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Money Issues.....

August 27th, 2009 at 06:33 pm

I realize that I guess I have money issues.
When I am stressed or happy, I am not so cautious of my spending---now mind you, not being cautious in my world means getting a cup of coffee or buying some needed food that tastes good. It doesn't mean buying a book or buying clothes or dvds for fun.

I started to think about how much I went into my savings this month, and I almost started crying. I added how much I spent on food---shopping at really cheap stores, no whole paycheck for me. And I spent about $300 more on food than I should have...i checked and I spent about $200 on food in the first 2 weeks.

I just don't know what to do....I really don't. I am eating leftovers for lunch, avoiding eating out whenever possible, buying bulk rolls of 24 ct. for $1.50 and having 5 rolls for breakfast (not good for my diet, of course), and just so mad at myself for all of it.

I will also have to speak with my bf. He knows I am having money problems, but so is he, and he isn't good at budgeting (neither am I, it appears, but I do put up a good attempt, I think---at least I write things out--doesn't that count?), and so, the past 2 months he hasn't been contributing what we agreed upon...and it is mainly because he has had family stuff come up. I don't want to stress him out, but I will have to let him know that we are going to have to stick with our agreement if he stays with me...which, due to a crowded situation at his family's house, he may be staying with me. I am okay with that, but I realize that even a couple of trips per week to the cheapo market is still maybe $50 bucks, and that adds up quickly. Sigh.

I feel very sad right now. I am going to look for a part-time job and next month, I am going to fully commit myself to writing down every single thing I buy. And, i am going to use my debit card more---I find that the loose cash is easier for me to change and I forget what I spent it on when I am not writing things down.

I really just feel like crying. And the honest truth is that if I had 3-6 months of cash savings, i wouldn't be worrying about the debt i would have. I would pay it off of course, but not having the savings and not being able to get more credit is really stressing me out.

thank you all for letting me vent. I am not sure I can talk to many people about how i feel. I feel like you all understand some of where I am coming from, and i really appreciate all of your comments (sorry, i can't change the white background without then changing my blog page...and I am not sure if I want to use blue color or yellow color on a black background...I think it may be more difficult to see).

Love you all. Smile

The adage about doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome...

August 24th, 2009 at 07:37 pm

So, here I find myself again...almost the end of the month, eagerly awaiting my paycheck, and seeming amazed at why I went into my savings account.

I didn't do like I was supposed to, which was write out everything I bought through out the month. And so now I find myself again, hoping that I can somehow get it together and write out my spending habits for all of September so I can track to see what I am overspending on.

Of course, my main goal is to stay within my budget...the recent auto expenses made me dip significantly into my savings...I was already $140 or so dollars short to pay for some needed maintenance, and then I find myself another $200+ bucks short when I had to fix another issue. Sigh.

I am really worried and I hope that I can get it together for next month. The reason being that my pay will shrink by maybe $160-$180 bucks due to paycuts, and I am going to have to seriously figure out how I am going to pay all of my bills with less money. Frown

I know that this month I primarily overspent on food. Yep, just food. Nothing fancy. Just food.

Next month I am going to challenge myself even more to not use my credit card or go into my savings.

My friend's family member is having a baby. I am very happy, and also feeling the baby fever. I am not delusional and I realize that right now is not the best time to have a baby, and yet, the fear is growing in me. I hope I can relax about it a bit. Funny, but when I was younger, I was very much against having children biologically, and really only wanted to adopt. Sigh. Maybe I will change my way of thinking about it? Not sure.

I do know that I tend to spend more when I am stressed....I just want to relax and get my mind off of it, and that tends to make me buy fast food or coffee drinks a bit more freely.

I had a discussion with a family member and she told me some things about not wanting to see similarities between me and my mom, because she has negative memories of my mom (who is deceased). Wow. I am not sure really how to take that. I wasn't mad at her, I just told her that I hope that at some point she can see good similarities.
It has made me feel a bit at odds because I just don't know how I am supposed to think about that.

Lean On Me...

August 12th, 2009 at 07:21 pm

Being the oldest, I have always been the ones my siblings turn to. My friends think I am good with money (in some ways I am, in other ways I am not), and they usually come to me for help or advice.

