Money, Honey

How, HOW did I get to be so broke????@?@##$*#&$(*!!!

I make more money now than I ever have before in my life.
I am not (currently) attending school.
I share my phone line, hydro and rent with my partner and a roommate.
I do not smoke, drink excessively or do drugs.
I haven’t seen a movie in the theatres since ‘Mean Girls’ two months ago, and I’ve only bought 5 books in the past 6 months.
I feel as though 90% of my free time is spent eating pasta or chicken fingers at home while watching selections from Justin’s DVD collection. For free.

Yet I owe over $50K on my mortgage.
My line of credit is raging *wildly* out of control as I continually pay off my credit card bills with it.
And I was overdrawn on my bank account by $120 last night, before my paycheck showed up.

Is it the new $120/month in transit costs? The $175 I spent on Justin’s Hallowe’en costume? The money I’ve put towards silkscreening uniforms for the Snail (which I eventually hope to recoup, but people don’t seem that satisfied with my work, so who knows?). The bathroom renovations, the trip to San Diego, the trip to B.C., the three new pairs of glasses, the two weddings (one of which I still haven’t bought a gift for), the guest bed and plants for my cubicle from Ikea, the new business suits, the endless shopping trips to CostCo and Best Buy???


I think it’s time to start regularly sitting in a darkened room, eating toast and not dreaming of shopping or travelling or anything that costs any money at all. Then, maybe, I’ll be out of severe, heart-pounding debt in just 5 or 6 years. Maybe.


10 thoughts on “Money, Honey

  1. Set a budget. It’s actually quite easy.

    Work backwards. Start with your monthly income. Then look at your fixed monthly expenses. Whatever is left is what you’re working with.

    The easy way is just to take that number, and divide it up in a way that seems reasonable: food, clothes, entertainment… I personally divided mine up a bit more precisely: grocery store, drug store, nights out, take-out, charity, and a misc. fund for bigger/unexpected purchases.

    The more complex but also more accurate way is to look back at your last several months of spending (via credit card bills and debit transation records), and see where the money is going (ie, how much is going into each category). It becomes clear pretty quickly where you need to reign yourself in.

    Also? This sounds inane, but it works for me – save up for things BEFORE you buy them, rather than buying things and them paying them down. This works because a) you don’t get stuck paying interest on something that’s not worth it, b) it means you really think about your purchases before hand and don’t end up breaking yourself for something a few months later, you’ll realize you really didn’t need, and c) if you put that little pile of money somewhere like ING, you actually earn interest on it in the interim. And if you’re anything like me, you start to consider it an emergency back-up fund, and still find ways to pay for things without touching it… but it’s there if you need it.

    Um. Yeah.

    I think about stuff like this too much.

    If you go back to my LJ entries around March of this year, I really laid out my whole budgetting process for the world to see – partly for accountability, and partly because I’m a huge loser who actually finds stuff like that interesting (and apparently a few other people did, too). Feel free to check it out and let me know if you’d like any help setting up one of your own.

  2. this story stops my blood cold. this story makes me cling ever so tighter to my student-y ways… trying to avoid the inevitable.

  3. Honestly, when I was single, I had SOOOOO much more spending money. Don’t know why, just did. Always happened that way. relationship = broke. single = lots of disposable income.

  4. Well, you do eat out a lot (or used to), and you’ve got like a zillion hobbies, and you’re pathologically unable to stop yourself from buying graphic novels at a rate that makes this librarian proud, and if it involves dinosaurs, or shiny things, or food with rude Chinese names, or the possibility of a bit of a booze-up, well, there’s not much impulse control. And you’re way too generous with gifts.

    Think like a poor student. Eat at home and bring lunches. Avoid places that have shiny things. Never enter a store with dinosaur toys. Make your friends hold onto your credit cards and bank cards when shopping, and do not kill them to get the cards back. In fact, don’t use the credit cards at all. Listen to the since she knows the dark path you’ve trod.

    And if worst comes, always remember that I’m just shy of 100K in debt and don’t make the money you do. Insane giggling begins now 🙂

  5. You know, as I read your comment, my first gut instinct was to defend myself “I am not eating out as much!”, and “I haven’t bought a graphic novel since I moved in with Justin, because he has so many!”

    But you got me with the dinosaur toys. I spent something like $40 on do-it-yourself wooden dinosaur skeleton kits last week at Squibb’s stationers at the end of my road.

    I will try my best to follow your sage advice, and put my credit cards in ice in the freezer or some such. Your debt shall stand as a beacon, warding me away from the dangerous shores of student loans and wayward relocation expenses.


  6. His addiction to CostCo and regular meal consumption has been wreaking havoc on my usual frugal meal expenditures. Also, I’ve bought more furniture and other Ikea house gadgets since moving in with him than I have in the past five years. And as Edwud mentioned, I do have the chronic gifting disease…

  7. Budgeting is good, but also depressing, and mostly it’s only as good as the willpower that holds you to it. Which apparently is the thing that I’ve been lacking lately. So for the moment, I’m stripping life down to the bare essentials as best I can, and paying all my bills on time. Until I achieve one of those “nest eggs” of savings, little else can be done about my larger, more long-term debts.

    Did I mention that it’s hard to see past the overwhelming mountain of financial irresponsibilty come home to roost, into the sunny, verdant valley of hope?

    ‘Cause it is. No more social life for Moira.

  8. You have a chronic gifting disease? Hmmm….why don’t I know about this? 😛

    And btw, that sucks. But don’t worry, now that Jason and I are well on our merry way to common-law (although a ring to make it real would be nice) his $60,000 school loan will be mine to share soon…ahh, and my poor parents were so careful with making sure I never had school debt…but yeh, you make tons of cash. I’m sure it’s not so bad. Just stop with the expensive bathroom buying and you’ll be all good. 🙂

  9. You willingly spent $175 on a Halloween costume.

    For somebody else.

    Somebody else who has stated on multiple occasions that he doesn’t like dressing up for Halloween.

    One Hundred and Seventy Five Dollars.

    Meditate upon this truth.

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