Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School Shopping

Every year, back to school shopping has stressed me out.  Katherine grows so fast, and there are always so many things to buy, and the budget was so tight, and Bryan would act like I was being a spendthrift by giving me pursed lips and cold eyes.

Shudder.  Not happy memories.  I would end up buying some items for our girl but feeling guilty and getting a lecture that our finances weren't good etc.

I HATED always feeling guilty about money.  Even groceries made me feel guilty, because perhaps I was spending too much.  There were several years when I went to FIVE grocery stores to get the best deals from each....but I still felt guilty all the time as if the fact that I was the one ringing up the broccoli and paying for it made me bad with money.

That's exactly it, actually.  I let myself believe that I was bad with money, and that my financial situation was the way it was because I was inherently bad with money.

Well, separating has been quite a wake-up call.

I am living on less than before, and shockingly, I'm coming out ahead.  I took a 10 day road trip and stayed in hotels for five nights, and I'm still ahead financially.  Typing that makes me feel pretty much GIDDY.  I know what my bills are and when they're coming in, and I'm still okay!

With Bryan, I'd say, "Honey, I just checked the balance and there's only $50 to get us through the next three days until payday."  He'd say, "Okay, do you want to order pizza for dinner since we have enough?"  Um, NO.  Our savings was pretty much nil and NO I DID NOT WANT TO SPEND OUR LAST $50!  Okay, sorry for shouting.  I get incredibly angry when I think about it.

Living like that was hard.  I knew that if I didn't spend it, he would spend it, and that there would never be savings, and that at the end of the month there wouldn't be enough, no matter what.  I shopped the day the paycheck came in to make sure the cupboards were full.

Ugh.  It makes me shudder thinking of it - it wasn't very long ago, and the thought still fills me with dread.

So: it's the 19th, I haven't spent all of the money, there is money to carry over into next month, and when I get those zillion notes from school about extra supplies and PTA fees and sign ups for some activity that Katherine is just dying to do, I will fill out the checks and know that they're covered!

And today Katherine and I are going school shopping.  She doesn't need too much right now, but she will be able to pick out an outfit for the first day of school that makes her feel special and happy, and when I pay for it I will smile because I've got it covered, it's not going to break us, and because I love being able to take care of my daughter.  AND - I have a couple items I've been putting off buying for myself, and I can buy them, too.

Now, who's good with money?  I am, that's who.  WAHOOOOOOOOOO!  And I'm just getting started.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Questions for readers:

Are you able to better manage your finances after divorce?  We all know that divorce puts many women into poverty - which is criminal, in my opinion - and that not everyone comes out ahead.  What is your story?  How do you manage your finances after divorce?


  1. You and I are the only people I know who got a raise just by getting divorced. The irresponsibilty and selfishness and controlling ways of these guys just deplete ANY way to save. Good for you! Keep at it! Brenda

  2. Having money at the end of the week was an added bonus that I hadn't considered in my separation. I can cover my mortgage and all costs related to our son and still have money left over for treats! I love having a savings account and having money in it! My ex is still terrible with money but it's his girlfriends problem now... Not mine.

  3. I'm doing better financially after the split because she no longer has access to all the money, just half. We split the time evenly with the kids and I have the larger house with a bigger mortgage and yet I still manage to have money left over each month and she always seems to be running out. She was a stay at home mom and she handled the finances, but I now see how that probably wasn't the best decision as I seem to be the more frugal of the two of us.

  4. Brenda, Ruby, and Anonymous, hello. I'm so glad for all of us that financially at least we're making it after divorce.

    Financial problems are a big issue for many couples, I know. I can not for the life of me understand why someone would eat out every single day and buy as many $10 gadgets as he wanted, but never have money for savings or fun activities (movies, trips, concerts, theater, museums...).

    My irony is that I thought I was bad at money - somewhere in my head was a voice that said, "I'm not good enough. No wonder I have problems." Well, that voice is gone now! The proof, in this case, is in the bottom line.