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Archive for September, 2009

Simple Pleasures....

September 30th, 2009 at 08:52 am

So, I have found a new store that I am hoping will help me with my food budget. I went into it yesterday and wanted to buy sooo many things, as it is one of those big box stores, that is a bit better than your average big box store. I can't wait to go back and shop there when I get paid. It even seems like it's meat selection and veggie selection is nice and clean and plentiful. Smile

I also found out that I can take 3 simple ingredients, add a bit of toasting to it, and I have a meal that has this french feel to it (think croque monsieur), and tastes so much better than having the item cold. It really does feel like a treat.

I am looking forward to payday so that I have cash (yay!), but also worried about how I am going to meet my budget this month. I very rarely try to depend on others, but seeing as how my bf owes me a bit, I am really hoping that he will come through and help me, at least for a couple of months until I pay off a couple of bills and have more cash available to me.

I am worried about my diet a bit. These past few days I have been watching my funds, and eating what was cheap and filling, but not necessarily healthy. Sometimes, when I see these ridiculously overpaid people on tv, I wish I had the type of budget where I could go and buy yummy, healthy salads and raw food meals and energy smoothies and skin creams and vitamins. I feel like I would be able to be so much healthier.

I know that I don't need to be rich to make myself salads and smoothies---but, to be honest, protein powder isn't the cheapest, and the average can of protein powder can take up 10% of my monthly food budget!! And that is one of the cheaper brands!!

So, for now I am going to try and use up my previously bought make-up and skin care samples, take tons of baths, borrow books from the library, get cheap things off of ebay, and just try and pamper myself in ways that are cheap. I do know that I don't necessarily need pampering as things aren't hard for me and other people have it far worse. I just use the pampering to help reduce my stress levels.

I also think the stress is messing with my weight. I went through something like this before, years ago, and though I was dieting hard, the weight wasn't coming off. I think I had so much stress at the time (a loved one was very ill), that my body was just going into this weird mode, so while I wasn't gaining, I wasn't losing either.

I am seriously trying to avoid the coffee container I want. My goodness, it seems like it is calling out to me..."Buy me. Buy me. I look so nice. Buuuuuuuuy meeeeee." Seriously. I looked online for it, and people are charging 2 and 3x what it is worth in the stores. Sigh. So, if I buy it, I will have to buy it with cash or credit. But it would be about 15% of my food budget, if I were to buy it. I keep telling myself that after a few weeks, it would just become more junk. Sigh.

I am also thinking that when I feel like this, it is best to not be around super expensive shopping areas, etc. It just doesn't help me mentally, I think. I feel like my city is changing and becoming more high income, so when I come across people who aren't native to my city, and they start raving about some new store or lounge, well, I just have to tune out. It especially irks me when they call neighborhoods by these new trendy names that no native would ever use. Sigh. I feel like my city is so much more than how it is changing. It has this life to it that is not being represented by the increase in trendy cafes that charge waaaaay too much money for SMALL cups of coffee----$3!! and you MAY get a 12 oz cup. Ridiculous. I am glad that I am taking time for myself and taking pics of the parts of my city that I love.

Kind Gestures

September 29th, 2009 at 09:04 am

I have a relative whom I have not had much of a positive history with. There has been a lot of family drama, and basically, huge abandonement issues. I decided to work on these issues starting last year, and this year we made a lot of progress in dealing with all of the emotional walls.

She really touched my heart today, because she has offered to help my bf. That is a big thing for me. My relationship with my relative is kind of new, and not familiar, and I admit that even though I am hurting for money at times, I have a hard time accepting anything from her.....it has to do with stuff from the past and I don't want to be seen as the forgotten family member who is now also a leech. But I digress as I know those are just my own issues and interpretation.

Anyway, she really reached out to help my bf, and I appreciate that. It is easier for me to accept the help for him, than it would be to accept the help for myself.....also, it is an severe issue he is facing, rather than someone who is just short a bit for bill money.

I think my bf is happy about it. It was too early in the morning when I told him, so I am not sure if he was completely awake. I will talk to him about it today.

Other than that, I have been watching my money (funny how the budget thing seems so stressful, even though I get paid soon! I am still counting out every purchase, etc.) and just trying to relax and stay level headed.

Calgon Part 2

September 28th, 2009 at 08:22 pm

A nice bubble bath is eagerly calling me. I had a wardrobe malfunction recently, and it really got me to thinking about my appearance and wardrobe. I need to start hand washing my blouses, and investing in getting those that need to be pressed, taken in to the dry cleaners. I realize that when I feel like my clothes are "poor", then I feel "poor", and well, that leads to all of those "poor girl" thoughts.

In reality, I am far from "poor". I may be somewhat broke, or without excess funds for entertainment and clothes and whatnot, but in actuality, I am a very blessed person. I just need to take a lot better care of my clothes. Smile

I think that taking a bit more time away from my computer to take sudsy bubble baths, do my nails, and read my pile of books will probably be good for me. I enjoy reading, and I enjoy being online (I wonder which site I am at the most... Wink ). And I need to increase my reading because I find that while I enjoy surfing the net, it isn't as relaxing and reading a good book in bed.

I cannot explain how good I felt on Saturday. I really think that getting up early, doing what I wanted to do, versus running an errand or doing a chore, helped me to relax and feel a bit more calm.

I am also going to scout out if I can find some lower cost acupuncture places, as my health insurance doesn't usually cover acupuncture. I am also going to research the vitamins and minerals I need, and then try and find them cheaper, so that way, I can still make progress towards being healthy, even though I may not have the cash to do things for my health in a way that I would prefer.

Now as for that cute coffee container that I want to buy....I am trying to ignore that little "buy me", "buy me" voice. I have a feeling that if I bought it, I would grow tired of it after a few weeks, and it would go into the pile of no longer used bpa laden water bottles in my kitchen. Frown

Calgon time.....

September 28th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

So it is one of those days when I am feeling....tired at the start of my day and unable to focus.

My money situation should be okay until I get paid--not taking into account the $150 or so I am already short. I still have to be careful, as I only have about $15 of wiggle room in my budget for food stuffs...which is hard, because it is one of those days where I feel like I am in pig out mode. It is a combination of 1) hormones and 2) stress, and voila! I am craving the dollar menu at my local fast food place. I am upset about these cravings as I told myself I would avoid eating there and certain types of food, but, I dunno....the craving got strong last week, and I ended up eating fast food while driving home.

I can't wait to get home and just chill out---I made dinner last night that should last a good two days of meals, if my bf comes over. I washed most of my dishes, so I don't have to worry about having to do that. I think I will just focus on relaxing, journaling, and doing some pampering things like a nice hot bubble bath, home facial, and that type of thing. I may even paint my toenails! Smile

I realize that my appearance has gone downhill quite a bit....it is one of those things where I have good intentions, and then voila! I notice a hole in my clothes that I didn't see while getting dressed, and it ends up making me feel like a complete shlump.

