debt

His name starts with a…

Patience is a virtue.

So I’ve heard.

Everyone is in a rush to get their lives started that they often forget to live in the moment. We rush to grow up that we forget to have a childhood. We rush to jump start a career and forget to live our lives. We jump through hoops, take shortcuts, all for this impatience to see what the future holds for us. I know how that goes all too well. I find myself fixated with this idea of who I am going to be 5 years from now, that I forget to focus on this person in my present. I am looking toward the future instead of focusing on my present. Looking ahead and not seeing whats in front of me. I am guilty, I am aware of that. Every once in a while I like to poke fun at myself and my impatience. I start looking toward the universe to give me a sign of whats to come. I look into superstitions. I look into signs. I basically look into every aspect of the supernatural to get a tiny glimpse of what is coming toward me in the near future. Deja vu is real people! Coincidences don’t just happen! There’s a meaning and explanation behind everything. Because of my impatience toward the future, I tend to put my amusement and sometimes trust into things I normally shouldn’t. Whats the harm that can happen right?

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I have always been fascinated by people’s ability to sense emotions. This unseen way to read people. I know it sounds crazy but stories have to come from some aspect of truth. Which is what drew me to the allure of seeing a Psychic. That and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (even though she was bogus). Sure a lot of what they say is just things you want to hear. Personal growth, moving from the past, and finding the trigger that makes you feel something. I am not saying that all of it is bogus. If you go into it all in good fun, you leave just with what you needed. Psychics/Spiritual Advisors/Readers/Prophets, whatever they are calling themselves these days, I’ve seen them all. The first psychic I saw was in a fair the summer of 2000. No big deal, $5 dollars for a palm reading. Whats the worst that can happen? I went into it all in good fun. To humor myself, it can’t be that bad. The reading produced a lot of the same generic answers: “You will move to a big city”, “you will make lots of money”, “you will meet the man of your dreams”, etc.  Of course at 17, I was extremely gullible. I was moving to a big city. I wanted to make lots of money and of course I wanted to meet the man of my dreams! After paying $5 dollars for a palm reading and another $20 dollars for a crystal (that would attract the man of my dreams), I was hooked. It’s all in good fun right? Just an entertainment to cure my nerves of the upcoming future. Months passed and I was hooked. I started believing in signs. Believing things were coming to me, I just had to be patient. The future showed all the great things to come, I just have to wait for it.

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For the next 15 years, I’ve had my palm, cards, shells, and aura read. Always going into the situation with a grain of salt. I shouldn’t believe these things. I shouldn’t put any power behind what I am looking into. Then a crazy coincidence would happen, that I would count as a sign. A silver lining development into what I have heard. Maybe it was the positivity they give you after a reading. This rush you feel, that you could do anything. Every reading comes with a disclaimer good or bad, its what the stars have in-store for you. How does someone not feel suckered into that? Its what I took away from the readings, good or bad. For better or worse. Whether it was something that I needed to hear or something that I needed clarification on. Sometimes we need a little push to get our gears in motion. Sometimes we need a little clarification on things that are troubling in our heart. So I went against my better judgement and looked to signs, the universe, and waiting for things to happen. I knew what I was getting into. I knew with every reading a piece of myself stayed there. That I would move to bigger cities. Live by elements of water. Find everything I was looking for once I started looking for it. Then in 6 months life would change once I started living it. That a few years from now, my situation would change and I would ease into my new transitions. Truth is I loved hearing about the future. I loved it so much that I dragged my feet in my present because I knew my future was gonna be amazing. 15 years later, I am 30 and broke, still waiting on these signs that the future its going to be swell. I wanted this reassurance of the future. This pat on the back that everything was going to be okay. I needed a complete stranger that I paid to tell me things about myself that I already knew. I needed someone to save me from this feeling of failure and tell me that good things were just around the corner.

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Truth of the matter is life changes in 6 months. Good or bad. People have the capacity of change from days to weeks from where we started. While I loved humoring myself with this supernatural hocus pocus, none of it was really real. The signs are everywhere, you just have to give everything a shot and do things yourself. You’re not the same person you were 6 months ago and 5 years from today who knows where you’ll be. I was so fixated on the idea that I needed to know who I am going to be, instead of preparing myself for who I wanted to be. It’s all in good fun and what I have learned from seeing all these different types of people is to remain positive about the future, good or bad. Go into life like you go into the psychic, all in good fun and with an open mind. Life isn’t suppose to be perfect, it isn’t suppose to be easy. While I don’t know where I’ll be 5 years from now, I just have to focus on the person I can be tomorrow. The last psychic I saw told me that 3 months from now my life was going to change. She was right. 3 months from now, my life will change. And like all the others I won’t be the same person I was yesterday or 3 months from now. But I don’t need a psychic to tell me things I already know about myself.

In the event any psychic are wondering, his name doesn’t start with a “J”.

I’m single. Thank you.

Food vs. Debt.

The moment you believe you have everything all figured out is the moment you realize you don’t. For the most part I have my debt under control. However, Debt is always that dark cloud that looms over me. Debt is a funny word with horrible consequences. Who would have ever thought that a word so innocent looking could hurt so much. Its like a bad relationship you can’t escape from. No matter where  you turn, your Debt is right behind you. Taunting you, ridiculing you, and overall just proving to you that you can never get over them.

DEBT in all it’s magnificent, no mercy glory.

I personally hate being in debt. Well lets be really honest, who honestly likes being in debt? Any which way I can pinch a few pennies to reclaim my balance in my life, I just about do. While I have drastically cut out a lot of unnecessary spending, I keep finding myself missing a few hundred dollars. Where exactly does my money go to? I have stopped excess shopping. I have stopped purchasing countless clothes, accessories, shoes, and beauty supplies. I have even stopped purchasing books, notebooks, and supplies. Where else could my money be going? Every dollar is accounted for. I have budgeted all of my expenses and narrowed them down to all the necessities. But what on Earth can be taking a few hundred dollars. While I do put some money into savings, where does the rest of my money go? Thats when it really donned on me.

