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Not so good with my money

June 21st, 2010 at 09:22 am

So, I have been working a lot lately, and while I was able to take care of about $500 in maintenance related stuff, mainly due to my having the part-time job, I have NOT been good about saving money, or even keeping up with my bills.

I think that I have been a bit depressed, to be honest. I feel like I have been stressed in some regards, and just focusing on how good it feels to be able to buy what I want to eat (within reason), without feeling like I am always confined and can only eat specific items.

So, I am upset at myself for not saving better, and for not paying down my cc's better, etc. Although, I am happy, that my overall monthly expenses are going down, and that if I were to really stick to my budget, I wouldn't necessarily need the 2nd job, which is a good thing. The issue moreso is that I need the 2nd job for assistance with maintenance issues, etc.

I did receive a nice refund, and most of it went to pay back previous debt, so I wasn't left with a lot leftover. Sigh.

I realize that I do tend to shop when i am sad or feeling bad about myself. I know that isn't a good thing. I also know that investing more money into my food has led me to eating much healthier and dropping some pounds, so I am very happy at least about that.

I will focus on watching my spending more this month and in July. I need to avoid impulse purchases and focus only on things that I need, or creature comforts like a warm coffee and a pastry for a rare treat.

Just say no

May 26th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

My goal next month, though I already think it may not be possible, due to the paycheck schedule, is to avoid using my credit card. My part-time job has cut down on the hours, so I am already trying to figure out how I can save as much of my earnings as possible.

I did good food wise---my refrigerator is pretty well stocked on most items. Though, right now, I wish I could go out and buy some bread or something. But, I am super duper broke. Yep. And I am not going into my low, low, low emergency savings to borrow money for bread, because I overspent earlier in the month. Sigh.

So, I just have to deal with feeling a certain way when I am not able to buy that soda (which I probably don't need), or spend time with friends at an event that costs money.

I have really accepted that because of how I grew up, and how early I started working hard in my life, I have usually had a good amount of money on hand---hey, $20 bucks is super great when you are broke---you feel like you have so many options!

So, because for so many years I bought what I wanted, though never usually going to extreme, I do see that now, not being able to stop on the way home to pick up something I would like, but I don't need, is a bit, well, uncomfortable. It isn't painful, of course, but just makes me upset at myself for not budgeting well in the first place.

I am happy that I did stock up on certain food items at the beginning of the month, so even though my appetite has seriously dropped off a bit, I have food I can cook and eat if I get hungry, so I am not worried about having enough to eat. I may just have to deal with not wanting to eat what I want when I want it. I know, how quickly we become spoiled?

Also, I have long since realized that shopping, or even just browsing, helps to make me feel better. Maybe it makes me feel like I am actually worth something? I know, not a good way to think, but I am working on it.

If I manage my budget well, then I will be able to set aside some money from my part-time job. that is my goal. I want to have a lot more in savings, for when I want to buy extra healthy food, etc. I may not have enough money to go on vacation, and that is a bit of bummer.

I realized that with my ex, maybe my caring so much was a part of the problem. I think I try to take care of everything, but fail to take care of myself like I really should. I need to really just not be so consumed with trying to make sure everyone else is ok. I think the fact that I have maxed out my credit cards, even with earning more money, lets me know that I am clearly not taking care of myself.

I have been trying to make time for myself to relax and just be me and take care of me. It is helping. Now I need to work on the exercise aspect and I think I will start back at the gym. I hope it will help me with my weightloss.

Thanks to everyone who is going through a similar journey or who just doesn't mind listening to me ramble.

Keeping up with the Joneses

May 3rd, 2010 at 09:34 pm

I am so very thankful for my part-time job. It has helped me sooooo very much. I have been able to buy healthier food (and the recent weight loss is a reflection of that), and have been able to stress a bit less about my budget.

It feels good being able to buy the things I need, and even some of the things I want, and not have to worry all the time about my budget. The amount of stress about making ends meet is not good, I feel, and I wonder how many families have had ill health simply because of the lack of money and of being in poverty.

Even with my added income, my views about saving money and just trying to have a fair chance at life have not changed. At times, I get so tired and frustrated because I see so many people around me really struggling to make ends meet, working very hard, and yet, I see another whole large group being so dismissive of that, with broad statements about just not having enough drive, or being lazy, etc. I get so tired of always having to try to explain to those who may not have the same background, about why some of us grow up in poverty, work two jobs, etc. It can be irritating when they have comments that I just cannot relate to, and that seem out of touch with what everyone is dealing with in this economy.

