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Archive for January, 2010

Out of Control

January 30th, 2010 at 12:03 am

The event tonight didn't go so well. Sure, I wore one of my best dresses (that I get compliments on, but still feels very tent like and unflattering, but more comfortable than any other dress I own), and I did my make-up extra special, but I still felt unbelievably out of place. I saw some old friends from school, and everyone seems to be going on with their lives and just being so very normal. I realize that from the outside, there are people from where I am from, from the circles I grew up in, that would see me as the normal one who have accomplished a lot. And yet, when I compare myself to this group of people I went to school with, I feel like the one who is not with it. I know that you should never compare yourself against anyone else, because you will often be disappointed or feel that you fall short. I think the combination of my bf being unsure of what he wants (and our discussion about our love for one another, but uncertainty about our long term relationship), the issue with my expectations about being paid today, the fact that I haven't been getting good sleep lately, and the really draining week was a bit more than I could handle today. I ended up leaving early cause I just felt so very depressed.

I put a smile on my face and was really friendly and nice to everyone. But, as I sat there sipping my water and not knowing very many people, I just felt more and more like I needed to get home. There were people there who seemed to just be doing everything that I want to do, and it is hard at times to see. I feel like there are so many things in my life that are out of control right now, and I feel that how I look reflects that a lot. I feel like my budget is out of control in many ways---not crazily so, but in all actuality, I feel like I am spinning my wheels and not sticking to it like I should and maybe that is because it is not realistic to begin with. Is it too hard for me to accept that I may only buy x amount of beans or gallons of milk per month? Should I just deal better with sticking to my plans, even if it means not always being full or satisfying a craving?

I feel a bit like my health is out of control. I have been very lucky and am generally pretty healthy. I am just dealing with some aspects that make me feel like I have lost a bit of pep in my step. Right now, my back is tightening and I think it is just a combination of the cold, of being tired, and of stress. There are some aspects of my health that are so far out of control I feel like I am powerless over improving things. I know that isn't rationally true, but that is how I feel.

I think it would be good for me to get a good night's rest, and tomorrow, think about things hopefully with a clearer head.

thank you everyone for reading my blog and for going on this roller coaster that is my life, as it seems.

Budgeting and happiness

January 29th, 2010 at 09:14 pm

Well, as the end of January nears, I can freely admit that I did not live up to my New Year's resolution. I told myself that I did not want to feel like I did last year, this year. And yet, I made the same mistakes this month as I did last month.

So, I was short a bit for this month, and I knew it, and could have bought food in a better way, and really planned out the daily necessities. I also did not make clear details with my bf about how much I needed....so I went through the negative pattern of spending my money thinking that I am going to get more on a certain day. then it was a bit less that I expected, and so I am stressing. Then, I get another amount of cash that again, I could have budgeted a bit better, and I had the weekend planned out in terms of how I would use the money. I found out that I may be getting more money today (an early paycheck), and so, I bought myself some coffee and treated myself nicely. Then, I find out that there was some issue and well, I am not getting any money. Again, i almost cried because I had gotten my hopes up about being able to afford going to an event.

Last night my bf and I had an argument, and well, he is taking some time for himself. It is such a hard time right now. I feel bad because our communication isn't so good, I have been stressed about money and that has led to a lot of our arguments. When I had more money and felt more comfortable, we rarely argued.

I am going to an event because I feel that I should, but not necessarily because I want to. There will be a lot of successful 30-somethings there, and it is a posh/upper scale type of locale. I am feeling so brow beaten and down, that all I really want to do is to climb into my bed. My bf and I talked and we agreed that we will always love each other. I am just not sure that with everything my bf is going through, that he really has time to be with me, and that we do need to work on how we talk to each other. It is just hard accepting this. I do fear being alone. Being broke and alone sucks even more.

My bf has been telling me to stop worrying about him so much. He also gave me money to buy food for myself for the weekend. He is a very good man, and I get upset at myself for not being as patient as I should.

Thank you all for listening to me tonight. It means a lot as I want to go to this event, say my hellos, and not be all teary eyed in front of a bunch of people who make me feel insecure.

