I can clearly see a correlation between my mood and how I perceive my current financial status. I can also see a correlation between how I perceive my ability to buy stuff and how I perceive my financial status.
I recent days, I’ve been feeling pretty good about my status. Things are getting better. I mean they must be. I was able to make a couple on-line purchases, recently all but the last of which have been received. Stuff good!!! Want bad!!!
This morning as I was backing out of my garage to head to work, feeling somewhat guilty about how late I was… AGAIN!!!, I had the thought pass through my mind that “Hey! Today is payday and I made it through with money still in the bank! I must be getting better at this money thing!” and suddenly I felt better.
Three pertinent thoughts did not cross my mind. 1) I happened to win $156.00 in the lottery on August 4th and that money was my “walking around money” for the last two and a half weeks. Good for me for not blowing through it, but still that’s money that didn’t have to come out of my pay check. 2) I only had about $80.00 still in the bank, which means if I hadn’t won the lottery money, I wouldn’t have had any money left by today. 3) Those mail order purchases? Those were made with a credit card. One I’m TRYING TO PAY OFF.
I have three credit cards that I’m trying to pay off and not have hanging over me. I got them all paid down at one point. Not paid off, but paid down. All three of them are maxed out again. Damn it!
One of my many habits as a bad employee is that I make use of my internet connection and local printer in my office to pay my bills each payday, during office hours, of course. It makes me feel good to know that I’m staying on top of my expenses and making them a priority and making sure everything is current. I was doing pretty well for a while, though I did get a bit off track when I went on my vacation. So I sat down with my homemade spreadsheet to look at what my bills were and I very quickly realized that I don’t have enough to cover everything that is due right now. By the time I pay my rent, my car insurance is deducted from my account, I pay my therapist and I paid the bills I deemed essential, I’m left with very little money at all for things like groceries, gas, etc.
My outing with Little has been postponed, due to a family matter that requires his family to go out of town this week-end. I’ll touch base with his Mother early next week to set up a “date” and then the following week Sunday, we should be getting together again. We’re encouraged to keep these outings cheap because it’s out of our pockets, and since we’re just getting to know each other, I don’t want to set a precedent for expensive outings so I’m sure it’ll be something simple. I’ll probably take him for ice cream and a chat the first time, maybe a walk by the estuary in Alameda.
Anyway, I started out feeling pretty good about my situation and by the time I finished paying, or should I say not paying, my bills, I was depressed. Which brings me back to my point. There is a clear connection, for me, between positive outlook and financial stability. I place entirely too much importance on money but I really don’t know how to change that. People need stuff! I need stuff! Often, I find myself in a situation where I have an opportunity to purchase an item that I have been wanting and I “have the money”. Spending the money on the item may not be the best use of the money but I can’t seem to see that in the moment. I only see that I have the opportunity and the means to take advantage. My rationale in that moment is, “When am I going to get this opportunity again? And I have been wanting one of these.” So I do it.
I’ve known for a while that there’s a problem there. I have a “negative relationship” with money. I do. There must be a way to separate myself from this. There must be a way to better manage the finances from an intellectual level without having it be a reflection on my life and my worth and have an impact on my happiness. There must. I just wish I could figure out what it is.