Where I live, there is a large growing group that is sort of oblivious to the issue of accomplishing certain things in life. It is hard because the group is really focused on making a lot of improvements and changes and they seem so positive on the outside and some of their goals are really good on the surface. I just get weary because it is sort of like a family that focuses on having the nicest furniture, but sweeps the dust under the rug. The growing group wants a lot of change and some of that I agree with, but it seems like those that are really in need are being totally ignored. It makes me weary at times because I just feel like I don't have the energy to deal with it all at times.

The ex situation is the same. It is odd at times because there have been times when I could have used a bit of financial help, and I wanted to ask him, but I didn't want to be a burden on him, so I didn't. But, my that was not wanting to bother him was one of our biggest problems---he wanted me to ask for more help. However, when I asked recently and I got frustrated about a situation, he got stressed a bit and snapped. So, he says he wants me to come to him when I need help, but I also know he is under a lot of stress. How does one ask for help, yet not be another stress-er on a person? Also, I feel weird asking for help if it is because of bad budgeting on my part. Because my ex makes less than I do, and is still dealing with the family stuff, my asking for 20 bucks could be a larger part of his budget than it would be in mine. We haven't seen each other since the split, so, yeah, that is also hard at times.

I have been using the extra money to make improvements around my home and I really, really like that. It makes me happy to be able to buy the little things that make me feel more relaxed. Just focusing on myself and my home has been helping me a lot. I have been trying to ignore the other little things that people do that can sap a lot of my positive energy. When someone over me is so happy when talking to someone, but tight lipped when they talk to me, I just try and ignore it and accept that it is their issue and not mine, and all I can do is just keep working on myself. I have learned that when I speak with a certain person, they will always make some of sort comment or re-state how I said something wrong or how what I believe isn't true, according to them. I realize that this is an issue they have, and doesn't have anything to do with me, when you look at how they act as a whole. It can be frustrating, though, when I am just trying to say something nice, and they tell me it is wrong...of course they always say it with a smile. Wink

I am also using my extra money to pay for needed repairs and bills and the like. My goal is to put part of it aside for savings, as the work comes and goes, and I am not sure when I can get a part-time job again. I want to stop using my cc as well, and build up my available credit. That has been hard lately, but mainly because I need to be better about my budgeting.

I am just trying to relax and focus on being better and being happy. I want to refocus on those things that I want to accomplish in my life.

Money and self-worth

April 26th, 2010 at 09:14 am

So, I took the liberty of writing down in a clearer format how much my food expenses SHOULD cost me per month if I actually adhere to them.

Even with providing enough basic and healthy foods, my food is a little under $200 bucks, and that isn't including coffee (hey, we all have our vices, right?). I also included in that amount about $20 bucks for the rare take out meal.

I have not watched my budget this month, which is probably why I am broke right now. I am not too worried about it, because I still have to be paid for this month's part-time work, and that should be a pretty sizeable check---enough to get stuff for home and car improvements, and put a lil bit aside for savings.

I have been trying to work as hard as possible on both jobs, and just immersing myself in improving how I feel about myself and improving my abode. I have been doing pretty good on both fronts, though no weightloss this month. Oddly, due to just being tired and a crazy schedule (averaging about 60 hours per week), I ate out far too much. Even though I focused on eating healthy things, as the scale hasn't budged, it is probably the amount of calories in the pre-made food that made my weight stay stagnant. I am going to eat out less in May.

The ex and I are still working through things. It is hard because at times I feel ok, and at other times I feel like maybe I didn't do enough, or maybe I wasn't kind enough, etc. My family says I am just beating myself up, and that both me and my ex are good people, just not the right people for the both of us. Sigh. I know that it is true, but I just feel down at times.

I worry about being alone, ALOT. I think I am far more of a social/pack person than anyone would realize because I am independent and do so many things by myself. But deep down, I like to be around others, that whole pack/herd mentality I think.

I am going to stick to my budget better next month. I think I just went a bit hog crazy this month---ate out too much, bought home improvement items that I really did need (like a new mop), but never thought I had money for in the budget (oddly, a few day's worth of coffee is equal to the price of a mop...hmmm...), and spending some time with friends. I think most of the money really went to eating out, buying whatever healthy food I wanted and not focusing too much on the impact on my budget, and not keeping track of all of my expenses.

The reality is that while I am making more money, I am not making so much that I don't have to keep track of everytime I go to the grocery store, etc.

I am in a kind of a funky mood right now. I am feeling a bit irritable. Sigh. I am going to work on myself this week, hopefully lose some weight, and keep up with my home improvement projects. When I get what I want accomplished, then I may need like $500 or more to buy a new bed, repaint, and get new curtains or blinds, etc. But, I need to do sooooo much work first before I am even at that point yet.

Thank you all for letting me vent and rant. Smile Your words and thoughts and opinions do help to keep me focused and encouraged.

