Friday, November 17, 2006

cash flow problems

The tag line I chose for this blog is "a first time home buyer tries not to freak out" and thus far I haven't really... a little, but not much and not here... not yet. Really, just when I thought this might actually work out, that buying a condo might be a GOOD decision, that maybe I really AM capable of being an adult and handling adult sized moneys... Here comes Santa Claus. His midnight ride causes me to freak out every year... and not in a good way.

I'm not a fan of the holidays. Frankly they make me irritable. I don't know if it's because I'm an atheist, or if it's the commercialism, or just that the one time of year I actually get a fair amount of time OFF work, I am expected to fill that hard fought free time with family, and other people's family, and damn it, I "VONT TO BE ALONE!" But the biggest problem I have with the holidays are the gifts.

I don't like receiving them because I really don't feel as though I deserve a present simply because I happen to be alive on December 25th. On the flip side, I LOVE to give them to people, but I rarely have all the cash I need to give people what I think they deserve for simply being alive on December 25th. Not to mention the people who buy me something and I bought nothing for, the GUILT!!! My boyfriend and I long ago decided that we would save our money at the holidays for a trip or something later in the year, and instead of buying things for each other we would MAKE our presents. Honestly at the time, he was (still is) making a lot more money than I so he was sweet and went along with my "make your own present" plan so I wouldn't feel poor. It was really cool... we got all creative. He gave me some votive holders made from small juice glasses that he hot glued these glass "droplets" onto. I still have and use them to this day, I love them. He got a "family tree" made out of sticks and acorns and small twigs with those "googly" eyes that have the rolling pupils in them glued on (sounds lame, but he has a big family and they were all represented and I made it so shut up). This lasted one xmas. The following year we made presents again, but he added some store bought things... inexpensive clothes, and some stationary... so I had to retaliate and I matched those with theater tickets (I think). This is xmas #4 and the homemade item is really just going to be the stocking stuffer, and the store bought stuff will be the main event, I'm sure.

All of this is to say that this year, this year especially, I can't afford it. I have just started adjusting to my cost of housing DOUBLING overnight. I'm still getting settled into my new automatic deposit adjustments and automatic withdrawal of my mortgage and HOA dues... I'm not starving or anything, but this month, for the first time in YEARS my checking account balance dipped (briefly) below $100... in NOVEMBER with freaking Christmas coming, and my financial picture is drastically different and a little uncertain, and I'm under 1 large in my checking account. Crap. Now not to worry... yes, my checking account balance is low (back in the triple digits as I write this), but savings and my special mortgage accounts are fine, I'm far from destitute, it's just that all the money I DO have now has new purpose which leaves me with much less money to blow. My financial diet has changed and right now that means I have to tighten my belt (if only that were the case in my physical life). Hopefully as things settle and I begin to adjust to this new financial structure my fiscal body will adjust to the new restrictions and start to thicken up again.

I remember being a kid and counting the days till christmas... blissfully ignorant of the fact that my parents were probably having the same feelings of "how the fuck can we afford all this" as I am having... now instead of counting the days till xmas, I count the paychecks... and try not to freak out.

Tomorrow: robot banking

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