Confessions

by Meghan Medford in ,


To be quite honest, I had a whole blog post written the other day about all these new things I needed for my townhome and when I was proofreading it (after the wine had been put back in the fridge) I realized it sounded pretentious and - to be frank - it was really boring. 

I don't need anything. Sure there are a lot of things that I want.  I could make a whole post of the frivolous things that I want for my home and my closet. Then again, I also want to eat queso all day and never gain a pound - so we know that all wants are clearly not feasible. 

The most obvious tool for determining a want from a need is your bank account right? Or a budget, if you're a math wizard. You people plan out your months and set aside money for both the expected and unexpected events and items for the next four weeks. For me? A need is the West Elm dog butt paperweight that I clicked the online "purchase" button for before I could stop myself. And a want is something that I'll come back to after payday because I just checked my bank account and started crying. 

Math is hard, guys. I have a difficult time with saving money and budgeting. I know that its probably an issue for a portion of my generation, but its especially hard for me for some reason. Which is really ironic and sad because I have a minor in business. Its not like I don't know the basic fundamentals of math or the whole "money in, money out" concept. I just like to buy things.

I remember the first time I watched the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie several years back and whispering to myself in the movie theater: "that's me". I didn't even have a credit card back then, but I already knew that I would have the same sort of issues that Rebecca Bloomwood had with keeping a budget and saving money for silly things like rent and groceries. 

I've tried a lot of things to curve my shopping addiction: downloading a spending/budgeting app on my phone, going to the gym instead of going shopping, hiding my credit card, cutting up my credit card, freezing my credit card (literally), and keeping a list of everything I buy each day to shock myself into saving more.

This is what happened:

  • I didn't use the app enough - they stopped sending me notifications. They probably thought I was dead. If I had a larger sum of potential inheritance money to pass on, I bed they would have tried little harder to get in touch with me...
  • I lost weight - better go buy all new clothes because the old ones are too big now!
  • Its not really a "secret" as to where your credit card is hiding if you do the actual hiding of said credit card.
  • I just called and asked for a new one.
  • I actually did put my credit card in the freezer once, so at least it just wasn't in my wallet. But then my refrigerator broke  a few days later and I took it as a sign from God to go out and buy something.
  • I just didn't buy much because  I wanted to be able to say "Oh look how much money I didn't spend last week! Now I have enough for that dining room rug!" 

I can't be the only one struggling with being blessed with a millionaire's taste while having a sad, post-grad budget, right? I mean, especially in an internet society filled with "professional bloggers" trying to convince you that carrying a Chanel brunch to a local dive restaurant for lunch is normal. Or those "Like-to-Know-It" affiliates that are showcasing their newest gear better than Vanna White herself. These people are the worst, because you can buy exactly what they're wearing in a total of thirty seconds and three mouse clicks - just fast enough to not second-guess yourself. 

But my problem really got bad when I moved into this house. I had oodles of empty space and I was dying to fill it with stuff. So while I wasn't springing $400 clothes and shoes, I was springing $400 on a triplet set of barstools (which I happened to install on my shag rug, losing several screws and eventually, building every chair backwards.) . Or I was forking over a credit card for delicate champagne glasses that I'll use twice a year and will most likely break in my dishwasher. Or I'm hauling a $150 box of various pieces of IKEA particle board for a credenza that I'll, once again, build backwards. I subscribed to numerous home decor blogs, built an ungodly amount Pinterest boards, dreamed about etageres, contemplated selling a kidney for a nice, over-sized piece of art, and so on, and so forth. Yeah, it got bad there for a while. 

But I digress. This is my confession. I'm laying it out all like Usher today and admitting I have a problem. I am a Shopaholic.

I am getting better, though. Just the other day I was about to click the "complete order" button on a pair of shorts when I thought, "Actually, I need to pay my mortgage". Boom. Just like that, I'm an adult. It was kind of scary, and made me a little sad to lose a part of my naïvety and youth, but I guess its the price you have to pay (literally) if I don't want to lose your home. 

Money is a sore and tense subject between my parents and I on occasion. Both they and my boyfriend think I need a more substantial emergency fund - but I think we just have different definitions of "emergencies". As a matter of fact, I did find a great runner rug for my kitchen. And I do need one of those. I mean, without a runner in my kitchen, I could slip on a wet floor in my kitchen and have a repeat ER visit a la Super Bowl Party 2015. This $99 runner could save me a $230 doctor's bill later.... so..... that's an emergency, right?.... Right?