Thursday, March 24, 2011

Falling off the Wagon

March is always a month where I seem to spend a lot of money, and this March is included. Of course, I never remember that this happens until I look at my credit card balance later on and think egads! I've spent a lot of money this month.

This is partly not my fault. One of my blogs switched to its own domain and I had to pay for two years up front (which I'll hopefully make back by soliciting advertising), I had to buy a plane ticket to go to a conference in June, and I had to put a hold on a hotel room for said conference. The problem is, once I start spending large amounts of money on things I have to get, I start to get a bit petulant, and start feeling like I need something for me as well.

I've also re-noticed one huge thing about my spending habits i.e. I have a tendency to spend when I'm bored or when I feel like I'm not in control of my life. Without getting too bogged down in details, I'm incredibly frustrated with a situation at work, and frustrated with the fact that despite my experience, education and intelligence, I'm still just a part-time employee with no real responsibility besides just doing what I'm told.

I've never been good at blind obedience.

About four years ago, I finished grad school with a Master of Fine Arts in fiction and screenwriting. Of course, a degree like this doesn't have a job attached to it, so I was still at a loss for what to do with my life, just now in a lot more debt. I quickly started researching other graduate programs that I could do successfully; I started reading voraciously determined to finish 100 books by the end of the year (it was May when I started, so I had to read about 5 a week), and I started shopping. Every afternoon that I wasn't working, after I had read, and gone to the gym, I would go to Old Navy or Target or Bed Bath and Beyond, buy things I didn't really need, but come home with a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

Fast-forward to May 2009 after I finished my second masters degree and again, had no real job prospects. I contacted people, I applied for jobs, but I also started couponing voraciously. At my high point, I was going to the grocery store four times a week stocking up on various things, spending significantly more on food than ever before.

I've reigned it in considerably, but am still likely to fall into old habits, as I've found out this month. Going shopping gives me a sense of control, it gives me a sense of purpose, it gives me new things to wear (even if I don't really need them, but I'm still struggling with this "business casual" thing), and it's immediate satisfaction.

My clothes budget is blown for yet another month, but I've got some really cute capris and I'm happy about that.

1 comment:

  1. I can identify, oh yes I can. For months now I've been dreaming of open-toe red wedges for the summer, but all of the not-quite-right shoes I've found online cost upwards of $70. Just got exactly the shoes my heart desired for $24.99 at Target. Frivolous purchase? Part of me says no, but another part of me feels guilty because it really is more of a want than a need. I am giddy with joy and wearing them around the house with black sport socks as I type this, though. What price happiness?

    And it goes without saying that I feel you on the work front, sister.