Week 53: The Cure

Week 53: The Cure

Last week I wrote about my struggle to resist yet another mind-concocted temptation. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to shake. It never is.

First I just stopped looking. That’s step one. Hard when media and Google is at your finger tips. And you know how those ads, the ones targeted specifically to you, tend to show you what you were last looking at? I was seeing Blundstone boots along the border of my Facebook page for days. I averted my eyes.

The next step was to try to get it out of my system via distraction. Maybe, I thought, I just need to shop; window shopping could do the trick. Often, I discover that when I am at the store I lose all interest…the physical reality of things instead of it’s shiny perfect-in-picture-only existence, is sometimes enough to snap me out of it.

One of my favorite places to shop is the thrift store. Because of this year long challenge, though, I’ve been staying away as best I can. Going to thrift stores is a sure way of accumulating unnecessary items. And though they may sell way below retail, a lot of money can go towards impulse bought thrift items too.

That said, I scored a couple of solo hours while my mum-in-law watched the kids, and I headed out for the cure at my local Salvation Army.

My intention was to buy nothing.

I decided to walk aimlessly through the aisles and just see what there was. True to my usual pattern, as soon as I was there, going through the racks of clothes, my desire for clothing vanished. All the fashions seem…boring. All of it has been done, or I keep getting drawn to the same old thing. Each item always has something about it I don’t like. So, it was all working out splendidly: no temptation=no need to decide whether or not to spend. Perhaps this would be the cure I was looking for, a nice dose of reality.

Just as I was about to call it a success and walk out, I overheard a conversation between two middle aged ladies who had just met in the aisle. One was a former model and fashion consultant, the other a woman just trying to get some new-to-her clothes. Well, what happened was just awesome. The former model and fashion consultant started pulling clothes out for her, describing why it worked for her body type and telling her to put away the choices she’d already made and to think outside the box. “You don’t need Macy’s” she said, ” all you need is right here”. The other woman would exclaim “wow! I looked at that but didn’t think I could pull it off” etc. etc. Long story short, that former model was a fashion whiz. She’d take all of two seconds to find exactly what she was looking for for this other gal. She took her to the changing room and had her try it all on and put the outfits together. In under 20 minutes the woman had a new wardrobe and all her choices except one were exactly right. The lady for whom all this was given was just gushing “Oh my! You are amazing! This is amazing! Wow! Oh my gosh!” When I left their vicinity, the fashion whiz was taking her to the other part of the store where she’d help her accessorize.

Somehow, that woman’s positive shopping mojo spread to me. I took a second look at a jacket I had passed and realized it was worth a try on. I scanned the racks and found a dress that had all the right elements with nothing to disqualify it. I even scanned the shoes thinking of my Blundstones…and found a pair of Clark’s boots, barely used.

In the changing room I thought, this is where I can find something wrong and I won’t have to buy these. But all three items fit perfectly.

So folks, it was a cure, but it did cost a bit. I got a barely used made in England Barbour waxed cotton rain jacket (retails for $399) for $9.99, an Olive&Oak dress for $11.48, and Clark’s suede leather boots for $7.

Getting a few items for me felt good and I was, for lack of a better word, sated.


And now, for a pearl of wisdom that I accidentally gave myself:

My two girls were fighting over the same *insert toy of any kind here* again. I stopped them and said, “girls, it is silly to fight over the same toy. In a minute, when one of you tires of that toy, the other can have it, but I bet, when your sister loses interest you will too. We always want what we don’t have. The trick is to learn how to make what we do have special, and in that way we will never be dissatisfied. Until we learn to make what we do have special, we will always want what the other has instead.”

I realized immediately, that I need to follow that exact advice. Words to live by.



Week 52: The Struggle

Week 52: The Struggle

What will it take to rise above temptation? Honestly, I’m exhausted. What has this year taught me?: That we are so brain washed by consumerism that it is almost part of our DNA.

Literally, before opening this tab to write ( a tactic to shift gears out of temptation), I was, once again, looking at Blundstone boots. I WANT a pair of Blundstone boots. I don’t know what sparked this want, I don’t know , I don’t know…but I do. I am having such a hard time shaking it.

I can definitely create reasons for wanting a pair: they are well made and will last a long time (though from reading a few reviews I’ve seen that their quality standards may have slipped). They are great for the winter and spring weather here and can go from work ( I want something to slog in when I go on photo shoots. Read: my old cracked rain boots aren’t good enough though they actually do the job…I just don’t like how they look) to a night out, to hiking. And they pull on! What else could a busy mom ask for?

