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.

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Comments
19 Responses to “My Issue With Money…”
  1. *OnlyYolie* says:

    hi nick

    im also very frugal and have been trying my very best to live my life… we cant take it with us/we cant save the world/insert other cliche

    my only bit of advice to you is take a small percentage of your pay… 10%, 20% and put that aside for you and ONLY YOU… that is nick’s mad money to do with as she pleases. the only rule with your mad money is you have to do something you want NOT need with it… enjoy your money (responsibly) and enjoy your life, relax, let your hair down etc… hope this bit works for you as well as it works for me… ENJOY

    • nicknotnikki says:

      you have a good idea there.. my aunt told me to take 20% to put aside for retirement/emergency.. I’m (sorta) doing that.. i think I can take 20% for me without feeling like I’m a screw up because I’m spending my money…

  2. My relationship with scrilla is so-so. It just seems never to be enough of it. I’m actually looking for a part-time job so that I can pay for some major life changes that I have on deck. When it comes to saving money, I just find somethings that I can do without until I get ahead. It can be boring but it has to be done sometime. It’s just hard not to come off as a tight-wad when you do this.

    Hang in there, things will get better.

    p.s. what’s up with your boy and the all caps? His sh*t almost made my BlackBerry explode.

    • nicknotnikki says:

      funny.. because when i wasn’t working and I wanted to take myself out, i didn’t have the money.. now, i have the money and don’t want to spend it.. so i spend a lot of time walking in beautiful (free) pleaces aimlessly.. #WDDDA? I’m considering a second job too.. but if i’m tired now, i really don’t want to think about what a second job will do to me.. not only that, but i don’t want to become one of those that work all the time and have no free time.. especially considering i’m going back to school too..

      YO! homeboy’s all caps make my spirit hurt.. and I’m not gonna lie, one of the reasons i didn’t want to approve it was because he signed that junk “your one true and only love” or some ish like that.. i was like, “did i tell you that!?” and obviously, he don’t read my blog because i already wrote about my one true love.. what the fudge is up with that!? and it’s taking everything outta me not to correct his monkey ass… (you can tell it’s annoying the crap outta me..)

  3. I’m a pretty cheap kind of guy. I don’t feel the need to spend money if I don’t have to and am usually comfortable with less expensive things. Yeah, I treat myself sometimes, but I usually don’t go overboard (except for that one time in Vegas). The one thing that I usually have a hard time not shelling out cash for are gagets and technology. That’s not to say I have the best and most expensive technology out there, but that’s what I spend a lot of money on. I get that from my dad. This man has a $3000 desktop computer that my mom uses to check her email with. The woman can barely use a google search bar. But I digress….

    As frugal as I am, I’m pretty bad at saving. That’s what I’m working on. I agree with OnlyYolie’s advice to just set aside a certain percentage of your paycheck. You can either use that money as an emergency fund so that you have stuff set aside in case something bad happens or have that be your “let loose” fund so that you have stuff set aside to spend on things you want.

  4. Capricorn says:

    1. I love the pic!! Ducktales for the win.

    2. How old is your brother? Why is he allowed to act like a child?

    3. How soon can you move out? Then you won’t have to worry about this at all.

    4. I am working on getting my money together. I am so not good at saving or planning out my money for the month. YET.

    • nicknotnikki says:

      my brother is 24.. the relationship with my mother and brother would make for any doctoral case study.. it’s one of the reasons i plan to minor in psychology.. then i realized that their relationship is textbook.. very textbook.. no originality at all..

      because i haven’t worked in so long, i have a lot of catching up to do.. A LOT! getting clothes that fit me, fixing my car, upgrading my computer etc.. and then i can move out.. i want to be in a situation that will make sure that i never move back..

      • Capricorn says:

        That’s the best way to go into it!! Good luck. And get the car fixed first. Everything else can wait.

  5. Wow! I have a very similar story and relationship with $ (although I’ve come a loooong way)

    Sophomore year of college my moms lost her job. EVERYTHING in the house was cut off. We were running an extension chord to have some sort of electricity from the neighbor’s apt. I’ve always had a job and was the only one working. My mom and I got into a big arguement b/c I was trying to say $ for school and she says I need to contribute to the household…not a problem. I got upset b/c there were 3 other people in the house who could work…and she’s telling me I need to GIVE her my pay checks.

    Nobody pimps me…not even my own mother. I left immediately and stayed w/ my ex-boyfriend’s sister. Slept on her floor (she had mice too,smh) until I could move back into school. I’ve never lived with my mother again…that did something bad to our relationship(although its better).

    That period of my life scarred me. Already a frugal person, I don’t like feeling like I’m without…and in the situation, I didn’t have sh*t. Afterward I was programmed to almost immediately say I couldn’t do something b/c it cost money. I would feel bad for spending money on myself. Damn near having panic attacks when I found out the cost of something.

    Luckily I have a great BFF and she pushes me to get out of those habits. They’re generated by fear…fear that I’ll never have. Last week, we were at the mall and she was buying some designer bag…it cost almost $500. We were checking out watches. I’ve wanted a white watch for sometime and a Michele watch was on sale for about $179 (it’s orignally more than like $300+). I started to walk away from the watch b/c my immediate thinking was I CAN’T. My friend told me, you only live once…treat yourself…it’s a good deal (she said if I realize the watch hurt my finances at the end of the month, she’ll pay for it). The damn sales lady even talked to me (very nice woman not trying to pressure me at all, but having a heart to heart w/ me). I realized I must look effing crazy, but my hang ups w/ money are very real.

