I’ve said this frequently:
“I hate money.”
What I really mean is “I don’t understand how to effectively manage money.”
Over the past three decades of my life, I’ve made some notoriously poor decisions managing (or rather not managing) my finances. I’ve wracked up credit card debit. I took out a car loan on a new car that I was unable to pay after a few months.
The people in my life who saved money were mysterious super hero like creatures that possessed a skill I didn’t seem to have, although I envied and wanted it.
Last night, my friend Donna and I went out to dinner.
I confessed to her that I was in a deep financial hole at the moment. I was overdrawn a significant about of money in my back account. Before you go judging me, it’s not because I was compulsively spending money, it’s because my student loan lender decided to take out my payment four days early.
Donna and I discussed some of the reasons I’m always broke. The truth came out:
“How much do you go to the bakery?” She asked.
I was already embarrassed.
“Um, two to three times a week.” I confessed.
I’ve been buying muffins and coffee at this particular bakery two to three times a week. That’s five dollars a day x three days a week. That adds up to $60 a month. Now that’s only if I buy a coffee and a muffin for myself. If I factor in food for the kids it’s more like eight dollars a pop. So eight dollars x three times a week = $96 a month.
$96 a month could buy me a whole lot more than a handful of muffins and coffee. That could be one week’s worth of groceries.
This proved to me that the “little things” add up to a “big expenses.”
Donna and I agreed to work together and create a budget for me. I’m finally recognizing that managing my finances is a problem for me and I’m dealing with it.
Today, I walked into the bank and made a payment plan to pay off my overdrawn account. It was scary and nerve wracking but I did it.
I called all three of my credit card companies and found out what I owed them. It was terrifying but I did it.
I made a payment plan with one of those companies to pay off the money that I owe them.
I’m proud of myself for facing this demon of mine. I’ve hid for so long behind the reality that I have a hard time managing money. But now I’m being honest about it and I’m willing to learn to change my ways.
My goal is to:
1. Pay off debt
2. Save money
3. Improve my credit.
I know I can do this. The first step is acknowledging that my behavior needs to change, and I’ve done that.