My friend is having another baby and I am very happy for her. It does sometimes make me wonder when I will get my act together so that I can have my own kids.

My bf and I are having some difficulties, but I am acknowleging that much of it may just be due to the situation, and that he is under a lot of stress. So, he sometimes seems very short or irritated by me. Sigh.

I do sometimes feel sad when I see people on the street who seem...well, so happy. I feel like I need to get back that part of me. I know I have so many opportunities that other people haven't had, and yet sometimes, silly as it may be, I sometimes wish I could do things all over again and make better choices. I wish I could have worked harder in school. I wish I could have gotten my weight problems under control years ago. I wish I could have saved more money when I was working the extra job. I know it doesn't help me to feel that way, I am just expressing how I have been feeling lately.

Today I plan on just going home and chilling out. I think I will even make myself do some much needed reading....why do I avoid it when it always brings me such joy?

Discussing money, and eager to shop...

September 27th, 2009 at 06:38 pm

So, last night me and my bf discussed the topic of money. I have learned that with him, I have to chill out a bit, and realize that while I have a general idea of my budgets weeks in advance (I actually write out my budget months at a time---sticking to it is the only problem!), he may not.

So, I was counting out my money and figuring out how I am going to pay a bill that is due, plus pay for the usual stuff like gas, food, etc.

I decided to talk to him about the help I will need, but I realized that with him, I can't get all into the specifics of the dollar amount, because if he doesn't actually have the money at the time, it stresses him out. I did let him know I am short, that I had to borrow from savings, etc., and he agreed to help me. I know I will have to wait until he pays off the bill with his family, but I am hoping he can come through for me. Otherwise, I will have to borrow from savings, and that just sucks. And, yeah, I have been looking for part-time work, and it is hard to find (due to my hours of availability) in my area---also, there are a lot of part-time jobs out there, that are really full-time jobs that have been cut a small amount so they are now considered part-time and without any benefits. They asked for really difficult hours---like 6 hours in the middle of the day, that makes it difficult for a person to get another full-time or part-time job. I am seeing that a lot on the online job offerings, and it is really saddening.

Been having the grrrrrrssss lately. I am trying to get my doctor to help me with it, but they seem reluctant, and what I want to do to help me, includes vitamins and whatnot, and that costs money. Grrrr.

The being slightly broke thing is a bit irritating. I realize that it can cause friction with a friend of mine, and I wish I knew how to be a better person.

My friend is very nice and kind, and a very good person. We have very different definitions of what being poor means, however, and I am a bit saddened that I don't have things in common with him that I used to. He has not been as poor as I was, and he is living the life of an average, upper income 30-something. He may not consider himself upper income, but in my city, there are so many people starting out at such a high figure, that I think their idea of being poor gets really skewed. Sometimes I just feel like he doesn't understand me, and I can't always understand when he rolls his eyes and talks about being poor, but, is always at a boutique or trendy restaurant. I have learned to be quiet about it though and just keep my thoughts to myself.

I am going to start pampering myself more. I really feel like I haven't been looking so great lately, so I am going to focus more on taking nice soapy hot baths, wearing make up more often, and trying to keep up with my mani and pedis, even if I can only afford to do them at home.

My budget is short for next month, and there are things in my budget that I have to buy almost each month, and I am really looking forward to buying them---who would have thought that a person would get excited about being able to buy toilet paper and cleaning supplies? Little touches like a lavender smelling cleaning product on scented air freshener really help to mellow me out.

Being able to tell you all these things really helps me more than I think I can say. It often happens that I am not able to have a deep conversation with a person for a day or more, and sometimes, well, you just need to express yourself, ya know? I am hoping that this form of expression helps to reduce my overall stress levels.

I hope you all are having a good weekend. Hugs.

Escapism

September 26th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Escapism is a common thing that I think many of us do. What each person considers a form of escapism, is subjective, and unique.

For me, I started my foray into escapism as a teen. I had a loved one whom was dying, and there was very little medical help that could be done. So, all we could do, to be blunt, was try to go through the motions as my loved one got sicker and sicker.

This made me not want to be home, since our place was so small that if I were studying or doing homework, I would be face to face with my loved one. Not a bad thing, but when a person is sick and you want time to yourself to choke back a tear or something, there simply wasn't any room for that. So, I often escaped to different parts of my city----I would scrounge local used book stores and splurge on cheap lunch plates. It was all I could do I felt, at that time, to try to relieve stress.

Before my loved one's illness, I was able to escape into my school work and excel. But his illness was a bit too much for me to deal with and be able to think clearly in school.

I have found that as I get older, I have escaped into different things...sometimes it would be getting a new hobby, or going on vacation.

Since my money is tight, I am escaping into visiting parts of my city that I used to frequent when I was younger. My city is a good city, I just hate that it is slowly losing what made it so wonderful in the first place.

I walked around this morning and it was nice and relaxing. It wasn't super cheap, as I didn't follow my budget and bought some pastries that were not on my "to buy" list. But it was nice, and only like an hour.

On a different tangent, how does one not appear broke in a large group? I recently had a situation where everyone else in the group ordered a meal, and I ordered one of the cheapest things on the menu, and it sort of looked awkward, but I don't think anyone cared. I do remember feeling really......upset. I felt embarrassed, and angry at myself because I am responsible for my budget problems.

I have been thinking about my boyfriend lately. We haven't seen much of each other lately because of his family situation. He is really going through a lot.

I wonder if we can get back to normal? I really do think that I have been trying to be helpful and supportive for a majority of our relationship. I do admit that I have not asked my bf for as much help as I should have, and I think that, at times, has made him feel bad. It was not my intention to do so, I just felt he wasn't in a position to help. I think our power dynamics and roles got really screwed up (yeah, I know, I am very pro-woman, and I am also very pro stay at home mom, as well).

I really hope that we can get back on track as well and that our relationship will be able to get better. I sort of feel like our relationship shifted too much, which may have been appropriate given the circumstances, to just a lot of help and assistance, and very little dating or couple time.

I am really hoping that my budget will be better next month. I am anxiously awaiting the 1st, and I hope that thing will be okay.

Recession time rants...please take them in jest

September 24th, 2009 at 10:14 am

So, they say venting is good for the soul, so here are some of my recession-era rants.....they are to be taken in jest and in a comical nature.

1. Newspapers that continue to write reviews of expensive restaurants. Why? Why not focus on the fact that more Americans are cutting down on eating out, and when they do choose to eat out, they are eating at fast food chains? It seems a bit superficial and out of touch with reality for a majority of people.

2. Getting less for more. Look, I understand that everyone is cutting back. I DO NOT understand how suddenly a 6 oz piece of meat looks eerily like it is 4 oz, and yet 3 dollars more expensive. Something is off with that math.

