Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Budgeting Blues

Real money, only in our grubby little paws for seconds. Darn it.

I hate budgeting. HATE it. It  makes me feel all panicky and stabby. Left over from my B-R-O-K-E days, I put off checking the mail for weeks. Like a little kid playing hide-and-seek, if I don't see the bills, they won't see me. Makes sense, right?

But, I know that I need to pay them, and the sooner I pay them the better. So I sit. And I open them up. I make my little piles- To Pay, To Do, To Hide, To Throw Away, and To Keep Me Up at Night. When I get to this piling stage, I have moved from the little kid to the high-schooler-avoiding-writing-a-paper stage. I can spend hours here, like if I stack them neatly, I might get bonus points and money off. Rawr.

Funny thing is, I am now making enough, just enough to keep my head above water. I can actually even see getting ahead. I can imagine paying off bills. If I stick to the budget. Fricking budget.

An allotted amount for electric, gas, internet, phone, insurance- I am fine with these. I am even okay with the debts- some I earned with fun, some I earned with blood,sweat, and tears of legal fighting with He Who Must Not Be Named. Some are medical bills. I trudge along with all of these, one painful step at a time.

It's LIFE that I cannot budget for. I try. I allot 'this much' for groceries, 'that much' for entertainment, and a couple of other categories. And 'this and that' are where life gets all jumbled up and messy. I may say I can only spend so much on groceries but then I need to cook dinner for a friend who had surgery. Superteen's friends ate the entire week's worth of snacks and fruit in one sitting. Meeting friends for grilling and I need to bring the wine. What do I do? Bring gruel? Not let all of the monkeys in the house? Bring juiceboxes instead of wine?

Entertainment- that budget is always meager in my mind, but I always always overspend. I try to keep it under control but, OY VAY, it is hard!!! Pool trips- always an extra kid or two or four. Movies- I occasionally want to go sit my arse in a theater with kids and chill out. It is often the only time my mind ever slows down. Even with matinee tickets, it costs an arm and a leg. I have thought about smuggling drinks in, or hiding Timesboy in my jacket, but I am too honest for those shenanigans. Damnit. And gifts- gifts for kids friends... I always want to buy fun things, cool things- this does not come free. Even when we make 'coupon books', not free...

And the extras.... Oh, the extras. Library fines. Shoes for the kid who grew two FULL sizes in two months. Mocha for the co-worker who needs the mocha like oxygen during a rough time. The damn tags on the car that I keep forgetting about. Postage to mail the cool gifts. Bus fees. Overpaying the kid to watch the dog while camping. Buying dog food while dogsitting. Crickets for the Gecko Goddess.

I understand that these are very 'first-world' problems. I also hear the overtones of whiny mixed in with my stabby. I just need to man up and figure out the whole budgeting thing. I need to at least get rid of the To Keep Me Up At Night pile. Which is real- I cannot make this stuff up.

These things are why I loathe budgeting. These are why I want people. Accountants and advisors and a man in little glasses with pursed lips and pens in his shirt pocket who holds my ledger and patiently pays my bills without ever letting me see the piles.


  1. I laughed out loud at this blog post, Robyn! I can totally relate... right down to the To Keep Me Up At Night pile... and it's true, sometimes you just wish someone else would take over and pay your bills and tell you how much you may or may not have left for the minor and not-so-minor stuff!

  2. I can picture the person who would dole out my money. He would purse his lips if I said I need fifty dollars for the Wine Seller but gladly fork out money for the medical bills...

    Glad I am not the only one who has a Keep Me Up at Night pile :-)


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