Food.

I have had problems with food for as long as I can remember and I am no stranger to talking about it on this blog. However, while I have my food problems under control, I cannot manage to control my stress eating. A majority of my recent weight gain is all due primary because of stress. When I have anxiety or if my depression hits an all time low, I eat. Somewhere in my crazy mind, eating relaxes me. I love to eat just as much as the next person. On top of that, it has taken me a long time to be okay with eating. The truth of the matter is, I don’t just eat, I binge. If I am having a crappy day, I’ll go to the grocery store and buy countless things, primarily junk food. Most days I can calm the nerves but once my anxiety hits it’s back to the bottom. It doesn’t stop there, it’s the eating out, its the drinking, its the fancy coffee here and there. It’s not just once a week. Most times its 5 times in one week. Then the next week comes and it starts all over again. While my savings shows me that I am saving money, my bank account shows that I cannot control my spending urges when food is involved.

Depending on season, time of day, and even weather, on average I spend about 100 dollars a week on food. This including the sit down meals, fast food, trips to the grocery store for snacks, coffee from coffee shops, etc. This doesn’t including the tips and gas. On average 100 dollars a week is why I cannot have nice things. I am losing money all for the sake of a good time and my sanity. Instead of finding creative ways to curb my anxiety, I turn to the one thing that always comforts me, food. Food to me is this huge comfy security blanket that I count for everything. If I am having a bad day, it makes it all go away. It makes the feelings of self doubt disappear into the feeling of no self control. I can’t control the urges. As much as I think I have everything under control, I find myself like clockwork holding on to the things I shouldn’t have. It’s easy to say that I can stop at any time. That I can easy calm my nerves and find ways to use all this crazy energy for other things. Just when I am at my weakest moments, I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. While I applaud myself for my efforts in saving money, its the little vices I can’t help but do. A $100 dollars a week does eventually add up. It shows that while I have stopped purchasing things I don’t need, I still can’t stop the urge to shop for something.

In a way I have transferred my need for things into my need for food. Just as clothes and accessories were excuses for temporary happiness, now food has become that way. Everything is a work in progress and while I am happy that my love for food has returned, I still can’t help but use food as another crutch. I am not saving money if I am still buying unnecessary things. I am not being healthy if I continue to use food as my stress reliever. Lately I have found myself avoiding grocery stores when I am feeling down. I have to second guess my need to get fast food, and limited my coffee drinks to at least once a week. While I still have my urges to buy snacks, its not as drastic as it was months prior. While I still have problems dealing with anxiety and depression, I have to find creative ways to get this energy out. At least I know where my money is going.

Food 0
Debt $400

UGH.

This is why I can’t have nice things.

What a difference a year makes..

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March 9, 2015, will mark a year since I started writing in 30, Fabulous, & Broke aka “This is why I can’t have nice things”. I started this blog on the premise of discussing and fully understanding where my money goes. Why a person of my age (the graceful age of 32) cannot get a handle of her money and the rest of my peers can. In order to see where my money goes, I started to catalog when I started to go wrong in the money department. I loved money, but I had a hard time keeping money as I started to get older. With a mountain of accumulated debts, I needed to see what was so important that I constantly felt the need to throw my money away.

When I started this blog, I was not expecting people to read this. Sure I love storying telling as much as the next person, but I honestly believed that maybe only 1 person would read this. While I am proud of my blog Broke City Style, I wasn’t sure how people would take my own person approach to this blog. This blog is my life as it happened and is happening. This is my heart and soul on the line. I tend to hide all of my emotions and to admit to my debts, meant admitting failure. Was I ready to tell the world of my problems? To be honest, I wasn’t. You reach a point in your life where enough is enough. My debt was the weight of the world on my shoulders and emotionally it was eating me up inside. It was either stay silent and feel miserable or write about my problems. Throughout this year, I didn’t expect anything aside from pinching a few pennies and talking about it. I wasn’t expecting to understand that the root of all my money problems was an emotional bleed. I wasn’t expecting to spill out every single one of my flaws for the world to see. Sure to tell a funny story here and there, but to spill out my guts for my peers to see? I wasn’t sure I was ready for that. I soon realized that the emotional stories out weighed all the humor. That I was really coming to terms with a lot of my problems from my past that have stayed in my present.

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You really do not understand your limits until you see them written down. I didn’t realize how my own personal problems resulted in my spending. I didn’t realize that my spending was a trigger to all my other emotional problems. While I knew I was heartbroken about the loss of key people into my life, I never realized that even those people made me miserable. Even people I considered my best friends were making me sick. Even the person I was completely in love with, was hurting me in ways I could never explain. I didn’t realize that even my own personal emotions had a price tag. That for every binge, I spent money. For every heartbreak, I threw away to purchase a brand new everything. For every cut, I masked it and dressed it with a new something. I was hiding my bruises and heartbreak in the only way I knew I could, by spending everything. It wasn’t healthy and I knew that as much as I stated that I was “Okay”, I wasn’t.

Throughout the year, it has been a process. I have cried more than humanly possible. I have sacrificed a lot just to be able to take care of myself. I have also started being honest with who I am and my own personal progress. I have stated millions of times that I am not a perfect person. Even the people who have hurt me are not perfect people. People change, grow up and become completely different people. I can respect that and hope only for peace in their path which is what I wish for myself. Nobody is perfect. I am going to fall a million times until I can walk on my own two feet. I am going to break my heart and screw up, until I can be completely free of my own insecurities. I can live with that. Thank you to anyone and everyone that has read, commented, liked, reblogged, talked to me in regards to this blog. Honestly, thank you from the bottom of my little heart. I couldn’t have gone through life without the love and support of my family and friends. I couldn’t have written this blog without the encouragement and support of my amazing network of great and fabulous people. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I may still have my flaws but inside I am golden. It’s all because of you guys. For that I am undoubtedly grateful. ❤

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Unsubscribe.