Now that money is tight, I have been asking for help more. I mean, in some ways, I am more comfortable sharing my thoughts on here, than maybe talking to my friends. Part of it is because I don't want to appear like I am whinning about things.

My sis is going to lend me money to fix my car. Woo hoo!! I am sooo happy! It was really hard for me to ask her, because at times we have a strained relationship and I have always been the one to lend her money or help her out. When I was telling her about the pay cuts, she offered to help, and my usual response was that things will be ok and that I will make things work out. Well, when I realized that my car repair would make my savings go lower than they have been for maybe a decade, then it made me realize it may be best to ask for help. And she is helping me! And I am so happy! Smile It is hard, because it is hard for me to depend on people. I realize I need to work on that, because it may affect how I make others feel.

I am not sure if I am going to tell my bf that my sis is letting me borrow money. I am not sure if that will stress him out (he wants to help me more, and sometimes, when he is not able to, I think he gets overwhelmed and frustrated) and I know he has got so much he is already doing for his family, so I don't want to make him feel more stressed.

I am a much more cheerful person when my money is better....even if I have debt, I still feel more comfortable knowing I have my emergency savings. I am going to start looking for a part-time job so I can build up my savings.

I am tempted to go into my 401k, or do debt consolidation...but I know that isn't the best thing. I just need to get thru these tough times and realize that I have been far poorer and through far worse economic times. I just need to stay strong.

Food from a pouch, and trying to relax

June 22nd, 2009 at 07:32 pm

Well, after doing some calculations, it appears that the reduction in my earnings may be around $200-$250 per month....which, is still pretty significant....but if my bf pays for the food, and I maybe cut out some things, then I can make ends meet. I am now worried about much the health insurance will increase....that is the part that can determine if I will have to get a part-time job in addition to my full-time job.

I bought some trader joes roast beef hash in a pouch last week and yum! I cooked it and some eggs and voila! I am full and it was a cheap dinner...hash always fills me up. Probably too much salt, though. Frown

I did good and skipped my trip to Walmart for some stuff for my car...I felt good about that as I realized that the temptation to buy stuff at Walmart would be too great. And by stuff I don't mean clothes or electronics, I mean primarily food stuff and snack food that I really don't need, but when stressed, tend to pig out on. So, I skipped Walmart and was able to buy my car stuff directly from the dealer and it was cheaper than I thought! I also feel good about the fact that I am learning more about doing some maintenance and I hope that it keeps her running smooth. Smile

I did good and though I was tempted, I avoided the sugary drinks and went with a sugar free drink. Yay!!


June 21st, 2009 at 02:55 pm

Things feel very different economically now, even though I know things were worse when I was younger.

When I was younger, I didn't have money, but I didn't have bills, either. So, when I had money, it was time for fun and needed toiletries and skin care stuff. I would buy a used book and have a lunch as a way to relax and pamper myself.

Some years ago, when money was tight, it was tight, but I had a credit card I could use for the occasional meal out, or used book, etc.

Now, I rarely eat out (when i do, it is usually fast food or someone else is buying it for me), I feel stressed about money a lot, my food choices are made more by my budget than what I really want to eat, and I end up feeling anxious a bit....I know that things are not bad for me. I have a roof over my head and food in my stomach and a good job, so I should stop worrying. I just feel more anxious now because much of the credit I have available has a very high interest rate, I have very little savings and i want to reserve it for paying rent, and I am like counting out every single amount...from how many miles I can get per gallon, to how much my necessary toiletries cost and where I can get them cheaper, and just really being fastidious about certain items. Sometimes, when I feel this way, I just want to relax. I want to have a leisurely day where I don't have to worry about a chore that needs to be done. I want to relax like I did years ago where I would make a day of just driving and window shopping and having a nice breakfast or lunch on the open road.

I remember this place I used to go to that had the best scrambled eggs....I haven't been there in ages, and primarily because a breakfast is like 7 or 8 bucks.

I know that during this time I just have to relax and accept that things may not be comfortable for a while. It is just hard for me to be relaxed right now. Right now I want to window shop and try to relax and not always be counting out every cent. I also want to work on how I relate to my friends...when I am in a situation where I am counting out every cent almost, then I don't understand friends that splurge on clothes, or say they are dealing with money issues, but still buy designer duds. And yeah, of course I realize that I am in this predicament because I overspent in prior years, and didn't watch my spending on food, etc.

