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Feb 8 2012

It’s All About Guiltily Spending the Benjamins, Baby

By at 3:24 pm

close up of one hundred dollar billSsh. Don’t tell anyone, but I have $100 in my pocket.

Not literally. What I actually have is two gift cards, one for an online bookstore and one a pre-filled credit card. I found them when I was decluttering the shelf in the bedroom with all the wedding cards.

Things are tight around our home. My husband spent three years unemployed after his last layoff; six months ago, he nailed a terrific contract position that was supposed to go permanent, but the company got sold, and the bigger company dismantled the team, and… well, you know the drill. Now we’re back to the double-freelance life, otherwise known as “Ack! Panic! 3 a.m.!”

So I should be responsible and spend the $50 on bills or groceries. But I can’t make myself do that; it’s just so… depressing. As for the other $50, I fell in love with a collection of Beatrix Potter books for my daughters. I’m trying to justify spending the whole wad. I’m failing. There’s no way I’ll actually get it, but there it sits, in my shopping cart. Meanwhile, across the web, my Old Navy shopping cart is also filled–with size 4T leggings, undershirts, and unglamorous but necessary winter items for the little one who suddenly won’t wear anything but dresses.

I mentioned this tale of woe to a friend, who said she had the same problem: a relative had mailed her a crisp $100 bill for Christmas, and she was walking around with this delicious secret in her wallet, unable to spend it on herself, her kids, or necessities.

Then her car almost got repossessed, and poof! It was gone. Times are hard, folks. I miss being in the middle class. I miss the middle class!

But back to me. My friend pointed out to me that I was waffling between spending this cash on my kids or on staples, but never did it even enter my mind to buy something for myself. $50 doesn’t buy much of a haircut by my standards, but then again, it’s $50 more than I’ve spent in about six months.

A haircut. A haircut. I could spend it on a haircut!

But I probably won’t.

Can I just mention that in the olden days, like three and a half years ago, I would drop ridiculous amounts of cash at Nordy’s famous sales, had my nails done each week, and had to sneak the latest shoes past my husband? This is not me! I am not the long-suffering budgetmeister!

I’ve almost settled this for myself: I’ll spend the book money on a less extreme set of books (The Nutshell Library and a one-volume compilation of the Beatrix Potter), and I’ll spend the card half on leggings for her, and half on–something for me.

But I’m not happy about it. I feel like a criminal!

Do you have trouble spending money on yourself, now that you have kids?


Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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