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Money and finding a mate

October 11th, 2010 at 09:16 pm

So, there are times when I am in a funk, and I start to think back to issues of love and romance. Probably something I shouldn't do when I feel this way, but I am working on it.

The new person I am seeing is a nice guy. There are some issues that we both have that make it seem like we might not be husband and wife ready. He isn't too keen on my being frugal, and I am not too keen on his lack of firm financial goals at this age in his life (he is almost a decade older than me). I accept that he views money differently, and, having been through that issue with my past relationship, it worries me a bit.

When I think of the choices I made in who I dated (admittedly, I don't think I really had a huge selection, but that is another issue), I feel really stupid and upset at myself. I found out recently that a guy I used to semi-date years ago is now married and has a child. We dated and I just didn't feel any chemistry. I was younger, and I didn't focus on the fact that he is my age, hardworking, responsible, and likes me. Instead, I focused on how he spoke or the fact that we didn't seem to have any chemistry or commonality.

I also think of a recent ex of mine who I really, really liked. I haven't heard from him in years, and one of the problems that we had was that he made ALOT more money than me, and he didn't understand that at that time I had a very tight budget and had to be frugal. He made so much money and had so little debt, that he wasn't worried about even having an emergency savings and would often buy big ticket electronic items.

While we got along great, I do feel that he looked down on me for the type of job that I did (he was a techie, I wasn't)and that I didn't earn as much as he did. He once made a comment that suggested that he didn't think that what I did had any value, and it would be better to just give my clients money, rather than help.

I feel sad because I do think, by the way that he was income wise, and appearance, that he is most likely married and probably has kids.

I feel like I should have focused on the more important things in the goal of being a mom and married. Instead, I was so focused on personality and chemistry. In the big picture, is that what is really important? If I go for guys I have lots in common with and that I can talk to, but they either have issues with fidelity, or lack of personal ambition, then it doesn't seem to bode well that they will want to settle down and start a family.

I often get very sad about the topic, because I see so many others who may not have the same life I have had, or have worked in the same way, and it just seems like getting married and having kids was so easy for them.

I found a long lost friend on a social networking site. When we were in school together, I always wanted to be like her. I was growing up poor, not a mom and a dad, and just going through so much. I know that my classmates had no idea of what I was experiencing, or how I would have to change my clothes in various restrooms because I didn't have a place to really do that.

She was the very popular gal in our class. She mostly stood up for me, as she was the kind of person to stand up for everyone. But at times she would join in on making fun of me---whether it be my dirty clothes with the rips and holes, or why my hair hadn't been combed in days, etc.

But she was the one that all of the girls in class wanted to be like. She was thin and looked unique and the coolest guy in class wanted to be with her. I later found out that she is now married to a seemingly great guy, and has a ton of kids, and seems to just be living this great and normal life.

I am getting older and the issues with my finances are wearing down on me a bit. I know that I am very, very, very fortunate and blessed, as I am able to work the way that I do, am able to earn extra money through part-time work, am able to eat and wear decent clothes and have a roof over my head and my car and my family and friends.

I know that I am very, very blessed. I also know that some large bills I have will be paid off in under a year. I just need to keep my eyes on the prize and keep on working to pay down debt. I just worry so much about how things will be. I know a person who seems to be so worn down by life. He complains so much about things, but he has a house, and a flat screen tv, etc. etc. etc., but he isn't married and has no kids, and, it seems like he is so negative because maybe he wanted things to be different. It is sometimes hard to talk to him because he is just so much more negative than imaginable and it is mentally draining. I worry a lot because I don't want my mind or spirit to turn out like his.

I am just ranting and venting a bit, and I thank you all for listening. I think it is good to get advice from people who may have gone through that same things I have, or who may just have lived life a bit more than I have. It really helps me in more ways that I can verbally express.

Money and Class....and not the kind of class you think

October 10th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

So, the past few weeks have been a bit on the frustrating, aggravating, overwhelming side to put it mildly. And one of the factors that stood out in the zaniness of the past few weeks has been the topic of money.

