April 30, 2017 by Courtney
So… I’m not sure if my anxiety last week was medication after all. I have been anxious about one thing in particular and I made some decisions and have been feeling better. Only time will tell.
This is a very honest post. I’m hoping there will be others who can relate and join me in this!
One of the biggest things that causes me anxiety is money.
You see, I’m learning that I am a compulsive spender. It can be due to my obsessive/compulsive nature, part of my addictive nature, part of my bipolar, or I’m just a plain old spender. Regardless of what the reason is, I get a rush out of spending. I have never been able to save, and I spend every cent I have. I often go negative in my account because I don’t think about the little things that come out of my checking account like Netflix. So I will have spent every cent, then Netflix will come out and I am negative. I have been spending every cent on books and curriculum, or online groceries (walmart.com and boxed.com). Often, I have spent so much money on credit. When I was homeschooling all of the kids I would constantly buy curriculum on credit, sell it, and buy again.
Poor Robert has been trying to pay off debt, and I remembered last week that our credit card on my account on Math U See’s website. So, I bought her math for next year on credit, once again. The interesting thing about that purchase is that I was feeling very anxious. I had laid down to rest because of it and I remembered that we still had our credit card on our account (this is one that I had paid off with out income tax refund but not closed). I got a rush and felt no anxiety for a little bit while I purchased it. I was very excited about it. Then once that excitement wore off, I felt guilty and anxious again. If Robert wasn’t the one to pay the bills, I would have hidden it from him. But since I know he will see the statement I confessed to him what I had done. He reminded me that paying that off will take a few months, and it has set us behind again. He wasn’t mad, just confused. I ended up closing that account and have no more ways to buy on credit.
I also spent all of the money that Robert gives me for groceries and gas on books (good old Amazon, used curriculum groups, Rainbow Resource, and our writing website), and online groceries (not all was needed). Hundreds of dollars. Some things that I bought we needed. We bought groceries at HEB and spent almost $100 (not bad, really). Gas was necessary. I bought some t-shirts at our camp store here so that I had some clothes that fit better (I guess this wasn’t completely necessary). I paid for counseling for Karis and me. Etc. But I spent a lot of money on things that either we didn’t need or I could have saved up for.
Time and time again I have proven that I cannot be trusted with any kind of card. Credit or debit. If I have it in my account, I will spend it online. If I have any credit line open, I will spend it online. Do you see a pattern here? Online shopping does it every time. This coming week I have 5 packages coming! And that doesn’t include how many packages that came in last week!
The only way we can solve this is to take away my ability to buy online, which means going to cash only.
We had the opportunity to learn a lot about managing money a few years ago. Our friends here at camp taught a Dave Ramsey class. We bought the materials and only went a few times. In fact, Robert went, not me. I’m the one that should have gone. Today I pulled out those materials, and I’m currently listening to the CD’s.
I also dusted off the envelope system.
We don’t have a house to pay off (part of Robert’s income is a free house!), and we don’t care about building wealth, but the rest is applicable.
I also pulled out another book that I’ve had called Living Well Spending Less. I did some reading in it yesterday and came across a section that talked about doing a zero spend month to kick start things.
So, that’s what I’m going to do. 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero. Well, it won’t necessarily be ZERO spending, but only essentials. I bought the kindle book (I thought it was $0, but turns out that’s only for kindle unlimited, oops). It’s a day-to-day plan for how to live this out.
What does that look like for me?
I’ve tried this no spend month many times and quickly failed. Obviously I wasn’t committed, but more importantly, I was too tempted by being able to buy things online. This is part of my pattern.
What am I allowed to spend money on? Perishable food (as little as possible), gas, counseling, doctor appointment, and medicine (my medical and counseling is the most expensive part of our month). Anything else will be saved. I’m planning to be able to buy the rest of the curriculum that I need by the end plus have money saved up. To buy this curriculum, I will hand Robert the cash and he’ll make the online purchase. I think this is going to work nicely.
For once I’m hopeful. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I think it’ll teach me to be more content. That’s my goal. Hopefully with this kick start I will be better with money. We’ll see!