In this whole journey of purging unnecessary things, I never realized how many things I kept. OKAY LIES. I have realized how many things I’ve kept, my closet and room are true testaments of that notion.  Materialistically, I keep everything. Anything you can see with the naked eye. However upon going through some old email accounts (yes I have various email accounts), I never realized how much crap I keep electronically. It’s amazing what you can do with unlimited storage space! It’s one thing to go through 1908 emails of junk mail but 2000 emails of the past? It’s time to move on.

They say to move on you have to reevaluate why you kept these things to begin with. It’s easy to put an emotion behind an article of clothing, or a lifetime of moments. Its the memories that wrap around the items, but what emotion can you bring forth with an email? After going through my email accounts the past year, I realized I was holding on to everything. I don’t just mean old Who What Wear emails, I literally mean everything. I’ve kept mean emails, sad emails, photos that I didn’t have the heart to show anyone let alone delete, receipts for just about anything you can think of. I’ve used my email as a scrapbook of bullshit. If my closets were a scrapbook of my debts, my emails were a scrapbook of my life on the web. I could just easily delete everything. Delete every malicious thing I have ever read about myself but something keeps me holding on to it. It’s like the constant emails I get from every store I’ve shopped at. Some of these stores I haven’t set foot in for years but their emails still fill my inbox. I don’t shop there. I can’t remember the last item of whatever clothing I wore from there but something keeps me subscribed. This weird psychological bullshit feeling that I need this. Holding on to these things will make me stronger.

We all know how that ends.

I didn’t need the clothes to make me happy. I didn’t need the debts that accumulated after all those purchases. I sure as hell don’t need an email from a person telling me what a fuck up I am. Besides, I am awesome, I don’t need an old email to tell me differently.

With that stated. Goodbye old emails. Goodbye old chats. Goodbye old photographs that only make me more upset. Goodbye old stores I haven’t shopped at since the early 2000. Goodbye to you for wasting all my time. Goodbye to all that.

Hit unsubscribe.

Then send.

 

I’m on my own hustle.

Another day, Another dollar.

Every new day that approaches is just another day to keep myself financially afloat. Finding creative ways to save money and even more creative ways to make money. Being in debt isn’t easy. You’re constantly trying to control every aspect of your finances and budgeting ways to make even the simplest things happen.  Basically if you read the fine print about my life, being in debt majorly sucks (along with a million other psychological scars). Weeding out a lot of the wants and focusing on only what I need, is one of the main factors of my budgeting. For the most part I have been doing well with taking care of my finances. I’ve stopped living paycheck to paycheck. I haven’t overdrafted my account in months. I have even managed to save money to pay a good chunk of my debt, as well as splurge on much needed fun vacations. While I am on my own hustle, I am completely aware that everyone else is on their own personal hustle. I get it. Times are rough. People need that extra chump change to pay for expenses. My personal dilemma is that I am a sucker for sob stories. If you tell me you don’t have any money, I believe you. If you tell me that your life is rough, I believe you. Which therefore makes me the biggest target.

People are natural born salesmen. They have the eyes and the ears to prey on human emotion. I know mainly because I have in my youth manipulated situations to get my way (who hasn’t). In this day and age people are becoming desperate in their attempts to make money. There are thousands of get rich scams born every day and some more obvious than the rest. I am just here to tell you that I get it. You don’t have to sell me on product. You don’t have to tell me how so and so product is the greatest thing since sliced bread. You don’t have to tell me that the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on product, your one product can do is less than 10 minutes. I GET IT. What gets me and absolutely breaks my heart are the sob stories that follow. The over all theme of every hustle is “I am broke, please buy my product”. What do I do? I buy the product. Told you I was a sucker.

Let me just get one thing straight, I am all for the hustle. Times are rough and making money at times isn’t as easy as going out and getting a job. We all want this lifestyle of never having to worry about money. Never having to pinch pennies to make ends meet. As I have stated times are rough, we all find ways to make up those extra expenses. We work longer hours to get our overtime pay. We take up extra responsibilities and at times take up an extra job or two. Sometimes that isn’t enough. We’ve already sacrificed many of our favorite things to make up for our expenses. Because of our expenses we turn to these get rich scams to help us out of a situations. We turn to the Mary Kay/Avon/Party Lite/ Tupperware parties to be our salvation for our needs. Like the sucker that I am, I fall into the trap. I fall for the “You don’t have to pay anything” pretense of the party, the allure of the appetizers, and sell of a great story. While I have been told multiple times, I don’t have to buy anything, I can’t help but buy. For every party that I have attended, if you sell me on a product more than likely I will buy it. If you tell me the wax doesn’t burn, I will believe you. If you tell me I’m spending too much money a basic lipstick and your formula is better for cheaper, I will believe you. I am being sold on an idea that this is the best product and all I am really seeing is that you need my help.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the next great product. However, I have drawers full of the next great product. Literally drawers full of varieties of makeup, shampoos, supplies, and all housed in their individual Tupperware container. One of my main problems with my debt is my inability to say “No”. When you invite me to your parties, I go to support you. While I know there is no obligations to purchase, I can’t help myself. I want to help you, I want you to be successful in your hustle. Sometimes helping your hustle is draining my own. As much I want to give you all the tools you need to succeed, I can’t help but fail myself in my own needs. I hate to be the bad guy and no matter what I say, I’m going to be the bad guy.  Truth of the matter is I do not have the money to spend.  To be completely blunt and honest, I don’t need whatever you are selling me. Unless it’s a magical eraser that will completely erase my debt, that is the only thing that I truly need. If I can’t spend money on myself, I’m sorry but I can’t help you in your hustle. Trust me when I say, I want to help you. Trust me when I say, I truly understand.