One thing I have been noticing in regards to money is 1) when I have it, I am less stressed, and 2) when I don't have it, then everything seems even more stressful. I don't need to be a millionaire to be happy. I was aware at a part of the not so distant past that my having the 3-6 months of emergency savings could really ease my stress, even if I was somewhat broke during my average everyday type of life. But not having both is what makes me a bit more anxious.

I am thankful to have been able to work harder in order to have extra money for just basics that make me happy. But this extra work also makes me more cognizant of those who normally earn a higher amount, but may not have the same ethics. Lately, I have been finding myself saddened, upset, hurt, frustrated, dealing with issues of inferiority, by interactions with people who most likely earn more than I do (their house is in a better neighborhood, their car is european foreign made, they can shop at food stores I can only look far away at). In these situations, I found a severe lack of understanding on their part, and possibly mine.

By no means am I lumping everyone together or saying that all people act a certain way. That isn't what I am saying. I am describing that I have been running into the same type of person lately, who just happens to be a higher income. Living in a higher income city as I do, this isn't uncommon. Being a native who is not from such a high income may be a bit more uncommon.

Lately, I have had situations where people who had more, were not really cognizant or understanding, it seems, of the worth of value of a dollar. I feel there is nothing wrong with being frugal. I do find it sad, however, if you know something is worth a certain amount in fair trade, but you reduce what you will pay for it because you know that there is such a need for the sale, that the person will take almost anything. This has happened quite a few times, and it is so upsetting and angering, to be honest.

I get very sad and upset when I see people come out of our local gourmet store, bags filled to the brim with the usual high-fare foods (admittedly, some things in the store I would like to buy if I could), and they turn their noses down at the panhandler outside. Now, they aren't obligated to donate money. But they should at least give that person common respect. Instead, they say negative things to the homeless person, and that kind of thing just doesn't make sense to me in a lot of ways.

I have to learn how to ignore some of the things that people like that do. It is frustrating when I hear someone make a comment about how something isn't hard to afford, or that anyone can afford something, because it just shows that they are only thinking from their particular income and situation. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "Everyone could buy " " if they wanted to" just seems oblivious to what people in our country are going through right now. It is even more difficult when I hear some people complain about not being able to buy a designer item and how things are so difficult, yet, I also know people (sometimes myself), who are dealing with just being able to buy food and gas and pay their bills. It is all so frustrating and upsetting. In my city, I feel like I and others I know understand the recession and yet there is another group of people, no specific commonality except for income and habits, who are acting as if there is no recession. But this belief makes them very oblivious to the plight or suffering of others.

I am not sure how to react in this situation. Sometimes I feel like I need to just tune them out and ignore them. I feel like it takes a lot of energy out of me, because I often feel really overwhelmed at just trying to make it while dealing with usual life and work and family and relationship issues (sometimes to the point of tears) and to then have to deal with others who seem out of touch, or who just seem to be walking around without a care in the world, so quick to tell you how easy life really is, just upsets me. I do think that it wouldn't bother me as much if I was more stable financially, but it would still bother me because I know that I am very fortunate to be able to work and earn extra money, and you have families and people who haven't had income for a long while.

When you encounter things where it seems as if others are out of touch about finances, and not in a good way, how do you deal with it? When it is almost to the point of being ridiculously oblivious to reality, do you say something or just keep quiet?

Money, money, money

September 19th, 2010 at 10:23 am

The past few weeks have been a bit difficult for me. I have been dealing with stress from so many different areas---love, work, family, finances. I have often felt like I was at the end of my rope, to be honestly.

On the family front I have been dealing with a relative whom I love so much, but whom is so disrespectful towards me. I lent him money a while ago, and he swore up and down he would pay me back, and he hasn't. He interacts in certain groups and gives donations, but won't even return my emails. I feel bad for him because he really is very lost in terms of him respecting his family. It is very sad and just both angers me and makes me feel hurt and sad because I love my relative and want him in my life in a good way, and not in the way where he is just disrespectful.

On the love front, the ex has been very jerky and is being that, I feel, as a way to justify maybe in his mind not repaying the bills he created or the loan, etc. It is very hurtful because I did so much to help him, and now I am dealing with trying to adjust my budget to pay those bills, and, feeling pretty hurt inside. I don't want to think of my ex as a bad person, but I am noticing the theme that he never apologizes and he always makes me feel like I am the bad person and that hurts a lot, because, well, who likes to feel like that? I don't want to be with him in that way, but I did want us to be able to remain friends.

