I think of myself as frugal. "I'm frugal!" I think, and then I feel a little better. But really, at the core, I am afraid I am a cheapskate. Like, I have kind of a hangup about it. I should probably sit down and argue with myself at some point and see if we come to an agreement.
It probably has to do with my parents. Or the toxins in the environment. Because it is rarely, "I'm so broke I should just buy a 4-pack of toilet paper." (Which means I will have to go buy toilet paper again in 30 minutes) It's just this thing where I think, "Why spend $12 on toilet paper? So expensive! I'll come back later." Or I buy cookies and eat as few as possible so they won't run out, and they get all weird and stale. Stuff like that. If I were in a 1900's novel, I'd be stingy with the candles and my horses would be sickly.
Anyway. I recognize it's kind of a neurosis, so I am attempting to not pass it on to my children, which has never been an issue, because they've never had any of their own money. But this year for Christmas, they got $25 each and so I've been trying to be all homeschool-y and teach them saving and budgeting and whatnot. Brynn blew through hers, but Toby's been hoarding every cent, and doing extra chores around the house and such for cash. He picked a couple of specific goals and saved everything he needed, and today we took his $22.01 and Brynn's $1.00 and they bought stuff.
And I'm standing there in the Hot Wheels aisle, feeling that kind of sick, worried feeling, because I know it's going to take ALL of Toby's money, and that is freaky. So I'm trying to hide it and say cheerfully, "Now, this will be the rest of your money. You won't have any left. But you'll have this GREAT toy!", and I can hear it coming out all high-pitched and worried and I am telling my brain to modulate my tone because I am messing up my kid. Luckily, he is male and not listening to me anyway.
Brynn picked a variety of 35 dollar items before we relocated to the dollar spot, where she got a plastic pig that the MOG will throw away when he finds it sitting on top of the toilet or in his shoe. Toby checked out in front of me, holding a sweaty fistful of dollar bills. "I'm not here alone," he told the lady in front of him. "I live with her. She's my mom. But this is my money."
So far so good, I guess.