Monday, February 19, 2007

Green money.

Lately, I've been forced to spend money when I didn't want to.

Okay, for example? I had to get two new tires and get my tires rotated and balanced and aligned and all those other words that I don't necessarily understand? I mean, I know I had to do it, but it makes me a little twitchy.

My son broke three pair of glasses within like, four weeks, and so he had to get new glasses. And while I appreciate that my son needs to, you know, see and stuff, I still felt a bit spun up when I wrote that check.

Also? Years ago my husband's mother bought us a table and chairs for Christmas. It's, um, not that great. Anyway, my chair broke about six months ago. I sat down in it and the back broke off and I fell out of the chair, literally. My feet flew over my head and I fell backwards and hit my head on the cabinet. And I just lay there for like, two and a half minutes, and my husband was all like, "OH MY GOD ARE YOU OKAY?" And then? I totally started laughing because sweet Lord, that was probably just hysterical if it wasn't, you know, actually happening to you. And then my husband, helpfully, said, "I don't want you to say the chair broke because you are overweight. Because the SEAT didn't break." And that? Made me laugh even harder. But anyway, we had to buy new chairs for our kitchen table so we didn't have to sit in the floor.

Oh and something was kind of funky in our wiring and it kept making our new washer and dryer mess up (and oh yeah, did I mention we had to freaking pay for that recently too? Sweet Lord.) and so I felt kind of twitchy when I wrote that check too.

I guess the point is, I'm feeling kind of...um, panicked. Yes, panicked is a very good word. Because I like to have money in the BANK, not so much in the hands of the furniture place and the electrician. You know?

When my twins were really little I was so freaking poor. There were so many times I just didn't know what I was going to do. It was one of the most scary times of my life. No one should ever have to worry about if they would have money to put diapers on their baby's bottoms. There should be a federal law against that or something.

But anyway, I am really grateful and thankful that I have a decent job and I'm really grateful and thankful that my husband has a decent job, but I still get really, really frustrated, panicked, afraid and scared about being poor.

Someone asked me recently, "Well, what's comfortable?" in terms of money. I thought about it and I said, "I felt comfortable once I didn't check the checking account balance before going to the grocery store." Because I've done that SO many times. Sometimes I still do it. Okay, usually I still do it. And I don't have to do it now. But I still do.

I don't know if I'll ever feel "okay" about money. I really hate that about myself.

20 comments:

Wendy said...

I think that once you have to constantly worry about money it is hard to get out of that habit:) Unless of course you are a millionaire then you hire other people to worry about it:)

Kellie said...

I worried about money for several years (ages 17-22; when I moved out on my own, worked full time and went to college full time); didn't worry as much from 23-28 and the last year that I've been a stay at home Mom...yeah, I stress over it ALL THE TIME and it SUCKS!! I hate it and it's not only making me have all sorts of aches and pains, it's causing issues in my house.

Anyway...I'm glad you don't have to worry. You more than deserve to not have to worry. But, as Wendy said...once you have the worry, you never really let go of it.

Bethany said...

I stress over the money too. Uh, hot water heater, just to name one unexpected expense.

We are doing okay but I can't help worrying about it. When I was a kid my dad worked three jobs to make ends meet. I don't want us to be in that position, I want my kids to know us!

stepmomof2 said...

I hate having to worry about money too. It seems like literally "when it rains, it pours" around here. I keep looking forward to the day when I won't have to use a calculator at the grocery store :-( Luckily our taxes should be coming back soon and we will be able to put some money away for emergencies.

Michelle said...

I agree if you have ever had to "watch every penny" it sure is hard to get out of the habit. I became comfortable when I could go to Wal-Mart drop $100 and not be in a panic that I couldn't then pay a utility bill. But I still watch my penny even though I don't have too cause you just never know when something will happen to turn your world upside down, I want to always be prepared for that.

Emma in Canada said...

The unexpected stuff kills me, every time. My own fault, ideally I should be putting away $1500 a month, but I don't. William said to me the other day "What did you do with that $1700?" I could reel off a few things, but there was still $800 unaccounted for. I just spent it on nothing. If you ever go back to your credit counselling day I should be your first client. Anyway, should the going get tough you could sell your blog. i see it's worth $9000, which is $9000 more than mine was the last time I checked.

And now that I have gone on and on I just have to say that you are totally not number 2. You are 24. I think. Somewhere around there anyway.

my4kids said...