You have to understand where I am coming from. I have spent every last cent of my own money to help people out. I just don’t have it in my heart to keep saying yes, unfortunately I need to be realistic and start saying NO.  It’s not that I don’t believe in you, I do. Just out of respect for my own wallet and my own sanity, I have to politely decline. Please do not invite me to your hustle parties. Please do not try and sell me on the next great product. Please for whatever reason do not sell me on your sob story. I will support you in all that you do. I will pass out a catalog, and drop your name and the product you are selling to everyone. I will be more than happy to share your listings and your posts, but please do not pressure me to purchase. Debt is a 4 letter word that has consumed my life and I must focus on my own hustle before I can focus on yours. While I wish you luck in all your many pursuits, I just respect that you keep me out of them.

Thank you.

 

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart.

The very next day you gave it away.

And now the rest of you have that song in your head.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Alright, I came here for a purpose. At the moment I currently have 6 tabs open. Tabs consisting of Amazon, Sephora, Target, Old Navy, and of course Gmail (to track my purchases), it’s that time of year again folks. Aw yes, the holidays.

The holidays in all its mass commercial consumption of never ending spending glory. As of 10:40am on this 12th of December, I have not finished my shopping. To be honest, I don’t believe I was fully prepared for the holidays. I mean who is really prepared for them? The holiday decorations started as early as late August and as of now are in full effect. They were coming whether I liked it or not, and I was going to have to deal with it.

I’ll be honest. I love the holidays. Who doesn’t love an excuse to spread holiday cheer? Not to mention shower the people you care about with items that remind you of them. Holidays are basically the time to go absolutely overboard all for the sake of being jolly. You see it everywhere. In the over abundance of lights, decorations, and yes the festive gluttony of food. Oh, how we love our precious time together. While our bank accounts plummet, we manage to still enjoy this joyous time of year. After all it is the holidays, we’re allowed to over indulge during this time.  Spending time with the people that we love, enjoying every minute of the holidays.

Spend, spend, spend.

Every holiday season, I give myself a budget. After budgeting out my personal expenses (bills, necessities, etc.), I line out an idea of what I plan to spend. This of course is just a general idea. None of which actually works. Often times I over spend, over buy, and put myself in a little holiday debt. With the parties, you’re already factoring out the costs of what you’re bringing, bringing for the host and if you’re me, what you’re wearing to the party. Then comes the December birthdays, the birthdays that don’t associate themselves with the holidays but rather are a holiday in themselves. On top of that you have the mountains of holiday cards with accompanied stamps. Then comes the gifts, equipped with wrapping paper, cards, and more holiday cheer. By the end of the season, after the overwhelming allure of the holiday, you are absolutely wiped out. I am wiped out just by reading this. My bank account has come to a standstill. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. If I were a millionaire, I would spend every last cent to make people happy. Sadly, I am not a millionaire, therefore I am working through this holiday very slowly.

Over the years, I have over spent. The power of the holiday has compelled me to over spend! I buy way too many things, I buy too much wrapping paper and on top of it all, I over spend on myself. Sure the holiday is all about giving rather than receiving but shit, I need some things too! Which comes to my own personal dilemma. When does the spending ever really stop? As much as I want to erase my mountain of debt, I can’t help but add to it. When it comes to the holidays, who is going to stop me for buying things for people that I care about? Well of course the bill collectors are but still. It’s this cycle that can’t be stopped. You save this money for months, then in an instant it’s gone. That’s what I’ve always done. I saved to the point that I can’t save anymore. Then December hits and it’s gone.

Paycheck, savings, gone.

The only person I can really blame is myself. I do it because of this need to give. This desire to spend and not ask for anything in return. Mainly I do it because at the end of the day, it truly does make me happy to see people happy. Even if it’s just to see myself happy after months of not spending money. I of all people know I shouldn’t be spending money. Somewhere between the countless Christmas songs, the twinkling lights and the nostalgia, I just can’t seem to help myself. Who can really? It’s just one month of non-stop spending and come January we wash our debt slate clean. Just one rigorous cycle of spending and then the cycle of saving starts all over again.

Holidays are harder when you’re in debt. You have to over think every purchase, go over everything you really want to get, and more importantly only focus on getting the things you need. Gone are the days of spontaneous spending. Gone are the day of over indulgence. Gone are the days of drained bank accounts and patiently awaiting the next paycheck. This holiday season will be different. I have limits to my spending. Budgets are placed for a reason, whether I like it or not. More importantly as much as I want to over indulge for the people that I love, I just can’t. Sometimes our own person sacrifices come with a price. My price is the need to stop spending. Becoming creative with my spending and finding ways to save money. I wish it were easy. I wish I could just take my whole savings and spend every last cent of it. Sadly I can’t. Trust me, there are so many awesome, beautiful, sparkly things that I want. I just can’t have them. Not right now. Not at this time. I started this holiday season out differently. Planning, budgeting, and even going over the shopping cart item by item. Finding the promo codes, taking advantage of the free shipping, and saving items for another time. Removing items from my basket and just getting only the things I need. It’s a harder process but I know my bank account will thank me for it.

There it is, all of it. Last Christmas, I gave you my heart and now I’m left with a mountain of debt. Here’s to a holiday of being more creative and frugal with my spending. Wish me luck, guys!

 

Broken.

This post has actually been a little hard to write into words. I’ve actually deleted, rewrote, deleted, and tried to wrap my head around everything. For a long time I felt broken, that no matter what I did nothing would take away that feeling. It was always about rearranging the pieces instead of putting them back together. Instead of finding ways to make myself better, I ended up just making things worse. When you’re broken you will do just about anything to make yourself whole. Even if it takes everything you have to make that emptiness you feel inside disappear. Without realizing it, I was attracting all the darkness because I believed that’s what I deserved. When you’ve reached rock bottom the only thing left to do is to wallow in the shadows until you’re strong enough to overcome it.

