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Money and finding a mate

October 12th, 2010 at 04:16 am

So, there are times when I am in a funk, and I start to think back to issues of love and romance. Probably something I shouldn't do when I feel this way, but I am working on it.

The new person I am seeing is a nice guy. There are some issues that we both have that make it seem like we might not be husband and wife ready. He isn't too keen on my being frugal, and I am not too keen on his lack of firm financial goals at this age in his life (he is almost a decade older than me). I accept that he views money differently, and, having been through that issue with my past relationship, it worries me a bit.

When I think of the choices I made in who I dated (admittedly, I don't think I really had a huge selection, but that is another issue), I feel really stupid and upset at myself. I found out recently that a guy I used to semi-date years ago is now married and has a child. We dated and I just didn't feel any chemistry. I was younger, and I didn't focus on the fact that he is my age, hardworking, responsible, and likes me. Instead, I focused on how he spoke or the fact that we didn't seem to have any chemistry or commonality.

I also think of a recent ex of mine who I really, really liked. I haven't heard from him in years, and one of the problems that we had was that he made ALOT more money than me, and he didn't understand that at that time I had a very tight budget and had to be frugal. He made so much money and had so little debt, that he wasn't worried about even having an emergency savings and would often buy big ticket electronic items.

While we got along great, I do feel that he looked down on me for the type of job that I did (he was a techie, I wasn't)and that I didn't earn as much as he did. He once made a comment that suggested that he didn't think that what I did had any value, and it would be better to just give my clients money, rather than help.

I feel sad because I do think, by the way that he was income wise, and appearance, that he is most likely married and probably has kids.

I feel like I should have focused on the more important things in the goal of being a mom and married. Instead, I was so focused on personality and chemistry. In the big picture, is that what is really important? If I go for guys I have lots in common with and that I can talk to, but they either have issues with fidelity, or lack of personal ambition, then it doesn't seem to bode well that they will want to settle down and start a family.

I often get very sad about the topic, because I see so many others who may not have the same life I have had, or have worked in the same way, and it just seems like getting married and having kids was so easy for them.

I found a long lost friend on a social networking site. When we were in school together, I always wanted to be like her. I was growing up poor, not a mom and a dad, and just going through so much. I know that my classmates had no idea of what I was experiencing, or how I would have to change my clothes in various restrooms because I didn't have a place to really do that.

She was the very popular gal in our class. She mostly stood up for me, as she was the kind of person to stand up for everyone. But at times she would join in on making fun of me---whether it be my dirty clothes with the rips and holes, or why my hair hadn't been combed in days, etc.

But she was the one that all of the girls in class wanted to be like. She was thin and looked unique and the coolest guy in class wanted to be with her. I later found out that she is now married to a seemingly great guy, and has a ton of kids, and seems to just be living this great and normal life.

I am getting older and the issues with my finances are wearing down on me a bit. I know that I am very, very, very fortunate and blessed, as I am able to work the way that I do, am able to earn extra money through part-time work, am able to eat and wear decent clothes and have a roof over my head and my car and my family and friends.

I know that I am very, very blessed. I also know that some large bills I have will be paid off in under a year. I just need to keep my eyes on the prize and keep on working to pay down debt. I just worry so much about how things will be. I know a person who seems to be so worn down by life. He complains so much about things, but he has a house, and a flat screen tv, etc. etc. etc., but he isn't married and has no kids, and, it seems like he is so negative because maybe he wanted things to be different. It is sometimes hard to talk to him because he is just so much more negative than imaginable and it is mentally draining. I worry a lot because I don't want my mind or spirit to turn out like his.

I am just ranting and venting a bit, and I thank you all for listening. I think it is good to get advice from people who may have gone through that same things I have, or who may just have lived life a bit more than I have. It really helps me in more ways that I can verbally express.

Money and Class....and not the kind of class you think

October 11th, 2010 at 05:13 am

So, the past few weeks have been a bit on the frustrating, aggravating, overwhelming side to put it mildly. And one of the factors that stood out in the zaniness of the past few weeks has been the topic of money.

One thing I have been noticing in regards to money is 1) when I have it, I am less stressed, and 2) when I don't have it, then everything seems even more stressful. I don't need to be a millionaire to be happy. I was aware at a part of the not so distant past that my having the 3-6 months of emergency savings could really ease my stress, even if I was somewhat broke during my average everyday type of life. But not having both is what makes me a bit more anxious.

I am thankful to have been able to work harder in order to have extra money for just basics that make me happy. But this extra work also makes me more cognizant of those who normally earn a higher amount, but may not have the same ethics. Lately, I have been finding myself saddened, upset, hurt, frustrated, dealing with issues of inferiority, by interactions with people who most likely earn more than I do (their house is in a better neighborhood, their car is european foreign made, they can shop at food stores I can only look far away at). In these situations, I found a severe lack of understanding on their part, and possibly mine.

By no means am I lumping everyone together or saying that all people act a certain way. That isn't what I am saying. I am describing that I have been running into the same type of person lately, who just happens to be a higher income. Living in a higher income city as I do, this isn't uncommon. Being a native who is not from such a high income may be a bit more uncommon.

Lately, I have had situations where people who had more, were not really cognizant or understanding, it seems, of the worth of value of a dollar. I feel there is nothing wrong with being frugal. I do find it sad, however, if you know something is worth a certain amount in fair trade, but you reduce what you will pay for it because you know that there is such a need for the sale, that the person will take almost anything. This has happened quite a few times, and it is so upsetting and angering, to be honest.

I get very sad and upset when I see people come out of our local gourmet store, bags filled to the brim with the usual high-fare foods (admittedly, some things in the store I would like to buy if I could), and they turn their noses down at the panhandler outside. Now, they aren't obligated to donate money. But they should at least give that person common respect. Instead, they say negative things to the homeless person, and that kind of thing just doesn't make sense to me in a lot of ways.

I have to learn how to ignore some of the things that people like that do. It is frustrating when I hear someone make a comment about how something isn't hard to afford, or that anyone can afford something, because it just shows that they are only thinking from their particular income and situation. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "Everyone could buy " " if they wanted to" just seems oblivious to what people in our country are going through right now. It is even more difficult when I hear some people complain about not being able to buy a designer item and how things are so difficult, yet, I also know people (sometimes myself), who are dealing with just being able to buy food and gas and pay their bills. It is all so frustrating and upsetting. In my city, I feel like I and others I know understand the recession and yet there is another group of people, no specific commonality except for income and habits, who are acting as if there is no recession. But this belief makes them very oblivious to the plight or suffering of others.

I am not sure how to react in this situation. Sometimes I feel like I need to just tune them out and ignore them. I feel like it takes a lot of energy out of me, because I often feel really overwhelmed at just trying to make it while dealing with usual life and work and family and relationship issues (sometimes to the point of tears) and to then have to deal with others who seem out of touch, or who just seem to be walking around without a care in the world, so quick to tell you how easy life really is, just upsets me. I do think that it wouldn't bother me as much if I was more stable financially, but it would still bother me because I know that I am very fortunate to be able to work and earn extra money, and you have families and people who haven't had income for a long while.

When you encounter things where it seems as if others are out of touch about finances, and not in a good way, how do you deal with it? When it is almost to the point of being ridiculously oblivious to reality, do you say something or just keep quiet?

Asking for help is sometimes hard

September 23rd, 2010 at 04:49 am

So, I had a situation recently where I had a bit of a little break down emotionally. I suddenly had a huge bill that I needed to pay (completely unexpected), and I had no way to pay it---my credit limits on my credit cards had been reduced, no emergency savings, and only my 401k as a possible last resort. I felt so angry at myself for being in this position. Thankfully, someone very close to me helped me more than I could ever imagine, and lent me the money to pay the bill. I cried a bit because I just hated having to ask people for help. The past few months have been very hard, I must admit, and I have asked friends for help more this year than probably in the entire time that I have known them combined. Of course, I have always tried my best to be there for them when they needed help, but, it is weird being in the other position and needing help.

Because of the love and support of the person who is dear to me, I was able to go from crying at one part of the day to smiling from ear to ear and sipping on a pick-me-up coffee drink. Yes, I do comfort myself with coffee, and I realize that is probably not such a good thing.

I am mad at myself for being in this position, and all I can feel like I can do is just to keep on heading forward and just hope and pray that things work out and that I eventually get back to the way I was before, where I led more by example financially-wise. My friends come to me for help a lot when it comes to finances, but I feel like I have a hard time sticking to my budget. I also have to deal with the reality that my budget may not be the most realistic, that I do buy little things when I am sad or depressed (and even though they are cheap items, they still can add up---100 items from the dollar store still equal $100, plus tax), and that I often put my needs behind the needs of others, and that is not good.

