Wednesday, March 5, 2014

money is like a purse

As a woman in her late-twenties, I've had a lot of purses in my life. They've all been varying shapes, sizes, and colors (I once used a lunchbox as a purse when I was in high school), but one common thread between them was that they were all full. Not usually bursting-at-the-seams full, but definitely shouldn't-put-any-more-stuff-in-there full or, in the case of my current purse, you're-gonna-get-scoliosis full.

My purse at the moment.

The longer I live, the more I realize that money (my bank account balance in particular) is a lot like my purses. I've had jobs where I made $5.15 an hour, and I've had jobs where I made almost $35 an hour (although I make neither at the moment). In both instances it seemed that I was running right to the end of my means. Sure, things are easier when I make more money, sort of like how it's easier to carry things around with a bigger purse, but slowly, imperceptibly, that "extra" room goes away. Buying lunch out a couple of times a week becomes routine. No need to check prices at the grocery store. Impulse purchases become the norm. And suddenly I'm spending all the money I'm bringing in again.

Yesterday was a pretty rough day for me. After my morning blog post, I sat down and made an amortization schedule for all of my student loans. To my horror, I was a year off on my payoff date. I was despondent. I felt like such a failure; this was the one thing that was my responsibility to do for our family, and I didn't do it. I worried that C would be disappointed. I worried that he would say that we'd have to go back to the original baby timeline of Spring 2016.

I went home and drank a (large) glass of wine. Not gonna lie, I was medium drunk by the time I talked to C about all of this. In his usual Husband-of-the-Year fashion, he was super wonderful about everything (after getting over his initial shock/disappointment). We decided to let things sit for a few days and then reassess this weekend.

Of course, I'm never one to let things sit, so this morning at work I made up a new budget. A budget in which I pay for only my monthly bills with $200 spending money left over. That'll put me up to $950 a paycheck going toward my student loans. [Seriously, that is almost the entirety of my paycheck.] Doing that will mean that my payoff date will be 12/4/15 instead of 4/8/16.

Man, those big ones at the end....

I feel better about it already. The funny thing is, that I'm not really all that worried about cutting my spending back even more. I've always been pretty good at just spending what I have; having less just means spending less. Sort of like how having a smaller purse just means that you carry less shit around with you (that you never needed in the first place).

Who knew that purses could be so philosophical?


  1. The purse to money connection is true, and genius. I have cut my free spending $$ way back with every check, and you know what? It's been fine. You'll be fine.

  2. ugh, student loans ARE THE WORST. after i finished school, i made it my goal to pay all that crap off within ONE year and that was one hard year. i was basically broke that entire year and did nothing but work to pay that shit off. the day i made my last payment, i wanted to give everyone in that bank the finger as i walked out LOL

    can i ask you one teeny favor? can you not make the grey part of your blog transparent? i can't read the font/content with the background coming through :(

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

    1. Yay! I finally figured out how! I've been researching how to do that for weeks. HTML is hard work :-/

  3. I am just starting with learn about budgeting and having that kind of discipline is really hard when you're used to just spending whatever is in the bank account and hoping that you'll make it til the end of the month! But I'm much happier stressing about my lack of money at budgeting time, not watching my bank balance drop lower and lower and hoping to avoid those dang overdraft fees.