On the work front, things have been hard. I don't feel respected, and some things occurred recently that just made me feel more like I am not respected, and that people don't see any of my good qualities. It really made me feel like maybe I am not as talented as I like to think I am. I am also very sad about the situation because I need my job, i am in a tough position financially, and I feel like my bosses will never see me as anyone that they would want to promote, based upon how they treat me. They did something that was so unbelievably rude that it just hurts my feelings. I can't talk to hr about it because they are a part of the situation, and well, they represent the bosses viewpoint. I feel like I have to keep doing my best, and yet, I may not be seen as worthy of anything better and that scares me so much. I have been in tears because of it.

On the finances front, I have been working jobs on the side to make ends meet and to be able to pay for the excess bills from my ex (the bills are in my name---I know, a stupid thing that I thought I would never have done, but thought I was being helpful at the time). It has been a bit hard, as I have had to juggle paying some bills later than I would like, but still within the time frame to avoid being considered late. sigh. I also find that when I am as stressed as I have been, I want to indulge in things like sweets and coffee drinks and buying little things to make me feel happy. I know that is not a good coping mechanism, but at least I am aware of my faults.

On the romance front, I have met a nice guy. He is very kind and super smart and we get along a lot better than me and my ex did. The main difference that I feel is that I do think my ex cared for me. I don't get that feeling from the new guy. It could be too soon, but, I dunno. I am also really more aware of the kind of person I want to settle down with, and that, yes, how they deal with money is an issue. I am not sure we are totally compatible money-wise and that worries me. I do like that he treats me very well, I just worry that my frugal-ness may irritate him, and I don't want that to be an issue, and I want someone who has the same financial goals that I have.

I have been feeling on the edge of a cliff for a while now. My health has not been so good and I have been dealing with some issues that scare me as well. I just feel like I have to keep on trucking and getting through things and that things will eventually get better. I am keeping my eyes open for better work possibilities, accepting that my ex and I may not be able to be friends, that my relative may never come to respect me, and that I may be single for a while and that I don't have to rush into a relationship and that whomever I choose to be with is someone that I will want to start a family with. I am thankful for my friends and family and of course, God first, for giving me the strength because at times I just feel like break down and crying. Sometimes it is good to cry.

I am thankful for everyone who reads my ramblings. It helps me to get out my thoughts and also to get the perspectives of people and their advice. I am sending all of you my deepest thank yous and care.

Simple pleasures and trying to find solace

August 17th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

So, I know I haven't written in a while, and it seems like I have been on this tiny little roller coaster...maybe something akin to the swirling tea cups, but a roller coaster nonetheless.

On a good note, I met a nice person who treats me well. He is also a bit old fashioned and insists on paying for most things. I find that a bit both uncomfortable, because I am not used to it, and refreshing. I do realize that I have self-esteem issues because we have talked and I told him that I appreciate what he does for me, and he said that I say it in a way that seems as if I don't realize it is expected, or that I should be treated that way. I think that is true. It is something I need to fix within myself, I think.

The ex and I had an agreement when we were together that I would help him with some bills initially, but that he would continue with them. Lately he hasn't been working as much and has other issues and hasn't been able to pay what we agreed he would pay. I feel bad for his situation, but also mad at myself for doing something in terms of billing help that I often told friends not to do. I felt it was the right thing at the time to do, but now, because of his issues with budgeting, finances, etc., it is just making my monthly bills a bit higher. Frown Hopefully he will be able to continue paying like we agreed.

I have been trying to be resourceful as the part-time job is kaput. Frown But, I was able to help someone with the skills I have, and they were very appreciative. Yay!

I am trying to balance working a lot and under a lot of constant pressure, with trying to have some private and social time. I had a recent experience where I went to this great event about a great occasion, but felt like i was so behind and lacking that I just ended up leaving early. There are so many things I want to accomplish in my life and I just get so down and sad at times because I worry if I will be able to accomplish them. The guy I am seeing now is very nice and we get along a lot better than me and my ex. I am just not sure if he and I would be great as a couple. I know I shouldn't think that far ahead, but it feels like everyone is getting married and I just wonder if it will happen for me.

