hitting the wall.

11 02 2010

i was so enthusiastic about gambling on february 1st, but i’ve spent $27 and made $28  (i lost my $7 lead after a disastrous round of lucky lobster bingo on tuesday night), and i’m having a hard time parting with my cash.  it’s a strange feeling that i’ve never had before. i think it’s called “saving”, but i’d have to confirm with my doctor.

up until recently, i’d never had more than $100 in my savings account.  usually more like $.24. or possibly -$2.13. i had one of those accounts that automatically transferred $25 into my savings every month. but every month, i somehow ended up transferring it all right back out. somehow though, even though i was living paycheck to paycheck, i was still making it work. i paid my bills on time, i pecked away (very very slowly) at my debt. i was doing fine, and saving was not a priority. saving was for suckers who lived in fear, suckers who didn’t want to use their money for fun.

except that the problem began to arise that i was only able to stretch my paycheck most of the time.  i’d be ok until i needed to pay an enormous tax bill or buy xmas presents, or get office casual clothes for a new job (pantyhose are pricey!). out came the plastic. and slowly, the credit card bills would start to creep back up, and the minimal headway i’d made on my debts would be lost in the shuffle.

last year, as part of my 43 things, i decided to open a christmas club account. this ended up being kind of stupid and pointless for a number of reasons, but it did get me balance transferring $100 a month into a savings account that was inconvenient for me to dip into.  and as of today, that account holds $1465.66. more money than i’ve ever saved in my whole life. (dismal!)

that’s where the weirdness comes in. now that i have it, i don’t want to spend it. i need new running shoes, and i should probably stop wearing my pajamas to dance class- but i can’t. i have in mind a perfect number, and i feel like i’m not allowed to touch it until it gets over that amount. if i ever do get there, it will be enough cash to get me through for a bit if i lose my job, pay a big-ass medical bill, or have some sort of other catastrophic money sucking emergency.

i know i’m pretty slow, but i think i’ve finally figured out why people save money. it makes me feel safe, and that safety is turning out to be worth the self denial that is saving.