Growing up we always lived hand to mouth. My parents never had a sense of saving. They also had a lot of gadgets and gizmos – if they had money, they spent it. I remember one time when we all went out to a celebratory dinner because my mother had managed to save $1000.00. I also remember many a night when it was pancakes for dinner because that’s what we had in our pantry.
With my ex husband it was much the same. We got credit cards for emergency only, but it wasn’t too long before going out with friends a week before payday became an emergency. After my divorce I paid off all my debts (excepting my student loans which are on a payment plan and should be paid off in 7 years), and promised myself that wasn’t going to be me anymore. I don’t even own a credit card these days.
I make pretty decent money.
But I also spend fairly well.
When I left the Company That Shall Not Be Named last year I had a nice little cushion. It’s gone now – having been put to its purpose of keeping me afloat in case of emergency. Now instead of a cushion, I am sitting on a bare bones wooden chair and my ass has splinters.
Yesterday I sat down with Mint and really looked at where my money was all going to. I knew in the recesses of my mind that I have been eating out more and spent money on vacations that are coming up. But I was afraid to find out just how much of a spendthrift I’ve been.
While I have been spending a bit of money on fancy food, it really has been mostly unexpected costs that have come up. I needed to buy a car ($3500 off of Craigslist), my medical bills increased (arthritis, sigh), it was completely unexpected that ModCloth was going to have such wonderful dresses (they also have a swipe left/right feature on their phone app – which is just… like Tinder only with greater potential of a lasting relationship), and you can imagine how floored I was by the unexpected need to buy more yarn even though I have an entire room in my house dedicated to housing all the yarn I already have.
Mind you, I have long-term investments and savings, but those are supposed to be long-term. So now I am recommitted to really buckling down and saving money again.
This might be the hardest time of year to do this. I mean, I am not much of one for Christmas present giving (giving being the operative word), but things are on so much sale right now. And, I have a store pass for Columbia. And I have to plan my meals for work.
I just hope I don’t have another yarn emergency.
Also, please be prepared for posts listing all the things I didn’t buy.