They are also: totally inappropriate for the upcoming hot weather(if I were to buy them now, I’d only get to wear them a short time before the season changes). They are expensive. I already have a pair of similar boots that are a bit dressier and have heels, but essentially a similar look. No one sells them at a physical store, so they must be ordered on-line which will be a little bit of a rigmarole if I don’t get the fit just right ( Aussie sizing is a bit different).

How much? $175 on average.

If it’s gonna last years, it could be considered reasonable. But then, consider my already full shoe closet. Yes, I KonMaried that closet quite well not too long ago, but it is still far from minimalist. I have shoes for most every occasion, and not many occasions to use many of those shoes.

I have gone through all sorts of mental contortions, from ‘just turn off the computer and stop looking…stop looking!’ to ‘ Well, if I earn them by booking two one hour photography sessions…and/or sell a few items on that Facebook sell page…”

The thing that stops me from pushing that ‘Buy’ button is when I think about how much work it would take me to earn that $175. Or how much in groceries that $175 would get for the family.

Today, with everything being so high cost, $100 is nothing. You spend more in one grocery run, half of that filling a tank of gas. That on a few items of clothing.

But for this mama who only really spends on necessities ie food and gas, who buys clothing rarely and then usually at a thrift store, and who doesn’t earn money regularly if at all…$100 is a lot. Yes that $100 will definitely and unavoidably be spent, but on what? There are so many true needs.

In the long run, are boots and the temporary satisfaction of that new/pretty item more important than my family’s nutritional intake? No. Are they more important than being able to power our car? No. More important than our  gas or electricity bill? No.

I could survive bare foot if I had to. I can survive being un-stylish if that’s the fear.

Heck, it would even be more worthwhile to set that money aside to save for my future “better” camera when I’ve earned my stripes as a legit professional photographer (when my earnings exceed my investment in equipment) and am ready to upgrade.

And yet the Consumer mind is strong. I have no doubt I will be doing some late night drooling over a glowing screen staring at reviews for Blundstones on Zappos...”Free shipping…order in the next 4 hours and 48 minutes to receive them by April 12!! “…Finger hovering over the “Buy” button, fighting the good fight.




Week 47: Winning

Week 47: Winning


Feelin’ kinda thrifty at this moment. Or, at least, like I’m playing the game a little better this week.

Some weeks, it seems like no matter how much I try, I end up having to spend. No matter that they are necessities, sometimes it just feels bad when large chunks of cash are going out and not the other way around.

Whether because of my own sloth or not, I managed to skip the weekly grocery shopping and just pull from my pantry and back of my fridge. It’s a bit challenging what with the kids needing constant snacks (those are the first things needing replenishing, always) but somehow we managed. Today we are down to the bare minimum, and a shopping trip is definitely required, but it was nice to empty out the pantry a bit and know that there is nothing moldering in the back corners.

And then, and then…I went online to shop for a new car seat. My littlest is finally about to outgrow her bucket seat (alas!) and it’s time for the next iteration. I have been mulling it over for quite a while because I want to be smart about it, I don’t want any unnecessary mid-step that will have to then be replaced again to the tune of several more hundreds of dollars. So, I did some calculating and realized that I can put my one year old into the seat my three year old currently uses, because it does have the rear-facing ability even though we aren’t using that for our eldest anymore. So…I can switcheroo her to a new car seat that will be a 3 in 1, ( it converts from a harnessed forward facing, to a booster with head support, to just a booster- the last car seat we’ll need to purchase for her essentially). Ta da! And it will also solve the problem of my eldest feeling jealous if she sees her baby sister get a new seat, we get to skip that drama all together- yay! And would you know what? Amazon prompted me to use my rewards points on a Discover card I haven’t use in a long time. I remembered suddenly that we probably did have a bunch of points because we’d done a lot of house reno purchases on that card, thinking we could redeem for flights to Canada…which turned out to not be so because Air Canada and thus it’s US affiliates don’t accept Discover ( long story). So those had been useless points to us.

Until now.

So…I got the whole car seat with just our points and with some to spare! Score!

So yeah, I’m feelin’ pretty good about that.

It also helps that I have extremely generous family. This week my mum-in-law paid for another round of music classes for the girls. No small chunk of change that is.