Simple Pleasures

June 21st, 2009 at 01:59 pm

So today I felt good this morning cause I saved money on parking yesterday, which allowed me to have more money to spend on food for this week.

Well, the supermarket had a sale on boneless skinless chicken breasts for less than 2 bucks a pound, so i bought two packs...which was more than I anticipated buying. so the chicken will be for dinner and I needed to think of food for lunch at work, so I bought some processed microwave food. I felt bad about it, but at least it is vegetarian.

I also did good and avoided my favorite iced tea and soda. I was soooo fiending for it today. I wish I knew now how much my check will be cut so I can start budgeting accordingly. I am going to try and do my tax calculations on line so I can get an idea of how much less my paycheck will be.

I learned that a lot of my fun is centered around things that cost money! I like to window shop, and not necessarily shop, but that costs money in gas and sometimes parking and of course, coffee drinks (and my coffee drinks are less than 3 bucks!). I like buying household cleaning items, but that will be budgeted even more as well.

I really worried a bit right now....I want to avoid missing any bill payments, and I want to keep my credit rating improving. And, finding a part-time job is kind of difficult right now...many places are offering part-time work, but not in the hours I can work...which would be primarily only on the weekends.

Chips, Coffee, and Recession Related Weightloss?

June 20th, 2009 at 11:59 am

So, I will admit that last night I came home super duper stressed out. I even contemplated having a glass of wine, but decided against it. Why waste a perfectly good bottle of wine? (I usually have one glass, and the wine goes bad before I can finish the bottle).

So, I avoided my desire to go and buy the cheap 1.68 super bag of chips at the cheap super market, and the cheap 2.50 ice cream bars, and instead just drove straight home after work. I decided to heat up some left overs, have a bowl of cereal, and even some fresh corn, and after it all, I was full and the cravings for chips and ice cream vanished, and I didn't spend any extra money. Smile

My loved one listened to me yesterday as I talked about potentially being $400 (to maybe even $600!) short from my paychecks per month for the next year. Nope, NOT good at all! I am hoping that if the medical expenses are increased, that we at least have the option to opt out and go to a lower medical insurance provider. I will miss my docs and my super good health insurance, but what can you do?

Breakfast today was the leftovers made on Tuesday. Filling, but I am not sure the food would have lasted longer. I gave my bf chicken I made for him on Thursday, and some other frozen chicken and rice.

It is a weird situation at times because he wants me to not give him so much food and just accept that he has to do things on his own, even if that means going hungry. But he is also going through so much right now that I know he could benefit from the food. My friend gave me money for giving her a ride, and since I had budgeted out my expenses, I was able to give my bf some money for food and transportation. I know he needs the help, and I also know that he may at times be upset that I am helping him, and he always wants to help me more. I have a hard time asking him for help, and I know I need to work on that.

I am trying to think positively about this situation. Maybe I will be able to eat more veggies on a limited budget. I am really forcing myself to not go the easy route of cheap processed foods, and still try and maintain healthy foods for super cheap. I am really going to try to keep eating whole, complete foods, and avoiding processed foods. Maybe this will help to also improve my health if I am eating a more veggie diet? I hope my body agrees with that.

And what do I do about visiting my family? I don't want to not be able to visit with them because of gas costs...which, it is really upsetting that gas is now over 3 dollars a gallon. Frown

Simple things keep me happy. I am going to focus on trying to stay happy right now. All you can do is just get through it, ya know?

Food, Food, and more Food

May 12th, 2009 at 08:57 am

So, today I looked at my checking account and was running the figures in my head and whatnot and I am feeling ok. Yes, my food budget is depleted for the month---but I have a lot of protein and rice and I need to only buy maybe $20 bucks worth of food at the most, so I am not feeling too bad. I could borrow that amount from my money for next month's bill.

My bf gets paid on Friday, and he will give me some money relating to tolls and gas and whatnot. I know I have to pay some money for extra tolls, and I am thinking it will hopefully be no more than an extra $25 bucks.

I will be getting more money than usual next month, so I am going to save the majority of it, and take some of it to get my car fixed...time for a tune-up. I really wish I knew how to do that stuff myself...or rather, I wish my mechanic wasn't so freakin expensive! They do good work...but they are pricey!

