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Healthy Distractions

March 8th, 2010 at 05:10 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My soul is crying

February 25th, 2010 at 05:21 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food in the fridge

January 21st, 2010 at 05:13 pm

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.

Christmas Cheer

December 15th, 2009 at 07:15 pm

So, I can say happily that this month has NOT been as stressful as previous months. Primarily because a relative helped me out with some much needed cash for some things I really needed, AND, the Big Guy was watching over me and I was able to buy some needed things much cheaper than previously planned.

My goal for this month is to have money in my checking and saving account when the New Year commences. Sounds weird, but, lately, I have been having less than a few dollars at the end of every month before my new paycheck comes. So, for me, it will be something special to have money I am not going to touch, until the new year.

Some friends did let me down a bit when it comes to a special event I had planned (most did not attend), and there was another event that involved food and money, and I felt really weird because I could only order the cheapest items on the menu, and my friends feasted on food that is very upscale and I really didn't understand why (the event wasn't in their honor). This made it more upsetting when they were not supportive of my event. But, the reality is that I cannot be upset at them, only upset at myself for not being better with my budget when I was more flush with cash.

There are still 2 weeks before the New Year, but I think I have enough food to last until then. My body has been very angry at me for eating foods that are cheap, but not what it really wants or needs. So, I will make it my new perogative to give my body the foods it really wants and that makes it the happiest, from a healthwise perspective.

I feel odd at times asking my family for help, and I talked to my relative about it. It really all comes from a place of feeling as if my family did not accept me, and to ask for help would be to reinforce whatever negative images they had of me. Of course, this is all just things I thought of, and not necessarily what my family felt AT all. In fact, my family said that at times they felt that they didn't have the right to be called my family. What a trip!?!? I do feel like there are some really big issues that we have to work on from the past, but I am feeling pretty good about it overall.

Groceries....flashy versus frugal

October 18th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

So, today I went grocery shopping as usual. I shop at a local super cheap market (the kind where people warn you to not buy the meat because of concerns about...ahem....expiration date and handling) and I have noticed that the clientele appears to have changed. You used to have a parking lot full of only very old cars, some SUVs and minivans, and lots of families and people on fixed incomes. But lately, I am seeing the hybrids and volvo's slowly start to litter the lot. I see people in line who look like they are a bit uncomfortable. I can imagine that if you are used to only shopping at Wholefood's or Safeway, you would be used to a certain look to things, and this lower budget super market doesn't really have that.

I can't lie and say that I don't wish I had a budget to at least partly shop at Wholefood's (there are some things I refuse to pay more for just because of the location, such as cereal, toiletries, etc.), and then shop for other ends at more lower priced stores. I miss the availability of certain types of goodies like different cheeses and dairy options at the lower priced store.

I also hate the extreme amount of processed "food" found at the lower end supermarket.

Let me preface this by saying that I come from a low-income family where kool-aid was the norm, and I learned to not complain about eating the same thing for 3 days in a row--heck, that is now how I cook! But I am really disgusted in some ways by the products that are offered, and almost pushed on people who are low-income.

I have refused to buy the fried noodles that everyone knows from college, that are like, 10 pks for 1 dollar. To me, they are fried, full of fat and calories, and even more importantly, chock full of sodium. I refuse to eat that if I can at all avoid it. But I almost always see a family with a whole carton of it in their shopping cart.

Now, if that is all I see in their cart, then I am sad, because maybe they can't buy anything else. And I get sad by the families that spend over 100 bucks in one shopping trip, an have tons of fried noodles, fruit punch that is sooooo fake (i.e., not even 1 percent of fruit juice), that you can literally taste just sugar, chemicals, and dyes, the 1 dollar budget meals, and just everything is super processed. I am not mad at them, it just makes me sad. I also realize that when you are broke, and trying to feed a lot of mouths, and may not have good cooking skills, you are going to focus on price per portion as your main goal.

I was upset today when I was shopping and I saw an overweight mom in the store just standing (not actually picking anything up to buy, but literally standing and leaning on a display while he child sat on part of the display), and talking loud on her cell phone. I wasn't try to eavesdrop, but she was loud enough for me to hear that she is going to go back to school (a good thing), because she doesn't like the jobs she has been getting. She also mentioned something about if the doctor tells her she is able to go back to work, she will just say that she is in school and can't work and something about how she gets money for transportation, etc. She was cursing very loud (I almost used slang right there, but stopped), and it was just...upsetting. I come from a family on welfare, so when people act in such a way, it makes it hard for people who haven't experienced such poverty to be sympathetic. Often, I have to be the counter voice to people who make negative comments about those on welfare.