And then my sister-in-law went ahead and got some dance classes for my eldest.

I’m feeling really blessed right now.


Thursday, Mid-to Late Week Update:

I am so past my posting date that this is turning into a twofer. I’m not sure why, as it nears the end of this challenging, getting my posts up in time seems to get harder and harder…

So, after all that thriftiness I wrote about up there… well, I went to Ikea with my Aunt and the girls and did a small splurge. Some was necessary: art supplies we were running low on. At this stage, the girls just sort of make a mess with paint, and use too much, and wast the stuff, so Ikea’s paint and brushes are amazing for low budget supplies.

But then there was the splurge stuff, like the cloud shaped light I wanted for C’s room to complete the look. And a twin sized duvet with cover that matches the room. Not a necessity but a heart/completing-the-vision sort of need.

I won’t go into all the details. Suffice it to say that, there is still some “ping back” from being thrifty. When I do a good job of resisting, often I then unconsciously want to reward myself, and thus a small spending spree. I don’t know what to say about that. I feel like those ping backs are getting smaller; and I can recognize them for what they are.

I’ve also (if we’re here confessing) been obsessing over Blundstone boots. For some reason I have gotten it in my head that these would be the perfect boots for me as a mom: I like the golden brown ankle boot look, they are super long-lasting and durable, all weather for this climate and they pull on. I’ve gone browsing for them more than once. Luckily nothing has been in my size if they have the style I like, or vice verce. I’ve even gone as far as fantasizing that I’d eliminate 5 pairs of shoes if I got those. I’ve then sat staring at all the shoes I already possess in order to talk myself down. This is the first purchasing obsession I’ve had in a while. I will let you know how it all works out…so far I’m winning…I think…



Week 39: The Urge is Strong in this One

One always hopes, when one takes on a challenge such as this, that one will be somehow miraculously changed by it.

39 weeks in, with…um, quick math…13 more weeks to go, and I can honestly say that I do not see huge changes in my desire for “things”. Perhaps it is because it is a long game that I am playing, this isn’t some 30 day challenge, this is a year with small changes, set-backs and minor improvements.

I didn’t start out as some spending junky with a credit card debt I was trying to get out from under. No, I have always been what one might consider a moderate spender (though, to my husband, who considers any purchase unnecessary, he might have begged to differ…though he never has complained nor commented out loud).

What, then was I hoping to achieve? Well, really, I was hoping to dig deep. To find the source of my Needs and Wants. What motivates me to want to spend? Why do I feel remorse or worse, apathy towards the items I do acquire?

So yes, if I look at that, I can see clear positive results. I rarely purchase something I regret these days. Most items have been carefully considered, evaluated for the “love” factor, and approved if they actually do make it into our home.

What troubles me, though, is that through all of this, I still continue to have the urge to buy things. I still Want things though I am pretty quick to narrow down whether I need it.

Oddly, euphoria and joy are still connected to the immediate desire to get something new. This is something I observed many months back, and the other day, was surprised to discover that the case is no different now.

I think I was feeling content over observing my girls at play. I was just feeling pure joy at their presence and the joy of feeling Present with them. And then, I caught myself thinking that my eldest really did need a few long sleeve shirts, and wouldn’t it be nice if my littlest had a few leggings that were new and not hand-me-downs. What cute patterns might be on sale? I suddenly felt excited that I might get to buy something for them.

And then I caught these thoughts and analysed them and really just couldn’t believe that they had entered my head. It went like this… “wait…really? REALLY Sharolyn?! You are so happy with your girls you want to BUY them clothes? For whom is this for? Look at them. Look at them rolling on the floor giggling. Did you even notice what they are wearing? Does it have any connection to the happiness you are feeling right now? Do they look like they want clothes? You know they are probably, in the next 30 minutes or so, going to find some excuse to completely take off all the clothes they are currently wearing despite how cold it is in this house. And you want to buy them clothes? For what? Why? Why. Just breath woman. Find reason again.”

So, I was able to ride that one out.

The good news is, that with two in tow, one rarely if ever can actually follow through with an urge like that. Yes, I could have gone on-line, but good on me, it never occurred. Instead, I just breathed through it and let it go. For now.

I suppose that is all we can ever do.

I am disappointed that I still have these urges, but I guess, ultimately it is what you do with them that counts. In this case, what I didn’t do.





