we are spending money like water...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
we are spending money like water...
Sun, 12-15-2013 - 2:49pm

All the stuff we are buying is stuff we "kind of need". In the sense that we have made do without in the past. For example, I've never had winter boots before. I just wear dress shoes because they are waterproof. We get rain, not snow. There was a cold snap and I saw $200 boots on sale for $50. This prompted me to jump on them. Being warm, dry AND faashionable I've been feeling like it was totally worth it...so were the cashmere sweaters on sale...and the stand up mixer DH bought me as an early xmas present during a black friday sale...the tablet we bought DS2 because mine was stolen...etc...etc...

I think after being frugal for a certain period of time - if that isn't your nature and you are working at it (haha) - you get to a breaking point. Where you just feel like you have waited long enough, put in enough effort. I mean, I BAKE every weekend and I have no mixer? I have arthritis so sometimes I can't even stir it myself, I have to ask DH to help me. How much money have I saved on cookies, breads and granola bars throughout the year doiing this?

We have the money. Now of this is debt. But I was hoping/planning to use it for EF. It is only $1500 and all these expenditures is about the $500 I need to bump it up.

I can't seem to get out of this mode. Maybe it is all the school/work/etc. I feel "done" right now? Anyone else feel this way? Am I spending money to make myself feel better? 



Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 12-16-2013 - 2:02pm

You don't "deserve" to waste money because you've been on a budget for a while, any more than an alcoholic "deserves" a drink after being on the wagon for a while!!  It does NOT matter what the original price of somethng was, it matters if you REALLY need the item, and can afford WHATEVER the price is.  Do you NEED boots???  Do you NEED to spend $50 on footwear??  Do you NEED cashmere sweaters??

And as for the mixer.  You are wasting money by baking things you do not NEED, from the getgo.  Simply forgo the cookies, cakes, granola, etc altogether.  Buying a 24oz loaf of bread, equaling 24 slices, costs $1.50.  You CANNOT make it that cheap.  You are offering up justification that doesn't wash.

Get yourself under control.  Wise spending is a LIFESTYLE, meaning you need to do it forever.  It is NOT a punishment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-1999
Mon, 12-16-2013 - 2:26pm

I hear you Dee, sometimes it snowballs!  I would try to stop now & get back on budget & work towards your goals.  In the grand scheme of things you haven't done too much damage but getting back on track when we've "fallen off" should be your priority now.  It sounds like you will wear your boots for years to come so that was a good purchase but you don't want to continue to spend putting you & your family at risk.  Start putting some $ in your EF fund & review your budget. Possibly there is some room to have a line item for "misc" & then start a list prioritizing your wants & needs so that when you have enough in that budget item you can cross something off your list.  Good Luck

Happy Holidays


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 12-16-2013 - 2:36pm

Stormy, I totally understand.

If you were able to pay cash for all of this, then I wouldn't beat yourself up.  Even on the strictest of budgets, we do need a little "perk" now and then.  You are correct that burn out can happen and we will spend money to feel better. 

I am pretty toasted after finals last week, and If I had money I would have been tempted to treat myself, also. 

And Sabr, I understand your philosophy, however if we were to use food an example, eating is a natural human need and there is a way to eat appropriately.  Same applies with our relationship with money.  And please remember this is a support board, not a debate board.  Stormy paid cash for all of her purchases and no harms were caused. 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Mon, 12-16-2013 - 4:43pm

After being on such a strict budget for so long, I do see where you are coming from.  I too fear this "syndrome" when next Spring approaches my house.  

My nice mixer broke several years ago.  I replaced it with a $10 hand held from Dollar General and still using it today.  Boots, I have looked at them a LOT this month, but I keep telling myself I don't need them.  Oh....but SOOOOO  tempting.

Tablet., oh gosh...I'd love to have one, but my big splurge was the smart phone a couple of years ago.  I'd almost give up my eye teeth....but better not...just yet anyway.  

I really really can feel you pain.  I really really hope I can keep DH & myself throddled down next year and not go into a tail spin. Please take a deep breathe, and do the 24 hr. thing....or as I call it...."Slept On It" before you purchase anything.  It gives you time to think really hard on especially the larger purchases.  Now as far as the $50 boots....honey tennis shoes cost more than that ...usually.  

