#NaBloPoMo Day 24: Let’s Go To The Mall

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving filled with warmth, family togetherness, and good food.  Now that it’s NaBloPoMo Day 24, the theme is Shopping.  Let’s go to the Mall!

Here in the States, it’s Black Friday, aka, the day of major epic awesome sales in stores nationwide.  These days, it’s not uncommon for Black Friday sales to start on the evening of Thanksgiving.  So folks will finish up their turkey dinners and head out to the stores before they even have time to button their pants back up! Ahh, I love you America.

Truthfully, I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper.  Because people are legit scary out there on this day.  Thank you, internet, for enabling me to take advantage of most Black Friday deals without having to rub elbows with the crazies.  Even though I don’t partake in Black Friday festivities, I do have the shopping bug.  Guys, I have it bad.

I get quite a rush from buying anything, whether necessary or superfluous,  practical or impractical.  Dishwasher detergent from Target? I’m delirious.  New anti-frizz product for my hair?  Yes please.  Even more new dresses for Ell-Bell?  Would love some.  Another Moleskin notebook when I already have 5 and none of them have a single page filled out? Gotta have it!

I’m guessing I inherited my shopping habits from my mom.  She’s the kind of lady who thinks she saved money when she bought something on sale that she wasn’t already planning on buying.  I mock, but here I am years later buying things from Target that I don’t need because I have a coupon for ten cents off.  Yikes. (But guys, I saved ten cents!)

As if my own shopping habits aren’t bad enough, I compounded the problem by marrying another shopaholic.  Hubby, he likes the finer things.  So while I’m out killing us financially by the nickle and dime, he’s browsing the internet for table saws, 900-fill down jackets, and pick-up trucks.

This is all pretty problematic when Hubby and I are somehow supposed to be cutting our expenses down by 75%.  So does that mean all shopping has gone out the window? Honestly, no.  Shopping has always been therapeutic for me, and I can’t bear to give it up completely.  But, I do a lot more near-buys these days.  You know, put it in your cart, walk around with it for a while, and then put it back on the shelf.  What a rush!  I’m living dangerously over here, you guys.

Until next time,

Vee

 

#NaBloPoMo Day 14: Dolla’ Dolla’ Bill Y’all

Happy NaBloPoMo Day 14, where my self-assigned theme is Money.  As Wyclef Jean would say, dolla’ dolla’ bill y’all!  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post, where I admit I would pay so many big ones to get my daughter to sleep through the night.

Allow me to get a bit inelegant up in here as I crudely discuss my family’s finances.  So Hubby and I, we have an MD and a JD to our respective names.  We must be rolling in it, right? Well, no, not so much.  Not when you consider the fact that I left my high-paying job to be a stay-at-home mom indefinitely.  And not when you consider the fact that Hubby is in his first year of residency, and residents are paid almost zero dollars.  I’m not even joking when I say his salary is 1/6 of what my salary was when I left my biglaw job.

We’re a family of four living on a pretty meager paycheck.  Are we broke or what?  Thankfully, we’re not about to be in the poorhouse.  When I was working and Hubby was in med school, we weren’t the most frugal people you ever met.  But we were careful enough to pay off my loans, cover about half of his education bills, and build a nice little nest egg in a savings account. And now — as we’ve always planned — we’re tapping into that nest egg so we can afford for me to stay at home with the kids for a bit.

That being said, we’d like to have some savings left on the other side of Hubby’s residency.  Our lifestyle still has to change drastically.  Drastically.  When we crunch the numbers, after everything, we’ve really got to be spending about 1/4 as much as we did before I left my job.

So how do you do that? No, seriously, this isn’t a how-to post. I need somebody to tell me how to do that.  Here’s what we’ve figured out so far:

 

  • We did ourselves a big favor by leaving the DC metro area.  Thank you, Upstate NY, for being about half as expensive.
  • We can no longer eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Sometimes, I actually have to cook meals.  Which means I’ve had to learn how to cook.  Which means I’ve had to learn that I’m not very good at cooking.  Which is a hard pill to swallow, since I’ve made a bit of a career out of criticizing my mother-in-law’s cooking.
  • We have to stop going to fucking Target.  WE HAVE TO STOP GOING TO FUCKING TARGET.  Sorry, I’m still trying to convince myself of this one.  Because I heart Target so freaking bad.  I know it is a perilous money pit, but it is my true happy place.  Bored? Let’s go to Target. Kids are acting crazy? Let’s go to Target. Need Starbucks? Let’s go to the one in Target.
  • Getting paid to take online surveys will earn you about $1.00 an hour.  That’s 4.5 hours of work for a Starbucks chai latte.
  • Goodbye Starbucks, hello Dunkin’ Donuts.  (But really, goodbye Dunkin’ Donuts too, because see bullet point #2).

It’s a steep learning curve, but we’ll figure it out, right?

Until next time,

Vee