uh oh.

4 06 2011

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?

FUCK.

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?


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18 responses

4 06 2011
Patrick

Holy hell, wait a second, back the f up. You admittedly barely have a pot to piss in for the next two weeks, and you still plan on paying ridiculous prices for budget beer at a bar?

5 06 2011
bessmarvin

patrick, you did not misunderstand! but let me qualify that statement by saying that i don’t really drink (i’m a 1 beer kind of gal). i will however be going out with friends at least a couple of times over the next two weeks, and a single $3 beer is pretty much the only thing that is on budget right now. maybe i should just stay home and drink booze that i already have, but i’m kind of into the challenge of seeing how little i can edit my life without going over my very minimal budget.

5 06 2011
Patrick

As long as you remember that a $3 beer is really $4 when you include the tip…

12 06 2011
bessmarvin

true! or a $2.50 beer is $3 with a $.50 tip! (or does that make me an asshole?)

4 06 2011
toni

i put myself on a strict budget a few months ago and it’s really hard… I cheat a little sometimes cause it’s summer and I’ve been sad (self medication, yeah!). but i try to limit myself to $20 of @work spending and $60 of other spending a week… luckily my social calendar is horrifyingly empty and I usually eat chips for dinner… the paying cash trick really does work… but still, budgeting stinks…

5 06 2011
bessmarvin

budgeting is the one thing that i have never done successfully in all of my money spending history. i just can’t seem to get the hang of it. although i have heard that the cash system is the way to go. i should probably get on that before i accidentally buy any more dresses.

4 06 2011
Gen

So for entertainment you can come oveh my house, around the corner(no bus fare) have crappy margaritas and watch movies.

5 06 2011
bessmarvin

i’m in! i LOVE a crappy margarita (and you) :D

5 06 2011
Corey Templeton

If I am reading this correctly, are you on an all-cash spending system? I think keeping track of exactly where the money is going might help curtail certain spending habits, and at the least would show where that money did go. I only use my credit cards for purchases (paid in full every month) and use Mint.com to automatically categorize my transactions. It generally works for me. I don’t break my budget down excessively. After accounting for rent and bills and savings, I have like a $400 a month amount to spend on whatever/everything else (groceries, restaurants, guitar strings). Anyhow, I’m sure you will survive for a couple weeks and might find it a worthwhile challenge to limit some spending.

5 06 2011
bessmarvin

no, i’m on an drunken black-out not paying attention spending system. i SHOULD be on an all cash system. i know that it’s a good idea, i just have never been quite able to pull the trigger. i also have mint.com… but i’m afraid to look at it because i don’t actually want to know where the money went. it’s sort of like eating a whole cake. the cake is gone, the damage is done… learning exactly how many calories was in the cake is just gonna make it worse. i do hope this little challenge turns out to positively affect my spending habits. otherwise, this is gonna be an out of control summer. p.s. i love that your budget includes guitar strings :)

5 06 2011
Audrey

Scratch the social hermit plan! Gatherings at homes (similar to limo night, but just without the limo) are way cheaper for everyone! I wish I had a porch… if I did my apartment would become ‘the bar’ and my friends could BYOB. Alas!

12 06 2011
bessmarvin

i wish i had a porch too! we should have a brown bag booze party on the eastern prom one of these days.

5 06 2011
chris

you can sell box tops for education on ebay, people actually pay money for that shit!

12 06 2011
bessmarvin

i read that somewhere, so i’ve been saving them for almost a year. although i’m afraid to count them and find out how little i have to show for my efforts! also, who is buying them? do you think it’s all desperate parents who don’t eat pre-packaged food but still want their kids to win the pizza party?

6 06 2011
amanda

Don’t forget $2.50 drafts at Dogfish on Free Street Monday and Tuesday. And of course dealmeinportland.blogspot.com!

12 06 2011
bessmarvin

how could i forget colleen! i really need to pimp her blog more often. or maybe we just need to go to happy hour and get drunk. either way…

28 06 2011
surprise attack. « broke 207

[...] you might remember, i was just scraping by last month. and i made it work. i ate dinner at home and had $3 beers! i didn’t have to dip into my [...]

10 07 2011
chastity belt. « broke 207

[...] i made it through two weeks on $68, only to find myself in almost the exact same predicament again this month. will i ever live to [...]

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