Sorry about the comments issues----I would have to change the text and background color in order to change the text color on my comments section. Not sure which color to choose at this time. In the meantime, you can "highlight" the comment boxes (aka select as well), and that will let you be able to view the comments.

Babies Fever aka The Musings of being in my 30s

May 11th, 2009 at 08:07 pm

So, here I am...still in my early 30s, and contemplating my baby making factory abilities. I worry...When will I have kids? When will I be able to have kids? When will I be financially stable enough to have kids? What if I am not able to?

Part of me is kicking myself in the rear...why didn't I think ahead? Why didn't I start saving for being a mom years and year and years ago?!?! What about health and all of that?

I am working on my health so I can have children. I acknowledge that I have been saying that for a while...and at my age I have to do it rather than just say it again and again. My primary goal is to be a healthy mom so my future kids can have me around for a long time.

Yes, I want plural. I want 3 or more. Yes, I know they are expensive. But if I can manage the shelter, improve my cooking of healthy foods, and health insurance, I can make everything else work. Smile I grew up poor....and some of the best times in my life were just regular sit down dinners at home...this was of course before things got hectic...but that is another story for another time.

I worry about the money aspect of having children. For some reason today, I got filled with a bit of fear...how much is insurance for a kid? Will I have enough for braces (yeah, I had bad teeth as a youth---they are much better now!), omg! I know that rationally if I just keep truckin along, my debt will be paid by the time I plan on starting a family. I still get scared though, to be honest. I don't want to not have children. I know that my self-worth isn't dependent upon being married or having kids, but for me, in how I view myself, I really, really, really want to be a mom. I want to be a healthy mom (making ants on a log for my kids---with all natural peanut butter of course, none of that sugar added stuff!), a mom with a lot of energy, a mom who is able to play an active and happy role in the lives of her children.

I live in an expensive city and so, owning a home seems still like a faraway dream. But, my goal is to have a home by the time I am 40.

My bf. He is a good man, and we have discussed children, and have agreed that now is not the right time. I wouldn't want to have a child at this time in my life...I want to have more flexibility and surplus spending money in my budget---diapers cost money...cute little stuff monkeys with hats and jackets cost money, you get the drift. He also has his own responsibilities, and I think we would have to discuss things more and work on a budget or spending plan so that there isn't much friction regarding finances---I am more strict, he is more relaxed, and as such, we usually cause each other a bit of stress when discussing money.

I did good today---no stopping at a store or drive thru for anything. I came straight home and had a yummy dinner of cereal and it was pretty good. I am taking vitamins that my doctor suggested, and just focusing on losing more weight. Right now I am about 16-17lbs away from my 2nd weightloss goal. I am very excited about that as I haven't weighed that much in over 2 years. Smile

I know that people say there isn't any good time to have a baby...and I wonder...for those with debt, or not much surplus cash---how did you do it?

Chicken, Chicken, and More Chicken...and maybe Chicken

May 11th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Well, dinner went well last night. I cooked up quite a few pounds of chicken. I ended up giving most of it to my bf to take home.

This budget thing is a bit complex....I did overspend on food, but feel okay about it because I got some good deals and the food will likely last me into next month. It is a bit more complicated in that my bf is going thru some difficulties, my budget is tight, his budget is tighter, and so at times I am trying to stretch the food out. I know it bugs him a bit, but I want to make sure that he has food. I do know when to not over-do it. Last night, it was appropriate to give him most of the dinner and some odds and ends from my refrigerator. I have enough food to last me through the rest of the month, with only needing to buy some sauce and eggs and whatnot. And when he gets paid, he will most likely give me some money for food or gas or things like that.

On a better note, I have lost some weight. Yay!

I am feeling ok food wise...just having weird cravings for yummy buttery pastries, but will stick to the food I brought from home. Smile

Food Sales and Diet Issues

May 10th, 2009 at 03:53 pm

Well, I am really lucky in that in my budget, I have to set aside a certain amount for my car insurance that I pay bi-monthly. This means that I have over $100 I need to reserve for the next month.

This helps me a lot in that when I am in need of funds, I can borrow from this reserve, and then pay myself back the following month. Not the best strategy in terms of sticking with a budget, but it does come in handy.

