I'm not sure where to begin tonight.
I guess I'm feeling the need for a sounding board :-)
Everything is fine, it's just that I'm stressing about money again. I feel I'm in a money pit I can never quite climb out of.
I wish someone had MADE me save in my twenties, that they hadn't been so darned frivolous and materialistic. i was such a different person back then. shopping at the mall, racking up the credit cards. but i can't change the past, nor the fact that my development as an adult was just not yet complete.
but that leaves me, at 31, not much better off than in those days. i am saddled with student loan debt, credit card debt, and short-term loans that i take out every month to float me by till the next paycheck.
i'm sorry, you've heard this before. i feel like every time i've made a money post in the nearly three years since i've written this blog, i get a hair better. a hair is just not good enough though. i drive by nice houses (not mansions just nice homes) and that's what i want, too. but i know i'll never get there if i can't do what i need to do: get out from under debt and build my nest egg.
every month, i say it's going to be different, and mind you i'm not spending money on ANY frivolities such as furniture, clothes, or knickknacks. but i do VERY occasionally still plop down $12 for a lunch out (cursing myself the while), $2 for a coffee because i woke up too late to make it at home .... i do believe in treating yourself from time to time but if you're really serious shouldn't you just go cold turkey for a time?
it's hard. i've eliminated so much from my life, so much extraneous. it's frustrating to have a job that pays all the bills but leaves no cash for living for the rest of the month. or saving.
so i'm hoping to start with part-time work in january in addition to my full-time job. i only need $150-200/week extra to free up some space for saving and debt reduction. i'm excited about this, although i no doubt will be tired and there will, for a time, be little time for social life pursuits or hobbies. good news is i can make even more money by working some full-time weeks in summer, while i'm still being paid my regular salary by the school.
i am using the debt snowball method to pay off my cc debt, but i just did the first payments using this method and i feel like it didn't even make a ding (only spared $15/extra toward the lowest balance card minimum) .... i know i just have to keep it up and give it time though.
i struggled and struggled with the decision to keep my monthly yoga membership, but in the end it's really economical considering how much i go and also considering i am nearly four payments behind on my health insurance coverage, this is like health insurance for half price. preventive, anyway. i'm hoping a tax refund in january will help me pay the back premiums.
so instead, i'm going to go back to VERY simple meals and still be able to eat healthy, organic, unprocessed, whole foods. yep, rice and beans. pasta. vegetable soups. i'll manage to make it interesting. but seriously, frou frou ingredients are out. i can't give whole foods all my money. i'm going back to kroger for most of my shopping, they don't have the selection the alternative stores do but for basics they do have things like organic beans, and they are cheaper. i can really do it on the food, i'm ashamed to admit i've plunked down $30 or so at the farmer's market alone ... for just ME! i don't waste much food but i think cooking from cookbook whims is a very expensive way to eat that i just can't afford to stomach (literally!) right now. i don't know how much to budget for food when anything went before. if you live alone, what do you budget per week for food? no joke i can spend over $200/month. this must end! i'm hoping that I can do $15/week bare bones. you know, milk, bread, beans, seasonal veg, bulk grains ..... hmmm.....imagine saving $35 a week for month ... that's $140 ... now i've spent $60 instead of $200 ... ahh that's more like it!
i could eliminate my cell phone and save about $55/month. i'm with a no-contract provider so i could sign back up anytime. i like the idea of having a cell phone though for emergencies. if i can give up my horrible texting habits i could suspend that for a temporary time and get a bare-bones plan. apply the savings (maybe $20/month?) to debt and savings.
christmas is coming, and i'll put any money i receive directly into savings. my goal is to build up a small e-fund.
if you've made it this far, thanks for listening. i'd appreciate any suggestions or advice or thoughts you may have, too. i'm already feeling more positive. it's not like i've never been broke before. it's just that i'm sick of it, and i swear that every day that goes by since i've started this blog i've changed my life just a hair more. ah, the hair again. i know that's how big life shifts happen, one day at time. i know i should cut myself some slack. but i also know that some moves in life just require big commitments and real action.
it's just damned hard so i'd appreciate any and all positive support. thanks, you're fabulous.
soon to return to regular programming, i promise. but this is so very important to me as i continally strive to live a more frugal, pared-down life. i already love how my mindshift has firmly settled on being a conserver, and NOT a consumer!
love and light,