I will always worry about money to, no mater how well we are doing. We still occasionally have to pinch pennies but usually it is our fault and something we spent to much money on to begin with or forgot to pay because we weren't paying attention. We are definetly doing a lot better then we were in our early 20's and when Madison was born when we had to file bancruptcy and lose everything we had because of it. I can't imagine that we will ever get over the worrying every time an unexpected expense comes up even if we have it I worry about what might happen. After all if you have been reading my blog lately you might notice around our house when it rains it pours!

Honestly I don't know what we would do since the only kind of luck we seem to have is the bad kind, sometimes. It could be worse though.

Amy W said...

With two houses and a self employed husband, money is a bad topic in my house...but I still spend $100 every damn time I set foot in Target.

Happy Working Mom said...

I know what you mean about "feeling twitchy" with all of your spending...I go through times like that where I feel like I'm writing a check to 50 different people, and I get twitchy.

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

Jason - For the Love of God....

Four-year-old Jason was visiting his grandparents. Grandpa was in his study intently reading. Jason walked in carrying a peach, said something Grandpa didn't catch, and handed the peach to him. Thinking his wife had sent him a snack, Grandpa took it and ate it. Just as he swallowed the last bite, Jason, with lip quivering, said, "But, Pap, I didn't want you to eat it. I just wanted you to get the worm out!"

Rachel said...

I don't know that most people will ever feel "okay" about money. I know I don't feel that way. I mean, the bills are paid, we have money for food and such, but it always seems when you build up a little cushion, things start to break and you have to replace them. It sucks.

Ashley said...

When me and James first got married (the first time) we were constantly playing catch up - we lived literally paycheck to paycheck. 10 years later we bring in twice what we made then and I still constantly feel bad when I buy something I don't need because I in some wierd way I guess it's going to break the bank even when I know it won't - I bought my canon xti last month and on the way home I just wanted to go back and return it.

Stephanette said...

I hate the day where I sit down and write all of the checks out. I try to do it when hubby is going to be gone for an extended period, so my twitchy-ness doens't translate to witchy-ness. After having Dad be self-employed and Mom try to juggle all growing up, I'm glad we both get steady paychecks, but I haven't lost that pit feeling in my stomach.

julie said...

I totally understand this! Thus, my apprehension about buying a new coffeemaker, even though I NEED one! :)

M said...

I wish I could relate however I'm still stuck in the OMFG HOW WILL I AFFORD DIAPERS stage (getting worse with Lily's birth closer and closer!)

That said? Use the fact that you always made it work to remind you that you always will make it work.

You're one of the most financially responsible women I know. It shouldn't bring you this much stress when you have the money, it's used properly, and you have savings. If you're having this much anxiety...wanna hear my advice? Starts with a "t" ends with a "heripist". ;) Hey! they can give you ideas on how to chillllllll xoxo

Shanilie said...

I am there with you. Ryan was still finishing up his undergrad when we got married, so the first 2 years were hell. Anyway, to add to the stress of the first year Jacob surpirzed us, then he was an extra cost & to top it all of right around the same time we bought an old beater of a car and it died then we had to buy another crappy one a month later~! One thing after another. Now Ryan is subbing and there are still struggles, but I still have to check the account before doing anything. I am sure it will be like that for a while yet. I think we just get used to what we have. For instance, as children get older they cost more, clothes, car repairs, other sudden emergencies, things for school etc. There will always be something to replace any extra $ that may come in in the future. So, to answer your question.....I think I would have to win the lotto before I could start feeling comfortable. I know, not the most encouraging thing to say in the world....but hey, you are meeting your monthly costs and that is all we can hope for...

Em said...

The unexpected and unplanned expenses never seem to end! And it seems I can never write checks or pay bills without checking balance online. Years of wondering if I had enough have pre-programmed me to worry about money no matter what.

dawnabon said...

Hey darling, I wish I could say something to make that feeling go away, but I think it's normal once you've been there before (oh how I remember how low our bank account would be at the end of the month the first year of our marriage, and the fight over the $2 Target clearance rack undies). No advice, just a great big "i feel ya, sis."

*hug*

Real Life in South Carolina said...

I feel you. I hate worrying about money. Hate it. I also hate spending $ on tires and fixing wiring so the appliances work and all that yucky stuff. Necessary? Yes. But never fun.

Debbie said...

We're kind of in reverse. My husband used to work out of town and make awesome money. I never really paid attention to prices. Recently, he took a job closer to home so that we all could be together, but he also took a big cut in pay (about 50%). Now, we have to budget and pay attention, and it's been a difficult adjustment.