Well, the gig is up. Here we are nearing the end of July, and I still have consumer credit outstanding. The Number is flat-lining at $11k. (To my eye, the ‘k’ looks so much more pleasant than horrid $000s.) Past attempts at retail restraint have been well meaning but doomed from the get-go – due to prior bouts of clothing and accessory starvation (resulting in bingeing) coupled with plain old lack of willpower. My last plan was to limit purchases to ‘just what I really LOVE’, which didn’t work because, clearly, my ability to love inanimate objects (clothes, shoes, handbags) knows NO BOUNDS.
So, I ‘fessed up to my husband about my personal debt load. Rather, my husband inquired about my outstanding credit card balances, and I told him. He was less than pleased, but not particularly surprised. Kind of anticlimactic – he appreciates that I make an effort to not schlump around, and has at least a basic understanding of the concept that a certain level of non-schlumpiness comes with a price tag. Who knew? I feel a little silly about trying to be so subversive about shopping. Also in my favor is that I have more job stability than previously anticipated – a surprising change from earlier in the year – so he is more relaxed and I feel less guilty about impacting the family in a negative way in a down economy and weak job market for finance professionals.
My husband and I differ in our approaches to money. I am better at picking stocks and investments, but am missing the saving gene. My husband alternates between crushing conservatism and day trading, but is a fantastic saver. I suspect his saving ability relies largely on gender – he is not female, hence is immune to the siren song of the Jimmy Choo. In most economic climates, I am comfortable carrying a certain amount of debt, a small percentage of my personal GDP so to speak. My husband is not at ease with any debt, as the plaintive cry of the Chloe bag does not keep him awake at night.
The long and short of it is that I am shifting down to second gear in my quest for financial health (and wardrobe improvement) – the slow track. And this is what I am wearing today: