I know, it’s been a week since I posted anything. I am visiting a friend, so I have been busy. Friends are good.
Today I checked my bank balance and I am thinking about money. Now I have a little money in the bank, I’m not freaked out about money, but it is on my mind.
So I’m thinking, let’s say I have $500 in my account. It’s so easy for me to feel like, I can buy this $20 book, and these art supplies, and lunch for my friend, no big. Except I still have bills (rent, car insurance, cell phone, the usual suspects) and that money needs to be accounted for too. So I don’t have $500, I have more like $50. Which is still okay, I don’t really need more art supplies, but it’s so easy to overspend.
I am really working on my relationship with money. I have previously lived as though money were no object, it just didn’t matter. But now I find I am not prepared for old age (I am in my 50s, old age is coming on fast!) and it’s a little late to start. Not impossible, but definitely not easy.
However it’s only possible if I take control of how much money is coming in and where it’s going out to. I must pay attention, which I’m not used to doing.
I have a friend who has an Excel spreadsheet with all, and I do mean all, her expenditures on it. Not just her bills, but even a pack of gum or a bottled water. She knows down to the penny where her money goes. I admire her, but I would find that system a little stifling. Just thinking about it makes me want to go out and spend money willy-nilly.
I did figure out that, just like the idea of dieting makes me want to eat, the idea of budgeting makes me want to spend. It’s the difficult side of me, that wants exactly what it can’t or shouldn’t have. Tell me no and probably that is the next thing I MUST do. Not so much in friendships, but life in general.
I am on unemployment at the moment so there’s very little wiggle room with regard to money. I need to play it close to the chest, yes I do, and not give in even when I have amazing coupons and a specific book I want. I don’t need a book. I do need peanut butter. I guess I don’t NEED peanut butter but I eat it regularly for breakfast. Mmmm, peanut butter toast, yum. The point is, there’s only so much money and some things take priority. Rent over extra gas to run around, for example. I need a place to live, I can live without seeing my friends all the time.
So, relationship with money. I guess it’s avoidant and passive-aggressive. If only money would be in a relationship with me, then my being manipulative would at least have an effect. Alas, it is just me and my financial resources.
I am working with a mantra, “there’s always more money”, as a way to combat that crazy urge to spend. I don’t have to buy it now, I can buy it later, because there’s always more money. There will be more money in the future when I need the thing, I don’t need to buy it right now. I don’t need to have it handy in case I need it sometime maybe. I’m not going to run out of money forever, I will earn more, I am broke not broken. It gives me great sympathy for hoarders and bag ladies. I don’t want to be either one.
I will figure this out. I am smart and motivated and I don’t want to die poor. I don’t need to die rich, but I don’t want to be hurting for resources when I’m old. It’s just another puzzle in life.