Checking in---avoiding the lure of the dollar

April 13th, 2010 at 10:33 am

So, with tax time comes either bills or refunds, and I fall into both of those categories. I, of course, wish I didn't owe anything, but eh, at least my refund will cover it.

So, I am tempted to go and buy things that I need for myself--such as healthier food and household improvement items, car things, etc. I am trying to hold off on doing that. I do have to repay a family member, and that kind of sucks because she never repaid me any of the money I gave her years ago, but I can't really complain because when she gave me the money, I asked for it in a loan. I think I felt uncomfortable just asking for help without making some sort of repayment agreement. So, a nice part of my refund is going to go back to my family member. She does need it, so I shouldn't feel bad. You know how that goes.

Things with the ex are going ok. Still kind of weird and weepy at times, but ok. Some days I feel great, and other days I feel like someone who has been left...not such a good feeling, ya know? I do feel more strongly about being firmer about the things I want in a relationship. I am going to be more clear about the things I want, and the things that I do not want in a relationship, versus just accepting them because of...well....love?

I have been working tons and tons and at times I feel like I am going to get too worn out. But, part time work is seasonal at times, so I am trying to just earn all that I can. Also, I do admit that there is a bit more freedom the part-time job brings in that when I want something healthy to eat, I don't always have to stress about the cost (though of course I do watch the amount). I do, at times, feel worn out. But I am trying to rectify that with getting to sleep earlier. Also, because I am eating healthier and not getting artificial energy surges from unhealthy sweets or sodas, I sometimes feel super tired in the evening.

I want to do some home improvement things and that costs money, so I am working on how to work it out financially. My home should be my abode and my relaxtion area, and right now, it isn't because of all of the stuff I see that needs to be fixed.

I am stressed a bit and trying to relax as much as possible when I get home. A friend was worried about me, but it was just due to stress and emotions and everything. I feel like I am working harder than I have previously, trying to be the best that I can, trying to work on my health, trying to work on my living situation, and trying to deal with my feelings and some sadness about relationship stuff. I feel like I am a hamster on a wheel at times. But, I do hope that it is all for the best. I feel like I am getting older and I have to really speed up my improvement in so many areas of my life. Sometimes I do get worried about what I want my life to be. Sometimes I feel like it is passing me by. Being alone is also a very uncomfortable feeling for me. I do worry about being alone as an older person, and that is not the kind of life I want. If that does happen, then I would rather immerse myself in helping others. I guess I feel like I am worth something or important if I am of a positive use towards others. If someone else in this world needs me, then I feel like I matter. If not, then what is the whole point of it all?

I know that is a bit deep, I am just rambling at the moment. I also need to express how I feel because, sigh, I am just stressed and getting out my thoughts helps me a lot.

Money and Age

April 4th, 2010 at 04:03 pm

So, I have been thinking a lot about my future. I have been thinking of the things I want to have in my life, the possibility of being a single older woman, all of that. I have been thinking more positively about the possibility of being a single, older mom one day. Hey, it is a step up from how I was feeling previously about just being single and alone.

I am paying down debt, and not going cray with the spending. I was bad the past few days with ordering take out, but, it was food I hadn't enjoyed in a while, and, I didn't go crazy about it (the first order was under $20 bucks and last 2 days, or 4 servings, the 2nd order under $8 bucks). It was so good, I must admit. Smile

I am focusing on buying things that I both need, and that will help me to better create a warm and comfortable environment. I know I need to buy some cleaning supplies so I can continue with my home improvement project.

I have been buying healthier food with the extra money I have earned, and I really like being able to do that. I still have a hard time staying on top of my budget, but I am working on it slowly but surely.

I have also been using a bit of the funds to improve other aspects of appearance. It helps me to feel better about myself, overall, I think. Buying sunscreen and lip moisturizer is a good thing, I think. It makes me feel a bit girly and like I am putting some more effort into me. Family and friends have been telling me to make myself a priority for a while, and now I feel like I really understand what they mean. I always put other people's needs ahead of mine, and I do realize that certain things like my health and my finances and my abode and my appearance may have been negatively affected by those kinds of practices.

I think I will always be extremely kind and caring and loving. It is just who I am inside. I feel like I have a strong need to really love someone and feel like I am worth something or needed. I also realize that I need to treat myself better, and that I can be kind and caring and loving, while also focusing on me as well.

Money and Focus

March 21st, 2010 at 08:04 pm

So, this past month I admittedly haven't been focusing on my budget. With the relationship thing and my new forays into being healthier, I have given myself permission to use my part-time earnings towards better food and things that give me a bit more emotional comfort. I do realize that I can't necessarily do this every month, but for right now, I figured that I wanted to focus on nurturing my heart and my body and my soul. I do think my soul and heart needs more nurturing, but I decided to take it easy this first month.