3. Nickel and diming----I find it very tacky when restaurants implement an extra charge for sauce---really? How many people are actually hoarding the dipping sauces in order to create an elaborate meal later? Very few. Very few. Stop nickel and diming us by charging for even 1 extra sauce packet (I understand not giving someone 10 sauce packets for a 5 piece nugget meal, but charging for just 1 extra? Ridiculous.).

4. Some who are out of touch with reality---Everyone is being hit hard in these times, and I understand that. Complaining about having to do without items that most people couldn't afford even before the recession seems a bit....odd. Complaining about having to reduce (not eliminate) fine dining, or the weekly spa trips somehow doesn't make me feel as sympathetic as I probably should.

5. People who say they would NEVER do something that pertains to budgeting, i.e., I would "never" not eat organic, or I would "never" buy a store brand, etc. Times are hard, and it may help for people to think about the audience when they say that...it can be very offputting when someone says they would never eat this or that when the person they are speaking to is subsisting on that item.

6. Water cooler discussions about spending! This is a tricky subject---everyone is discussing how they are changing their spending habits as a reaction to the economy and yet, how much info is too much? I find that this is the hardest vent to discuss and all aspects of this pet peeve really does probably depend on the time of day the comment is made, who is making it, how the listener is feeling, etc. If a person is complaining about not having money, and yet, every day they discuss something luxurious that they bought, etc., it alters their believeability.

Thank you for my little rant. Smile I hope you all take it in jest.

More money, more problems

September 24th, 2009 at 08:49 am

No, I won't harken back to the Biggie and 2pac beef, but I will say that money has its own reality and law of physics....why, if I am making more money now, than 3 years ago, am I in worse off shape?

Sigh. Frown

So, my bf came over today and ya know what? There isn't any food to eat. He seemed a bit disappointed, but I hope he can see that voila! food costs money, and I am really considering eating beans for the next week until I get paid. Maybe him seeing that things are pretty scarce will make him realize that I it is difficult for me to help as much as I have been helping.

I also got a bill that was due 2 days ago, that is related to my helping his family, and I have now got to figure out how I am going to pay that, since he is supposed to have given me money to pay that bills a while ago.

I really hopes that when he is able to pay off this financial responsibility for his family that he has (which should be paid next week), that he can seriously invest in helping me out. I know I am sounding selfish right now, and I should be thinking of the reality of what the status is with his family being able to pay the bill that is due next week, but, well, I am a bit stressed out about all of it. I want to be supportive, and I have been supportive, but I will be honest, once his family and he is able to pay the bill, then he will need to start helping me with the help that he said he would. I am not going to agree with him if he says he now needs money for moving expenses, or wants to buy something I consider frivalous, etc. I feel that I have done a lot, and now, with a savings of less than $500 bucks (once I try and borrow from it today), I really need my bf to step up to help me. He owes me quite a lot, and I really hope that he keeps his promise of paying me back.

His friend told me that I have really helped him and that she is very happy that we are together. And part of me feels like maybe I was supposed to be in his life at this time to help him through the difficulties he has faced. I feel like that is a possibility, but I don't like thinking that at times, because it makes me come across as somehow being egotistical....I feel my bf has helped me tremendously as well...it is just the financial part that is the most difficult.

All in all, I am feeling somewhat better. Just trying to not let the stress level get too high. I still need to nix my caffeine habit---it is hard to do when I feel like I need super strong coffee just to keep me from falling asleep.

Thank you to everyone who listens to me vent---I know I sometimes sound like I am on a ledge, but, it just helps me to get my thoughts out and express them, and then usually I feel better and I back away from the ledge.

How my money is doing....

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Yes, I put money into a verb (or would that be adverb?), as a way to espress how I view things.

I do think that for me, my emotions are strongly tied to how my finances are. If my finances are in a tizzy, then my emotions usually are. If my finances are good (meaning I have a decent emergency savings, and can pay my bills each month), then I tend to be a much calmer person.

I think that what is going on right now is trying to just deal with this level of unease and uncomfortableness. I realize that I am sounding a bit like a spoiled brat when I say I am "uncomfortable", when in our country, and our world, people don't have enough food to eat or clothes to wear, so I realize I am being a bit arrogant when I am upset that I may have to eat beans a few times a week, or wear older clothes. Sigh, I think being a city girl has spoiled me a bit.

I realize that I am relatively pretty, all things considered. I also realize that I am just having an exercise rut at the moment, and I know for me, the first step in feeling better is altering my diet. Once I master my diet, so to speak, then my exercise gets in line. I am a bit bummed because it has been hard to eat the way I want to, and still stay within my budget.

I know that with everything that is going on, if I am not working a 2nd job, then really, I should be using my time taking a walk, getting rid of clutter, and exercising. I also know that when I get home, I feel so tense that my back often hurts and all I want to do is lay down...which probably isn't a good thing.

I joked with a friend, and we both agreed that the way our heads work, in terms of how we were raised to....relate to money, that when our money is funny, we are not the most cheerful people. I know I would be sooooo much happier if I had a bigger emergency savings, even if it meant still having the same amount of debt. It has something to do with my feelings of security and safety and being able to take care of myself. And yeah, I think I got into a pattern of buying things to cheer me up....so take away some usually comforting items, and I have got the grrrrsss....You add to these fillings the issues with my bf, the issues with having a reduced paycheck, and just overall stress, and I may be moaning and whining a bit more than is necessary.

In reality, being poorer may help me to eat better. Since I cannot shop or go to movies or things that involve buying stuff, then I should use that time to take walks for free, and to clean my apartment.

I Just want to be pretty

September 23rd, 2009 at 09:47 am

This thought popped into my head, and I thought I would roll with it...

I know pretty people have problems, too. And yet, as probably incorrect as it seems, I really feel like if my appearance was more of how I looked about 5 years ago, I think I would feel a bit stronger about the whole situation. I would be able to wear my cute skirts and funky (meaning hip!) shoes, have an iced coffee, and not trip about being on a tight budget.

I think the appearance issue is just another added stressor---not to mention that your appearance does impact your hiring ability (for the part-time jobs I am looking into). And my appearance or health makes certain jobs (one where I am on my feet constantly), a bit more tiring than for an average and normal person.

Yeah, there is this little naive and dreamer part of me that really feels like if I were able to wear the clothes I want (not expensive ones, just ones in my style preference), and be able to take the casual kind of strolls I like, then I would be able to be a bit less stressed about the whole situation. Right now, I am in clothes I don't really like cause they make me look kind of crappy, and then that in turn affects how people view me, and I am feeling uncomfortable often when I try to go for the little strolls.

Right now I would love to be able to wear a pretty dress, sit in a cafe, and be able to just relax and write out my cares and thoughts......

And in I go to my savings.....

September 23rd, 2009 at 09:35 am

I am sure my title is not the best example of correct grammar, but I think it has a bit of an Alice in Wonderland type of feel.......

So, my bf is doing better with his family situation. It is soooo very hard what they are experiencing right now, and I commend him for being strong through all of this. He has even asked me to help some of his family members with advice or emotional support, because I have been through the same thing they have, multiple times.

