Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Le Blown Budget

How I shop these days is drastically different from how I used to shop B.C.  (before Covid/Corona, not the other C...I'm not *that* old!)

My usual shopping habits include keeping a mild track of what I was running low of and sticking that on a list.  Then I'd casually check for it to be on sale for the next while and if it didn't go on sale before I ran nearly completely out, I would purchase it full price with a sigh. 

Now, I make a list and I transfer that list to one of the stores I'm using for online shopping and delivery.  One is a local grocery store, one is a fairly local (this coast of Canada I think?) non-grocery store, and one is Amazon, for those things that neither of the other stores have.  Between those three, I'm usually able to find one that has the item and then it's a matter of if it will be in stock when I order and then how long it will take to be delivered.

So it's meant a few changes.  The main one being that I try not to leave things last minute.  Because I'm not just "popping out" to the store anymore, so I can't let things run as low as I used to.  I mean, let's be honest, I CAN, I'm just choosing not to.  So I'm trying to anticipate running out of things a lot earlier than I would have.  Like needing a refill of vitamins at half a bottle rather than at the tail end of the bottle.  Because a delivery might not come in a week, it might be two, or three, or they might not have stock, it might be longer?

And yes, my anxiety is messing with this process, for sure.  Like I keep having this huge fear that the supply chain will break down and that I will not be able to buy... whatever the thing is.  And yes, I do reassure myself that I can live without the stuff, for sure.  As long as I maintain my shelter, food, and water, I should be ok.  But as we all know, anxiety doesn't really care about "logic" like that, so my anxiety around shopping is high.

I know folks are still going into stores.  I'm not.  I think I have been into one store once a month or so ago because someone close to me was turning 50 and I wanted to get them a special card and I couldn't find any online (certainly not that would come in time) so I went in, as protected as I could make myself and I didn't like it and I spent the next 10 days hoping to stay asymptomatic.  (Sigh)

So, yeah, I have an ongoing list for groceries that I try to add to.  I get a delivery so far once a week, and so far I've turned it into a fun game of "what did I *actually* get and what substitutions and what did I not get at all!?"  And then I have an ongoing list of "other things" like, oh, I dunno, moisturizer to help my hands stop cracking with the washing?  Or, yes, I confess, the chocolate bar or two (guilt).  And then I have another list of things I can't get via grocery or other store that I will likely have to get from Amazon.  And rarely, if ever (with the exception of the grocery store) are things on sale.  Not because they're not ON sale, but because my timing is shifted.  I'm no longer wandering through stores checking for sales on items I need soonish, I'm ordering said things at whatever price they're at and hoping they arrive in time before I run out.  (Or before whatever fear my anxiety tells me might happen.)

And then, yes, I have the delivery anxiety.  Jason says I can deliver to his place if I want, and I think I might start that, not so much for the contact situation, but more for the ongoing stress waiting for deliveries brings me.  Not groceries through, because... fridge and stuff. 

But I also have this anxiety that I'm trying to figure out that has something to do with fearing not having stuff.  Like wanting to buy Thing before the online stores close because... of this world situation.  Be it a strike, or illness or supply breakdown or, I don't even know... but I have this huge internal push to GET THE THING that six months ago I would have just shrugged off.  Like I bought a trio of books that I have NO NEED for, especially since I have my entire bookshelf of books to read through but there was a panic buy of them.... sigh.  So yeah, my budget is a disaster.  And I am still not able to find certain things... like *certain brand* wipes.  And liquid hand soap has been hard to find for a month now (Jason just apparently went into a store and bought me some and well, people being nice to me makes me cry).

I'm trying though.  I told myself today that it's really only been two months, and so whatever routine I might settle into with regards to purchasing this way may yet settle out.

Like for sure in the month of March I was really high anxiety and probably panicking about things and I spent a LOT of money in that time, but maybe now that I have that extra container of Vitamin C and that extra shampoo or whatever it was I bought.... maybe now I can have a bit of a breather on purchases?  Because damn, my VISA would really appreciate that.  Sigh.

I legit remember thinking to myself that when "lockdown" (or whatever we're calling it... "stay at home"?) happened that I would save SO MUCH money because I wouldn't be wandering the stores and shopping.  I had no idea I would have this panic to buy things.  And no, I haven't hoarded, and no I haven't stocked up on what it seems many have (I've got a normal amount of toilet paper, I have a normal amount of cleaning supplies, the only masks I have are from my Burning Man gear, and I have one thing of gloves that turn my hands into sauna swimming pools... but I digress)

I am working to reign in my spending and get back to something resembling a budget so that I can go back to not spending money I don't really have.  I'm working on it, while also trying to remind myself that I'm also working against my anxiety and internal not-helpful-thoughts.

March and April were financially not good for me.  I'm hoping to calm and change that for the better.


Jason Langlois said...

I'm hoping you can get some calm as well. For my part, not driving, eating out, going to movies, etc. has led to a fair amount of savings. I have gone to the stores, but it's maybe 1 trip a week and I stock up for the week in a go - which has meant buying stuff on sale more, and in larger quantities which also seems be helping.

And way less snacks than I'd like.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are a numbers person, or if this makes your anxiety worse, but currently, there are only 6 people, on the entire Vancouver Island, being treated in hospital. The population, approximately 870,000- so a very very very small number (unlucky if you are one of the people hospitalized, of course)so maybe this info helps? hopefully doesn't hurt?

Victoria said...

More calm would be great Jason, and that's awesome that you're finding savings!!

I saw that the other day Brandi and it made me cry and proud and happy. Thanks *hugs*