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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?

Asking for help is sometimes hard

September 22nd, 2010 at 09:49 pm

So, I had a situation recently where I had a bit of a little break down emotionally. I suddenly had a huge bill that I needed to pay (completely unexpected), and I had no way to pay it---my credit limits on my credit cards had been reduced, no emergency savings, and only my 401k as a possible last resort. I felt so angry at myself for being in this position. Thankfully, someone very close to me helped me more than I could ever imagine, and lent me the money to pay the bill. I cried a bit because I just hated having to ask people for help. The past few months have been very hard, I must admit, and I have asked friends for help more this year than probably in the entire time that I have known them combined. Of course, I have always tried my best to be there for them when they needed help, but, it is weird being in the other position and needing help.

Because of the love and support of the person who is dear to me, I was able to go from crying at one part of the day to smiling from ear to ear and sipping on a pick-me-up coffee drink. Yes, I do comfort myself with coffee, and I realize that is probably not such a good thing.

I am mad at myself for being in this position, and all I can feel like I can do is just to keep on heading forward and just hope and pray that things work out and that I eventually get back to the way I was before, where I led more by example financially-wise. My friends come to me for help a lot when it comes to finances, but I feel like I have a hard time sticking to my budget. I also have to deal with the reality that my budget may not be the most realistic, that I do buy little things when I am sad or depressed (and even though they are cheap items, they still can add up---100 items from the dollar store still equal $100, plus tax), and that I often put my needs behind the needs of others, and that is not good.

I am starting to worry that not only are my health issues and lack of romantic love a possible barrier in having a child, but, financially, I cannot afford to pay for the medical things that people do if they decide to have a child on their own. I know I should just take each day at a time and realize that we are all going through difficult times. I have plenty of healthy food to eat, a good job, a roof over my head, and most importantly, the love and support of family and friends. In that regard, I am so very, very, blessed, and I just need to realize that I just have to keep on trucking. It doesn't seem like it now, but, in reality, I have been through things more emotionally difficult than right now, so, I just need to relax a bit and not get so frantic about it. I just feel vulnerable and yeah, weak, when I have to ask my friends or family for help. I do realize, however, that maybe my asking them for help does strengthen our bond as usually I was the person who always tried to help them more.

The ex and the new beau are odd situations, for sure. The ex is still the ex, but at least our text messages don't seem so angry. He even paid part of a bill this month, and made a sincere comment about paying more next month. That made me feel good. I don't know if we will ever be friends like we once were, but I think the anger factor has relaxed a bit, and I am happy about that. I don't think he is a bad person, just that we aren't the best for each other in a romantic sense.

My new love interest is very nice---I already can see that we get along and understand each other a lot better than me and my ex did. Our chemistry is ama-zing! And yet, I don't know if we are headed towards wedded bliss. And I really do like that we can talk so openly about what we are looking for and how we view getting to know each other, etc. He treats me really very nice, and he did help me to see that at times, I do say things or come across like I don't think I am worthy of being treated very nicely. Yeah, I know I need to work on that for sure! We do have different spending styles, and I realize that any potential couple needs to be in somewhat agreement on that issue. He was upset at me at one point because I was curious about the price of our food dates. I let him know that the type of person I am would not go to excess----like, I wouldn't order lobster if I know he is trying to save money, on a budget, etc. I also know that I have to let him be able to speak up if something is more than he can afford, etc.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching and there are so many facets of myself that I really need to work on. I think that my pride and my self-esteem and my sense of self-worth really got hit hard last month because I feel like I do a lot, and can achieve a lot, but I just kept getting treated like I couldn't get over that glass ceiling, ya know? But, all I can do is just keep on trying my best. My debt is slowly coming down, and I am not too old to have kids just yet, and you are never too old to change and keep improving who you are as a person, so, that is what I am just going to believe and do.

Thank you everyone for being so kind to me----being able to blog about a topic so touchy for a lot of people, really helps me more than I can express.

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.

My Spending Goal for August

July 18th, 2010 at 02:08 pm

So, my goal for August is to not spend so much. I realize that buying something every day, even something as small as bottled water ($1) can really add up. I also realize that I do have a lot of stuff, and that shopping, for me, is a form of stress relief and also impacts my self-esteem. When I cannot buy something, I feel very financially unstable---even though I know I may not be able to buy something because of a future goal.

I realize that my debt has gone down a lot, and that if I keep making the payments that I need to make, my goal of being almost debt free in less than 3 years can happen. I just need to be able to focus on that goal, despite being distracted by emotions, etc. I want to see how long I can go without buying something, and to consolidate my shopping trips so i am not buying necessary items, but every day.

So, in August, I want to really test myself to see how I feel not buying things, and maybe only buying something once a week, or so. I have to cut out nice coffee from my budget, so, I will treat myself to a nice latte only once per week. It may make it more special that way. It may sound silly, but I would like to be a financial situation where I have a larger food budget that I am comfortable with, and that allows me to buy as much coffee as I want. I guess I am kicking myself because when I was younger I was able to do that easily. So, I just feel like I have to get back into the mode of spending below what I earn. Easier said than done, as I probably need help also with adjusting my food budget.

On the boyfriend front, a relative recently said that she was happy that I did not marry my ex, namely because we were very different, and when it does come to finances, both people need to be able to talk about it and work it out. I got upset this week because my ex said that he wanted to help me when I needed it, as I have helped him. But, due to the economy he isn't earning what he used to, and has to help his family more, so he isn't able to help me. I know I shouldn't be upset, and I know that he may have less earning potential than I do because of his lack of education and his interests, but, I got a bit resentful because I was working 2 jobs to support the both of us. I wish he would have told me something like he can't help much, but he can offer a certain amount, even if it was below what I was asking for. My relative says that he does mean well, but just isn't able to help, and isn't yet in a place where he wants to go over budgets and figure out bills in advance like I do. I can't tell you how many times I memorize in my head what I need for the month to live off of. The creating the budget isn't hard, but the sticking to it, especially when I have a craving for a particular food or item I feel I need for my home is what is difficult.

I am going to keep focusing on trying to achieve the most that I can. I realize that I just have to keep at it, and things will eventually work out. Already, my debt is going down. Now, I just need to reduce my spending habits.

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