I was honest with him, and told him that I didn't have enough money to make it through the rest of this month. He seemed to get depressed. It is a weird situation because he absolutely has to pay for a family bill and the whole family is getting donations at this time to cover the bill---so the amount of money I am short for this month would be a chunk of his bill. I could see that he got frustrated because, in all actuality, the family is not sure if they will be able to pay the bill (which is in the thousands of dollars range), but it MUST be paid by a certain date. No ifs, ands, or buts. And it doesn't appear that anyone in the family has a cc to assist in the paying of this bill. At least with my bill, I can pay it next month, but I want to make sure that it doesn't show as a late payment on my credit report.

So, I thought it was important for me to tell my bf what is going on---I didn't tell him that because he didn't make the monthly payment we agreed on, that it is partly why I am short, but I think he understands. I feel bad because I feel like everyone in his family depends on him for help and assistance, and yet he isn't really always able to give the type of support they want or need. It is really difficult.

I am going to have to go into my savings. Sigh. I am hoping that I have a nice tax return next year, and that I can put that amount into savings. With the reduction in taxes, I am thinking that I may get only half of the normal amount of refund I get....and yeah, I know that the refund is giving the government an interest free loan, but to be honest, having an extra $100 bucks a month would be so tempting to me, that I would not be able to save it, the way I can save lump sums of refund monies.

I was thinking about a close friend of mine...he has helped me when I needed help, and I am paying him back (plus interest to be fair). I was thinking that he hasn't asked me to go out or do certain events, and I am thinking it is because of the price. I am always hearing of all these places he is going to, or where he is eating with friends (who also make more than I do), and they are all places I want to go, but cannot afford.

I admit that sometimes (ok, most of the time), when something is not available to me because of the price, then I sort of become anti-it. Sort of like the story of the elephant and the grapes....but I feel like it has now become a part of who I am....I really feel that even if I were making $70,000....I would not want to dine at posh restaurants, or spend excessively on designer duds. I still feel like I would want to eat in authentic dive restaurants, and revel in my trips to Walmart.

Though, if I were making even $60,000, I would soooooooooo enjoy more lattes and sightseeing excursions.

Control

September 22nd, 2009 at 09:55 am

Lately it seems as if things in my life are a bit out of whack and I often feel out of control in certain areas.

Although it probably isn't correct, I do feel like if I had control over certain aspects of my life (my health, my budget, my cleanliness) then that control would transfer to other aspects of my life.

I talked to my bf, and he mentioned he may move out. I am okay with that, because when he moved in it was due to circumstances, and not necessarily that he wanted to play house and take our relationship to the next level. Even though I totally understand the reasoning conceptually, in a way, it does bother me a bit. I wish he would have wanted to live together out of love, rather than necessity. And it isn't like he couldn't have stayed somewhere else, he just preferred staying with me.

I am in a weird situation....my bf is literally giving his family money in order to support them and pay for necessities, so he isn't being cheap, and he hasn't been able to give me what we discussed for this month. I have a bill due next week, and now I am going to have to try and borrow from my savings to pay it. Because of the severity of the problems in his family, they are asking for help from everyone, so every dollar is important, and my asking for a couple hundred is a significant amount.

Next month he may be able to give me money, but I don't know. I am feeling so weird about the whole thing---my bf has asked me to trust him more and ask him for help more, and I want to, but when I start trying to think that certain things will be available, then his budget changes, etc., and it doesn't happen. I don't know if I should be the one to blame because it has been months now and I know he wants to help, it just hasn't happened.

I am already short about $147 bucks for this month for bills (if I had the money my bf was supposed to pay, then I wouldn't be short) and that is not including the additional $150 I was supposed to save to put towards a bill for next month. So now I am not sure what to do. Plus, I may be short an additional $180 or so in my paycheck anyway. Sigh.

I just don't know what to do.....I am going to see if I can borrow from a life insurance policy I have.

I feel comforted when i think of getting control of my health and getting control of my cleanliness....I sort of feel like that would help to keep my stress levels down. This morning, I was super hungry, and really wanted to buy something for breakfast and I had money in my pocket to buy something, but, I didn't do it because of the cost, and also because the food options were not healthy. So I stuck with some fruit and coffee instead.

I want to thank those of you that take the time to read my ramblings. I cannot explain how cathartic a process this is for me...it is hard to talk about money with friends because everyone is going through the same thing. I know my blog is not always about money, but there is usually a money component thrown in, and I thank those of you that read my blog and take the time to leave your perspectives.


The simple things

September 21st, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I want to start off this entry with the assertation that I am aware that I am an extremely blessed person---I have a good education, loving family and friends, a good job, and a good roof over my head and plenty of clothes on my back. I know that I am better off than a lot of people and I am upset at myself for even complaining or being whiny (sp?).

I am feeling...uncomfortable....because, well, things that I like to do in the past that brought me comfort, I am going to have to not do for a while. My budget is tight, so window shopping at places that require paid parking is not a good option, daily coffee is already excessive...but what about weekly? In order to meet my budget will I need to give that up? Probably. Trying to destress at the gym is out as well as I need to cancel my membership. I know I can destress by walking the local park.

I will have to be more vigilent with my driving....can I do the friendly monthly trips when the distance equals at least half a tank of gas?

I will have to ignore certain hunger/cravings as I think I will have to really budget out my food and make most of the food I eat (which I do anyways, but it means I will have less wiggle room, sotospeak).

I will have to decline some of the friendly invitations to go out with friends to local lounges---even though I rarely buy any alcohol, even a $2 bottle of water or soda may be outside of my budget.

I am really kicking myself right now, because, well, this isn't comfy. Ever since I started working full-time as a teen, I always had enough money for what I needed---even when I would only have $6 bucks left over after paying my bills, I still had a back up credit card or an emergency savings. And now? Now I have very little emergency savings, some cc availability, but because of the sky high interest rate, I cannot use it or else my monthly payments will jump like crazy. I am barely making ends meet now, and I may have to depend on my bf for help with food money in the upcoming months. And I am worried about that because even though I have helped him out, with what he is dealing with, I cannot be certain that he will be able to help me out. I do hope so, and I feel bad because I know he means well and wants to help me, but he hasn't been able to lately.

My car is in need of a lot of tlc, but I cannot afford that, so of course I worry about how she performs.

For years and years I was able to have little destress days and whatnot...and now, now I worry about becomming a bitter old gal. I am not very old, but this economic thing is stressing me. I worry about not having enough money to look presentable (I currently buy new clothes on credit, as that is really all I can semi-afford) and I worry because I can't do many social activities because of my budget.

