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Looking back to the here and now

November 23rd, 2009 at 08:44 pm

So, things have been odd lately. I have been doing a lot of introspection and contemplation.

Things have been difficult this month, and my friends and family have been helping me out and I really appreciate it. I really dislike having to ask for help, and I dislike even more that I have not stuck to my own rules about budgeting and buying enough food at the beginning of the month. I find myself now trying to figure out how much I have to put towards a thanksgiving dinner, and what food to buy for the days in between thanksgiving and when I get paid again. Sigh.

I have had some discussions with my boyfriend, and I realize that I just have to remain firm about what I need and when. He has been helping me out, but because of budgeting issues, he gives me money later in the month, or he is giving me money in the beginning of the month, not realizing that it is really for something that didn't get paid in the previous month. Sigh. So, we are having to work on that. I do realize that if it weren't for him helping me, I would not have food money.

It is hard looking at where I was financially not too long ago, and where I am now. On one front, my bills are going down and a major bill will be paid off this year. woo hoo! On the other front, money is super tight, I worry alot about what to buy to feed me and my bf, and I am behind on doing some routine maintenance stuff (for both myself and in general). It is also hard at times hearing people talk about the things they are going to buy during the holiday shopping season. I am going to just stay home on that day. It is also hard hearing from friends them say one thing about finances, but living a different lifestyle. I helped a friend out and I thought they were having more financial problems, but it turns out they weren't, as they were discussing their discretionary spending and what they want to buy.

I think, that since bf gets paid soon, I will let him know that I need help and for him to bring food for us until payday. I feel like I am just getting really stressed about it.

I am just going to focus on trying to do things to make myself happy, such as relaxing, redecorating, hobbies, etc. And I am going to focus on sticking to my budget more strictly.

Almost left in tears

November 17th, 2009 at 08:18 pm

So, I goofed on my budget, and when I had paid for something with my atm for a friend, and they paid me in cash, I didn't accurately estimate how much I had remaining in my checking account. So now,
on a tight budget, including money for gas and food, I am short $26 bucks. And I am left almost in tears. I am maxed out on my cc, and I have $26 in my savings, but I fear dropping below $300 in savings. Sigh. I feel like crying, and I just don't know what to do. I could not pay a bill, or pay it partially, but I don't know if they would negatively ding my credit for that, so I want to save that only as a last resort.

I have asked friends for help, but haven't yet received a response. I don't want to ask my family cause they have already helped me out and I would feel funny asking them.

The way things are with my budget, I don't see a trip really being all that possible. Frown

Weary Part II

November 7th, 2009 at 04:17 am

Today I feel sapped of my energy. I just feel like all I can do is shrug my shoulders and have them become rounded. I was critiqued about something that only hours previously had made me feel so happy and accomplished. This person's words made me feel like no matter the qualities I offer and my skills, there is something within them that makes them not be able to see what I offer, or see me as someone who cannot improve or achieve higher. This has left me feeling a bit blue to say the least.

It is easy for me to take how I am feeling and divert from my budget. But I know I do not have that type of wriggle room.

My appetite has gone down a bit, so I am happy for that.

I am going to work on what I can improve, and hopefully I can improve the areas enough so that this person will not have the same wrong inner judgments of me. It does make me worry a lot more as I thought I was doing well. I feel like my only option is to improve as much as I can, even though it make me weary. At times like this, I feel like I don't have a whole lot of strength and energy.

Wanting Onions and other weirdness

October 30th, 2009 at 05:06 am

So, I think it was very possible that I almost had a minor little conniption today, while trying to make a decent filling dinner on $4 bucks, and I found myself digging through moldy onions. Yes, these were onions at a low-cost supermarket and they were moldy and all messed up. I wanted to make a simple bean dish, and having some freshly cut onions would make the dinner a little more savory, seeing as how I did not have any meat to go with it.

All of this has made me realize that with my budget this month, the money from not only my bf, but friends and family, there is absolutely no reason for me to have had to charge my gas on my cc, or be scrounging for onions at the local cheap foods mart. I am upset at myself, and my trusty budget journal will have to be used more thoroughly.

It seems like I do my budget and then there are a few days where I get off of the plan, and then it feels like I am only seeing a few days ahead. If I had been better thinking (and maybe I was better thinking, but just didn't really think honestly about how much food and gas cost?) I would have used the money I received from family and friends, and I would have bought more food at one time. bought necessities in advance, etc.

It may take me a few hours, but I am going to stand in line if needbe, and make sure I get all of the tp, paper towels, beans, etc., I will need for a month. I dislike being in this situation because I don't have to be. I feel like I could have planned better, cut back on some coffee purchases, etc. I also ate some of those 99 cent burger deals, and I need to cut back on them....especially considering that I can get a large can of beans for 2 bucks, and coupled with an onion, some tomato, and seasonings and rice, that can be a very filling dinner.

The bill I talked about yesterday called me after I sent them an email and corrected their error. I am pretty happy about that and I feel better about giving them my card information again.

I am looking forward to some R&R this weekend, as well as going over my budget, paying bills, and even trying the envelope thing that people suggested---where I can put food money in one envelope, money for toiletries in another, etc. Maybe that will help me to stick to my budget on certain things.

Automatic Debit meanies....

October 28th, 2009 at 04:33 am

So, I have a bill that I have automatically debited from my checking account. I placed this particular account on hold, so that I am not charged the full amount of the program.

Well, with the whole cc number change issue, the program needs me to update the information. BUT, they are charging me a higher rate than the hold. I don't have the money in my budget to pay this higher amount, and then wait for a refund from them. The customer rep (who called me), didn't understand the error, and started making all of these notes and well, I just gave up at that point. I did send an email to another customer service rep as they seem more aware of the companies billing practices.

