Friday, December 23, 2011
Money scares the shit out of me.
Growing up, it was scarce and stored in manilla envelopes. Maturing into my adulthood, my math-fried brain and financial nerves of Jello-O have led me at times to negative balances and overdue statements.
My reaction, like in many instances, is to run. Flee. Take advantage of the flight adrenaline coursing through my psyche and don't let the door hit me in the ass on the way out.
Money is terrifying to me for a couple reasons, which I've learned to identify and better yet, I'm learning to conquer.
1) The need is always greater than my provision, which leads to
2) I can never provide enough
And then I want to curl up in the fetal position and die. Or moan very loudly, at the very least.
My solution is simple; the execution is excrutiating sometimes.
1) Minimize the need
2) Don't accept responsibility for things that aren't my responsibility
I don't have any trouble with the first one. I'm not an extravagant person; I don't need a lot.
First order of business, though, was to put myself on a budget. I guess it's a strict one, I don't know. I'm not sure what other 28-year-old's budgets look like.
I just know that I go shopping twice a month and both times I'm armed with a list and a budgeted amount.
I know that if I run out of eyeliner four days before my fixed shopping day, I don't run out and buy more. I wait.
I know that if I've exceeded my gas budget, I'll stay at the Cottage for the weekend.
I buy neceessities like shampoo and conditioner on my designated shopping day, because I know in a week I'll be out, and that week will not hit my next shopping day mark.
If a bookcase isn't in the budget, I build one. If a table isn't in the budget, I build one.
I pay myself every month.
I took ownership over my money. I tell it where to go. It's no longer gone before I know it - it's all exactly where I tell it to be.
Don't get me wrong. Money still keeps me up at night when I'm consumed with greater needs than what I can provide for. I worry about the financial status of the people around me, the people I care about the most. I'm a fix-er and I want to ease their minds and help. It's a slap in my face when I think of the fact that I can't take care of it myself.
My love to fix things nearly matches my love of food. And just as I've learned to manage my love of food, I have to rein in my heart-crushing drive to fix everything for everyone. I simply can't do it.
That's a hard realization for a fix-er. You almost need rehab for that.