Retail therapy

I feel like such a cliche. But what do I do when I’m too depressed to just sit around the house, but not depressed enough to feel like I can’t leave the house? I go shopping. I spent $30 at Michaels, $30 at Ulta, and another $45 online once I got to work today. And how much money did I have to spend on such things? Nothing. Why do I do this?

I’ve always made my bills. Sometimes just by the skin of my teeth, but they’ve always been paid. Mom can’t say the same thing. There were several times when I was growing up when she had to cry to family for help. Once she even hit me up after I’d moved out, leading to a huge fight. But that’s part of another story. S told me that there was a period of several months when he was in high school that they didn’t have electricity because mom hadn’t paid the bill. Several months where he had to take cold showers and eat Spaghetti O’s cold out of a can.

I don’t blame her for my growing up poor. Honestly, I feel like it taught me several life lessons that I’m glad I learned. Using my imagination because I didn’t have a ton of fancy toys being up there on that list. I don’t even really blame her for passing some of her crappy spending habits on to me. I just…I don’t know what I feel. I just can’t help but draw a connection between her spending her whole tax refund check on a ridiculously large desk that didn’t even fit properly into our apartment (it stuck out into the hallway, giving you a nasty bruise if you didn’t watch out when stumbling to breakfast), even though we were months behind on rent, and money burning a hole in my bank account every month. I mean, aren’t spending habits supposed to be taught to us as children? Then reinforced as we grow up? So maybe I do blame her. But really, it’s just a drop in the bucket.

The thing is, logically, I know better. I know how to budget, I even draw up a new one every year just to be sure that it’s up to date. And I’ve never had my power turned off or missed rent (though the cable has been turned off once or twice). But I don’t have a savings. And my credit cards are almost never fully paid off.

Maybe I’ll add no spending to my week-to-week. The first step is to get up with my alarm (the first time it goes off) and stay up all day without a nap. Even if I get nothing else done, if I can do that, my day’s a success. Today is the first day I managed it. And it’s sort of why I ended up at the stores and spent so much money. (I laid down, was about to doze off, and decided to get up and go.) Once I manage a week of this, I’ll add one more small thing to it. Maybe step two will be staying up after the alarm and not spending anything all week. Here’s hoping I complete step two before fall.


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