Even as a poor kid eating at soup kitchens, I still had the luxury of taking the $5 I had in change (received from begging handouts) and buying a used book and some sort of notebook. So while I agree that shopping or even window shopping is not a good relaxation mechanism, it is what I have had for years and years. I think that going from eating in soup kitchens to making $30,000 before age 24 made me rely too much on pleasing the senses? I feel like I was making up for stuff from the past, ya know? And now....now I worry about becomming bitter and irritable. When my money is weird, I tend to feel irritable and stress---not having an emergency savings is really uncomfortable to me. Sigh. I know, I am sounding like such a spoiled person right now.

I have a friend who has a good job in a field known for paying a lot of money, and sometimes he just doesn't understand what I am going through. I do feel that he has left me out of various activities because he is now at a place in his life, where he wants to do high end things, and I cannot afford it. Even his coffee is ridiculously overpriced----and this is coming from someone who is at times a coffee snob (but I have gone for a time of drinking the instant variety). I try to not let it get to me.

I am just feeling pressured from all fronts and that a lot of things that make me happy I will have to forego for a while, such as certain types of food or drink, trips, leisurely activities, etc. So it feels like multiple things that bring me comfort--food, shopping, driving, trips, I will have to forego all at once. I may have to cut down on my doctor visits because of the cost of parking---parking on the street next to the hospital is practically impossible----I know I am ultimately blessed and should not be whining.

A blues song would explain how I am feeling....

September 21st, 2009 at 08:51 am

I wanted to do a clever title, and yet, I felt I should hold onto that thought and save it for another blog entry.

I checked my bank account today and due to my spending over the weekend, I will be a little under $100 dollars short for the bills I need to pay this month. Sigh. I am stressed about this because my bf doesn't have money to give to me, and because my bank account doesn't allow me to use my atm card because of the whole theft/fraud issue. Sigh. And I STILL haven't received the fraud info from the bank. That upsets me because they have records of some man calling pretending to be me or something, and then hanging up. Sigh. I also haven't received any calls from SSA about the fraud. Grrr....so I am still dealing with this a few weeks after the fact.

I feel like things are falling apart.....I am worried about money and the prospects of getting a part-time job in an area where unemployment is 10% is not very good. Sigh. I don't know where me and my bf will go....he has some family things to take care of, and I really do worry that once the storm passes, he may decide to move out and he may decide that he doesn't even want to be in a relationship. I am feeling crappy physically, and what I want to buy to feel healthy, I cannot afford. And, my apt is a mess. Like, seriously. I am frustrated at how messy it is. All of this plus a higher workload is stressing me out.

I wish I could afford a massage, but usually my muscles are so tight that massages really hurt me. Is that normal?

I am just trying to take it easy and hopefully things will get better.

The way I feel.....

September 20th, 2009 at 07:52 pm

Right now things feel a bit overwhelming and out of control. Due to the severity of what he is experiencing, I have gone into some comforting modes that involve money---by buying a comfort filled dinner, etc. It may not be the smartest thing financially, but I feel like with the severity of what he is experiencing, right now is the time for comfort and a bit of indulgence----I am not buying kobe beef or anything like that---just a simple cheap (i.e., non-fast food, but still a chain restaurant) lunch at a sit down restaurant.

Because of what is going on, I know it is not appropriate for me right now to ask for the rest of the money for this month. I will see if he has enough next month. Right now needs to be the focus on his family.

I am feeling unsure about my budget. I did not want to go into next month owing money, but it looks like I will. Frown So I am worried about that. I also had planned on using money this month to get some auto repair work----that didn't happen, so now I am wondering about how will I get some needed work done, when my paycheck will be short?

Everything feels so overwhelming----I feel like I am not in control of my budget. I feel like though I love my boyfriend, he is going through a lot right now, and sometimes I get the feeling like he loves me, but doesn't really like me. I feel like I am not in control of my health. I am also a bit saddened by not being successful in the weight loss.

I may just be being overly worried, but I wonder a lot about my bf and me......I want us to work out, and I also feel like he has a lot on his plate right now, and I am worried about being alone at this point in my life, where I am having a hard time. I worry about being alone. I don't think my bf worries about being alone......and I do think that even if things don't work out, we would always care and love each other.

I am just going to keep on keeping on, that is all that one can do, really. I have to accept that at this point in my life, I may have to live more off of beans, than my favorite comfort food. I may have to just bear down and wait for this time to get better.

On a positive note, my 401k plan went up about $4,000 dollars or so. Woo hoo!!

Toast at the end of a day

September 17th, 2009 at 06:32 pm

I am sitting here stressed out a bit.

The money situation is not so good for this month. I am definitely short,.....and short because if I had the full amount I expected, I would have stayed narrowly within my budget.

Things are very difficult now, so I don't know if my boyfriend will be able to help me. I told him not to worry, as he is trying to do a lot with not very much, and he may need any money for his family.

I am also a bit upset because I didn't meet my weightloss want, and my dr wasn't very supportive. So, I am mad at myself, and also mad because I feel like my doc is probably having all these stereotypical ideas about me (i.e., lazy, etc.)

What to do...what to do...

September 16th, 2009 at 10:28 am

My goal for this month was to avoid going into next month owing any money. It doesn't look like that will happen this time. Primarily because the money my bf is supposed to give me for this month is short. His family member's illness is progressing, and he needs to take time off from work to care for the family member. This is a tough situation he is in, and I have stated that I will help him through this time. This means that he may not be able to assist with me finances.

So I am not sure of what to do. I have been looking for part-time work, but as you all know, it is hard to come by right now---and this is from someone who has done odd jobs in order to make ends meet.

I don't have much things to sell, and what I do have is not of good quality...I think I could sell some books.

On a positive note, I have been trying to make my food budget work. I think if I stick to a certain way of eating, I can keep my costs low, and eat healthy.

The weird thing is that with our pay cuts, if I cut out my food budget of $100 bucks, then I will only be short around $30 per month. Once I pay off a monthly bill in december, then I won't be short funds. And as I pay down more debt, it will hopefully free up more cash to reduce the amount I am short, or even put towards food.

Maybe I Can Do This Afterall....

September 15th, 2009 at 09:36 am

This week I experimented with cooking, and low and behold, I have a new, healthy, yummy dish that I could eat most days of the week and not be bored. I am really happy about that because it has been so easy for me to turn to fast food or highly processed food when short on time, simply because I don't know how to cook the healthy things I need to eat.

I have also had a strong craving for beans....so I am hoping that my growing love of beans and my improving cooking skills will help me to stay on track with my diet AND keep my monthly budget low.

Of course I am worried about when the paycheck will be lower. So far, based upon my estimates, if I cut out my food budget, I should only be about 30 bucks or so short per month. This is where I am hoping that my bf can help me. Also, since I will have a major bill paid off by December, that will free up about $180 bucks in my budget, and hopefully I will not be significantly short any funds.