My budgeting hasn't been good. Primarily because of some extra bills and my trying to juggle everything. I know I am not as bad as I am making it sound---I have food, an apartment, clothes, etc. I just get a bit frustrated at times. I will have a major bill paid off soon, so that will help me tremendously.

Thank all of you for all of your kind words and thoughts and advice. I do appreciate it more than I can express.

Staying the course

July 10th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

So, I have been trying to stay focused on the reality of having significantly less debt in the next couple of years. And right now, even though I know that to be possible, I am having a hard time not giving in to despondency.

I had a situation where I asked my ex to help with a bill. He has always said and says that he wants to help me more, and that he wants me to ask him for help more. So, the bill is a bit of a bummer, so I asked him for help, but he is not earning as much as he usually does, so he isn't able to help me. Sigh. I know it is not his fault, and I also realize that it is hard for me to start feeling like I can depend on others. It is hard for me to be able to trust others in that way. I think that is why I am always a bit anxious about my life, the future, etc. I want to be able to feel like I can depend on others, but it just feels very vulnerable. I also have to accept that even though I did a lot for my ex, and will always care and love him as a person, that people have different feelings, and at some point, he may not be so concerned with how I am doing. It is hard because I know that he means well when he says he wants to be there for me, but is not always able to. I know I am a strong person, I just have that fear of being old and homeless and having to eat scraps. I know it isn't rational, but that is how I feel at times.

I know that in a few years my debt will be lower, and hopefully I will have more money from my paycheck to be able to put towards savings, etc. Trying to just stay calm while I am paying down the debt is what is hard. I overspent by about 75 bucks, and I already feel kind of uncomfortable----that is 75 dollars that could be used for food, gifts for loved ones, etc. I do like what I bought with the 75 bucks, I just need to get out of the mindset of feeling weird about not having a lot of money to spend if I wanted to. I have food and my bills for the month paid, so I shouldn't feel uncomfortable. I realize it is more mental than anything else. I am upset at myself for letting my emergency savings getting so low. Hopefully, over time, I can rebuild it.

I am also working on asking people for help when I need it. I am more of the very staunchly independent type, but I need to be able to let people know that I am human, and that their support is important to me. I think that for a couple of people in my life, my asking them for helps means a lot in terms of how our relationships were usually my helping them.

Thank you all for listening to my thoughts. Like the tide, they are sometimes cheerful and calm, and sometimes erratic and emotional.

Climbing

June 24th, 2010 at 08:36 am

So, I have been really trying to work on the increased performance and more work so I can achieve potentially a higher income, etc.

I feel afraid, honestly, because of 1) the economy and 2) that people's judgements of me may impact how far I can succeed.

I know of a situation where there is a person over me who has said things to me, that suggest that they don't think I am really able to do much, or they don't think I have the appropriate skill set. It is hard because I do know more in some areas than this person, and vice versa. What worries me that a lot of this judgement really is personal, and not based upon my actual abilities, but rather their views of me, based upon internal biases. It is hard because I really am trying to do my best, but there are people over me who see me only in a certain and incorrect way, and that is so frustrating. In this economy, and with my skills, and with my emergency savings being the way it is, I really am not sure I can find something better.

I will just keep on focusing on doing the best I can. I will be so very happy when I pay off a huge bill this year and that frees up a bit more money in my budget that I can use towards paying down other debt, or increasing my emergency savings.

I am just struggling with trying to keep my head up through these types of things. It is hard when you know you can do certain things, but others treat you as if you cannot. Frown

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

January 16th, 2010 at 12:05 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does money take you out of your normal self?

January 14th, 2010 at 07:37 pm

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

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

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

In Pursuit of My Life

November 8th, 2009 at 06:28 pm

With everything that has been going on, and the topic I blogged about most recently, I have been thinking a lot about my life and the things I want to do, the person I want to be, the life I want to have.

I feel a bit like I am in a stuck mode right now. I know that my health is probably a large aspect of that stuck feeling. I am working very hard (though I have worked harder when I worked more than 1 job at one time), and often I find myself spent at the end of the day. I usually feel so spent that I don't want to do fun things after work, and I don't have the energy to do the things I need to do in my home. I think that I need to work on the health aspect so I can feel better and have the energy to do the things I need to do.

