Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Tale of Unexpected Expenses Leads to Recognition of Self-Worth

I have an interesting outlook on life, but I don't think it is much different from many other American moms out there. We feel we don't have enough money. Now I am not including those out there that truly don't have money. I am speaking of the middle income American with a home and two cars and 2.3 kids (the 0.3 is the dog in our case.)

Every payday, I plan where all the money will go - $75 a week for groceries, $40 a week for fuel, mortgage, utilities, insurance, dance school, eating out once a week because we aren't home, entertainment for the kids (entry to zoos, museums, fairs), etc. There are two things missing from this mix: the first being a tithe of my income (we can discuss that later) and the second is putting anything away just to dress myself. I have not purchased clothes for myself since before my trip for Norway and even that I had saved for 3 years to do. (My trip budget included travel clothing.)

Why is it that I have no qualms over dropping money to clothe my children or to take them to a street fair, but when I need a new pair of pants or shoes, I hem and haw and put it off and then just never buy them? Case in point: I was looking at my favorite trousers this morning and realized that I got those in 2004 when I received a scholarship to go to California for an educators conference. At that same time, I bought a tan pair of cropped trousers, a brown dress, a jacket two shirts. Those things are still in my closet and I still wear them to this day.

This in no way is a cry out of poverty. It's just about a certain mentality that prevents me from valuing myself enough to spend even $20 on a new shirt or $40 on a pair of pants and CERTAINLY NOT $100 on a pair of boots even though winter is coming and I could use them. This is just me realizing that somewhere there IS money because just this week, I had to drop $450 on car service when my car broke down last week. Meanwhile, I will more than likely have enough money to feed my kids for the next two weeks.

So where does this money blindness come from. I am pretty sure when I added everything up at the beginning of the month, I allowed for everything that we needed, and when I got to the end of the mental ledger, the final balance was zero. How is it then that I can drop a huge chunk of change on this car and still make it to the end of month? Do you realize how many pair of boots I could have bought with that?? Yet, here I stand bare legged.

I just say this because, this month the large sum of money went to a very important piece of equipment so I am glad I didn't buy a pair of boots. But when do I finally say yes to myself and give in and buy something for myself? When do I decide I am worth a shirt, a pair of pants or (dare I say it?) a new pair of boots? When??

This next payday is dedicated to Christmas, but after that I would really like to show how important I am to myself by setting aside money to buy things for me. 'Cause truly, what am I teaching my children about valuing themselves if I am only showing them that mom is only here to take care of them. This goes not only for money but also for time...but I could write another whole post about how I budget my time shows I value my children far more than I value my mental health.

So until next time, ask yourself this, how much do show appreciation to yourself? What do you do to show yourself that you are valuable?

And now for some photos from yesterday's Krist Kindl Market and last night's Salado Stroll.
Didn't buy that either even though I liked it.

I was fascinated by this lady's sand jars that were really votive holders.
Wish she used other colors though.

Mmm! Street food.

A couple singing John Lennon's "So This is Christmas"

Carriage rides going down the streets of Salado.
This unique lady caught my eye. Hmm, I wonder if they'd notice her missing?

Yes, this duo's name is really Dazzling Weasel Faces
They were playing some Moody Blues

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire??
No, just some great smelling burgers.

A live nativity from First Baptist Church

James finally worked up the nerve to talk to Santa

Hey, act like you like each other.

My little street urchin

I will end with this last video taken outside the most popular house in Killeen. She started setting up October 1 and finished this weekend. She does it every year.


Roban said...

I am with you on this one! I've worn the same cargo pants and slacks for years. In fact, one of my thicker cotton pair of brown pants I wear in the winter are all frayed on the bottom, and the zipper in the khaki pair just like them broke tonight when I was zipping them up after washing them.

When I do shop for myself, I head straight to the sale rack and still feel guilty buying anything for me. (I will buy a book now and then, though, with very few pangs of guilt to go along with it.)

I like your plan about focusing on yourself more. I say go for it!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had money to buy things, anything. Small, even. a pair of new socks, please. But I won't complain 'cause I feel very happy in my old cloths. I value myself with time and love and creativeness, and that makes me happy! And HA, my son wanted to threw away 'old socks' that were too small and guess what? Yep, they fit me well! I love sons with big feet!

Thinkie said...

I don't have kids but I hate shopping for clothes and prefer to spend my money on other things, most of my wardrobe is years old and I even have some clothes from the mid 90's ;-) (I'm from 1982 ;-) ).
I just shop when my old clothes or shoes fall apart or won't fit anymore. I have three pairs of shoes (only one pair of them gets regular use) and clothes in lots of different sizes so I won't have to shop much when I lose or gain weight.
Looks like a fun fair.
Our neighbourhood has a 'christmashouse' too but wAAAAAy more modest than that one, and even then there are people compaining about the environmental impact! They always ask for a small donation and support a good cause. I think you can see the one you filmed from outer space ;-)

MJ said...

Your wardrobe is simpler than mine because of your warmer temperatures. I have 3 season clothing, summer clothing and winter clothing. I have office-wear, home-wear (ie: what can be stained) and a few pieces of casual-wear for summer versus 3-season that I wear out of the house that aren't too dressy. I try to buy a new suit once a year (if not twice a year: winter and summer) as there is a "look" expected of me. I haven't replaced my outside gear for a while and will have to invest in some within the next couple years ~ if I take good care of them, my winter boots can last a few years.

I have to consider my work-wear as an investment. I have to look youthful but not young, properly dressed but not dowdy. Some employers have been known to reprimand women lawyers for what they wear (ie: too casual, lacking modesty, etc). Dressing is a challenge.

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