The Crazy Suburban Mom: Unabling

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Buying stuff is fun and everyone has things they love to shop for.  Personally my hard to resist items are nail polish and anything related (even tangentially) to Filofaxes.  Shopping can be a great way to feel good on a bad day - or any day - but there's a flip side.

I don't have a craft room.  I've started and stopped most arts and crafts obsessions (painting, drawing, beading, scrap-booking, and felting just to name a few) because I buy one stamp and the next thing I know I have a hundred of them; plus inks, embossing supplies, papers... and every related thing I see or read about.

It was the same with plannerphrenalia.   And it's not just the space, it's the money. Rarely do I need anything in the strictest sense of the definition....

need  (nēd)  Require (something) because it is essential or very important as in, "I need help now"

Synonyms: require

I'm going to admit something here - All the fun things I get an itch for usually don't end up working out and managing it all is a burden.  There I said it.

When I have too much I can't even find what I'm looking for.   This point was driven home when I moved to using just a few colors in my planner; grey, aqua, and green.  It is so much easier to know what I have and where it is if I'm dealing with very little because I can't keep track of stuff and I'm not good at organizing storage.

There are a lot of perfectly wonderful things I wish I'd never purchased.  Not because there's anything wrong with them  but because they really don't enhance my planner/planning  or work that well for me.

I know I've talked about my once a month payday before and it's difficult to manage finances that way but there is a plus...

I keep a running  list of things I covet with the understanding I can buy them when payday hits.  The interesting thing about that is many times a few weeks down the road what I thought I couldn't live without or was  afraid would be sold out isn't obsessing me  much anymore.

I'd guess more then half the stuff I considered a necessity early in the month never ends up here.   After my self-imposed cooling off period I'm not that jazzed about it.

Over time I've found it better to buy one expensive item of quality, then to go for quantity. I've tried tons of sticky notes from the Dollar Bin that never stick (without adding tape or glue).    It's aggravating to have tons of things that are a just a pain in the neck and don't work, ( This can  be extrapolated to all supplies including planners themselves....  ) and to know if I didn't buy all the junky stuff I could have bought one truly amazing quality item.

Why am I pulled to buy something for 50 cents that I would never buy if it were 5 dollars?  Why do I agonize over discounted planners that I didn't much like at full price?

 Questions like that make me crazy.


Nancy Zarroli 8/31/13, 11:20 AM  

Love this post! I couldn't agree more! When I get 'into' something, I jump in and get all the supplies and the internet doesn't help because I get even more excited when I see other peoples' blogs and videos! After a total 'come to Jesus' about our finances, I have made a choice to be satisfied with what I have, where we live, the car I drive and the hubby and two kids I am lucky to call family! It makes life so much easier! But it is a constant battle...the case of "I wants" can not be easily cured! Thanks for 'putting it out there"! I'm sure a lot of people can relate!

Lynn W 8/31/13, 11:22 AM  

OMG! I am so glad you wrote this. I keep watching these Filofax videos where crafters buy EVERYTHING in the store related to decorating their Filofax. It makes me want to go out and spend money on stuff to do the same. They shop on line and pay shipping too for this and that. I know its a craft but it looks like a never ending addiction for me. I love the way some of them come out though.

Tracy Reinhardt 8/31/13, 11:58 AM  

Nancy - Thank you so much for chiming in... I still buy if it's something I need like if a pen I use everyday is drying out, I'll replace it but as to the rest a) I can't afford to make mistake purchases b) I don't have any more room then I'm already taking up and c) I can't tell you how many times I've wanted something, really wanted something and realized had I not bought all the stuff I did I could have had something perfect for me. Lifetime perfect not just now perfect

Tracy Reinhardt 8/31/13, 12:05 PM  

Lynn, the thing is at some point that becomes not fun. At first it is but then getting more and more either becomes a money or space burden. Then you feel like you have to keep it up or use what you bought and it's no fun anymore... Just a big pain of an obligation. If someone has the space and money thats pretty wonderful :) But at some point the whole thing becomes heavy to me... Youtube has really really made me want a ton of things but I rarely buy... I love using my planner... I bought my first filofax in the late 80's and a few before that.... But I don't make the planning process work. I do decorate when I feel like it but I don't feel like I have to either... Each day brings something different and I try and go with whatever is up! If I feel artsy I'll do something... if not, I won't. I'm only using a few pens and occasionally something else and I have to say simple is sort of pretty.... its also low stress :) I don't feel I have to do anything if I don't want too.... The thing is... I don't need to own everything I love. I can enjoy seeing it on other peoples planners... I can maybe buy it at another time.... Sometimes enjoying and loving something is better from afar!

LJ 9/1/13, 3:06 AM  

This is such a great post - it is so easy to see something and think it'd be great to do it, then you h=go out and buy all the stuff to do it, give it a go and decide that either you don't actually like doing it, or do it once, enjoy it, but just don't have the time to do it regularly... currently I need to try to organise how I spend my time so that I'm achieving more than just what I need to achieve and can actually use some of the stuff I have. I also need to just give away a load of stuff - as pretty as many of the sticky notes etc are, I don't actually tend to use them anyway - totally pointless for me to have even bought them. I should just order what I will use, smile at the pretty stuff and walk on :o)

Amy Beth 9/1/13, 8:44 AM  

Hi Tracy, so very true!! I watch YT FF video's all the time. When I see something I love, I go to that web site & put it in my cart. Then the next day, usually I do this at night, I'm like, do I really need this? Also really how many post-its do you need? I know there cute! I have post-its all over my house sticking to the fridge, door even my car or I forget to do those things!! I guess my point is, for me, when I see something I have to have, I put it in my cart. Then go back & almost always end up taking it out!! Luv your YT videos!!

Turtlemoon Tarot 9/1/13, 1:14 PM  

Allelujah!!!!! Im so with you here!!!! Ive got stickers, planners and pens coming out of my ears!!! And i can say is i have little money left!!! Ive had to be very strict with unabling :) im so glad you wrote this!!! Phew! I feel better now!!!

Deborah- Jane 9/2/13, 6:02 AM  

I think you started a revolution....

Tracy Reinhardt 9/2/13, 7:49 AM  

Deborah, I think it was how a lot of people have been feeling lately :) Sort of brewing for a while


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