I will have almost $200 extra per month once I finish paying off a bill. I will save part of this and put the rest towards paying off the rest of my bills. Next year, I will be through with paying off an additional bill and so, I will use most towards paying down debt and increasing savings.

So, when I saw a sale on my favorite type of chicken, I snatched up 3 packs. Woo hoo! Way more than enough for the rest of the month. So, in addition to the beans and rice and eggs and dairy I have, I will not need food for the rest of the month.

I am watching what I buy and do admit that this was a bad week in terms of eating when stressed and out of convenience. I ate some fast food this week, plus a breakfast. So I need to chill with that for a while as it isn't healthy and 3 bucks here and there could end up enough money for a healthier meal.

I have lost some weight, and want to continue losing weight, so I am also looking forward to my food for the month....it is a bit harder to eat healthy on a budget, but with a little practice, it can be done. Smile

Hope you all are having a good mother's day. Smile

Who Would Have Thought It...

May 8th, 2009 at 08:32 am

Aside from some possible grammar issues with my spelling, I am overwhelmed by the amount of visits my blog is getting.

I have other blogs that I haven't frequented in a while, and when I found this site and the ability to really, well, vent and be open about my finances (as for me, it is sometimes hard to do with family and friends as I don't want to be the kind of person always whining about money), I didn't think many people would read it. I thought it would be more of a cathartic tool for me to use and to help keep me focused on my financial goals. Instead, I got both the cathartic effect, and also more support than I imagined. Smile

Many thanks to those of you who take the time to read the ramblings and thoughts that flow through my head on a daily basis.

I read many of your comments regarding the "Love and Money" entry, and it is hard to explain the desire I have to be a stay at home mom. I really, really, really don't like the idea of letting a stranger raise my children. I also do not have much family support, so it isn't like I have a relative who could watch my child. And yeah, I am as feminist as they come, but ya know what? I still love the idea of love, I love the idea of a traditional family (primarily because I didn't really have it as a kid), and yeah, I do feel that a man (or a woman), should be able to provide for their family. As a strong woman I want to be able to support my family if push comes to shove, and I also want my hubby to be able to support the family as well.

I also have to add that as a child there was a lot of food insecurity as well as money insecurity, and I don't want that for my child. I went through being homeless and it still really messes with my thought patterns to this day.

What I think that would mean is that if I get married and if my hubby makes less than I do, we will just have to work on the savings, and par down expeses, so that we can afford for me to stay home. I am good at cooking cheap food and finding super duper bargains, so, yeah, I do agree that if two people are committed to the same goal, then they can make it happen.

As I mentioned in another entry, there is the issue of complexes. I did grow up seeing the stereotype of the hard working woman with the boyfriend or hubby who didn't work. I remember seeing how beat down the woman looked (emotionally) and I don't want that for myself.

Now, me and my bf are going to have to work through our money issues. I realize I have to back off a bit and let him deal with his stuff on his own. He knows how uptight I am about money, and I have to accept that he does things at his own pace. He isn't some guy that buys too much stuff or calls in sick all the time. So, I need to chill a bit.

I have $17 bucks in my pocket and am not feeling weird about my food budget, thought technically, I only have $25 bucks or so for food for the rest of the month after buying some needed vitamins. I am oddly not stressing about the food as I have some frozen meat and I haven't been eating as much lately either. So, I am feeling okay about it. Smile

Worries and Overconsumption

May 7th, 2009 at 09:02 am

Yesterday was a not so good day. It started out great, and then I ended up being in a funk and stressed out about stuff said at work and then my boyfriend and I were talking and he was having some problems with his bank. I got really frustrated because he sometimes has an attitude towards business things that I don't agree with. I am a bit more uptight about things, and if I were having the problems he listed, I would be on the phone to customer service in a second! He, on the other hand, deals with it more slowly.

I worry about this because 1) I am not in the best financial shape, but I know what I did to get myself in this position, and 2) I worry that my bf will continue to be this way about money. My friends tend to trust me with their money and money related issues, as I guess they figure that I know the right thing to do, even though I don't always do it, but my boyfriend wants to do things his way and I don't think he listens to me in that regard.