Being heartbroken is worse than any loneliness. I think that’s why so many of us stay in some fucked up relationships. Being sad and unhappy in a relationship is far better than ever being lonely. At least then you have a reason to be unhappy. When you’re alone, you’re left with your own failures. I never believed that would happen to me. The hopeless romantic that cried at the end of every love song, that believed that at the end of the day love will overcome everything. It’s weird to look back at the past and think “How could I have been so stupid”. That’s what I was. I was stupid, hopeless, and a complete fool for love. I believed that being unhappy would eventually lead to happiness. That for every dollar I spent, for every shopping bag full of stuff that I would feel better. Instead I felt more alone and miserable. In the mist of my own self absorbed sadness, he found me and I believed it would all disappear. It’s funny how people have a way of changing something inside of you. He didn’t make me feel better, he only made things worse.

Its weird how you can always remember the worst of people. After 5 years, I stopped remembering if he was ever a good person to begin with. 5 years ago he was my absolute world. I found everything about him just absolutely fascinating.  It was his manner of viewing the world and how he presented himself to everyone that made me believe for a long time that I loved him. The moment you make someone the center of your universe is the same moment they absolutely let you down. Just as the many people before him, he didn’t care about me. To him I was just someone that filled the void until something better came along, and for 5 years I allowed him to treat me that way. I allowed his own insecure nature manifest its vileness into my well being. Because of my lack of judgment and inability to see what was happening, I allowed him to treat me in the most horrible way. For years I allowed him to break my spirit all for the sake of believing that was love. For every time he cut me down, I hurt myself. For every time he told me I was worthless, I believed him. I believed him until my arms were raw and my stomach bled from the countless times I threw up my food to make myself what he wanted me to be. To him I was nothing, and to me he was everything. When you’re broken you want to believe that people want the absolute best for you. For the longest time I believed that’s what he wanted.

There were so many aspects of that “relationship” that were bad. So many things I hid from the world because no one would believe me. I was already an emotional person that even if I mentioned how bad it got people wouldn’t believe me. He had a way to switch on/off his flaws, I couldn’t do that. There were moments that would get so bad I honestly wished he would hit me. If he hit me it would mean that he truly hated me and it wouldn’t just be words that I kept inside. He never did but that never stopped his crusade of a venomous character. For every joke he told people, I lived with the consequences. I was never good enough, I was always too fat, too ugly, and I was a dead weight that was too large to carry in his lifetime. He never cared about how the words would affect me. He only cared about how much I would invest in what we were doing and how much he was gaining from it. As soon as his demands were met, only then could we honestly be together. I was a fool to believe him, but believing that being in a relationship would make the pain go away I did everything he said. I paid for every outing, paid for ever dinner, and took care of everything. In the course of those 5 years of an off and on friendship the only thing he ever gave me was a small soda and enough psychological damage to last a lifetime. For years I dealt with the consequences of that “relationship”. The countless of my friends that still remain friends with him, the times he contacted me when ever he felt broken, and yet I allowed it. I allowed this cycle of complete destruction stay because I deserved it. It was my insecurities that were driving a wedge between our friendship. It was all my unhappiness undoing our friendship and he was just trying to make everything better.

I believed that.

5 years was my expiration date. The first year I blamed myself. I thought without him I would die. That everything he said was right and because of that I blamed myself for everything. The second year I believed he would come back. By the third year I was finally coming to terms that I drove him away because he made no mistaken that it was everything I did that was wrong. By the fourth year, I was done. The fourth year was finally letting go of being broken. Finally realizing that I needed to let go of everyone and anyone that made me hurt. I was physically and emotionally exhausted from all my self destructive nature. I wanted nothing more but to finally feel free, to finally feel something instead of the complete emptiness I felt inside. For the first time I was able to hold my meals down without worrying about if people knew what I was doing. I was able to finally let the wounds heal and scar naturally. When you finally let go of all the wrong people, you finally allow yourself to heal properly.  Now at the fifth year I can breathe. I still have a lot of my insecurities but for the first time I don’t feel broken. I lost so much of myself searching for his level of perfection, I lost sight of who I was. When I finally let him go, I finally allowed all my broken pieces come back together.

You’re wondering what this has to do with my problems with debts. This had everything to do with it. I was so completely heartbroken that I found myself running from one problem to another. For every pound I lost I spent more money. For every time I didn’t want people to know about my well being, I invited people out and paid for everything. If I drew the attention away from what was really hurting, I wouldn’t have people worry about me. Because of my self destructive nature, I invited a variety of vile people into my life. I was ashamed to say I needed help and I was scared of people finding out what truly was happening. It was easy to pretend that behind every fabulous coat hid a tragic story. That every article of clothing I wore was a battle I was overcoming. I was hurting emotionally and physically and the only way to hide how I felt was buying everything. For every year he came in and out of my life, I found some way to try to make him stay. Every time he left, the cycle of self destruction would happen all over again. I couldn’t help the pain I was feeling so I had to find ways to deal with the sadness and failure of my life. I didn’t care how much it cost me, I just wanted a cheap fix for all my situations. I was wrong. I was wrong for so many reasons.

Our ending was the start of my new beginning. For the first time in years I stopped crying because he wasn’t in my life. While it’s taken everything I have to finally come to terms with what happened, I no longer break because of it. No amount of money I spend will ever bring anyone back. All of the sparkly things I buy is not going to make anyone stay. I know that now. If I could be honest about anything, is finally being honest with what happened. What we had wasn’t love. I was just so tired of being lonely that my desperation for love found the wrong person. For the risk of failing as I had with countless things in my life, I tried to make everything work even if that meant sacrificing my own happiness. To him he never saw my attempts as kindness, to him my kindness was my weakness that he used to his full advantage. I allowed him to do that. I allowed him to dictate my life the moment he said he only wanted what was best for me. I know better now, I know that people that vile will never hurt me again. As much as it all hurt, as many tears that I cried I know he was not the one for me. It’s funny how things change us. I am not the same person I was a year ago, let alone 5 years ago and I’m okay with that. Everything that once broke my heart doesn’t hold the same meaning as it once did. Its when you’ve lost everything that you finally regain the strength back in the light. I’ve stopped hurting, I’ve stopped blaming myself and best of all I can finally be honest with everything in my past to finally be free.

Through it all, I can live with that.

