Breaking the Spending Habit: My First Real Test

Also known as: The people who built my home are jerks.

You probably already know about the intervention I'm staging on myself to break my shopping addiction. You can also read the background on how I got this way.

Today was my first real test of will.

Awhile ago, I discovered that the cold storage room in our new home (that we paid a *lot* of extra money for) stays at a constant 10 degrees warmer than the rest of our basement. After research, I figured that it's because the front of our home is south-facing and our foundation is a little too shallow, so part of the walls of the cold storage room are directly exposed to the sun all day long.

One month ago, I informed my home warranty contact of the issue, and he came out to take a look. He mentioned how odd it was and that he'd have to do some research as to how it could be fixed. I've asked him about once a week for an update, with a hit or miss as to whether or not he'd actually answer.

It should be noted at this point that I am really, really bad with confrontation. I am so bad with confrontation that in high school, when my sister asked me if I was dating a boy she'd seen me holding hands with (I was dating him, but I wasn't really supposed to have a "steady boyfriend"), I somehow ended up confirming that we were just cuddle buddies (which is worse to my conservative family, obviously). I'm still not actually sure how that happened, just that I was desperate to avoid any sort of confrontation. Even now, any minor confrontation can completely ruin my day. I'm working on getting better about it, but I still shake and cry and withdraw into myself when I have even a moderate confrontation.

So, after a month of back and forth with this warranty guy about our basement (and our front door that doesn't latch, and other things), I received an email today from him. Before even opening it, my heart started beating and I was overcome with a sense of dread. This is how bad my phobia of confrontation is. It's a long story, but the email ruined my day. Completely. Not only do we have a really expensive warm cold storage room, but we'll also be on the hook for any labor and materials for any solution we come up with. They've washed their hands of the whole thing, claiming that a cold storage room is merely a basement room without any insulation. Awesome.

So immediately I felt like dirt (confrontation phobia, and the fact that all this confrontation had been a waste) and wanted to go searching on the internet for things to buy that would make me feel better. I actually opened an Amazon tab on my browser (I can't have the Amazon shopping app right now; I just can't) without realizing what I was doing. Fortunately, I was able to resist buying random crap pretty easily. Even if I do still feel like dirt.

The next thing to resist was going out and immediately buying the materials we would need to fix our cold storage room. Because even though it is necessary, it is not necessarily time-sensitive. After all, we won't be building storage shelves in there until we can buy the wood, so we won't need to insulate it before then. And it might actually help us a tiny bit with heating costs during the winter months. It certainly won't hurt for me to research the best and most affordable options longer.

But boy would it ever help me to feel in control again to go buy those materials. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of not taking any firm action right now to help me move past this issue. But I'll suck it up, because I really need to break my shopping addiction. And it will probably help me grow, anyway, to push through this emotional harrowing, rather than push past it.


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