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Simple Pleasures Part II

November 18th, 2009 at 05:00 pm

So, after yesterday's little mini crisis, I was able to talk to my family and friends and borrow the money.

I know $26 bucks isn't a lot, but when I am maxed out on cards and refuse to use the ones that will jump my interest rate to nearly 30%, and have a small savings I have a fear of using, then, well, it just seemed like a bit too much. This is taking into account that I had stupidly forgotten to check my checking account and kept going on the wrong balance info. Sigh. Then, when my bf said he couldn't help, that upped my heart rate a bit. We were able to have a good talk, and some anxiety I had had about our vacation dissipated. It will be put on hold for now. I am disappointed, but things are too hard right now, ya know?

I also have a problem with asking for help. I know that sounds silly, but I do. I don't like asking for help because I fear that people will let me down, and it will cause a rift between us, so I try not to ask whenever possible.

Things seem better today and with my family's help I will be able to buy food for Thanksgiving. A modest dinner, but one full of love, and I think that is all that matters, ya know?

Oddly Comforted during Hardship

August 16th, 2009 at 07:51 pm

I am feeling really weird right now. On one hand, I am super stressed out about money and life and whatnot. I am trying to work harder and faster, I am trying to help someone I love who is dealing with their loved one who is dying, and I am trying to deal with my own issues of feeling financially insecure.

And on another hand, I feel this weird comfort at times. I have been dirt poor before and eating in soup kitchens, so part of me feels like being broke is not uncommon.

It is hard to explain this feeling. On one hand there is the fear of being homeless and I cannot explain how today, I felt on the verge of tears. Just overwhelmed. I need to fix things, and I don't have the money to do that, and I am in a situation where I am counting out every little bit and am slowly (or not so slowly) seeing my savings dwindling.

I know that I am far better off than other people. I have a job and I have a roof over my head and I have food. So I am doing ok. Smile

I have applied for some part-time jobs, and I hope that it goes well.


June 22nd, 2009 at 04:05 pm

There used to be this magazine from New York that I loved called STRESS. It was a hot word at that time, and I am not sure if the magazine is still in print. In any case, it reflects how I am currently feeling.

I woke up very tired this morning and blue, and I really, really, just wanted to crawl under the covers and watch talk shows and I would say have cereal, but I am out of cereal and milk. Frown

Things are busy here, so I didn't feel right about calling in, though I am feeling quite blue.

I am going to buy some maintenance stuff for my car and try to do some of the maintenance myself until I can get her into the shop. Sigh. My bf is paying me back some money he owes me, but because of his income and his responsibilities, he can only pay me back half at a time, which is a bit tempting to me, because I will have this money in hand, and though I may need it for stuff like food or gas, I will just have to hold onto it to combine it with the 2nd half and put some or all of it towards car maintenance.

If I did decide to give up my car, it would only save me less than 50 bucks a month. But considering the extra buses I would be taking, and those days when I am so tired or my grocery bags or so much that I have to catch a cab, then it won't really be much of a savings. Frown

Feeling a little bit funky and looking forward to going home and laying down and getting some rest. Frown

Yikes! I almost forgot about yall!

June 19th, 2009 at 07:39 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Food, Food, and more Food

May 12th, 2009 at 03:57 pm

So, today I looked at my checking account and was running the figures in my head and whatnot and I am feeling ok. Yes, my food budget is depleted for the month---but I have a lot of protein and rice and I need to only buy maybe $20 bucks worth of food at the most, so I am not feeling too bad. I could borrow that amount from my money for next month's bill.

My bf gets paid on Friday, and he will give me some money relating to tolls and gas and whatnot. I know I have to pay some money for extra tolls, and I am thinking it will hopefully be no more than an extra $25 bucks.

I will be getting more money than usual next month, so I am going to save the majority of it, and take some of it to get my car fixed...time for a tune-up. I really wish I knew how to do that stuff myself...or rather, I wish my mechanic wasn't so freakin expensive! They do good work...but they are pricey!

Sorry about the comments issues----I would have to change the text and background color in order to change the text color on my comments section. Not sure which color to choose at this time. In the meantime, you can "highlight" the comment boxes (aka select as well), and that will let you be able to view the comments.

Babies Fever aka The Musings of being in my 30s

May 12th, 2009 at 03:07 am

So, here I am...still in my early 30s, and contemplating my baby making factory abilities. I worry...When will I have kids? When will I be able to have kids? When will I be financially stable enough to have kids? What if I am not able to?