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Back in 2009, I watched a film called “Confessions of a Shopaholic” (film was based on the Shopaholic novels by Sophie Kinsella).
confessions_of_a_shopaholic_12

If you’ve never seen it, breakdown:

It’s about a girl named Rebecca Bloomwood, who’s a writer and because of her shopaholic ways ends up thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt. Not to mention she starts writing articles for a financial magazine about being responsible about your finances and wellllll ohhh the irony seeing that she is flooded with never ending debt.

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

Basically my life story without the designer wardrobe, less accumulated debt, or the handsome Hugh Dancy.

While I did absolutely enjoy the film, I at the time of the films release could not possibly relate. Actually, I just absolutely refused to relate. My spending wasn’t that out of hand. I had an absolute handle on my finances. Sure I didn’t have money. Sure I spent every paycheck on unnecessary things, but I wasn’t spending $325 a check on various handbags or shoes. I was in control of my money, in control of my life. The only thing I absolutely learned from that movie, wasn’t to save money. No. Not at all. What I learned was that I needed to step my wardrobe game up.

At the time of the film’s release I was 27, recently getting over a broken heart and you guessed it broke. I had a very good job, making really great money (great money that I knew how to spend). I worked literally 5 minutes away from my home and I should have been content. I should have been fine with the cards I had before me. Sadly once you start the process into your late 20s you become disillusioned with your current state and start thinking of the past. At least thats what I did. Processing a broken heart is a long process to begin with, processing a broken spirit can take a lifetime. I was in the middle of both problems. I was unhappy with my life, unhappy with the state of my solitude and started a downward spiral of spending.

Here was my situation:

While making money is great (Honestly who doesn’t like making money), my job wasn’t my ideal job. For the past 12 years, I had worked more than 10 different jobs and never felt any of those jobs fit who I was. I had been working non-stop since I was 14, I needed a change. What a normal motivated individual my age would have done was figured out a way out of that slump.  Either finding work in a different industry or just figuring some aspect of a plan. Had I been in a right state of mind I would have done that. Since I was still completely heartbroken, I found myself drowning myself in work and trying as much as I could to occupy my time. Work helped with the forgetting but it also made my life miserable. Honestly I didn’t know what I wanted as a career. I was finding some amusement keeping with a blog but nothing too spectacular. I loved photography but honestly I had grown tired of taking everyone’s picture. I was burnt out. I had been a nanny, telemarketer, admin assistant, executive assistant, personal assistant, receptionist, claims specialist, hostess, sales assistant, general store clerk, and all before the age of 27. I needed a new beginning. I needed a different change of pace. I also needed a new wardrobe in order to go into my new life.

Somewhere I had heard that to start fresh you need to get rid of the old and start purchasing the new. Purge yourself of your old life and make way for a crisp clean new beginning. Here I wanted a new life, something to get me out of this slump I was in. I wanted something that would make my outsides look fabulous that would in turn make my insides feel good. Equipped with various subscriptions to different varieties of magazines (Elle, Vogue, W) for inspiration and a new spending account, I was well on my way to a new start. Therefore I started with the first place I would get the most notice, my wardrobe.

My average paycheck from my employer at the time was around $1225 bi-weekly. I was making roughly around $612.50 a week. Coming from working at jobs where I was averaging $300 a week from temping, seeing $1225 on my check was good money. While I had always had a passion for fashion, I could never really afford the beautiful luxuries I loved in the magazines. Sure I’d splurge on a great pair of designer sunglasses (Dior “Glossy” $325, Marc Jacobs “Terry” $325, Dior “AviaDior” $425, etc), but owning a pair of Louboutins was just ridiculous. With the help of the wonderful world of Ebay, Ebay helped me obtain all my designers needs for a fraction of the cost. Then you have to put into account that a lot of H&M’s were opening up in shopping malls near me, the complete access of online shopping, on top of the Ebaying, that’s how it all began. Since I was convinced that owning new things would be the first start to changing my well being, I had a spending no-holds-bar-free-for-all. Lets break this down to the theory of emotions. A majority of everything I buy is based on emotions, during this excess spending there was no exception.

With a large collection of monthly magazine subscriptions, I started reading various articles of ways to get over a broken heart. One of them happened to be: “To get over a past relationship, rid yourself of anything that reminds you of your past relationship“. The article went into detail about things you should keep, things you shouldn’t keep and a variety of those items of course had to do with wardrobe. Since I was extremely broken hearted, I got rid of anything that reminded me of the past. Instead of getting rid of it, in the way of donations I found ways to make a profit of my heartbreaking items. I started selling everything. Craigslist became a huge factor and when items wouldn’t sell on craigslist I would sell on ebay. I didn’t care if I made my money back, I just wanted to get rid of things that reminded me of the past. Anything that was a memory of a sad time in my life, I wanted completely out of my house. I didn’t need this bad juju going into my new start, my fresh beginning. With the profits of my sellings, I started buying new things. Things that were going to improve my well being, my new fresh start.

The Spending Breakdown:

My monthly income: $2450

My monthly expenses (phone, insurance, credit card bills, gas): $382
Miscellaneous expenses (going out, restaurants, coffee): $344
Just my expenses alone: $726 a month

My “New beginning” spending income: $1724

Sales from Ebay/Craigslist monthly: $300 +
H&M: $300
Target: $500
Nordstrom: $150
Neiman Marcus: $375
Sephora: $75
Ebay: $400
Urban Outfitters: $100
Total Left over from Spending: $124

