<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Budgeting
 

Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category

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.

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.

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch...

May 24th, 2010 at 08:32 am

So, lately I have been feeling like Mr. Grinch, upset at everyone in whoville who may be too slow, or too fast, too cheerful, or too morose. Sigh.

This month has been a hard one budget wise. I am so thankful for the part-time job, as it has been helping me buy more food and pay for extra things like household stuff and necessary repairs, etc.

However, I still didn't budget right, and ended up borrowing money from a few people. Yes, a few. sigh. I will be better off next month, but the way the part-time job pays, the pay day is like 2 weeks after the pay period, etc., so, when I am not watching my budget, it is easy to overspend.

My emotions have been up and down, and more down than up. The ex thing is the ex thing, and that has its own set of feelings, though now I am feeling better about it. A week ago I was balling my eyes out. Sigh. My friends were supportive, and they did mention the whole budget aspect of the relationship and that both people need to be able to work together. It really did make me realize that until both of us change, we really aren't the best for each other.

I have been trying to do things that make me happy and ease the stress levels. I am trying to break through those invisible glass ceilings, and that takes a lot of work, a lot of introspection and self-improvement, and a lot of well, extra work. It also at times seems daunting because I have to focus on the improvement part, and not focus on when some people are making more money for less hours, or abusing the system, or just seem to be getting more positive reinforcement even though they may act kind of shady. Frown I have to try and ignore that and just focus on things that will help me to improve and get ahead. Sigh. It is hard because some people are, in a way, getting overtime, when the rest of us are not able to do so. it makes it worse because they talk a lot about money, and how they spend it, and when some of us are just trying to feed ourselves, it is hard to have sympathy for a person who is being paid more, for inferior work, and who openly spends it on, well, useless items. Or, when some workers are excused from having to do certain things or not held to the same standards, but others of us are kind of lauded if we don't do the same things.

The weight thing is going ok. No weight gain and I am happy about that, but not much loss this past month either. Kind of just staying the same. So, I am going to work on that more and start doing more exercising. I am even going to set aside a part of my budget next month for some fun exercise classes.

I have been writing down the things I want in my life, and trying to use online resources to help me envision what I would like to be and to have in my life....how I want to live. I think that it is helping me to stay focused on it, and it helps to give a mental break from stress, etc.

Next month I will definitely stick better to my budget. I need to save the money I make this month and next month, as much as possible. I also need to get refocused on eating healthier and staying within my alloted food budget. Smile

The Life that I want to live

April 27th, 2010 at 09:43 pm

I have been feeling a bit blue lately---been thinking a lot about my life, how I am feeling, what I want, the person that I want to be, etc. I am feeling like I so wish I could press rewind and do sooo many things differently, but I know that isn't possible. I often find myself thinking or rather dreaming of when I will be able to really live like as I would like to and be the kind of person I really want to be.

The food is an issue....I wish I could afford to go into the nice stores and buy the super healthy food all of the time. I don't think I would be wild and pay $5 for a head of lettuce, but I do wish at times I could buy more organic food and have a refrigerator and pantry full of healthy food options. I know that I can feed myself, healthy, for only a couple hundred bucks, so I am going to focus on sticking to that amount for next month, rather than continuously trying to stay within my budget of $100. With the 2nd job, I can be able to afford the increase in the food expenses.

I wish i could be more carefree on the weekends...strolling to healthy exercise classes, etc. The kind of person I want to be is very healthy and fit and most of all, happy. I do realize that being worried about my finances, working a lot, not always feeling understood or accepted, does stress me out a bit and make me not the most cheerful person. I wish I were a bit more bubbly in a lot of regards.

I am taking the steps now to live the life that I really want. Perhaps when I am in a better space health and finance wise, I will be more content and thus, be more open to meeting another person. I feel like I just have to keep going, and be patient, and being patient is a bit hard for me (probably why I am in this situation, no?).

