Hey Ashley what are you doing for Ky’s birthday? What are you getting her for Christmas? Are you going to visit your family in NY? FL? Are you going to take Ky to Barbados? Guyana? Don’t you think Ky needs this or that? Blah Blah Blah.
Folks, I don’t know how many times I need to tell people this but, I AM BROKE!
Ok, maybe I shouldn’t use the word broke. I am practical. Yea, that’s it, practical.
Let me explain.
When I was pregnant with Ky, I knew I would have to dish out A LOT of money because her needs would vary. I knew this. But I also knew that there were ways I could save money. I looked into cloth diapering (which I REEEEEEALLY wished I would have done), making my own solids (thank God for WIC), being serious about breastfeeding & boosting my supply, hand-me-downs, and so on. I mean I still had to worry about my rent, bills, and miscellaneous things that happen to pop up (and somehow always had something to do with teaching….Hmmm…*side eye*).
Like I was beyond ecstatic that I didn’t have to buy Ky clothes until she was about 9mos and was chubby as I don’t know what; I pumped so much that I didn’t have to worry about supplementing until she was about 8mos; and thanks to my cousin, I got one of those baby bullet things to puree most of her foods (and it helped that she was fed three times a day at daycare as well).
Anywho, the point I was trying to make is that I don’t like spending money I don’t have….IF I don’t have to.
So what did I do for Ky’s 1st birthday? I took her to the zoo and let her smash the heck out of a big cupcake. That’s it. Something simple for her – who wasn’t about to remember a thing – and simple for my pockets. I never understood the whole throwing an extravagant party for a toddler who won’t remember anything. But if you have it, go ‘head!
And traveling? Well I already wrote a little on my feelings about traveling in …saying ‘no’ to holiday traveling, but I got a preview on our trip to NY a couple of weekends ago that solidified everything for me.
As I waited for a cab to take us to the bus stop, I carried down our suitcase, my backpack and a sleeping Ky in her car seat. Then ran out to buckle Ky in the cab, run back and get my other belongings to put in the car – and yes a male drove the cab and did NOT receive a tip from my ass! When I got to NY, bundled Ky up carried her in one arm and car seat in the other; backpack on and struggled to drag my suitcase in the hand that held the car seat.
Yes, I know I’m dramatic and lazy, but hell! I was tired from working both jobs and then traveling uncomfortably on the only mode of transportation I could afford. Yea, no…I’m good on the traveling. I don’t want to do it again.
Traveling costs money. Money I could spend on diapers or bills -or shoot, MYSELF!
Yes, it’s true. When you become a parent, you think less and less about your needs and what your child(ren) may need. I haven’t bought a thing for my self that wasn’t food related in months (maybe a year or two).
And it’s not that I’m great at saving money -I’m actually horrible at it….like reeeeeally bad, Lol – I just have other things they could be better spent on.
So sometimes, I’ll say “No” to that extra toy Ky likes carrying around the store, or a book I think she may like, or something cute for her room, or an extravaganza trip somewhere; not to be stingy, but because the roof over her head and food in her round toddler belly are just a bit more important to me. Like I don’t even have a dresser or TV because those are luxuries (and they cost too damn much, LOL)
I think my mom said it best: I’m a minimalist. Doesn’t take much to make me happy – and convince myself that my pockets could do without those “expensive” pleasantries.
Plus, that’s what family and friends are for. DUH!