Would you wait until the bill is corrected before giving the new cc information? The true amount I owe is less than half of what the current bill is. I also distrust the customer service rep as he seemed to eager to not listen to what I was saying and re-confirm my address and write "notes". Sigh.

I am a bit stressed today as while my budget is doing ok (bf is giving me more money for food), my wardrobe is not, a good chunk of my clothes cannot be salvaged, and I am just stressed a bit about...impressions. I really have to step up both my appearance and my talents as I do not want the impression people have of me, to mimic the impressions that those same people have of those that they think of negatively. I know I am speaking a bit in code here, but I hope it makes sense. Upon some reflection, I realized that with all the stress I have been under, having the blahs, my wardrobe issues, my health issues, etc., my image is not as rosy as it used to be, and I need to change that ASAP.

Learned a new way to cook a common dish, so it is fast becoming one of my new favorites. With just a few of the savory seasons, such as tomato, onions, bell pepper, the flavor profile of a dish can change tremendously. It also makes it taste so much more homemade and fulfilling.

Reflections

October 26th, 2009 at 03:51 pm

So, the title above can be something from an SNL skit, or a 60s song made famous by Diana Ross and reinvented by the old tv show China Beach.

In any case, it was the best title I could come up with. Right now I guess I am reflecting on things in my life, though I feel more like I am being introspective, but I think I already used that title.

It was a very weird weekend for me. A relative gave me some money, which I really needed, and yet, I feel weird about taking. I don't want to feel like a charity case, ya know?

I also realized that the minute I get paid, I am going to have to stock up on the basics--I already had the no deodorant fiasco that, while I had some deodorant, it just wasn't the best kind for me, so it left me scrambling to buy more the first thing in the morning. I find myself again in a similar situation, and trying to figure out where I can buy the basic toiletry item for the cheapest in my city. Sigh.

My clothes are looking pretty shabby right now, so I defitely need to clean up the good clothes I have. I got more clothes, and bought them in the largest size I remember wearing and low and behold, they still didn't fit. So yeah, kind of bummed about that.

I am having so many feelings right now. Things are kind of up and down with me and my bf, and I hope we can work through them. I feel like with all of the stress he is going through with his family, that when I discuss what I need from him in terms of his portion of the rent, etc., it just makes him more stressed out. And I worry about how he deals with that and all the things that entails.

I just have this huge fear of being an old cat lady (no offense to old cat ladies as it isn't a horrible thing to be older with a multitude of cats---it is moreso just my own personal issues with that imagery) and not having my own family and not being loved and all of that. I also worry about money in that I don't know if I will be able to afford in vitro fertilization or if I will have enough money to be able to adopt a child when I am older. So, yeah, the emotional rollercoaster is swirling all around, and no, it really isn't a rollercoaster of love.

My stomach is bothering me right now, so the idea of going for a long walk this week doesn't sound so appealing. I will have to start getting out and doing more exercise and I need to get away from the foods I have been eating, cause they are making me bloat like crazy.

I am feeling kind of anxious right now, and just think it is nerves and worry and stress. I have about $10 for food for this week, but I think that will be enough as I already made enough food to last hopefully for the rest of the day.

Emotions

October 21st, 2009 at 06:31 pm

So, I was going to discuss hurdles and getting over them and I decided to go with the title above.

A few days ago I felt totally stressed out and unsure of how I would be food for two weeks. I was quite grumpy.

Now, with the help of friends and family and watching my budget, I am doing ok. Smile I am very, very tired, but feeling a lot better.

My bf has been contributing to our expenses, just not as much as previously discussed. We had a really good talk and he is helping me more. He even stopped that whole "We pay separately for our food mess" and is now buying food for the house. I like that, and I appreciate that, and he made a comment yesterday that let me know that he understands that while it is hard for him and what he is going through, that I need help as well.

I did give him some budgeting advice, but I have learned to back off about it. He is either going to follow that advice, or he isn't, ya know? But it isn't my responsibility.

I have also been using more brown rice in certain dishes and my lunches last A LOT longer hunger wise than when I used white rice. I still haven't been able to completely avoid pasta, but I try to add more green veggies to the dish to make it some semblance of being healthy. Smile

Thanks everybody for the links and the advice about the pantry stuff. I am going to put it on my to do list to make more room on the shelving I have for food, and to toss more and more items that I just don't need or want or are using.

I am also going to ask a relative who has been offering help, for help, which is a hard thing for me to do. Mainly because of our past issues, it is hard for me to feel like, 100% I can depend on this person, so at times I feel a bit distanced.

I am also going to take maybe $20 from my upcoming paycheck, and put some of my nicer blouses that need ironing into the dry cleaners for a fresh spiffy-up. That way, I will always have a nice shirt on hand when needed.

Thank you everybody for your support, and thank you for listening to me, even when I ramble and go up and down like a roller coaster.

Goals....on a more positive note

October 18th, 2009 at 09:40 pm

I know that I have been sounding kind of funky lately in my entries(and not in the George Clinton sense), and I am sorry if anyone has been a bit bummed out by them. I am not always in this kind of mood, just lately, it seems.

I am looking at trying to be as resourceful as possible, buying things that are only absolutely necessary, and trying to make more time for me. I also find that blogging and journaling help immensely...there is the fact that on a daily basis, while I have a lot of friends and some family and a loving boyfriend, I don't really have people I can talk to about things I see or encounter on a daily basis. I just don't want them to fear talking to me for fear that it will just be wah wah wah, so I don't call them as often as I should.

