Tag Archive: finances


I’ve finally reached a point where I feel I can start giving some of my hard-earned $$ to some good causes. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’m one of those people who always seem to be living hand-to-mouth. But! I’m determined to change that.

So I just signed up for the bottom-rung automatic donation at Foundation Beyond Belief. A measly $5 a month, but it’s a start.  I feel good just having made that first contribution.

I’ve been pondering my dating history a little bit lately.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I just haven’t had enough practice to expect myself to get it “right”; take the most recent example, NG: it was obvious to me that he was way more into me than I was into him.  In retrospect, it would have been better to make that clear to him as soon as I noticed it, to make sure we were both on the same page.  Because I didn’t, my breaking it off came as a much bigger shock to him than it might have.  I’m not beating myself up about it — I just didn’t know any better.  And now I do.  This, I think, is the nice thing about starting to date young.  I didn’t do that, so I’m having to learn these things now.

It’s nice to have this little awareness.  Kind of a mini-breakthrough in awareness.  Yoga + meditation ftw?  Maybe.

_______sexuality

I am predominantly heterosexual.  I can tell this because when I watch a movie with a physically attractive male protagonist I suddenly waaaaant.

In other news, I offered my couch to a friend who’s passing through town tomorrow and Thursday.  I hate it because as soon as I do something like that my attitude changes and I don’t want to anymore.  I even said I’d skip the yoga class I’ve been wanting to go to for a month so I can go meet some of her friends for dinner.  I know I’ll have a good time, but right now I can only think “arrrg!”

It’s ok.  Yoga will happen again on Saturday.  And then next Wednesday I can go.  One more week won’t hurt me.  I just hate last minute changes like this.  le sigh.

 

Anxious about money.  Rent is due, other half of class tuition is due on the 5th, gotta buy my textbook.  I have a decent-paying job.  How do I manage to stay so broke most of the time?

 

Brush teeth, go to bed.

Buzz buzz

Lots going on these days.  With regard to the previous entry, I sent an e-mail to V asking her opinion on the matter, and she replied thusly:

i think, sadly, in general, as we cruise on into the next decade of life especially (but really, this has pretty much been true since college times) that if a woman hangs out with a guy and one or both of them are not explicitly, explicitly gay (and even then there are misunderstandings!), then unless expressly stipulated otherwise, it’s fair to think of it as a ‘date’ in our society.

So.  I don’t know if that’s really the case or not, but it seems like a safe way to approach all future one-on-one encounters.

With regard to SMF (who is really no longer SMF but for the sake of consistency I will continue to refer to him as such), we’ve hung out a couple times as “just friends” and it is honestly a lot less stressful than it was when we were fucking.  In a series of e-mails we both admitted that we would probably not do very well as a romantic couple, but we could probably do smashingly as friends.  So there we are now.  It’s pretty cool.

I am doing a half-ass job (aka using craigslist) of looking for a different job.  I don’t dislike the job I have but the management stinks and it makes some days really stressful.  I’m not dead-set on finding something else, but if something else comes along and can pay me a decent wage, provide some benefits and is inside city limits I will probably jump at it.

I’ve finally taken the leap and filled out the enrollment application for the community college here in town.  I want to take some business classes and see where that takes me.  So now I need to schedule a day I can take off from work and go talk to the people at the school about financial aid, scheduling, etc.  I’m pretty terrified about this but I feel very strongly that this is my next move.  So here we go!

Whining (just a bit)

I think I am on the verge of some major changes in my life & lifestyle and I have literally NO ONE to talk with.  I’m considering sending V an e-mail begging her to call me just so I can run my thoughts by a rational, caring person.  Mom is out of town (but I’d rather not get into these things with her anyway).

Some things keep coming up in therapy that it is getting harder and harder for me to ignore.  The fact that I have actually been willing to talk about them with even my therapist is a huge step, but because I am talking about them it is impossible for me to pretend they aren’t issues that need addressing.  I’ll be honest, this is pretty agonizing.  I feel like I’m about to burst and the one friend I have in this town that I feel I can be “real” with and who will understand what’s going on is still in several levels of denial herself and can’t be counted on to be consistently “real” with me.  And I’m not gonna show my heart to someone if I can’t be sure they will at least be level with me.

