I apologize in advance that there are no pics this week, which is the reason most of you check this blog...The weather has been a bit grey, so the lighting has not been optimal for outside photo shoots with Kyan.
I have been thinking a lot lately about where all of our money goes. I am not talking about our mortgage, car payments, my school loans, etc.....those are all pretty obvious. What do we spend money on otherwise? and I think it's interesting to compare it to what I USED to spend money on.
Four Years Ago:
1. Shoes-I LOVE shoes. Shoes will never make you look fat. In factm if they are high heels, they help you look skinner. A good pair of shoes will go with many outfits, and paired with the right outfit, will inspire someone to buy your drinks at Happy Hour. My favorites were Nine West and BCBG.....Not that I wouldn't have loves some Manolo's or Jimmy Choo's, but I have NEVER had $400-600 to spend on shoes ever in my life. AT last count, I had some 45 pairs of shoes.....In order to clear some space in the bedroom closet (which only has about half of my shoes), I am donating about 20 pairs to the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
2. Clothes-I was always in search of that perfect outfit that would magically fit my chest and make me 20 lbs skinnier. Alas, I never did find said outfit, but I sure helped the economy by trying.
3. Purses-Like shoes, a good bag will never make you look fat, will hold all your stuff in an organized fashion, and has zippered pockets to conceal embarrassing items such as tampons, pantyliners, and that Enrique Iglesias CD you bought on impulse. I still occasionally wish I could own a Coach bag. I have at least 25 purses. My favorites are still the two I bought in Italy...a green leather one I am currently using, and a black leather one I bought in Florence that looks kind of like a Birkin bag. I am thinking I need to downsize my purse collection-Contact me if you'd like to rustle through my collection. (Same applies for shoes if you are an 8 or 8.5)
4. Going Out-Back in Jon's an my pre-homeowning, pre-kid days, we ate out quite a bit, went out quite a bit.....Work night?? No problem! We won't be home till 3am? No problem! We probably ate out an average of 2-3 times week. While we weren't generally eating anyplace fancy, that's still a lot of cash down the drain.
Sadly, that's mostly what I can remember. I don't regret those self indulgent times....I enjoyed shopping and having nice things. But they certainly don;t matter nearly as much now. And while I may still covet a Coach bag, it doesn't matter in quite the way it used to.
1. Stuff for Kyan: I try to avoid buying him lots of toys. My in-laws bring him toys EVERY time they come over to visit, so he is not lacking. Although I have noticed lately he could do with some more age appropriate toys...A lot of his toys were geared towards when he was much smaller. Right now I really want to get him an activity table, cause I think that will help him with pulling himself up. But, it will probably wait till his birthday, because I cannot justify the $40 otherwise. Aisde from touys, there is baby clothes......If there is a cute outfit for him within a 50 mile radius, I will find it. Although I try and curb myself with that, because really, how many clothes does one kid need?
2. Food: While also a necessity, I enjoy cooking. I like knowing I am eating healthy, and I like knowing Kyan is eating healthy. The biggest barrier to eatinghealthy is often Jon. If I say I am tired, and he doesn't feel like cooking, he'll decide to get take out from somewhere, which is pretty much never healthy. Not only is it a waste of money, it's not good for us, so I am trying to get better at telling him NO. I am VERY conscious of the fact that as Kyan is getting older, he will pick up on our habits, so I don;t want him to see us eating crap. So I am trying to buy more organic food. Jon and I decided we would make the move to only eating organic animal proteins. This means we are eating far less of it because it is so expensive, and we are eating more fish (we just try to avoid farm raised when it comes to fish). But, I feel this is a good move all around. Orgainc farming practices are better for the environment, as well as for us, and eating less animal protein is good too. Considering the Global food crisis going on, it seems terribel to eat a 200 lb. animal, who consumes 800 lbs worth of grain. We have our own little vegetable garden, and are also have our own raspberry and blueberry bushes. it is my hope that one of the unintended effects of the global food crisis will be that more and more people start their own gardens to defray the costs of food.
When it is all said and done, there isn't really much extra these days anyway. I work part time, so I make less than I did before, and our expenses are certainly greater then they were before, so not much is left. This is not to cpmplain, simply to draw a comparison from then to now. I would not trade Kyan for all the purses, shoes, and late nights out in the world. And honestly, I don't miss it much. I don't mean to some off as preachy, but aisde from projects I would like to complete in the house and eventually getting a new bedroom set (I can dream!), there is not much else we need materially. "The more things you own, the more they own you" comes to my mind often, whenever I see some little knick knack or something that I like.
So while how I spend money is much different than it was 4 years ago, I am ten times happier with 99% of my life than I was 4 years ago. The only time not having money bugs me is when Jon or I ask each other what we'd like to do for the night. We don't have money to spend, but what doesn't cost money to do these days? It will get easier at it gets warmer out...we go to the park or on walks. But EVERYTHING costs money: Mini-golf, bowling, getting ice cream, going to the bookstore (we go to the library now instead). And all this penny pinching would seem more worthwhile if I didn't have to work. But instead, I do work (and work HARD) and we still have no money. Yay for adulthood.