I am starting to worry that not only are my health issues and lack of romantic love a possible barrier in having a child, but, financially, I cannot afford to pay for the medical things that people do if they decide to have a child on their own. I know I should just take each day at a time and realize that we are all going through difficult times. I have plenty of healthy food to eat, a good job, a roof over my head, and most importantly, the love and support of family and friends. In that regard, I am so very, very, blessed, and I just need to realize that I just have to keep on trucking. It doesn't seem like it now, but, in reality, I have been through things more emotionally difficult than right now, so, I just need to relax a bit and not get so frantic about it. I just feel vulnerable and yeah, weak, when I have to ask my friends or family for help. I do realize, however, that maybe my asking them for help does strengthen our bond as usually I was the person who always tried to help them more.

The ex and the new beau are odd situations, for sure. The ex is still the ex, but at least our text messages don't seem so angry. He even paid part of a bill this month, and made a sincere comment about paying more next month. That made me feel good. I don't know if we will ever be friends like we once were, but I think the anger factor has relaxed a bit, and I am happy about that. I don't think he is a bad person, just that we aren't the best for each other in a romantic sense.

My new love interest is very nice---I already can see that we get along and understand each other a lot better than me and my ex did. Our chemistry is ama-zing! And yet, I don't know if we are headed towards wedded bliss. And I really do like that we can talk so openly about what we are looking for and how we view getting to know each other, etc. He treats me really very nice, and he did help me to see that at times, I do say things or come across like I don't think I am worthy of being treated very nicely. Yeah, I know I need to work on that for sure! We do have different spending styles, and I realize that any potential couple needs to be in somewhat agreement on that issue. He was upset at me at one point because I was curious about the price of our food dates. I let him know that the type of person I am would not go to excess----like, I wouldn't order lobster if I know he is trying to save money, on a budget, etc. I also know that I have to let him be able to speak up if something is more than he can afford, etc.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching and there are so many facets of myself that I really need to work on. I think that my pride and my self-esteem and my sense of self-worth really got hit hard last month because I feel like I do a lot, and can achieve a lot, but I just kept getting treated like I couldn't get over that glass ceiling, ya know? But, all I can do is just keep on trying my best. My debt is slowly coming down, and I am not too old to have kids just yet, and you are never too old to change and keep improving who you are as a person, so, that is what I am just going to believe and do.

Thank you everyone for being so kind to me----being able to blog about a topic so touchy for a lot of people, really helps me more than I can express.

Money, money, money

September 19th, 2010 at 05:23 pm

The past few weeks have been a bit difficult for me. I have been dealing with stress from so many different areas---love, work, family, finances. I have often felt like I was at the end of my rope, to be honestly.

On the family front I have been dealing with a relative whom I love so much, but whom is so disrespectful towards me. I lent him money a while ago, and he swore up and down he would pay me back, and he hasn't. He interacts in certain groups and gives donations, but won't even return my emails. I feel bad for him because he really is very lost in terms of him respecting his family. It is very sad and just both angers me and makes me feel hurt and sad because I love my relative and want him in my life in a good way, and not in the way where he is just disrespectful.

On the love front, the ex has been very jerky and is being that, I feel, as a way to justify maybe in his mind not repaying the bills he created or the loan, etc. It is very hurtful because I did so much to help him, and now I am dealing with trying to adjust my budget to pay those bills, and, feeling pretty hurt inside. I don't want to think of my ex as a bad person, but I am noticing the theme that he never apologizes and he always makes me feel like I am the bad person and that hurts a lot, because, well, who likes to feel like that? I don't want to be with him in that way, but I did want us to be able to remain friends.

On the work front, things have been hard. I don't feel respected, and some things occurred recently that just made me feel more like I am not respected, and that people don't see any of my good qualities. It really made me feel like maybe I am not as talented as I like to think I am. I am also very sad about the situation because I need my job, i am in a tough position financially, and I feel like my bosses will never see me as anyone that they would want to promote, based upon how they treat me. They did something that was so unbelievably rude that it just hurts my feelings. I can't talk to hr about it because they are a part of the situation, and well, they represent the bosses viewpoint. I feel like I have to keep doing my best, and yet, I may not be seen as worthy of anything better and that scares me so much. I have been in tears because of it.

On the finances front, I have been working jobs on the side to make ends meet and to be able to pay for the excess bills from my ex (the bills are in my name---I know, a stupid thing that I thought I would never have done, but thought I was being helpful at the time). It has been a bit hard, as I have had to juggle paying some bills later than I would like, but still within the time frame to avoid being considered late. sigh. I also find that when I am as stressed as I have been, I want to indulge in things like sweets and coffee drinks and buying little things to make me feel happy. I know that is not a good coping mechanism, but at least I am aware of my faults.

On the romance front, I have met a nice guy. He is very kind and super smart and we get along a lot better than me and my ex did. The main difference that I feel is that I do think my ex cared for me. I don't get that feeling from the new guy. It could be too soon, but, I dunno. I am also really more aware of the kind of person I want to settle down with, and that, yes, how they deal with money is an issue. I am not sure we are totally compatible money-wise and that worries me. I do like that he treats me very well, I just worry that my frugal-ness may irritate him, and I don't want that to be an issue, and I want someone who has the same financial goals that I have.

I have been feeling on the edge of a cliff for a while now. My health has not been so good and I have been dealing with some issues that scare me as well. I just feel like I have to keep on trucking and getting through things and that things will eventually get better. I am keeping my eyes open for better work possibilities, accepting that my ex and I may not be able to be friends, that my relative may never come to respect me, and that I may be single for a while and that I don't have to rush into a relationship and that whomever I choose to be with is someone that I will want to start a family with. I am thankful for my friends and family and of course, God first, for giving me the strength because at times I just feel like break down and crying. Sometimes it is good to cry.

I am thankful for everyone who reads my ramblings. It helps me to get out my thoughts and also to get the perspectives of people and their advice. I am sending all of you my deepest thank yous and care.

Simple pleasures and trying to find solace

August 18th, 2010 at 06:10 am

So, I know I haven't written in a while, and it seems like I have been on this tiny little roller coaster...maybe something akin to the swirling tea cups, but a roller coaster nonetheless.

On a good note, I met a nice person who treats me well. He is also a bit old fashioned and insists on paying for most things. I find that a bit both uncomfortable, because I am not used to it, and refreshing. I do realize that I have self-esteem issues because we have talked and I told him that I appreciate what he does for me, and he said that I say it in a way that seems as if I don't realize it is expected, or that I should be treated that way. I think that is true. It is something I need to fix within myself, I think.

The ex and I had an agreement when we were together that I would help him with some bills initially, but that he would continue with them. Lately he hasn't been working as much and has other issues and hasn't been able to pay what we agreed he would pay. I feel bad for his situation, but also mad at myself for doing something in terms of billing help that I often told friends not to do. I felt it was the right thing at the time to do, but now, because of his issues with budgeting, finances, etc., it is just making my monthly bills a bit higher. Frown Hopefully he will be able to continue paying like we agreed.

I have been trying to be resourceful as the part-time job is kaput. Frown But, I was able to help someone with the skills I have, and they were very appreciative. Yay!

I am trying to balance working a lot and under a lot of constant pressure, with trying to have some private and social time. I had a recent experience where I went to this great event about a great occasion, but felt like i was so behind and lacking that I just ended up leaving early. There are so many things I want to accomplish in my life and I just get so down and sad at times because I worry if I will be able to accomplish them. The guy I am seeing now is very nice and we get along a lot better than me and my ex. I am just not sure if he and I would be great as a couple. I know I shouldn't think that far ahead, but it feels like everyone is getting married and I just wonder if it will happen for me.

My budgeting hasn't been good. Primarily because of some extra bills and my trying to juggle everything. I know I am not as bad as I am making it sound---I have food, an apartment, clothes, etc. I just get a bit frustrated at times. I will have a major bill paid off soon, so that will help me tremendously.

Thank all of you for all of your kind words and thoughts and advice. I do appreciate it more than I can express.

My Spending Goal for August

July 18th, 2010 at 09:08 pm

So, my goal for August is to not spend so much. I realize that buying something every day, even something as small as bottled water ($1) can really add up. I also realize that I do have a lot of stuff, and that shopping, for me, is a form of stress relief and also impacts my self-esteem. When I cannot buy something, I feel very financially unstable---even though I know I may not be able to buy something because of a future goal.

I realize that my debt has gone down a lot, and that if I keep making the payments that I need to make, my goal of being almost debt free in less than 3 years can happen. I just need to be able to focus on that goal, despite being distracted by emotions, etc. I want to see how long I can go without buying something, and to consolidate my shopping trips so i am not buying necessary items, but every day.

So, in August, I want to really test myself to see how I feel not buying things, and maybe only buying something once a week, or so. I have to cut out nice coffee from my budget, so, I will treat myself to a nice latte only once per week. It may make it more special that way. It may sound silly, but I would like to be a financial situation where I have a larger food budget that I am comfortable with, and that allows me to buy as much coffee as I want. I guess I am kicking myself because when I was younger I was able to do that easily. So, I just feel like I have to get back into the mode of spending below what I earn. Easier said than done, as I probably need help also with adjusting my food budget.

