Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Becoming the Scrooge

Or sometimes just maims.
I haven't been a very good girl lately.  With my money at least.  Last May I got incredibly ambitious and sought to overhaul my spending habits, dramatically annihilate my debt, and be more conscious consumer.

Well...I have had good moments here...and bad moments.  In the last month, there have been a lot of unexpected circumstances.  My eating out bill (which was always ridiculous) has been very reasonable.  However, I have been losing a lot of pay due to organizational bits, running errands, grieving, and stress-induced illness all related to a single event  (shouldn't really be hard for you to figure out if you look back one or two blog posts).  I've just missed a lot of work.  I've tried to make up time when I can, or do as much overtime as I can handle, but I took a big hit and I'm going to take on more in the next month.  

Let me be clear: I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Except the getting sick part.  I am SO freaking sick of hacking all the time.  Everything I have done is out of love and necessity.  I am not upset; it was my personal choices that brought me here.  

The above coupled with the fact that my partner was unemployed for several months until about a month ago means that we were already up against the wall as far as finances went.  Our television died, and I had to apply for a credit card in order to purchase a new one.  I want to take my friend to his final resting place, and I had to apply for a credit card to subsidize the trip.  I didn't have to apply for credit cards, I chose to.  I decided that having a television and making an international trip were important to me.  I will pay for those decisions accordingly.

The upside is that by the end of this week we should finally be current on all our household bills.  Huge sigh of relief there.  Unfortunately, I'll have to be a bit late on a couple bills so I can make sure I have enough cash liquid in case something happens while I am abroad.  The potential interest or late fee is well worth the peace of mind if nothing happens.

It's weird to be in this place again.  It has me extremely stressed out and worrying about unknown possibilities (like the other night the kitchen faucet leaked badly and soaked the particle board of the cabinet underneath).  I don't know if bad things really always happen when I am financially inflexible or if things don't seem like a big deal when I can easily pay for them.  Probably a little from both columns.

The next few weeks in particular will be tight so that I can do the things I want to do.  After that, I'm going to really have to pare down for 2012.  It's going to get all kinds of minimalistic after the new year! I'm going to need to find ways of bringing in additional income so I can pay things down faster and have a little bit of play money.  I really want to get serious again about saving money and paying off debt before I reach a point where I really start to default on loans or lose my house or get sent to collections.

I am not in dire straights, I'm really okay.  We can put food on the table, gas in our cars, and we're not so behind that any terrible things are happening to us.  I'm just very, very afraid of terrible things happening to us.  I absolutely, positively do not want to get to that point.  I want to be smart, spend smart, and make my money work for me rather than scrambling to work for money because that is no fun!

No, this is a wake up call.  I want to be able to be generous with my money rather than be the scrooge.  I want to redevelop that desire for simplicity rather than spend for the sake of acquiring more.  Seriously, I hate dusting and more stuff means more dusting!  I want to be more flexible, and I can't do that if I'm indebted and drowning in stuff.  Gods, let me just get through the next month and a half!

PS: The photo above is an original photo I took downtown while playing with my photography skills.  

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