I ended up in tears tonight over a couple of t-shirts. I know. That sounds completely ridiculous.
I bought three things at work tonight after I finished my shift. One was a new white tank to replace one I wore until it was threadbare and had holes in it. One, was $3 on clearance, plus my employee discount and the last was just a nice black t-shirt I'd wanted for awhile. Altogether, I spent less than $15 on three items.
But the more I thought about it, the worse I felt for spending any money on them. The tank I could justify, I needed to replace the one that went into the rag bag, but the others... I didn't really NEED them. Besides, I need two new tires for my car and food, plus the monthly obligations I have coming up next week. That really leaves me next to no wiggle room for anything that isn't necessary.
It's been a tough couple of years, financially, and its required a fair amount of resourcefulness and TONS of sacrifice to make it. I hate asking anyone for help, but have had to suck up my pride and do so much more often than I would like. I didn't just start this blog to help people save money so they can have more to spend on vacations and clothes... I wanted to help people like me who need to save money from necessity.
I haven't had health insurance for years, so I use a lot of herbal remedies and suffer through plenty of other things I would typically have gone to the doctor for. If there aren't leftovers for me to take for lunch, I take the Easy Mac we get for free from my grandparents. There are no vacations, we don't even make the three and a half hour trip down to visit my family as often as I would like, because I just can't justify the expense. I can't buy new clothes for myself without being wracked with guilt.
And I hate it.
My dad has told me before that I can handle things lots of other people he knows can't because of everything I've been through in the last few years, and that may be true. Just getting by is something that lots of people can't do, and I'm grateful that we have been able to, but just getting by gets old. I hate feeling guilty any time I spend money on myself.
Last Christmas, Deven and I were getting ready to leave my dad's house and come back to ours. As we were loading things up, all of the gifts that my step-sisters had received from their Christmas were still all over the living room. I found myself feeling really jealous about those gifts. Dad usually gives me cash... and don't get me wrong, its wonderful, but I always feel like I need to spend cash on something practical: mortgage, gas, food, student loan bills, and I never feel right spending it on myself, I wanted things. I hated myself for being so materialistic, because there is so much in my life to be grateful for, but it was hard not to be.
Hence the reason that three shirts tore me up so bad. Deven offered to pay for them, but I take his help so often on things I do need, I really don't want to take it on something frivolous. I won't even let him pay for me to have a haircut. So, the shirts will go back tomorrow.
Dad can call me strong, but I don't think I am nearly as often as I'd like.