Fear & Emotional Spending

Fear & Emotional Spending

Fear & Emotional Spending | brokeGIRLrich

It’s been a while since something has completely effed up my mindset, but this past week has done it.

I got some bad news from home about my mother’s health – the sort that makes you reevaluate everything about life and what matters. And while we’re hoping it all works out in the end, a lot of things are up in the air right now.

This makes me feel like the world is constantly spinning out of control.

The reason it’s turned into a blog post though is that I’ve noticed I have spent the week buying a lot more crap than I usually do – all sorts of check out line knick knacks, gum packs, etc. and several impulse clothing buys.

After the last one, I definitely realized that throwing that pack of gum into my cart makes me feel in control in that moment. In that moment, I am making a decision, making something happen, my mind is occupied with this stupid little task and for a moment, I don’t feel like I’m drowning.

Drowning or not, I’m still a personal finance blogger, and a little later in the day I got to thinking that while all these little purchases are making me feel in control of something, I’m actually creating less control in my life by chipping away at my bank account for nothing (seriously, I bought some real gross maple gum at Whole Foods – how does this help anything?)

I’m also aware that it’s likely to be a long few months, at best, of trying to get my mom healthy again. This stresses me out in some major ways like – will I have to quit my job and stay home for a few months (in which case, for the love of all that’s good, I really need to stop buying pointless crap in the checkout line)? If I don’t, will my family at home keep me accurately appraised of what’s happening? My brother and I have a pact that he always will, but he’s 10 years younger than me and doesn’t always realize how serious something is. Also, I love my dad and my brother, but I’m not sure either would be a really good caregiver.

So, side tangent here about that though – is it just me who doesn’t trust their male family members to take care of someone as well as a female family member? I’ve been turning this over in my head a lot the last few days. I mean, they weren’t useless when my grandmother was sick, but they required a lot of very direct instructions. I wonder if this was because my mom and I took the lead in caring for her, so they sucked at it because they didn’t have to be good at it or if that’s actually just how clueless they are about taking care of another person. Because if it’s the former, my stress level can go down a tiny bit and I can trust that my mom will be in good hands, but if it’s the latter… sigh. Life.

I also came home from this last leg of tour to my mom still doing all the cooking, cleaning and laundry because they just weren’t paying attention. Apparently my dad takes the laundry upstairs now because he noticed my mom struggling, but really, guys? If you see that happening, you don’t think you could start doing some of the laundry yourselves? For pete’s sake.

No wonder I need to buy gum and gel pens and hand sanitizer to feel like I have any control over life.

But since this blog has been about accountability, I’m calling myself out on this money sucking habit, even during this rough time. And crossing my fingers that things get better quickly for everyone in my house. Though if any of you are the praying/good vibing sort, I wouldn’t mind you sending some up into the atmosphere for my mom.

4 thoughts on “Fear & Emotional Spending

  1. So sorry to hear that your mother’s not well. I’ll definitely send some good thoughts out to you and your family. I think any sort of stress has a big effect on spending. In my case, it tends to show up more as take-out/delivery food instead of making the effort to cook. Or not really thinking through purchases that I should probably avoid. While it’s good that you’re aware of the behavior, try not to be too hard on yourself. A little comfort spending isn’t the end of the world. And as for your male family members, maybe have a conversation with them. I’m sure they want to help but may not realize what to do, even if it’s staring them in the face. A suggestion or two may be just what they need to get them started.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…Your Holiday Shopping Plans Start Right Now!My Profile

    • Yeah, I actually spoke with my brother about how I felt a little overwhelmed by some of the stuff I was trying to take care of/worried about them taking care of while I was at work and he totally started to do some of the things. It had never occurred to him to do them before. Oi vey.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your Mother’s illness. I’m the praying sort so I will for sure put her in my prayers and you too. It can be so stressful when we receive this sort of news. I admire your Mom to keep going! She sounds so strong. I like what Gary said maybe you should have a talk with the men and let them know what to do everyday. It will help them a lot and you too!
    Vickie@Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden recently posted…In the Garden: An Easy Way to Rake LeavesMy Profile

  3. Mel, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s illness. I’m keeping her, you, and your family in my thoughts. While I can completely understand your feelings of fear and lack of control, one thing you can be absolutely certain of is that your mother is very lucky to have you.
    Amy recently posted…Friday Favorites: Staying WarmMy Profile

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