    I purchased the watch and realized that was the nicest thing I’ve bought for me in a long time. It felt good.

    Nick, my best advice to you is just to start doing. Start treating yourself. Start small. Buy some jeans that aren’t on sale. Invision yourself living in abudance. Don’t think of lack or that you’ll do with out. As soon as that fear pops up, let it go. Replace it with something positive. It’s hard work, but you can do it! Like I’ve said, I have come a long way…but I still need to make some progress and it begins by monitoring my thoughts and outlook.

    *e-hugs*

    • nicknotnikki says:

      if i tell you the palpitations that went through me when i saw the cost of your watch.. THEN i fainted when you told me to buy jeans that aren’t on sale…
      i get what you’re saying though.. honestly, how can i hope to be treated a certain way when i won’t even do it for myself? it doesn’t make any logical sense..
      i used to call my mom a professional pimp.. i needed to lose my job though because i was enabling a person that didn’t want to do better financially.. borrowing money from any and everyone and thinking that no one talks to the next.. asking for $300 dollars then paying me back in increments (which annoys me) $10, $25, $4.50.. thinking that’s the way the world works..

      • Ha! You don’t even know what it took from me to lay down my card to pay for it.

        But yes, you’re right…if you don’t treat ourselves, how can we expect that from someone else?

        By no means am I suggesting that we stop being the Queens of Bargains…one of the best feelings in the world is a good bargain! But we can’t be afraid to splurge or purchase something we want. The feelings of guilt have to GO!!!

  6. sorry to say but your brother seems kind of childish. is he your older brother or younger. i’m really hoping he’s younger.

    like you i am frugal when it comes to certain areas of my life but i spend more than i probably should in other areas. one thing that i am is responsible though. i will always make sure my bills and debts are paid for but i do need to do a better job in saving or paying myself first.

  7. Dewan says:

    I’ve matured and so has my relationship with money. In my early 20s most of my money went to a fancy car, bar tabs, travel and loose women, Miami Vice blazers and Just For Me no lye gentle relaxers for my ex.

    But the market crash of 2008 gave me a whole new attitude. (I was day-trading at the time…you can imagine how that ended.) Now, I don’t really care about having stuff. I’m more focused on putting money aside, so I can continue to only work on projects that I find interesting. Plus I like having the ability to tell unfair employers, “I don’t have to do nothin’ but stay black and die!”

    • nicknotnikki says:

      I’m sorry.. but i JUST saw that you were buying your ex Just For Me no lye relaxers.. I am still laughing and I read that sentence about 4 1/2 minutes ago….

      ~classic~

      and you’re running around quoting lines from Lean on Me?? that’s even better…
      if you’re busy putting money aside, what would be the point where you say “enough” and start spending it? is there a certain goal?

  8. Wu says:

    @Nick

    When I read dude’s comment, I imagined this ninja sitting in the dark, crying, typing that sh-t while listening to “Stan” by Em and Dido. Dude needs a life coach and a visit from his deacon.

  9. keisha brown says:

    there seems to be a sad common thread amongst many of us…
    i too was a breadwinner from early on, moved alot as a kid (didnt know why til later on) and such.
    picked up bad habits that cost me personally.
    it’s been a very long road, but i am now better with budgeting.
    do i blow it sometimes? sure (#twss), but everything in life is about balance…between saving for the future and enjoying the present.
    i have automatic withdrawals to a savings acct i can use for stuff like vacations or emergencies and an rrsp that is harder to touch, but for bigger emergencies. and a retirement plan that just sits and earns money. its a nice feeling to see it grow.

  10. Attorney2be says:

    I am drive by spender. There are times when I spend too much and then there are times when I don’t spend at all. But over the past couple of years, I have gotten a lot better with saving and spending. I used to be the type of person who bought way too many clothes and shoes. I have a shoe addiction. The 300 or so in my closet reminds me of this everyday. I could seriously have a yard sale and make a killing. I also have an obsession with lingerie. The 75 sets in my drawers reminds me of this also.

    After I became laid off this past December, I have been real frugal with money. I guess living on unemployment will do that. But what I have learned is that I really didn’t need all that crap I was buying. I used to find reasons to go shopping. But now I find reasons to stay out of the mall. What I’ve learned to do is go through my closet and find things that I’ve either worn once or never at all. To me that’s a new outfit.

    One thing I do like to spend my money on is traveling. But I have learned to take planned trips and not so many spur of the moment trips. I will not deprive myself of spending money. I feel when you do this, you will indulge too much once you decide to spend money. But in a time where there is a recession and jobs are scarce, we must all learn to scale back a little and save for a rainy day.

    You utilities being cut off, been there done that. It’s happen to me recently but not because I didn’t have the money but because I got busy and really forgot. It happens to the best of us. But don’t deprive yourself just stay abreast of what you spend and enjoy life. You seem a like a good person and a great daughter. God will definitely continue to bless you.

  11. Squeak says:

    Man, i feel this cuz it seems like a famin going on right now. One thing that kinda changed my perspective was a book I read called “The Richest Man in Babylon”. Had some real good tips that I’m working on employing. Other than that. I just try to keep the lights on, rent paid, food and diapers. u know the basics. I rarely buy anything for myself. Thinkin bout anutha gig to get ahead.

    p.s. ur boi’s comment was sad man. I can’t honestly believe he put hisself out there like that. Show some dignity my ninja!

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