I haven't been going wild and buying purses or anything like that. But I did buy my first real organic food! And it wasn't expensive, either (although I stuck to produce, so organic meat would be a tough thing for me to be able to afford)! When I had a craving for something healthy, or a friend asked me to a nice place to eat, I went. I spent less than $20 on my meal, and just enjoyed their company. I still kept to my frugal ways and didn't get tempted to buy things at the full price (I only bought during a sale or if the item was used, etc.).

I am making good progress on my health issues. I do need to write out my new food items so I can get a better idea of how much my food budget may change in comparison to when I was buying food solely on its stretchability.

The relationship issue is the same and I am dealing with that. I find that focusing on other things is helping me a bit. I have also been trying to do better in other areas of my life. It feels like a struggle at times because of some of the issues that others have in how they view things and what type of things they focus on, but i am just going to keep doing the best that i can and with other improvements in my life, hopefully they will focus less on the outside and more on the things that are important.

Next month I will get back to writing down my purchases and sticking more to my budget.

Reinvention

March 15th, 2010 at 02:51 pm

So, I have been focusing on my health and other facets of my life as a way of just trying to maintain a level of...okay-ness.

I am really inspired about my goals, and my health goal has been going pretty well and I am very happy about that. I have been spending a lot more on food, so I need to definitely watch my food spending better next month, but, I feel like the most important thing is to get my healthier eating more of a lifestyle, and then I can be more strict about the expenses. Right now, I am just focusing on eating a certain way and having the type of food that is best for me available so I don't head towards the latest drive-thru.

I am also working on other facets of my life that I have neglected for years, and that really need some attention. I looked at some basic items that I will need to buy, and I think I can get a lot of what I need for less than $40! Which isn't a lot to pay when considering how much it will help with my goals. I find it really inspiring to me to know that some of the improvement items aren't outside of my budget. It helps make my goal seem more achieveable.

Still working on balancing the issue of the ex and how he wants to help me financially because of how I helped him. It is true that he is not able at this time to just pay me back all of the money I lent him, so, since he has already given me money last month, I feel like I am not really concerned with that loan. I do have a hard time with asking him for things---which was probably a major reason why we are no longer together. Frown So, he wants me to ask him for help when I need it. It is so weird because when I am struggling or maybe overspent on food, I feel bad asking him for things because I know he is still trying to support his family and I just don't want to be a burden on him. However, when we talk, he says he wants to help me, and he expressed some doubt that I would ask him for help when I needed it. Ah, love is confusing, isn't it? I have never really had any kind of financial help from any person I dated, and so, I have always been very independent. Some friends say that I am more of a care taker and at times too motherly and that it helps if I focus some of that energy into caring for myself a bit more. So, that is my goal.

I think I am going to take a while and work on the areas of my life that I have neglected and seem a bit out of control. It will require a lot of elbow grease and avoiding things that may not be the healthiest for me, but I think it will be the best thing for me to do for myself. Who knows? If I give myself more attention and more attention to certain facets of my life, it may cause others to be more attracted to me?

Friends with money

March 12th, 2010 at 01:23 pm

If you haven't seen the movie with the same title as my entry, then I whole heartedly suggest seeing it. I loved it! Love, love, loved it! Smile

I had a situation with a friend lately who makes a good living, but rarely will admit it. My friends and I all all think that he has to make more than we do, simply because of our profession. He is a very good person, it is just that our lives and issues and experiences with money are very different. At times, I have a hard time relating to him when he talks about budgeting. But, it may be that I just don't understand him on various levels because our lives are so different.

In any case, my friend made a comment about going to an expensive event. When he makes comments about going to those types of events or buying certain high priced items, it makes me not able to relate to him when he talks about his budget and money and all of that. I think I am not able to relate because most of my friends have worked as hard as he has, if not harder, and with all of that work, are still earning less than he is. So, I think there is just a lack of understanding about those kinds of things when he complains. Also, my friend, like another friend, says things about lacking money, but is still really into going to very current places that may not be cheap or less expensive. So, I think the event was just a reminder of our differences in some ways.

There is also the issue that both friends have a habit of receiving gifts from people, or having people spend a lot of money on them, and with my male friend, he isn't as open in that way towards his friends (or at least with me, even though I have been very open with him in that regards).

I have another friend who focuses on the price of things and feels that they deserve only the best food, etc. I understand why they feel as they do, but sometimes it is hard when you are trying to do something together, and they refuse to acknowlege your budget and would rather exclude you from a more expensive event, than take into consideration doing something that is more on your financial level.

This may just be a mini-rant because the event and the price tag just irked me a bit. My friend likes very current and popular things, and at times that goes against my feelings of being an individual and following your own music, etc.

How do you deal with friends of varying economic levels? Have you ever had similar differences?