Week 31: In Which I Discover My Main Shopping Trigger

Week 31: In Which I Discover My Main Shopping Trigger

So, as it turns out, the fear/anxiety/shock combo inspires a sort of fatalism in me that overrides any sense of self control/self preservation.

I suspect this might be something I am not alone in.

This week sent shock waves through the population. I am not going to go into it because that might just open a flood gate( If you are reading this post years into the future, I’ll give you a hint: US Election 2016).

This post is not about politics, it’s about discovering my main shopping trigger which is extreme negative emotion. The fatalism that comes with that is what leads me to want to abandon any self regulation I might be constraining myself with. Luckily I have no alcoholic tendencies, no interest in drugs, little to no time for television and no interest in video games or god forbid, extreme exercise.

So what was left for me, aside from hiding from the world, was shopping. By god, it felt like the end of the world was neigh so what the F, who gives a orange shit turd, let’s shop. Unlike my usual approach these days, which is to try and not even open my computer when the urge hits, I immediately started pulling up screens on items I wanted, reading the reviews and toying with putting them in my cart to see what it would total. Would the shipping be free?

Only, I also discovered something else about myself. That I care more about this effort to curb my spending through self reflection. I could see what this compulsion was, and instead of hitting “buy” I just took a deep breath and closed my computer. I had screens open on new ukuleles, used ukuleles, music, clothes. I shut it down. Yes, I opened it again, but then again, I chose to shut it down.

What I did buy was groceries. I breathed through my anger and powered past the extras and just bought groceries and even avoided the junk “comfort” food.

Okay, I did get two things online: dried elderberries ( I plan on making my own elderberry syrup for cold/flu season this year) and…a book of ukulele music (which I agonized over long before this week…but which became a necessity after this week, because music can transform bad moods into good! I’ve been playing my uke a lot this week).

What I wasn’t able to curb, was my compulsive reading of news on my smartphone. That’s a problem. I am seriously thinking about a media ban in my future. But for now, since the media is what I use to: keep this busy mama informed, and most importantly, keep this mama writing about and sharing her no spending challenge, I will be keeping the media for the immediate future.

And that’s it folks…oh yeah. I bought vinyl. You can read about that here and tell me if it was a necessity or not.

Week 29: Repentance Purging & Tempting the Inner Shopper

Week 29: Repentance Purging & Tempting the Inner Shopper

I had some deep thought regarding spending this week, something inspiring, and I didn’t write it down…and it’s gone. Oh well. I hope it will come to me again. If it does, I’ll let you know.

This week I decided that a wee purge was in order since last week I spent too much on unnecessary items. But since I am a mom with kids at the high demand stage, I wasn’t able to attack it with as much energy as I had hoped. I did manage one sort and purge session during a particularly long nap. I spent an hour reorganizing the toys into their designated bins and in the process pulled some toys that either have seen no love from the kids at all or are now too “baby” oriented. What I did was then post those toys as a single lot of “baby distracter” toys for sale on the local facebook buy/sell/trade page. That and a few other items all of which, to my surprise, sold. Yes, one thing I gave away for free, and the others were just token money, but it felt good. I not only got stuff out of the house, but I got a tiny bit of cash for it too.

I also returned those sparkly shoes I’d gotten for my 3 year old. ‘Why return it?’ you ask,’ if she really liked them and they were only a few bucks’. Well, for one, I had bought two other verysimilar shoes, and two, she herself said she wanted them returned. The slight glitch was that in the time it took me to make that final decision, I’d lost the receipt. I thought, ‘gosh darn, I’m going to have to keep them after all’. And then I thought, ‘gosh darn, other people would just go ahead and ask if it were possible anyway, I need to grow some cojones’. I am such a chicken when it comes to things like that. You should have seen me standing there, my two kids eating a snack in the back of my Volvo station wagon while I debated whether or not to go in with the shoes without the receipt to ask if they’d still return it, or if I should go in first, ask and then if they said yes, go back to the car to get the shoes…or if I should declare to the door security guy that I had a pair of shoes with tags on I was bringing in and that I was just going to the counter to see if it could be returned..just so he’d know I hadn’t stolen them. See, it made me nervous to go into a store without proof of purchase. I even thought about calling the whole darn thing off. What ended up happening was that I tried to channel my brother-in-law, Daniele’s, gumption ( he is a pro at returning items) and walked in, hauling both my kids with the shoes prominently held in my hands with tags on so the theft prevention guy could see it plainly, then walked straight to the line at the counter. When I got to the counter I WAY over explained myself, clearly, as the woman looked at me dully, said “yes, we can give you store credit” to which I thanked her and blathered on about how my toddler had chosen another pair from this store that she was currently wearing and that toddlers have such distinct individual tastes…and the woman said “yes. NEXT!!” …and that was that.

