Just the word, “Budget”, makes me anxious.
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 ?
I’m doing well enough. I just wish my subconscious believed that, too.