I was reading a book about eating healthy and I really liked it, except at the very end where the author made a comment about there being a low level of people that are actually in poverty in America (wrong!!), and that he sees a family buy soda versus just drinking water. For one, that is just super elitist (and I say this as a person who is a college grad hoping to get her Master's one day), and does everyone ONLY drink water in their lives? Why not comment on the bigger issue---fresh or even orange juice from concentrate is usually $2.00 or more per half-gallon. Many neighborhood corner stores double that amount easily.Stores are now selling 3 1-liters of soda for $1!!! I don't make soda a routine part of my diet, but I admitted that was a good deal, especially on special occasions or when having company, etc.

I am torn because I have been where the people I see with the fried noodles have been. I often have to fight that part of myself, as well, as sometimes I buy day old stuff just to save a buck, when maybe it isn't the healthiest thing to do. I am also upset at those who have never been in such a situation, and make ridiculous comments about those with a $12,000 a year income should forego meat altogether, if they cannot buy it organically. Grrrrrrrrrr. Frown I often have little words with my friends when I think I am doing a good thing by letting them know of a great deal on a healthy lean protein, and they reply that they only eat organic meat.

I really hope that there can be an increase is healthy foods for all neighborhoods....Wholefoods shouldn't be something that people from all incomes aren't able to experience.

Repressing One's Thoughts

October 17th, 2009 at 09:14 pm

So, today so far, has not been so good.

My bf came through and gave me the money that I asked for. The only problem came when it was time for him to give me the money, he made a comment about not expecting anything else from this check.

Now, in reality, I know he was just trying to say that he can't give any more money until he gets paid again. However, the way it came across was like I shouldn't expect anything else, and he also made a comment about us buying our own food. That upset me, because I spent so much of my money feeding US for the first half of the month, and now he is saying we just have to fend for ourselves. Sigh. He sometimes acts as if I enjoy spending money on food, and that I may be over-spending on food. He doesn't cook, so he may not know how much a week of groceries cost, even when I do super low budget, AND he doesn't take into account that when I cook, I try to make multiple portions as we both have big appetites (him in particular).

I also feel a bit weird because he said that he wanted to buy me a certain item and that we would go and do it this weekend. So, when he said what he said today, it is like he forgot what he had previously promised. And for the record, I very, very, very rarely get gifts or ask for gifts from my bf, but I have bought him things that he may have needed, from time to time.

So, needless to say I said a lot of things and probably not in the nicest tone. He, as usual, got very quiet and didn't say much, other than he is under a lot of stress and has a lot of things going on right now and that what I was saying was only adding to the stress. I tried to tell him that I don't want to be added stress, but there are things that I need. There was also the silent issue that he spent a good amount of his check on something that is more fun related. I want him to be happy and I have no say over what he buys, and I am encouraging of him taking care of himself while dealing with the stress. What he buys is his right and business. I did tell him that what I am asking for is helping the both of us, and that I haven't been spending my money on things like that. I feel like I am worrying about how to feed myself and us, and he is off buying fun things.

So, I have been doing my budget diligently, and bought a few grocery food items----thinking always of how many servings per package, how much per serving, and then calculating how I can eat so many portions as breakfast or lunch, etc. I think I can make it, but I already fear that I will have to use the little bit of available credit I have on my cc card. Also, there is the issue of how much it will cost when I see my relative later this month. Sigh.

I feel guilty for stressing out my bf, as he is going through a tremendous amount of pressure and stress right now (family member is ill), but I also feel like there are some things missing in our relationship, and I don't ask for much, really, but it just seems to be getting to a point where things aren't balanced.

This whole process makes me feel like maybe I have been too giving at times. I saw Bridezillas yesterday, and I am sorry to say, but I couldn't understand why these men were marrying these women?!? The women in the show were very bossy and nagging and I felt sorry for the guys. One bridezillas even gave her bridesmaid cough syrup without the bridesmaid knowing it (that could have been sooo bad, physical reaction wise) because she felt the bridesmaid's coughing was unwanted at the wedding. Sigh. I feel like I am helping so much, and though I don't always request flowers and candy, I do want to feel like I am special. I know that me and my bf love and care for each other, I just don't know if I should wait and see if things get better with my bf, or discuss w/ my bf if he can really handle a relationship at this time.

