spending

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.

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!

 

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’s take this back to the start.

Let’s take this back.

Way back.

Like to the way, way baaaaaaaaack.

brokecitystyle on Instagram - Internet Explorer 392014 15429 PM.bmp

My adorable cuteness and my the Barbie kitchen and closet accessories I got from Santa. Santa always knew what was up. Thanks Santa!

When I was a small adorable child, I loved many things. My little pony, Barbies, stickers, colored pencils, Fred Savage from The Wonder Years…..AND MONEY. Even as a small child I knew the importance of what money brings. Money brings nice things. Money can buy you pretty things. What I didn’t know then was when I received that crisp 20 dollar bill in my Birthday card, that money would become the start of all things wrong in my life. It’s actually really sad to think that I, coming from two great law abiding, hard working and not to mention money frugal parents, would be in debt. After my parents instilled in me the value of a dollar, hard work and paying off debts, I didn’t listen. After receiving my money for birthdays , I would save it because that’s what I should be doing. That’s what I was taught to do. Save it for a rainy day. I did save. I had a nice little $100 dollar cushion. Then a book fair would happen in school; I just NEEDED those Luke Perry & Beverly Hills, 90210 books.

Honestly if I didn't own this book, I would know nothing about the Stars of Beverly Hills 90210!!!

Honestly if I didn’t own this book, I would know nothing about the Stars of Beverly Hills 90210!!!

Needed them.

NEED.

The word NEED is also the root of all evils. Honestly I didn’t NEED those books. I didn’t NEED half of the stuff I bought when I was younger. Frankly, I don’t NEED any of the stuff I currently own now. Why is that? Why is it we always NEED what we can’t afford, always NEED what we can’t have, always have the need to NEED something. A majority of all my neediness comes from sadness. The generic thinking that I needed something to make me happy. If I bought a new toy, or if my Barbie needed a new outfit I would buy them. While I did enjoy a happy childhood at home, its the sadness that I endured internally that was never satisfied until I had something. It didn’t matter what that something was. I just needed to have it. The one of many things that would make me happy. While both of my parents were extremely hard working, they showered myself and my sibling with everything we needed. A roof over our head, food on the table, stability in our home life. We were never left without needing anything. Of course when you’re younger you want more. So you vow that when you’re of age to work, that you would work hard to get all the things you’ve ever dreamed of. All the things you needed but never got.  It’s only then when you work hard, you earn hard. When you earn hard, you make money. When you make money, you can buy all the pretty things you want. Then once you have everything you ever wanted, will you truly be happy. That was my sad make believe assumption.

From the moment I had my first job at age 14 to my recent job at age 31, I have nothing but expensive expenses to show for a lifetime of spending. I have nothing but debts to re-encounter every single purchase I have ever made. Everything adds up by the way. No matter how many times you put money towards paying off a debt, you immediately go back to spending. You see this new available balance and you can’t help but tell yourself “I have $100 dollars on my Wellsfargo Visa, I can eat at this restaurant and spend $30 dollars on myself”. That $30 dollar meal, turns into a $30 dollar meal and a coffee. That $30 dollar meal and a coffee, turns into $30 dollar meal and the new album by so and so band. With that you’ve spend $75 dollars, before you know it your new statement arrives and you’ve spent the $100 dollars you just put in. Because you forget that there’s a finance charge at the end of every period.  My $30 dollar “I deserve it meal”, just cost me a $100 bucks.

The sad realization that everything in this photo aside from dress (which I didn't purchase) comes to a total of $395.23. Everything that I'm wearing, drinking, including what's in the basket. Debt is the reason I can't have nice things.

The sad realization that everything in this photo aside from dress (which I didn’t purchase) comes to a total of $395.23. Everything that I’m wearing, drinking, including what’s in the basket. Debt is the reason I can’t have nice things.

I’m miserable. Then what do I do? I get paid and buy something with my debit card. It’s this never ending cycle of spending that you don’t realize is a seriously problem, which in turn makes you upset, which then makes you miserable. While my peers and friends my age are building families, their own person legacies, not to mention doing a lot of traveling; I’m pinching pennies to buy a $4.95 coffee. Because instead of looking at the bigger picture of saving money for a rainy day; I’ve spent EVERYTHING.  But hey, I NEEDED THOSE THINGS. I live too fast and spend way too furiously. Its because in those 40 minutes you spent at the store, the half hour you spent eating a delicious meal, or the 5 minutes it took to get your expensive coffee, it was in that exact moment you felt happy.

Boy did you feel happy. Which lasted a full 5 minutes and then you’re back where you started from. The never ending cycle of excess spending.

That’s my problem. I realized how truly unhappy I was the moment I returned from a month long visit in Mexico (of course more money I didn’t need to spend, but reality was I needed this trip). In that month I spent no money on either of my credit cards, I bought no new clothes, didn’t have to eat at all the new restaurants, didn’t need that expensive fancy coffee every day. Sure I spent money I had saved on meals and adventures, but I didn’t feel the need to have everything. I didn’t need much of anything. While I realized that I live in a country of extreme excess, it was humbling to see life different from my own. Maybe that’s all we need. A slice of humble pie to bring us back to reality. The moment I walked into my room after a month long hiatus of being gone, I couldn’t believe myself. I honestly saw myself for what I was. I was a emotional hoarder who had a huge spending problem. My depression brought out the worst in myself and lead me in a downward spiral of clutter. I took one look in my room and told myself “I am better than this bullshit stuff”.

That’s how it started. How it all began. It took a little girl who felt the need to have everything to finally come to terms with her true unhappiness. I was rewarding my bad behavior with expensive items I didn’t need. Purchasing things to mask how truly sad I was on the inside and how ugly I felt. The years of problems I had in my life showed itself to me the moment I set foot in my room. The past relationship rewards, the sad breakup rewards, the countless bad day rewards, ALL OF IT. And you know what? I feel better knowing that I am on the road to being happy. It’s going to be hard to resist buying pretty shiny new things, but for my own well being it needs to be done. I have to keep telling myself, what’s better: being happy or a new kate spade wallet? Okay, wait. Let me rephrase that. What’s better: being happy or debt? Yeah that’s what I thought. Move along.

This is my introduction to a more frugal way of living and these are my own personal stories I am sharing with the world.

If you see me in the store with too many things in my cart, please feel free to keep me in check.