I have been thinking of my finances, and while it is true that I don't have a decent emergency savings, and have a good amount of debt, it is also true that my 401k is almost back at the level it was before the recession (yay!!!), my bills are slowly, but surely being paid off, with two large bills being paid off within a year. Yay!! I have a roof over my head, some nice clothes I can always hand wash or dry clean to keep them in shape, and my car, which takes very good care of me (love you girlie!!), and even though I may have a big appetite, I am nowhere near starving.

Some goals I have for myself (finances wise) is to get my emergency savings up to at least $10,000-$12,000 (about 3-4 months of expenses). If I had a year's worth of living expenses, I would probably do cartwheels, I kidd you not.

I really want to learn how to play in the stock market....I have always wanted to know how to read the investment figures and whatnot, but never learned. I would really like to learn how to read that. The most I do now is listen to financial shows and keep an eye on the dow, and routinely check my 401k. My investment level is moderately aggressive, so maybe I should go up one level as I have about 30 more years before nearing retirement age.

I also want to own a home by age 40. I know that means I will have to get my credit rating super duper high, and try and get over $25,000 in savings.

I know someone who has a home, and she is always this negative kind of vibe (you guys think I am negative, HA!) no matter what the topic...it seems like nothing makes her happy, there is no joy in anything, even spending time with family, or owning her own home. I don't want to be like that. If I owned my own home, I would want to have trees or lots of foliage and greens and I would want to try and at least be able to grow some kind of veggie or fruit, ya know?

I want to visit some Asian and Latino countries in my life time. I want to view more of our country and how people live. I want to have the joy of taking a train in another country, or flying across the atlantic (?) to visit lands far away. I can't explain how much, to me, going to a country such as China or Japan, would help to sort of undue a lot of the negative stuff growing up.....it is hard to explain what I would feel, but it would be a very cathartic and healing process I think.

I want to thank everyone for all of their support and encouragement. Things seem better between me and my bf. I think that maybe what I said just needed to be said? I am also being more understanding that there are some aspects of the family situation that are more stressful than maybe I am admitting, and I am being mindful of that.

Money and Self-Worth.....Questions on Feminism

October 17th, 2009 at 04:36 am

Growing up, I noticed that society and the various women around me all reinforced the idea of self-worth and how it pertains to money. If a man spent a lot of money on you, that was a good thing. If he did not, then it was inferred that you should 1) not date him or 2) there was something wrong with your value.

I never believed in either concept, and I made it a point to be very independent when I dated and in my relationships. I made it a practice to go dutch most of the times, or we would switch from my paying for a date or the guy paying for a date, or we would pay portions of the expenses of the date (he would pay for the food, I would pay for the movie tickets).

I have noticed (as I invariably do when times get tougher financially) many female friends that I have that are insistent about the man paying...almost to the point of being what I would consider a bit too focused on obtaining something from the guy. Call it whatever you will.

But as much as I don't really agree with that, I do have to comment that 1) the ladies seem well fed and well taken care of by their dates and 2) I find that I often give more financially in my relationships---many of which the man earned more income than I did, and sometimes that makes me wonder.

As a feminist, I am torn by what I see. On one hand I can imagine how hard it is for a guy to constantly pay for dinners, for someone he may never end up in a relationship with, and there is also the notion of how society labels image and beauty and value (i.e., super models tend to have very rich boyfriends or husbands)--if you are deemed more desirable, then you may get treated a certain way when it comes to finances. When you are not considered as such, you may not have the people willing to treat you in such a fashion.

Is there an aspect to appearance and value and worth in our society that does impact the day to day finances? What is the female (or male---I am open to everyone's ideas) perspective of the topic?

When is it okay to ask for yourself?

October 9th, 2009 at 07:49 pm

So, I have been thinking about this topic since last night.....When is it okay to ask for something that you want or need for yourself, and when is it appropriate to ignore your needs, in order to help another person?

I was thinking about my bf and I yesterday, and just having some worries. I worry that we have become very close because of all the things that my bf has gone through recently and in the past year or so, and I also feel like while our dependence upon one another has grown, I am not sure about the bf/gf aspect. It is like we haven't had funds or time to put towards our relationship.

I feel really weird about this, because my bf is going through so much right now...things that would be difficult for any person to really have to go through. Some pretty heavy stuff, I think. So I am being supportive. Sometimes, I just feel....tired and overwhelmed and then I end up feeling guilty because I want to go out on a date, or I want some couple time together. There has definitely been a financial aspect involved, and while I have assisted him alot, he has also assisted me financially more than any other person I have been with...even people that made 3x what he makes.

I also have some insecurities, to be honest, and the lack of our acting like couples kind of just makes those insecurities worse. I know he loves me and I don't doubt that. I do worry that he may love me, but not be IN love with me. I also worry that we seem to be moving away from coupledom, to friends that really love each other.

It is hard because my heart and mind understands what he is going through, and I really worry about the amount of stress that is. And my emotions are wanting to do gf/bf stuff. Sometimes my emotions don't want to do some errand to help him get to some place and yet, I find myself offering to help a lot. I also find that sometimes I feel ok with helping, and sometimes I feel really irritable because I just feel like I am giving and giving and giving. Then I end up feeling bad because I know he is stressed and it worries me how much stress he is under. I also feel that because of everything, we are in this routine and rut. So, then there is the worry about him getting bored, etc. I also, do worry, that once he is back on his feet, that he may decide he doesn't want to be together anymore. Sigh.

Calgon time.....

September 28th, 2009 at 07:41 pm

So it is one of those days when I am feeling....tired at the start of my day and unable to focus.

My money situation should be okay until I get paid--not taking into account the $150 or so I am already short. I still have to be careful, as I only have about $15 of wiggle room in my budget for food stuffs...which is hard, because it is one of those days where I feel like I am in pig out mode. It is a combination of 1) hormones and 2) stress, and voila! I am craving the dollar menu at my local fast food place. I am upset about these cravings as I told myself I would avoid eating there and certain types of food, but, I dunno....the craving got strong last week, and I ended up eating fast food while driving home.

