Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monthly Mommy Confessional: Shopping for Sarah

Here is my mommy confessional this month.

It is so easy for me to want to shop for Sarah. There are just so many adorable, sweet, cute and fun things to get that I just want her to have. I come across so many things along the way, some of which she needs, and most of which she does not and say, "Oh, this is cute," "That's adorable," "Sarah would love that," "I really could use another one of these," (So, not.), the list goes on.

How many times have you uttered these words, or words similar to these (and you know who you are) convincing yourself, talking yourself into making some of these purchases?

Trying to manage money without over spending on Sarah can be tough when there are so many things out there I want to get for her either clothes-wise or toys, books, etc.

I don't typically spend a lot on an article of clothing. In fact, I pride myself on trying to find good bargains especially because little ones are growing out of clothes so rapidly and because clothes get spilled on, dirty from aggressive playground time, etc. I think once I can say I spent a bit over $25 on Sarah's dress for her baby naming. And, that dress still lives in her closet, a keepsake I in intend to have for a very long time.

Where negotiation somewhat stops is with regards to kids shoes. Money does get spent here. You really can't joke around on this. While I don't believe that Sarah needs shoes that cost $50 there are other good options (e.g., Stride Rite, Sketchers) that have some great bargains and quality soles for kids for reasonable prices.

I don't consider myself cheap. Instead, I am frugal and reasonable. For example, I don't $50 dolls or $100 dresses. I just don’t see this as necessary for a constantly growing child who will get so few uses.

There are indeed ways to save money and get great deals at the same time on quality items. I admit that there are times I like to splurge and have been fortunate to get these fun finds at bargain retailers, yard sales, swap meets, EBay and Craig's list.

I am not saying don't buy things for the kids but it's just so easy to get out of control. It’s important to manage because it can get out of hand.

Thankfully, I had an epiphany recently and have been able to reel myself in much more so now than before. This really pertains mostly to clothes shopping.

Often cleaning out Sarah's closest not just based on season but because it many times busts at the seams, I realized that I often put her in many of the same articles of clothing over and over again and don't need as much as I often get. And, to be honest, Sarah currently has many options in her wardrobe to choose from. I have even gotten better at figuring out which clothes are best for her body type and which have great and longer lasting use.

For example, leggings are the greatest invention. Sarah still wears dresses from last year where the arm holes still fit well and with leggings it doesn't matter how long or short the dresses are.

Now, there are many parents who don't have to really think about money and how much they spend or about where to put it all as far as space goes. But, for a good lot of us, it’s likely important for us to remain focused and in control.

So, I have decided this month to try (as I see this as an addiction) to cut back on purchases for Sarah. We have been so fortunate to receive second hand clothes, toys, books and more from my niece and purchase quality goods from consignment, yard sale shopping excursions and discount retailers.

Therefore, every month, I go through Sarah's clothes, toys and more to see what I can take out to donate, swap with another mom, and share with my new niece and with other friends with babies on the way.

For example, just yesterday, Sarah and I went to an annual yard sale. I am proud to say that I got some of the fun stuff for Sarah and necessities too (e.g., magic wand, books, sleeping bag, stuffed animals, winter coat) and spent maybe $15 dollars. Yep. I did not spend a lot at all and go some great items.

I was so excited. I was also VERY, VERY, VERY good about not sifting through everything and many times walking away from stuff that just was not necessary. We did have fun getting things that I know are part of Sarah's development and interests now without going overboard. It was so rewarding.

Right now, I have been very fortunate with Sarah being very amenable to the clothes currently in her closest to pick from for her to wear and the toys and books she has to entertain her.

It's so hard to be reeled in when I see clothes, accessories, toys and books featuring Sarah's favorite characters and do my best to find good deals or gain restraint where necessary and walk away. There are so many other great ways I want to spend money on Sarah (e.g., zoos, children's museums) and have been doing that with her so much more often. It's seems like a win win for all.

Wish me luck trying to keep this going.

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