I thank everyone for their comments, as they really do help me. I want to also let people know that though at times my writing my seem very intense and I may seem very forlorn, this is an avenue for me to be able to express my thoughts and feelings and just, well, vent. Sometimes a good nap or a good night's sleep gives me a different perspective on things. I know that at time my entries may seem more bleak than the reality of the situation.

Dreams of veggies, a house, and cute design

October 17th, 2009 at 03:50 am

So, I find myself relaxing at home on a Friday night, watching HGTVs Property Virgins, and getting a little misty eyed.

I do agree with a lot of advice I have received on here.....I can make a budget that is full of veggies---I just have to make my palate stop craving the card heavy foods I am so used to having. Once I get more money for food, I plan on heading for some yummy, crunchy veggies and chicken.

The tv show is making me long for my own home one day when I have a family. I worry about that happening...my goal is to have my own home by age 40...so I have got some years ahead of me to improve my credit and save up.

Seeing the couples on the show being able to talk about money and what they want and what they are able to pay per month got me a little misty eyed----not very, but it made me have a bit of worries. I don't think my bf is ready for that kind of thing, and it is hard for me to talk about my house dreams when he is trying to get back on his feet.

I am paying down debt and I know that in a little over 2 years, I will have paid off all (or most of) my debt, so I just need to be patient. It is somewhat hard at times to not worry about things, such as just having a regular life, owning my own home, having babies, a minivan, that kinda thing.

My bf got paid so I want to talk to him asap about the budget. I kept trying to hint to him what we are eating for dinner....as a way of saying "Hey, it isn't that much", but, I don't think he knew what I was saying. He often won't discuss his budget for a day or two after he gets paid, and I need him to be able to discuss it asap. I am almost running out of toiletries and I need to buy some asap, but the checking account has less than 10 bucks in it.

I do realize that if me and my bf were to ever decide to buy our own home, this whole waiting on the budget thing just wouldn't do. I would need things to be very organized and scheduled.

I looked in the freezer and I have some protein and some veggies....not sure if I have enough to last two weeks, but definitely enough to last a week...for sure.

My relative wants to give me money to be able to afford the expense of when I go visit them. I feel odd about accepting that, and I don't want to, even though I do end up spending usually around $20 bucks at least when I visit (on gas and toll and welcome stuff and beverages and food).

Me and my bf are supposed to clean tomorrow, so I am looking forward to that. The design concepts on tv really empower me to think positively about managing my issue with trying to keep things that are old and I no longer use. I know that it doesn't make sense, but I think I have a hard time letting things go, because when I was younger my family lost over half of our possessions when we became homeless. I know that keeping a plastic cup is weird, but I keep thinking that I may need it later. I am really working on that, and have come a long way in being able to discard more things than previously.

I saw someone today that I know and I noticed that while their clothes were clean, it looked like there were some set in stains in the clothing. I realized that it gave them a certain look, and I realize that I have to change that myself. I am kicking myself because over a year ago I could whip out my cc and get some much needed blouses, now I am trying to just figure out how to buy some food I have a craving for. I also realize that I am nowhere near starving...I do have savings I could use if I so choose or if I were truly hungry. I am going to try as best as possible to avoid doing that. I am also going to tell my bf how much money is left over for food, and see if he would be willing to give more than I previously asked him for.

Wanting to be Green....

October 16th, 2009 at 03:58 pm

So, I have been really having this strong desire to eat ultra healthy. I have been devouring (punn intended) recipes for food and whatnot.

With my budget, my explorations into cooking are a bit more restricted, as I don't want to make something that tastes horrible, and it ends up being thrown out or (more likely), spoiling in the fridge.

So, my food adventurism is a bit tamed at the moment. I have been reading a lot online about a certain way of eating that I SOOOOOO want to do, but dang it, there is no money in the budget for it. Ugh.

I thank people for their recommendations about the pasta. I really want to avoid pasta and bread, but it looks like I am going to have to eat these things if I want to stay within budget AND be full. Ugh.

I now understand why celebrities can stay so slim....if I had enough money to have freshly prepared salads and whatnot, I would be sooooo much healthier!!!

I also would love to attend one of those healthy retreat places, where you have a jump start on eating healthier.

$22 bucks for food for the rest of the month....