I can't wait to get home and just chill out---I made dinner last night that should last a good two days of meals, if my bf comes over. I washed most of my dishes, so I don't have to worry about having to do that. I think I will just focus on relaxing, journaling, and doing some pampering things like a nice hot bubble bath, home facial, and that type of thing. I may even paint my toenails! Smile

I realize that my appearance has gone downhill quite a bit....it is one of those things where I have good intentions, and then voila! I notice a hole in my clothes that I didn't see while getting dressed, and it ends up making me feel like a complete shlump.

My friend is having another baby and I am very happy for her. It does sometimes make me wonder when I will get my act together so that I can have my own kids.

My bf and I are having some difficulties, but I am acknowleging that much of it may just be due to the situation, and that he is under a lot of stress. So, he sometimes seems very short or irritated by me. Sigh.

I do sometimes feel sad when I see people on the street who seem...well, so happy. I feel like I need to get back that part of me. I know I have so many opportunities that other people haven't had, and yet sometimes, silly as it may be, I sometimes wish I could do things all over again and make better choices. I wish I could have worked harder in school. I wish I could have gotten my weight problems under control years ago. I wish I could have saved more money when I was working the extra job. I know it doesn't help me to feel that way, I am just expressing how I have been feeling lately.

Today I plan on just going home and chilling out. I think I will even make myself do some much needed reading....why do I avoid it when it always brings me such joy?

Toast at the end of a day

September 18th, 2009 at 01:32 am

I am sitting here stressed out a bit.

The money situation is not so good for this month. I am definitely short,.....and short because if I had the full amount I expected, I would have stayed narrowly within my budget.

Things are very difficult now, so I don't know if my boyfriend will be able to help me. I told him not to worry, as he is trying to do a lot with not very much, and he may need any money for his family.

I am also a bit upset because I didn't meet my weightloss want, and my dr wasn't very supportive. So, I am mad at myself, and also mad because I feel like my doc is probably having all these stereotypical ideas about me (i.e., lazy, etc.)

What to do...what to do...

September 16th, 2009 at 05:28 pm

My goal for this month was to avoid going into next month owing any money. It doesn't look like that will happen this time. Primarily because the money my bf is supposed to give me for this month is short. His family member's illness is progressing, and he needs to take time off from work to care for the family member. This is a tough situation he is in, and I have stated that I will help him through this time. This means that he may not be able to assist with me finances.

So I am not sure of what to do. I have been looking for part-time work, but as you all know, it is hard to come by right now---and this is from someone who has done odd jobs in order to make ends meet.

I don't have much things to sell, and what I do have is not of good quality...I think I could sell some books.

On a positive note, I have been trying to make my food budget work. I think if I stick to a certain way of eating, I can keep my costs low, and eat healthy.

The weird thing is that with our pay cuts, if I cut out my food budget of $100 bucks, then I will only be short around $30 per month. Once I pay off a monthly bill in december, then I won't be short funds. And as I pay down more debt, it will hopefully free up more cash to reduce the amount I am short, or even put towards food.

Maybe I Can Do This Afterall....

September 15th, 2009 at 04:36 pm

This week I experimented with cooking, and low and behold, I have a new, healthy, yummy dish that I could eat most days of the week and not be bored. I am really happy about that because it has been so easy for me to turn to fast food or highly processed food when short on time, simply because I don't know how to cook the healthy things I need to eat.

I have also had a strong craving for beans....so I am hoping that my growing love of beans and my improving cooking skills will help me to stay on track with my diet AND keep my monthly budget low.

Of course I am worried about when the paycheck will be lower. So far, based upon my estimates, if I cut out my food budget, I should only be about 30 bucks or so short per month. This is where I am hoping that my bf can help me. Also, since I will have a major bill paid off by December, that will free up about $180 bucks in my budget, and hopefully I will not be significantly short any funds.

It will suck in a way because such things as coffee will truly be a luxury---unless I budget that half of my food budget goes to coffee---which, sadly, could be an option as I love my coffee, but am not able to brew super strong espresso at home. Frown

Things w/ my bf are good, and yet, I am sad. I think we are both aware of the growing reality that we are sooooo very different that we barely have similar things to discuss, and when we do talk about things, we are often at the opposite ends of the spectrum. He has stated that he isn't sure what he wants in his life right now, and that while he is happy to have me as his gf, he feels like he hasn't been very much like a bf lately. I will have to talk to him to get a better understanding of what he meant. I think he meant that because we have almost stopped dating, that while we love and care for each other, it doesn't feel like your average bf/gf relationship, ya know? We love and care for each other, and most of our time together is spent doing errands or chores for his family. When he comes home, he is ready to relax and destress, and I am on my way to sleep---so we don't get to talk much, and/or he is tired and not in the mood to talk. Frown

It is weird because while we both are accepting the fact that we are different, this is also a bad time for both of us to break up. This also makes a weird situation in that while I know my bf may not be the person I am meant to marry (this could change), that I am a bit more worried about him being into other people---people that he may have more in common with mentally and personality wise. It is an odd situation---both of us don't want to break up. I sort of feel like I want to be with him during this hard time with his parent's illness. I also know that after the illness, there is the big possibility that my bf may go off to do something different with his life as right now his life is primarily working to take care of his parents and family, or doing chores and errands for his family, and he has very little time for anything else.

We have agreed that no matter what, we will always love and care for each other. Maybe we will turn out to be great friends, if not great partners.


I find myself often dreaming....

September 14th, 2009 at 12:57 am

I don't feel that this weekend was very relaxing at all.