I have such a persecution complex. Honestly, I think that’s why we got through my immigration interviews so well, because I just blather and sweat so much that it is clear that I am so goddamn honest. A person who can truly lie well is someone with ready answers and a dry brow.

The history behind all of that is that I used to be painfully shy. I mean really shy. Like, I didn’t want to eat at friend’s houses because I didn’t want to draw attention to my chewing; I’d try to make no noise at all (which, of course, in hindsight, is way more conspicuous), I was terrified of answering phones (and sometimes still am). Along with that, as I grew older was fear of having to pay for things (because I didn’t want to take too long counting the money and make others wait) and hand in hand with that was not ever wanting to return something for fear that the store person would think that I had done something to the item and then scammed them by returning it. I know, crazy right? But there’s also more history there, because there was one time I was scammed as a retail sales person myself. Some man came in without a receipt with some elaborate story, I returned the item for him, gave him cash and then an hour later realized he’d simply take the item off the shelf while I wasn’t looking. So, yeah, I had a lot going though my head as I made the return. It seems silly, but that’s the mind for you.

But the ultimate take away is that I did it. I overcame all of that mind gunk.

And then I promptly put that store credit to use on birthday presents, because, yes folks, I have now entered that chapter of life when your kids’ friends have parties. Three parties in the next three weeks to be exact! Now, I don’t mean to out myself as a cheap skate to my mama friends who may be reading this blog, but the truth is that I want to find presents, good ones, at reasonable prices. Ideally we’d get all crafty and make something awesome, but this mama is getting real with herself…it ain’t happening. So, I had made my return at Ross, so that’s where we went to look for toys and books. Since Christmas fever has already struck all the major retailers, they are really well stocked. Now, while there were troves of overly cross-marketed, tv and movie character driven toys, there were still some great, not so branded items. I just had to dig. But we did good, and then we got right out of there. I will admit that I had a lot of fun!

This is Halloween week. I like to think that I am creative and that I can make costumes, but I tell you what, I was so glad when my eldest said she wanted to be a black cat. THAT I can do. For my littlest, I got a dog costume from a thrift store for a couple bucks months back. This is almost the last time she will not have an opinion so I took advantage of that ( though she certainly has an option about the hood part of the costume – she DOES NOT want it on her head!!!). For the cat, I relied on my eldest’s existing black clothing- black leggings, black sweater, black shoes, and then dug out a cat tail I had in my “costume” bag in the closet (a bag my husband questioned me about a while back when I refused to purge it along with my clothing I had been KonMari-ing. See! It did come in handy!). The only thing I had to do was knit a hat and buy some black cheapo mittens that I hot glued paw pads to and voila! Two costumes for under $10. Not bad.20161029_103644.jpg

I also stepped into the land of temptation just yesterday. It’s a long story but the gist is that the store was the newly opened Nordstrom Rack, we were nearby having just come from dinner, the kids were hopped up on rocket fuel aka food ( all food is rocket fuel for the kids; why does it always entail the desire for a nap in me?), so we needed to walk it off. After circling a set of benches (with the enthusiasm only the very young can muster)…oh, about 15,000 times, I just wanted to walk somewhere else. My sister in law was game, so we walked through the adjoining mall and ended up at NR. Man, that store has NICE stuff. In my head I was thinking ‘I want that…and that…oooh, do I need that? I think I need that….no I don’t…maybe I do…’

But we got out of there without anything. Phew! Why do I do that to myself? Maybe just to see if I can. I will say that it definitely did trigger the thoughts I sometimes have of wanting a select number of really high quality, classy items. A nice concept but not something I’ve managed to do or will manage to do in the near future. Right now it’s all about throw on clothes that will get stained despite my best efforts. It was interesting to note that these thoughts occurred along with feelings of excitement. Not sure what to do with that info though.

This week, I feel perhaps, a bit more successful than last. I’ll take it.


Week 28: The View Will Cost You

Week 28: The View Will Cost You

I’m so behind on this week’s blog I considered just skipping it and combining it with next week. I feel like it is getting harder to find time to write than it was just a few months ago. Or maybe it’s flagging enthusiasm for this challenge?

