Although I’ve been trying to keep a firm grip on our finances, I feel like both Mr. Saver and I have let our spending get out of hand.
Just today we went to Kohl’s to get Mr. Saver some new summer clothes that would serve him well for our upcoming vacation to Las Vegas. We hadn’t gotten him new clothes for the season in about four years, and we rarely need to buy anything for him. I had a 30% coupon and most everything was on some sort of sale. Sounds great, right?
Wrong. Somehow, we blew $260 AFTER the Kohl’s 30% off coupon was applied. Just last month, I also updated my wardrobe (again, after a few years minus the purchase a new shirt or pants here and there) and spent $200 — but I got 3 times the amount of clothes, as most of it came from the clearance rack. About 1/3 of it was spent on new sneakers and dress shoes for Mr. Saver.
I suppose I shouldn’t say we “blew” the money, since we have clothes/shoes to show for our trouble. It’s just that I feel like we could have spent less. FULL DISCLOSURE: I was no slouch, either — I bought a new purse that will take me into the fall, some undergarments and two pairs of cheapo summer sandals, to the tune of $73 after the discount.
Where Did We Go Wrong?
The lure of the 30% off discount and the “sale” prices proved to distract me from keeping a better eye on our purchases. The sale prices are probably a fairer representation of the true retail cost of the items, especially since there’s almost ALWAYS a sale at Kohl’s.
Letting down my guard was the first mistake, and it’s a mistake I’ve been making often lately. It didn’t just start overnight — it’s been a slow, steady decline when it comes to loosening the purse strings. And it has to stop — now.
Other Instances of Recent Poor Financial Choices
Debit Card Overuse: Mr. Saver and I have been using our debit card indiscriminately. While neither of us carries much cash in our wallets, the debit card is always there, waiting. My medical condition has necessitated many $40 co-pays lately, something I can’t do much about right now.
Grocery Shopping Unpreparedness: I’ve also been spending more at the grocery store, as finding the best deals and coupons has taken a backseat to other, more pressing matters. I need to get back to my couponing.
Unused Gym Membership: I started all gung-ho on the gym thing — going 3-4 times a week. I even have the muscles to prove I was there. But lately, exercise hasn’t been possible, and I’m not sure if it will be in the near future. That being said, I’m “only” wasting $22 a month. Perhaps I should cancel my gym membership for now (there is no cancellation fee).
Beautification: On a whim, I went to a local nursery and dropped $65 on plants for our property, with another $15 spent on topsoil, mulch and 12 edging stones to make a planter ring around the Japanese maple in our front yard. While everything looks great (after a 6-hour gardening-a-thon on Saturday), did I really need to spend that money?
Other than the spending listed above, I’ve not gone for a manicure or pedicure, I’m desperately in need of a haircut (when Mr. Saver says, “Wow, your hair is long — are you going to do something about it?” I know it’s bad).
I absolutely need to cut back on our spending, and it’s time to take a look at our expenditures in general. I’m not sure where we can cut, though. Our car loan is at 0% and the car insurance is very low for our area; we already have the lowest cell phone plan offered by our carrier; and we carefully monitor our utility usage (gas, electric, water). I know there’s no way in hell Mr. Saver will give up his TV package or his cigarette habit (cigs alone are $250 a month). We go out to eat maybe once a month. We don’t have hobbies that cost money, don’t go out to the movies or any other activities (but have a Netflix subscription for $15/month). We are lame.