High Stress Credit Card Shopping

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.

Really?

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:

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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.

UGH!

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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:

  1. Take inventory of what you already have
  2. Make a list
  3. Be sure to pay off your balance in full at the end of the billing cycle
  4. 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?

Winning.

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.

12 comments

  1. Cindi I feel your pain. I’m in a busy urban setting (Miami) and I haven’t seen panic buying here yet. Regardless, since DH and I are retired, we go to the grocery store very early.

    We also have a freezer in our utility room, from when we had a combined 5 kids between us. We’re keeping it well stocked.

    At one time we were thinking of selling it but I’m glad we didn’t.

    Maybe if you go early in the morning it’ll be less crowded?

    And I know this sounds cavalier but I could care less about my cc. I’m NOT going crazy and I’m paying it off but we’re not going to go without. So I’m like, whatever.

    Like

    • Hi Teri. I understand your feelings and thoughts exactly. I’ve been getting up early and going to Aldi as soon as they open their doors @9AM. Less people. Less chance of contamination. I’m so stocked up I can open my own Aldi’s LOL!
      Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  2. Cindi. Take a deep breath.
    RELAX, and

    STOP WATCHING THE NEWS!!!!!!!

    Here is a Dave Ramsey’s rant, which is quite good.

    Another way to look at it is when H1N1 came out, who was president? Obama. Since he was popular with the news outlets, the hysteria was somewhat controlled, right? I won’t presume this hysteria is political, but……

    Coronavirus isn’t the first pandemic and won’t be the last. There will be more. We can only do what we can do. LIVE our lives. When it is our time to go, it’s our time. God controls that. IMHO. In the meantime, enjoy the spring that is upon us. Garden, walk in nature, enjoy being with you hubby. Visit with your granddaughters.

    Fear is just FALSE evidence appearing real. YOU GOT THIS.

    xoxoxox

    Like

    • Thanks Sharon. We can’t go visit the kids. NYC is in total dissarry. My kids don’t want me to jeapodize my life or Nicks. I can’t even plan our next camping trip because the advice is to stay home!
      I think we are going to put in our first veggie garden. That might be fun.
      I watched Ramsey’s rant. Doesn’t mean that this time things will be so different from the past. No one knows.
      Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  3. Hi Cindy–well, you’ve planned so things will go as well as they can. And it might make a difference. I think, though, we have to stay alive for a year minimum and that will be a tall order. So you are right. Meditate, eat well, read a book. I probably will follow your example and stop watching the news pretty soon, though that is hard to do. I guess the services for delivery are probably not going to work soon because of the demand anyway, so you are right to stock up a while ahead, credit card or not. You won’t really go into debt because you’ll use it all if you are buying things you can freeze or pantry staples. You live in the country so you can get outside and take walks. We are fortunate to be in a small town and have access to off the grid if we really need to. Oh, get sun–that vitamin D from the sun is crucial. Pills don’t do it. But I think we have to be kind to ourselves for feeling panicky — old people don’t have the time to waste here and just the thought of this in the long haul and the effect on the economy is daunting. We probably just lost our “retirement” if we had it. So it’s a grief process. Younger people don’t have that.

    Like

    • Hey Lynn. We’re doing one more Aldi run and then that’s it for a while! I prayed last night asking God for guidance and here is what He said (to me): #1 Stop Spending Money!. Look for things to cut back on and/or eliminate. I lowered our food bill, gas bill, cell phone bill, electric bill and the best of all is we finally cut that cable cord, installed a new antenna in the attic and voila’ FREE TV.
      He also said I can go visit my new RV friends. One is in Maryland. The other in Virginia. It’ll cost me nothing except gas as we can stay on their properties for free AND go to the beach!
      Nick and I need to start hiking our favorite trails again. We’ve been wanting to see Woodstock NY and I think this spring we will do it.
      Made me hopeful again.
      Made me look forward to what we CAN do vs what we CAN’T do. Big difference.
      Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cindi – I feel you pain of the stock market swings. Who likes seeing that?! I really don’t like see where my portfolio has dropped to right now. You know you are tough, you’ve handled all sorts of things, you can handle this.

    Many of us have been in places were the fears just kept going around in our heads, and making us sick with worry. Think about what is scaring you and make a list. Writing it down helps, as it can help get the fears out of your head. Once you have your fears written down, you can rank them. How likely is this to happen, and if it did happen, what would it mean.

    So, the cost of delivery is very high. Based on the risk ranking, and how concerned you are about going to the grocery store, is this too much to pay?

    Since you are worried about the fresh ingredients rotting, think about using them to make soups or other meals to put in the freezer. Don’t let your purchases go to waste. (Even lettuce can be made into soup, and I’ll admit I’ve never had it, but Julia Child did make a lettuce soup.)

    Like

  5. Yes, I’m concerned but still going to supermarkets and restaurants. Not spending anything outside of my regular budget, but if I succumbed to the inner anxiety I would hit Macy’s online and die wearing beautiful new clothes. 🙂 I also overeat when I’m anxious and wish I could catch your under eating bug.

    Like

    • Anne, I just can’t eat. So bizarre. When I’m worried, I just can’t eat. I can’t even look at food. I get pains in my stomach when I do. Maybe that’s my silver lining?? LOL!
      I’m still going to the supermarkets but eating out is just totally a no.
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Like

  6. I just love this. My all-time favorite quote is one from Brene:
    “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
    Thanks for inspiring me to write more from the heart and soul.
    Many thanks!

    Like

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