The Spending Hiatus Blues

10 Jan

Ahhh…January.  We don’t really have the best relationship, do we?  I think you’re kind of annoying with your back-to-work, back-to- school, back-to-reality attitude.  As a lover of all things Christmas, you are the furthest month from Christmas…kind of a jerk move on your part, I’d say.  Plus, you always force me to resolve to do something…exercise more, eat less sugar, save money, complain less…not that I ever complain.

This year you are forcing me to examine my finances.  Okay, okay, the month of January isn’t forcing me to do anything, rather, I have decided to examine my finances.   Over tea on New Year’s Day, my husband I were reading the morning paper.  I came across a fluff piece about New Year’s resolutions and the like.  One of the ideas said to “go on a spending hiatus” for the month of January.  It suggested that for one month you cut out all unnecessary expenses, only buying essential items like food.  Then, every time you want to purchase a non-essential item, instead of buying it, you write it on a list.  At the end of the month you examine the list to see what you would have spent your money on.   It sounded easy enough…although it prompted a debate over what constitutes an “essential item.”

Me:  Are chai lattes essential?

My husband: No.

Me:  (whining) But they are essential to meeee…

Husband:  No they’re not.

Me:  Hmph.

So far the list is pretty interesting.  For starters, everything is in my handwriting.   That’s because my husband is Mr. McFrugal-ston and never spends money on ANYTHING.  So right away we’ve learned that I’m the one buying all the crap-ola in our family.  Truth be told I already knew this, but it’s a good way to really illustrate this point.  Second, I’ve learned that when I’m having a bad day my coping mechanism to buy something (usually clothes) for myself.  Of course I already knew this too…but it’s interesting to see how many dresses, shirts, and sweaters are already on the list…and it’s only January 10th!  The good people at Anthropologie are counting the days until my spending hiatus is over, I’m sure.  Perhaps, I need to find better ways to cope with stress?  Finally, it’s amazing how many chai tea lattes I consume in a month.  I had to give up writing them as separate items on the list and just start a tally. Jeez…they’re addictive.  What do they put in those things (actually don’t tell me, I’d rather not know.)?

I already see what the lesson is in all of this.  I tend to spend money when I’m stressed or feeling blue.  And almost all of the things I want to buy are things I can (and probably should) live without.   A lot of the activities I did to cope with stress before becoming pregnant (yoga, acupuncture, gym) are harder to do with my little one in tow.  So now I need a new plan…How do I cope with stress, without spending money, while at home with my bambina?  Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

I hope you are all having a wonderful January!

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One Response to “The Spending Hiatus Blues”

  1. diana April 10, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    at least you still have the bath…. :0

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