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Wearing Down My ‘No’ Muscle


I was superiorly pleased my ability to keep my diet and exercise in check. Not only did I accomplish my goals, I dragged a lot of folks into accomplishing theirs. What I realized in that experience is that I can only say ‘no’ to a limited number of things. I worked REALLY hard to pass on processed foods and motivate myself to exercise. I ran out of energy saying ‘no’ in my finances.

May was our worst spending month of the year. June is shaping up to be a close second. I bought so much stupid stuff. New pair of workout shorts? Of course! New pair of tennis shoes? I NEED those. A new this. A new that. I bought all the things I’m usually so good at saying ‘no’ to. Embarrassingly, I even bough a pair of AirPods. AirPods! I do a lot of conference calls and my wired headset was falling apart. Rather than replacing them with another inexpensive set, I bought AirPods.

I wore them when I went for a run this morning and I was embarrassed. They felt showy and stupid. They’re not me (no offense if you love them and do not feel that way!).

I used my individual budget money (I get $60/month) to purchase them and that ate more than 2 months of my savings. The other purchases though, I blew those budgets. I knew I was way over so I ignored balancing our accounts for weeks.

Sure, it doesn’t help that we are smack in the middle of a pandemic or that we are experiencing a lot of social unrest, but trying to be restrictive across too many areas of your life is dangerous. Yesterday, I packed up everything that hadn’t been worn or used and shipped them back to Amazon, Nordstrom, and Famous Footwear (I told you it was bad!). Most had already been opened so I’ll only recover $200 back from my spending spree.

I moved around the budget as much as possible but I’m still going to have to dig into the buffer fund we just built. I feel sick.

You’re probably thinking, “You just did a post on Accountability! Where was your husband in this!?!?” Whelp, he was making purchases as well. Apparently his ‘no’ muscle was weak too. We were also really busy and didn’t sit down together to look at our spending at the end of the May. This probably would have helped us rally in June. Neither one of us was paying attention which made things so much worse.

I’m trying to extend myself some grace. These are some crazy times. But I’m embarrassed. I messed up. Ugh. This is always going to be a battle. It’s a matter of choosing which battle I want to try the hardest to fight.

What are you doing differently?


As the world returns to “normal” from the Pandemic scare and quarantine is over in most of the country, the news continues to carry the threat that the virus will return in spades. I do not claim to be an expert at all. And frankly, do not have a strong opinion either way.

At this point, I am confident my business is varied enough to be considered “quarantine” proof, at least for the time being. But due to our continued “no spend months” over the last 6 months or so coupled with the quarantine, larger number of kids at home and scarcity of certain items, my normally very well stocked pantry and essential items is pretty depleted.

In fact, for the last couple of months, I have not been able to buy my typical economical toilet paper at all. I finally had to breakdown and purchase the “fluffy” kind. Ugh! It’s so thick, we were going through a roll a day. I finally found our normal brand online, at more than a $1 per roll. But I’m not going to be without again. Anyone else facing similar ‘challenges?’

toilet paper


Toilet Paper Blows the Budget

I realize that in the larger scheme of things, this is not life changing, but it gets my point across. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent upwards of $80 on toilet paper. Just toilet paper. And I have no regrets.

While the $80 in toilet paper does blow my budget for the month, I am certain it will even out over time as we will use it far more slowly than the “fluffy” brands.

Are there things similar to this that you are doing differently now in preparation for a “just in case” scenario of the pandemic/quarantine requirements returning?