Sunday, January 1, 2012

Truth. My Goal for 2012.

I want to be honest. I want to be open. I want to be vulnerable on my blog, but for whatever reason, I tend to keep it all sunshine and roses. (Right now I'm going to type until I'm done, and then I'm going to hit "publish" editing. K? You've been warned!)

Now, I know this is my sewing blog, and I've got another blog that is supposed to be about my life, but I think what I'm about to say and do will best be done here.

I'm going to try a couple of new things in 2012.

First, I'm going to try to be honest and vulnerable about something every day. Or so. :)  Whatever works out. I just want to say what I really feel somewhere.

Second, I'm going to try to be way more financially responsible in 2012. And I'm going to post my can-buy and can't-buy list here so (a) I can refer back to it, and (b) if you see me in Target with a bunch of stuff from the clearance rack, you can say "Ummm...Melissa...what's this???"  Keep me accountable, will ya? Because I don't have the will-power to do this on my own.

Just so you know, this is something that has been brewing inside of me for a little while now. I'm not one for resolutions because I feel that we always have a chance to start over and start fresh. And I totally believe in forgiveness and that I don't/won't need to feel horrible if I fall...wait...when I fall. But I want to be able to have the freedom (and the encouragement from friends) to start fresh again and not feel ashamed and guilty.

See, here's the thing...and we all have "things", you know? Idiosyncrasies. Money is one of mine. We didn't have a lot growing up. We had what we needed, and enough of what we wanted, but we didn't have a lot. And when my brother went to college, we had even less. And while it is true that Dave and I are in a TOTALLY and COMPLETELY different financial state than what I was in when I was a child, the feelings about money still linger. And I know that we are stewards of what God has given to us, which is part of why I want to do better. But the reality is this: I often feel poor.

There. I said it. We have enough. More than enough. And yet I feel poor. And it's largely because I make bad choices with my budget and with my spending.

Also, since this has been brewing inside of me for a while, this isn't actually something I've discussed with Dave. Not that he would care. Because, well, he wouldn't. (truth)  My personal decision to be more financially responsible will not affect him one way or the other. He won't love me any more or any less, he won't respect me any more or any less, he won't support me any more or any less. It won't change his life at all.  So why should I bother discussing it with him?  And, okay, to be fair, my decision to be more financially responsible shouldn't  have any affect on the way he feels about me. He should love/respect/support me regardless, which he does, but this just won't matter to him.

And also, too...I'm not doing this to shout from the rooftops and be like "I'm going to be GOOD this year! Be proud of me!" I hope to do this quietly, which doesn't make any sense about why I'm blogging about it, but I want people to help keep me accountable, and I don't really have many local friends who are close enough to me to really help me do that.

I don't know, yet, if I'm going to report here on the blog when I've been good and when I've fallen, but maybe. Maybe I'll post on Facebook something like "I just couldn't resist getting a Coke at the 7-11." I don't know. I mean, I'll know in my heart and in my head when I've fallen, but maybe y'all don't want to hear about it.

But what I do know is that I've written out a few can-buy's and a few can't-buy's for me to have and refer to throughout the year. Obviously, there are certain things I won't limit myself on...such as food...but maybe I can be better about that stuff, too!  So here are the cans and can'ts:

Can Buy
  • Necessities - such as diapers, clothes for the kids, cat litter, etc.
  • Eat out for lunch 1x a week/the girls and 1x a week for dinner/all 4 of us
  • Fabric and supplies for gifts or charity projects
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Educationally nutritional stuff for the kids
  • Gifts for others
  • Absolutely necessary clothing for Melissa (like undergarments) :)
  • New saucepan since I burned the good one I had...otherwise no kitchen items!
  • Make-up that costs less than $5
  • Party supplies for whatever parties we might have, but borrow what I can.
Can't Buy (because we already have enough of these things!)
  • Fabric just because it's pretty and I want to have it (to "stash")
  • Thread just because it's on sale.
  • Paper and pens and blank cards and office supplies (unless we're out).
  • Toys for the kids (except birthday/Christmas gifts).
  • Clothes for me. At all. Maternity or otherwise (unless it's a necessity, see above)
  • Sippy cups. Hah!
  • Fabric for "ideas in my head" -- I can only buy fabric for projects I will actually DO!
  • Convenience store candy/snacks/drinks
  • Any dishes or kitchen items (except the saucepan I mentioned above!)
  • Sewing tools I could borrow
  • Colored nail polish
  • Wrapping paper and accessories
  • ANYTHING on clearance. (Unless it's on the "can buy" list already) - but nothing "just because"
  • Shoes for me. At all. Unless it's a necessity.
Just so you know, I am offering myself one "Mulligan" each month. I don't know, yet, how big I will let that mulligan be, but I know I'll fall off the wagon, and I want to give myself one forgiveness pass without guilt...and then the rest of the times I fall, I'll have to figure out how to make restitution. :)

There are a lot of other things going on in my family life right now that are challenging and stressful to me, so maybe if I can cut out the "spirit of poverty" in my life, I'll be able to look at those other things with more clarity. And I promise to honestly, openly, vulnerabe-ly share those things, too. :)

With that, I will save and hit publish. THIS is my goal for 2012. It'll be tough, and I'll fall, but I hope I don't fail. :)  Thanks for listening.


  1. I love this. Blogging is funny. It's hard to sit and wonder how much is too much or too personal, ya know?

    Good for you!! One thing that helps me is asking my self why I'm buying something. Some times I just have to admit that it's because I want people to look at me/think of me in a certain way. I want to look fancy LOL. (especially with clothes etc)

    Good Luck :) You'll do great, I'm sure!!

  2. Good luck with your goal! I'm slightly afraid of April arriving because then I will have paid off ALL my student debts and my car, and will do the financially responsible thing and remortgage my flat to get new windows, do a few repairs, and pay off my remaining credit cards. At this point I'll have a silly amount of extra money a month compared to my rather lean amount right now, and I'm rather frightened I'll go nuts with it, even though I know I have a 5 year plan now to work towards and save for after that o.O Well, okay, I'm allowing myself one month's worth of money to pay for a holiday, 'cos I've not had one in a long time that I've paid for myself outright (7 years, and the other 2 holidays in that time was on someone else's dime) I'll keep you accountable for your list if you can help me not go nuts!

  3. Good for you :) Say what you need to say and we'll be here to support you without judgment. I'm trying to be better about spending money too. I too often rationalize with "it's just a few dollars" which is true and we can afford it but often that few dollars that could go to something better.

  4. It is just like I could hear myself talking when I read this post! I love the approach and plan to adopt a similar list for myself. I hope you don't mind but I'm definitely copying the mulligan idea.

    Happy New Year! I wish you all the best!

  5. Totally love the lists and love that you are being true to you on the blog!


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