You learn more about yourself everyday

January 28th, 2010 at 07:03 pm

So, today I felt my heart rate increasing, and well, I was just in a place mentally of being frustrated and upset, and needing to vent. I did that whole writing it out thing, but talked to someone about how I was feeling. They helped me to see a different perspective, and I opted to wait a bit before discussing the issue again. And well, that person came to me and we discussed it and it was a very good talk. I felt much better about the talk. Still a bit upset at the issue in general, but I am hoping that my heart rate will chill out about it.

My bf has been really nice the past few days (of course he is nice always). I told him what had happened and how I was feeling and he was very concerned and came across as very protective. I really liked that, I must admit. I think I am the person who usually tries to protect others.

I am still yearning for pay day so I can buy some of the food that I want, but I am not worried about being able to feed myself or anything like that. I do feel a bit odd because I have a friend who is having an event, and I want to go to be supportive, but if I have to pay for parking, that is going to be very difficult. I also will probably not have anything except for water, as I am not in the position to be buying 8 dollar drinks.

I am really happy that I have a bit of extra money to put towards my bills next month. Of course I am already short for my bills next month, but with the extra money, and maybe some money from my bf, I should be ok.

This has been a semi-rough week that has left me so eager to get home most days than not, so I am hoping that I can really relax and take it easy this weekend.

I want to as always, thank so many of you for your comments. They make me feel very special. I feel like I can be open about how I am feeling. the whole process with my bf made me realize I needed to be more open about both my faults, and things in our relationship that we needed to work on. Also, when it comes to money, I can't talk to friends about my insecurities because, well, maybe I feel ashamed about it. I also feel that they may not be able to really understand.

I am looking forward to sticking to my goals next month of avoiding using any of my credit cards to pay for necessities. I am also going to focus on trying to buy only what is necessary first, and then, if there is money left over, that can be used for more fun items. Smile

An update on Love

January 27th, 2010 at 08:43 am

So, I am feeling ok as far as my budget goes. My bf and I had a good talk, and we discussed that he feels that I worry about him too much and he wants me to focus more on myself. I do realize that how I was acting was coming across as too motherly at times. I don't really know how to fix that, as I feel like I have always been taking care of someone for a large chunk of my life. And it is true that there have been times when I worried more about what he was eating (because of the type of work he does) than what I was eating. Of course, when we would argue, I would bring it up and he would be upset because he didn't know that was happening.

So, as my bf and I were talking I did say that I understand that I come across too motherly at times, and he said that he didn't like that. So, I am going to stop doing that so much. I am trying to find a balance between being caring, and being apathetic. If I see he is hungry, I am not going to be ambivalent about it. But, I could probably just ask him once only if he is hungry and leave it at that.

He wants me to focus on making sure that I am ok, and he wants to help me out financially when he gets his tax refund.

We are scheduling a date night soon, and I am really looking forward to that.

I have been focusing on just getting things that make me happy lately, and not thinking of trying to buy food that he prefers, etc. He is a good guy, and I realize that we both have to work on issues that we have in our relationship.

I am feeling good about money for February, as I was able to bring in extra hours this month. So, I am thinking that will bring in another $285 or so bucks. Woo hoo! Smile I am also considering changing my car insurance, but the problem is that if they ask for a large first payment (sometimes as much as $600 bucks!), then I cannot afford it and I will just stay with my current carrier.

I want to thank all of you for all of your support and advice. It does help me to think about things. Smile

Tough

January 24th, 2010 at 01:19 pm

I have been doing a lot of soul searching. It is true that some of the comments make me feel sad, because, I realize that the problems I have in my relationship are not all one person's fault, but a combination of the both of us.

I do admit that at times I put his needs before mine. He doesn't like that I do that, and at times, I don't know how to not do that, ya know?