Fuck it, I’m sending that e-mail.

Just keeping up

I sat down the other night and figured out how much I spend on gas and groceries each month.  I went through my transaction history and tallied up all those transactions from the last four months.  It comes to about $170 per month for gas and $300 for groceries.  No wonder I’m always broke!!

So I’m attempting to institute a kind of budget, really just some guidelines to keep me aware of what I am spending.  Now that I have an idea of how much I spend on the basics, plus rent and utilities, I feel a bit more motivated to keep an eye on what I do with the rest of the money.  The money I’ve somehow been squandering while I wasn’t looking.  A dinner out here, a coffee there, throw in some mail-order clothes (that I really like & want but do NOT need) and all those potential savings are gone.

That’s not to say I won’t allow myself to have any fun at all.  When I did all this math we had already gone out to eat with friends.  I picked up the tab for BF and myself, setting me back $30.  OK, so I just worked it into the budget.  I’m using spreadsheets a lot at work which is giving me an appreciation for how useful they can be for keeping track of and analyzing data.

 

This is boring, I’m gonna stop now.

An off day

Feeling sad this morning.  It started, I guess, after meditation, when I got online.  I’m not sure what sparked it, honestly.  A couple posts about dumb shit going on in government.  A message from my dad’s best friend about maybe retiring outside of the US.  Facebook.  A reply from one of my credit cards that they can’t lower my APR at this time — no specific reason given, and my pre-emptive query about what qualifications I need in order to facilitate such a change left unanswered.  20 bucks says it was an algorithm designed to look for keywords and spit out an automated response based on what it finds.  I mean, if you’re gonna make me call, just be honest and tell me up front; don’t pretend we can process this kind of request online if we can’t.  *shrug*

You know what I hate?  Those automated phone answering systems that make you talk to the machine to navigate to the right place.  I would much rather punch digits than talk to a fucking machine and have it tell me “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that” over and over again because what I really need is to talk to a customer service person.

I hate how impersonal everything is.  No, scratch that.  Sometimes I love it.  I love that I can process almost every thinkable bank transaction without having to talk to a teller or even park and enter the bank.  I love that I can check out my own groceries and not have to worry about smiling or saying “hello” to a disinterested cashier.  I hate when I’m in the self checkout and they ring up my vegetables for me from their little kiosk.  Dude, I’m in the self checkout.  I will find the proper code eventually, just let me be.

Maybe it’s just PMS.  5-6 days until the floodgates open, so I’m well within range to call it PMS.  But dammit, what’s the purpose of making my moods go crazy for a few days just because of that??  I’ve never understood it.  I know (or at least I’m pretty sure) that it has to do with hormones, but can’t we find a fix for it already?  I mean, half the population of the world has to deal with this on a monthly basis.  I bet they would make a killing on a drug that evened out our moods during this time.  And that’s where all the research money goes — into things that will net a big fat profit.

 

I also went to sleep feeling pretty sad, even almost got teary.  I was thinking about how we’ve got it so wrong.  How money is just tearing apart our psyches, how greed is destroying what makes us remarkable as humans.  And I don’t have an idea for a better way to do it — this society has developed over so many thousands of years that to think of some system that would work better would take more than just one depressed little girl waxing unhappy in an online journal.

All of the things that I have that make me physically comfortable I have because of money.  A place to live, plenty of food to eat, clothes, etc.  I have this computer because I paid money for it.  That money I earned doing work.  All my books, dishes, bedclothes.  Artwork.  All in exchange for money.  We live our lives, are trained to live our lives thirsting for more money.  When we don’t have any, or don’t have much, we want more because we can get more things, can improve our lives.  If we make a little bit more money we can move into a slightly better home, or eat better food, or wear nicer clothes.  At some point it seems to change.  It’s a point I’ve never come anywhere close to so I don’t know where it starts, but at some point money becomes a tool with which to make more money.  Buying new things to improve our lives becomes secondary to investing aggressively, seeking higher and higher returns.  But why does it matter??

