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July 22, 2008

Budget Allergy!!!

Am I just allergic to budgets?

So it seems the unending stress of money and life continues to rear its ugly head. Yet again, I have moments of pure anxiety and slight freak outs regarding money and work and life. Some of it is just endless, and always weighs in the back of my mind, other times, it goes away and I’m thinking “I can handle this” and other times, I wonder if this is all my life is… just one more person to help lube up the wheels for the credit card companies.

It’s my fault really. I spend too much. I’ve learned that I spend too much on myself and even when I go out, more than half the time its not returned, and I really need to start penny pinching. But that’s just not me. It’s hard for me to haggle over a dollar let alone a penny. But I’m going to have to… right?

A lot of this was brought on b/c of various BIG events that I’ve missed or am missing due to finances.

Recently FH and I missed our dear friends’ big engagement party/bridal shower/bachelorette party weekend in Texas. This coming weekend I’m missing one of my oldest friend’s weddings back in CA. These aren’t small events in one’s life, and it means a lot when friends show up… and we have missed or are missing both. And it’s killing me!

For FH and I, it came down to planning. But even with advance notice, this year was a big Wedding year all the way around – so we may not have had the funds, but at least we could have tried. As of the fall of last year, FH and I had a packed 2008 calendar. Wedding in March (CA), May (NJ), July (CA), September (CA), and October (CA). In December we found out that we had another January wedding in CA, but after already having Christmas set in CA, it was too difficult to swing back out on such short notice. As of February 2008, one more wedding was added to the mix. Then in March or so, the engagement party in Texas.

It was a struggle. Trying to make it work when I knew it’d be near to impossible. As of last fall, we realized the only way we could swing the first 5 weddings we knew about was with a bit of compromise and sacrifice. The NJ wedding wasn’t too hard – a 3 hour drive and just some schedule adjustments. The March and July Wedding could happen with the September (cousin’s wedding) and October (FH is in this one) wedding only if FH did not join me for the first two. Then the great news of my other July wedding, except the timing for me. B/c it was such a struggle to afford four CA weddings as it was, I knew this would be even harder to add yet one more wedding to the July mix.

So the decision was made. We’d be missing both events. There was no other realistic outcome of the situation. But as it becomes yet ONE more thing I am missing out on due to finances, I can’t help but be frustrated. I know a lot of it is my own fault. I am frivolous and too willing to spend money on things that I don’t need. FH said “you act like we are in poverty” and I realize we aren’t, but when I stress, it’s a realization that I’ve come this far in my life, accrued this much debt to get further ahead – and sure I make decent money, but I got THAT much more debt to make it. What am I really doing with my life and my budget?

FH and I in attempts to save money are putting ourselves on a $100/week budget per person to include all food and activity outside our groceries. Can this help? Will we even make a dent in our debt? Will this awful cycle of stress-relax-stress ever stop when I confront our finances? How will this affect our own wedding? Eat out less (especially in DC with a 10% food tax), the dogs don’t go to daycare anymore, no more cleaning lady and really try to focus on what is important. But will it end?

The economy isn’t getting better, my job this year has had me off for three weeks whereas last year I had 3 unpaid days off. I’m doing more English work and less translation work. I worked over 3000 hrs last year and as of today I’m barely at 1400 hours. I mean life isn’t as easy… I realize this. And I guess I’m just having a bit of a bi#$% fest… but my biggest complaint is that I hate having to say “I cant afford it!!!” WHY THE HELL CAN’T I AFFORD IT?!?!

So this posting is just a grouchy early Tuesday morning complaint. I apologize if it puts a damper on anyone’s mood. I had intended this posting to go over how great my friend’s wedding on July 5th was, but I’m going to have to wait til I can add some pictures for that post… and instead y’all got this grumpy rambling of pretty average complaints.

I love my friends. I love my life. I love my dogs… I just hate how money affects it. But I do know I will get through it. I do know we’ll be fine. We’ll be able to do what we can, attend the events that we can and that our own wedding will be fabulous even on a budget.

Ultimately, life isn’t all sweet and sugary. But I am doing my best and I hope that I don’t have to miss any more big events in my friend’s lives – especially over money. It’s just sad…

FH says I need to be on a budget… perhaps he is right… yet again!

3 comments:

  1. awwwwwwww poor little thing.. at least Cici's is only $5.. we can drink water next time. its even cheaper w/o drink. Love you.

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  2. I am right there with you! I know Adam and I are very blessed and we are no where near the poverty line but when I want to buy something... particularly for Chase and I can't, I get so frustrated! I get that "why not" mentality! Hell 6 days before I turn 30 we are moving in with Adam's parents! Talk about humbling! I just keep reminding myself why I am doing this... it's the long run and the big picture. Debt free... student loans and all! I also try to remember that some of the richest people drive the most modest cars and live on a budget... it's how they got rich in the first place! Love you and your budget! Stick with it... it will be worth it!

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  3. My first reaction was -- wheww it's not just me! I completely understand your thoughts. Here we are doing well - I mean we really are doing well. But, I'm always freaking out about how we waste money! TC is always griping at me to mellow out. But, it's that looming debt figure there that drives you crazy because you realize how impossible it is to get ahead if that's always there. I've whacked off all my credit card debt and half of his but until it's all gone -- i'm not going to relax. And, yeah the economy affects everyone. I'm spending $100 - $150/week on gasoline alone. TC adds another $50/week with his personal truck - thank goodness we don't have to pay for his work car. If I thought it was even half way feasible I'd load Isabella up on a bike and take her and I to work that way! But, I'm learning I can still live comfortably if I'm smart about it. I am taking all 5 of us to Mexico in March for $1600 roundtrip from here to there. And, Isabella does just fine in clothes from the thrift store. And, the sales rack works for my big butt too... what's helped is setting up my budget to let me splurge on an item or 2 here/there so that I feel better.

    Hang in there - we will all get there. And the previous comment is soooo true -- it's worth it.

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