My Issue With Money…
By the way, I approved my ex’s comment.. I still cringe, but at least he was able to speak his piece. Go see what I was talking about here…
This is gonna be an honest post.
I’m writing this post all late tonight (this morning). Why? Because today, during my lunch break, my mother called me to tell me that she was informed (by my brother) that our electricity is off. This was not the result of a thunderstorm, not the result of a bus crashing into a lightpole, the power got cut off because the bill wasn’t paid.
Now, I understand we all go through hard times. This would not have been the first time that my power had been cut, and I guess the thing I can be grateful for is the fact that it was able to be paid the same day. I remember times of eating tuna fish sandwiches by candlelight, trying to get used to taking showers in cold water because the hot water was long gone. One of the issues I have with this fact is that my brother is responsible for the light bill. It is the ONLY bill that my mother asks him to pay. Yet, even though he brings home over $1,200 every two weeks, I find out that my power was cut for $96. My brother finding it necessary to spend his money on Polo shirts and Steve Madden shoes (like a girl) than put gas in his car, buy groceries, or pay the light bill.
My brother is another post entirely.
I’m not gonna start out by saying I had a pretty normal childhood, but that is be the case. Then my father left. I got a job because apparently, at 12 years old, that was the thing I felt I was supposed to do in order to help the house. I’ve come home to eviction notices that gave 24 hours to pack up my things. It wasn’t until I moved out that my mother had filed for bankruptcy, twice. I came back home (my roommate got married) to a mother working two jobs and a brother that had been kicked out of two different schools and wouldn’t work. Because it was in my nature, I helped out. I was making good money and didn’t want to see my mother struggling.
Then everything was taken.
The job that I had been at for 8 years had to let me go and in one year, I went from $30,000 to living off of my 401K and profit sharing. I took two vacations that year and then I got tight with my money. Not knowing when I was going to see/have more altered my thinking. Even when I had a gig, I didn’t trust anything until I had money in my hand, because even when paychecks were promised, they sometimes never came (if they came at all). I had to make $10 guarantee me food for the week. I stayed home so I didn’t have to spend anything. Keeping the blinds drawn and watching tv in darkness
Now that I’m working, I see the effect that period of time had on me. I still don’t want to spend anything because in my mind, no paycheck is promised. I must get the best deal for my money even if I have to go to 7 stores to get it. If someone offers me a drink, I tell them no because all I can think about is how much I can buy at the supermarket based on what that drink cost. I’m worried that if someone wants to take me out somewhere fancy (one day) then I’ll find myself glancing at prices and wondering why we don’t just get Applebees 2 for $20. I sometimes even order the kiddie portions.
I was talking to my boss about how everything in my house is a hand-me-down. (I have a VERY nostalgic house) and he said that I need to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I agree with him, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something trivial (makeup that went on sale, for example) and came home to find my dinner was eaten, lights are off, or something happened that made me wish I hadn’t spent the money. I don’t want to become a miser, because I know I can’t take it with me. But I’m seeing where I’m so scared of being without that I hold onto it, not buying anything, and I’m without something anyway. It’s like I hate my mother’s situation so much that I overcompensate. I wonder if I will ever be able to sit back, relax, and just spend money the way that I see some people do it. I feel like I’m fighting a family curse and as I spoke to my aunt and she told me some of the things that happened between her and my mother, I see that the issue is deeper than I thought. I needed this to happen to me though because my motto used to be “I get paid in another two weeks, let’s spend this paycheck.”
What’s your relationship with money? Do you hold it tightly in one fist and ball up the other one to fight off people that might be coming for it? (The picture of that scenario in my mind is funny). Do you have any helpful ways that I can live in the “now” and stop acting like a squirrel that’s gathering acorns for the winter and won’t eat any?
I’m sorry this post is up late. Yes, my power is back. Annoyed, thy name is Nick.
Peace and Love, Annoyed.
p.s. the scenarios in this post is not to elicit sympathy, it is backstory I feel necessary to relay my point.