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This post was featured in Carnival of Personal Finance #333!
This post was featured in Yakezie Carnival, Just Another Day Edition!
Warning: if you love budgets, if you enjoy planning your financial future, if you invest wisely , save diligently, spend carefully, if you hope to retire early, this post might be disturbing to read. It might stir some negative emotions. It might make you mad and think that I have no right to be a PF blogger. Read at your own risk and feel free to say what you think in the comments section below.
Before I confess all my financial sins, let me explain why I ended up sinning. However, please realize that I am not trying to make excuses for myself. What I am trying to do is to explain why I enjoy my financial sins as much as I do.
I was born and raised in the Soviet Republic of Lithuania. The rich were frowned upon. The poor were respected. The Soviet Union stores were dull, dark, depressing and unfilled. Even if they would have been bright, cheerful and overflowing with goods, not a lot of people would be able to afford to shop anyway. We had lines to get winter boots. We had lines to get mayonnaise. We had lines to get milk. You name it, and we had lines to get it.
We lived the lives that I cannot comprehend right now. But as Leo Tolstoy said:
There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone around him.
Eleven years forward, and I moved to the United States where I discovered credit card galore. My first credit limit was set at $500 while I was making minimum wage as a business intern with the Small Business Administration. From there things just escalated. The more money I was making, the more I was spending. And I am not talking cash.
Consider this post my financial confession that is a long time overdue. I am not your regular personal finance blogger. Even though, I love talking about money, I am very opposite to most of the personal finance bloggers.
– I have a serious spending problem. I try to battle this trait fiercely, and I lose miserably every single time. I love shopping for clothes, shoes, bags, art and books. Show me a good leather bag, and I will salivate all over it. Nine times out of ten I will get it.
– I am not a frugal person. First of all, a spender cannot be frugal. Second, frugality involves research and thoughtful decision making. I shop on a whim. I am an emotional, impulsive shopper, a favorite of all salespeople. I get things when I want them and not when I NEED them. Wants rule my choices.
– I am not a disciplined saver. I try to set important saving goals, make budgets and live following those budgets. I make them my Bible. My shopping-less life usually lasts a couple of months, and then I get seduced by alluring mall lights and go on shopping binges. To make things worse, I spend money on things that I don’t need, and end up donating them six months later.
The name of this blog symbolizes my failed attempts to be a disciplined saver and a diligent budgeter. My coin is broken, and I need to fix it.
So, here I am, a spender and a shopaholic who wants :
- to control spending
- to curb shopping
- to reduce appeal of material things
and most importantly, most desperately:
- to improve finances
I cannot make a promise that I will not shop or will stop lusting after shoes, bags and lipsticks because I know that I will not. My discipline is not that sturdy. My will is weak and can be easily overpowered with shoes and bags. However, I want to attempt to take control over my wants.
I am going to attempt to monitor my shopping habits and improve my saving efforts. The journey to fixing My Broken Coin, begins here.