Monday, November 09, 2009

Times

Maybe it's the fact we survive off of one meager paycheck, or maybe it's the fact we eat mostly organic, whatever the culprit may be, life is too expensive anymore. Food alone averages about $150 a week, and that's not taking into account the miscellaneous Target/Fred Meyer items: the diapers, wipes, socks, laundry detergent, dish washing detergent, winter hats, crayons, shampoo, deodorant, tylenol, rubber balls, vitamins, air filters, stamps, dvd-r's, batteries, fish food, sponges, soap, trash bags, ziploc bags, sippy cups, paint brushes, construction paper, lawn care equipment, tampons, band aids, meat thermometer, and a million other little things it seems life requires. It's all terribly exhausting, and not just the expense of it all but the acquisition of it all, the necessity of it all. At least twice a week my presence at said stores is required, and at least twice a week I walk out of said stores with a bag full of items it suddenly occurred to me while in the store my life can't go on without. I realize $8.00 isn't a lot, unless in our case it's $8.00 you don't have, but just this week while at Target that's what I spent on two very cute matching long sleeve shirts for the boys. I hate that I regret spending a mere $8.00 on t'shirts for the boys, or that I regret spending an extra $15.00 yesterday at Freddies on some organic snacks. It's the practical versus the sense of self-entitlement. We don't need SNACKS, and moreso, ORGANIC snacks-the boys would live without them, their little life's would go on without easy-to-offer yogurts and cookies. And that's where the sense of self-entitlement comes along and interfers with my rational train of thought, the part of the brain that insists : if you don't have it, you don't spend it, no matter how basic and worthy the cause is, and that families have been getting along just fine since the beginning of time without batteries and without meat thermometers and without cookies. Maybe not as conveniently and not as enjoyable, but somehow human kind has gone on.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There is gymnastic class, iced decaf mochas, haircuts, scones from Great Harvest, school books for Jon, car maintenance, birthday presents, and modest donations to Campaign for Liberty. There is credit card bills, auto insurance, furniture debt, medical bills, back payments to the IRS, rent, utilities, basic cable, and internet. How I would love to pack up and move to a hippie compound...but then again, i'm certain we would only be trading out one set of expenses for another, for things like patchouli, hacky sacks, a bongo, and self-help books.

All is lost.

I guess what we, like most families and individuals in America need to do is either start living within our means, or work harder. Of course, it's not always that simple. And in just writing that I start to think, maybe it is. Maybe that's the problem: a mentality we all have unique situations that warrant irresponsibility. That we all our due, some assume they are due more than others, and some assume a due with no effort for it.

8 comments:

Irina said...

wow, 150 a week for groceries! We have to spend 500$ at least...just on food.....i need to get a job!

Missie Rose said...

what?! seriously, $5oo a week? you might want to get a job at the grocery store! i guess living in sweden comes with a heavy price tag.

sabrah said...

Amen sista! It's like you're living inside my brain. Seriously. Thanks for putting it all down in words.

Rebfly said...

These same thoughts have been running through my brain all day and night. After reading your blog, I feel better. I guess it is just the realization that I am not alone :)

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LIZZY said...

yes, my organic penchant has caused me to have to sacrifice in other areas (ie. new shoes). but to me its not so much the convenience, but the idea that i am giving my kids the very best there is and giving them the greatest chance of living a healthy long life. all that to say, i am thankful zach works at whole foods where my $150/week gets discounted to $100. not sure how i'm going to keep it up when we move to belgium later this year... maybe time to start my own garden...hmmmm

Marian said...

I just had to buy a "big girl bed" for em along with all the sheets and protectors and bed skirt, blah blah blah and I got so depressed at how much it cost (and I bought the cheapest stuff, too!). The cost of life is getting pretty ridiculous....

Missie Rose said...

i tell myself everytime i leave the grocery store: i need to get a job at a grocery store. and ps. marian, beyond the anti-china consumerist in me, your sentiments on the cost of living is what has made me into an avid yard saler. i scoff at retail. highway robbery! ;)