Budget.

Just the word, “Budget”, makes me anxious.

out-of-money

With the gift from a friend, I’ve been able to fill in the holes and even make a donation to the Salvation Army in thanks for the gift that I received.  I can’t say “all’s right with the world” because I still have COPD and I’m still fighting for my benefits, but I have an improved outlook.

Today, though, I’m trying to do a better job about balancing the budget for December-into-January as I’ve realized that I’ve squeaked through this month, but only through some fancy footwork and not through any actual discipline.

So, I started thinking about what my “musts” should be for shopping as soon as I get paid on December 28th to make sure that I make it through to my next paycheck on Janaury 25th.

Stupid things, like buying milk and bread and putting extra in the freezer so that I don’t have an excuse to go to the store.  Knowing how many razors I use each month (somewhere between 15 and 30, as those hairs on my legs HURT if they aren’t cut back daily or every other day).  Three (3) 24-bottle cases of water (and where the heck am I going to store the extra until I need it ? ? ?).

I have everything on a schedule, and I’m slowly working through my packed boxes to determine what to keep or what to jettison, as well as sorting gas money into its own envelope so that I can’t use my transportation funds for anything other than its intended purpose.

I’m squeaking by, but I’m amazed at how much blowing the tire a week or so ago left me feeling like I did when I was working as a contractor, sharing the rent with a roomie, and still finding that there were things I couldn’t do each month because I spent it elsewhere (usually on out of pocket medical expenses that pre-Obama-care wouldn’t cover).

No idea how this will all work out, but I’m having daymares where the subconscious wants to whisper to me, “What if they don’t terminate your employment?”

or, “What if you don’t get profit sharing and your RSU’s?”  (since I’m still an employee)

or, my favorite, “What if you didn’t put aside enough in taxes, and can’t get that extra money back?”

It’s frustrating to have enough money on the horizon to meet my needs short-term, and yet be psyching myself out because of employer / insurance company games in the present moment.

It’s frustrating to know that I should apply for the “CARE” program from the local utility company for a 20% discount as my disability income is only $2,400 per month (well below their annual threshold of $32k for a 1-2 person household), but know that I cannot apply until my employment status is resolved as, if they pay my missing profit sharing and RSU’s, I’ll then be over the threshold for the year.

It’s maddening to want to apply for the “Ticket to Work” program to see what’s possible for me to do to earn some income while helping out in my community… but I can’t do that, either, until my employment status is resolved.

Truly, I’m doing ok.  I just need to find a way to quiet the voices in the back of my head that want to obsess over the lack of extra funds, and which want to remind me of how far I’ve come since childhood, and how quickly I’m sinking back into that lack of funds circumstances despite my best efforts to follow the program, care for my health, and do it all right.

Did I ever tell you how much I hate to have to refine an already tight budget ?

let-go-and-accept

I’m doing well enough.  I just wish my subconscious believed that, too.

2 thoughts on “Budget.

  1. You need to learn the art of ‘self -talk’…which is how to quiet those negative voices that blather about gloom and doom. And for me? As I sit here now, today, looking at my pretty slim bank account numbers ($80 in the checking account – pay day is Weds) and my dwindling savings, I understand completely what you’re experiencing. And I think that this time for you is practice for the future when living within ‘means’ becomes a stark reality. The thing about it is (and I’ve been doing this since 2012 after hubby toddled off) that it’s doable. It’s not fun and for folks like myself, it’s hell because part of my mental iggies include maniac behavior which means shopping. It’s soothing on some level, it really is. As much as I loathe doing it in reality. And you’re smarter than I am, so you’ll do fine. Are doing fine. Pragmatism works in your favor.

    I hope for you. That the stupid employer butt heads get some common sense and let you go – thus having access to your 401K and all the stuff you’ve worked hard and paid into. OR that the long-term disability benefits from them become part of your pay days. I’m appalled that the lawyer allows this shit to continue…as if dragging it out will ultimately let them win or something. Grr.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I’m big on self-talk, which is why I’m writing out my fears vs. letting them paralyze me. But, some days are better than others. Today, when I found yet another medical bill wasn’t paid, it’s more challenging. Sitting around the house, freezing, doesn’t help my attitude problem, either. But, Every day is a new start, and I’m trying to stay focused on the small stuff so that the big stuff won’t overwhelm me.

    The biggest challenge I have right now is the money for the UK trip. 50% has been paid, and I have another 50% to go. I REALLY don’t want to risk losing that first 50% if my money doesn’t come through. I will if I have to, but… I REALLY dislike wasting money.

    I have some of the same issues as you, as shopping has always been a positive stroke for me. And, without money, that positive stroke has to stop. (Bought a new hardcover book yesterday. Stupid, stupid, stupid. But, just had to have a Christmas gift for me. Then I got the other medical bill, so you know I was kicking myself). Sheesh.

    It will all work out ok. I just need to purge and move on, not stopping to revisit an issue I have no control over resolving.

    Thanks for dropping by, though. I appreciate the support.

    Like

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