Plenty of people have stuff I don’t have–big houses, expensive cars, jewelry, and whatever else excessive disposable income buys. My budget has more limits.

But I’m no saint. I’m not immune to the cult of buying. Plastic picture frames, cheap throw rugs, and other unnecessary hoarder-in-training debris are scattered about my house.

Believe me, I DO aspire to reign in my “inner spender.” I try to live simply, but every now and then, it rises up inside me: the desire to have.

Usually, this desire is for an item I’ve been wanting, but denying myself. Like, uh, a patio set.

It’s sunny outside. I imagine myself lounging and reading in a comfy outdoor chair. Wouldn’t that be great?

Then I visit a friend who has SEVERAL patio sets. WITH BLANKETS. The desire is unbearable and next thing I know, I’m in the middle of a patio furniture shopping splurge.

I can’t think straight. I need two chairs and a little couch and a tiny glass-top table and a fire pit…

I’m rationalizing how much we will use it and love it and how it will bring countless smiles to children and guests and dogs. I’m justifying with coupons and sales and deals. And suddenly, my daughter and I are driving home in the hot cab of a truck. I’m dizzy and sweaty from helping the guys pack my truck full of boxes.

That was yesterday. This morning I am beating myself up for the money I spent.

But I have a glimmer of hope. Maybe these chairs will make me feel better.

Anyway, I can work off my guilt. My penance will be an afternoon assembling and arranging patio furniture under the carport.

I don’t even have an actual patio.