I’m starting to succumb to all the gloom and doom that is being touted out there. Even if I turn my social media outlets off, there’s no hiding from the fact that the stock market is crazy right now. Up 1,000 points. Down 1,200 points. Throw in another fact that we seniors over the age of 60 are being politely ordered (for now) to stay home and avoid crowds.
The main thing hubs and I have to contend with, in the outside world right now is grocery shopping. While its true that there are several alternatives to our physical actions of actually setting inside a real grocery store, have any of you priced out the home delivery alternative? We’re running low on onions, which is a main ingredient in many of our recipes. As a lark, I logged onto Amazon just to see if I could order onions delivered (as well as adding on some other grocery items) and this is what I got:
Really? $22 for ten pounds of onions? In Aldi, I can get three pounds of onions for only $1.79. I later tried WalMart, which offers curb-side delivery but the closest store to me that would offer this service is 28 miles away. That’s almost 60 miles round trip. For onions? (as well as some other needed things). I could get home delivery through Instacart (click here) but once the free first time offers expires, for me, in my area, the delivery charge per order is over $8 plus I have to pay 3% higher for each product vs my personally walking inside a grocery store and buying the stuff myself. Also, since I live rural, only one of the choices will home deliver to me (and it’s a questionable grocery store at that).
So, what am I doing and how am I coping with all of this? I’m overbuying every single thing I can think of, overcharging it to my credit cards and then because of the stock market gyrations, I’m transferring the debt over to a zero interest account. Rather than pull money out of my savings, I’m paying the monthly minimums for like the next 18 months. Not good! Not good at all. I’m doing this thing that I know better NOT to do all because I’m under a tremendous amount of stress. Hubby’s not working. His accounts called and said they are holding off any and all work right now.
The funny thing right now (if you want to call it funny) is that the stress is causing me NOT to eat. While that may be good for my waistline, long term that won’t be good for my health. Since I’ve stopped eating, I’m tossing some of the fresh foods I’ve purchased because they are rotting in my refrigerator. Thus adding on more stress.
According to this recent article from CNBC (click here):
It’s impossible to escape the headlines about coronavirus spreading across the United States and around the world. And it’s a natural reaction to want to prepare as best you can, whether that’s frequently washing your hands or stocking up on supplies. “During times of uncertainty, it’s normal for people to want to stockpile essentials, especially if their day-to-day life will be impacted,” Bola Sokunbi, a certified financial education instructor tells CNBC Select. “However, it’s important to be mindful of your spending.”
CNBC Select offers some tips to consider when making purchases on your credit cards during high-stress times:
- Take inventory of what you already have
- Make a list
- Be sure to pay off your balance in full at the end of the billing cycle
- Bottom line
I know I’m overdoing it and that’s because I’m 69 years old. Hubby has severe heart ailments and in reality, he isn’t much help. The two of us actually sat down and made a decision that when it comes time to actually go inside a grocery store, only one of us is going to go in and do the shopping. That only one turns out to be me. I’m older and a bit more healthy BUT that’s not the point. The point is that hubs and I are actually having conversations such as these: who gets to put their own life at risk? I’ve taken the attitude that if I might contract this disease and because of my own respiratory problems (such as having pneumonia four times already, thus a weakened immune system) if I am going to die then I might as well rack up credit and to hell with everything. The credit is in my name, our assets are protected and when I die, the credit dies with me.
I’m guilty of credit card panic shopping. And I’m certain, I’m not alone.
On the good side, I’ve quickly recognized my problem and have put an immediate end to it. I’ve gone over my monthly expenses, made some drastic cuts to our budget and calculated the minimum monthly payments into our bottom line for now. My inner soul is just screaming out to me to hold onto as much cash as possible and for me, this is what is working for me right now. I know it’s wrong but I seriously just can’t help myself.
In the interim, I’ve turned off all news, all news updates, all social media and have just shrugged my shoulders. I have no idea if everything is being blown out of proportion. I have no idea what’s the truth, what’s a lie, what’s real and what’s not. Is there anyone on the planet I can believe anymore? Maybe that’s the purpose? The goal? A total collapse of the system?
Finally, I’ve copied and pasted the last paragraph of the CNBC article below.
While it’s important to feel prepared during uncertain times, be cautious of just how much you’re spending. And know that there are other ways to prepare that don’t cost you money.
“Stress shopping to stockpile isn’t what’s going to keep you safe,” Lowry says. “Being mindful about your health and interactions with those around you is going to help mitigate your risk.”
Wash your hands, refrain from touching your face and don’t forget to disinfect your phone (and credit cards) frequently.
While all of this may be good information and advice, it hasn’t changed the fact that I just can’t eat. I have a cup of coffee in the morning. A cup of tea in the afternoon. If I feel a hunger pang, I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And then I go read a free eBook out of my online local library.