My monthly expenses allowed me to have a spending cushion of about $1724, to which I used to my advantage. Problem with that spending cushion was that I wasn’t budgeting any of that. I wasn’t putting more money to my minimum payment on either of my credit cards. I wasn’t even properly saving money. How I saw my check bi-weekly was $1225, the lump sum of the week where I had endless possibilities. Instead of budgeting my expenses or cutting costs in items I didn’t need, I spent more. On top of the need to change for my new beginning, more excess spending started happening. Upon reading all these “life changing” articles in various magazines, I found myself spending even more. A few items from Urban Outfitters, A few designer dresses from Ebay, unlimited amounts of new products from Sephora. My room started to look like a UPS shipping center. Items were coming in and leaving just the same. For every one thing I sold, I bought two items in it’s place. If I sold a Marc by Marc Jacobs dress (purchased for $325, sold for $100), I bought 2 more dresses (Ebay find: Marc by Marc Jacobs Dress $100, BCBG Dress $295). While I saw income coming in, none of it was making any profit. Since I was spending the money before I had any chance of making a profit, I was left more broke then when I started. Somehow I didn’t care. I was so completely numb from heart break that I didn’t realize that my $1225 dollar paycheck was leaving me only $100 until my next paycheck. Instead of saving that $100 dollars, I did what any irresponsible person would do. I spent it. I went from having a $1225 dollar paycheck to having only $100 dollars for two weeks. All in the name of a broken spirit and new beginnings. No matter how many times my parents told me to save my money. The countless times I had to ask for a handout to get me out of my overdraft hell, I couldn’t stop spending. The spending like much of my life was completely out of control. Yet somehow I wasn’t Rebecca Bloomwood status. I was still keeping up with all my payments and even if that meant my account would overdraft, all of my personal expenses were always paid on time. I didn’t have any bill collectors calling about my debts. While I did have debts, I paid just enough to cover my expenses. Yet never enough to fully be out of the hole.

Left to Right: BCBG Sequined Dress $295, H&M Dress $29.95,Topshop dress $59.90, Robert Rodriguez Dress $99, H&M Dress $34.95.  TOTAL: $518.80

Left to Right: BCBG Sequined Dress $295, H&M Dress $29.95,Topshop dress $59.90, Robert Rodriguez Dress $99, H&M Dress $34.95.
TOTAL: $518.80

Budgeting was a word that did not exist in my vocabulary. I was looking great. I had great clothes, great accessories, therefore people started to take notice. My once conservative way of dressing, turned into a more colorful approach to fashion. My wardrobe went from only a few key pieces to an assortment of stylish must haves. The more people complimented my ensemble, the more I felt the need to buy. It got to the point where I stopped finding the need to get rid of items and started to keep them. I state that I’m an emotional shopper because while I was purchasing things for my new start/new beginnings I was still miserable. I wanted to fill the void of my unhappiness that I found myself spending more money to obtain this happiness. The only time I had ever felt a pure sense of happiness was buying something. Because buying beautiful things meant something big was around the corner. With every new purchase I found myself wearing only a fraction of what I bought. For every 7 things I bought, 2 would be worn religiously. 3 would be kept for “special occasion” purposes, still with tags. The remaining 2 items would never be worn and just be hidden in the closet until I do my yearly donations, and still with the price tags. The $300 dollars or so I would spend at the store and wear only about $60 dollars worth of the purchase. I would be left $240 shoppers defeat and $240 dollars out of my account and deeper in the hole. It was this need for the luxurious things that will make my life better. So I thought. When you start maxing out your credit cards all for the “love” of fashion your realize that something eventually has to give. In the course of that time I had managed to spend a little over $3,000 in the course of 4 months. 4 months! If I wasn’t going out every weekend or buying everything I could get my hands on, I was paying off debts and finding ways to make more money.

What I should have done was asked for help. I should have talked to someone the moment any or all of this emotional bullshit was happening. I didn’t, I thought this was a problem I needed to solve myself. The only way I could resolve any issue I had, was with spending thousands of dollars on bullshit purchases.  It was more than just the spending, it was this emotional void that I thought I was filling with buying beautiful things. Looking at that part of my life as the person I am now, I just wondered why no one shook me and said what I was doing was wrong. Nothing I was feeling internally could be solved throwing money at a problem. No matter how much a bag, scarf, jacket, or sunglasses cost, while beautiful it may be was never going to ever make my insides feel better. While my spending has since downscaled since the Shopaholic Storm of 07. I can’t help but look at a lot of the items from that time period and think “Man I spent 400 bucks on this?”.

While I may not have had the supreme spending power as Rebecca Bloomwood, I did feel the void she did. Just that notion that all of our saddest darkest moments could be solved with a credit card and a shopping spree at Bendel’s. Thousands of dollars in debt later we both realized that, none of that was healthy. No amount of beautiful items will ever make us happy (as much as we didn’t want to believe it). The temporary happiness we get from buying things can never silence how we feel on the inside. While it took Rebecca Bloomwood about midway through the film to realize her mistakes (probably longer in the books), it has taken me a few years to realize my wrong doing. I get it. We live, we learn, and we save up money to pay off our debts. We all have to grown up sometime. While I may not have been vocal about my problems in the past, it’s good to get a handle of my emotional needs now a days. I know I am not perfect, I never pretended to be. Eventually we all find ways to bring our happiness back with out the need of material things. At the end of the film Rebecca eventually found a way to be happy and debt free. Soon, so will I.

Let it go.

Do you ever get those days of pure rage?

Where you just want to take everything you own and light everything on fire. I don’t just mean putting it in the car and lighting the contents on fire “waiting to exhale” status (but hey that works too). I mean everything. In this “Everything must go” field just letting every single item you once cared about go. Just let it burn and start all over; a fresh clean slate. I do, I honestly think about letting everything burn and watching it turn to ash on a daily basis. Mainly just an easy cop out then actually dealing with my materialistic situation at hand.

This scene. ALWAYS.

This scene. ALWAYS.

Okay arson aside. I’d love to live with only the essentials. Only the things I needed. A complete minimalistic way of living as opposed to how I live now. As of right now, I’m surrounded by mountains of clutter. Countless stacks of magazines, unopened packages*, clothes, accessories, unread books, and well… you get the picture. You know they say you can tell a lot about a person from the way they dress? Well, lets just say a room is a reflection of their soul. Right now my room is a big hot mess (that I occasionally want to light on fire). Everything I’ve ever purchased is looking straight at me with its beady little eyes. Judging me. (Yes, because Toy Story has managed to make me believe that everything comes to life when I look away. JUDGE ME!). I know they say it’s hard letting go but since I’m too afraid of arson (and since I live at home with my folks), lighting everything on fire is not an option. Things have to be done, things have got to change, and well that expensive Marc by Marc Jacobs dress that I paid $325 dollars for in 2006 and still haven’t worn, has got to go.

photo 1

Over stuffed closet, Cluster of accessories, the stack of unread recently purchased books, over congested magazine collection. Yup, be afraid.