It would be different if my bf made more money and spent lavishly on himself. But instead, he doesn't make a lot, and he feels obligated to help his family (which some may not agree with, but I understand that at times we all feel like we may have to help family, even when it is tough for us), and I can't go into detail about the hard times he has been through, but they are hard and my heart goes out to him. He goes without things he needs for himself in order to help his family and pay bills. And, he does give me money for rent and food and utilities. Is it always enough? No. Do I always manage my budget like I should? No. Do me and my bf need to be a lot clearer about things that are needed and our financial goals? Yes. Is it always easy to talk to him about this? No.

I do realize that I need to focus on myself more. My bf tells me this constantly, and that I should not worry about him so much. I am not sure how to go about that. Part of me feels it would be cold to be only concerned about myself. But, I also realize that when I get frustrated about things, he often isn't sure why I am frustrated because I didn't tell him until things are really tight. It also is a situation of I wait until the last minute, and he is already broke as well, so, the stress level just intensifies.

Also, I am dealing with issues of feeling like I "look poor" at work, with the anger I feel at myself for getting into the debt I am in (if it were not for the debt, I would have an extra grand, if not more, for miscellaneous expenses), AND, even though I do well with planning my budget, I continuously overspend on food and snacks. I think that all of this usually makes me end up getting so frustrated and stressed out.

I am going to work on putting my needs first, while still being a loving and supporting gf. My bf worries that I do a lot of thins for his benefit, and not for mine. How can I correct this impression?

Borrow vs. Have part 2

January 23rd, 2010 at 11:42 pm

So, me and my bf talked and I realized that I had made an assumption when I wrote the prior blog. I had thought that he wasn't going to help me with a bill, which meant that the money he was giving me, was really less than what I had anticipated. But, in reality, the money he was going to give me was for part of his share of expenses, with more being given when he gets another check he is expecting, and he was also planning on giving me the money for the bill that I had paid. So, with the extra money for the bill, things aren't quite so tight as I thought.

I do have to agree with many of you. I do need to be more firm and clear about what I need. We often argue because he says I will say things one minute, and then make a completely different request later. Or that I need help, but don't tell him that until I really, really need it, and usually, I am upset or stressed at that point and it doesn't come out well.

Bf wants to give me money from an upcoming check he is expecting, and that is money just for me, and not towards his portion of the bill. He also brought me some nice treats yesterday. I do admit that when i ask him to get me something, I try to make it something that isn't expensive, because I worry about him spending too much of his money. I think I need to stop doing that. Maybe that reflects more on what I am afraid to ask for for myself?

I think, and it is hard to explain, that yes, I have not been good at asking what I really need. I need to be better with that. I often expect him to understand what I need. Or, I don't ask him for enough, things get tight, and I get stressed and we argue.

I also feel that he is working very hard at his job, just doesn't really make enough, and I do feel bad because with bills he has to pay, most of his check is gone once he gets it. Which, does occur with most of us, but I would be upset as well if I earned what he did, and found myself not really having money for things I need for myself because I have to pay bills for loved ones. I don't always agree with him doing that, but I do understand that he is at a place in his life where he feels he needs to do that in order to be a good provider for his family.

I don't want it to come across as if he isn't helping. I do need to also be clear that if I had followed my budget like I should have this month, then I would not be short money. An example would be that this morning I did my budget (expecting to get additional money from a relative), and had plenty of money to pay for things until I get my paycheck. Well, I did buy about $12 worth of stuff that was not really necessary. I didn't discuss things with my relative about the money, and felt weird about asking for help because there were a lot of people around, so I ended up not getting the help and that $12 I spent on non-needed things could have really helped with other needed things. So, to be fair, I am not as good as budgeting as I would like to be and I need to work on that.