It will suck in a way because such things as coffee will truly be a luxury---unless I budget that half of my food budget goes to coffee---which, sadly, could be an option as I love my coffee, but am not able to brew super strong espresso at home. Frown

Things w/ my bf are good, and yet, I am sad. I think we are both aware of the growing reality that we are sooooo very different that we barely have similar things to discuss, and when we do talk about things, we are often at the opposite ends of the spectrum. He has stated that he isn't sure what he wants in his life right now, and that while he is happy to have me as his gf, he feels like he hasn't been very much like a bf lately. I will have to talk to him to get a better understanding of what he meant. I think he meant that because we have almost stopped dating, that while we love and care for each other, it doesn't feel like your average bf/gf relationship, ya know? We love and care for each other, and most of our time together is spent doing errands or chores for his family. When he comes home, he is ready to relax and destress, and I am on my way to sleep---so we don't get to talk much, and/or he is tired and not in the mood to talk. Frown

It is weird because while we both are accepting the fact that we are different, this is also a bad time for both of us to break up. This also makes a weird situation in that while I know my bf may not be the person I am meant to marry (this could change), that I am a bit more worried about him being into other people---people that he may have more in common with mentally and personality wise. It is an odd situation---both of us don't want to break up. I sort of feel like I want to be with him during this hard time with his parent's illness. I also know that after the illness, there is the big possibility that my bf may go off to do something different with his life as right now his life is primarily working to take care of his parents and family, or doing chores and errands for his family, and he has very little time for anything else.

We have agreed that no matter what, we will always love and care for each other. Maybe we will turn out to be great friends, if not great partners.


Where I have been and where I want to go

September 14th, 2009 at 08:25 am

Lately, I have been feeling like I am totally out of steam on most days.

I come from usually working two jobs, or going to school full time and working full time----this is a period in my life where I am only doing one thing---working, and yet, I am feeling exhausted on most days.

My apartment is a mess and I just feel out of steam when trying to clean it. I have improved a lot in that I routinely vacuum my carpet at least once per week---but I am lax in other areas like washing dishes, putting away clothes I am not currently wearing, etc.

And I just feel like I just can't relax, ya know?

Now I find myself gazing at pictures of nice houses, relaxing baths and bedrooms, and trips all over the world.

I am mad at myself because for all of the hard work I did, and all of the times I avoided having fun in my younger years (I used to try and work as much as possible on the holidays because of the overtime pay), and I don't know how much I really have to show for it, except for my education (which means a lot to me), and the trips I have been on.

I feel bad a lot now---and I really just wish I could afford a private chef who would make me spa food and cucumber drinks so I could get healthy and get my youthful glow back----the aging process is occurring and I admit that I don't like it very much. I do realize that I need to take much better care of myself.

I will start looking again for a part-time job---I think that having more money in my pocket (even if it means working more), will help to ease my stress a lot.

My bf said that he will be living with his parents more, but that he wants to give me money to help me take care of...me. Smile That is so very sweet and kind of him. We have discussed our differences, and he has been more open about stating our differences.....I love him a lot and I really wonder if I would ever meet someone as kind and caring and accepting of me as he is. So this is also stressing me out a bit.

I just want a normal life, ya know?

I find myself often dreaming....

September 13th, 2009 at 05:57 pm

I don't feel that this weekend was very relaxing at all.

Instead, I am just feeling a bit drained.

I long to go on a vacation....be able to lie in a comfy and clean bed and read and just relax...

I have been worried about the reduction in pay, and am kind of upset at myself for not taking better care of my health. if i had been smart about things, i should have bought better food when i had two jobs. I could have had lovely salads every day and dropped some of the excess weight that has been bothering me.

But now I am in a situation where I have to buy enough food for fuel, as well as enough food to deal with when i am stressing and want to eat. I want to go to a spa and get a spa treatment (never did that before) for my bday, but I really cannot afford it. I don't think i will be able to afford to do much of anything for my birthday.

My bf and I are having some issues, and it seems that when we get into arguments, he is saying more and more that we are not similar (I know this), and that he is not sure what he wants right now in his life. I do feel that I need to be with him during the ordeal he is facing. I think it would be doubly stressful for the both of us to deal with a breakup at this time. And I wonder if things are tough for us right now (no dating, etc.) because of all of the challenges he is facing and our lack of money and time to do things together. Frown

I know I am just whining and complaining, and it is just me venting. I know I am very blessed, and I know that my bf and I have this unique connection with each other---it is just hard right now because I want to have kids and worry that my weight or my lack of money or my uncertainty about who I will have children with will prevent me from being complete. Yes, I know that is not very modern, but I long to be a mom. To me, that is what would make my life full and complete. I want to be a mom to multiple children and right now, I am just feeling overwhelmed.

Sometimes I day dream about having enough money to have a private chef who would cook me healthy food. I love to eat veggies and certain vegetarian dishes---I just am not good at making them. So, if I had a chef who could make me heavenly food all the time, I know I would feel better, lose weight, and be overall
healthier.

My weight is also preventing me from being able to buy the kind of clothes I like that would help me to look more professional at work. I feel that my lack of good clothes and my weight and how I look makes people think less of me as a worker. Sigh.

It is just one of those days----I wish I could get a way for a week or so and go to a spa and just sleep, drink health drinks, eat veggies, do yoga, do facials and spa treatments, and just relax.


Trying to keep it together....don't know what to do

September 10th, 2009 at 09:43 pm

So, I thought I was getting over the drama over the weekend and trying to not have anxiety regarding the people that took my debit card and ssn information.

I had received confirmation of a fraud alert I put on my credit report, and I had begun the process of informing the police of the situation and SSA of the event.

Well, today I get another alert about potential fraudulent activity---which baffles me because the card has been discontinued and a new one is being sent to me. I call the bank and then I find out that someone kept calling them trying to pretend they are me and that I lost my card so they can get a new card mailed to them. They kept hanging up once verification information was asked of them.

I am soooo upset. Why is this person or persons doing this? They didn't get any money the first time, so why continue?!?!

It messes with how I think about things because now I am feeling really suspicious. I live in a good building, but, eh, there have been problems with people opening packages I had. So, I do wonder if maybe a piece of mail was left outside my mailbox and someone took it?

I have always had alerts on my cards, I monitor my credit, I check for people looking over my shoulder when I am using my debit card, etc. This type of stuff just makes me more anxious and nervous and to be very honest, afraid. It makes me very afraid and scared. Is someone going to try and get into my accounts? Why are these people bothering me?

I am feeling really stressed out right now, my body is stressed so right now I am feeling a bit of pain, but I get the feeling it is just things tightening up due to stress. I just feel like I am going to break down. I mean, I don't think I will, but this is just really messed up and I am trying to hold everything together and I am not feeling very strong right now.

Why steal from someone who is broke?

September 8th, 2009 at 08:52 am

So, I have been dealing with the creep who stole my atm number and SSN. Thank God that none of my money was taken. Smile

I am more worried about the usage of my SSN as it is tied to my work history and I have been working for more than half of my life (since age 14). I have contact SSA and still need to get a police report, which is taking a bit of time.

I am mad, and I am a bit mellower than I thought I would be---perhaps because my credit isn't so good (my credit score is ok, but too much debt to be eligible for any additional credit), and even if someone tried, they most likely would be declined for credit.

