I actually cannot even try to refer to myself as "frugal" with a straight face. I am not frugal. I never have been. It has been both my burden and my pleasure to spend all of my money when and if I ever get any. Dave Ramsey would judge me. He probably knows, somehow, within his magical stern eyebrows that Caitlin Schanaker is not good at this stuff.
When it comes to spending, I think I may be straight-up delusional. I have this very naive, happy-go-lucky perspective that money will always find a way. Because as we all know, where there's a will, there's a way, and my will for shopping is fierce. It's not practical shopping, either. It's frivolous and spontaneous. It's the best kind. Because everything is a special occasion and there are always reasons to go all out. Life is all about those excuses. Weekend getaways and ordering way too much food but still getting dessert and buying the extravagantly expensive and useless trinkets at Anthropologie. I have fallen into the trap that I think many young adults fall into: trying to live the way your parents live, despite the fact that it took decades for them to get there. It's why we're all drowning in debt. It's incredibly sad, and also really fun until you have to start paying your loans back. Right out of the gate, I try to usher myself into adulthood by paying extra for guacamole and splurging at World Market and shopping online and impulse-buying rain boots when I live in Arizona and no one can afford this nonsense.
My husband and I joke often that when we don't think twice about paying the extra for guacamole, we'll know we have arrived.
All of this is being written because I have hit a wall today. It's a wall made of cat mugs. A friend sent me a link to the most beautiful cat mugs I have ever seen, and even though we have a house that is taking all of our time and money and a baby coming out of me this year, I want the mugs. All of them. I want to pay the $60 (plus shipping) for a set of cat mugs.
This is my Friday confession. I sat there staring at these beautiful mugs, cursing Anthropologie, trying to justify a way to buy them. I could just buy one; they're $14 each. I could search online for a coupon. But then I would be missing out on the other colors, and look how nicely they look all together? How lovely would they look, purring on my coffee bar? I could bully people into buying me a housewarming gift, a baby gift (babies like mugs, right?), a super early birthday gift...I could set up a gofundme! That's what that site is for now, right? Providing a way for friends and strangers to buy you silly things you can't afford? America.
Closing out of that shopping window was hard. Not in a real-life way, but in a wow, I think I'm going insane kind of way. Obviously this post is silly and this "problem" isn't a problem at all, but the fact remains that I feel stressed and restless over cat mugs. Over not being able to travel anymore. Over all of the things we still have to buy and fix up on the house. Over feeling like we'll never be in that settled, give-me-all-the-guac place in our lives. I have to try to be frugal, to be smart, to be less selfish and less spoiled and more responsible and more everything.
As much as I like to pretend that I'm not that girl going broke for cat mugs, I totally am. I am her and she is me. I just have to calm her down a little bit.