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Discussion Starter #1
I have to admit something and hold myself accountable here so I stop. When I started getting the unexpected short term, then long term disability, I had not spent anything above the necessities for over a year. I was rightfully scared for what happens when those things disappear and I wait and wait to get SSDI. So I was so good for a year.

Then I bought some needed things; PJs, lounge around the house clothes, all found very cheap and needed as I have gained wt doing nothing physical. I started buying Christmas gifts on deal sites so rather then give my kids $100 gift cards, they would have a lot to open and I would pay less than $100 each. Christmas done except for my mom. And that was still ok because there was no way I was giving all the people who helped me nothing or going below $100 on my kids.

but then I saw stuff on the deal sites, i really liked and bought things I did not have to have, it was purely to cheer myself up. still incredibly cheap, like a king duvet cover, 2 shams and a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt for $42. And that changed up my room and felt good and was probably not that unreasonable for all that stuff.

But I think I may be around the $200 mark. I might add it all up or just move on and stop, knowing I made a mistake. And knowing why I did it. It did make me feel better to have some shiny new things and I justified it by I am not doing things with friends, I don't go to movies, I do occasionally treat my family to inexpensive take out but I owe them big time, I gained wt and did not have a winter coat that zipped. My most favorite thing, reading, went from 2-3 books every week for life to one a month at best. I no longer can follow complicated independent film of tv series. I get confused, I end up in a fog with no clue what I did that day (often the answer is I sat around in a confused fog. lol). They did diagnose one thing but treatment has not been a rip roaring success and the neuro stuff is a mess and scary and i have no clue if I will just get worse and worse. So I felt sorry for myself. And new things felt good.

But I have to stop. My LTD policy stinks and my lawyer friends and my SSDI lawyer have prepared me that the fact that they were willing to spend 7k on IQ and memory testing for a full day, they are very likely close to finding a reason to kick me off. So no income for at least 14 mos when I should get a SSDI hearing. So I really and truly HAVE to stop.

Most of the deal site stuff will cost pretty close to what I paid to return the item but I have some cheap clothes coming that have a local store, I am just taking the box, not opening it and returning it.

I am disappointed in myself, I am usually so fiscally responsible. When I was working, I would go through a similar jag occasionally but the key was I was working.

I have an EF but it looks like that is going to be quickly eaten up by even more out of network, weird neuro testing. I won't have to even ask once I become income-less that my folks will feed me and shelter me and eat the cost. But I HATE that and have to talk to the retirement people to find out what I can take out without touching the principle. The thought of touching my retirement petrifies me. Everyone told me not to count on LTD for more than a few months, but I did and I treated myself. London's burning and I'm buying crap I don't absolutely need. I am so disappointed in myself.
 

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First of all, a big hug. Secondly if 200 USD is really the total, things could have been worse. And a little known fact, the big fire of London ended the pestilence epidemic, so every bad thing has a good side ;). Honestly, I don't think a little shopping spree (and it doesn't sound like you have been spending lots), will not make the difference seen in the bigger point of medical. Being an engineer, I would nearly call it neglectable ;). Your parents might genuinely feel better when they are at least able of doing something. I can't imagine watching my mum or one of my siblings go through this, and this is a tiny piece where they can carry the burden for you. I am not saying take advantage, but accept help where reasonable.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks so much. I hate it that things sometimes make me happy, but I suspect that is true of others, as well.

I just totaled all the money my mom owes me, she orders stuff on my Kohl's and Macy's cards to get the discounts, she also owed me for patio furniture she had me order, and that's around $500. I feel bad taking it, but I am totally taking it,lol. I think I may be closer to having spent $300 if you count the winter coat and a fleece, I'm not counting the pjs or shirts. But I either need to obsessively add up every receipt and know exactly the damage I did or stop obsessing over it and put it out of my head, and learn my lesson.

my 2 obstacles are inexpensive purses and duvet covers found on clearance, those two things are my favorite things to buy. I hadn't bought a new cover in years, so 1 that came to like $25 on some amazing clearance, is not so bad. But my last confession, I got caught up on Choxi and ended up spending $80 on 4 purses I do not in any way need. I would get a free ship and $10 of $30 coupon and buy 1. But they kept sending those! Plus, you get a free 1 yr subscription to a magazine with every order, no auto renewal, they do not take any cc info from you. So there's that, I got 4 yrs of magazines I already cannot keep up with, lol. I'm ignoring Choxi emails for now, and eventually will unsubscribe.

the other day, I purged purses. I didn't do very well. But that's ok, I have room for them for now. I rotate them regularly. I did bad in buying more but I'm done.