I am writing down what I buy and I think of things in terms of monthly---like how much soap do I need to buy for the month, etc.

I have enough food for the week, so I am happy about that. I am still refusing to buy chicken until I can find a good deal on fresh chicken breasts.

I have been going crazy with my coffee habit and realize I either need to 1) make take out coffee a part of my official budget, or 2) stop buying it so much!

I talked to my bf about the money issues....it is stressful at times because I know he isn't trying to just be cheap, he just doesn't have the money. It is a bit stressful in that he refuses to do a budget in advance...so i have to wait days for him to figure out his budget. It is also hard because lately it seems like he is owing me money from a previous pay period, and when he pays me back, he is really paying me back what he borrowed, but not significantly impacting the amount of money he is supposed to contribute for food. Grrrrr.....

I also realized a weird thing---but wonder how many have thought about it---saved vacation time? I have been having anxiety about my small amount of emergency savings. Then I realized what I had known all along---I have about a month's worth of vacation time stored....I can also think of that in terms of emergency savings! My only primary usage for emergency savings would be for if I wasn't employed, as I would just have to come up with car repair payments some other way, or start taking public transportation.

Has anyone else ever included accrued vacation time as part of the overall amount of available emergency savings? Does anyone here also include available credit as part of that calculation?

Keeping it together

September 7th, 2009 at 11:07 am

So, this weekend I kept watching my budget and most of my money was spent on food and household supplies---$120 bucks to be exact. I am shocked that I spent so much---trying to figure out what I spent things on, but as I have been keeping a tally, it makes sense....food and household cleaning stuff really does add up. Frown

I will call SSA tomorrow to see if I can start monitoring my work history because of the SSN breach. Sigh. Frown

I am feeling ok, thought I would be more anxious, i guess its just the reality that I can't do much about what those jerks did. All I can do is to try and monitor things more closely, is all. I already know that if someone tries to get more credit in my name, it will be a big fat denied, as even I cannot get any more credit. Frown

I do wish the police were taking this more seriously. But it seems like they say that they have more cases than they can handle, and that is about it. It isn't a violent crime, but it does make a person feel violated and suspicious of others.

Paying with cash....

September 5th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I went from one point in my life of having to pay for things with pennies (I kidd you not), to paying for most things with my atm and credit card.

As I now need to get a new card, and don't want to use credit, I have discovered very quickly how much using cash versus atm really impacts my spending.

I took 40 bucks out with me this morning in order buy some groceries. I thought it was MORE than plenty----but, after stopping at the health food store, and then trader joe's (where I put back a couple of not totally necessary right now foodstuffs), I was really low on funds and counting out change for my iced coffee treat.

I wonder if I should stick with using cash or stick with my atm? I don't like using cash cause I seem to spend it more freely when it is in my pocket.

But when using my atm, I can easily spend more than i anticipated, because I know I have enough in my account to cover my purchase.

What do you think?

Feeling Both Despondant and....Okay

September 5th, 2009 at 11:23 am

So, long story short, some jerk stole my SSN and my debit card number and 1) got a copy of my credit report and 2) tried to take money from my bank account.

This is the one time I will praise Bank of America----after all of the rigmarole of lowering my credit limits and jacking up my interest rates (despite being a good customer), they actually did some very good.....they saw a transaction on my card that seemed funny, and stopped the entire process and closed my card.

I dont know how this person did this as i tend to be careful with my information.

So, I put a fraud alert on my credit, I already have a credit monitoring service that monitors any activity on my credit report (but how did they not monitor when my report was requested online?) and bofa has said they will not approve any of the fraudulent charges.

I have started to contact the SSA, and I already went to the police station to file a police report. All of my current cards have alerts whenever they are used.

I did all of this in one day, and I find myself fluctuating between feeling like I will cry any minute and have an anxiety attack and 2) this really sucks, but hopefully it was just some jerks trying to get money, but not other stuff like my work history. Frown

I don't know how to feel....or rather, my emotions are back and forth. I am afraid and scared. I don't have much, but I want to keep what I have, and what is most important to me is keeping my work history and all of the years I put into my SSN.

I have been dealing with this after having a huge fight w. my bf about trust AND dealing with being under the weather.

My bf was supportive, so I am happy about that.

I am upset that even though I have the name and the number of the people involved in trying to use my card to wire themselves money via western union, the cops say they are behind in identity theft, and that they are not yet even working on this year's cases.

I want to call these people, but I know I should just wait and see if the police can do something.

My bf bought us dinner last night which was a very nice treat. He knew I wasn't feeling good (drained and despondent and just sad)and even though i usually say we need to avoid eating out, we got some cheap delivery food that actually tasted heavenly.

We also talked about food, and I am happy that he is okay with my changing how we eat to being more of what is better for my health (he can fill up on pasta and rice, but I am avoiding it. At times, making 2 separate meals is not an option) and seems perfectly cool with it. So that means I can really buy the best food for the both of us, and I don't always have to focus on just what is the cheapest (i.e., pasta, etc.). He also recommended that I buy organic chicken---I told him it is at times 3x more expensive. I told him I want to eat that way, but it is hard when the options of chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) are less than 2 bucks a pound, but organic can be 6 bucks a pound...and i like chicken, so having 1 tiny piece may not cut it for me). I asked him for help in buying that food. He said yes. Smile

I have also noticed that he likes it when I eat a good amount----does he really think I don't eat enough? I do find it sweet though, probably because i eat very little that he sees.

I am also happy that he bought me some snacks for my diet that are a bit expensive. He cares about me doing well on something that I really want, and that makes me happy.

Food

September 3rd, 2009 at 01:00 pm

So, as I sit here waiting for the 20 minutes it takes for my stomach to register that I should be full, I pontificated about the comments on my blog and my perspective of things.

I will wholeheartedly admit that I am human. I am not always right, and yeah, there are plenty of flaws that I have.

I do agree that if I were a kinder person, I would have more empathy for all...regardless of wether or not the complaint is that they can no longer buy Jimmy Choo.

The larger statement that I was trying to make (but not successfully), is that as these times get harder for ALL of us, I find that specific groups, who have very little wiggle room as it is, are being targeted more. That was the whole jist of what I was trying to say. As these times get more difficult (and I blame no one else buy myself for my own situation), I find that people are getting more negative towards the homeless, more negative towards those on welfare, more negative towards this whole suspicion of illegal immigration, first time home buyers swindled by unscrupulous brokers, etc.

This a common occurrence in our history. Whenever our country has hit hard times, it has sought out a scape goat, wether it be immigrants or illegal immigration or unions or the poor.

I have also experienced times when people get focused on the rule of things, and they lose the big picture--that is what made me write my blog about apathy---let me give you an example:

I was eating with a friend and I was VERY, very limited in my budget. This was quality time with my friend, and we were both hungry and I could not respectfully bring in something from the outside to eat.

