Content written by Beanstalk Mums
I know what you’re thinking. That I’m ‘in the money’, right? Wrong. I wish it was so. But I’m your everyday single mother. I work to survive, I budget constantly, I save religiously and I have a love affair with my freezer and my FlyBuy card.
Yep, I’m your average single mum.
Although money is tight for myself and my mini-me daughters, I (or should I say ‘we’) LOVE nothing more than a day at the shops.
So why is exactly is shopping such an enjoyable pastime for single mums?
1. IT’S SUCH A TREAT
Life is pretty full-on as a single mother (sorry if that is a huge understatement). We work hard, so every now and then, we like to play hard. And playtime for me is no longer about partying the night away. Give me a trip to the shops and a latte any day. Luckily for me, my daughters are 10 and 13 and make great shopping buddies .. so with or without the kids, I’ll make the very most of my day out.
2. REAP THE REWARD
There is nothing more rewarding than being independent. Especially when it comes to money. I love the feeling of buying something I want, but buying it with the money I have earnt takes it to a new level. I can’t tell you how rewarding it feels to have total control over the money cycle in your household. That pink fluffy cushion will not only adorn my couch. It will remind me of how far I’ve come in my single mum journey.
3. THE LUXURY OF LUNCH
I don’t get out much, it’s true. And one thing I can’t justify is eating out. Unless it’s a shopping day that is. When times were hard, I’ve actually made sandwiches to eat on a bench (usually just outside a coffee shop!). Now though, I budget for a cheap lunch. Whether I have the wonderful company of my girls, a magazine to flick through, or the smug feeling that someone else is cooking and washing up, I’ll enjoy every second of it.
4. POCKET MONEY IS A MUST
Shopping with kids was once a challenge. A stressful stretch of time when the kids wanted everything and going home was the highlight. I have the benefit of slightly older girls now, but I taught them early that no means no. Plus, I give them pocket money each week, so they shop with their money. I let them make their own decisions and they learn to save if they want something big.
5. SHOPPING FOR ONE
This is not strictly true. When I go shopping, I shop for all three of us. But I don’t have to consider a partner with every purchase. If I see a pink fluffy cushion that I don’t really need but have a hankering to buy, I’ll get it. No hiding the bags at home, or convincing a partner that yet another cushion from Kmart was a necessary purchase.
6. KEEP THE RECEIPT
As fabulous as it is to have power over your purchase, decision pressure is one of the hardest struggles for single mums. My advice if you’re not sure is: Keep the receipt. Take the item home, live with for a few days and if it’s not right, take it back. Easy. I always return an item on a shopping trip. It’s great to start your shop with money being returned to your bank account!
7. DREAMING BIG
Of course there are moments when I’m browsing through the ‘posh’ shops, that I can only dream. I image what it would be like to afford the ‘it froths the milk for you’ coffee machine. But I certainly don’t let it get me down. Instead, it incentivizes me to aim higher and work harder. And it is a lesson I teach to my children. Everything is attainable, we simply have to aspire and ultimately achieve.
So there are my reasons why shopping comes so high on my leisure-time list. It doesn’t have to cost a heap of money. It’s not about how many bags you come home with. Just get out there. Enjoy yourself. And treat yourself a little.
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