I do think that my bf really needs to figure out his budget better, and that we should be able to talk about money and his budget without him getting upset. If the things he is experiencing weren't happening, then yeah, i would say that he doesn't like me so much. But, we have discussed the things he is going through with his family, and I see the amount of stress he is under (way worse than anything I am experiencing, so you get an idea of the image), and I just think that right now he is trying to take care of a lot of things, and doesn't have much energy left over to take care of making himself happy or the relationship. He is constantly telling me that he is dealing with things and for me to not think that it has to do with me. But, I generally think it does, and it takes me time to see the reality that it doesn't have much to do with me, but really everything he is going through.

next month, I am going to not overspend like I did this month. I am also going to take your good advice and put money aside for the necessities---sometimes I think that because the money is in my checking account, I use my atm, and then work out the budget. Not a good thing to do. I also need to follow your advice and not spend to the end of my budget, but try and leave wiggle room if possible. I also need to put myself first. When i told my bf of how I eat at times to save money, he got very upset, and wants me to focus more on myself and less on worrying about him having food. I admit that I do that at times, and that probably isn't an attractive trait, and yeah, i think it is a bit mothering. I feel that is something I need to work on myself.

I want to thank you all for your comments and advice. I do take them to heart and they do help to give me perspective. Smile

Borrow vs Have?

January 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 am

So, somehow, after the big argument with my bf last month, I made a statement that I had enough money to pay for bills for the house for the first half of the month, and that my bf could wait until the latter half of the month to pay for his portion of rent and utilities and food. Also, there is a routine bill that he pays that is not included in this amount. Most of the time he cannot pay this bill on time because of his limited income and when he gets paid.

So, I was not clear about the exact amount of money I needed from him. And, because it is like pulling teeth to get him to sit down (we have never sat down and physically wrote out our expenses and income--I write out the house expenses and my income and his expected portion) I am now in a situation that makes me want to cry because really, I am short around $20-$30, which means I have to borrow money from friends and/or family until I get paid.

I am so upset because he doesn't budget, he doesn't make enough to be as non-budgeted as he is. I know he is supposed to pay some large bill he has and I would expect or hope that he would have saved money from his last check to do that. I am not sure that is the case as he doesn't like to talk about money or budgeting, and when I ask him things, he acts as if I am stressing him out or not being clear about what I need.

So, I told him the minimum of what I needed with a $20 range. He can only give on the low end. I also forgot about the bill he is supposed to pay each month, and if he will give me money for that. So, if I take into account what he bought this month, and what he is giving me, then he is $105 dollars short.

The problem is that because he didn't give me enough so far this month, then I am asking to "borrow" money. This is really crappy because why do I have to say borrow. Should I really just start saying "have"? Meanwhile, there are times when he has more money in his pocket than I do, for misc stuff like eating out, etc.

He has also been home a lot less, so I wonder if he pays less because of this. I am frustrated and I want to cry and I feel like everytime I try to talk about money with him, it is an argument because he says that I am saying it in the wrong way, etc.

I am frustrated because I was so happy about getting money today (my gas tank is on E, seriously), and also paying back my relative for a nice gesture she made towards me, and now I don't have enough for that. I have enough to repay another friend, buy gas, and maybe enough food for the next 9 days. Again, I am having to be in the mode of being anxious for the 1st, and I hate that, because it feels like being on welfare all over again. Frown

Food in the fridge

January 21st, 2010 at 09:13 am

When there is plenty of food in the fridge, then I find myself to be a very happy camper.

I have cleaned out most of the fridge, and while it looks a bit sparse, it also looks much brighter (more avail space to reflect light?), and well, less cluttered and I have an idea of all the things available to eat.

Overall, this month has been a lot less stressful moneywise. It could be because on certain months I am supposed to save money for a bill that is bi-monthly, so in essence, I have a little bit of a buffer for when I overspend. Though, of course, I need to recoup that money the following month.

My bf has been spending less time with me, and I miss his company. I do think it is important for him to have the space that he needs. Since I am feeding just myself, and tend to eat just about anything for any meals, the food budget has gone down a bit as well. My bf will be giving me money this week for his portion of the rent, and I am just hoping that things go smoothly. I say this because it seems like we often have communication problems and we end up arguing. It is very stressful. I am also in a situation where I like to schedule and plan out my budget, and my bf doesn't like to discuss it until the day of or after he receives his paycheck. Personally, I would be calculating my hours and how much I plan to receive even before I get my check, but he waits until he receives it to form his budget. Sigh. And I feel like it stresses him out because it is pretty much spent before he even gets it, or his plans for it (something as simple as buying needed shoes) are changed at the last minute because his family needs help or some bill comes up. It is a difficult situation for him and I feel bad that he has to go through that. Especially since he works so hard and doesn't earn very much.

