Recovering From a Spender Bender

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I didn’t write any posts in September. It wasn’t because I didn’t have time; it’s because I was embarrassed. Over the summer, I had written about how we have paid off almost all of our non-house debt. Then about a month ago, I hit a wall. Even though I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to treat myself and not think about money. I felt tired of seeing other people buy new clothes. I wanted to go out to eat more than once a month and go to the non-Aldi grocery store to buy whatever I felt like buying. I wanted to go to the movies with my husband and decorate my home. I wanted to buy my daughter new books and clothes because darn it, she’s so cute. My friends, I went on a spender bender.

At first, it felt pretty good. It’s been a long time since I spent that much money on myself. As the month went on though, it stared to feel a little uncomfortable. Then the guilt started to set in. Sure, the dates with my husband were fun, but that’s really because of the time we spent together, not because of the locations. The clothes that I had bought are just clothes now- not nearly as exciting as the day that I purchased them. My daughter still looks cute in her new clothes, but I could wrap her in a garbage bag and she’d look adorable.

So, lesson learned (again). No matter how much money you spend, any happy feelings that you derive from your purchases will be temporary. It’s all just stuff.

Luckily, I managed to get my head screwed on straight around the end of the month and recommitted myself to paying off the rest of our debt. Just yesterday, we made the final payment on my student loans. For the first time in almost 15 years, I have no student loans or car loans in my name. We have one student loan left in my husband’s name and then WE ARE DONE with non-house debt.

So for all of you out there who feel like you keep screwing up- it’s ok. Fix it, then move forward. When you screw up again (as most of us do), fix it, and move forward again. You’ve got this.

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