One of my go-to blogs is called Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt. This was her Facebook post today. I admit that I love the search for the deal. Right now the flyers are overflowing with huge savings, meaning savings off of prices you wouldn’t have paid before the sale. The real way to save? This artist nailed it. Wishing you many 100% savings. Happy New Year to all, Deb
I don’t know how many of you are still out there but I promised myself I would try and reach as many of you as I can. Time is short. Some have already fallen to exhaustion and will be woken with shrill cries, demands for tribute submerged in a haze of carbohydrates and sugars. The frenzy of wrappings, colours, people and conversation may make it impossible to think clearly. You are being conditioned my friends.
How do I know? Because last year that was me and I vowed to share my story so others do not have to make the same mistakes.
You can call me Deb because that is my actual name. It seems like only a year ago I was celebrating, unwrapping yet another low fat cookbook, which was starting to make me a little sensitive, and hitting the hot cocoa pretty hard. I was feeling no pain, except for the damage to my self esteem, and was relaxed. I was too relaxed. As I sat at the table, under the pile of newspapers I saw the edge of something glossy. Why was there no music in a minor chord to warn me of the danger? I’m always the one at a movie to notice the music when someone heads for the basement door or walks into the woods in high heels. No. There was no warning for me. I pulled the sheet towards me and there written in thick black oozing blood, I mean ink, were the numbers. It said 70% off everything (with the illegible writing saying that it did not apply to anything that you wanted, that you had to ask a clerk to help you find, non-toxic, non GMO, in your size or in style).
I started to shake and quickly check the time. It is only 20 hours until the Boxing Day sales started and I knew I needed to be in that line. Where was the sale? It didn’t matter. Did you not hear that it was 70% off? I’d never been to Hank’s House of Hinges but they were giving out free organic ragweed blend knitted scarves with every $200 purchase. How is that not a deal? I don’t remember that day well but if you come to my home you may notice that everything moves well. Too well.
It is too late for me to unplate the damage but it doesn’t have to happen to you. It doesn’t matter the discount. Defend yourself by making a list before you look at the flyers and if you do not have anything on the list get rid of the flyers without looking at them. Yes I know they compel you to look. In history there has been the dreaded three, the basilisk, Medusa and the Boxing Day flyers. The peril is too great. I have purged the house of these papers. The inbox. No. I must empty the inbox. Why do I hear music? Nooooo.
There is nothing so frustrating as dealing with crossed arms, a protruding lower lip and a scowl deep as an underwater trench. There is no reasoning with it and it is exhausting. That was me at lunch.
Yesterday as I was driving home I had a wicked urge for fried chicken. Today I woke up with my first thought being that chicken. I would love to say that my self-discipline alone was enough to prevent the purchase but luckily I had lunch all ready to go and I knew I’d have to blog about it. 🙂 The impulses for immediate gratification didn’t go away once I decided to change my life. I was only distracted from them. One of the best tools I have is to surround myself with the voices of others with the same goals. I go to the veteran fighters, see what they do and try and emulate some of their moves.
One of my favourites is Mary Hunt http://www.everydaycheapskate.com/marys-perspective/quiet-the-urge-to-splurge/. She has ongoing facebook updates with articles, books and a website. The Year of Less blog, though no longer updated, had daily and monthly challenges and everyone seems to be buzzing about a book called “7” by Jen Hatmaker. All these bits and pieces help when my impulses are having a temper tantrum.
One of the things I liked in the Year of Less blog is the intention to make one small change each day. It causes me to think and deliberately pick something to improve. Some days it has been as minimal as sorting out the junk drawer. Today I’ve been tired and really out of sorts. Today I think I will take a sampler of baby steps.
I will mend one shirt, reduce my wardrobe and my son’s wardrobe my one item each, and put on a five minute timer as I tackle my filing. In honesty I still really want that fried chicken and onion nuggets but I will finish the night with a nice cup of hot cocoa and be in bed by 10. My mom used to say that with cocoa and a good sleep things are always better in the morning. She was usually right. Thanks mom.
Do you have favourite sites you follow to encourage you and help keep you on track? Feel free to leave a comment on this post.