This debt didn’t just happen overnight. It was slowly accumulating and I allowed it to happen. In this $26,000 dollar debt, I’ve realized a majority of it comes from impulsive buying. I don’t mean just impulse buying when the item is on sale (that happens too). I mean the emotional need to have things, just to have them. The “I’m having a bad day, I’m going to spend money” or the “I’m having a great day lets celebrate by buying this”. Truth of the matter is I am an emotional shopper. Everything in my room is there for the sake of pure emotion. I can pick up just about anything in my room and tell you when and why I bought said item.

You think I’m kidding.

In April of 2006 I purchased a friend of mine a rather expensive bottle of perfume. Marc Jacobs “Grass” Splash perfume which at the time retailed for $90 dollars. While getting her gift I managed to fall in love with Marc Jacobs “Cotton” Splash Perfume from the same collection. Instead of purchasing just the one bottle of perfume, I managed to pay for not only 1 expensive bottle of perfume but 2 rather expensive bottles of perfumes. Somewhere inside my head I thought “I’ve been working a lot, I deserve a new perfume”. That’s how the cycle starts. You start to see yourself buying something for someone and your own selfish greed takes over. I didn’t need that perfume. Putting in the emotion to buy it for someone else, caused me to believe I needed one too. I know I should have thought of a cheaper gift and in 2006 I was not in the head space (more on this in future posts) to even purchase such a luxurious gift but I did. That bottle of perfume is just one of the many countless stories and deductions of my bank account in my life. $180 dollars (plus tax) for two bottles of perfume, I could have easily purchased something else. I didn’t and well you get the general idea.

My $90 dollar investment. Marc Jacobs "Cotton". If you're wondering, it does smell heavenly.

My $90 dollar investment. Marc Jacobs “Cotton”. If you’re wondering, it does smell heavenly.

My closet is no exception. I can look up and down that closet and tell you where/what/ how/why, I bought every single item in my closet.

“Oh it was on sale”

“It was 50% off the entire store”

“I was having a bad day”

“THEY WERE HAVING A SALE”

and my personal favorite…

“I JUST HAD TOO”.

I just had too.

Now I just have to let all these things go. Carrie Bradshaw once said “I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet“. Well my money is doing nothing for me except gathering dust and collecting more debt. Letting go is hard. I know I’ve been there so many times through friendships, relationships, arguments, but material items? Can’t I just stay a little bit longer in my room of clutter? It’s just stuff right?

That’s my problem. I can say “let it go” to anyone and in reality, I’m coming home to a cluster of shit. Its this emotional graveyard of items from a time I can’t let go. That Marc by Marc Jacobs dress had a reason to be bought. Now looking at the dress it doesn’t seem so special as it once did. I haven’t worn it, it still has the price tag. What good is it doing the dress just hanging in the closet? Clothes should be worn to be seen not hidden in a wardrobe for the “maybe I should wear this” day.  Letting go is more then leaving everything behind.  Its saying goodbye to a part of our life; to the person we once were. The person that was so happy to buy the dress because she was having such a cruddy day. The person that bought that dress because this dress was going to change everything. The dress exuded happiness. Then the dress came home and all I was left with was buyers remorse. I had too much pride to take it back, so it sits in the closet waiting for the day to be alive. $325 dollars just accumulated more debt in my closet. Lovely.

Marc by Marc Jacobs "Crinkle" Dress. $325 Brand New with tags. I know I'm disgusting. UGH!

Marc by Marc Jacobs “Crinkle” Dress. $325 Brand New with tags. I know I’m disgusting. UGH!

Not anymore. It has to go. Everything. Anything with a price tag, anything I haven’t worn in a long time, anything I bought because of some emotional bullshit, ALL OF IT. Just have to let it go. Letting go is hard. It’s a cold saying but after getting rid of all the clutter can make way for bigger and better things (within my price range that is). Letting go can finally free me of this suffocation I feel for having so much crap. By letting go it finally releases all the emotional garbage left in the corpses of these material objects. With that I am going to let it go to everything. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING must go. I started boxing up magazines. Tearing apart my closet, my accessories, cleaning out my DVD collection. Instead of buying new books when they came out, I started finally reading the books I have stacked up. Honestly it sucks. It’s that itch you just want to scratch but can’t reach. I just want to buy things. If I have a bad day, I need to buy something. I just can’t bring myself to do it. After placing items for sale and giving things away, I finally realized something. It didn’t hurt anymore. The want for beautiful things will always be there. What can I say I love beautiful things but this need for things just stopped. I am finally able to let go of things I don’t need and never needed to begin with. Finally able to be okay with not having everything I want. While I mourn my former spend-a-holic life, I will continue to listen to “Let it Go” from the film Frozen for motivation. If only life were more like a Disney movie. Where I had a magic wand to change everything, a motivating song to empower me, and a fairy godmother to make me pretty gowns (tax free). Sadly my life is not a musical and Disney is a little too expensive for my tastes at the moment. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Lets sing and mourn together, shall we?

*packages were purchased before this budget saving makeover. DON’T GET IT TWISTED.

 

Closet Debt aka This is why I can’t have nice things. **

Marc Jacobs Splash Perfumes: $90
Marc by Marc Jacobs Crinkle Dress: $325
Brand New  items of clothing in closet with price tags: $1742
Unread books: $250
Brand new cosmetics: $150
Brand New DVD’s: $100
TOTAL: $2,407

**If anyone in interested in any of my clothes, feel free to ask me. I can cut you in on a deal.