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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.

4 Responses to “The simple things”

  1. miz pat Says:

    Oh Kiddo, this is hard, because those little things have symbolized independence to you.

    You can still have treats. You can have a bubble bath or just a hot soak in the tub. You can light a candle. You can take a walk. You can go to the library and check out books. You can make yourself cookies.

    Just realize you are in a temporary situation and you are handling it. And good luck to you.

  2. thebestmeicanbe Says:

    Dear Miz pat,

    thank you for your insight! I never thought of buying things as a sort of independence, but now that you have said that, I do realize that not having money is a bummer because it does limit what I can do (of course, most of the limitations are in my head and what I symbolize as pampering or treating myself--such as buying coffee, or not having to worry if I will have enough change for the parking meter).

    Thank you for your comments. I am going to use them to see if I can rethink my spending habits and what they mean to me.

    I think there is also the reality that I hate feeling like that poor kid again. I really hate people viewing me as poor or disheveled, and yet, I have old clothes and I need a better wardrobe and I need money to put the dry clean only clothes in the cleaners. Sigh.

    I know that things will be ok. God has pulled me through things much worse than being broke for a while. I just need to chill a bit and right now, I think I am having a little whiny fit.

  3. miz pat Says:

    Ah but you are not a poor kid. You are a woman who is handling your finances. You are associating a temporary situation with a step back in time when you weren't empowered. I know the feeling. I didn't have your situation, but I did go hungry and without, so I recognize the feeling of helplessness and being unacceptable.

    Also, on dry cleaning - see if you think you can wash them by hand with either woolite or shampoo in cold water. While some things truly require dry cleaning, some do not. I washed dry clean only linen suits by hand for years and they came out well.

    Take care and bless you.

  4. whitestripe Says:

    i was going to suggest the library too Smile miz pat beat me to it. most libraries have cd's and dvd's too. have a movie night with your boyfriend or a close friend, or even by yourself!
    have you tried doing any online surveys? if you ask around here, people can give you the names of the legitimate ones that do pay. that might give you some extra money?

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