October 15th, 2009 at 04:00 pm

So, every day I have been crunching the numbers (it appears I should have been doing this more often!), and it seems that I will have $22 remaining for food for the rest of the month for 2 people. Hmm.

Now, I have rice, veggies, and some protein. The protein I have I think, could last a week, in terms of dinners.

The rice, I think, total, could last the remaining two weeks.

I know that only in America could I say this, but I think my budget is making me fat. Needless to say that my focusing on price and fullness factor per serving, versus nutritional benefits, has left me a bit larger than previously. I was shocked to learn that I somehow gained 7 lbs in 1 month! Yikes! Now because of the doctor stuff, it could be retaining water, etc. Sigh. I am not a happy camper about that.

My bf made a good dinner last night and I really appreciate it. It was enough for dinner, without any left overs, so I ended up buying my breakfast and lunch today. I hate spending money because of poor planning (in this case i was too tired to cook anything and wanted to leave enough food so that my bf could have something to eat for breakfast). So, I scoured the aisles of a local mini-mart (no supermarkets are open near my job in the a.m) and ended up finding something that will keep me somewhat full for two meals, with a total cost of $4.30 cents. Now, is it the healthiest option? Yes, and no. There are a lot of carbs, but also a good amount of protein....it is just missing some veggies, and is probably sky high in preservaties, sodium, and fat. Sigh.

I was shopping the other day, and I really just wanted to buy stuff for a salad---lettuce, chicken, maybe a little cheese. Not much. But even with the price tag for those items, I was thinking more about how much meat I could buy that could be used for a meal that has at least 4 servings.....I try to cook food that can last at least 2 days, with 4 servings. My bf and I are very hearty eaters, so having 1 hot pocket for lunch just isn't going to do it.

On another note, my shoes have been...well....apalling lately. I have a pair of shoes that go well with my dressier clothes, but they are so worn out that I have to make sure not to let people see the bottoms of them. My bf wants to get me shoes, regardless of the cost. It is hard for me to just automatically say yes, cause I know how hard it is for him to manage his budget. But, I agreed to get the shoes, provided that all of the other bills are paid.

This budget thing and eating what I am eating is making me a bit irritable, but, all I can do is just try to stay on track as best as possible, and avoid, at any cost, going into my savings.

On a positive note, my 401k is rebounding and climbing higher and higher to being the amount it was before the recession. Woo hoo!!

Dealing with past poverty

October 13th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I have been feeling about my budget, my debt, my spending, and everything that involves.

It is weird that now that I make more money than I did as a younger person, I am feeling a bit more stressed overall about money and what a middle class income really means and represents.

When I was younger, I was poor. Poor in that kind of way where the other kids pick on you because you have only one new outfit for the entire school year, and most of your clothes were sewn and re-sewn again and again. Yet, I remember wishing I had a lot of things....like clothes, or a certain look, but I don't remember being upset about being poor.

I think that I just accepted how things were as a survival mechanism. I learned to not ask a lot of questions, because, well, I think the answers would just make me upset, to be honest. Now that I know why my family went down the road they went, I do find that I have some anger at my parents for some of the choices they made. I do love them dearly, and in a weird way, part of me does not want to make their same mistakes. It does not mean I don't respect or love them, I do, and I miss them every day. But I don't want to have that kind of lifestyle.

I feel like now, as I watch my neighborhood change and get more affluent, and I am torn between buying my favorite cheese, or focusing on what else I could buy for that $4 pricetag that would last longer, I get a bit more...irritated. I can blame no one buy myself for my debt, and maybe it is anger at myself that I am feeling, but projecting outwards?

Part of me wonders if how I am feeling now is in part to what I felt when I didn't have control over money as a child, and how I feel that that upbringing shaped some of my spending habits. I will admit that I was not really taught well about money----there was just something in me from a young age that made me hoarde whatever birthday money I got. I guess the pattern I learned from my parents was not about saving, but spending what you had, eating well at the beginning of the month, and then eating the cheaper cuts of meat at the end of the month.

Being poor, I think, does things to you, especially when you don't have a supportive environment (I went to upper income schools....got a great education, but received a lot of judgment and ostracizing about being poor, among other things).

I am constantly calculating my budget on a daily basis and figuring out how much money I have to buy deodorant, etc. Today, I needed to buy some toiletries, and found that a local store had what I needed, at a price that is hard to find in the city limits, but I stopped myself from buying it because I know that store takes coupons, so I will make another trip with my coupon to get a bit of a discount.