I have been doing odd jobs on the side, so I am really happy about the extra money it will bring in. Any little bit really helps. Smile

Things have been stressful in other areas. At times certain people who have issues with image and wealth have tried to be downputting to me. (yeah, I think I just made that word up) Their tone is constantly as if they have a superiority complex and it is frustrating. It makes me feel that whenver I see them, I need to have a specific outfit on, etc., and not display any semblance of being on a budget, etc. I don't think it is right that I should have to feel that way, but i guess that is how things are right now. It doesn't help that another person above me doesn't seem to appreciate my frugalness and makes little comments about it that seem more like mocking than accepting. Sigh. Frown

Next month my bf and I are going to do the shopping together. Both so he can see how much things really cost, but also so that I can buy enough food at one time and not have to make multiple trips to the grocery store. My goal is to buy enough food for 2 weeks or so at a time.

I am also working on making more time for me and doing the things that make me happy.

No matter how bad you think you have it, someone else has it worse....

January 16th, 2010 at 12:05 am

I have been watching the news about Haiti and I am saddened and upset and frustrated and filled with a sense of not being able to help as much as I would like.

I would love to be able to get on a plane and go and help them. I feel like even though I have no Haitian ancestry (that I know of, though, we are related in reality, aren't we?), that I want to go and help them as I consider them to be my people.

I feel silly about worrying and stressing because I may have to eat beans for a week, when the people of Haiti, even before the quake, don't have such an option and might consider my quips to be like a wealthy tyrant complaining about the quality of their excesses. I donated money---the text feature made it easier for me to do so because I can pay that bill next month. I admit that if I had to pay the amount directly out of my checking account, I am not sure I would have made that choice. I know, that is such a selfish way to think in the midst of such a horrific occurrence.

I am frustrated by the images I am seeing on tv----about the pictures of those who have died--I understand that some media want to give a face to the tragedy that will move people to action. But I also feel like some of the pictures are a bit disrespectful to the dead. It is not that they should not be shown, for they should so people can get in touch with a place and a culture they may be far removed from. But, just some of the images seem so...disturbing....I am also frustrated by the images of the fighting and those that are spreading rumors and discouraging people from eating the offered food, etc. I dislike it because some people in the states will use those images to fuel their own inhumane rhetoric.

I am thinking that I will send more money. I feel so sad for what I am seeing on the tv, and so sad that people who already have such difficult lives have to endure such a monumental catastrophe. Just seeing the people with the hankerchiefs or hands over their faces is heart breaking. I have never smelled that smell, and I hope I never have to. I am saddened because I think that in chaos and when fighting for your life, you resort to a basic struggle, and I worry that for many that may be watching the news through eyes that already lack understanding, they may misinterpret that struggle for survival to reiterate their misunderstandings. I know and I hope that the majority of people watching do see the struggle for life and understand that they would possibly act in the same way if in the same situation.

I really feel like my life is meant to be of some good use. At times I wonder how much I really am helping people. I think at times that I am not happy because I don't feel like I have much purpose. I have seriously considered that if the life I want for myself does not happen (marriage, kids, house, pets), then I will hurl myself into some sort of an effort to help people who are in need of help and whom I may be able to provide help.

On the home front, I am slowly, very slowly, taking steps at improving myself. I worked on improving my appearance and making an effort at avoiding dressing down. I took the time to work on a home repair project that I saw constantly, yet didn't take the 20 minutes to fix. Why? Why would I do that? Tonight I fixed it and it made me smile. I know it is not a huge part of what needs to be done, but it is a good step. And for this new year I want to continue to make good steps and continuously work at doing the things that I need to do, that ultimately give me comfort and a sense of accomplishment.

Does money take you out of your normal self?