I’m just going around in circles in my head.  Needless to say I don’t have high hopes that this will be a good or particularly productive day.

Productivity is relative

Today I woke up with this odd motivation to Get Things Done.  This isn’t unheard of, but it is uncommon.  I immediately made a list of things I needed/wanted to get done while under this spell.

I wavered a bit in the shower…

…but The List commanded.

I manage (if you can call it that) the website for a local grassroots political activist; After my shower I went out immediately to the Post Office to mail some books people had bought from the website over the course of the week.

On my way home I went “Shit! I still need to get my oil changed!”  So I dropped Swamp Thing (the name of my car) off at the Meineke up the street (only 6,000+ miles late…).  I even paid for the 2nd tier “Preferred” oil change, so they checked my alignment & other fluid levels and junk.  Which was good, because one of the belts was apparently totally rotted and had to be replaced.  Because mechanics are stereotyped as making shit up to get you to pay more, I get nervous when they say stuff like that.  But I hadn’t had my car looked at since probably when I first bought her so I figure the odds that she might need something replaced are pretty good.

When I got home I made myself a delicious and filling breakfast of over-medium eggs on toast.  I cut one of my Effexors in half.  I am definitely nervous about cutting back my dosage because the withdrawal is so bad.

I folded and put away the clothes that I washed last Monday (today is Saturday… they have been sitting on my computer chair since Monday… I would move them onto the bed when I wanted to use the computer… then move them back to the chair when it was time for bed).

I started a load of laundry… will I fold & put it away before next weekend?  Who knows!

I balanced my checkbook and finally went online to pay the bill for my last pap smear (CMC sends me a statement and leaves me voicemail about this at least once a week).  I had insurance and it still cost me 300 bucks.  What the fuck do they do with all that money??  I think they did take some blood and maybe give me a tetanus shot too tho.  Still.  I didn’t even ask for that shit. (I also didn’t object when the doctor suggested it)

Remaining on my list are:

The bathroom thing mainly refers to the bathtub.  I need to get some DRANO or something because it clogs a little.  And also there’s some kind of filth that’s built up on one end that I’ve been staring at all week and thinking, “this weekend I’m gonna scrub this thing.”

Joe Thomas was my last therapist.  He did me a lot of good, but our payment arrangements were kind of weird.  For some reason he wasn’t depositing the checks I gave him at each session.  He said it was some kind of tax thing he was trying to work around, and I was a little weirded out (I always wished I had said something to that effect at the time), but I was like, “OK,” because I balance my checkbook and I can pretty much keep track of what money is mine and what is, for all intents and purposes, his.  But we’re talking like over a year of sessions, so eventually to keep my head straight I moved the money that was “his” into my savings account.  Then he kept not asking for it and I needed a chunk of cash to propel my student loan out of default, so I used that money.  Of course, immediately afterwards he told me he had “come up with a plan” for the money and would I cut him a check?  So I had to tell him I didn’t have it anymore.  Which made him kind of unhappy I’m sure.  Of course, if he’d just cashed the checks I had been writing him this whole time he wouldn’t have had this problem.  Anyway.

A couple weeks ago I got a check for my portion of the IRA my dad had, and I decided I’d take a chunk and finally pay Joe Thomas his money.  I thought about doing something really cool and paying with interest, but then I thought, fuck that, he’s lucky I’m paying him at all.  He’s probably already written me off anyway.  It was almost 2 years ago that I fired him (for non-money-related issues).  I have this scrap of paper from 2 years ago where I wrote down all the check numbers and totaled what I owed him, but it’s been so long I’m not completely clear on what I owe him and what I paid… I think it comes to around $2500 from the looks of it.

I don’t want to call him to make sure that he still lives in the same place… I just want to send him a check, no note or anything.  Kind of like a “you probably thought I was a bad person, fuck you” kind of thing.  The fact is, legally he had nothing on me, because I did write him checks for each individual session.  He just chose not to use them.  Anyway.

I feel like I’m being pretty damn honorable.