On the boyfriend front, a relative recently said that she was happy that I did not marry my ex, namely because we were very different, and when it does come to finances, both people need to be able to talk about it and work it out. I got upset this week because my ex said that he wanted to help me when I needed it, as I have helped him. But, due to the economy he isn't earning what he used to, and has to help his family more, so he isn't able to help me. I know I shouldn't be upset, and I know that he may have less earning potential than I do because of his lack of education and his interests, but, I got a bit resentful because I was working 2 jobs to support the both of us. I wish he would have told me something like he can't help much, but he can offer a certain amount, even if it was below what I was asking for. My relative says that he does mean well, but just isn't able to help, and isn't yet in a place where he wants to go over budgets and figure out bills in advance like I do. I can't tell you how many times I memorize in my head what I need for the month to live off of. The creating the budget isn't hard, but the sticking to it, especially when I have a craving for a particular food or item I feel I need for my home is what is difficult.

I am going to keep focusing on trying to achieve the most that I can. I realize that I just have to keep at it, and things will eventually work out. Already, my debt is going down. Now, I just need to reduce my spending habits.

Staying the course

July 11th, 2010 at 05:27 am

So, I have been trying to stay focused on the reality of having significantly less debt in the next couple of years. And right now, even though I know that to be possible, I am having a hard time not giving in to despondency.

I had a situation where I asked my ex to help with a bill. He has always said and says that he wants to help me more, and that he wants me to ask him for help more. So, the bill is a bit of a bummer, so I asked him for help, but he is not earning as much as he usually does, so he isn't able to help me. Sigh. I know it is not his fault, and I also realize that it is hard for me to start feeling like I can depend on others. It is hard for me to be able to trust others in that way. I think that is why I am always a bit anxious about my life, the future, etc. I want to be able to feel like I can depend on others, but it just feels very vulnerable. I also have to accept that even though I did a lot for my ex, and will always care and love him as a person, that people have different feelings, and at some point, he may not be so concerned with how I am doing. It is hard because I know that he means well when he says he wants to be there for me, but is not always able to. I know I am a strong person, I just have that fear of being old and homeless and having to eat scraps. I know it isn't rational, but that is how I feel at times.

I know that in a few years my debt will be lower, and hopefully I will have more money from my paycheck to be able to put towards savings, etc. Trying to just stay calm while I am paying down the debt is what is hard. I overspent by about 75 bucks, and I already feel kind of uncomfortable----that is 75 dollars that could be used for food, gifts for loved ones, etc. I do like what I bought with the 75 bucks, I just need to get out of the mindset of feeling weird about not having a lot of money to spend if I wanted to. I have food and my bills for the month paid, so I shouldn't feel uncomfortable. I realize it is more mental than anything else. I am upset at myself for letting my emergency savings getting so low. Hopefully, over time, I can rebuild it.

I am also working on asking people for help when I need it. I am more of the very staunchly independent type, but I need to be able to let people know that I am human, and that their support is important to me. I think that for a couple of people in my life, my asking them for helps means a lot in terms of how our relationships were usually my helping them.

Thank you all for listening to my thoughts. Like the tide, they are sometimes cheerful and calm, and sometimes erratic and emotional.

Climbing

June 24th, 2010 at 03:36 pm

So, I have been really trying to work on the increased performance and more work so I can achieve potentially a higher income, etc.

I feel afraid, honestly, because of 1) the economy and 2) that people's judgements of me may impact how far I can succeed.

I know of a situation where there is a person over me who has said things to me, that suggest that they don't think I am really able to do much, or they don't think I have the appropriate skill set. It is hard because I do know more in some areas than this person, and vice versa. What worries me that a lot of this judgement really is personal, and not based upon my actual abilities, but rather their views of me, based upon internal biases. It is hard because I really am trying to do my best, but there are people over me who see me only in a certain and incorrect way, and that is so frustrating. In this economy, and with my skills, and with my emergency savings being the way it is, I really am not sure I can find something better.

I will just keep on focusing on doing the best I can. I will be so very happy when I pay off a huge bill this year and that frees up a bit more money in my budget that I can use towards paying down other debt, or increasing my emergency savings.

I am just struggling with trying to keep my head up through these types of things. It is hard when you know you can do certain things, but others treat you as if you cannot. Frown

Is Being Rich the Finish Line?

June 24th, 2010 at 03:15 am

Where I live, I am surround, literally, by people who make a lot more money than I do. I am surrounded by shops that I wouldn't dream of shopping in because of their prices, and shops that I would love to shop in, if I could, but can't, because the prices are so prohibitive.

I have been thinking a lot about my relationship with money and being happy. I have been super more relaxed and happy when I had a decent amount of emergency savings. I felt more at a place where I can afford to dream about what I want in my life and what I want to accomplish, when I had more saved.

Now, I find myself growing anxious at times. I know that the finish line for paying off debt will only be maybe 2 more years, but I feel anxious nonetheless. I think about the things I want to do----fleeting away to a different city on a very much needed vacation (something I haven't been able to do because of lack of money) and just feeling carefree as I stroll down the sidewalks---to the extreme worry about having a family. If I don't get married or find a partner, then, how can I afford going to a doctor for family planning? If I don't have a good amount of savings, how can I be a single mom? Of course, I know you can make a family without a lot of money, but I don't want to make things harder for my kids, either. I know, the last thought is probably just my worries spiraling out of control, but I am just telling it like it is.

I do realize that growing up not having things makes me feel like I have this desperate feeling a lot of the time. If I don't have money in the bank, I feel weird. Anxious. Uncomfortable. I have been through much worse financial times than this, I just think that maybe I am really upset for being my age and going through this. Like, I should be more responsible with my spending. At times, it is hard me to hear others talk about not having money when they have money in their budget, every month, for things like clothes, etc. Or when they are buying big ticket electronic items for their house (not apartment). So, at times it is hard for me to relate to. Though, I know it is all my issue and not theirs. If I had more excess money after my bills, I might do the same thing.

I wonder, is being rich the finish line? Is it okay to reach a certain income and not earn more? I feel like I am ok with just being comfy---if I could have my emergency savings back, be able to buy coffee drinks when I want, be able to afford routine vacations, then I would be happy, I think.

This month I went crazy a bit on toiletries and spent like 35 bucks on them. I didn't really need them, and could have gone without. And I could have saved that 35 bucks for something else, and I would feel far more comfortable right now if I had it back. Sigh. I think when I am feeling blue, that is the hardest time for me to fight an impulse buy, though to be honest, I can walk through a store for hours and not feel bad about walking out without buying anything. I do agree that less is more at times. But I am not sure that is true when it comes to money. Wink

Is the want of money the root of all evil?

June 23rd, 2010 at 06:54 pm

As I am sitting here and counting how much available credit I have on my cc cards, cash in my checking account, and the days left until pay day, I do wonder if the want of money is the root of all evil.


I do feel upset, tense, frustrated, and just upset at myself for not making better money choices---for not being more frugal when buying food or impulsive buys, for being in a situation where I at first wanted to set aside some money from my part-time check to put towards savings, towards now wondering if I have enough just to get through until pay day.

Pretty upset at myself about it, and yes, the want of money is problematic. Now I feel like I didn't budget as good as I should have, and when I want to buy a food item that is healthy or just tastes good, I may not be able to. So, then there is that whole deprived feeling. Ugh. Frown This is a common pattern and I wonder what happened to me in regards to my money. I used to be so much better, fiscally, and I would save as much as possible. Could it be just that my overhead was lower? Could it be I used my cc's for so long that they became a part of my income? Sigh. Frown Having bad thoughts of withdrawing money from my retirement account just so I can have money in the bank if I ever need it. I know I shouldn't do that because of the penalties. I also know that I will pay off a huge bill soon, and that will give me over $100 more to use in my budget. I just have to be patient. It still is a bit tiring at times.

Not so good with my money

June 21st, 2010 at 04:22 pm

So, I have been working a lot lately, and while I was able to take care of about $500 in maintenance related stuff, mainly due to my having the part-time job, I have NOT been good about saving money, or even keeping up with my bills.

I think that I have been a bit depressed, to be honest. I feel like I have been stressed in some regards, and just focusing on how good it feels to be able to buy what I want to eat (within reason), without feeling like I am always confined and can only eat specific items.

So, I am upset at myself for not saving better, and for not paying down my cc's better, etc. Although, I am happy, that my overall monthly expenses are going down, and that if I were to really stick to my budget, I wouldn't necessarily need the 2nd job, which is a good thing. The issue moreso is that I need the 2nd job for assistance with maintenance issues, etc.

