Tuesday, February 22, 2005

mr. and mrs. spend-a-lot stay home for now

Ok, so I think I get it now.... sort of, anyway.

Many of you who know me and my husband know that we are slightly on the "impulsive" end of the responsible shopper measure. And we're not talking about Pez dispensers, I'm seriously talking about knickknacks, clothing, furniture, and even, it's true - cars. We both get this giddy feeling when we find something we like, and want it IMMEDIATELY to put in our house.

However, it usually finds a place in the pile by the front door, or in one of the piles in the bedroom, or dining room. We buy STUFF, and then don't really think about where it will go, or forget that we actually have 3 of those things already and don't really need another. If it's not quantity, it's quality.... we go out with a specific thing in mind, with a vague-ish idea of a price. Usually, we are way under in our pricing guess, so we realize as we shop that we will have to spend twice what we thought. And then, we see something we like even more, and it's not much more than the twice-the-original-price amount! And then we think, hell, if we're going to spend that much money, why not just get the extra-special version of that higher priced version! We get overtaken with excitement, feelings of spontenaity, that immediate adrenaline courses through our bodies and we say fuck it, we've been so good recently, we deserve it!! And OH MY GOD there is a payment plan - SOLD!

Of course the priciest item was already sold the moment we walked in the store, when it saw us and knew we were those kind of people, and that special high-priced item pushed out it chest, polished it's cute nose, sparkled that smile that only special high-priced groovy items can smile, and gave us that "come hither" look that we respond to so well. sold. Instead of songs about being "hooked on you" there should be songs for shopaholics about being "sold on you, baby, you won't believe how low low low my financing can go".

So.... I was sitting in my crafty area being fairly crafty a while ago, but because the area is fairly small, I was stepping on this that and the other, and thinking, wow, it would really be nice to have a bigger space for all this STUFF (it must be known that I already had the littlest spare bedroom for my craftiness, but I outgrew that, and now I have the den).

So yes, I started eyeing up the family room - it's the room we have our tv and lazy couch in, and it has a door, so everything could be tucked away neatly (or if not, at least no one would see the mess). And, the space is much bigger than my current space. My little brain started working, and I thought - hey - I can switch these rooms! We don't need such a big TV room! Now we don't need to buy a bigger tv, we can just put the tv in a smaller room, and sit closer!

I put forward my proposal my proposal to my husband, and he agreed! Woohoo! The only problem is that we have a huge black sectional for tv viewing, and it won't fit in the new den, so we'll have to sell that one, and get another couch to use in the den. We figured out the amount we could sell the sectional for, and thought, ok, we'll buy another couch for that exact amount, and we won't be spending any money! We went furniture shopping this weekend. Not only did we get extremely excited about going shopping again for the house (we haven't in a while), we found a couch that was 1. extremely fashionable (cuz that's what everyone needs in their den), and 2. three times our original estimate. Lucky for us, we had matured a little, and didn't actually buy the damn thing that minute (delivery on Tuesday!!), but just walked out with business cards, and every intention of returning the next day.

As I had a shower later, I started to feel sick. We have recently committed ourselves to getting rid of our debt within a year, getting better at saving for the future (in all it's meanings - vacations, RSPs, "security" money), and had just spent three weeks setting up a really in-depth budgeting program on the computer. And here we were, spending a large amount of money on something that wasn't a real necessity.

Then I remembered we already had another couch.

It's true. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of this before. We actually have a daybed in our littlest spare room, that is supposed to be used for guests to sleep on, but is currently under several piles of STUFF. That's probably why I forgot I had it - I hadn't seen it in months! I came screaming out of the shower, yelling and jumping I was so excited that I had come up with such a brilliant idea, once again. We sell the sectional sofa, NOT buy another couch, but use the one we already have for now until we CAN afford another couch, and then take that money from the couch sale to use for something that we actually need, like shelving and storage for the kitchen.

Budgeting can be fun! But my god, it takes a while for those of us with thick skulls when it comes to money. I'm sure this is hilarious to most of you who have already been money savvy, but to arek and i, it's a real eye-opener.

I'm so happy now that I thought of a good, effective, budget-conscious solution, but it still makes me sad to think that my new leather couch and asian-inspired tv armoire will have to wait for me, and keep their chests un-puffed until the day I walk in the store and catch their eye and say, "baby, I'm taking you home with me today and we'll live happily ever after!"

ps. if any of you want to buy a large 6-seater black cotton sectional with hide-a-bed (double) in good condition, let me know!

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