10 pounds down 32 pounds to go!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not hard enough

So I said before that I get a lot of email about money, more than I get about weight. Which I guess makes sense considering how things turned out. It would seem to the casual observer that I'm better at one than the other. I think the thing is that I'm a tight ass about money and not about snacks. I'm realizing that I give myself no slack when it comes to going over-budget but when it comes to over-eating and under-excercising I rationalize like it's my job.

So, emails about money. I feel like I'm talking a lot about email lately. Which is ironic because the emails say all I talk about is shopping. I'd like to talk about shopping more actually. I'd like to say that I went to Gap.com and bought a bunch of warm wool pants but I can't say that. I did go and I wanted to buy, oh yes, but my choices were: full price and cuffed (difficult to hem), sale price and pleated (blech) or sale price and available only in size 8 ankle. Please, if I'm going to use my vaulable hoard of coupons and giftcards I'm not wasting it on pleated pants. See that there, where I mention the coupons? I don't like to pay full price for anything, toothpaste, cd's, food, and definitely not clothes.

I try to keep myself in check on the talking about coupons thing. I'm not jaded enough to think that my getting 10 Taco Bell Seasoning packets and two boxes of taco shells for fifty cents is as exciting for anyone else as it is for me, but that was a seriously awesome day for me and my tiny, tiny life. I suppose if you read only bits and pieces of the site you might think that I spend all my time shopping, just don't ever accuse me of spending all my money. I have a budget for clothes like anything else. When I underspend it gets added to the next month and ditto the other way around. It's called managing your money.

I wish someone had told me what to do when I was drowning in my debt. I was too ashamed of the mistakes I made to ask for help when I needed it. I was very lucky that I was able to fix it on my own. Unbelievably lucky. The kind of lucky that makes me want to send CapitalOne flowers and my first born. You'd feel like that too if they offered you 1.99% for life when you thought you might have to declare bankruptcy*. It wasn't all luck though, I made some smart decisions on my own.

This October marked the fourth year that I have lived on my own in Maine. That's 48 months exactly. I have not had cable or any kind of tv service in all that time. If tv service costs a conservative $30 a month, I'd still owe $1440. If I had a home phone line that whole time at roughly the same cost I would still be in debt by $2880. Internet service via crappy Juno is $10 a month, add another $480 for a total debt of $3360. Netflix was the one expense I kept even when in my heart I knew I didn't need it to live. I recently upped it, but for most of that time I had the tradional menage a trois plan at $18 a month. If I hadn't kept Netflix, I'd have been free and clear two months early with a bonus of almost $900.

It's not that much fun living without all that stuff, which is why I'm setting up phone service at the new house, but none of those things are necessary to live. If I had looked ahead four years I would have cancelled Netflix for two more months of financial freedom. Why am I putting all this out there again? I guess I still have my bitch on from earlier this week. Don't tell me you admire me and ask for my help and then criticize me for wanting to buy clothes to keep warm. I've made sacrifices, maybe not as many as I should have, but I'm free after my next paycheck and it has nothing to do with the budget I set for clothing. If you'd rather have your cable tv than a savings account, rock on. If you think the internet is more important than paying down your credit cards, fine. I just don't want to hear about it anymore. You can't fix anything if you're not willing to work hard enough.

*Little did I realize that I couldn't have afforded to declare bankruptcy. Can you hire a lawyer with plastic?

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