We did have a discussion about marriage and money and whatnot, and he said he would be okay with my managing the money. Whew! You can't understand how much that relaxed me---I know I would feel better knowing that I had paid all of our bills online and that we had a certain amount of money for xyz, etc.

I also know that realistically it isn't any of my business how he deals with his finances. I just have a hard time keeping quiet because on one hand I know he is having difficulty and is stretched very thin financially, and on the other hand I think that if he got a bit uptight about money like me, he would still be stressed about money, but he would know how much he has at all times, avoid bank issues, etc.

Kind of stressed this morning and though it isn't in the budget, I bought myself breakfast---namely because it is more filling than my usual breakfast, and because well, I just felt like having a Sunday type breakfast on a Thursday. Smile

Dinner went well yesterday and I have enough leftovers for lunch at work. I am thinking of the chicken in my freezer and planning out the meals for next week.

I did good at the store yesterday and spent less than $3! Woo hoo! I focused on buying the bare minimum of what was needed for dinner, namely veggies and water.

I am going to buy vitamins tonight and hope that my coupon helps significantly. Smile

Complexes and Whatnot....

May 6th, 2009 at 08:45 am

So, I have been keeping a guarded eye on my funds and doing the math thing every day. I also am trying to avoid going to the grocery store whenever possible, and when I do, just getting what is most necessary at that time.

It is hard to do at times because I have a boyfriend, and when he visits I want to make sure that he has a good meal and eats well. He is a bachelor and eats bachelor type food, and he is also on a super tight budget (he makes less than half of what I do), so at times I think he doesn't have enough food for the type of work he does (very physical labor), or not the healthiest food (ie...super sugary cereal and very little veggies).

I know that I have to be careful in this area because 1) I have a complex about the whole woman supporting the man thing, and 2) it costs money to feed an extra person. I feel at odds at times because I want to make sure he has food to eat, and I also have to really watch my budget. It is fair to note that when he does have money, he is always offering to help me with food or gas. He may not buy me roses, but he does care about the things I need and I really appreciate that tremendously. Smile

So, tonight I will be in search of some fresh asparagus that is supposedly 99 cents a pound! Which is a good deal for asparagus in my area.

I am doing the math, and have about $51 bucks remaining for food for the month. I am going to fry some chicken on the weekend and maybe eat beans for the upcoming week. I am trying to hold out on buying food unless I am out of it...like, buying my yogurt only when I have one remaining yogurt kind of thing.

I am feeling optimistic about my goals and just trying to stay focused. Smile

Keeping track of my spending

May 5th, 2009 at 09:46 am

So, in the past few days I have written and re-written and continuously calculate my budget for May.

I have paid most of my bills and so right now I am working with about $74 the represents my food money for the rest of the month. Needless to say, I somehow overspent, and don't have tons and tons of food to show for it. I spent about $55+ bucks on food so far, and $9 or so was for take out. So, I would like to spend maybe $40 more bucks and focus on protein and yogurt.

I lost some weight and am really happy about that.

I made some black beans and rice on Sunday, and put the beans in the freezer---which freaks out my bf---but I explained that I want to slow down the aging of the beans as I won't eat any today and I am trying to make them last longer. Yeah, he thinks I am a bit loopy when it comes to my freezing food items. He doesn't come from a family that freezes a lot of their food, and I come from a family where I learned to freeze loaves of bread and gallons of milk.

I have 2 packs of chicken in the freezer, plus the beans, plus eggs and fruit and yogurt, so I am not hurting for food at all this week.

I need to buy a water bottle and vitamins tomorrow, so I am hoping that my 20% off coupon helps me a lot.

A lil bit more.....

May 4th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

So, I have come to think of money as something that happens in cycles...there have been cycles in my life where I saved my dinner money (where I lived for a while as a pre-teen, didn't have a kitchen or bathroom) in order to "splurge" on the weekend on used books, a comic book or two, and maybe a lunch out (super cheap, of course).

I started working in high school and that helped me with spending money and being able to buy basic personal toiletries and whatnot (very important to a teen, I tell ya!). I ended up working my way through college and making close to $30,000 before I got my degree.

I then got a decent job, and a part-time job in addition, and had the luxury of having a full pay check every week. I did good and managed to save about $12,000.

