Walmart Lesson | Personal

I write about the weirdest things, and think to myself while I’m in public when something would be a GREAT blog topic later on…and the best part is, putting this out there always gets an amazing response…so I KNOW It’s worth it! I learned a lesson in Walmart recently, and wanted to share- if one person can relate, that’s awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

I blogged about before my business was started and all of the crazy things I went through not too long ago, and I was so grateful that it was received so well. It was a hard few years and thank goodness I met my husband and became a positive person and got through it. Part of that experience of being very broke and living on a nickel and dime salary was with him, when we were living in Archer’s Green apartments in Norfolk. During that time, we had a two bedroom apartment and paid around $700 for rent. We had the Norfolk Non Emergency on our speed dial and called at least twice a month because of gunshots. We also found a way– do NOT ask me what we ate haha, but to only spend $50-$70 every TWO weeks on groceries…for the both of us. We bought no brand names, nothing fancy, and definitely there was NO shopping for fun.

There were cheap dollar tree decorations for Christmas and holidays. There were cheap low quality towels in the bathroom, cheap candles for when the electricity went out and cheap tableware. So much was falling apart but we were so happy together. We had this feeling of gratefulness for each other and when we COULD afford a concert, movie, date night– it was amazing. And then, things started looking up, and we started to finally make more money! We INSTANTLY thought that meant more happiness!

On some levels– money does help with happiness, when you aren’t panicking that your bills aren’t paid and you can actually afford to eat decent food, it does improve your attitude and happiness. So this was a nice little boost for us and we were actually still REALLY humbled and not taking it for granted. Then we decided to move again, into a bigger place..and my business started and then started growing. Mike started making more money at work, and we had a little more of an income to work with! We were SO excited to invest in my business, so we spent an entire year (the first of Cammy’s life) investing in wonderful cameras and lenses. I was SET and had everything I needed and wanted for weddings and that made me feel so much better about my business because that’s one of the hardest parts– investing in the good stuff.

So there we were, just about two years ago and we had everything we needed for my business, and a steady income and could finally focus on paying off some debt, right? Sorta. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I adapted this really (to me..Mike says it’s not but I think it is) selfish mentality that I deserved to after several years of not being a girl that shopped for pretty things for herself to go ahead and start every month or two going on a little $200-$300 shopping spree to “re-do” my closet. 75% of my wardrobe up until two years ago were ALL hand-me-downs from friends. I couldn’t afford new clothes for a VERY long time and for some reason, bringing in more money and running a business with a baby made me feel like I all of a sudden deserved better THINGS. Nicer THINGS. Nicer lamps, furniture, clothes especially. Why!?! I just went not too long before this spending $50 on groceries for TWO weeks before TWO what in me felt like I needed this nice things?

Every day on Facebook, Instagram, etc– I saw people with nice things. Expensive EVERYTHING. Somewhere along the way, I decided I deserved or needed these things, too- because they would make me happy. I am so glad to be able to be honest about this and admit that I fell into it for a minute and that ONE quick trip recently to Walmart turned on a little lightbulb in my blonde little head and took me back to the good old days at Archer’s Green. I don’t know what prompted me to go to Walmart over my usual TARGET (obsessed!!!!!!!!!!!!) a couple weeks ago..but for some reason I did. I was checking out in line and when my total was only $60…I double checked and made sure she wasn’t missing ringing anything up. Did I really just get everything I need and the total is less than $100? This hasn’t happened to me in SO long because I see all the pretty THINGS at Target. And I feel like I need all the pretty things at Target. But walking out of Walmart that day with the “extra $40” in my bank account that can now go towards some debt, bills, Cammy, etc..that changed so much for me. What was so wrong with going to Walmart? What was so wrong with spending less? The products were the same that we buy at Target and Harris Teeter, but cheaper by SO much. Morningstar products for example at Harris Teeter are $4.99 a BOX, at Walmart? They were $3.67. BIG difference when you eat a lot of that stuff.

I felt humbled and I love feeling grateful and humble. I liked not walking past a ton of THINGS and desperately wanting to buy them. Keeping all of the pretty shiny outfits and jackets and jewelry out of my sight was such a good thing for me that day. Now when I take these Target trips, I will take them less frequently and make sure we are in a place where I can get myself a little treat here or there, but the truth is I don’t NEED an entire shopping spree every time I go. I don’t. And I shouldn’t be doing that anyway, there are so many people with so much less. We need to get our student loan/car payment/retail cards (not many but we have a couple) taken care of FIRST. Enough spoiling myself and trying to justify it with my “well I rode the bus for four years” sob story. My life is great, I am SO fortunate for what we have. There is nothing wrong with everything I already have, it’s more than enough. Even more importantly, I have a gorgeous two year old little angel and another sweet pea on the way, THEY are better than ANY accessory I could ever wish for. They are free to love on and free to spend time with ๐Ÿ™‚

Less money spending, more time spending. This is my big hope and next step for our family <3 Just in time for the holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

Now excuse the embarrassing throw back pictures but I must say, we were far tanner and skinnier then hahahah! ๐Ÿ™‚

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Another inspiring post Amanda! Totally relate to your feelings on Target – I know it seems silly, but I LOVE that our closest Target hides the clothes/accessories/shoes in the middle of the store, instead of first thing when you walk in! It makes it so much easier for me to just grab what I need and get out, without being lured by the pretty clothes. Moving from NYC to NC also helped me really understand need vs. want again – and to feel extremely grateful for what I have, not jealous of how much every one else has. Enjoy your more time spending in 2014!

  2. Christine says:

    Amanda, I just recently started following your blog and love how you are comfortable to share true and real life stories with the world! I am a college student and broke most of the time. I go to Target and leave feeling sad sometimes because I couldn’t buy that sweater or amazing candles that I need oh so badly. You have helped me to keep in mind that material things don’t matter and I’m going to need that when I get into the real world and start making money and to not blow it on everything I see. I must keep in mind that saving money and shopping at Walmart (which is SO MUCH CHEAPER) is key. Thanks for your positive words!

  3. lisa says:

    You don’t miss me, and I ask not sure how I happened upon your oaks. All I have to say is I honestly think you are beautiful inside and our. I live that your are real and honest. When you write your personal blogs about struggle, success, family, career, I always can relate I’m some way. I just want to thank you for all you expose of yourself and I know God lead me to your blog page. It seriously has helped me really be honest with myself and give me goals for my life. Thank you so much

  4. Ain’t y’all the sweetest?!

  5. EliSabeth says:

    You always hit the nail on the head! I, too, have had these roller coasters with finances and understand the “wanting to reward yourself” feeling. Thanks for writing this and always being a positive yet honest person ๐Ÿ™‚

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