Instead, I am just feeling a bit drained.

I long to go on a vacation....be able to lie in a comfy and clean bed and read and just relax...

I have been worried about the reduction in pay, and am kind of upset at myself for not taking better care of my health. if i had been smart about things, i should have bought better food when i had two jobs. I could have had lovely salads every day and dropped some of the excess weight that has been bothering me.

But now I am in a situation where I have to buy enough food for fuel, as well as enough food to deal with when i am stressing and want to eat. I want to go to a spa and get a spa treatment (never did that before) for my bday, but I really cannot afford it. I don't think i will be able to afford to do much of anything for my birthday.

My bf and I are having some issues, and it seems that when we get into arguments, he is saying more and more that we are not similar (I know this), and that he is not sure what he wants right now in his life. I do feel that I need to be with him during the ordeal he is facing. I think it would be doubly stressful for the both of us to deal with a breakup at this time. And I wonder if things are tough for us right now (no dating, etc.) because of all of the challenges he is facing and our lack of money and time to do things together. Frown

I know I am just whining and complaining, and it is just me venting. I know I am very blessed, and I know that my bf and I have this unique connection with each other---it is just hard right now because I want to have kids and worry that my weight or my lack of money or my uncertainty about who I will have children with will prevent me from being complete. Yes, I know that is not very modern, but I long to be a mom. To me, that is what would make my life full and complete. I want to be a mom to multiple children and right now, I am just feeling overwhelmed.

Sometimes I day dream about having enough money to have a private chef who would cook me healthy food. I love to eat veggies and certain vegetarian dishes---I just am not good at making them. So, if I had a chef who could make me heavenly food all the time, I know I would feel better, lose weight, and be overall
healthier.

My weight is also preventing me from being able to buy the kind of clothes I like that would help me to look more professional at work. I feel that my lack of good clothes and my weight and how I look makes people think less of me as a worker. Sigh.

It is just one of those days----I wish I could get a way for a week or so and go to a spa and just sleep, drink health drinks, eat veggies, do yoga, do facials and spa treatments, and just relax.


Feeling Both Despondant and....Okay

September 5th, 2009 at 06:23 pm

So, long story short, some jerk stole my SSN and my debit card number and 1) got a copy of my credit report and 2) tried to take money from my bank account.

This is the one time I will praise Bank of America----after all of the rigmarole of lowering my credit limits and jacking up my interest rates (despite being a good customer), they actually did some very good.....they saw a transaction on my card that seemed funny, and stopped the entire process and closed my card.

I dont know how this person did this as i tend to be careful with my information.

So, I put a fraud alert on my credit, I already have a credit monitoring service that monitors any activity on my credit report (but how did they not monitor when my report was requested online?) and bofa has said they will not approve any of the fraudulent charges.

I have started to contact the SSA, and I already went to the police station to file a police report. All of my current cards have alerts whenever they are used.

I did all of this in one day, and I find myself fluctuating between feeling like I will cry any minute and have an anxiety attack and 2) this really sucks, but hopefully it was just some jerks trying to get money, but not other stuff like my work history. Frown

I don't know how to feel....or rather, my emotions are back and forth. I am afraid and scared. I don't have much, but I want to keep what I have, and what is most important to me is keeping my work history and all of the years I put into my SSN.

I have been dealing with this after having a huge fight w. my bf about trust AND dealing with being under the weather.

My bf was supportive, so I am happy about that.

I am upset that even though I have the name and the number of the people involved in trying to use my card to wire themselves money via western union, the cops say they are behind in identity theft, and that they are not yet even working on this year's cases.

I want to call these people, but I know I should just wait and see if the police can do something.

My bf bought us dinner last night which was a very nice treat. He knew I wasn't feeling good (drained and despondent and just sad)and even though i usually say we need to avoid eating out, we got some cheap delivery food that actually tasted heavenly.

We also talked about food, and I am happy that he is okay with my changing how we eat to being more of what is better for my health (he can fill up on pasta and rice, but I am avoiding it. At times, making 2 separate meals is not an option) and seems perfectly cool with it. So that means I can really buy the best food for the both of us, and I don't always have to focus on just what is the cheapest (i.e., pasta, etc.). He also recommended that I buy organic chicken---I told him it is at times 3x more expensive. I told him I want to eat that way, but it is hard when the options of chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) are less than 2 bucks a pound, but organic can be 6 bucks a pound...and i like chicken, so having 1 tiny piece may not cut it for me). I asked him for help in buying that food. He said yes. Smile

I have also noticed that he likes it when I eat a good amount----does he really think I don't eat enough? I do find it sweet though, probably because i eat very little that he sees.

I am also happy that he bought me some snacks for my diet that are a bit expensive. He cares about me doing well on something that I really want, and that makes me happy.

Food

September 3rd, 2009 at 08:00 pm

So, as I sit here waiting for the 20 minutes it takes for my stomach to register that I should be full, I pontificated about the comments on my blog and my perspective of things.

I will wholeheartedly admit that I am human. I am not always right, and yeah, there are plenty of flaws that I have.

I do agree that if I were a kinder person, I would have more empathy for all...regardless of wether or not the complaint is that they can no longer buy Jimmy Choo.

The larger statement that I was trying to make (but not successfully), is that as these times get harder for ALL of us, I find that specific groups, who have very little wiggle room as it is, are being targeted more. That was the whole jist of what I was trying to say. As these times get more difficult (and I blame no one else buy myself for my own situation), I find that people are getting more negative towards the homeless, more negative towards those on welfare, more negative towards this whole suspicion of illegal immigration, first time home buyers swindled by unscrupulous brokers, etc.