Thank God I am fine with $20 purses and don't ride the Coach train. My cousin spent $2799 on a Louis Vuitton and didn't bat an eye. She has a closet of just purses. And none are from Choxi! I'm glad I'm not that way about having to have the nicest of nice things.

the good news is I keep forgetting and finding $150 in Christmas money from last year, so that's helpful. If anyone asks what I want for Christmas, I am going to say cash that I can hold aside for when I feel a little spend-y during the year. Then no guilt, which would feel good.
 

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ok so lesson learned and move on. You may be wise to stay off these sites completely.I do. It's easy to get carries away. I find I am great at not spending unitl I have to spend on something. It then can open up the flood gates if I am not careful. I like the thrill of the hunt of a deal and that in and of itself cn be addictive. A little fear is a good thing.You got a few things. Put the brakes on now.
Hugs.
 

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Unsubscribe NOW to those sites. You can only put temptation in front of someone so many times until they succumb. Also put the Kohls and whatever other one it was away. Next time you mom brings it up say you forgot where you put it. That should be easy enough to believe.

Take it from someone who's been there and done that and have the tee shirt. Break it.. and break it now. There's always an excuse to buy but when it's comes down to it fact is you just WANT it 99% of the time. It's also not hard to convince yourself you NEED it.

Believe me... I have MANY tee shirts with STUPID written in big letters across the front... and back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
alright, I'll unsubscribe from those sites, because I do feel the thrill of the hunt when I score a deal and feel like I "won". Well, I'm losing. Ugh, that's gonna be hard.

I am going to make myself add up every single purchase that was not PJs, shirts, or winter coat/fleece. I think I need to see that number and I'm guessing it is going to be higher than I thought and I will get upset at that. That's a good way to drive it home. I have not done that so I tell myself, it was $200, maybe $300, not a huge deal. And it may have been $300 but the only way I'll know is to add it up and face the music.

it's almost like a gambling addiction or something, it's definitely addictive. Plus, I should be working on getting better at reading, things like that, not window and actual shopping on the web. I hate shopping IRL so it's weird that I started doing it online.
 

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Doing it online and w/ a CC is seductive and you can fool yourself more easily at Christmas. When the kids were small I kept a pad at Christmas of what I got each and the $$ amt to be fair but it also was a running total to keep me on budget a t Christmas. The 1 year I didnt I went way off course. Like I said w/ me I am tight and then when i open the purse its like flood gates. After all it Christmas is a phase that cost thousands in my house.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank God, I've always managed to be reasonable at Christmas. When the kids were little, I'd get the large in size Little Tykes stuff-play kitchen, a car, etc for $5 at garage sales and they scrubbed up like new with Brillo. That got harder as they got older because the toys at garage sales were more likely games with missing pieces, etc. But I still bought them used books and put them under the tree. By that age they had a basic grasp that garage sale-ing meant "their" money going much further. As they got older, it was one big thing, one small. Last year all they wanted was gift cards, that sucked, Christmas morning was over in 10 minutes. So I told them I had found some things this year but let me know one medium priced item they want. Neither has come up with anything, odd. This is the second year of the $100 Christmas and neither has rebelled against that. They get gift certs from my parents and either some great tech-y thing from my brother or he totally blows off Christmas (they've learned to stop expecting anything from him and kind of think he is a jerk...if the shoe fits).

