one day at a time

We are broke. More broke than I even want to admit. Not like we’ll get kicked to the curb broke (thank goodness for housing being automatically deducted) but can’t-buy-anything-new-that-ain’t-a-neccesity broke. I was able to get some money for my medical expenses (which are running at like $415 a month AFTER insurance), but hubby had a little accident (if you want to know what happened, please ask him, he’s just fine no serious injuries) and has a whopper of a medical bill that needs to be paid within 6 months that we are just not prepared for. These are the kinds of things that personal finance experts are always talking about needing to have money set aside for, sage advice that we didn’t listen to. So now I’m begging for all the institutional resources I can, because going into further credit card debt is no longer an option (like, literally. There is no more credit.)

This is hard for me because I feel like I am always spending money, and that buying something that isn’t a neccesity is like 1/10 of 1% of the time. We have a joint account, but I pay all the bills. I take care of all the children’s doctor co-pays because I’m the one that takes them to the doctor. I do our taxes. I go grocery shopping (like 2-3 times a week). I do our travel arrangements. This is not about all that I do, but about the fact that I spend a lot of money on a weekly and monthly basis and the neccesary and non-neccesary get all jumbled up. My hubby gets upset every time he has to pay a bill because he simply cannot stand to spend money. I think this helps him not spend on non-essential stuff – he relives the pain of spending every time. But me, I’m kinda immune – hey, what’s one more item when I’ve purchased 20 items/bills/co-pays/plane tickets already this week?

But I know I have to do better. So I’m imposing a non-essential personal shopping moritorium, at least till the new year. No new clothes. No new shoes. No pedicures or manicures. No magazines from the stand. No coffee, no lunch (must eat both at home). Books only from the library. No itunes. No anything that isn’t food, shelter, bills.

Now this has the potential to just feed a shopping addiction elsewhere, like for housewares or eating out. But no – the only non-essential things I will be buying are Christmas toys (the secret is to buy one toy for each child every other time you go shopping at a place that sells toys. Then you’ll have a nice pile by December 25, and you haven’t spent $500 at one time), and family pictures, which are really important to me to have professional photography to document my family’s growth. I hope to have some good karma coming my way (although I think I’ve already got some of it, I just hope there’s more) since I’ve tried to send some to some people I know could use it (and no, not on facebook.)

I know this is a one day at a time battle, but I really hope I can win the war. I don’t think I have any other choice.

3 thoughts on “one day at a time

  1. ahh..I feel your pain. Have you tried negotiating the medical bills? Hospitals and doctor’s offices usually have someone that you can talk to to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses or be put on some kind of manageable payment plan. If you want to brainstorm some money saving ideas let me know, I’m trying to reduce our expenses and save and have found some helpful websites and blogs. Take care!

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  2. I feel your pain. My dental bills are deleting some huge chunks from our checking account, costing us about $4,000 so far this year, and now I may need TWO root canals. We depleted our savings when we moved. But it could be worse, for sure.

    As for curbing the unnecessary spending habit, perhaps watching this will help. Making it a political statement rather than based on need can help the psyche, I think. It’s working for me, anyway.

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  3. I know this must be getting repetitive (as two other commentators already stated this) but I really and honestly feel your pain. Time to go curb the family expenses…:)

    The war will be won eventually, though. I mean, I really hope so. 🙂

    E.

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