Just Like The Characters in Arrested Development, I Have Made a Huge Mistake

As a result of being hormonal, I am feeling pretty all over the place emotionally this week and the main feeling is S T R E S S.

I am feeling quite consumed by stress. The sad thing is I have anti anxiety pills which I can take up to three times a day, and recently that hasn’t been enough.

I don’t know why but I can’t shake the feeling that I have made a huge mistake. That I have flipped a coin and called heads when it should have been tails. That I am somehow on a path to devastation and my choices are irreversible. And not even doing my best Gob Bluth impression is improving things.

This is, of course, bull s***.

Most people would suck it up. If you have a debt to repay you should do everything in your power to pay it back. Suck it up. Make the sacrifices.

The truth is I haven’t made a terrible mistake recently. I have made a whole series of terrible mistakes in the past. All the times I spent my wages in the first day before I paid my bills. I have no excuses, I can’t really justify any of my terrible ways with money, I know this is sort of my catch phrase but I WAS A T***

I have told the boy I never want to borrow money off him again. This is it. When I have a bill to pay in the future I will solve it off my own back. I can’t keep being bailed out. I am 28. I only have 1 year left in my 20’s. I am officially old enough to know better. Most of my friends are married/getting married, own their own homes, are doing masters, own their own business, drive or at the very least have a pet, whereas all I have to show for my 28 years on earth is I have completed Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the N64. TWICE!

For younger millenial’s who wonder what the hell a N64 is it is Pure Happiness!

I have an interview for a weekend admin job this week. And I have discovered I can smash my stress by doing 40 minutes on the hardest setting of the exercise bike.

I may have to put my life on hold for a few months to clear the debt. But if I get to see Queen at the end of it then that will be worth it. If I can pay back the boy so I don’t feel like a parasite then that will be great too.

 

 

 

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Rebellion 1. Here comes the money

I have become a lot more open about my debt. Not just on this blog but also to my friends. I make small references to my debt to my Dad, as I am not ready to reveal the full truth, and I wouldn’t dream of mentioning it to my in laws until long after the debt has been cleared, but I am ok with telling people about what I am doing.

I remember in 2003 in one of my issues of Q Magazine there was an advert that scared the hell out of me. It was of a filthy and untidy bedsit, and it was for a bank, or a debt company or something, and it had the words ‘Somewhere along the line life starts costing you money’.

It struck fear into me. The fear that one day I would have no money.

The reason why I feared this was because in 2003, and indeed until long after I started University 5 years later, my family struggled for money. More than struggled. We had nothing.

I was so scared of debt that I was reluctant to start University. I was terrified of credit. I was terrified of bills. I went into panics whenever I spent money. I absolutely hated spending money on food as I thought it was wasted money.

I have long had an irrational hatred of those who are ‘rich’ or ‘well off’. I know this is wrong but part of me can’t believe they may have problems or concerns. This is because every single month of my teenage years was spent living with the fear that this would be the last month in our house before we would lose it.

So really, my getting into debt was a form of rebellion. A stupid, spiteful, self destructive rebellion but a rebellion all the same. I wanted to buy things without thinking about the cost. I wanted to spend hundreds of pounds on food in restaurants because I could. I wanted to buy new clothes. I wanted to see films when they came out. I wanted to drink with my friends. I wanted to buy a vinyl when it was released. I wanted shoes that didn’t have holes in. I wanted to live like a normal person. I didn’t want to care about money any more.

I threw away food that was perfectly edible but had passed it’s ‘Best Before Date’ as a reaction against eating out of date food and donated stale tea bags as a teenager. I spent so much money on ethical toilletries that were more philosophical than I was as a reaction against a point in my life when I had to use a communal ‘mens’ aerosol deodorant as who the hell did I think I was demanding a separate woman’s deodorant when we needed that money for food? (this is a true and disgusting story)

I would go to the cafe around the corner for scrambled eggs when I had eggs and bread at home because their’s was ‘better’

Yes, I was a twat.

And of course, those records I bought would have to be sold for a tiny amount when I realised I couldn’t pay my credit card bill. I cried when my dad bought me a kindle for my birthday when I asked for money.

You know how they say when you deny something, like chocolate when you are on a diet, you just crave it more and more until you snap and eat a 16 portion cake on your own? (thankfully this is not a true story) Well, that’s what I was like with shopping. I had gone years and years denying myself anything, hyperventilating whenever I did have to make a purchase no matter how essential, eating meals that consisted of 7p instant noodles and frozen sweetcorn that one day I snapped. I don’t know exactly when it began, well ok, I have a pretty good idea, but that is a story for another day. All I can say is I was depressed and my career options were so limited that when you see absolutely no chance of ever having any actual money in the near future, then credit becomes your friend, your chance at being happy.

