Saturday, October 1, 2011

Financial Death-Spiral

You know how a lot of nutritionists tell you not to deprive yourself too much when dieting, or you'll just overindulge to compensate later?  I've come to discover that's kind of how budgeting works, too.

I'm usually the most frugal person ever.  I only buy what I absolutely need.  But every once in a while, my strict self-discipline backfires and a little part of me rebels.  Lately I've been going through one of those phases.  I blame it on the fact that normally, I only buy what I absolutely need because I only have enough money to buy what I absolutely need, whereas lately, I've been working a little more than usual and I actually have extra money.  After months of telling myself, "No, Haley, you can't have that bag of chips because you might overdraw your checking account," something inside me has just snapped.  I'm going to have that bag of chips, and not Buddha or Wells Fargo or my sense of propriety is going to stop me.

It's not that I'm some frivolous person who buys designer handbags on a whim.  The things I want are inexpensive.  The only problem is, I still can't really afford them.

The voice in my head has a point.  $2.98 is not that much money, and maybe I'm not THAT poor.  But then the same thing happens with half a dozen other items that are 98 cents… $1.49… $3.69… and before you know it, I'm bringing home four bags of Halloween candy, a pack of bargain granola, an extra box of oatmeal (they were Buy 2 for $5!), and a kale plant (only $2.32 for limitless amounts of fresh kale!) in addition to all my "regular" groceries (and by "regular" I mean "things I eat because it's easier to just keep making the same grocery list week after week").  I'm still convinced I'm saving money on that oatmeal in the long run.  And the kale will feed us this winter!  Except Ari doesn't like kale.  More kale for me!

This erratic behavior has been going on for about three weeks now.  I've also splurged on two chrysanthemum plants, a daisy that I literally bought out of pity because it had been abandoned in the wrong section of Lowe's, a walking stick (solid hickory!), a delivery pizza, and a sock monkey hat and matching scarf from work.

In my defense, I got a compliment on that sock monkey hat last night, and I'm pretty sure it was only half sarcastic.

When word spreads that I've lost my grip on reality, squandered all my money on candy corn, and moved back in with my parents, this post should answer a lot of questions.


  1. I'm not even sure I know what Kale IS. That being said, I'm pretty sure a financial death-spiral involves more "I just bought a $4,000 used card with a loan even though I've got a car, but its okay because this car has four-wheel drive that we might need in case we end up living on a mountain again and that would be bad."

    You see. Financial death-spirals involve run on sentences and poor justification. Worse than "but its yummy". So I think you're doing just fine.

    Also I didn't just spend almost $60 on stuff for a house warming party that was totally superfluous and only for the purpose of showing off our new and totally kickass house.

  2. For the record guys, he DID spend almost $60 on stuff for a housewarming party. ;)

  3. I thought the economy was improving, and now I know why, it was the Haley's Urge for a Spending Splurge.
    Tickle Down Emocomics, oops, I mean Economics.

  4. Yeeeees, it's all part of my economic recovery plan! You're welcome, America.

  5. How did I miss this post?
    I feel the same way. My response to myself is, " I HAVE A JOB! I CAN AFFORD ALL THE THINGS!"

  6. Pff, you and your fancy job that pays money!

    Now I'm imagining you waist-high in jellybeans, laughing maniacally.

  7. LOL. c: Amazing.

    I've so done this.

    Like, with chocolate bars...

    "...Your already overweight, but that chocolate bar is only 99cents... >3>... Don't do it...."

    /at checkout counter with head hung low and candybar on counter/ xD

  8. Just bought oatmeal raisin cookies to avoid eating our Halloween candy before Halloween. Financial Death-Spirals take teamwork.