Then, a close relative got sick, my job couldn't always do a cost of living increase and the 2nd job wasn't available, the bills relating to their care and my bills ended up being more than my earnings, and I ended up being in the red each month, which led to more cc debt and whatnot.

My relative passed away and I had a hard time dealing with it. I didn't have any other close family that I could depend on, and well, I just went into an emotional funk, if you will. This emotional funk caused me to not be so focused on watching my budget and my savings dwindled to a small amount.

I have been working more on my budget and writing down every single thing that I buy. I know that if I had more savings I would feel less stressed, but, until I pay off my debt, I don't have much to put towards savings in the first place. Frown

I realize that for me, buying things was a sort of temporary fix for my blahs. I also realized that I wasted money on crappola.....coffee drinks, eating out (even if it is fast food, it is still too much dough), clothes. Of course I am totally kicking myself right now, but what can you do? All I can do now is focus on getting rid of my debt, and trying to be as frugal as possible.

I worked a 2nd job for a while, but the extra 24 hours a week was hard on my body as I am currently working on trying to be healthier.

Now I find myself kind of in an semi-awkward feeling...in reality I am doing ok. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food to eat. I shouldn't be so worried. The emotional aspect is the part of me that wants to travel, feels stifled when I am calculating the affordability of buying a coffee drink or a bag of chips, and the comments that irk me by friends who I don't think really understand poverty.

I have friends that make comments that I can't relate to.....they say they are broke, yet spend 3x the amount I do on food, or are always out enjoying some lounge or club.

With poverty there comes a lot of judgements...and from time to time, I still feel like the little girl in grade school who was so poor that I had to keep re-sewing the hole in the same pair of cotten stretch pants. Imagine sewing a hole made from overwear and tear, in an item that doesn't have any seams!

One thing about my attempts at frugality is that I think there is a really fine line in judgements about money, and most of us have a problem with that line...

For me, it is a struggle to not let my finances affect my mood. When I have money, I am happy and want to go walking and simply window shopping (I don't need to buy anything). When my money is somewhat limited, then I have a hard time relating to friends who want to go to lounges and have cocktails (mentally, I tabulate the $8 cocktail, plus tip, and try to determine if there is room for that in my food budget). I sometimes just can't relate to it.....my friends eat organic meat now, while I am scouring the ads for cheap chicken.

I know the best way is to just hunker down and get through these times. I also have to let go of disappointment in myself for overspending, and also have faith that I have been through much worse as a young person, and I cannot let my fears cloud my mentality.

My neighborhood has changed quite a bit, and it is hard relating to some of the changes. There are more expensive stores and people with much higher incomes moving into my area. People pay ridiculous amounts of money from the local boutiques, and it just kind of irks me.

I do accept that if it weren't for the debt (that I fully take responsibility for), then I would have a lot of disposable income to put towards savings and towards more trips.

Starting Out on Being Open

May 4th, 2009 at 10:36 am

Money is something that I love to talk about. Money is also something that I feel consumes a large part of my personality. I have friends that I can discuss money issues with, and friends for whom the topic is a bit touchy and I don't feel comfy having those types of conversations with.

I grew up very poor---eating in soup kitchens, government cheese, finding that a mouse had bitten its way into my desired jar of peanut butter, and loving the $3.50 rice plates. Yes, beef and broccoli was usually my favorite pick.

Now I make a middle class income, and live in an expensive city where some people don't think my income is so middle class. Frown

I grew up not having much and being constantly ridiculed for it. This led me to become very anti-label and anti-pricey items. I would prefer to spend money on a plane ticket than a designer bag. I wear my jeans until there are holes in them, and while I love technology, I am still using a cell phone that is 2 years old.

Money shapes how I am feeling---when I have a lot of savings, I am very happy and content, even if I have debt. When I don't have a lot of savings, I am more worried and anxious. I am working on overcoming how my money situation affects me as I know it isn't the best.

Right now I am working on paying off my debt....I anticipate having all of my debt paid off in under 3 years.

I totally heart traveling, and without adequate savings, I just can't justify going on any trips at this time. So, my urge to see the world is stifled a bit.

I really appreciate this type of blog because I think that money is one of those things that people cannot always talk openly about. On here, I can gripe and smile and be open about how I am feeling and hopeful that people may have simimar concerns or understandings.

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