Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mommy wants a new shiny.

Some people have what are called ‘Champagne taste on a beer budget'.  Not sure when it started, if it was as a kid when Christmas-season warnings that “There wouldn't be much under the tree this year' always seemed ludicrous when Xmas morning rolled around, or when I was a teenager and was content with thrift store clothing and a job that afforded me just enough money to keep me in cigarettes, but I've always been more of a Beer Taste on a Beer Budget type girl.  

Population: Me.
I'm not great with having money and I'm especially not great with spending it.  When I was younger it was just a case of not having a desire for expensive things but as I got older it's become a bit of a phobia.  A lot of it stems from some very bad financial decisions during my ill-advised way-too-early marriage.  The ex-hub and I were neither of us very good with finances, probably as a result of neither of us really having any money.

We got into what seemed at the time some pretty serious debt.  There were calls from collectors and there were days when I ate melba toast and jam from the food bank for days on end.

Eventually, with some help and guidance from my parents we were able to climb out of the whole we had dug for ourselves.  This is especially fortunate because it meant that when the marriage fell apart we really had no debt to speak of.  No real property either, but that's a story for another day.

As a result, I absolutely loathe being in debt and I have a hard time making large purchases, especially ones that I cannot pay cash upfront for.  Seeing as I am looking at buying a house within the next year you know this means I'm pretty much shitting my pants at the prospect.

Today I am a happy girl, because I got my tax return back with enough of a return to pay off my remaining credit cards.  I cancelled the one with the larger credit limit and the other one will be locked away, only for emergencies.

This means I am now down to one debt, my huge mother-loving student loan.  It also means I have a little bit to play around with, although the bulk of what is left over will be going towards my down-payment.  

Mommy wants a new shiny:

Say it with me:  “Ooooooh...”
There's one of these babies in our local pawn shop for about $400 bucks.  It's a Takamine acoustic (which is probably my favorite acoustic brand) with a built-in pickup.  This isn't the exact one they have but it's pretty damn close.

My problem is the actual act of spending money.  Over the next week I will probably hem and haw and think of a million and one things I *should* spend my money on... namely the kids, because maternal guilt, you know.  They NEED things like summer clothes and I need stuff for the house and blargh blargh blargh.

I totally over-think this shit.

I can afford it.  So why do I find every reason in the book NOT to treat myself?


I have another post up at Different Paths, Same Destination.  Go read, and while you're there, give the other ladies there some love as well.


  1. I can't tell you what to do now, but for the future I'd suggest that you create a budget that includes a reasonable allowance for both you and your husband. Then you can each save your allowance up and treat yourself to things like this without guilt, or have smaller more frequent splurges. That method worked really well for me when I was struggling with some of the same ideas that you've expressed.

    1. Fortunately one of the upsides of being divorced is that I'm the sole decision maker, money-wise.

  2. I love that guitar. I want!

  3. "I can afford it. So why do I find every reason in the book NOT to treat myself?"

    Because from the very moment you became a (mom) parent you have been putting the children first and whenever a spare bit o' change is lucky enough to come round you immediately think of shit that you can buy for them. Or did you not want the direct answer? :D

    As for the gee-tar I say the next time you see it just imagine that John Houseman is telling you that "You earned it".

  4. The guitar is a beauty! DO IT! I think it's a Mom thing... feelin' guilty about buyin' new things... But, you gotta do it every once in awhile!

  5. Takamine really does make a beautiful guitar don't they? I say go ahead and treat yourself. It's okay to do that for yourself once in awhile.

  6. As others have said, we always put our kids first. It's just our nature.

    I hope you like it, and can't wait to hear you play it soon :-)

    Think of it as a congrats kind of gift for paying off a shit-tonne of debt!


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