I have been making time to do a bit more of my hobbies, and that is going surprisingly well, and it makes me realize that more of my life can be that way if I really get my energy in the right direction.

My bf made some comments lately about our future. It was odd in a lot of ways because I thought he wasn't into that kind of thing, but he made a comment and it again, suggested a long term relationship. The whole situation has me feeling a bit odd because it has been hard for us lately and really hard with his family, so part of our time together has been through difficulties. I am not sure how things will be when things are better for him and his family and us. I do think that our recent discussion about money upset him, but he did give me the money we discussed, and part of me thinks that when he calms down, he understands what I am saying and feeling. I think that part of it is that our relationship may be a lot better without all of the added stressors that have been going on.

I have been focusing more on me and putting more effort into some physical aspects, and I think it is coming along well. Much better than before.

Giving you all a big hello and hope that your weekend is going well.

Exasperated

October 22nd, 2009 at 07:40 pm

Today was one of those days where I would say that I had to dig deep down within myself and bite my tongue, but honestly, I was so tired and felt so down beaten that is was easier for me to just acquiesce.

I have come from sleeping on the floor of a person's 1 bedroom apartment (with other people, mind you) and having to make sure I shake out the roaches from my clothes before going to school (I am being very serious), to being able to visit other countries on my own, and seeing famous works of art. I dislike that because people focus on outer things that are not so important to me, I sometimes have certain people treat me in such a way that makes me feel like I am 12 years old all over again. I don't like having to conform to their beliefs, but part of me feels like I have no choice......some people will not accept that I know what I can do, if I do not conform to their image ideas.

I felt so brow beaten today that all I could really do is just be quiet and exasperated.

I am taking things in my life one step at a time. Things have been stressful for me lately in a few areas of my life, and I am just focusing on getting everything together---with my finances and health being at the top of the list. I am not bad off by any means, but I just don't have my usual zest.

So, yeah, today was just a bit tiring. I am really motivated about improving the areas in my life that are a little out of whack. I also realize that because I may be letting my finances affect my clothing, I am going to seriously work on that front and get things more together. I know the things that I am good at, and it is frustrating when other people think that I am not good at those things.

Things are better between me and my bf. I had felt a bit bad at first about the way we argued, but I held my ground and didn't backtrack from what I had said. And I think he really got where I was coming from. He has been helping a lot more and I appreciate that. He also made a comment yesterday that suggested he may want to be with me for the long haul. Of course, I may be seeing it through a female who really wants to be married and making babies type of lens (sorry, just being honest) and thinking that when he means future us, he means fuuuutttttuuuuururrrreeeee us, ya know? He could very well mean just right now, or maybe sometime soon. But I took his comment to mean the future and that meant a lot to me. I have a small place, but it is comfortable for the both of us, and if we work together, we can improve it a lot. I really do feel blessed to have the place I have, even though I realize I probably sound like such a curmudgeon when I complain about the upper class and their affect on my city. I know, me thinks I protest a bit too much at times. Sometimes, it is best to just sigh, get your mind off of the topic, and focus on things that bring you a bit more joy, rather than things that get the blood boiling.

Every day I am using my little calculator and figuring out what I can buy and what bill is due and all of that. I have been very resourceful with my food and have been having odd food combinations, but ya know what? I am full from breakfast to the time I get home in the evening, and that is what I am focusing on. When I have more money, then I can focus a bit more on being full off of healthier food, than what I am eating now.

I am very motivated, and I am very happy to be feeling that way. Smile

The Simple Life...

October 8th, 2009 at 09:25 pm

As I watch HGTV like a fashionista reads the latest copy of Vogue, I got to thinking about what I want my life to be...and I think that I am the kind of person who wants the simple things in life.

Yes, it is true, that when I want to de-stress or think of better times, I often think about places I have visited. Most of the time, when I think about where I have visited, it makes me smile and still be shocked and amazed about it....like, wow, lil ole me went to a different country. It may not be a big deal to a lot of people, but to me it is. I think I have gone places that my family hasn't and those memories really help me in a lot of ways.

