i’m in trouble. not entirely sure how it happened, but my $1,200 post tax season cushion is COMPLETELY GONE, and i have exactly enough money to pay my bills… leaving me about $68 to last me until my next pay day. oh, did i mention that i get paid every TWO WEEKS?
summer is the spendiest time of year for me, filled with after work margaritas, flea marketing and new sun dresses… in the last month, i indiscriminately blew through over $1,000 of lazy $12 “i forgot to pack my lunch” days, several “OMG this skirt is only $18″ days, and everyone’s favorite “i can’t show up to this brunch without at least $20 worth of champagne and donuts” days… i really have no idea what i bought, but i had a crazy exciting month, so i’m sure it was fabulous.
being broke, markedly less fabulous.
the good news is that it’s only a couple of weeks. the bad news is that i CAN’T STOP SPENDING MONEY. today, it was a $118 j. crew silk dress (NWT- IN MY SIZE) marked down to $10 at the creepy windham salvation army. and then i managed to guilt the boyfriend into buying me a breakfast sandwich, a ceramic peanut dish, and $15 worth of amazing vintage jewelry at the single most amazing shop in all of new hampshire (if you’re a midcentury modern junkie like me, DO NOT DELAY).
yes, i haven’t used my credit cards in almost 2 years. yes, my debt is almost down to $10,000 (from $16,000 just 2 years ago). and yes, i rarely pay full retail anymore for anything… but i’m still spending beyond my means, and scraping by or being enabled by the boyfriend isn’t really teaching me any important life lessons about saving my pennies. mostly, i’m learning that if your boyfriend has money in his bank account, it doesn’t matter if you spend your mortgage payment on party dresses. I’M SO FUCKING ILLUMINATED!
so, now what? i really need to go through my house and see if there is anything i can get rid of on craigslist (the fastest/easiest way to get money without having to give parking lot hand jobs or get one of those payday loans), and maybe see if i can cash in my change jar or my box tops for education. but really, i just need to rein it the fuck in and start finding things to do/eat/own that are free or dirt cheap.
here’s my current action plan:
1. whittle grocery budget down to $15-$20 this week, focusing on food i already have in my house. attempt to COUPON THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYTHING.
2. become social hermit, or only participate in activities that cost less than $5. i have a feeling i’ll be drinking a lot of $2.50 PBRs at amigo’s this week.
3. refuse to take any more money from the boyfriend for frivolous things. yes, it’s nice to know that if i should be short on my bills, he can cover me. BUT, i really need to stop feeling like i can’t live without (might die without) every single beautiful item at a reasonable price that rolls in my direction. i own A LOT of stuff. probably too much stuff. my friend michelle didn’t shop for a year- i can certainly give up shopping for 2 weeks and survive, right?
am i the only one suffering from the summer budget blues?