So I’m a few days away from June, not many really, and I’m staring at the small pile of money to get me through the next 2 weeks and I feel that familiar tightness in my chest. This reminds me why we’re cutting the cord next month, and why even though it might suck sometimes, something will be awesome.
My goal here is to feel good about money again.
I never learned to save. Call it the consequence of the nuclear family, the 50’s household, but my mother did ALL the housekeeping. The cooking, the cleaning, the bill paying. My father received a certain amount each week for cigarettes and coffee and that was it. He didn’t worry about it. She was his keeper. He didn’t worry about the gas bill being paid, he just made most of the money to pay it.
And then she died, and suddenly, he had a pile of bills, access to the bank account, and no real clue how to manage it all. And around this time, I came of age, and started handling money. These two incidents do not a budget friendly tightwad make. (Perhaps they could, but not in my narrative they didn’t)
Being more than a little screwed up, I adopted the lazy person’s view of the world. Why save for tomorrow when I might die today?!
This is not helpful. While it means that today you get a snazzy pair of shoes or a nice new tattoo, it also means you get to experience to truly awful pain of anal rape via interest rate. I do not recommend, nor does my credit score.
I have shied away from this problem for years. I have been terrified to try and take it in hand, worried that I just couldn’t, which is ridiculous. I’m a smart, capable and adaptable woman-why can’t I get my finances under control? What am I so worried about? Being more poor? I don’t even know if that’s possible. (It is. Trust me it is.)
Sure, a part of me wishes I had a keeper like my father did, wishes I never had to deal with it. And in my marriage, it was kinda like that but without the real partnership aspect. There was no sense of a household budget, no pooling of money. Just two people paying random pieces. No goals, no focus.
I have a focus now.
I want to get some very particular things out of the next month, and possibly longer.
- I want to catch up on all my bills as much as possible. Looking at my potential incoming dollars, I should be able to be in the green on all but one bill.
- I want to start setting more money aside. I had started a little savings account via my workplace, but after stepping on someone’s iTouch, after dropping mine in a bathtub, there goes that money. So I start fresh, but I also want to know what it’s like to leave money IN my bank account for something other than paying off bank fees.
- Completely paying off the overdraft would be nice as well.
- I need NEED to start seriously working on this house. Which means I need to be able to set money aside for maintenance. Even if it’s just buying drywall compound or a new baseboard heater for the bathroom, it needs to be done, and needs to be made a priority.