This last week has been a nasty kind of hectic and left me bone weary. This is usually the worst time for me to try and eat healthy and look after myself. Money usually streams through my fingers and it all goes to food or the rough equivalent. I know when I am exhausted and stressed I eat solely from the four basic food groups: drive thru, delivery, frozen and Pepsi.
I have had a shower that refuses to shut off on request, a backed up sink with a belligerent blockage, the tenant’s kitchen tap burst and his bathroom tap could not even rinse his toothbrush. I had to bring paperwork to Canada Government Services, complete a type of audit for Revenue Canada and more forms for yet another branch of Federal Government. The toughest part was that my lupus was flaring and created a titanium strength fatigue along with a wisp of the blues. Each morning I felt like I’d just pulled two all nighters and couldn’t focus. Even dressing/getting ready can take up to an hour. Sometimes just lifting the pots and pans were too much and I’d sleep for 14 hours at a stretch or more. This would usually be the perfect storm for bad eating.
What came next was a surprise. After spending Monday racing from place to place it was already 2:00 pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch. I thought about the foods available at the local drive throughs and something happened. I realized I didn’t want them. I thought about what was in the fridge at home and my brain started putting together a meal. In fact it was a far superior meal to what I could have bought. All during the drive home I expected that at the last minute I would think of something I would prefer but it didn’t happen. I found myself pulling into my driveway and going inside. Now for the non-addicted ( as in addiction being used as a term to cover lazy and unhealthy behaviour that I routinely choose) this is normal. For an exhausted stress bunny this was exceptional. I found this pattern repeating itself for several days. OK I did breakdown and get a small hamburger and fries at McDonalds at 10 pm one night but I had just met with my ex-husband’s new wife for the first time. (She turned out to not only be beautiful but an amazingly nice and authentic woman. I even forgave her for being so slender. )
I know I’m not out of the woods with stress eating but I think I am slowly turning my pantry into my go-to place for food.
Thursday- $5.34 spent on 4 litres of 1% milk for Josh. Lunch was naan bread with sauce, cheese and Italian seasonings. Dinner was lazy beef stroganoff on egg noodles with red peppers and a side of carrots. Cinnamon buns for dessert.
Even though I’m getting to the end of the month and the end of the “Eat Your Pantry” challenge from the Year of Less I know I need a lot more practice before this becomes a permanent habit. I still have a lot of goals yet to attain and I need the accountability so we will see where I can bring this to and be happy even if I am penny pinched. 🙂
Have you ever had one of those moments when you get a shock and you go white, then flush, and then feel like you are going to pass out?
I never thought that that would happen just trying to get organized. Today I decided to conquer the dreaded filing pile. Yes I know you should do it at the end of each day and there would not be a stack that looks like a cartoon in-box. OK so I have bank statements, receipts, recipes (cheese scones? Oh yum.), Josh’s report card from last year, Bella’s vet appointment update and my car insurance papers. No wait. My what? Yup. I had renewed the car’s insurance, brought the papers in the house and put them on the mini pile on the island in the kitchen. These are the things to deal with today. Or at least in the morning. Or the next afternoon because in the morning is carpool, banking and lab work. Or tomorrow evening because I have to get dinner ready and clean away things as I need to scrub down the kitchen. Etc., Etc.,….. Until the mini pile joins all the other mini pile in the office which will be promptly filed.
The insurance was purchased July 10th. That meant that for over two months I’ve been driving around with my insurance papers in a rat’s nest or folders and paid bills. If I’d been pulled over I would have not had any clue where to find my registration. Please feel free to winch right here. I justify it by saying that I couldn’t just pop the papers in the glovebox as you are always warned not to leave the paperwork with all your vital information in the car. All I needed to do was bring it all in to the house, remove the one paper with top secret info. and return the rest of the package to the car. Simple and quick. I was going to do it right after the groceries were put away, the dog let out, the oven turned on, the dishwasher emptied, the meal started, I checked my e-mails, facebook and the TV listings for the evening in case something urgently needed to be programmed for the PVR, etc.
I’ll admit that I know that I need to allot a certain amount of time at the end of each day for paperwork. I think the only way for me to actually do it is to set a specific time. I don’t want to but realizing how I dodged a bullet in terms of a large traffic ticket I’ve been scared straight.
My life as a cautionary tale, Deb