Adult Christmas exchanges are token gifts of $25-$50 (although my parents almost always give me $100 or so in cash and insist on it). I stock up on nice hostess gifts that I found for about $5. My friends and I do lunch and a movie instead of giving each other more stuff. And we don't do extended family, it's too big.

So Christmas is rarely over $500, I try to get it spread out throughout the year so no big bill in January.

Has anyone read Unplug the Christmas Machine? I read that I think pre-kids, she reinforces that Christmas is not about stuff. So even though I do not remember what else she did, a lot of crafts I think, we do keep costs down, play board games and have a nice dinner together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
up to $226 since May. This behavior didn't really start until July

still have to do clothes; decide what was necessary, what was "too good of a deal to pass up" and see if anything should be returned if not too late. i'm only dinging myself when I was excessive, not for things like bras that I needed. Just the extra

did not do Christmas gifts but eyeballing it, I am well on track and can also give some of my splurges as gifts



'
 

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even after writing this, I did not buy but I would peruse the emails (although I unsubscribed from the worst temptation sites). I don't get what is going on with me. My shrink said everything health wise is something I cannot control or predict, "scoring" deals makes me feel I'm the one in control, not the site. And shopping took my mind off this medical crap and made me feel good and like I "deserved" a treat for how unpleasant things have been. A treat or two, not $300 worth. And I'm pretty depressed because we had to stop everything for depression to make sure that wasn't causing the neuro stuff.

I have a few gift cards, I am tucking away for an actual small treat way down the road. I gave my mom my Kohls and Macys cards. I do have $25 Kohls rewards that expire 12/1. It would be dumb to throw that away so I am going to buy these $5 hardcover kids' books they have with a $5 stuffed animal that goes with it, the profits go to charity. I can get 2 full sets and 1 book with $25 and then I'm giving it the Christmas drive at church.

starting the organizing and purging made me realize how lucky I am to "need" nothing. And made me appreciate all that I do have and to use the things I have. I don't have to wear sloppy clothes to MD appts, wear the things I had for work, put on earrings, do my hair and gasp, put on make up. I'll have to feel better than how I feel when I look in the mirror now. I don't need a new bauble, because I have not been using the ones I have. I need to "shop" at home.

I am holding myself accountable here, that as each "wow, biggest sale ever" email comes in, I will unsubscribe til there are none. And re-commit to "brain rehab"- reading harder books that I used to breeze through and love and watching more complicated tv shows, movies or documentaries. I fell off the wagon with that because the things I once loved are hard and it sounds stupid, but entertainment is not really fun right now. Well, it's not going to get better if I don't try a lot harder than I have been.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well, I practically killed myself doing it, but a lot of the cheap lounge around clothes I ordered got returned to the bricks and mortar store. The lines were painfully long, by the time I got to the last one, my body gave me a pretty clear message to "buy no more" and landed me on my bum in a full line of people. But all those extras are gone.

I mailed back 3 cheap pocketbooks, ok, I kept two but there is still time to return them. I mailed back more PJs than I needed.

And I feel great!!! I cannot believe the lines in the middle of the day on Monday before Tgiving. BF is already revving up. I have no need to step back into any store or mall before Christmas, I hated every minute of today except for the wonderful feeling afterwards.
 

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you should stay off the outlook.com until after BF. I plan on global clicking every morning until after Chrsitmas. So far no gifts bought.
Forgot to say WTG on the returns. I have atayed out of S.A. even!!
NO job/No pay/no shopping.
 

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Controlling spending on a tight or non-existent budget is very hard, both in the physical and psychological sense. Be sure to treat yourself other ways that are free. Like trips to the library to their free programming or to borrow books, etc. This time of year a lot of communities host many free events. Choose the ones you want to take part in and go.

If you're an introvert or your health makes it difficult for you to be out in groups of people, find free things to do in the house that you haven't done in a while. My boarder and I used to have a spa day occasionally. We'd borrow a book from the library on how to make spa mixes with homemade ingredients and off we'd go! I was gifted a spa kit one year for Christmas and we had great fun trying to figure out how to use everything!

