savings

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.

It’s all about the price tag.

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There is no word more frightening to person dealing with debt then the word “SALE”.  While “sale” to the average person means saving a buck or two, to a person with debt it means throwing money away on unnecessary items. I would know, I have fallen victim to the sale trap on multiple occasions. Actually to be completely honest, I have once again fallen victim to the trap! How can anyone say no to 50% off? How can anyone say no to promo codes and coupons? I know very well, I don’t need the items, but I want them.

There we go.

I don’t “need” the items but I “want” them. Are we seeing a pattern here?

The problem with sales isn’t in the saving of money, its in this uncontrollable urge to have everything. There is no knowledge of self control when a sale is involved. Think I am lying? When was the last time you walked into a store that was having a sale and didn’t see people walk out with shopping bags full of items? Yup, NO SELF CONTROL. I obviously do not believe in self control. I don’t. If I see an item that is regularly priced for X amount of money, I don’t purchase it (SEE! I am getting better!). However, if I see the same item 50% off, I purchase it. I mean at half the price, they’re practically giving it away right?

Wrong.

For every 50% off, I end up paying more then my fair share. While the illusion is to save money on multiple items, the reality is I am spending money on everything. I do know my limits in regards to items I could purchase. However, if I am seeing that I am saving money, I will spend the money. Which defeats the purpose of saving money. I want to save money. I need to pay off debts, but with all these annual, semi-annual, blockbuster sales, they are not helping the cause. I know it’s great to reward and indulge every once in a while but it’s a revolving door of unwanted purchases. All of which I don’t need. I have a hard time coming to the conclusion of not needing the items. Somewhere deep inside comes the need to have them. I need them. I need them because I can’t live without them. When you throw a temporary price cut on top of that, that’s when the problems happen.

Truth is I am doing very well with handling my finances. It’s these tiny temptations that come in all shapes and sizes. While I have stopped emotional spending, I just can’t get over the “sale” hurdle. I know very well I don’t need these items. I know that. I have even gone as far as getting rid of a majority of things in my closet. I just can’t bring myself to let go of a “good” deal. These deals that seem too good to be true. I find myself trapped between sale prices and free shipping. That I am actually saving money because I didn’t leave my house to purchase these items. It’s an ongoing dilemma that while I have rid myself of all the things I don’t need, I need to purchase things to make up for it. Sure they don’t cost as much as all the original items I had, but here’s 4 more at the fraction of the cost. It’s got to stop.

I told myself I would be strong. That I would stop purchasing things I didn’t need and focus on the mountains of things I do have. The whole point of being financial stable is to come to a point in your life that you don’t need those items. Sure an item here or there is fine, but every other week? It’s time to finally put the wallet away. Time to get rid of the things I don’t need anymore. More importantly, stop throwing away my money on things I believe are a “good” deal.

Simplify.

If only that was easy.

Ellie – 1
Sales – 25

SOBS.