Part of me is kicking myself in the rear...why didn't I think ahead? Why didn't I start saving for being a mom years and year and years ago?!?! What about health and all of that?

I am working on my health so I can have children. I acknowledge that I have been saying that for a while...and at my age I have to do it rather than just say it again and again. My primary goal is to be a healthy mom so my future kids can have me around for a long time.

Yes, I want plural. I want 3 or more. Yes, I know they are expensive. But if I can manage the shelter, improve my cooking of healthy foods, and health insurance, I can make everything else work. Smile I grew up poor....and some of the best times in my life were just regular sit down dinners at home...this was of course before things got hectic...but that is another story for another time.

I worry about the money aspect of having children. For some reason today, I got filled with a bit of much is insurance for a kid? Will I have enough for braces (yeah, I had bad teeth as a youth---they are much better now!), omg! I know that rationally if I just keep truckin along, my debt will be paid by the time I plan on starting a family. I still get scared though, to be honest. I don't want to not have children. I know that my self-worth isn't dependent upon being married or having kids, but for me, in how I view myself, I really, really, really want to be a mom. I want to be a healthy mom (making ants on a log for my kids---with all natural peanut butter of course, none of that sugar added stuff!), a mom with a lot of energy, a mom who is able to play an active and happy role in the lives of her children.

I live in an expensive city and so, owning a home seems still like a faraway dream. But, my goal is to have a home by the time I am 40.

My bf. He is a good man, and we have discussed children, and have agreed that now is not the right time. I wouldn't want to have a child at this time in my life...I want to have more flexibility and surplus spending money in my budget---diapers cost money...cute little stuff monkeys with hats and jackets cost money, you get the drift. He also has his own responsibilities, and I think we would have to discuss things more and work on a budget or spending plan so that there isn't much friction regarding finances---I am more strict, he is more relaxed, and as such, we usually cause each other a bit of stress when discussing money.

I did good today---no stopping at a store or drive thru for anything. I came straight home and had a yummy dinner of cereal and it was pretty good. I am taking vitamins that my doctor suggested, and just focusing on losing more weight. Right now I am about 16-17lbs away from my 2nd weightloss goal. I am very excited about that as I haven't weighed that much in over 2 years. Smile

I know that people say there isn't any good time to have a baby...and I wonder...for those with debt, or not much surplus cash---how did you do it?

Worries and Overconsumption

May 7th, 2009 at 04:02 pm

Yesterday was a not so good day. It started out great, and then I ended up being in a funk and stressed out about stuff said at work and then my boyfriend and I were talking and he was having some problems with his bank. I got really frustrated because he sometimes has an attitude towards business things that I don't agree with. I am a bit more uptight about things, and if I were having the problems he listed, I would be on the phone to customer service in a second! He, on the other hand, deals with it more slowly.

I worry about this because 1) I am not in the best financial shape, but I know what I did to get myself in this position, and 2) I worry that my bf will continue to be this way about money. My friends tend to trust me with their money and money related issues, as I guess they figure that I know the right thing to do, even though I don't always do it, but my boyfriend wants to do things his way and I don't think he listens to me in that regard.

We did have a discussion about marriage and money and whatnot, and he said he would be okay with my managing the money. Whew! You can't understand how much that relaxed me---I know I would feel better knowing that I had paid all of our bills online and that we had a certain amount of money for xyz, etc.

I also know that realistically it isn't any of my business how he deals with his finances. I just have a hard time keeping quiet because on one hand I know he is having difficulty and is stretched very thin financially, and on the other hand I think that if he got a bit uptight about money like me, he would still be stressed about money, but he would know how much he has at all times, avoid bank issues, etc.

Kind of stressed this morning and though it isn't in the budget, I bought myself breakfast---namely because it is more filling than my usual breakfast, and because well, I just felt like having a Sunday type breakfast on a Thursday. Smile

Dinner went well yesterday and I have enough leftovers for lunch at work. I am thinking of the chicken in my freezer and planning out the meals for next week.

I did good at the store yesterday and spent less than $3! Woo hoo! I focused on buying the bare minimum of what was needed for dinner, namely veggies and water.

I am going to buy vitamins tonight and hope that my coupon helps significantly. Smile

A lil bit more.....

May 4th, 2009 at 07:42 pm

So, I have come to think of money as something that happens in cycles...there have been cycles in my life where I saved my dinner money (where I lived for a while as a pre-teen, didn't have a kitchen or bathroom) in order to "splurge" on the weekend on used books, a comic book or two, and maybe a lunch out (super cheap, of course).

