My shopping trip

So- I got to go out yesterday shopping by myself. It's a rare occurrence that I don't have a 3 year old tugging at me and telling me to buy something while in a store so I savored the experience.
It seemed to take forever- and I didn't understand why. I mean, I'm used to simple trips into town taking 2 or 3 hours because of the child-by the time you get him ready, dressed, and into the car that's a good 30 minutes gone already. Gone are the days of grabbing my purse,locking the door and hitting the road.
Anyway I went out shopping and ended up being gone for 11 hours. YEA! What really took so much time was how differently I was thinking about items- for me and my house. After going through 2 AT cures, and one WT, I found I was looking at items with a much more discerning eye. Did I really need that? What would I do with it? Does it match the items I already have? Is it something I love? Does it fit me well? It is right- or just right now? It's amazing how much less I bought (and wanted) once I asked those questions of myself. Now, I still bought a lot on this trip
  • 2 blazers for me- one blue, one brown. Yes, I still want to lose weight and these jackets were on final clearance at TJ Maxx for 10 bucks each. ( I had looked at them when they were full price) So, these are my style, and they will fit me now and until I loose some weight. And when I can no longer wear them anymore I won't feel that bad about it because of their price
  • 2 sport coats for the MR.( He has to dress up for his job.)
  • 2 t shirts for me. One short sleeve black t- tissue weight with a round neckline and longer length, one brown long sleeve with a v neck. ( I love Eddie Bauer)
  • a fisherprice castle play set for my kid.

But what I didn't get was more telling- I didn't buy another pair of Levis because I have 4 pr of jeans that I wear now, I didn't buy a new handbag because I didn't think I would carry it enough to bring down the cost per wear to an acceptable level, I didn't buy any shoes (even though there were some cheap nice ones at TJ's) because they didn't fit into my style and they weren't all the comfortable. I could go on and on, but the final point is this. I think I got great stuff, and great prices, that look good on my family. But I only got the great stuff ,and I got what we( kind of ) needed.

This is why I yell at the tv so much right now. Our national economy is so so. It is very, very bad where I live. Our President is telling people who live pay check to paycheck to go out and shop to save our economy. Heck, he's even going to give us more money to go and do it. (by borrowing from our future and raising the debt ) Instead of telling people they need to live within their means, save money and pay down their debt it's " shop till you drop" ( I heard yesterday on NPR the average American has 10,000$ of credit card debt.) How crazy is that? Why are we are giving our children a shopping bill? And a huge shopping bill for what? 600, 900, 1200 dollars? What will that get us? Gas in the SUV that we shouldn't be driving anyway? Disposable items we don't really need? A flatscreen tv made in China? I know I am going to use the money that we will get eventually to pay down some credit card bills. I don't want to be sheeple and go out and buy something because I am being told to.

Rant over.


drwende said...

Congratulations on scoring $10 blazers!

The number usually bandied around is that 70% of the U.S. economy is consumer spending... but of course your objections to spending out of a recession would be considered right on target by many economists, which is why putting economists on TV is a great source of drama in the absence of scripted shows these days.

I'm personally a fan of living within one's means, but lots of stats suggest my household has been bucking the trend for quite a few years now.

lorijo said...

We are living beyond our means in my house, not a lot, but still beyond. I am not going back to work though until my boy is in school. I did the numbers when he was born and financially it just didn't seem to be worthwhile to continue to work due to the cost of daycare, gas (I drove 140 miles everyday to go to work) and the time away from the house. Instead,we got an older car since I didn't drive all the time, and cut back on a lot of stuff. I will probably just get a local part time job when he gets to school.

drwende said...

140 miles?!?!

Gak. There was no way you were going to come out ahead financially unless your first career is plastic surgery or the more lucrative bits of corporate law.

Rural life really does have a whole different dynamic than urban life...

lorijo said...

Nope, but I made a ton of money. When I left that job I more than cut our income in half, but it was worth it in the long run.
Imagine driving 140 miles in a blizzard, or the driving rain. Or when you just don't feel that good. Somethings just aren't worth it- even for a lot of money.

drwende said...

The major reason I live in a city is to avoid ever having to imagine driving 140 miles in a blizzard... I don't think I'd have the fortitude to do it for any price!

CQ in DC said...

bravo on the shopping!