So, I order items ala carte, as the items were oddly cheaper ala carte, than in a combo situation. About 45 cents cheaper. I kid you not. My bill was under $5 bucks (including the tax), and I tipped $1. My friend thought it was arrogant of me to only tip 1 dollar. I felt that he should think for a second that I am buying far less food than my appetite, and that I am buying things in such a way as to save 45 cents, while still being able to give 15-20% tip. My friend was more focused on what others thought and how we would be perceived, rather than seeing that I am in a situation where I am buying literally the cheapest food item on the menu---regardless of how hungry I am. My friend at the time, was not making hardly any money, and using a lot of credit.

But back to the topic...

So yes, I do agree that when a friend complains of not being able to buy a designer item, I really should have more empathy. I am working towards that. At this point in time, when a friend complains and I cannot relate to their complaint, I find it is better to remain silent, or to nod in agreement, than say something I shouldn't. For other friends whom I have a different repoar with, we can joke around and when they complain about something like not being able to eat a fancy dinner, I do let them know that hungry kids all over the world will get a collection plate for them. They usually laugh and understand where I am coming from.

Apathy

September 3rd, 2009 at 08:48 am

I have found during these severely stressful economic times, that our sense of apathy is on the rise.

Make no mistake, I am not excluded from those who are at times more apathetic than empathetic (sorry, but I am not going to feel sad for you because you can no longer shop in high end stores, or because you have been reduced from shopping at Whole Paycheck to the local discount foods stuff).

And while many would see my judgement negatively as well (I know, I should feel something for the person who got their escalade repossessed, but as I drive my older car, I don't feel as empathetic as I should), I feel saddened by those who judge the actions of others.

A recent blog got me to thinking about the judgements of others in terms of money and spending and shopping habits.

I have found many people in my area (which I love), to be very judgemental of the family that shops for food at Walmart or the discount foods stuff store (where often other chain supermarkets send their soon to be expired goods), while they themselves, have the luxury of shopping at higher end supermarkets and farmer's markets.

While I do agree that I get saddened by the family with the shopping cart full of processed sodium ladden foods, I also understand 1) where they are coming from and that understanding what is healthy to eat needs to be taught and isn't naturally acquired out of the air and 2) families on very limited budgets with limited resources are often buying the most filling food for the cheapest price.

I agree that it takes learning and returning to our roots to find out how to eat healthy on a budget, AND we need to have adequate access to healthy and affordable foods in all neighborhoods. It should not be that if you live in a certain zip code, that you get fresh fruit and veggies, but if you live across town you are subjected to corner liquor stores that usually only have bits and pieces of "fruit" long past its prime.


I get a bit perterbed by those who make judgements about the family eating at the local fast food chain----we don't know if eating at a fast food chain is a big deal for this family. For me, I no longer eat out like I used to. For me, my "eating out" splurges are primarily fast food, and not the sushi restaurants that I used to frequent. I have heard such comments from people who may have more resources to eat organically and locally at home.

I guess what I am trying to say is that while some things are aggregious to most people (i.e., getting in express check out lines when you know you have way too many items, or using your hands and not the silver tongs to pick up food in communal food bins), some things seem more of an almost class judgement, i.e, those that think it is barbaric to not eat organically, but fail to see that some have the desire to eat in that manner, but do not have the resources.

There is a significantly high amount of homelessness in my city. I have often seen some people that proport to be very green and for the environment and animal friendly to be very apathetic towards the homeless, even moreso during these times. That is something that bothers me.

Personally, I don't care if someone gets a 2nd refill without permission. The prices of the sodas are extremely inflated to begin with, and 2ndly, it isn't my business. I don't care if a family takes home their leftovers from the buffet. Of course stealing is stealing and someone using a fake coupon is not cool at all. I also wonder if one were to take the energy they spend judging the actions of others, could they do something better in this world? And yes, that is advice that I need as well. Smile

I think that at times some people confuse have empathy with not having a strong moral compass. Whenever people say "I would NEVER do that!", it kind of makes me ears prick up a bit, cause really, do any of us know what we would do if we were in that person's situation?

If your kid was hungry and starving, you might find yourself stealing food if you had no other means of having food access (and believe me, even in our wealthy country, the food banks are running very low, and MANY families go hungry every night!). If going to the movies is a once or twice a year event, you might not be so quick to judge those that 1) do not have access to netflix, 2) bring in their own food.

Thank you all for letting me vent. While I am not immune to at times being apathetic, I wish that more people could see that while they may feel they are being green and totally all encompassing, they may be more apathetic to the plight of their fellow man than they realize.

I also completely understand that everyone has their own problems, and I am not stating that people within certain income brackets do not have problems. They most certainly do. I was just saying that I may be more empathetic to those whose problems are that they do not have enough food or the basic survival necessities, versus those who are upset that they may not be able to partake in more discretionary spending.

I fully understand that each person has their own reality. I also know that some people may not be able to relate to my reality. I can understand that in their reality, a significant change is a significant change, even if in reality, it brings them to the actual average wage. I completely understand.

I also know that as I rant and rave about not being able to go on a vacation, that there is a large part of the population that NEVER goes on vacation, or never has the ability to shop somewhere other than the discount food store. I understand that from another person's perspective, I have it very good, and I totally realize that, and I also realize that I am in my situation because of the choices I am in.

Perhaps it is my inner socialist that feels so strongly about certain topics. Perhaps it is because I have seen both sides of the coin (rich and poor), and I understand more of one side than the other.

Living in San Francisco, I have seen people who are on their way to the Opera or symphony, and they make rude and disparaging comments about a homeless person. That is what I feel is a bit apathetic. Of course it is all relative, and of course we are all humans. And while I understand the adage of each person having their own cross to bear, would one in a normal setting have more empathy for those that cannot eat, or those that cannot eat well? It is a hard balancing act I am sure.

Tightening the purse strings

September 2nd, 2009 at 11:06 am

So payday came, and I tried my best not to go completely crazy.

While I did buy some heavenly chicken katsu for dinner, and a quick pasta mix for my bf, I didn't go far past that. AND, I have been writing down everything I buy, where I buy it from, the category it goes into (food, household items, pets), and how much.

My goal is to keep track of everything I am buying every single day, even if it is just a .50 cent can of soda.

I am going to buy some more household items today, but am writing out my list of what I MUST buy, so I don't buy something frivalous.

I am also going food shopping today, and my goal is to buy only enough food to last through the holiday weekend. That way, I won't have to do numerous trips and whatnot.

I have some decorating plans for the weekend, and they are free (except for the gas used to take stuff to storage, and the garbage bags well for....garbage.

I am also being more scrutinizing of things I buy for my bf. I know that I tend to get spend happy for food in the beginning of the month, and then am short at the end. So I figure that I will start now with what I buy, and just eat frugally the entire month. I really, really, REALLY, want to avoid using my credit cards this month or going into my savigs.