I can honestly say I am now happier than I have ever been, and I think that is why I can tackle the debt, because gone are the days when I would get into states of utter mess when confronted with my bills. Gone are the days when I would have to round up the best vinyls I had, the ones I loved, like Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division, Cut by The Slits and the first Queen album and take them to the local second hand store and get a pittance each for them.

Gone are the days when I would be so embarrassed to tell the boy I needed to borrow money for the Broadband bill that we would get cut off before I could face the truth.

Yes, I have made mistakes. I have behaved disgracefully, I have spent all my money, then money I didn’t have, and then other peoples money.

The past is the past, all I can change is the future, and I do believe I am a better person now.

 

 

Financial Review of Week 11

This week has seen me reign in the spending, about time too. I have £6.30 to last me till Saturday 25th when I get paid. I hope it lasts.

FOOD SHOPPING

Milk (big milk) £1.53

Bread £1.19

Carrots, Parsnips, Anti Bacterial Wipes, Milk, Margarine, Cucumber £4.74

TOTAL SPEND (FOOD) = £7.46

DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

Bus ticket £1.60

Milk for work £1.10

Football Ticket £6

TOTAL SPEND DISCRETIONARY INCOME = £8.70

TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £16.16

I also only have £4.92 of the food budget left. Which is far better then last month when I nearly went £50 over. We have plenty of food, we will just have to be thrifty.

I am up to 5 No Spend Days. I could make it to double digits this month. Which would be nice, this month has kind of gotten away from me.

It is approaching my birthday and I have already received some of my presents. I have some birthday money to throw at the overdraft meaning along with the March Payday chunk I will throw at it it will nearly be halved in just a few months.

Things are what they are. It is Sunday. I have been out with my boyfriend’s family, I have watched the latest episode of Shop Well For Less, I have books to read, an interview to prep for, later I will make soup and I am watching a Miss Marple Episode.

Financial Review of Week 10 (I WILL SURVIVE)

Hi everybody.

Sunday. Reflection day.

I made a fatal error today and had a browse in New Look.

So many beautiful things I want and should not (and cannot) buy.

Oh well.

FOOD SHOPPING

2 packs of reduced luxury cookies £1.50

4 Carrots, 1 Onion, 1 parsnip £1

Bread £1.19

Frozen Broccoli, Frozen Onion, Frozen Sweetcorn and Frozen Peppers £4.58

Birthday Cake, Gravy Granules, Mozzarella x 2, Strawberries and Yogurt £12.10

Potatoes, Mango Chutney, Poppadoms, Naan £3.16

Milk, Meat Pies, Southern Fried Chicken Strips and Chicken Tikka Pieces £9.99

Juice, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumber, Bananas, Bread £4.56

Toothbrush for the boy £1

Parsnips and Bread Rolls £1.24

TOTAL = £40.32

WORK EXPENSE

Milk for work x 2 £2.00

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus to station x 2 = £3.20

DEBT

Library Fines £0.60

SOCIAL

2 x tickets to see a great band in May (they are called The Tuts, check them out 🙂 ) £16

SOCIAL/BOYFRIEND’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!!!

Cinema Ticket, Popcorn and Drink £7.99

Mexican Meal, Side and 2 Drinks £17

Lunch with boyfriend and his sister £10

GIFTS

CD and Voucher for boyfriend (bonus gifts) £19.99

TOTAL DISCRETIONARY SPENDING =  £76.78

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £117.10

Well, it’s less than last week, I think, which is good as I now have £10 discretionary spending money left and £12.38 in the food budget.

To last 12 more days.

Uh Oh.

This doesn’t include my football training costs and a ticket to a women’s football match as these have been budgeted for but not yet paid for. They are safely in an envelope in my wallet. Hopefully the money in the envelope will fornicate with the lone £10 note and make money babies as I need cash.

My social life is looking pretty thin on the ground for the next 12 days, so that’s one good thing, and in all honesty we shouldn’t be buying any food other than bread, milk and fruit/veggies, so it is possible I will survive.

 

Financial Review of February 2017

Hi everybody,

I have finally had a chance to compile the data of my expenditure in February, so here goes.

WORK EXPENSE £4.69

SOCIAL £80.96

GIFTS £48.58

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING £8.08

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) £5.60

HOME £15

FOOD SHOPPING £243.39

HEN PARTY £65 (separate budget and not included in the grand totals)

FEBRUARY MONEY IN = £1364.29

FEBRUARY MONEY OUT = £1293.59

DIFFERENCE = £70.70

So I was £70.70 in credit in February, which is good.

Trouble is I don’t know where that money has gone, as in theory it should be in my account. And my account does not have that much money in it.

There will be custard

A lot of people go food shopping and buy the same things over and over again or on impulse with no plan and end up wasting a lot of food as it expires before being eaten.

A few smug people will food plan against what they have in stock, what their plans are that week/month and what is fresh against what isn’t.

