Friday, March 4, 2011

Hand me a bag so I can hyperventilate

We started drinking the Dave Ramsey koolaid a couple years ago. Our debt snowball, to borrow from a friend, was more of an unmoving iceberg for a very long time. Now, we're in that avalanche stage and it's really scary!

It's been beans and rice for so long (or at least the coupon version), that spending any extra money is really hard. It's really hard to describe what it's been like to go from squeezing every last dime from the budget to being able to go out on regular date nights!

Actually, it's not.

The word is GUILT.

I feel a pit in my stomach. Like I'm doing something terribly wrong by enjoying an evening with my husband without using a buy one get one meal. D finds it liberating. He acts like he's in shock that we go out and I don't have a coupon, then asks me how I'm I going to pass out? Do I need a chair? Refusing to show me the total because he knows I might drop dead right there, then who would do the laundry?

So imagine for a moment what happened when I found that both of our couches had been used as canvas for a pair of pint sized sharpie artists... Sharpie does not come out. Ever.

The good news was that Target had slip covers on sale! And, a gift card with a transferred prescription.

I gathered my strength and went to Target to get the slip covers. It would be difficult, but I could do it.

I was wrong.

Naturally, the slip cover I wanted only had one available. I needed two. I could get one and another one that was $20 more. But they weren't the same shade. I had no idea what to do.

I found someone to ask for help. Because I can't shop on my own. I always need another opinion. Would having two slightly different shades matter? I could always return it if I didn't like it, but that meant I'd have to drive out to Target again. Round trip, that's about $5. I started doing the math in my head when D called.

I explained the situation. I could hear the exasperation in D's voice:

Are all the bills paid? yes Is money in savings? yes Is this coming out of the emergency fund? no So this is coming out of the mad money? yes And we'll still have some left? yes

"So what's the problem? Spend the extra $40 and get the two stretchy ones that match!"

It seems so logical coming from his mouth. Maybe I just needed his permission to spend money.

I ran into a friend at checkout. She admired my slip covers. She asked the price. I told her. She said "Please tell me they are on sale!" Yes...but that's the sale price. I think she was going to fall over, too.

I watched her check out with all her know, like I normally do.

Then I handed over my four items: two slip covers, measuring spoons, and a battery for the wii mote. $171 after my gift card.

It was all I could do not to start hyperventilating right there. Panic. I had to call a friend to calm me down. I might as well have spent $1000, because that's what it felt like.

I even tweeted Dave Ramsey asking for advise on transitioning from living like no one else, to LIVING like no one else. Because if it feels like this...I'm want off the ride! When does the guilt end? When will I stop feeling like I'm doing something wrong every time I buy something fun and frivolous, even though I have the money?

So, my weekly shopping total for target: $171 spent. $35 saved. Savings: 17 percent.

Forget hyperventilating. I may puke instead...


  1. So this is probably the wrong time to suggest Amodex stain remover, right? It's what Sharpie recommends if you have a sharpie stain to remove from something like a couch.

  2. great. of course there's something! *sigh* but white couch and 6 kids aren't a good idea any way.

  3. No, really not a good idea. I, too, gave up on trying to remove the stains from my butter yellow upholstered chair (WHAT as I thinking?) and threw a slipcover over it instead. Money well spent.

  4. It will be alright. I understand, we had all our finances in order for a while, were late on one Gas bill by a single day because we went on vacation, credit cards jumped to the max and it snowballed... And it took a while to get out and pay off our cars. And in the midst of it all, I stopped working to stay home with the kids. I use the coupons as well. But sometimes, my husband just hides the bill to something I want to buy at the store because he knows I need that but will fret over the price. Hugs to you!

  5. I am so glad that you had date night. It is so important to a relationship to have time together. There are many free and inexpensive ways of enjoying date night - even "date" coffee.

    Good luck

  6. I am sending you (hugs) and passing you a bag. You do so much for your family all the time. Part of that family is you. Date nights replenish you and your relationships. Bargain right there. And quality slip covers? They will last forever and end up saving you more money in the long run. Breathe deeply, mama!

  7. I feel the same way just grocery shopping. I put half of the items back and still feel sick after checking out. I hate money.

  8. I have occasionally felt that way. (Depends on what it is, and the amount, I think.)


Thanks and have a great day!