I did receive a nice refund, and most of it went to pay back previous debt, so I wasn't left with a lot leftover. Sigh.

I realize that I do tend to shop when i am sad or feeling bad about myself. I know that isn't a good thing. I also know that investing more money into my food has led me to eating much healthier and dropping some pounds, so I am very happy at least about that.

I will focus on watching my spending more this month and in July. I need to avoid impulse purchases and focus only on things that I need, or creature comforts like a warm coffee and a pastry for a rare treat.

Just say no

May 27th, 2010 at 05:04 am

My goal next month, though I already think it may not be possible, due to the paycheck schedule, is to avoid using my credit card. My part-time job has cut down on the hours, so I am already trying to figure out how I can save as much of my earnings as possible.

I did good food wise---my refrigerator is pretty well stocked on most items. Though, right now, I wish I could go out and buy some bread or something. But, I am super duper broke. Yep. And I am not going into my low, low, low emergency savings to borrow money for bread, because I overspent earlier in the month. Sigh.

So, I just have to deal with feeling a certain way when I am not able to buy that soda (which I probably don't need), or spend time with friends at an event that costs money.

I have really accepted that because of how I grew up, and how early I started working hard in my life, I have usually had a good amount of money on hand---hey, $20 bucks is super great when you are broke---you feel like you have so many options!

So, because for so many years I bought what I wanted, though never usually going to extreme, I do see that now, not being able to stop on the way home to pick up something I would like, but I don't need, is a bit, well, uncomfortable. It isn't painful, of course, but just makes me upset at myself for not budgeting well in the first place.

I am happy that I did stock up on certain food items at the beginning of the month, so even though my appetite has seriously dropped off a bit, I have food I can cook and eat if I get hungry, so I am not worried about having enough to eat. I may just have to deal with not wanting to eat what I want when I want it. I know, how quickly we become spoiled?

Also, I have long since realized that shopping, or even just browsing, helps to make me feel better. Maybe it makes me feel like I am actually worth something? I know, not a good way to think, but I am working on it.

If I manage my budget well, then I will be able to set aside some money from my part-time job. that is my goal. I want to have a lot more in savings, for when I want to buy extra healthy food, etc. I may not have enough money to go on vacation, and that is a bit of bummer.

I realized that with my ex, maybe my caring so much was a part of the problem. I think I try to take care of everything, but fail to take care of myself like I really should. I need to really just not be so consumed with trying to make sure everyone else is ok. I think the fact that I have maxed out my credit cards, even with earning more money, lets me know that I am clearly not taking care of myself.

I have been trying to make time for myself to relax and just be me and take care of me. It is helping. Now I need to work on the exercise aspect and I think I will start back at the gym. I hope it will help me with my weightloss.

Thanks to everyone who is going through a similar journey or who just doesn't mind listening to me ramble.

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch...

May 24th, 2010 at 03:32 pm

So, lately I have been feeling like Mr. Grinch, upset at everyone in whoville who may be too slow, or too fast, too cheerful, or too morose. Sigh.

This month has been a hard one budget wise. I am so thankful for the part-time job, as it has been helping me buy more food and pay for extra things like household stuff and necessary repairs, etc.

However, I still didn't budget right, and ended up borrowing money from a few people. Yes, a few. sigh. I will be better off next month, but the way the part-time job pays, the pay day is like 2 weeks after the pay period, etc., so, when I am not watching my budget, it is easy to overspend.

My emotions have been up and down, and more down than up. The ex thing is the ex thing, and that has its own set of feelings, though now I am feeling better about it. A week ago I was balling my eyes out. Sigh. My friends were supportive, and they did mention the whole budget aspect of the relationship and that both people need to be able to work together. It really did make me realize that until both of us change, we really aren't the best for each other.

I have been trying to do things that make me happy and ease the stress levels. I am trying to break through those invisible glass ceilings, and that takes a lot of work, a lot of introspection and self-improvement, and a lot of well, extra work. It also at times seems daunting because I have to focus on the improvement part, and not focus on when some people are making more money for less hours, or abusing the system, or just seem to be getting more positive reinforcement even though they may act kind of shady. Frown I have to try and ignore that and just focus on things that will help me to improve and get ahead. Sigh. It is hard because some people are, in a way, getting overtime, when the rest of us are not able to do so. it makes it worse because they talk a lot about money, and how they spend it, and when some of us are just trying to feed ourselves, it is hard to have sympathy for a person who is being paid more, for inferior work, and who openly spends it on, well, useless items. Or, when some workers are excused from having to do certain things or not held to the same standards, but others of us are kind of lauded if we don't do the same things.

The weight thing is going ok. No weight gain and I am happy about that, but not much loss this past month either. Kind of just staying the same. So, I am going to work on that more and start doing more exercising. I am even going to set aside a part of my budget next month for some fun exercise classes.

I have been writing down the things I want in my life, and trying to use online resources to help me envision what I would like to be and to have in my life....how I want to live. I think that it is helping me to stay focused on it, and it helps to give a mental break from stress, etc.

Next month I will definitely stick better to my budget. I need to save the money I make this month and next month, as much as possible. I also need to get refocused on eating healthier and staying within my alloted food budget. Smile

Keeping up with the Joneses

May 4th, 2010 at 04:34 am

I am so very thankful for my part-time job. It has helped me sooooo very much. I have been able to buy healthier food (and the recent weight loss is a reflection of that), and have been able to stress a bit less about my budget.

It feels good being able to buy the things I need, and even some of the things I want, and not have to worry all the time about my budget. The amount of stress about making ends meet is not good, I feel, and I wonder how many families have had ill health simply because of the lack of money and of being in poverty.

Even with my added income, my views about saving money and just trying to have a fair chance at life have not changed. At times, I get so tired and frustrated because I see so many people around me really struggling to make ends meet, working very hard, and yet, I see another whole large group being so dismissive of that, with broad statements about just not having enough drive, or being lazy, etc. I get so tired of always having to try to explain to those who may not have the same background, about why some of us grow up in poverty, work two jobs, etc. It can be irritating when they have comments that I just cannot relate to, and that seem out of touch with what everyone is dealing with in this economy.

Where I live, there is a large growing group that is sort of oblivious to the issue of accomplishing certain things in life. It is hard because the group is really focused on making a lot of improvements and changes and they seem so positive on the outside and some of their goals are really good on the surface. I just get weary because it is sort of like a family that focuses on having the nicest furniture, but sweeps the dust under the rug. The growing group wants a lot of change and some of that I agree with, but it seems like those that are really in need are being totally ignored. It makes me weary at times because I just feel like I don't have the energy to deal with it all at times.

The ex situation is the same. It is odd at times because there have been times when I could have used a bit of financial help, and I wanted to ask him, but I didn't want to be a burden on him, so I didn't. But, my that was not wanting to bother him was one of our biggest problems---he wanted me to ask for more help. However, when I asked recently and I got frustrated about a situation, he got stressed a bit and snapped. So, he says he wants me to come to him when I need help, but I also know he is under a lot of stress. How does one ask for help, yet not be another stress-er on a person? Also, I feel weird asking for help if it is because of bad budgeting on my part. Because my ex makes less than I do, and is still dealing with the family stuff, my asking for 20 bucks could be a larger part of his budget than it would be in mine. We haven't seen each other since the split, so, yeah, that is also hard at times.

I have been using the extra money to make improvements around my home and I really, really like that. It makes me happy to be able to buy the little things that make me feel more relaxed. Just focusing on myself and my home has been helping me a lot. I have been trying to ignore the other little things that people do that can sap a lot of my positive energy. When someone over me is so happy when talking to someone, but tight lipped when they talk to me, I just try and ignore it and accept that it is their issue and not mine, and all I can do is just keep working on myself. I have learned that when I speak with a certain person, they will always make some of sort comment or re-state how I said something wrong or how what I believe isn't true, according to them. I realize that this is an issue they have, and doesn't have anything to do with me, when you look at how they act as a whole. It can be frustrating, though, when I am just trying to say something nice, and they tell me it is wrong...of course they always say it with a smile. Wink

I am also using my extra money to pay for needed repairs and bills and the like. My goal is to put part of it aside for savings, as the work comes and goes, and I am not sure when I can get a part-time job again. I want to stop using my cc as well, and build up my available credit. That has been hard lately, but mainly because I need to be better about my budgeting.

I am just trying to relax and focus on being better and being happy. I want to refocus on those things that I want to accomplish in my life.

The Life that I want to live

April 28th, 2010 at 04:43 am

I have been feeling a bit blue lately---been thinking a lot about my life, how I am feeling, what I want, the person that I want to be, etc. I am feeling like I so wish I could press rewind and do sooo many things differently, but I know that isn't possible. I often find myself thinking or rather dreaming of when I will be able to really live like as I would like to and be the kind of person I really want to be.