I sometimes get mad at myself and others because of 1) bad financial decisions I have made, 2) working very hard, but seeing others have things much easier for far less work, and 3) honestly, having a lot of heavy responsibility when I was young that I do not regret, but sort of impacted some of my dreams. I feel a bit like I have always had to be a bit more responsible, and for a good while, I was so much better with saving money. I just feel like all of the stress comes out in my body and my level of happiness.

I realize that I am just ranting a bit right now, and that I should be soooo thankful for being able to work, and even more that I am blessed to be able to work part time as well. I think the part-time thing is also a good opportunity for me to not be alone, sad, in my apartment. I also realize that the more I improve my abode and myself, the more I won't feel so "alone", in as much as I will feel like I am in my own little private relaxation oasis of sorts.

I am going to take the advice regarding the yoga. I do feel like I am a bit disconnected from my body, and that I am operating more from my neck up and not connecting with getting back in tune with good movement and flexibility and breathing exercises and all of that.

I am going to go to the grocery store at the beginning of next month, and I will shop like I am shopping for more than 1 week at a time. I still need to work on making my actual meal chart for the week so I have clearer ideas of what to cook.

I am continuing to work on improving myself and making time for myself and doing things that nourish my soul and my body and my mind and my home. I thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings.

End of the month blahs....

April 27th, 2010 at 09:39 am

So, here it is, the last stretch before the end of the month. My frozen food is coming into play for my week's meals, and I am wondering where all the money went! Smile

I am just feeling kind of low-energy today. I feel like just going home and getting in my bed and staying in it until I go to sleep. That very rarely happens, as I am usually half-watching tv, half-doing chores, etc. Maybe today I should just cook dinner, check my email, and be in bed by 8pm? Wouldn't that be amazing in some ways?

It is hard for me to feel ok to relax, even though every day I feel like I just can't get untense enough. I always feel like it is a struggle to try and really relax in my shoulders, back, etc. I have so much that needs to be done on my home improvement project, that everywhere I look I see something that has to be fixed, and should have been fixed weeks, if not months ago. Sigh.

I am upset at myself for not really watching my spending at all this month, and having to rely on my credit cards. That is not good as I did get my tax refund, but most of it was already earmarked for bills, and loans and home improvement items that needed to be bought (like cleaning supplies, etc.). I feel that I should have watched my money more closely and really planned out my budget. Instead, I bought whatever food I wanted, all the coffee drinks in the world it seems, and while I still didn't go crazy in what I bought, the little lower priced items do add up.

I am going to focus more on working and my home improvement goals this weekend. I am really eager to have time to be able to put some junk that I still want into storage (I know, its an oxymoron). At some point, I will be able to really decide what I can sell or give away. Right now, my stuff isn't worth a whole lot, so I am not sure who would really buy it.

On a positive note, I checked my retirement account recently, and woo hoo! I regained almost all of the money that I had lost when the market went a little baty. yay!! I know I should not think of my retirement as an emergency savings, but considering I don't have much of one right now, any little bit helps. I am hoping that my part-time job will help me to start putting more money away.

The ex stuff is hard. I also have a lot of his stuff still, and we haven't discussed when he will come and get it, or if he needs to keep it at my place for a while, etc. We haven't even had a really good, face to face, conversation since we decided to just be friends. That part is hard at times. He is still having money problems, so I feel that that difficult part of our relationship would have still continued in some ways, though, my part-time job really does help tremendously.

