Becoming Accountable

1 02 2011

I have a confession to make: I hate money. Not having it, of course. That would just be silly. But I hate the idea of money. I hate talking about it, thinking about it, worrying about it. Budgeting drives me to near-intolerable levels of anxiety.

As you can imagine, this does not bode well for my financial well-being. My ostrich stance, complete with my head in the sand, has not (oddly enough) led to a healthy bank account balance.

The thing is, I’m not a crazy shopper. I don’t go to the mall and buy tons of clothes or have major online shopping sprees. That would be crazy. But when I really examine the situation (while taking deep, anxiety-preventing breaths), I’m wasting our money—one Happy Meal at a time.

Why am I telling you this? Well, read the title, silly people! I need accountability. Yeah, I hear you. “What about Car?” In an ideal world, I would be able to discuss all of this with Car and be accountable and it would all be great. I would also be emotionally healthy and wear a size six.

This is not an ideal world. I do not wear a size six, and I have complex emotional issues. For some reason these issues translate into “I don’t have to tell him how I spend money! He’s not the boss of me!” Ridiculous? Absolutely. Self-destructive? Oh yes. Am I working on it? Yeah, I am. But for now, you folks get to be my keepers.

Here’s my goal: During the month of February, I will only spend money on essentials. It’s a lofty goal, and I’m not sure how it’ll work, but I need to try.

I’m really lousy at long-term goals (and a month is a really long time when I’m doing something new and difficult like this) so today, I’m going to start with this week.

This week I will only buy essential items. Actually, that will probably be easy since we’re out of money and payday is Friday. So hopefully week one will be a success. My plan is to report at the end of each blog post about how I’ve done with my spending. I’m not going to be too specific, because you don’t need to know I spent $4 on Care Bears stickers, right?

So I’ll start tomorrow, and we’ll see how it goes. Here’s hoping! Thanks for sticking around when I do odd things like this. Cheerleaders always come in handy.*

*Please don’t dig out any old cheerleading uniforms. I will not be held responsible for my actions if you do so.

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7 responses

3 02 2011
becca

I am a huge fan of the List. I list everything – but especially groceries. And I’m pretty careful about it, because if it’s not on the list, I’m not allowed to buy it. Sometimes I curse the list. And I have been known (on occasion) to add something to the list while I”m in the store… but it helps me to keep to the essentials. If that helps…

2 02 2011
andygirl

I haven’t been a size six since I WAS six. wait, that doesn’t seem right.

good luck. I know you can do it!

2 02 2011
Mom

My vote: don’t feed your kids. they don’t eat most of what you buy a McDonald’s etc. so why bother?

2 02 2011
mfr1982

I know the feeling…I just got all my W-2s in the mail and my first though was, “Huh…where did all THAT money go?” My problem is when you work 3+ 12 hour night shifts…cooking dinner on you day off really doesn’t seem like the best idea. More veggies…less money! Right?

2 02 2011
meredith

the only way i’ve ever been good with money is not having any. which can make it hard to eat.

fingers crossed for you, dearheart. you can do it!

2 02 2011
danessa

Hey, me too. I think there are ALOT of people who are trying to do better at that money thing. see for me, it’s Wal-mart. I HATE that place…It’s like they stick a vaccuum in my purse and I always leave much more poor than I came. My goal this month…no walmart. Could be interesting. BUt it could also save me money which would be happies too….
Good luck!

2 02 2011
Stef

I was a lot the same way. I realized how much I was spending on “fluffy stuff” when I kept a journal of EVERYTHING, down to the $1 for my coke refill, which usually turned out to be $5 because I added the donut and candy bar. . .let’s get real, who passes up a chocolate cake donut, which by the way goes especially well with Diet Coke. hmmmm… wonder why I put on 20 lbs in the past year. . .oh yeah, back on track…I was amazed how much money I wasted on food, and what a stupid thing, no long term use, except as insulation, and I was spending close to $200/month just on McDonald’s runs and the sort.
It has been quite liberating to really keep track and know exactly where it’s going, although I have to admit, I had a few anxiety attacks the first couple of months. . .but now, I am in charge, not my lack of knowledge. GOOD LUCK! I will be rooting for you 🙂

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