Dont' beat yourself up too bad, just take a deep breathe and get back on that horse again.  :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 12-17-2013 - 9:58pm

yes, sigh...I get what you are saying. But I did write "breads' not cakes ;-) I live in Canada so bread is not so cheap here. We eat very healthy so I make rye bread (it has less sugar) and you can't buy low sugar granola bars! My little guys eat them almost everyday so I prefer to make them from scratch. Yes, we don't need cookies but I make oatmeal ones and healthier than store bought.

I defintely didn't NEED cashmere sweaters but DH ruined all my other ones and I knew it would alleviate his guilt. I got them for $60 each so not too bad. And DS2's tablet is just a kiddie one we got for $60.

The money I spent was money we had. Yes, we could have paid off more debt.

But yeah...I definitley need to snap out of this. But I don't think I can spend the rest of my life never spending money. I didn't go into debt to do this. I used money I had. I can't say I want to think about a life on a budget forever! Yes, live within your means. But isn't it within your means if you don't go into debt?

Interesting question. Hmmm...


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 12-17-2013 - 10:01pm

If you have a smartphone, you don't need a tablet. I dont' really miss mine that much...but I dont' have a cellphone so I used it to communicate with home on my 16 hour days. And I was able to download school stuff (etexts) onto it. We have free wifi on the go for the tablet so there was no monthly cost. This is why I chose it over a phone.

You can pretty much do everything on your cellphone that the tablet would be able to do.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 12-17-2013 - 10:04pm

Thanks! Yes it was the week after finals. I'm done spending now. I do need to watch the "making myself feel better" spending though. I honestly am not sure if it was. It might have been. Dh was encouraging because I gave all my ugly sweaters to charity and I need to spruce myself up a bit. Haha.

YAY, done for a few weeks.


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 12-18-2013 - 1:33pm

I completely understand.  Controlling your spending constantly, whether because you're in debt or you just have limited funds (doesn't everyone?) is a bit like dieting constantly.  It's exhausting and uses up mental energy that you'd just like to have for something else for a change.

What's done is done.  Enjoy your boots, try to wear the sweaters without regret, and end your little binge.  Life happens, and you didn't go into debt for it.  But next time, walk by the sweaters (or whatever their equivalent is at that time).

Thing is, it *is* a lifelong mode of discipline.  I got out of debt in 2008 and have had all kind of financial successes since then, but this year I had two MAJOR surprises.  First was that my middle child's college education is going to be $6000 a year more than I had saved for (I had saved what I thought was enough for four years of college).  Second was that my 13yo son turned out to have learning disabilities and emotional challenges that couldn't be addressed in public school so he now attends a private school that I pay full price for.  It isn't debt, but it's an enormous financial obligation over the next five years, so it *feels* a lot like debt. Between her additional $6000 a year and his education, we won't be able to do many of the things we had gotten used to in the past few years, like our annual European vacation, long weekend at the beach, winter ski weekend, going to concerts & ballet & so on.  Obviously all of those things are nice-to-haves, not essentials, so it's not like we're going to suffer.  Still, it feels like a setback from where we were.  13yo DS doesn't even remember what it was like to not have money (the older kids do), so it's a brand new world for him - yes, you can have private school but no, you can't have a new game platform for Christmas.

OTOH becoming more disciplined about our spending isn't the worst thing in the world.  I'm 15 years from retirement and then I will have to be very disciplined, because there won't be any more money coming in after that.  Being more disciplined now may help us have a happier retirement in the long run.  And it's good for DS to learn what his older siblings already knew from the years where we were drowning in debt and pinching pennies til they screamed.

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 1:11am

mahopac wrote:
Thing is, it *is* a lifelong mode of discipline.

A really good reminder! This part is probaly what a lot of people (including myself) have trouble with.

Sorry to hear of the unexpected expenditures. I suppose the main good news is that the investment is completely worth it, but you already knew that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 8:10am


Everyone goes through this. There is a snap factor. You can only pay off debt and be frugal for so long before you buy things you have been putting off. We looked at a dyson vaccum for two years before we purchased it. The hvac in this old house just died and we needed something. It was a nice vaccuum but hey, it still works great. 

I remember when you said your husband shrunk your cashmere sweaters lol. I wasnt' wanting to be him that day. Glad you have new ones.

I'm sure you are back on the band wagon. I hope school is going well. When are you done? I have to take a course one day a week in the middle of January with home work for a few weeks and I think about the people here. I hope I can handle it!