Now, to me, a simple life would be a neatly organized home....weekends filled with trips to the local cafe, a good book to read, and a nice latte. I am not in need of things being extravagant or anything like that.

A simple life would be having children. Having my own kids and running errands in a min-van, keeping an orderly house. To me, that would be absolutely lovely.

For most of my life I have never questioned why I have experienced what I have. I have just accepted it as a part of life. I find myself now often having to deal with how I feel about the things and way I want my life to be, and the way it currently is.

Oddly, I feel that this time in my life, is one of the harder ones financially, that I have experienced as an adult (a whole different story when I was younger). Even when I made less money, I had less debt, and I had more resources (whether it be family, credit cards, savings, etc.) to help me with buying things, and even though I was short on my budget, I had more options to help me with whatever I was short. Now, I don't have that help so much, so I am a bit more stressed than before.

I know I just need to keep plugging along and things will get better. Right now, I just find that at times I really worry about having a simple life. I know I am blessed that I have food to eat, shelter, a great job, and loving family and friends. I just worry about the simple life that I envision for myself.

The Cheapies....

October 8th, 2009 at 08:59 am

So, we all know that most people are cutting corners, budget wise, and watching every cent.

I have been watching everything that I spend, counting out how much I will need even for basic toiletries (hey, 1 ply is just as good as 2 ply, and A LOT cheaper, and lasts A LOT longer).

I have been good for the most part (with the exception being my coffee--and no, I don't buy lattes---though they do call out to me from time to time---buuuuuuy me! buuuuuuuy me! I am sooooo creeeeeaaaammmmmyyyyyy!) and been writing down whatever I buy, and taking an honest assessment of what I am going to buy is really necessary.

This often occurs when I have been tired the night before and not made my lunch, or haven't made enough food to take for lunch or breakfast, so I find the cheapest items possible and make the food stretch.

So, why, when I am buying food, do store owners want to give you "that look" when you point out an issue with the price? I recently bought something and the menu said a certain price. The guy (who has a bit of vanity going on, but I digress) didn't bat an eye when I said that he overcharged me. He said the price changed. I said that the menu says this price and that I have bought it at that price recently. He seriously wasn't going to budge, and wasn't going to accept that if you post a price (that can be altered on the menu---it is the type that doesn't involve re-ordering copies, etc.) that you need to honor that price. I really think he was seriously going to just have the stance of "Hey, we changed our prices, didn't tell the customer, you already ordered the food, now pay up". He went and talked to a senior person and honored the original price, but he never made any mention of what happened, just gave me the change I was supposed to have. wth?

So, I have been considerate lately with my friends....when eating at their place, I tend to either refrain from eating altogether (if I didn't chip in money wise), or not eating too much. When we go out, I abstain from buying expensive drinks, and try and order the cheapest thing on the menu. All of us are having money issues, and they understand that I cannot buy alcoholic drinks, or even drinks that do not include the free water.

I had a medical expense that is not much at all, but does impact my budget. I go from periods of feeling ok and happy and calm, to freaking out and being anxious about my money situation. Sigh. I have been like a broken record with my bf, telling him exactly how much money I need, and by which date. I hate being like a broken record, and I know he says I need to just accept that he is going to help me, but I just have a hard time waiting on people. I really don't like asking for help, and I don't like having to depend on others. I am so grateful when they help me, and I thank them tremendously as it does warm my heart. The waiting and being somewhat powerless over the situation is what upsets me. My bf is going through some things, and I feel bad bringing up what I need, but I feel like I really do need help, and for the majority of our relationship, I have been helping him. I don't want to add stress to him, and he has said for me to not worry about adding more stress to him, so I am going to take his word on that, even though sometimes he gets in a funk and doesn't want to talk about things and well, as you all can tell, I am a chatty cathy and talking is my thing. Smile

Writing this out on here really helps me to mellow out a bit and get things out, ya know? I find that often I really cannot talk about these kinds of things with my friends because they are hard to get a hold of, or are going through their own things, and my bf doesn't like talking about money or budgets, AND when he gets home, lately, he just wants to chill out and not talk much. So, at times, my desire to talk and conversate is high.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings. Smile

Nickeled and Dime....What is a customer to do?