This a common occurrence in our history. Whenever our country has hit hard times, it has sought out a scape goat, wether it be immigrants or illegal immigration or unions or the poor.

I have also experienced times when people get focused on the rule of things, and they lose the big picture--that is what made me write my blog about apathy---let me give you an example:

I was eating with a friend and I was VERY, very limited in my budget. This was quality time with my friend, and we were both hungry and I could not respectfully bring in something from the outside to eat.

So, I order items ala carte, as the items were oddly cheaper ala carte, than in a combo situation. About 45 cents cheaper. I kid you not. My bill was under $5 bucks (including the tax), and I tipped $1. My friend thought it was arrogant of me to only tip 1 dollar. I felt that he should think for a second that I am buying far less food than my appetite, and that I am buying things in such a way as to save 45 cents, while still being able to give 15-20% tip. My friend was more focused on what others thought and how we would be perceived, rather than seeing that I am in a situation where I am buying literally the cheapest food item on the menu---regardless of how hungry I am. My friend at the time, was not making hardly any money, and using a lot of credit.

But back to the topic...

So yes, I do agree that when a friend complains of not being able to buy a designer item, I really should have more empathy. I am working towards that. At this point in time, when a friend complains and I cannot relate to their complaint, I find it is better to remain silent, or to nod in agreement, than say something I shouldn't. For other friends whom I have a different repoar with, we can joke around and when they complain about something like not being able to eat a fancy dinner, I do let them know that hungry kids all over the world will get a collection plate for them. They usually laugh and understand where I am coming from.

Apathy

September 3rd, 2009 at 03:48 pm

I have found during these severely stressful economic times, that our sense of apathy is on the rise.

Make no mistake, I am not excluded from those who are at times more apathetic than empathetic (sorry, but I am not going to feel sad for you because you can no longer shop in high end stores, or because you have been reduced from shopping at Whole Paycheck to the local discount foods stuff).

And while many would see my judgement negatively as well (I know, I should feel something for the person who got their escalade repossessed, but as I drive my older car, I don't feel as empathetic as I should), I feel saddened by those who judge the actions of others.

A recent blog got me to thinking about the judgements of others in terms of money and spending and shopping habits.

I have found many people in my area (which I love), to be very judgemental of the family that shops for food at Walmart or the discount foods stuff store (where often other chain supermarkets send their soon to be expired goods), while they themselves, have the luxury of shopping at higher end supermarkets and farmer's markets.

While I do agree that I get saddened by the family with the shopping cart full of processed sodium ladden foods, I also understand 1) where they are coming from and that understanding what is healthy to eat needs to be taught and isn't naturally acquired out of the air and 2) families on very limited budgets with limited resources are often buying the most filling food for the cheapest price.

I agree that it takes learning and returning to our roots to find out how to eat healthy on a budget, AND we need to have adequate access to healthy and affordable foods in all neighborhoods. It should not be that if you live in a certain zip code, that you get fresh fruit and veggies, but if you live across town you are subjected to corner liquor stores that usually only have bits and pieces of "fruit" long past its prime.


I get a bit perterbed by those who make judgements about the family eating at the local fast food chain----we don't know if eating at a fast food chain is a big deal for this family. For me, I no longer eat out like I used to. For me, my "eating out" splurges are primarily fast food, and not the sushi restaurants that I used to frequent. I have heard such comments from people who may have more resources to eat organically and locally at home.

I guess what I am trying to say is that while some things are aggregious to most people (i.e., getting in express check out lines when you know you have way too many items, or using your hands and not the silver tongs to pick up food in communal food bins), some things seem more of an almost class judgement, i.e, those that think it is barbaric to not eat organically, but fail to see that some have the desire to eat in that manner, but do not have the resources.

There is a significantly high amount of homelessness in my city. I have often seen some people that proport to be very green and for the environment and animal friendly to be very apathetic towards the homeless, even moreso during these times. That is something that bothers me.

Personally, I don't care if someone gets a 2nd refill without permission. The prices of the sodas are extremely inflated to begin with, and 2ndly, it isn't my business. I don't care if a family takes home their leftovers from the buffet. Of course stealing is stealing and someone using a fake coupon is not cool at all. I also wonder if one were to take the energy they spend judging the actions of others, could they do something better in this world? And yes, that is advice that I need as well. Smile

I think that at times some people confuse have empathy with not having a strong moral compass. Whenever people say "I would NEVER do that!", it kind of makes me ears prick up a bit, cause really, do any of us know what we would do if we were in that person's situation?

If your kid was hungry and starving, you might find yourself stealing food if you had no other means of having food access (and believe me, even in our wealthy country, the food banks are running very low, and MANY families go hungry every night!). If going to the movies is a once or twice a year event, you might not be so quick to judge those that 1) do not have access to netflix, 2) bring in their own food.

Thank you all for letting me vent. While I am not immune to at times being apathetic, I wish that more people could see that while they may feel they are being green and totally all encompassing, they may be more apathetic to the plight of their fellow man than they realize.

I also completely understand that everyone has their own problems, and I am not stating that people within certain income brackets do not have problems. They most certainly do. I was just saying that I may be more empathetic to those whose problems are that they do not have enough food or the basic survival necessities, versus those who are upset that they may not be able to partake in more discretionary spending.

I fully understand that each person has their own reality. I also know that some people may not be able to relate to my reality. I can understand that in their reality, a significant change is a significant change, even if in reality, it brings them to the actual average wage. I completely understand.

I also know that as I rant and rave about not being able to go on a vacation, that there is a large part of the population that NEVER goes on vacation, or never has the ability to shop somewhere other than the discount food store. I understand that from another person's perspective, I have it very good, and I totally realize that, and I also realize that I am in my situation because of the choices I am in.