Not watching my budget and buying all of my groceries in large shopping trips now has me feeling hungry a lot and tempted to eat unhealthy foods---all because of lack of preparation. Frown I am trying to not give into the quick and easy lure of fast food. I think I am just stressed a bit, so a huge burrito sounds like good comfort at times. I am trying to ignore its siren call. Smile

I am also trying to avoid getting into a mental funk. There is a situation where I am really working very hard and trying to bite my tongue whenever possible, yet a person over me is soooo unbelieveably clueless about how much their favoritism of particular co-workers shows. This person really lights up whenever they are discussing the co-workers. What is hurtful about this is that 1) the co-workers are not committed to the job AT all, and 2) one of the co-workers gives me really bad vibes, and is not a very trustworthy person. Because of some issues that I think really are sexist, he can say the most off the wall and inappropriate things, and the person over me thinks it is hilarious. If another one of my co-workers said those things, the person over me would think that they were being inappropriate. It is just hard when you are trying so hard, and a person, because of their own issues and biases, fails to really see you as a person. Frown

I am working on just trying to be the best me I can be and really improve a lot of areas of my life. My finances definitely need a lot of improvement. I am happy, however, that the balances on my larger bills are slowly going down. On others, I need to work harder on them.

Thank you to everyone that listens to my ramblings. It does help a lot to be able to express this kind of stuff, especially since friends and family are not always available.

Understanding....a better explanation

March 14th, 2010 at 04:47 pm

So, this is my third attempt at this entry. Sigh. For some reason, it isn't posting. Frown

I did some soul searching on Friday, and I have to acknowledge that the issues I have with friends and how they relate to money isn't their issue, but really, mine. There is nothing necessarily wrong with how they act or their preferences. The issue is more with how I react to it or how I feel about it. It is not that they don't want to discuss their budget, it is just that they may complain about not being able to buy organic, while I am dealing with just being able to buy regular food. So, it is just something I cannot sympathize with. I do realize that as a friend I should be more sympathetic, and that is what I am working on within myself.

Deep down my friends are good people. It is just that we are very different. At times, when my friends act as if going to a certain store or place is "beneath" them, then that bothers me. It makes me feel that they are being superficial. I realize that is just because I have been around people who mimicked that same type of behavior and I found that they looked down on me because I am not from a rich or even middle class family.

Sometimes, my friend will talk a lot about how much he works. Yes, he is hard worker and I give him credit for that. I just cannot relate at times because I have many friends, and myself included, who have worked just as hard if not harder, for many years of our lives, earning much less than he makes. So, when he makes it a point to even tell strangers how hard he works, it kind of bothers me a bit. He also makes a point to say that he just doesn't have fun---but every time I talk to him he is going to multiple social and non-work related events per week. For me, when I worked the same amount of hours, I literally worked, slept, and ate, and did it all over again for days on end. So, that is why it is hard for me to relate.

Borrow vs Have?

January 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 am

So, somehow, after the big argument with my bf last month, I made a statement that I had enough money to pay for bills for the house for the first half of the month, and that my bf could wait until the latter half of the month to pay for his portion of rent and utilities and food. Also, there is a routine bill that he pays that is not included in this amount. Most of the time he cannot pay this bill on time because of his limited income and when he gets paid.

So, I was not clear about the exact amount of money I needed from him. And, because it is like pulling teeth to get him to sit down (we have never sat down and physically wrote out our expenses and income--I write out the house expenses and my income and his expected portion) I am now in a situation that makes me want to cry because really, I am short around $20-$30, which means I have to borrow money from friends and/or family until I get paid.

I am so upset because he doesn't budget, he doesn't make enough to be as non-budgeted as he is. I know he is supposed to pay some large bill he has and I would expect or hope that he would have saved money from his last check to do that. I am not sure that is the case as he doesn't like to talk about money or budgeting, and when I ask him things, he acts as if I am stressing him out or not being clear about what I need.

So, I told him the minimum of what I needed with a $20 range. He can only give on the low end. I also forgot about the bill he is supposed to pay each month, and if he will give me money for that. So, if I take into account what he bought this month, and what he is giving me, then he is $105 dollars short.

The problem is that because he didn't give me enough so far this month, then I am asking to "borrow" money. This is really crappy because why do I have to say borrow. Should I really just start saying "have"? Meanwhile, there are times when he has more money in his pocket than I do, for misc stuff like eating out, etc.

