* screams *
And it’s the beginning of the month.
* screams turn to sobs *
Internal monologue begins: Ok, let’s see. I have mortgage, babysitter, insurance, lot fees, small Visa payment, line of credit payment and… I have $130 left over for the next two weeks. Ok, so that’s not bad… but, oh oh, wait… I need gas that’s $80 – $100… and my tires need to be changed .. that can wait for next pay in 15 days, along with the oil change that’s over due… so doable, but, wait, food. Food. OMG I FORGOT FOOD. I have $30 left for food for two weeks. That’s about half of one week’s food budget. OMG.
* panic hits *
This is it. How it always is. Try as I might I find myself in this situation every month. Nothing in saving, no extra stash, nothing at all except the bare minimum to be covered and I end up needing to take money from credit to cover expenses.
There has to be some way to control this. Attempts at meal planning to cut my grocery budget sort of helped. For a minute. Then I went back to buying what I felt like, although the whole experiment did bring my food wastage and over all spending down. Maybe only $20 – $30 a month but still small steps are good steps.But, alas, it’s not enough.
If I don’t find a way to get ahead the stress of never having money is going to do the better of me and I might have to run away to a cottage in the middle of the woods and live off the land. Sell my shoe collection. Give up my purses. Live somewhere creditors can’t find me. I’m sure Princess D would love that. * eye roll *
So I’ve decided it’s time to take matters into my own hands (again), with feet planted firmly on the ground and head fully in the game. I am giving myself a 30-Day Money Challenge. And it scares the crap out of me. Scares me because I don’t want to be that single parent household that is “without.” I’m terrified of not having good, fresh food in the house, petrified of running out of toilet paper (I’ve been there in my 20’s, it’s not fun.) But as frightening as it is, I’m determined and will accept this challenge I’ve made to myself. First, I must…
Keep track of all spending for the month.
Financial advisors everywhere say the first thing you need to do is get a grip on how much your actually spending and what on. Quit hiding, Nicole, pay attention and get your head out of the sand (or perhaps the housework.) For one month I’m going to keep track of every penny I save, even if it kills ever spontaneous nerve in my body. I have this fabulous thing called a Smart phone and I’m going to use the calendar to track all money spent – immediately after I spend said money I’m put it in that darn old calendar. At the end of the month, I’ll tally it all up and see what my spending was vs. my income and I’ll assess areas I can cut… although my theory is there’s not many areas that can be cut since I’m also vowing to….
Spend only money I physically have.
What I mean by this is money that is mine, in the bank or in my hand. No cash advances, no Visa, no line of credit withdrawals. This is going to be exceptionally hard especially the next two week since I’m a couple hundred short of scraping by. But if I can birth a baby naturally I can do anything! Yes, I can do this. * repeats in head 20 times *
Watch my progress, see my strength… or listen to me cry like a little baby.
Whatever happens I will learn something. Or give up all worldly goods and become one with nature.