Perhaps it is my inner socialist that feels so strongly about certain topics. Perhaps it is because I have seen both sides of the coin (rich and poor), and I understand more of one side than the other.

Living in San Francisco, I have seen people who are on their way to the Opera or symphony, and they make rude and disparaging comments about a homeless person. That is what I feel is a bit apathetic. Of course it is all relative, and of course we are all humans. And while I understand the adage of each person having their own cross to bear, would one in a normal setting have more empathy for those that cannot eat, or those that cannot eat well? It is a hard balancing act I am sure.

Feeling Grumpy---but sticking to budget!

August 31st, 2009 at 03:34 pm

So, I eagerly checked my bank account this morning hoping that for some reason my paycheck would have been deposited a day earlier than normal. No such luck. Oh well. I at least have food for breakfast (it may hold me over for lunch as well), and I was able to gather enough change to buy a nice strong cup of coffee.

I am feeling irritable this morning. Not sure why. It could be stress. It could be economic concerns. It could be those dreaded hormones. Not sure. But I am feeling a bit like a grumpy person who really just wants to curl up on her bead with a nice cool drink, a good book, and some good shows on cable. Sigh.


Having the Grrrrrrssssss

August 28th, 2009 at 04:49 pm

That is my way of saying that I am feeling a tad bit on the irritable side today.

Sigh.

The weather is warm, and I am just not feeling like sweating like a stuck pig on the way home.

I was doing some reading online yesterday, and I want to give up wheat and dairy for a week and see how my body deals with it. Yeah, but that part costs money...so I am going to think about how I am going to manage it.

I really need to do some journaling because I am just feeling tired and irritable and sad. I just want to spend this weekend cleaning, relaxing, and catching up on reading all of the books I checked out of the library...I don't take enough time for reading like I used to.

I also realize that I need to take better care of myself in terms of sleeping. I get maybe 5-6 hours of sleep per night, and most nights, because my boyfriend comes in late, I am woken up 1 or 2 times during the middle of the night. I think that is beginning to make me more tired.

I am going to get some vitamins soon and really start trying to get more rest. I have been looking into seeing if I am having adrenal fatigue and one of the things I read about that is that a veggie and fruit filled diet and plenty of rest really helps the adrenals.

I changed the text color so now people can read the comments! I hope the blue is not too tough on the eyes.

I don't think my doctor is very fond of me right now. Sigh. I really want his support, but I just can't accept some of the things he says because it is from more of a western medicine view point and some of the things he says goes against everything I have been studying for years....sigh.

Why is it so expensive to eat healthy?

August 26th, 2009 at 02:41 am

I know that I am blessed to be able to eat food and not have to go hungry. I know that so many people in our country and our world go without food every single day. And that is a travesty, indeed. We don't have food shortages in our world, we have inequality in whom and which people and cultures and countries we allow to have food.

I have been trying to do more cooking and I am getting better at it, for sure. I sometimes get a bit irritated that while I want to go and buy veggies and spices and try all these new recipes, I need to watch my food budget. I have enough money for food, and am sooooo far from ever being hungry---it is more along the lines of, "Do I get to treat myself with yummy veggies and health food shakes, or do i get the box of 16 corn dogs for $5.99 (which turns out to be .37 cents per chicken corn dog)." I won't lie, most often times I get the corn dogs as I thinking that I will eat 2 or 3 per meal serving. sigh.

I have been eating more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Primarily because they are cheap.

I know I shouldn't complain...I should just become a much better cook!!

Money, Love, and Babies

August 23rd, 2009 at 09:52 pm

So, this past week was definitely a stressful one to put it mildly.

I finally got my car fixed and I am SOOO happy about that. Having a car is a really big piece of freedom in so many ways---I would not be able to save money on groceries and necessities if I did not have a car that allowed me to get from place to place.

My boyfriend and I are doing better. We still love each other and that is the important thing, and we are still helping each other and I think we will decide later if we want to get married or if we will be better as friends, ya know?

My friend is pregnant with her 2nd baby, and I am very happy for her, and also a bit sad for myself. I know that I am not ready to have a kid right now because 1) money issues, and 2) I want to be healthier before I get pregnant so I can have a better pregnancy and reduce the risk of complications and 3) I am not married and my boyfriend isn't ready for children right now. So, those are 3 really big reasons to not have a child now. But as I am creeping towards 35, I am getting really scared.

Sometimes I feel that my life is sooooo.....un-normal. Not abnormal, just not average or your run of the mill background, ya know? And while I think everything I have experienced only helps to make me a better person, I really worry if I will have a chance at being normal. I really want to just be married, have kids, and cook and take care of my family. That is normal for me, and I sometimes just don't understand it when i see other people who are maybe a bit superficial, etc., have these "normal" lives. Sometimes it just seems that things come easier for them, and when you take the fact that they aren't always the nicest people, or the most hardworking, it is a little saddening.

So, there are times when I feel a bit close to tears about the baby thing. I have a couple of years before I hit the 35, but still, I am beginning to be worried.

This week will be busy, so I am trying to focus on getting most of my cleaning done today so I can relax a bit more this week after work.

My savings is as low as it have ever been since my early 20s, and at times i am so sad I just have to laugh cause there isn't much I can do. I have been looking for part-time work, and with about 13% unemployment in my state, it is hard to find part-time work. People think it is easy, but really, it is more difficult than ever before.

Feeling better....

August 19th, 2009 at 03:56 pm

So, I had a good talk w/ my boyfriend and we did touch on the topic of the possibility that we may not be the best match for each other.

He apologized for speaking to the other woman, and he stated that he didn't want to be alone. Of course, I know that is a slippery slope, and while nothing physical happened, I don't like that they conversed.