January 14th, 2010 at 07:37 pm

I have noticed that I have become a bit more sensitive about things that pertain to money....Something that would have been only a bit disappointing a year ago, feel like a much bigger deal now. I think that part of it is because I don't have that buffer in my budget---so if I have an extra expense or overspend on food, then I am effectively impacting something else that is needed. I am not yet where I want to be with managing my budget, but I am seeing more and more how different my spending habits are now from even just a year ago. Now, I am always counting, counting, counting, and thinking about trying to balance my budget. I think this is probably done more than is good for ones stress level, though. But for me I feel like i have to constantly keep on top of it because when I don't think about it for even just a few days and buy fast food here, a burrito there, some coffee over there, then I am suddenly overspent and stressed.

My bf has been really in a better mood lately. He is very encouraging that I have enough food to eat (sometimes I give him more food than I give myself---I am not starving, but it may be that I give him the better food, and I make do when it comes to lunch---a soda and chips for lunch because it is just $1), and he seems more helpful. It makes me happy.

I have been working on dealing with feelings I have about some people I know who try to make me feel like I am less than they are. It doesn't help that these same people are constantly displaying and focusing on how expensive something is that they own or bought or wear. I feel at times that my strength is not apparent to them because I may earn less than they do, or because my appearance may not reflect that I am an intelligent person with a good paying job. I think at times that they just see uneducated when they talk to me, as they make subtle comments that suggest their feeling as such.

Being Broke and Trying to take it easy

January 14th, 2010 at 09:24 am

Has anyone else ever experienced this phenomena---you have x amount of days until you get paid, and you are literally counting each day as they pass? I find myself doing that alot and really, I don't think it is a good thing for me. I get worried about if I need to buy something, or waiting as long as possible before buying something in a hope to not have to buy it until after I get paid. I end up counting out food and meals per each day and some of my more recreational activities like going to a cafe, etc., are put off until I am better off financially.

I have noticed that it seems like time seems to fly by when you think this way. Or is this more related to just working full time and the aging process? (Remember when you were younger and the days seemed to take forever! Now, a weekend races by and you are left a little downtrodden on Sunday evening wondering where time went.

I have better goals in plan for next month. Namely, I am going to try and buy as much food and necessities as will fit in my apartment so that I have enough for the entire month and am not scrambling to pay for basics like paper towels.

I am not feeling as stressed as I was last month, and that is good. I still need a lot of fine tuning on my budgeting skills, however, and I want to improve that for next month.

Money and my perspectives

January 10th, 2010 at 09:04 pm

So, I have been feeling a lot better about money in the new year. I told myself that I did not want to go thru that level of stress and worry about money that I did last year. And, what I did differently this year, was that I bought a good amount of food at the beginning of the month so that even if I was broke, I would not be without food, nor having to eat super unhealthy things. I am also doing better at eating what I have at home, and trying to avoid my cravings to buy food and drink outside.

I paid off a large bill last year, and this year I will have another large bill paid off, which will let me have more disposalbe cash--or really, cash i can put towards improving my diet and to put towards my savings. I have been working really hard at a very good job, and yet, because of bad money management, I am not fully able to enjoy the fruit of my labors because so much of my income goes to paying off debt.

I am dealing with where I am in my life right now, and where I want to be. I am also meeting more people from long ago who make me feel a bit more behind than i really am---they seem super professional and successful and they are starting families and all of that. And, well, as for me, I am feeling a bit stuck. I am worried about getting married, getting the home that I want, having kids, being a happy mom making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc. I know that if I look at where I have come from, most people from my background would have had multiple kids by now, very little education, etc. I am blessed to have had the opportunities that I have and the experiences that I have had. But when I see other people like me who went on a different path, and yet still are happy and raising kids, etc., it makes me wonder a lot. Did I work too much? Did I not focus on myself--on being the person I need to be, while focusing on making money (that was useful, but eventually spent).

I have been feeling a bit conflicted about this and just trying to sort everything out. I had an experience this weekend where I got to see something like a dream home. I didn't know who the owners were, but I imagined them to be rich. The place was so relaxing and inviting, though a bit sparse. It made me have something to look forward to in my life. I worry about being able to make that dream come true, ya know?