I started working in high school and that helped me with spending money and being able to buy basic personal toiletries and whatnot (very important to a teen, I tell ya!). I ended up working my way through college and making close to $30,000 before I got my degree.

I then got a decent job, and a part-time job in addition, and had the luxury of having a full pay check every week. I did good and managed to save about $12,000.

Then, a close relative got sick, my job couldn't always do a cost of living increase and the 2nd job wasn't available, the bills relating to their care and my bills ended up being more than my earnings, and I ended up being in the red each month, which led to more cc debt and whatnot.

My relative passed away and I had a hard time dealing with it. I didn't have any other close family that I could depend on, and well, I just went into an emotional funk, if you will. This emotional funk caused me to not be so focused on watching my budget and my savings dwindled to a small amount.

I have been working more on my budget and writing down every single thing that I buy. I know that if I had more savings I would feel less stressed, but, until I pay off my debt, I don't have much to put towards savings in the first place. Frown

I realize that for me, buying things was a sort of temporary fix for my blahs. I also realized that I wasted money on drinks, eating out (even if it is fast food, it is still too much dough), clothes. Of course I am totally kicking myself right now, but what can you do? All I can do now is focus on getting rid of my debt, and trying to be as frugal as possible.

I worked a 2nd job for a while, but the extra 24 hours a week was hard on my body as I am currently working on trying to be healthier.

Now I find myself kind of in an semi-awkward reality I am doing ok. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food to eat. I shouldn't be so worried. The emotional aspect is the part of me that wants to travel, feels stifled when I am calculating the affordability of buying a coffee drink or a bag of chips, and the comments that irk me by friends who I don't think really understand poverty.

I have friends that make comments that I can't relate to.....they say they are broke, yet spend 3x the amount I do on food, or are always out enjoying some lounge or club.

With poverty there comes a lot of judgements...and from time to time, I still feel like the little girl in grade school who was so poor that I had to keep re-sewing the hole in the same pair of cotten stretch pants. Imagine sewing a hole made from overwear and tear, in an item that doesn't have any seams!

One thing about my attempts at frugality is that I think there is a really fine line in judgements about money, and most of us have a problem with that line...

For me, it is a struggle to not let my finances affect my mood. When I have money, I am happy and want to go walking and simply window shopping (I don't need to buy anything). When my money is somewhat limited, then I have a hard time relating to friends who want to go to lounges and have cocktails (mentally, I tabulate the $8 cocktail, plus tip, and try to determine if there is room for that in my food budget). I sometimes just can't relate to friends eat organic meat now, while I am scouring the ads for cheap chicken.

I know the best way is to just hunker down and get through these times. I also have to let go of disappointment in myself for overspending, and also have faith that I have been through much worse as a young person, and I cannot let my fears cloud my mentality.

My neighborhood has changed quite a bit, and it is hard relating to some of the changes. There are more expensive stores and people with much higher incomes moving into my area. People pay ridiculous amounts of money from the local boutiques, and it just kind of irks me.

I do accept that if it weren't for the debt (that I fully take responsibility for), then I would have a lot of disposable income to put towards savings and towards more trips.

Starting Out on Being Open

May 4th, 2009 at 05:36 pm

Money is something that I love to talk about. Money is also something that I feel consumes a large part of my personality. I have friends that I can discuss money issues with, and friends for whom the topic is a bit touchy and I don't feel comfy having those types of conversations with.

I grew up very poor---eating in soup kitchens, government cheese, finding that a mouse had bitten its way into my desired jar of peanut butter, and loving the $3.50 rice plates. Yes, beef and broccoli was usually my favorite pick.

Now I make a middle class income, and live in an expensive city where some people don't think my income is so middle class. Frown

I grew up not having much and being constantly ridiculed for it. This led me to become very anti-label and anti-pricey items. I would prefer to spend money on a plane ticket than a designer bag. I wear my jeans until there are holes in them, and while I love technology, I am still using a cell phone that is 2 years old.

Money shapes how I am feeling---when I have a lot of savings, I am very happy and content, even if I have debt. When I don't have a lot of savings, I am more worried and anxious. I am working on overcoming how my money situation affects me as I know it isn't the best.

Right now I am working on paying off my debt....I anticipate having all of my debt paid off in under 3 years.

I totally heart traveling, and without adequate savings, I just can't justify going on any trips at this time. So, my urge to see the world is stifled a bit.

I really appreciate this type of blog because I think that money is one of those things that people cannot always talk openly about. On here, I can gripe and smile and be open about how I am feeling and hopeful that people may have simimar concerns or understandings.