We did have some discussion about how we communicate, and I did open up that I feel like we need to work on certain things, and he opened up that sometimes when he talks to me, he feels that I am sometimes judgemental, or that I am trying to solve his problems, when he just wants to vent. I know that this is a problem that I have in general.

I did talk with him about our future together and the possibility that it we may be better as friends, as we don't want to be the old couple who, as he puts it, argues over silly stuff in the supermarket (he hates to argue, and yeah, I am a bit argumentative).

Right now, we are taking a bit of a breather. He will be living else where, and he really needs to focus on his ill parent as their health is getting worse.

I am sad in some ways, but also I feel ok, like I am glad we talked and shared how we feel about things.

Sad, and yet....

August 18th, 2009 at 09:59 pm

I am feeling very odd right now.

I am both sad, but not boo-hooing like crazy. I am frightened that I may not find another person who accepts me like my boyfriend has (oh my, do I have a lot of flaws!), and also I feel like maybe I knew for a while that I am maybe not the best person for him (and vice versa).

He recently contacted me and said that he is going to move in with his mom. I let him know that I still care for him, and want to be supportive during these times, but that I must have respect in my relationships. We are supposed to talk about this later....not sure when, though.

He will move his stuff today or tomorrow.

I feel very sad cause I dislike stressing him out this much and I know that sleeping on the couch at his mom's is not where he really wants to be. I also feel like he knew that I felt uncomfortable him talking to this girl that he has flirted with, especially since she really does like him, and the fact that he initiated contact with her has really made me wonder about how much I can trust him.

Is it right to feel sad about his situation? Am I being too much of the proverbial push over? Am I ignoring my own feelings? I feel like I cannot just turn off my heart, and yet, I am aware of the possibility that while he encourages me to be the best I can be, I am not really sure that I do the same of him. I appreciate his sense of being a more go with the flow person, but I can't say that he appreciates my desire for organization and planning, etc.

Denial?

August 18th, 2009 at 04:53 pm

Can I be in denial?

I really feel like my boyfriend talking to this other woman is 1) emotional cheating and 2) I don't think he would have done physical cheating, and I think that there may be things that are lacking in our relationship.

He has been so kind to me and so accepting, and I just have this feeling, in some ways, that he wouldn't necessarily cheat on me, but that right now we haven't made time for each other, and he was lonely.

I guess that is me making excuses, huh?

I don't feel that he is a bad person, AND I don't condone what he did at all. I do think that he probably wanted to spend some time with someone, and I wasn't available, but it doesn't make it ok, ya know?

It is weird....I feel so much love for him and I also think that maybe we just don't have enough of what we need in a partner?

I feel bad about having this argument at this time. And I also realize that if he had not spoken to the other woman, that we wouldn't have had this argument in the first place.

I want to thank all of you for your kind words and support. I am sorry about the not being able to see the comments....if you highlight the boxes, then you can read the comments. I haven't been able to make the text color white, and not have it affect the comments section.

So, how do I remain supportive and friendly and caring, and still receive respect from him?

Fear and worries.....

August 18th, 2009 at 03:32 pm

So, I woke up today feeling...well...lighter. I am still very sad about my bf and me. And I am also feeling like maybe I knew for a while that we weren't compatible, but I was hoping that things would get better once this difficult time passes.

I am also frustrated a bit that he hasn't contacted me. My friend said that he can understand a guy being in the wrong, and just not having an answer for it because he doesn't want to argue with the girlfriend.

I know that my boyfriend has never been into princess-like women. He prefers low maintenance women. I guess I am more of a regular gal, don't need a lot of fuss or frills. But still, I want to feel like I am valued and wanted. And sometimes, when he does things like this, I feel like maybe he has too much going on in his life right now to deal with relationship issues, and/or he just may not have the energy to put into the relationship.

I don't know. Frown I am going to wait until tonight to text him. I really feel like he should be the one texting me, so I am saddened that he hasn't reached out to me.

Mental Cheating....

August 17th, 2009 at 05:33 pm

Sorry, but I can't reply via the comments section, so I am doing it here.

Mental cheating to me, is talking with another person whom you know likes you.

An example would be confiding in another person, about things you may not talk with your SO about, and that other person is definitely into you romantically.

I know it is a fine line, but for me, I don't have a problem with having friends of the opposite sex (most of my friends are guys). I do think it can be sort of problematic or tempting if you have a friend of the opposite sex who is interested in you romantically, and you are spending time with them.

Is Love really enough?

August 17th, 2009 at 05:07 pm

I am facing a pretty hard situation right now. The man I love, whom I know loves me, may not be the best person for me. I am not sure that I make him happy as we don't have the same intersts and I worry that he may be bored.

He did something disrespectful (not horrible like physical cheating, but that mental cheating that ticks some of us women off) and I had asked him not to do it, and he did it again recently. I couldn't go with him to do a fun activity that he enjoys because it is late at night and I have to get up early for work. He has asked me to do things with him (more dating things), but things are hard right now, our schedules are different, so we haven't really been able to spend couple time 2gether, even though we are living together. It is not like I don't want to, it is just that I work different hours than he has, plus cooking and cleaning, and I am worn out a lot on the weekends.

He is going through some really hard times and I feel like it would be not the best thing to just kick him out. I do care for him and I just wonder that maybe we aren't the best union. It is so hard because we have both never found someone who accepted each other and loves each other the way we do. How do you balance that with a severe lack of mutual interests?

Our relationship has been good, but it has also been filled with life hardships....he has had to take care of his sick parents and that has really stressed him out. so a majority of our relationship has been just trying to survive together and make it through these difficult financial times.

I am not sure what to do. Part of me feels like we should remain friends and put the romance part on hold. Not sure. Frown


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