The food is an issue....I wish I could afford to go into the nice stores and buy the super healthy food all of the time. I don't think I would be wild and pay $5 for a head of lettuce, but I do wish at times I could buy more organic food and have a refrigerator and pantry full of healthy food options. I know that I can feed myself, healthy, for only a couple hundred bucks, so I am going to focus on sticking to that amount for next month, rather than continuously trying to stay within my budget of $100. With the 2nd job, I can be able to afford the increase in the food expenses.

I wish i could be more carefree on the weekends...strolling to healthy exercise classes, etc. The kind of person I want to be is very healthy and fit and most of all, happy. I do realize that being worried about my finances, working a lot, not always feeling understood or accepted, does stress me out a bit and make me not the most cheerful person. I wish I were a bit more bubbly in a lot of regards.

I am taking the steps now to live the life that I really want. Perhaps when I am in a better space health and finance wise, I will be more content and thus, be more open to meeting another person. I feel like I just have to keep going, and be patient, and being patient is a bit hard for me (probably why I am in this situation, no?).

I sometimes get mad at myself and others because of 1) bad financial decisions I have made, 2) working very hard, but seeing others have things much easier for far less work, and 3) honestly, having a lot of heavy responsibility when I was young that I do not regret, but sort of impacted some of my dreams. I feel a bit like I have always had to be a bit more responsible, and for a good while, I was so much better with saving money. I just feel like all of the stress comes out in my body and my level of happiness.

I realize that I am just ranting a bit right now, and that I should be soooo thankful for being able to work, and even more that I am blessed to be able to work part time as well. I think the part-time thing is also a good opportunity for me to not be alone, sad, in my apartment. I also realize that the more I improve my abode and myself, the more I won't feel so "alone", in as much as I will feel like I am in my own little private relaxation oasis of sorts.

I am going to take the advice regarding the yoga. I do feel like I am a bit disconnected from my body, and that I am operating more from my neck up and not connecting with getting back in tune with good movement and flexibility and breathing exercises and all of that.

I am going to go to the grocery store at the beginning of next month, and I will shop like I am shopping for more than 1 week at a time. I still need to work on making my actual meal chart for the week so I have clearer ideas of what to cook.

I am continuing to work on improving myself and making time for myself and doing things that nourish my soul and my body and my mind and my home. I thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings.

End of the month blahs....

April 27th, 2010 at 04:39 pm

So, here it is, the last stretch before the end of the month. My frozen food is coming into play for my week's meals, and I am wondering where all the money went! Smile

I am just feeling kind of low-energy today. I feel like just going home and getting in my bed and staying in it until I go to sleep. That very rarely happens, as I am usually half-watching tv, half-doing chores, etc. Maybe today I should just cook dinner, check my email, and be in bed by 8pm? Wouldn't that be amazing in some ways?

It is hard for me to feel ok to relax, even though every day I feel like I just can't get untense enough. I always feel like it is a struggle to try and really relax in my shoulders, back, etc. I have so much that needs to be done on my home improvement project, that everywhere I look I see something that has to be fixed, and should have been fixed weeks, if not months ago. Sigh.

I am upset at myself for not really watching my spending at all this month, and having to rely on my credit cards. That is not good as I did get my tax refund, but most of it was already earmarked for bills, and loans and home improvement items that needed to be bought (like cleaning supplies, etc.). I feel that I should have watched my money more closely and really planned out my budget. Instead, I bought whatever food I wanted, all the coffee drinks in the world it seems, and while I still didn't go crazy in what I bought, the little lower priced items do add up.

I am going to focus more on working and my home improvement goals this weekend. I am really eager to have time to be able to put some junk that I still want into storage (I know, its an oxymoron). At some point, I will be able to really decide what I can sell or give away. Right now, my stuff isn't worth a whole lot, so I am not sure who would really buy it.

On a positive note, I checked my retirement account recently, and woo hoo! I regained almost all of the money that I had lost when the market went a little baty. yay!! I know I should not think of my retirement as an emergency savings, but considering I don't have much of one right now, any little bit helps. I am hoping that my part-time job will help me to start putting more money away.

The ex stuff is hard. I also have a lot of his stuff still, and we haven't discussed when he will come and get it, or if he needs to keep it at my place for a while, etc. We haven't even had a really good, face to face, conversation since we decided to just be friends. That part is hard at times. He is still having money problems, so I feel that that difficult part of our relationship would have still continued in some ways, though, my part-time job really does help tremendously.

Not watching my budget and buying all of my groceries in large shopping trips now has me feeling hungry a lot and tempted to eat unhealthy foods---all because of lack of preparation. Frown I am trying to not give into the quick and easy lure of fast food. I think I am just stressed a bit, so a huge burrito sounds like good comfort at times. I am trying to ignore its siren call. Smile

I am also trying to avoid getting into a mental funk. There is a situation where I am really working very hard and trying to bite my tongue whenever possible, yet a person over me is soooo unbelieveably clueless about how much their favoritism of particular co-workers shows. This person really lights up whenever they are discussing the co-workers. What is hurtful about this is that 1) the co-workers are not committed to the job AT all, and 2) one of the co-workers gives me really bad vibes, and is not a very trustworthy person. Because of some issues that I think really are sexist, he can say the most off the wall and inappropriate things, and the person over me thinks it is hilarious. If another one of my co-workers said those things, the person over me would think that they were being inappropriate. It is just hard when you are trying so hard, and a person, because of their own issues and biases, fails to really see you as a person. Frown

I am working on just trying to be the best me I can be and really improve a lot of areas of my life. My finances definitely need a lot of improvement. I am happy, however, that the balances on my larger bills are slowly going down. On others, I need to work harder on them.

Thank you to everyone that listens to my ramblings. It does help a lot to be able to express this kind of stuff, especially since friends and family are not always available.

Money and self-worth

April 26th, 2010 at 04:14 pm

So, I took the liberty of writing down in a clearer format how much my food expenses SHOULD cost me per month if I actually adhere to them.

Even with providing enough basic and healthy foods, my food is a little under $200 bucks, and that isn't including coffee (hey, we all have our vices, right?). I also included in that amount about $20 bucks for the rare take out meal.

I have not watched my budget this month, which is probably why I am broke right now. I am not too worried about it, because I still have to be paid for this month's part-time work, and that should be a pretty sizeable check---enough to get stuff for home and car improvements, and put a lil bit aside for savings.

I have been trying to work as hard as possible on both jobs, and just immersing myself in improving how I feel about myself and improving my abode. I have been doing pretty good on both fronts, though no weightloss this month. Oddly, due to just being tired and a crazy schedule (averaging about 60 hours per week), I ate out far too much. Even though I focused on eating healthy things, as the scale hasn't budged, it is probably the amount of calories in the pre-made food that made my weight stay stagnant. I am going to eat out less in May.

The ex and I are still working through things. It is hard because at times I feel ok, and at other times I feel like maybe I didn't do enough, or maybe I wasn't kind enough, etc. My family says I am just beating myself up, and that both me and my ex are good people, just not the right people for the both of us. Sigh. I know that it is true, but I just feel down at times.

I worry about being alone, ALOT. I think I am far more of a social/pack person than anyone would realize because I am independent and do so many things by myself. But deep down, I like to be around others, that whole pack/herd mentality I think.

I am going to stick to my budget better next month. I think I just went a bit hog crazy this month---ate out too much, bought home improvement items that I really did need (like a new mop), but never thought I had money for in the budget (oddly, a few day's worth of coffee is equal to the price of a mop...hmmm...), and spending some time with friends. I think most of the money really went to eating out, buying whatever healthy food I wanted and not focusing too much on the impact on my budget, and not keeping track of all of my expenses.

The reality is that while I am making more money, I am not making so much that I don't have to keep track of everytime I go to the grocery store, etc.

I am in a kind of a funky mood right now. I am feeling a bit irritable. Sigh. I am going to work on myself this week, hopefully lose some weight, and keep up with my home improvement projects. When I get what I want accomplished, then I may need like $500 or more to buy a new bed, repaint, and get new curtains or blinds, etc. But, I need to do sooooo much work first before I am even at that point yet.

Thank you all for letting me vent and rant. Smile Your words and thoughts and opinions do help to keep me focused and encouraged.

Figuring out my life

April 20th, 2010 at 07:50 pm

So, I have been contemplating my life lately---what I want to accomplish, who am I as a person, what do I contribute to the world, who am I meant to be, will I have the life that I want, etc.

I am happy I got my tax return, but about half of it went to bills and repaying my family member. And the other part went to just routine stuff around the house. Sigh. On a positive note, I should be able to save a good chunk from my part-time work, so that will be good for me. I want to be able to increase my savings, since it is pathetically low right now. Really. The part-time work has been helping me to feel comfortable, to be honest. I have been buying the food I want to eat (healthier), stuff I need for my apartment, and just let me bit a lot more comfortable than before. I do recognize that I need to get back on track with sticking with my food budget. I also need to do what mom's around the world have been doing for ages, and write up my freaking weekly menu. Can you believe I have never done that? have had meals in mind for a period of time and have bought food according to what I thought I would need for the week, but I have never actually seriously made a weekly meal plan so that when I shop I can stick to buying only what I plan on making that week. I definitely have a problem with food spoilage, and I need to stop that.

