spending? When I was working full-time and bringing in a good salary I could rationalize my purchases. I could push back if I really needed to and say I WORK HARD AND PAID WITH MY OWN MONEY SO LEAVE ME ALONE! But now that I’m a stay at home mom, my defense strategy has weakened considerably. Aside from running away and hiding until the storm blows over, I have to pretty much sit there like a child and endure the lecture. I make big promises like I won’t spend any money for the rest of the week and I’ll try to be frugal going forward…. And then I make a little trip to Old Navy to return an ill fitted baby hat for Leo that cost $8.99 and end up walking out of there with $100 worth of new purchases. I just need to remember to intercept my Banana Republic bill in the mail before my husband sees it!
Can I just tell you that I HATE LIVING ON A BUDGET? I’ll be honest; my husband gives me a pretty good allowance every couple weeks. Yes, I said allowance. I do have bills in my name that I still pay, such as my Banana bill among others, which eats up nearly 40% of that allowance. After gas, eating out (way too many trips to Subway, I admit), and twice monthly trips to Target where I always overspend, I find myself pinching pennies until my next deposit. I’ve put together a spreadsheet to track my spending to see where I can cut back, and there are certain areas where I could reduce spending, but I really don’t think I’m a crazy over spender. It’s just normal stuff that adds up over time. I’m not being irresponsible and buying ridiculous items that a non-working person shouldn’t be buying, like $170 jeans. Even Jeff agrees when he looks at my spreadsheet, but he still thinks I should spend less.
Old habits die hard. I’m used to making double what he’s giving me on a monthly basis, so I’m finding it hard to comfortably get by on half. I mean, you don’t know how many times I pick something up off the shelf and fondle it, smell it, envision a future with it, and then put it back on the shelf and walk away. So I really do make a conscious effort to stick to the budget and ask myself if I REALLY need something. But sometimes you really need some yummy smelling lotion and body spray from Bath & Body Works, or a nice new candle for the house. I’m only human.
I’m probably making myself sound worse than I am. I’m really not that bad.
I’m sure some of you are thinking maybe I should just go back to work to earn a paycheck of my own. I def think that’s gonna happen in the near future, but I do love being home with my kids while they’re so little. I guess I’ll just suck it up for a little while longer and just learn to get better at living on less “disposable income.” I know I’m not in the minority here. There’s gotta be lots of SAHMs out there that struggle with the same thing.
Ladies, what’s your secret to not giving your husband a financial heart attack from your spending? Or do you feel that employing the run and hide method works the best?