He has also been home a lot less, so I wonder if he pays less because of this. I am frustrated and I want to cry and I feel like everytime I try to talk about money with him, it is an argument because he says that I am saying it in the wrong way, etc.

I am frustrated because I was so happy about getting money today (my gas tank is on E, seriously), and also paying back my relative for a nice gesture she made towards me, and now I don't have enough for that. I have enough to repay another friend, buy gas, and maybe enough food for the next 9 days. Again, I am having to be in the mode of being anxious for the 1st, and I hate that, because it feels like being on welfare all over again. Frown

Food in the fridge

January 21st, 2010 at 09:13 am

When there is plenty of food in the fridge, then I find myself to be a very happy camper.

I have cleaned out most of the fridge, and while it looks a bit sparse, it also looks much brighter (more avail space to reflect light?), and well, less cluttered and I have an idea of all the things available to eat.

Overall, this month has been a lot less stressful moneywise. It could be because on certain months I am supposed to save money for a bill that is bi-monthly, so in essence, I have a little bit of a buffer for when I overspend. Though, of course, I need to recoup that money the following month.

My bf has been spending less time with me, and I miss his company. I do think it is important for him to have the space that he needs. Since I am feeding just myself, and tend to eat just about anything for any meals, the food budget has gone down a bit as well. My bf will be giving me money this week for his portion of the rent, and I am just hoping that things go smoothly. I say this because it seems like we often have communication problems and we end up arguing. It is very stressful. I am also in a situation where I like to schedule and plan out my budget, and my bf doesn't like to discuss it until the day of or after he receives his paycheck. Personally, I would be calculating my hours and how much I plan to receive even before I get my check, but he waits until he receives it to form his budget. Sigh. And I feel like it stresses him out because it is pretty much spent before he even gets it, or his plans for it (something as simple as buying needed shoes) are changed at the last minute because his family needs help or some bill comes up. It is a difficult situation for him and I feel bad that he has to go through that. Especially since he works so hard and doesn't earn very much.

I have been doing odd jobs on the side, so I am really happy about the extra money it will bring in. Any little bit really helps. Smile

Things have been stressful in other areas. At times certain people who have issues with image and wealth have tried to be downputting to me. (yeah, I think I just made that word up) Their tone is constantly as if they have a superiority complex and it is frustrating. It makes me feel that whenver I see them, I need to have a specific outfit on, etc., and not display any semblance of being on a budget, etc. I don't think it is right that I should have to feel that way, but i guess that is how things are right now. It doesn't help that another person above me doesn't seem to appreciate my frugalness and makes little comments about it that seem more like mocking than accepting. Sigh. Frown

Next month my bf and I are going to do the shopping together. Both so he can see how much things really cost, but also so that I can buy enough food at one time and not have to make multiple trips to the grocery store. My goal is to buy enough food for 2 weeks or so at a time.

I am also working on making more time for me and doing the things that make me happy.

Being Broke and Trying to take it easy

January 14th, 2010 at 09:24 am

Has anyone else ever experienced this phenomena---you have x amount of days until you get paid, and you are literally counting each day as they pass? I find myself doing that alot and really, I don't think it is a good thing for me. I get worried about if I need to buy something, or waiting as long as possible before buying something in a hope to not have to buy it until after I get paid. I end up counting out food and meals per each day and some of my more recreational activities like going to a cafe, etc., are put off until I am better off financially.

I have noticed that it seems like time seems to fly by when you think this way. Or is this more related to just working full time and the aging process? (Remember when you were younger and the days seemed to take forever! Now, a weekend races by and you are left a little downtrodden on Sunday evening wondering where time went.

I have better goals in plan for next month. Namely, I am going to try and buy as much food and necessities as will fit in my apartment so that I have enough for the entire month and am not scrambling to pay for basics like paper towels.

I am not feeling as stressed as I was last month, and that is good. I still need a lot of fine tuning on my budgeting skills, however, and I want to improve that for next month.