The situation with the ex is the usual. We talk sporadically, I get emotional cause we still aren't really discussing much, and I also end up getting frustrated because he is still having difficulties with his family and it is hard to see him go through that. I do, however, really want us to remain as friends. I do realize that whatever money he owed me he may not be able to repay, and that he may not be able to help me every month as he had wanted to. He has a lot of financial stuff he is dealing with right now, and it makes me sad to see how stressed out he is. Also, he made some comments that made me feel like he sees me as just another stressor in his life. Frown I am going to just focus on me for a while. I think that we both need to work on ourselves in order to be better friends towards each other.

I have been thinking a lot about my life and what I want and if i will be happy. I admit that I don't feel happy a lot of the time. I am not depressed, as I laugh like tons and my humor is still good---when I have been depressed, I noticed how much I lacked the ability to laugh at things. So now, my laughter and humor is good.

I am worried about money and my future. Because I made stupid financial mistakes, and shopped when I was depressed (nothing ever fancy, but still, shopping is still spending money), I am now a bit broker than I would like to be. I should be saving tons of money right now. sigh. Frown And if I end up alone when i am older, then I will need a lot of savings to do certain things in my life that I always wanted to do. Sigh.

I am working as hard as I can right now, so I can't work much harder than I am. I just need to work on saving money better. I have been eating better and improving my home, so at least I feel my extra money is to good use.

I have been doing more things for myself to feel better. It does cost money (new skincare items that are good for my face), so that is the negative part of it. But I am not being excessive about it.

I am working very hard at self-improvement right now. I am also taking a break from dating. I just don't feel interested in dealing with all of that, ya know?

I am just going to work on saving money, getting myself and my house together, and being happy.

I also have to admit that a lot of my fear about being with a person is my fear of being alone, old, and destitute. I see how older women are treated in my city, and I am so afraid of becoming that way. I feel like people treat older women (especially if they are not as attractive), in a negative and more disposable way. I worry about being viewed that way. I already have people seeing through me at times. I just worry about being alone and not having anyone that could help me if I need it, even if the reality is that usually I am the person who is helping my friends or trying to be the stable one. I need to get my emergency savings back up to the previous amount I had (over $10,000 at one point..sigh). If I had a decent amount of emergency savings, I would feel more comfortable.

Checking in---avoiding the lure of the dollar

April 13th, 2010 at 05:33 pm

So, with tax time comes either bills or refunds, and I fall into both of those categories. I, of course, wish I didn't owe anything, but eh, at least my refund will cover it.

So, I am tempted to go and buy things that I need for myself--such as healthier food and household improvement items, car things, etc. I am trying to hold off on doing that. I do have to repay a family member, and that kind of sucks because she never repaid me any of the money I gave her years ago, but I can't really complain because when she gave me the money, I asked for it in a loan. I think I felt uncomfortable just asking for help without making some sort of repayment agreement. So, a nice part of my refund is going to go back to my family member. She does need it, so I shouldn't feel bad. You know how that goes.

Things with the ex are going ok. Still kind of weird and weepy at times, but ok. Some days I feel great, and other days I feel like someone who has been left...not such a good feeling, ya know? I do feel more strongly about being firmer about the things I want in a relationship. I am going to be more clear about the things I want, and the things that I do not want in a relationship, versus just accepting them because of...well....love?

I have been working tons and tons and at times I feel like I am going to get too worn out. But, part time work is seasonal at times, so I am trying to just earn all that I can. Also, I do admit that there is a bit more freedom the part-time job brings in that when I want something healthy to eat, I don't always have to stress about the cost (though of course I do watch the amount). I do, at times, feel worn out. But I am trying to rectify that with getting to sleep earlier. Also, because I am eating healthier and not getting artificial energy surges from unhealthy sweets or sodas, I sometimes feel super tired in the evening.

I want to do some home improvement things and that costs money, so I am working on how to work it out financially. My home should be my abode and my relaxtion area, and right now, it isn't because of all of the stuff I see that needs to be fixed.

I am stressed a bit and trying to relax as much as possible when I get home. A friend was worried about me, but it was just due to stress and emotions and everything. I feel like I am working harder than I have previously, trying to be the best that I can, trying to work on my health, trying to work on my living situation, and trying to deal with my feelings and some sadness about relationship stuff. I feel like I am a hamster on a wheel at times. But, I do hope that it is all for the best. I feel like I am getting older and I have to really speed up my improvement in so many areas of my life. Sometimes I do get worried about what I want my life to be. Sometimes I feel like it is passing me by. Being alone is also a very uncomfortable feeling for me. I do worry about being alone as an older person, and that is not the kind of life I want. If that does happen, then I would rather immerse myself in helping others. I guess I feel like I am worth something or important if I am of a positive use towards others. If someone else in this world needs me, then I feel like I matter. If not, then what is the whole point of it all?

I know that is a bit deep, I am just rambling at the moment. I also need to express how I feel because, sigh, I am just stressed and getting out my thoughts helps me a lot.

Money and Age

April 4th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

So, I have been thinking a lot about my future. I have been thinking of the things I want to have in my life, the possibility of being a single older woman, all of that. I have been thinking more positively about the possibility of being a single, older mom one day. Hey, it is a step up from how I was feeling previously about just being single and alone.

I am paying down debt, and not going cray with the spending. I was bad the past few days with ordering take out, but, it was food I hadn't enjoyed in a while, and, I didn't go crazy about it (the first order was under $20 bucks and last 2 days, or 4 servings, the 2nd order under $8 bucks). It was so good, I must admit. Smile

I am focusing on buying things that I both need, and that will help me to better create a warm and comfortable environment. I know I need to buy some cleaning supplies so I can continue with my home improvement project.

I have been buying healthier food with the extra money I have earned, and I really like being able to do that. I still have a hard time staying on top of my budget, but I am working on it slowly but surely.

I have also been using a bit of the funds to improve other aspects of appearance. It helps me to feel better about myself, overall, I think. Buying sunscreen and lip moisturizer is a good thing, I think. It makes me feel a bit girly and like I am putting some more effort into me. Family and friends have been telling me to make myself a priority for a while, and now I feel like I really understand what they mean. I always put other people's needs ahead of mine, and I do realize that certain things like my health and my finances and my abode and my appearance may have been negatively affected by those kinds of practices.

I think I will always be extremely kind and caring and loving. It is just who I am inside. I feel like I have a strong need to really love someone and feel like I am worth something or needed. I also realize that I need to treat myself better, and that I can be kind and caring and loving, while also focusing on me as well.

Money and Focus

March 22nd, 2010 at 03:04 am

So, this past month I admittedly haven't been focusing on my budget. With the relationship thing and my new forays into being healthier, I have given myself permission to use my part-time earnings towards better food and things that give me a bit more emotional comfort. I do realize that I can't necessarily do this every month, but for right now, I figured that I wanted to focus on nurturing my heart and my body and my soul. I do think my soul and heart needs more nurturing, but I decided to take it easy this first month.

I haven't been going wild and buying purses or anything like that. But I did buy my first real organic food! And it wasn't expensive, either (although I stuck to produce, so organic meat would be a tough thing for me to be able to afford)! When I had a craving for something healthy, or a friend asked me to a nice place to eat, I went. I spent less than $20 on my meal, and just enjoyed their company. I still kept to my frugal ways and didn't get tempted to buy things at the full price (I only bought during a sale or if the item was used, etc.).

I am making good progress on my health issues. I do need to write out my new food items so I can get a better idea of how much my food budget may change in comparison to when I was buying food solely on its stretchability.

The relationship issue is the same and I am dealing with that. I find that focusing on other things is helping me a bit. I have also been trying to do better in other areas of my life. It feels like a struggle at times because of some of the issues that others have in how they view things and what type of things they focus on, but i am just going to keep doing the best that i can and with other improvements in my life, hopefully they will focus less on the outside and more on the things that are important.

Next month I will get back to writing down my purchases and sticking more to my budget.

Reinvention

March 15th, 2010 at 09:51 pm

So, I have been focusing on my health and other facets of my life as a way of just trying to maintain a level of...okay-ness.

I am really inspired about my goals, and my health goal has been going pretty well and I am very happy about that. I have been spending a lot more on food, so I need to definitely watch my food spending better next month, but, I feel like the most important thing is to get my healthier eating more of a lifestyle, and then I can be more strict about the expenses. Right now, I am just focusing on eating a certain way and having the type of food that is best for me available so I don't head towards the latest drive-thru.

