Let’s Talk About Budgets, Baby

I’ve been working on this whole budget plan thing for a couple of weeks now and I still don’t feel any further along than I was when I started.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m an intelligent person.  I can grasp the very basics:

Income – Expenses >= 0

I mean, I did study accounting in college and I do have a programmer’s logical mind.  Plus, I was a math minor.  I get the most basic part of the concept.  Really, I do.

However, I just don’t think my brain is wired right for easily latching on to the complexities.  For instances, most books and examples out there all offer up examples of income that is the same amount and dished out on the same two days every month and most of the expenses are fairly simple and fixed every month; a few of the examples might show the occasional expense that might be paid quarterly and they all usually show groceries and dining out as unpredictable.  Clearly none of us eats exactly the same thing day after day and no one is stupid enough to pretend to make the assumption in a sample budget even. read more

Nightmares – Er – Tales of a Spendoholic (Episode 1)

Last night I saw an advertisement for something I could use.  It doesn’t really matter what It is.  Let’s just say that if It functions as advertised, it would make me look nice and probably boost my self esteem as a result — basically, the next best thing to magically making me a Supermodel overnight. :P

Anyway, It was one of those special deals with “order now” and “get this extra thing free” plus “get this other thing half price”.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  You’ve wanted one of those before.  You may even have ordered a few.  The whole thing was very seductive.  If you called right then, you could get the whole special deal.  (How do the sales people know when those advertisements are running really?) read more

Sometimes The Best Advice Is No Advice

My mother has a talent for offering inappropriate advice at the absolutely least welcome time.  We have a regular conversation about how difficult it is for me to save money.  This conversation has been repeating itself many times over the last 10 or 15 years.  It seems that every time I get a little bit of money in my savings, something big and unexpected occurs that wipes my savings totally out.  Then when things get tight for me, my mother has the audacity to say something to me like, “You know, it’s always best to have have about $10,000 in your savings.”  She’ll also let a day or so pass and then mention that I really should be making extra payments to my mortgage principle a couple times a year.  Meanwhile, I have been telling her things like I have to make a choice between eating lunch this week or paying the water bill or that I’m not sure how I am going to pay the $1,000 bill I got from the hospital for the emergency surgery I had last month when I also have to pay for heat.  Where does she expect me to come up with $10,000?  If I had $10,000 I wouldn’t be starting the “Eat Only What’s In My Pantry For A Month” Diet. read more