Thursday, August 28, 2008

You Down With O-C-D? Yeah, You Know Me!

The OCD is kicking in.

The trigger was when I lent a friend 150 bucks. It was an emergency situation and it needed to be wired. I didn't feel comfortable about it, but ... well, never mind. I did it, despite my discomfort. Thought it was the universe's way of getting me to loosen up, start trusting people more.

I still haven't received his check. It's been a full week since he sent it, and almost two weeks since he asked me for the money. He sounded appropriately mortified when I told him this evening that I still hadn't gotten it, and he's planning to send a new one. Still ... By the time you factor in the processing fee and my bank fee, it was $193. I need that money.

I won't settle down until I have that check -- and it clears -- and I can put it back in savings. I hate to admit this, and I hope I don't sound petty, but our friendship won't be right until he pays me back.

I've never had someone hit me up for money before, not even family. And I'm the type of person who has a hard time asking for help, even from my parents. A couple years ago, when I wanted to try to buy a condo, I asked, and it physically pained me to do so. I even feel guilty when I get presents from them at Christmas. It doesn't help that my father has a habit of giving me my gift and then talking about how broke he is. No wonder I have such a strange and strained relationship with money.

Other upcoming outlays: the personal property tax on my car (due in October); the extra due on my credit card to get it to the balance it needs to be on my payment schedule before the next bill date; and the coming weeklong visit with my mother, during which we may take the train to NYC. I've already transferred money from savings to cover the first two items. I didn't like having those amounts hanging over my head. The sooner those are taken care of, the better I'll feel.

The monthly update is coming, and the numbers aren't going to be where I want them. That bums me out. Again, I knew summer was going to be full of ups and downs, but I'm eager for things to settle down. That I still have a raging case of the I-Wants isn't helping.

The fact of the matter is that I need to chill, stop obsessing about every penny spent and compulsively checking account balances.

And I also need to go to bed. 'Night.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Cure for the Common I-Wants

So, I mentioned in my last post that I had a serious case of the I-Wants. I discussed wanting a new TV, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Also on the list are a new iPod, some black riding boots, some new fall clothes ... I could go on.

Well, I've been cured, at least temporarily. I received my personal property tax bill today. It's not due until October. I knew it was coming, and I've even planned for it. The money is in savings. Still, I hate seeing my savings account balance change in that direction -- I only want to see it go up. So I'll wait a bit longer for the TV.

I still want one, and I'll get one. But I'm not in that big a hurry anymore. I can put it off another month.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Case of the I-Wants

I want a new TV. I have this old TV in my bedroom, but since I don't have cable back there, I use an antenna my dad got for me from the thrift store. As far as antennae go, it's pretty advanced -- it's got the two rabbit ears and then the whole fancy dial tuner. But it still doesn't work that well. For example, reception will be perfectly fine on two stations, but then another station will be barely watchable while the UHF stations are completely unwatchable.

And sometimes, if I'm doing yoga, the reception on the good stations will go in and out depending on if I'm in Downward Facing Dog or Upward Facing Dog. (OK, why the TV is on while I'm doing yoga is a whole other issue.)

So I want a new TV.

I have the savings, so why not?

I'll tell you why not: Because I've gone so long without spending money on that scale that doing so makes me nervous. Like I'll lose control and before I know it, I'll have bought out the store.

Pardon the pun, but stay tuned ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yoga Love

Since I've been so good this year, I think I'm finally at the place where I can start enjoying a few things. One thing I love is yoga. My mind, body, and soul all respond to it. I started taking classes about five years ago. And then I added pottery to the mix. After a while, though, the cost of the classes was adding to the debt, so I put myself on an adult version of restriction.

That's right: I cut myself off cold turkey. I missed the pottery (even though I'm far from accomplished in it), but I especially missed yoga. Granted, I have a mat and could do things on my own, but it's just not the same as being in a structured class and having a teacher push you further.

A few months ago, a friend invited me to join him at his gym for a yoga session. As a guest, I could take the class for free. As my body stretched and moved, it ... sang. For 90 minutes, my body was singing praises to the universe. I'd forgotten how much my body missed it -- how much I missed it. I hadn't paid off the Little Beast yet, so I refused to sign up for any classes. But now? Now I can get back into doing something I love.

So I registered for a class. It starts in September, and I'm really looking forward to it. It's at my old yoga studio, so it's familiar. It'll be a new teacher, though (and a man!) but I think I'll be OK. It's good to get different perspectives. Mostly, I'm thankful to be able to do something for me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2008 Update

As I mentioned in the last post, July was a roller coaster month financially speaking. Balances went up and down, and up and down. And when you see the difference in balances, you'll see what I mean:

The Debt:
Big Beast: $15,431.88

The Savings:
Total Savings Balances: $6,571.99

Notice anything up there under the debt? No? Well, let me point it out to you: The Little Beast isn't up there! Yeah, that's right: It's paid off, baby. A month early, no less. In all, from last month until today, I've paid off $960.11 in total debt!

Also, I don't usually post the savings balance in the monthly update post. I usually just post it over there on the side. But the change in amount was significant enough, I think, that it warranted pointing out. From last month until today, the balance has increased $603.50. Mind you, that's due in no small part to the "extra" check in July.

But I can't get a big head about any of this. I'll get my personal property tax bill in a couple months, and then holiday season will be here. And Daisy's surgery still hasn't happened; my part for that will be a couple hundred bucks, at least.

But the difference between me now and about five years ago is that I'm more prepared. It feels good to have some money in the bank for these things.

Also, I've revised the deadline over there. It was originally December 10, 2010, but I've changed it to October 10. I figured that since the goal is to have $10,000 in savings, why not carry over the theme of 10's? So $10K on 10/10/10 it is.