I am also a bit upset because I wanted to buy some lettuce and lean protein and cheese today....I imagined fields of healthy salads, and the scale going down. But, I thought about feeding two people, and instead stuck with the rice, juice, and protein laden eggs. I haven't decided what I will eat tomorrow.

I know I am blessed to be able to even have food (I feel so silly about complaining when I saw that in Haiti people are eating mudcakes! http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/29/food.internationalaidanddevelopment ). Stories like that make me sooo mad! We are one of the richest countries in the world, we have more food than we need, and yet people in our own country are going hungry, and people in other countries are starving as well. Sorry, but I am upset about this, and even madder at myself cause I realize that I am lucky to be able to buy "jasmine" rice and canned beans.

Money and Health

October 10th, 2009 at 02:20 am

I am more than a bit upset at myself because I know I need to focus on my health and my first hurdle is eating....yep, the first step for me has to be control over my food and what I eat.

I have been slowly but surely increasing my cooking abilities and I can honestly say that I have never cooked so good! I am really getting over my fear of cooking (I have made some pretty bad food in the past) and I am really branching out and cooking more unique (while still trying to be healthy) food.

But, to be honest, lately I have been thinking of two things when I cook...price and volume. My bf has been stressed lately, so a bit more food gets eaten. I have been stressed, and resorting to simple carbs and sweets. I have actually had only bread for lunch multiple times. Not the healthy salad and whatnot I should be eating. And my bf will not eat only salad for dinner...so that would be my making two meals at once and that just doesn't work out cost wise.

I am upset at myself that I am allowing stress, poor food planning, and my budget affect my dreams of eating chicken breasts and salad and yummy sauteed greens...mmmmmm! And because of my diet issues, I need a lot of filling foods that are low are the GI scale...but, that doesn't always mesh well with what I can afford to buy.

I am going to look online and see if I can find some good and cheap and TASTY healthy recipes that can be made in large portions.

Necessity breeds invention....or something along those lines

October 6th, 2009 at 03:24 pm

So, I am feeling soooo much better today than I felt on Sunday. I spoke with my bf about my concerns, and he wants me to depend on him more, and to not also worry that I may be asking for more than he can handle, etc. It made me realize that while I may have asked for help, I would acquiece or downplay the help I needed if I felt he was having a lot of problems around paying the bill that his family had to pay. We again discussed the date he will give me the money, and I am feeling a lot better now.

My relative wants to help me out with the expenses of visiting them.....I feel weird taking them up on their offer, and yet, it costs about....$30 per trip when i visit them.

I have been focusing on simple pleasures---like putting more emphasis on taking care of my hair, doing my nails, nice smelling (but not expensive) perfume, bubble baths, that kind of thing. I think it helps me out a lot mood wise.

Dreaming of frugal pleasures.....

August 31st, 2009 at 01:37 am

As payday looms near, I have begun to fantasize (in a way), about the things I can't wait to buy. I call them frugal pleasures, as they aren't super cheap, but they will put a smile on my face. I also figured it would be helpful to write out the list now, as a way of avoiding diverting from the list when I feel like overspending.

Here goes (feel free to add your thoughts if you agree or disagree with some of my purchases):

Food stuffs:

eggs
lentils
chicken/beef
cheese
rice
squash
spinach
broccoli
asparagus
corn
tomatoes
peanut butter
organic sugar free jelly
black beans
kidney beans
water
pasta sauce
pasta for bf
bread for bf for sandwiches
sandwich meat for bf

Forgot to add:

Olive oil
fresh fruits
some kind of frozen snack when I don't feel like cooking for my bf to eat
juice


How does this list sound?

Feeling Sad

August 18th, 2009 at 03:36 am

I have been doing a lot of thinking, and I have to accept that my boyfriend's attempt at speaking with someone else, is a signal that there is something missing in our relationship. I am saddened because I felt that aspect, and I know that perhaps I am not the most carefree person, and I don't really know that with my background I can be carefree about things.

I feel bad because even though I am very hurt, I don't want to hurt his feelings, and I don't want to not be there for him during these hard times. My friends keep telling me that he is a grown man and he will be fine and that I don't need to always be so supportive.

I do hope that he and I can be friends. I am more hurt than angry, but I am also adult enough to know that I did feel like he may want someone that is less serious. He doesn't like the idea of budgeting, and I am doing budgets multiple times a week. He doesn't like planning a weekend, and I like having my weekend planned out at least the Friday before.

