Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I've been a very bad girl.

Like I mentioned before, as a result of some very bad behavior, I have actually have managed to increase my credit card debt over the last few weeks. One day as I was buying stuff I realized what I was doing to myself (creating another bill that I am going to have to keep paying, interest that will accumulate, money that I can't save to put toward things that I need to live) and I stopped and thought about why I was was spending so much.

I got really bad about charging stuff when the first round of vet bills hit. I really didn't have any other way to pay for stuff. I have gotten very into being crafty (a hobby that requires a certain amount of money in order to have supplies to be crafty with), specifically I am big into knitting and one of my goals for 2009 is to scrapbook the whole year. A lot of things I bought are one time purchases, like a set of alphabet stamps or other stamps for scrapbooking purposes, or knitting needles that I need to make stuff. But a lot of what I bought are things that are not essential to living (or one time purchases either).

So what the heck was going through my head? How did I let myself fall so far off the wagon that I allowed myself to rack up close to $500 on my credit card?
  • Well, part of it is that Citi decided to double my credit limit. Which means that I can spend without fear of coming close to my credit limit, which means that I can spend without feeling quite so guilty about it.
  • Every purchase was under or around $30, which makes it much easier to tell yourself "I'll pay this back when I get paid next". The problem is that those $30 add up quickly.
  • I spend my nights at home alone while Armini is at work so I have a hard time telling myself no when it comes to spending money on my hobby purchases.
  • Having a paycheck that is consistently $300 more than what I used to get makes me feel like I have money to burn when I really don't. I need to learn how to live within my means again.
Lately my problem is that I have been spending more than I have been earning and Citi has been enabling me with a new and improved credit limit. But it's up to me to use this responsibly. I know this. And something that I need to start working on is telling myself "NO".

  • I DO NOT need a book on knitting (or sewing, or any of the Twilight books) when I can get it from the library.
  • I DO NOT need to buy new yarn for projects when I already have quite a bit of yarn that is sitting around waiting for a project that fits them.
  • I DO NOT need anymore scrapbook stuff until I start using the stuff that I already have (and I have a lot of stuff, I have been collecting all my supplies for a LONG time).
What I do need to do is ...
  • Start doing things that don't cost money! (like work out, or spend time with friends)
  • Make a budget (I seem to always be working on this) or think of a way for me to live within my means without a budget (since I can't ever seem to stick to the ones that I make for myself)
  • I need to learn how to pace my spending, paying down my debt, and my saving so that I have enough to go around and I'm not sitting at home every night during the week being bored and watching TV.
Easier said than done, I'm sure. But this last rash of falling off the wagon has opened my eyes to a few things about myself. Like the fact that when I don't have any money, I spend. Which is odd since when I have a lot of money I would much rather save it. This makes no sense to me, but it's what I do, so I will just have to learn to deal with and work around in the future.

What about you? What situations make you fall of the wagon? I can't be the only person who has this happen every now and then ... right?

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