Oy with the Poodles Already.

Want to know what stresses me out? Yeah, money does. I’m not really good at it. In the future, I will be looking for a potential husband who is just REALLY great at it. Give me a budget. Don’t leave me in control of our savings cause we’ll be poor.

I read somewhere that it’s “normal” to spend too much after a break-up. But I should win a prize for the spending that has occurred in the past 5 months.

I’ve become indulgent. I did not like having to deny myself and opportunity to do anything or be with anyone. So I spent more money on dinners and travel and ANYTHING. I had also been horrendously indulgent on things for myself… new things for my apartment, new make-up to make myself feel better, etc. And when I couldn’t afford it, I charged it. Typical right? I know I am not the only person in the world do have done this, but it sucked. A lot.

But I was able to handle it ignore it because I had way more limit on my credit cards than I knew what to do with. And then a funny thing happened… I got “upgraded” on my GAP card and in the process of reissuing a prettier version of my card they decided to decrease my credit limits. So, over night I became “maxed” out. That was not fun. Not fun at all. I’ve been a stress case. Which means that my cuticle beds are a MESS and I hate that feeling.

And then I went to get my oil changed. And I went to a place that is, apparently, notorious for overcharging. It’s the kind of place that you stay in your car and a REALLY nice man comes and shows you your filter and automatic fluid and whetever and recommends replacement or not. I said yes. I said yes to the tune of $176. Now, I had enough for a “normal” oil change, but I didn’t have $176. And I didn’t have my credit cards to fall back on…. so I had to hand him my debit card KNOWING it was going to overdraft my account. If that’s not the worst feeling ever.

Anyhow. Today is a new day. Lessons have been learned. And I feel awful that I had to learn them because my Grams has worked REALLY hard to keep me from these types of lessons. Sigh. Today I am reclaiming control over my financial situation. And I am writing it here to keep myself accountable. Sounds good? Okay. Here we go:

  1. First step has been to create a legit budget. I hadn’t done this cause I’m an idiot. So that is done. Everything is in place, including “debt repayment”.
  2. Credit Cards are officially cut up. No mas. I kept one, that I will be leaving at home and will use in emergencies… once the balance is paid off.

  1. I have cut and reduced. I dropped my class (to get the refund and some more time to just be at home relaxed). I called my cell phone company and got my bill reduced by $20/month. I reduced my gym membership from the fancy one to the normal one (because a treadmill is a treadmill?) saving $30/month. I have a budget for eating out (which isn’t much) and food that is completely reasonable.
  2. I will be keeping track of all the money I spend.
  3. I will be telling my friends “no”. That I can’t afford to do X, how about we do Y instead. “Y” being a cheaper/free alternative.
  4. Spending halt. No new things ever. If I need something I can find it used. Or on sale. In other words: All non-essentials will be cut, all essentials bought only at a discount.
  5. I am “thinking” of trying to get some babysitting gigs. There are so many women in the junior league and babysitting is fun and a good way to get my baby fix while earning “fun money”.
  6. Next year, roommate. I pay SO much each month in rent. It’s too much. So I will find some very lucky person who gets to hang out with me, Oliver, and Lucy… and split rent, televisions, electrics, etc. We’ll be the bestest of friends.

I feel better. More in control. Definitely humbled. Definitely going to learn this personal finance thing.

7 Responses to “Oy with the Poodles Already.”

  1. You can do it! In college (on top of student loans) I pretty much did the same thing…and came into my marriage with an UNGODLY amount of debt. Your plan is GREAT! We did the same thing and haven't used a credit card in 4 years – the awesome part is this: now, we've built ourselves up to buy everything with cash. And in that time that I was freakishly pinching pennies and calculating the cost of bread down to the SLICE, I learned the difference between a want and a need :-)

    And two thumbs up for the GG quote!

  2. Budgeting is really hard especially when some of your other friends may ignore the fact that their credit card bills are rising and just spend, spend spend BUT it can be done. I've learned to stock up on healthy lunches and leave them at work so I don't spend $8 bucks on lunch each day. Carpooling isn't beneath me. I rent less movies, go to Target less during my lunch hour becuase everytime I go I walk away with things I don't need and in essence it's really helped.

    Cutting back isn't always fun but it certainly is feasible and is such a good practice to start.

    Good luck, you can do it!

  3. You obviously have some good ideas, well done for starting on them. It can be so hard to say no to friends, I hope it goes well for you!

  4. You sound like you're on the track. We all fall off the wagon, whether with spending or eating or exercise, and it's only when you call yourself out and make a reasonable plan that you can straighten up.

    Way to go! And remember – even the cheap gyms have trashy magazines. 😉

  5. I totally feel you on the breakup spending! After my two major breakups, I got into the same exact trouble!! I got out of it eventually, and you will too. The digging it out is just not as fun as the getting in…

  6. Gah. I overspend all the time. But I've been there. Trapped in the credit card bill cycles… And then finally had to cut them up, too! Good for you.

    And yeah, I've been there having to hand over my debit card and KNOWING I didn't have the money in the bank… Ugh, makes my stomach hurt thinking about it.

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