Thursday, February 17, 2011


I need to keep track of the spending I’m doing for working at home. The new computer I had to buy regardless, but not the headset. Nor the Ethernet to USB filter that I needed so the Internet won’t shut off if Windows isn’t on. Yeah, I don’t get it either. New phone and second phone line are still potential buys at this point, but I’m waiting for a position to open up first. That’s where I am now. I passed the interview and the computer runs their software, so now I wait until something becomes available.

A whole day to just get house stuff straight would be awesome, but it’s not going to happen. Maybe tonight I can catch up on chores and budget work.

Under surreal moments, I talked to Sallie Mae Friday. Very helpful customer service rep after I told her what I make a month answered, “You’re barely above the poverty line. You’d have to make $4000 a month to afford these loans.” According to their paperwork, a monthly amount representing 150% of the poverty guideline is $1353.75 for a family of 1. So by barely, we mean a hundred dollars after taxes.

It’s one thing to be living under the press of “how to pay, don’t have enough, I’m so bad with money.” So to have a total stranger look at my gross pay, subtract taxes, and say “no you don’t make enough money” takes some getting used to. I feel like the bully has stopped hitting me and ran away.

Don’t get the wrong idea; I don’t have my money under control yet. But at the same time, there is not enough money. I’m not crazy for resenting p.f. bloggers with two-income households. I’m not crazy when someone says ‘be frugal, cut spending” for crying “what’s left to cut?”

Surreal alert indeed: I’ve been five days wrapping my head around this concept (minus two days for the weekend where I buried myself in the house plans to ignore it).

Now I think I’m at a place mentally to make plans and follow those plans. Helpful advice from a Dave Ramsey critic: “keep putting money in the emergency fund because $1000 is not enough to keep most emergencies at bay. Make it automatic and don’t touch it.”

This is a sore spot for my budgeting; I always spend what I put in savings. So I need to make it automatic and not at the credit union, but easy enough to set up. ING Direct has good reviews and easy set up of automatic transfers.

Second point: I need to budget bi-weekly. Monthly setup defeats my motivation and I go into my avoidance routine. When I get paid if when I can pay the bills, ‘nuff said.

Third point: Prioritize the bills. I don’t plan my spending ahead of time and give money to whoever is yelling at me the loudest despite needing it somewhere else first.

Fourth point: Do my tax paperwork. I have everything, I just need to start it.

Fifth point: Find a third job. *Snort* I’m waiting for the second one but I need more income now. I have been considering finding articles to write for Helium and Associated Content. This needs to move out of the maybe column to “do it now!

Sixth point: Stop skipping budget time. If it takes explaining to Mom that you have to leave for 6pm, so be it.

Seventh point: Eat out once a month only. Before yelling at me that I shouldn’t at all, I known once a month I am late leaving Baton Rouge and have to eat dinner before reaching home. This is different from running late and didn’t cook breakfast so drive through fast food for it.

More advice to keep in mind:
The Digerati Life: How to Make a Budget in 10 Easy Steps
The Digerati Life: The Dave Ramsey Budget: Budgeting Tips for Successful Savers.

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