I guess there are all kinds of ways to feel in control. Money is a big issue in North American society for sure. Either we're in control or we're not. I always find it so embarrassing to take things back to the store, that that keeps me from buying too much in the first place. I rarely go shopping without a list, online or off, because if I do, then I invariably overspend. :( I find my best approach is to label all the the incoming retail emails as "junk" or delete them automatically. If I want to see them I scan them, keeping in mind that nothing come free. Even the cost of free shipping is built into the price of the goods somewhere. The thing is, even if it's a great deal, I've still spent money I don't need to have spent!

Bernice, you seem to have an issue around your wardrobe. You like clothes and accessories from the sounds of it. Have you tried doing a capsule wardrobe? Or putting together various outfits with what you already own and have a friend take photos of you in the outfits...or just take a photo of the outfits on the bed or hanging? Maybe if you saw how many outfits you really had, you'd realize you're already in control of that area of your life?

Just a few ideas and thoughts. Hoping things go better for you health wise and budget wise. It's hard to stick to a budget when you're sick. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
these are all good ideas, especially the spa at home. I am a heavy library user. One thing I need to get back into so I keep learning, is going to One to One classes at Apple. I was learning a lot, then just got too sick. I also need to start seeing friends more, I just hate for people to see me like this.

I don't have a clothes thing in so much as I enjoy buying them, in fact, I actually hate trying on and picking them out. I was the type, if something actually fit, to buy the same pants, tops and dresses in different colors. I got caught this one time on the fact I didn't have to buy professional work clothes or going out clothes, just sloppy PJs and leggings and sweatshirts and tops. These were so easy to buy online, they were super cheap (Kohl's took so many coupon codes, I somehow got 2 shirts shipped for $2.47!) and they fit because they aren't fitted in shape. So I'd find one cheap top and decide, ooh, I better get two. So soon I had too much to be reasonable, I had enough to make up the size of a work wardrobe. Well, I do not need a lounge around wardrobe that size. It was not hard parting ways with them when I laid them all out, picked out what was necessary and appealing and I returned them without a second thought.

My problem is not clothes or accessories, it's purses. i love purses, cheap (thank God) purses. It is my one hoard, although one comes out if one comes in and they have to fit in the designated bins or more have to go. I found Choxi, kept getting free ship and $10 off, plus a free magazine subscription, so I bought purses for 20 bucks. It makes me feel happy, I enjoy switching them out, I was feeling sorry for myself and justified it by saying I was spending nothing on movies or make up or meals out, so what's the big deal about a $20 purse? It's a big deal when you know you are buying for all the wrong reasons, purses cannot make me happy and money is money. So returning those was hard. The trick will be to not fall into that Choxi (or similar) trap.

so the plan is emails- unsubscribe and delete, resubscribe should there ever come a time I need a specific item and want it cheap. Unsubscribing Choxi was freaking hard!
 

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more lessons learned, I screwed up. I returned 3 items to Amazon that said "free returns", 2 items were in one order, 1 in another. Well, I must have only read the instructions for the single order and that one said "free UPS pick-up" and it was, the full amount was refunded, no shipping charged. The other box must've had instructions that UPS pick up was $6 per item and by returning the two items, it left me with a $3 Add On item. I expected to get dinged somehow for returning stuff tied with an Add On item, fine. But I assumed all "free return" items got that free UPS pick up. So for $30 in returns, I only actually got $15. UGH, I would've kept the stuff had I realized my error, not worth returning or I would've gotten a ride to a UPS drop off.

stupid mistake but I am so mad at myself for blowing $15
 

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I bought doggie steps for Buddy on BF because he wants to be in the bed but acts like the jump up is painful. Then my brother walked in with a set because his dog won't use them. Score! Now I have to wait to what, mid January?, for crowds to be low for returns.

Saturday my mom wants to go out and pick out her own candy from the candy shop, that is her present. Stockings are being filled with on sale drug store candy and I'm done, I've shot my wad.

it was great seeing all those credits on my Discover card! And I keep unsubscribing.
 
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