I have decided to be one of those people.

I am still running down my epic beans and pulses tinned goods, and the freezer food, so I am not planning a big shop for a while yet but I am itching to start planning it.

I have just sat down with my diary and a fresh sheet of paper and worked out what my plans are like for the upcoming food month.

And our next food month (Saturday 25th February-Friday 24th March) looks a little like this:

HOME MEALS = 11

(Meals where both my boy and I will sit down together and have dinner)

SUNDAY = 4

(A little like ‘HOME MEALS’ in that we will both be at home eating together, but Sunday’s are an excuse for a B I G meal that seems fitting for a Sunday like Toad in the Hole, Cottage Pie, Pies and Veg etc. British style Pub grub basically)

INDIAN = 4

(It is sort of a house rule that we must have an Indian on a Friday or Saturday. I think my boyfriend would riot if we had something different)

OUT AND ABOUTS = 2

(Days when we have mega exciting plans that will take us out of the house all day, though one of these days we will be at the football and our team has lost an awful lot recently so it might not be too fun)

MAKE ‘YER’ OWNS = 8

(Make ‘yer’ owns comes from an expression of my dad’s. When us kids would have to take care of our own dinner because he was working late or out or something he would say goodbye with a cry of ‘Remember, it’s make yer owns tonight’. This means my boyfriend and I will be eating separately due to our plans)

SPORTS DAY = 3

(Sports day is essentially Make Yer Owns, but it happens on a Thursday when my boyfriend plays squash and I play football and come home starving and want to eat quickly in between showers and bed. It is usually heavy on the carbohydrates)

So this is good as it means I need:

4 lots of food we have when having an Indian dinner

4 lots of food that we would eat on a Sunday.

11 meals planned for the days when both my boyfriend and I will be eating together (and taking in his fussiness)

11 meals where I get to experiment and make something creative as I will be cooking just for me

11 meals that can either be ‘pinged’ in a microwave, heated up quickly in the oven/hob or come in a tin for my boyfriend who is an unconfident cook.

I can now structure my food shop against this.

Which will perhaps mean I don’t end up with an intense amount of tinned soup.

I can also make sure I buy my fresh fruit and veggies at certain points in the week so that they don’t expire too quickly.

I have learnt from this week that a tin of beans and some chopped tomatoes will take you a long way towards a filling and cheap veggie meal so I will be sure to stock up on them.

I have also learnt I love custard.

There will be custard.

 

 

 

I HAVE £12 TO LAST ME TILL NEXT SATURDAY!

If you are down to your last few bank notes with at least 7 more days to go till payday then maybe you shouldn’t go out for dinner with your boyfriend and mates to a fancy pants bar.

At least it was legitimately the best Pizza and  Gin and Tonic I have ever had, so you could say the money was well spent.

Here are some stats.

We are over the household shopping budget and we still need to buy more things.

I have £12 left till payday, which could be as early as next Saturday or as late as Monday 27th.

I did say February would be a challenge compared to January.

And yet I feel a certain degree of ‘chilledness’ (yep, I have once again had my way with the English language). The reason for this is I have no more confirmed purchases left for the month, so £12 is in theory plenty to spend on food to last till next weekend.

I am still eating out of the cupboards and am very pleased with the amount of tins that is going down.

I still have about 20 tins of soup and a big shopping bag that houses packets of instant cous cous, noodles, rice and tinned meals. This bag is by the front door as the kitchen is too full of food to house it as well.

I am determined to run down the freezer as well in order to defrost it.

The weather is ever so slightly warmer and as a result my mental health has perked up and I feel a bit brighter and was remarkably less anxious at work.

I have learnt something invaluable this week.

Ever since I started my job that involved an epic commute I have been relying on convenience foods to save time. This led to me putting on nearly all of the weight I had spent the summer of 2016 losing!

This week I have cooked from scratch everyday and I have loved it. I love cooking and have missed experimenting and creating in the kitchen. And I have realised that:

  1. I don’t starve to death in the time between arriving at home and eating dinner, no matter how long it takes to cook dinner.
  2. It really doesn’t take much longer to make a nice simple dish involving veggies and pulses than it does to heat up a pizza.
  3. I have lost a lot of weight eating ‘real’ food this week.

So expect more experiments in the kitchen to follow.

The other thing is I have realised I have actually found a use for all those millions of tins I had and as a result I think I will still continue to stock up on them, but at least I have learnt now that I will eat them.

Today I transferred my last interest charging credit card debt to one of the 0% cards, so now other than my overdraft I have no debt that has interest being charged on it. Can I get a whoop whoop?

I also bought another bunch of upcoming birthday presents today, and saved £13.30 by using Amazon vouchers I had earnt. Every little helps.

I am a bit anxious about the lack of No Spend Days I have achieved this week, but at least I am not getting further into debt with my spending.