I am also working on other facets of my life that I have neglected for years, and that really need some attention. I looked at some basic items that I will need to buy, and I think I can get a lot of what I need for less than $40! Which isn't a lot to pay when considering how much it will help with my goals. I find it really inspiring to me to know that some of the improvement items aren't outside of my budget. It helps make my goal seem more achieveable.

Still working on balancing the issue of the ex and how he wants to help me financially because of how I helped him. It is true that he is not able at this time to just pay me back all of the money I lent him, so, since he has already given me money last month, I feel like I am not really concerned with that loan. I do have a hard time with asking him for things---which was probably a major reason why we are no longer together. Frown So, he wants me to ask him for help when I need it. It is so weird because when I am struggling or maybe overspent on food, I feel bad asking him for things because I know he is still trying to support his family and I just don't want to be a burden on him. However, when we talk, he says he wants to help me, and he expressed some doubt that I would ask him for help when I needed it. Ah, love is confusing, isn't it? I have never really had any kind of financial help from any person I dated, and so, I have always been very independent. Some friends say that I am more of a care taker and at times too motherly and that it helps if I focus some of that energy into caring for myself a bit more. So, that is my goal.

I think I am going to take a while and work on the areas of my life that I have neglected and seem a bit out of control. It will require a lot of elbow grease and avoiding things that may not be the healthiest for me, but I think it will be the best thing for me to do for myself. Who knows? If I give myself more attention and more attention to certain facets of my life, it may cause others to be more attracted to me?

Understanding....a better explanation

March 14th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

So, this is my third attempt at this entry. Sigh. For some reason, it isn't posting. Frown

I did some soul searching on Friday, and I have to acknowledge that the issues I have with friends and how they relate to money isn't their issue, but really, mine. There is nothing necessarily wrong with how they act or their preferences. The issue is more with how I react to it or how I feel about it. It is not that they don't want to discuss their budget, it is just that they may complain about not being able to buy organic, while I am dealing with just being able to buy regular food. So, it is just something I cannot sympathize with. I do realize that as a friend I should be more sympathetic, and that is what I am working on within myself.

Deep down my friends are good people. It is just that we are very different. At times, when my friends act as if going to a certain store or place is "beneath" them, then that bothers me. It makes me feel that they are being superficial. I realize that is just because I have been around people who mimicked that same type of behavior and I found that they looked down on me because I am not from a rich or even middle class family.

Sometimes, my friend will talk a lot about how much he works. Yes, he is hard worker and I give him credit for that. I just cannot relate at times because I have many friends, and myself included, who have worked just as hard if not harder, for many years of our lives, earning much less than he makes. So, when he makes it a point to even tell strangers how hard he works, it kind of bothers me a bit. He also makes a point to say that he just doesn't have fun---but every time I talk to him he is going to multiple social and non-work related events per week. For me, when I worked the same amount of hours, I literally worked, slept, and ate, and did it all over again for days on end. So, that is why it is hard for me to relate.

Friends with money

March 12th, 2010 at 09:23 pm

If you haven't seen the movie with the same title as my entry, then I whole heartedly suggest seeing it. I loved it! Love, love, loved it! Smile

I had a situation with a friend lately who makes a good living, but rarely will admit it. My friends and I all all think that he has to make more than we do, simply because of our profession. He is a very good person, it is just that our lives and issues and experiences with money are very different. At times, I have a hard time relating to him when he talks about budgeting. But, it may be that I just don't understand him on various levels because our lives are so different.

In any case, my friend made a comment about going to an expensive event. When he makes comments about going to those types of events or buying certain high priced items, it makes me not able to relate to him when he talks about his budget and money and all of that. I think I am not able to relate because most of my friends have worked as hard as he has, if not harder, and with all of that work, are still earning less than he is. So, I think there is just a lack of understanding about those kinds of things when he complains. Also, my friend, like another friend, says things about lacking money, but is still really into going to very current places that may not be cheap or less expensive. So, I think the event was just a reminder of our differences in some ways.

There is also the issue that both friends have a habit of receiving gifts from people, or having people spend a lot of money on them, and with my male friend, he isn't as open in that way towards his friends (or at least with me, even though I have been very open with him in that regards).

I have another friend who focuses on the price of things and feels that they deserve only the best food, etc. I understand why they feel as they do, but sometimes it is hard when you are trying to do something together, and they refuse to acknowlege your budget and would rather exclude you from a more expensive event, than take into consideration doing something that is more on your financial level.

This may just be a mini-rant because the event and the price tag just irked me a bit. My friend likes very current and popular things, and at times that goes against my feelings of being an individual and following your own music, etc.

How do you deal with friends of varying economic levels? Have you ever had similar differences?

trying to stay focused

March 11th, 2010 at 06:31 am

So, something happened and my previous entry, well, didn't get entered. So, to make it a bit more summed up because my tears are dried up a bit, I pretty much have been using my excess money to put towards things I need (like toothbrush, carpet powder) and things I like (aromatherapy for my home, coffee, healthy food). I haven't been going hog wild or anything, but it does feel good to buy what I want and need and not have to be stressed about it. I realize I am so very, very fortunate.

I have been just trying my hardest in certain areas of my life---smiling even when I am frustrated. I really feel like I just have to do the best that I can, in conjunction with getting healthier, before people will acknowledge that I have good skills and talents.

The relationship front has been more difficult. Ended up crying with the ex today and I feel bad about that. He has been stressed about stuff and I didn't meat to stress him any more. I was trying to explain to him that I am crying because things take time, ya know? He didn't hurt my feelings, it is just the being apart that hurts. I know that we are probably better if we continue to care and be there for each other, but not be focused on being marriage material or gf/bf for each other.

He wants me to be happy and get control over some areas in my life I need help with. I know he is saying this in a supportive way as he has always been supportive of me, it just makes me feel like a failure. It seems so overwhelming at times. But, I know I can do it if I just concentrate on it. But first, I want to focus on my health. I think other things will improve if I can get the health thing under control first. I also feel sad because he wants to help me so much and he cares for me so much and I worry if anyone else will care for me like he does. I feel bad that maybe I should have been more accepting. Sigh.

On a positive note, the extra dough has been helping me to shop the perimeter of the store in a great and fabulous super market and it is helping me to buy the foodstuffs that are what I need and what will help me to accomplish the health goals that I have.

I think it is probably late and the emotions are stronger. I will go tomorrow and focus on sticking with my health desires, and also starting on the other areas of my life that I need help with. I think if I work on both issues, it will be a helpful distraction.

Healthy Distractions

March 8th, 2010 at 05:10 am

So, this past week has been an interesting one. Nothing really unique, but, interesting nonetheless.

The part-time job is helping so much. It feels so good knowing I can go and buy the groceries that I want to buy (within reason). I also find that there are certain buying habits I want to adopt (like not buying fish that is not produced in a sustainable manner), but that my budget made it difficult to give in to those ideas at times. Now, I have a little more discretion, and that is helping me so much. Also, the increase in my budget is really helping me to stick to my health goals, and I am down some pounds and soooo unbelievably happy about that.

The relationship situation is interesting as well. He still wants to help me, and I find that comforting, though confusing. Who knows, maybe it is just me who is making it confusing rather than just accepting his help.

I have found times that I have felt bad when coming home to the emptiness. I still have a lot of things I need to work on, and my plan is to work on those things when I come home, so I don't feel so, well, alone.

I have read articles about how your appearance can affect your success and how others view your abilities. I have had that happen to me before in another setting, and in that setting, I did notice that when I changed the outside, I got so much more respect, and less micromanaging. I feel that in my current situation I am going to have to do the same thing. I have been really pushing myself, and at times, it feels to no avail. It is so discouraging when you can't even have a decent conversation or friendly exchange, because the person who should be aware of all that you can do, still sees you through this incorrect lens. That situation and my relationship situation has been really affecting me and making me blue.

Focusing on my health is what is keeping me thinking positively. I also feel like my added money for food is helping me to keep with my health goals---having the right kinds of foods for me (that also tastes good) is helping me soooo much. Today I did so well and ate really healthy, and wow, I am just feeling really happy about that (and also a bit surprised that I am not hungry as I type this).

I had a situation this weekend where I went out with a friend who has more disposable income than I do. We have pretty much always had this sort of difference where I was more of a no frills kind of gal, and my friend is super duper frills. Well, I was somewhat hurt because I suggested a place that I love, and that is affordable, and my friend totally turned the option down. They tend to do this a. lot. Sigh. Very often. So, while there are some lower priced items on the menu, I found it somewhat upsetting that they wouldn't budge on my suggestion. Their response wasn't like "I don't like that kind of food", but their expression was more like it is beneath them. I also find that they may focus on more expensive things because of how it makes them feel to request the finer things in life, as they like to say. I don't always understand that way of thinking. Also, at times, they get so focused on those types of things, that they become oblivious to what others are experiencing or feeling.