October 2nd, 2009 at 10:14 am

First off, let me preface this entry by saying that I do admit that I am cheap. Though, I prefer to say another adjective, but I think you get the point.

Just yesterday, I was in a restaurant, and boyfriend was picking up the tab. Because he is on a budget, I try to order the cheapest thing possible. Well, they were out of that, so I went with the next cheapest item. For what it was, it was overpriced, and I asked for an extra condiment. I asked if there would be a charge. The guy said no charge. Well, when he is adding up our food, low and behold, he put in extra for the condiment. I asked him about it, and he stated that he is only charging me half of what he normally charges for the condiment....which was still ridiculuously overpriced. My bf got upset. Sigh. The food was good, but I probably would not buy that item again because of the price.

I have a similar issue with a place that I frequent often. I buy their product with the understanding that I can use a condiment (i.e., jelly, etc.). One of the cashiers has made comments about my usage of jelly and how he will charge me extra if I use more. He said this out loud in the crowded restaurant, and it was very embarassing. I stopped going there for a while because of his comments.

Due to not scheduling things right, I find myself there again, and hungry, and trying to get the cheapest thing on the menu. I bought an item today with the understanding that I would be using jelly. Again, he made a comment about he will charge me extra if I use too much jelly. I said ok.

It was a weird situation and it made me feel very ashamed, I must admit. I think I will stop going there, because I don't like feeling like a leech or a cheapskate because I want to use a condiment that is free for customers. It also feels weird because I can feel the cashier watching me as I am getting the condiments and napkins that everyone uses.

So, I have done my budget and voila....I will be $300 short this month. Frown I am trying to not stress about it, though.

My boyfriend and his family were able to pay their bills, and they had a little bit left over. I did not make any comment about the amount left over. I did not mention anything about the money my relative gave my bf towards the bill. I am not sure when I should say something about how much I am short. I think I will wait until next week. It is sooo difficult talking with him about money. Ugh!! I do think he is in a better mood now, than previously, and I am hoping that we can really work on how we feel about each other this month. It may sound weird, but the idea of marriage has crept up into my head. I know, weird, huh?

I also realize that my being broke and not giving as much attention to my appearance is negatively affecting me.

I don't have money to buy new shoes, and so I wore some shoes with holes in the bottom that I cover with a type of paper. They look ok, but just don't look at the bottom. I realize that is really not good and I shouldn't be doing that.

I have a few main stays in my wardrobe, but they are getting worn out, and my handwashing skills aren't great. So, all in all, I am finding that I think that I am allowing my budget to make me look slovenly. I am going to dedicate $20 this month to take my dry clean shirts to the cleaners (the kind that need to be ironed---I don't have an iron), so that I always have a presentable outfit ready if needed. My bf made a comment yesterday, and it really made me wonder if he is, at times, embarassed by me because I don't pay a lot of attention to my dress attire. I want him to be proud of me. It was hard to tell if he is sometimes embarassed by me.

I am having a slight pain, and it is bugging me because I know what needs to be done, but there is the money aspect for the co-pay, and making time to get to the doc. Sigh.


Simple Pleasures....

September 30th, 2009 at 08:52 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kind Gestures

September 29th, 2009 at 09:04 am

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

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

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

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

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

Calgon Part 2

September 28th, 2009 at 08:22 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussing money, and eager to shop...

September 27th, 2009 at 06:38 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recession time rants...please take them in jest

September 24th, 2009 at 10:14 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More money, more problems

September 24th, 2009 at 08:49 am

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

Sigh. Frown

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

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

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

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

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

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

How my money is doing....

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Just want to be pretty

September 23rd, 2009 at 09:47 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 23rd, 2009 at 09:35 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Control

September 22nd, 2009 at 09:55 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The simple things

September 21st, 2009 at 12:54 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 21st, 2009 at 08:51 am

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

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

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

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

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

The way I feel.....

September 20th, 2009 at 07:52 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where I have been and where I want to go

September 14th, 2009 at 08:25 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just want a normal life, ya know?

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

September 10th, 2009 at 09:43 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why steal from someone who is broke?

September 8th, 2009 at 08:52 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping it together

September 7th, 2009 at 11:07 am

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

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

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

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


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