The best things in life are free? What a crock of *&%$

Ok, Ok. I know that I’m already starting off on a less positive note than I have been recently. Stay with me though, I may have some insight…although this may end up just becoming a rant…

The best things in life are free.”

I don’t believe that. I don’t really believe that anything is ever truly “Free.” That word to me, means that you don’t have to make any effort or payment in attaining or keeping something.

Even love! People say “Oh, my love is for free.” Well…no, I doubt that it is, really. MOST people will eventually stop feeling/giving love to someone if it is not reciprocated in SOME way. Even people who are in abusive relationships receive a glimmer of something in return for the ridiculous amounts of love that they give to these abusers.

But I digress. This post, for once in my crazy life, is not about love.

This post is about money, and how CRAPPY it is that I don’t have enough. Kind of.

I make decent money. I live on my own. I pay my bills, and I do go out and do things.

But each week, towards the end of the week, I start to stress out about my paycheck.

Ok. What is due this week? Oh bugger, my phone bill was more than I thought it was going to be…can I take an extra $30 from rent and make it up on the next paycheck? Maybe if I just eat ramen this week…”

Grocery shopping is a nightmare. I’m overweight. (Please don’t start with the “No, you’re beautiful” comments. Yes, I’m beautiful. But I’m also overweight. Its ok.) I want to get healthy, and eat better. But has ANYONE else noticed how expensive it is to eat well? Seriously. Veggies, fruit…all the wonderfully healthy things are SO expensive…and yet, we have candy at the check out aisle that is “3 for $.99!” Ramen, a staple of any broke college kid or bachelor (or me on a tight pay week) is SO high in sodium, and is SO bad for you…Macaroni and cheese…my very favorite comfort food is SUPER cheap…and SO fattening!

I want salads. I want strawberries and blueberries and granola and low fat yogurt. I want grapes, and zucchini. I want asparagus! Mmmm…asparagus…I want apples and peanut butter…

Picking up some of these items isn’t super bad, but when you start buying more than one or two, it can become really expensive.

Why are the things that are good for us so expensive? The junk food and crap food should be more expensive. The healthy food should be more affordable. Maybe then our nation wouldn’t be having such a problem with obesity. That and our portion sizes, but that’s another topic for another day.

I would love to live comfortably. I’d like to pay my rent, eat healthy, pay my bills, and actually have a little money left over to SAVE.

And to be honest with you, I really don’t spend THAT much money on myself during the week.

Yes, I have a Starbucks habit. I’m working on that. I’ve taken my spending down, though, from anywhere between $5-$9 A DAY to $3-$5. (Depending on if I get a brownie…I am a fat kid after all!)

Today my coffee only cost me $2. I got a smaller cup. Of course, part of that reasoning is because I just bought a big box of tea, and I plan to drink tea at work today, so I didn’t want to put coffee in my work cup.

But in the grand scheme of things…I don’t buy new clothes very often…and when I do, its generally out of necessity. (Like when I wore a hole in the only pair of jeans that I owned and had to replace them.) I’ve been wearing the same clothes to work for over 3 years. Last year, I spent $30 and bought myself 3 new sweaters. I haven’t bought any new work clothes since. And just this morning I discovered a rip in the only pair of work pants that fit me.

I know I need to set my priorities a little better. This week and next, (well, after today) I will probably not be having any Starbucks. Which is fine with me. I need to save that $3 a day for the next 2 weeks so I can maybe splurge and buy…wait for it…TWO pairs of work pants! Maybe that way I won’t wear holes in them so fast.

Now, I will readily admit, part of me REALLY doesn’t want to spend that money on clothes right now. But lets be realistic…I don’t have the time or energy to work out right now with the crazy ass schedule I’m keeping right now. Morgan is working 10 hour days at least 4 days out of the week, and we carpool. I’m up at 5:45 am getting ready for work, and don’t get home till 6:30 pm at the absolute earliest…by that time, I am EXHAUSTED. I’m lucky if I eat before crashing out with The Doctor. While I’d rather not buy another pair of fat pants…I have to be realistic. There is no way I’m going to drop 50 pounds overnight, so I have to buy at least one pair to get me through till I do lose the weight.

I’d love to pick up a second job. The only problem with that is that I no longer have my own form of transportation. And in order to have that…I need a second job. So I need something that I can do on weekends from home or from a coffee shop or something…

I want to write. I think it would be amazing to make a living from writing. But, as I have several friends who ARE writers…I know that the chances of my silly erotic stories actually selling well enough to count are slim to none.

I could probably write something else…but what to write about?

I’m not politically minded at all…I don’t read the news…I could write about “The IT Crowd” and “Doctor Who,” but who besides my crazy group of friends would really want to read all of that?

As it is now, the one thing that I know I need to do is stop stressing about money.

This time in my life is happening for a reason. There are lessons here, and I know what they are: Set your priorities. Learn to do without. SAVE. PLAN AHEAD. Don’t panic! (where’s my towel? Good gods, I am a NERD.)

Stressing out is just going to make me sick again though…which costs more money. So I’m not going to WORRY about it. I’m going to be mindful about what I’m spending my money on, and cut costs where I can. I actually will probably stop going out to karaoke for a little while, since I REALLY like to be supportive and buy drinks and food when I’m out. Granted, I usually get cheap things, but…even $3 on a whiskey sour could be put aside for a new shirt from Ross for work, or could be put aside for a rainy day. $6 a week is $24 a month…that’s my renter’s insurance and then some…

So anyway…I guess this did turn into a little bit of a rant…but more importantly, this post was more of an outlet for some of the stress that I’m feeling. I feel a little better now, and intend on reworking my budget, and seeing what I can cut out to help get myself on a better path. Realistically, making more money probably won’t happen any time soon…I’m still going to try to find a way to make some spare cash, but in the meantime, I need to do what I can, and quit thinking about all that I “can’t.”

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2 thoughts on “The best things in life are free? What a crock of *&%$

  1. Well, girl, I can completely relate. Eating good food is WAY over priced. I have been fortunate enough to be buying fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch (smoothie for breakfast and salad for lunch). It means that I have to cut out other stuff in order to do so. We get generic brand coffee, store brand meat and other stuff too. I was at the store this last weekend and as Ronnie and I were going through the aisles, we saw a VERY obese woman in a motorized cart, that had hormel chilli, potato chips, and all those other bad for you foods. I made me sit back and think about the causes. WHat surprises me, is that grocery industry doesn’t follow the typical economic theory of supply and demand. Usually when people buy more of something (demand) the price goes up. Which in this case would be junk food being more expensive right? But no…Anyway, I know you know that I know that you know that life isn’t always fair.

    But, on another note, sitting down and budgeting helps, A LOT. I sat down and went through a whole months worth of expenses and grouped them by category: eating out, utilities, vehicles, groceries, etc. In the end, I was spending more than double on eating out for food than I was on groceries!! I blew my mind. We decided to cut out eating out (and we didn’t eat out for 3 weeks!) and it was amazing how we felt to.

    Don’t stress or worry, use this time to learn and grow. We all do it and the more often we do it, the more able we are to move forward. Hugs and love!!

  2. Heh. I agree. You want a chef’s salad? That’ll be $12.95 please. Oh, the chili dog? that’s $4.50. I definitely feel your pain there.

    Oatmeal’s a good start. Cheap, easy and good for you. Throw in some flax seeds, wheat germ and sliced banana and you got yourself a breakfast of champions. It tastes a lot better than it has any right to be, so that’s a plus.

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