I go back and forth from sadness to feeling like this is just a stage in our relationship. Sometimes I feel sad that he told this other person that she is the only one whom he can do certain things with, and other times I feel like he is someone I care about and I think that there is love between us and that we can always be friends. And then there is the fear that I won't find someone who accepts me as much as he does. I am afraid about that, as I have dated people before who made fun of how much I earned and who really made fun of my trying to be better at budgeting. Both people belittled me for coming from a poor background, or for being concerned about having an emergency savings and all of that.

Today was an emotional day. I am feeling sad and blue, and just overwhelmed and stressed. Thank all of you for letting me vent.

I don't know what I am going to do money-wise. part of the deal about my bf moving in was that he would pay a small amount and that would help me with food and the pay cut. But so far it feels like I have been spending more on food and items per month. So I am really hoping that I can get a 2nd job to help pay for things.

My head hurts because of stress and crying. I am sad, and yet, I feel like I kind of knew that maybe I wasn't the best person for my bf.

Sigh.

Can I accomplish this?

June 23rd, 2009 at 03:50 pm

So as I sit here eating my frozen food for breakfast, and kicking myself in the rear because I know it is too carby, yet it is what I have and what is quick and easy to eat at work, I wonder....how can I eat more healthy on a super pared down budget?

Right now I am dreaming of buying yerba mate tea (as they say caffeine may affect a person's adrenals), some yummy healthy fruit bars that are made of just dates and nuts and are gluten free, and wondering about what to cook for dinner.

I really want to fill my refrigerator with fruits and veggies and bean dishes, and see how long I can go without meat (eggs and dairy are ok). I invision myself sleeping at home and slowly detoxing all of the junk food and refined carbs out of my system, and taking it easy while my body adjusts to more raw fruits and veggies, as well as cooked veggies and whatnot. I really hope I can do this....perhaps I will make some fruit salads and try to find filling veggie dishes online. My main issue is feeling constantly hungry and that is why for me, volume per serving and price per serving is a bit issue. Hmmm....I think I will go back to having cut up apples for breakfast.

It will be hot today and I am thinking of what to make for dinner for my bf. He will be home late, and since I don't have a working microwave, it will be hard for him to reheat the dinner I may make. I am leaning towards splurging, and spending 10 bucks on some nice latin food, as I am not sure he wants to eat cold chicken and rice. He also worries about waking me up if he tries to make himself something to eat when he gets home. I am also not keen on the idea of buying sandwich stuff for him, because, well, he has been eating a lot of sandwiches (with the white bread! no fiber!), and I don't think that is healthy....I know, I know....I tend to worry more about others than my own self as I just pigged out on a flour laden tortilla breakfast.

Hmmmm......I am not feeling so stressed, and am just trying to think how I am going to make things work out okay. I want to be able to visit my family who live about an hour or more away, but if I am watching every cent, I may not be able to due to gas costs and the cost of eating out with them.

Hmmmm.....what are your thoughts?

Yikes! I almost forgot about yall!

June 19th, 2009 at 07:39 pm

I can't believe that I totally spaced on this blog! I have had more hits on this blog than on my myspace blog...which to think of, I haven't visited or posted on in quite some time. Frown

Well, things are pretty stressful here at the moment. I am facing a 8% paycut, which, with my tight budget is a bit much, plus my boyfriend is dealing with a terminal illness in his family and I am helping him through that experience...which is a very hard one, for anyone who has ever gone through that, plus I am working on my health and the prospect of getting a 2nd job makes me a bit tired, but I am going to see what I can do.

I am not sure what I can really cut back on, ya know? I don't buy a whole lot to begin with, (a nice iced espresso on the weekends is QUITE the luxury), and I don't really have much emergency savings to go into. I am tempted to go into my retirement fund, but I know that isn't a good idea.

I just am not sure what to do, other than to keep on keeping on, ya know? I really want to work on my mood, because I know when I am stressed about money and worried about homelessness, my lens doesn't have always the nicest viewpoint. So I am going to work on that as well.

I hope you all are doing well and I look forward to hearing your comments. Smile

Food, Food, and more Food

May 12th, 2009 at 03:57 pm

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.

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

May 11th, 2009 at 07:31 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 10:53 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 03:32 pm

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

Complexes and Whatnot....

May 6th, 2009 at 03:45 pm

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 04:46 pm

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.

Starting Out on Being Open

May 4th, 2009 at 05:36 pm

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.