I did some shopping this weekend, but really watched my spending, and it felt so good only buying something that I needed. It felt good shopping at night at the grocery store and having just a few items---all of which were pretty darn healthy (and they looked so good and vibrant!). I also did good in that I did the relaxing activity of shopping, but bought very, very little (in one instance, I shopped for maybe an hour, and my purchases were less than $5 bucks!).

I will have another bill paid off (a personal loan), and I am really happy about that. Then, towards the latter part of the year I will have another major bill paid off. I am sooo happy about that.

Thank you everybody for reading my thoughts. Your encouragement helps me so much. I do find that I am very open in what I say (even though I really do censor it a lot, in my opinion), but that people tend to like my openness. I think that is how I have always expressed myself---from my heart. Smile

Getting into better habits

March 3rd, 2010 at 06:34 am

I have been working on forming better habits. There have been times when it has been easier than others, but I am still trying. Smile

I often feel like I just need to relax and take it easy. I am also finding that because of the part-time job, and the freedom of having a bit more cash and not have to count out every penny, that it is easy for me to overspend. So, I am still trying to focus on my budget and when i spend, realize how that impacts my overall cash availability for that month. I am not going crazy and buying big screen TVs, but rather focusing on buying vitamins and special dietary foods that I like.

Things with my relationship are the same. Still a bit confusing. The ex contacts me routinely to see how I am doing, and I do the same. I think there is a huge amount of care between us, on a very basic and human level--we love each other because we are loving people and we are there for each other. Sigh, if only love and marriage could be built on that. Can it? I find myself ok some days with it, and then tonight, when I was opening a household package that he had brought upstairs for me a long while ago, I got a bit weepy. He is a very good person and I am sad that we just couldn't get it together, ya know? It is weird because he will do these things that makes me feel like he wants to talk, but when I ask him if he does, or try to, then he ends the conversation. Sigh.

As for dating, the idea is not something I am looking forward to--I think I would just focus on how the guys are weird and nothing like my relationship. Maybe, later on, I will feel differently, but right now, while I want to be in love, I am afraid to try and meet anyone. I feel like I have to improve myself a lot more before I put myself back on the market.

I have been focusing a lot of my energy on self-improvement. I realize that even though I am really looking so much better, very few people (my friends mainly), recognize it. I think that other outside issues will have to improve before people start noticing. It is frustrating at times when you know what you can do, and want to do, but people look at you as if you shouldn't even think of trying to accomplish it. I have seen this same group of people do that to other people, and it makes me sad and worried. I don't want to be looked at in that way. So, all I can do is try and be the best, at well, almost every aspect of my looks and my skills. It should be mainly skills, but, eh....

A friend didn't invite me to an event because they thought I may be broke and not have a good time. I found that kind of hurtful. True, I have been broke a lot lately, but not recently, and even if eating out wasn't in my budget, it makes me feel weird to feel that I wasn't asked because of perceptions about my budget. It just made me feel a bit like the poor girl. Sigh. A friend asked me why am I broke when I make a good living. I was honest about my expenses and my bills. I am hopeful that in the next couple of years, I will have paid down a majority of my debt. Smile Yippee!

I am focusing more on a bit of pampering of myself. I think that is a sign of just being stressed and trying to have some form of escapism and bringing joy to my days. I am watching the pampering, as too many perfumed lotions can affect a gal's budget! Smile

The Luxury of food

March 2nd, 2010 at 03:37 am

With the part-time job, and help from my ex, and being solo, and cutting out many types of more expensive food, I find myself having the luxury of buying food that is so much healthier!

I found myself strolling down the supermarket aisles yesterday in a euphoric fog. I wasn't able to go crazy and buy all organic, but I was able to buy food in varieties I just can't find at my neighborhood stores.

Part of me gets upset that when I go to the budget supermarket (where I was thisclose to buying their meat because it was cheap--even though everyone warned me not to) and there are so many people and families (lots of families---more families, I feel, than what I saw at the nicer store)who have to shop there, they don't have the selection of healthy foods. Rather, they have rotting produce and at times its price isn't cheaper than other places.

I realize that yes, healthy, diet-specific food is a luxury for me now. I also feel like people should have access to these wonderful foods that come from the earth rather than having to spend their dollars on a higher caloric, but unhealthier, food option. We really need to change the food availability in our country and around the world. Yes, I am one of those people who is disappointed when they travel somewhere, and see the usual fast-food logo beckoning new consumers. Sigh.

I also find that I have been putting more effort into me. That means my clothes, my hair, etc. It is a good feeling.

Not sure about my relationship. He is still very kind to me, but we haven't talked much or spent much time together. Sometimes I get sadder in the evening, or when driving, but I try to just not think about it, or cry it out and focus on other stuff.

I have been trying to just smile and keep my head up in other areas. It is frustrating because I worked so hard at being friendly and nice, and I still see others getting preferential treatment. It is hard because I know that so much of it really isn't about ability, but more about friendship and relationships and things that should not be a factor, but are. Sigh.

My goal for this month is to NOT use my credit cards like I have been doing. I want to start rebuilding up my available credit on one of my cards so that if I ever did really need to use it, I would have that available credit, well, available. I do not like that I have had to use it for basics like food and gas. Not cool.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read my thoughts. Now, because I am solo, and how things are in other areas that I am, I often don't really have many people to talk to. I feel like I can express my thoughts on here, and I get so much good advice and understanding, and I really appreciate that. Smile

My soul is crying

February 25th, 2010 at 05:21 pm

I really like the title of this blog, so I opted to go with it, even though my entry is not as morose as the title may suggest. I just like the deepness of the words, ya know?

So, things on the money front have been soooo much better since I have the part-time job. Also, my ex gave me money for this month and he also paid a bill for me---the bill was his responsibility, but I figured that I would pay it from the money he gave me, since he isn't eating any of the food, and that is what the money really is for.

I have never had someone in my life, romantically, who really paid for things for me. Every guy I dated, I ended up paying more. And while this is also true of my most recent ex, he still has contributed more towards helping me than any other person, and I am so grateful for that.

Sometimes I feel bad because I think he is giving me money only because I gave him money and helped him for so long. I worry that he feels obligated. I worry that once he finds someone else, he will stop helping me. Sigh. Of course, I am an independent person and can take care of myself, and I am not asking him for handouts. I do very much appreciate his help. I think part of the problem in our relationship was that I did not let him help me, even when I needed it, mainly because I felt he had enough stuff to deal with. Now, I realize that as a man, that may have made him feel bad that I was trying to take care of everything. Yeah, I think we had some problems and really needed better understanding between us.

I want to give money to my relative who has helped me so much. So, I am going to be late paying a bill. I feel bad about that, but I don't want to have to wait longer to give her money. I could still pay my bill (and I am contemplating that), but it would mean that I may not be able to give her as much as I would like to. As the bill will only be 1 day late, I will not have a late fee or a mark on my credit report. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. I have only been late on this bill 1 other time---and that was last year.

I feel a lot more relaxed with the part-time job, even though it means I am working 6 days a week. I feel more comfy that I am able to go out with friends and have a drink, or just be able to go places with friends and not feel like a miser or a pauper. Are those two the same? Anyway, I just feel more relaxed. I also like that I can buy the healthy food that I need. Although, I can recently admit that if I eat the way I have been eating lately, with a strong emphasis on certain healthy foods, then I am actually not spending as much when my diet is more varied.

I am still dealing with feeling like certain people do not value me or my abilities. I have been focusing more on improving myself on all levels, from efficiency to appearance, etc. I realize that for some, the appearance aspect is what they notice most.

I want to thank all of you who have been so kind and accepting and caring towards me. It really means a lot to me.

Money, food, and relaxation

February 22nd, 2010 at 07:07 am

So, I have been earning some money doing part-time work, and that has been making things soooo much less stressful, as far as finances go. I am also able to buy the type of food that may be better for me health wise. I also like the fact that I can go to an occasional event with a friend, and not only have to order water.

I am hoping to use my part-time money to pay for just regular monthly stuff like extra food, household and car necessities, etc. My bf gave me money this month, even though he now lives with his friend and has a roommate. I am not sure if he is going to continue to do this, although it did help a lot. He wants to help me more and to ask him for help, but that is hard for me to do at times. I always worry if he may need it more than I do, or what he is going through. Things are different between us now, so things are less marriage minded, and more friendship minded because he is dealing with a lot of things with his family, and needs to put more of a focus on that, than on the whole relationship aspect. I am sad about that, but think that maybe he will be happier if he focuses on that, and maybe it will help me to focus more on the things I need to accomplish for myself as well.

I am very happy that with the extra money for food and just feeding myself, I am able to just eat the sometimes weird, but healthier food that I like. I can make a lot of the food I like that others may get tired of. I am also able to give money to my family who has been helping me and I am happy about that.


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