Yet I soldier on because I do not want to be a quitter. I have started to think about what all this will have meant once this one year challenge is over. Will I have gained any knowledge about how I operate as a consumer? Will I have learned to tighten my belt? Will there be any significant changes in the way I spend money? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions.

Right now I am feeling both grateful for my life and the plenty that I am surrounded with and I am also stressed by the on-going financial issues that our medical bills from a few months back continues to plague us with. I am reminded of how lucky we are to manage to get away for the weekend, as we just did, on a mini family vacation to Yosemite. At the same time, I am frightened by how costly that ended up being and feeling slight guilt over that (more on that in a bit).

I’m essentially an internal mess. I want to be frugal and thrifty, yet time and again we end up spending. I am caught between wanting to be content with only the bare minimum and finding that sometimes spending is not only just necessary but sanity fortifying. I wonder if we are being wise to enjoy our money now despite challenges, or foolish and should be more cautious and knuckle down and save, save, save. I do not want to be a foolhardy millennial living off of credit like there’s no tomorrow. I think it’s safe to say that that is not the case, but sometimes I feel as though we teeter on that brink.

Last week I did some online shopping for “essentials” thinking that I was being efficient with my time and energy (my time is worth something, too, right?). Well, as it turns out, some items were not exactly right. Now, I had to deal with the rigmarole of returns. Essentially, I ended up settling for ‘less-than-exactly-right’ items and gave another item to a friend’s kid rather than make that effort to repackage and pay for return shipping. What I have learned from that is, a physical store is still preferred despite the effort involved hauling the kids with me.

I will also confess to cute, sparkly, holiday appropriate shoes that I impulse bought for my girls. There was definitely no need there. I thought perhaps that I would use them in our yearly photo shoot ( my internal spending trickster came up with that one!), but have decided on a theme that actually will not include sparkly shoes. Sooo…I have been staring at those shoes, set right by the door with tags on, debating and debating. To return or not. Every time I think, ‘ok, I’ll return these’, I envision my littlest running around with those sparkly Mary Janes and she looks so CUUTE. But, when it comes time to take off the tags, I can’t. Maybe I will change my mind and want to return them….20161025_185125.jpg

So, they sit there yet. My eldest’s sparkly shoes with the tag on have made it as far as the trunk of my car ( she has a pair of shiny shoes already)…now to look for the receipt. I don’t know why this is so gosh darn hard for me. Honestly. And in accordance with the rules I laid out when I started this challenge, if I am unable to return items I’ve spent frivolously on, I need to give away items. So, I will focus on that. More purging is in order!

And about Yosemite this weekend. It was amazing. It is one of the most picturesque places one could ever hope to visit. It is definitely something as many people as possible should see. It also happens to be one of the most expensive State Parks one could visit. For a two night stay in their tent cabins (camping sites were already booked up when we booked  a few months ago) we were out almost $400. Then take into account that you aren’t allowed to cook there (lots of bears, drought with the potential for fires) so you need to buy dinners at approx $35 per meal for two adults and two kids. Also, the gas to travel 5.5 hours in both directions. Also, a $30 entrance fee for any and all visitors to Yosemite. All told we were looking at about $600. Now, the reason we like to camp is because it is the most affordable way to have a vacation. This did not fall into that category. It really did not. But we went with friends and they were all in and so were we. We had an absolutely marvelous time. The girls loved it. I loved the ease of having a cabin with beds, a bear box, a working light, and no food clean-up. It was quite fantastic. Aaand it is something we will not be repeating for quite some time!! So, yeah, there’s some guilt, but there is also gratitude for the fact that we could do it at all. 20161022_072900.jpg20161022_171652.jpg

So, what is this blog all about this week? I dunno. A sort of confessional. And I feel the need to admit that I am really feeling quite embarrassed about all of this. I set out to do this “no needless spending” thing with a lot of enthusiasm and optimism. As it turns out, I feel like I have been failing at it quite miserably. I am embarrassed that more often than not this has been a list of my failures. Why does it matter? It just does. I know that this blog is mostly just talking into the wind, but for the few of you who are reading (for which I am grateful) I want to be able to say that I am making progress, that something is shifting within me. I want answers to my query: why do I want to spend? I will have to just end with no answers, as yet, reached.

love and gratitude.