Monday, August 20, 2007

Ever Get That Feeling...

...of panic? Yeah today I've been panicked feeling. Mostly it has to do with the fact that I'm not living within my budget. I'll admit it here and now: I'm a math major, a math teacher, who is having issues managing her money. It's all a numbers game really, and I'm losing. How can this happen to me of all people?! How can I be failing at following a simple equation?? I'll tell you how in two words -- unrealistic goals. OK I need more words, 3 more ok? -- no self control. I've set an unrealistic budget that won't get my credit card paid off bc I can't live within the budget and not use the credit card. I also don't deny myself much. Yep, here I am making that major character flaw confession. I want new school clothing, so I go buy it. Granted some of my new shirts for summer and early fall are already pilling up from wear this summer, and my dress pants really are looking poor, but could I have gotten by looking a little ragged but at least being frugal with my money? Yes. Would I have liked it? Nope. Do I spend money to make myself happy? Does that last one really need an answer?

So after crying on the phone to my mother and lamenting that I just need some "free money" from who ever has it to give out (not my parents, which is ok, this is my fault, and I wouldn't ask them for money anyways), I have decided to rework my budget tonight. This is going to take at least an hour, and it's going to take a lot of honesty on my part. How come being honest with yourself is sometimes the hardest thing ever? If we're asking questions: How come a tank of gas is around $40 now when a few years ago when I was in college it was $20 - $25?! Gas prices suck. Anyhoo, that's what I'll be doing tonight, after I work out at my over-priced gym... after driving my car out of my over-priced garage... away from my over-priced apartment complex...

Realistically speaking, which is something I strive to do normally, there are luxuries that I spend too much on, but I refuse to cut down on:
1. My apartment: I love the location. I love the amenities (which jack up the price). I don't want to move again any time soon.
2. My garage: to make said apartment livable, my Christmas decorations, the boxes of bows LaRae and I made, an extra kitchen island table, and a few other odds and ends cannot remain in it. Otherwise, said apartment feels crowded, and I get the uncontrollable urge to move due to my extreme discomfort at feeling closed in. Oh yeah, and I like getting in the car and it not being so hot in the summer, and I'm going to love no have to de-ice the windows/whole car in the winter.
3. My dog: He doesn't cost that much now. His food is like $30 every few months. His wellness plan with the vet is about $20 a month. His grooming needs to be something I could do myself, but I can't trim his facial hair -- he won't let me, and I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) that poking is eye out with the scissors will cost more than a grooming fee. So yeah, he's not really a luxury -- he's my companion who's here for good. :-)
4. Internet and cell phone service: hey, at least I don't have a land line too! I get a discount on the internet due to the free cable tv the complex pays for being in the bundle.
5. Comics: I won't do without these. Getting comics on Wednesdays makes my work week livable. That trip to the comic shop helps me get through the week.

Things I can give up:
1. Sodas: I switched to water a month or so ago, and once I get a filter, it's going to be cheap to drink.
2. Eating Out: I've done it before, I'll do it again.
3. Manicures and Pedicures: Ok, I'll work on this one. I can't commit yet... I am horrid at keeping up my own nails, and I HATE pointing to a kid's paper with a nasty looking nail.
4. The Dream of a New Car: for a while at least. I need to just not worry about that for a while and deal with the car I've got for a bit longer. Having a good down payment and buying a car will make it all the sweeter when I get to get a car.
5. hmmmm.

OK so here's the all call: anyone wishing to marry me and make me a rich woman, apply now. Anyone with free money they wish to give away, apply now. Anyone wishing to adopt a teacher, apply now. Anyone with the desire to throw away let's say $3000 - $5000 dollars, apply now. Anyone wishing to adopt a 24 year old and give her lots of money, apply now. Anyone wishing to pray for me that I get this under control and find a good Christian man for my life (money or no, but has a job for sure), please do. :-) Hey it never hurts to toss the man thing in there.

Yes, I know this was a non-update on my life, but this is what's weighing on me today, and I needed to get it all out somewhere where I knew maybe someone out there would understand. I'll update better in a few days. Love you all!


  1. A good way to cut down on gas costs is to carpool with friends to work, church, shopping, etc. And besides saving $$, you get to spend some quality time with your friends!

  2. Hey,

    Have you ever read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey? I just finished it this month and it's one of those books I wish I had read when I graduated from college.

    Since reading it, I've put myself on a budget for eating out and "random stuff that I probably don't really need." Every little bit counts!

    Good luck! You can do it!


  3. Thanks, Laura and Wade, for your encouraging comments. I've thought about checking out the Dave Ramsey stuff, but in my mind it all boils down to the fact that I'm a math major and I should be able to figure out the numbers myself. Lame and prideful I know, but....