I live in an insanely expensive city and work in an industry that pays peanuts, so there hasn't been a time in the last five years that I haven't stressed about money. Since I lost my job, living paycheck to paycheck has taken on a new meaning. Freelancing full-time has the potential to be very lucrative, but I'm not at a point yet where I have consistent cash flow rolling in.
In addition to mani/pedis, I've had to cut back on so many things like shopping, meeting friends for dinner and going to the movies (my most favorite thing in the entire world). I still get my daily grande skim latte from Starbucks, but since my checking account has reached an all-time low, I will most likely have to ditch that too. I'm seriously getting sad just thinking about it.
I had a ridiculously fun weekend (pics from the bachelorette party will be up tomorrow!), minus my meltdown Saturday afternoon. My friends wanted to go shopping, so we hit up a bunch of boutiques in Soho. I knew it would be tough sitting on the sidelines while everyone else made their purchases, but I handled it just fine...UNTIL I came across a super-cute shorts romper on sale at Nanette Lepore. I have never wanted something that badly in a really long time. I considered charging it on my credit card, but I knew that wasn't really an option. When I walked out of the store empty-handed my eyes started welling up with tears. "Are you crying?" Liza asked. We let the group walk ahead and I totally lost it. "I wear the same shit every week. I've only bought two new cheap pieces this whole summer. I haven't had a manicure in over 70 days. I can hardly afford groceries. I can't doooo this anymore," I said in between sobs.
I know you're probably thinking, "Oh, poor girl, can't go shopping. Boo woo." I don't throw pity parties for myself often; I know things could be so much worse. However, it is incredibly hard living in Manhattan and not being able to buy things and keep up with everyone else.
I couldn't pull it together, so I left the group without saying bye and headed to Luke's apartment to relax for a bit. I had absolutely nothing to wear that night for the bachelorette party, so I decided to stop by American Apparel to find a basic dress that I could spice up with a belt or piece of jewelry I already had. I grabbed a light blue button down shirt dress (even though I knew it wasn't right for the occasion), but right when I got to the dressing rooms, I turned around and put the dress back on the rack. I knew the purchase would leave me feeling unsatisfied and even more depressed.
I passed a gelato store on my way back and got a small cup of peanut butter.
I didn't feel guilty about the indulgence because the serving was pretty small. Emotional eating is something I need to work on, but it only set me back $4.68 and it actually did lift my spirits a bit. I figured that was better than having shopper's remorse.
Am I alone here? Has anyone else had a money meltdown recently? Do share!