Pulling myself up short

I am so twitchy today. I want to do all these things, but each thing would work better if I do something else first.

Image representing ModCloth as depicted in Cru...

ModCloth, why you so cute? (Image via CrunchBase)

For instance I have a shopping cart full of cute dresses and shoes on ModCloth, but I feel weird about dropping a couple hundred bucks on clothes even though half my work-appropriate clothes have minor tears or don’t quite fit right or don’t work for pumping and nursing. Seriously, I have one pair of pants right now where nothing is wrong with them. But I feel like I should be saving that money, I have so many long term savings goals: retirement, Busy Bee’s college fund, Busy Bee’s preschool fund (I’m only half joking), the what-if-the-water-heater-and-the-roof-break-in-the-same-week emergency fund, an MBA for me, Paranoid Husband starting a massage therapy business someday, building a raised bed garden next year (garden soil is expensive!)… Ugh, it just feels like any way I cut it, I come up short on long term goals and don’t have any left for short term goals like pretty dresses from ModCloth.

So I want to go see a financial planner. I want someone professional to help me figure out how to prioritize among long-term savings goals and get the best bang for my buck in a world of 0.25% savings rates. I’ve told Paranoid Husband that’s what I want for our fourth wedding anniversary this summer. (Also that I want marital counseling for our fifth, not because I think anything will be wrong then, just for fun. What, learning how to communicate better about our sex life sounds like a totally romantic date.) I even know exactly who I want to go to, I found a fee-only financial planner who’s a fellow alumni of my tiny hippie college.

Except it doesn’t really seem like a good time to make an appointment. Our car is in the shop for the forseeable future after a stupid fender bender, my parents are visiting next week, I’m up for a promotion and raise at work sometime soon but I don’t know exactly when… Shouldn’t I wait until things have calmed down a little? I mean, even two or three weeks from now should be better.

So… I’m just stuck. Twiddling my thumbs.

Actually, now that I think about it, pretty much everything I want to do, at home or at work, is waiting on this stupid raise/promotion. Volunteer recruitment. Program planning. Collateral redesign. Developing a personal/family budget. Looking at preschools for Busy Bee in the fall. Having another baby. Buying some cute dresses already. I’ve been waiting six months now since the promotion was first proposed, and at this point it feels completely out of my control. It could be another three months, or it could be next week.

So… I should just buy the dresses, right?


2 thoughts on “Pulling myself up short

  1. My problem has forever been that I don’t budget for work clothes and of course when I need work clothes it never comes at a good time.

    Might it be better to ask yourself outside the context of a raise/promotion if you’d need these clothes regardless? That can be a tough hit to your bank account, but looking professional can have positive long term impacts. Work clothes really are an investment.

    I continue to dress very professional even though my current work environment is very casual.

    • That’s a good point. I think part of my difficulty is figuring out needs vs. wants. I do need work-appropriate clothing, and I agree that’s an investment with long-term benefits. But do I need cute dresses? Do I need to buy them new rather than “new without tags” on ebay? Are my pants that are a little bit too long good enough or should I pay half again as much for pants that fit perfectly? It’s easy to convince myself that even if I need clothes, I don’t need these clothes.

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