I have a confession, I am horrible with money. Last year when I unexpectedly lost my job, I had to take a seriously hard look at my finances to see what could be cut from the budget. Let’s just say I realized that HBO and Showtime were not needed though I didn’t pull the plug entirely on the cable, despite the fact I rarely watch TV but with a teenager around, I figured maybe I should keep some form of cable despite the fact that if I axed it I would save on average $700 a year.
I also at least for a while gave up my daily Starbucks habit and started making my own drinks at home which helped in losing the almost 50 lbs I took off but I must admit as my workload has increased so have my trips to Starbucks, though I no longer drink mochas, instead I do a iced coffee with a shot of mocha which is $2 less than an iced Mocha. So, I am making progress.
However the problem is no matter how many budgets (they look so good on paper) I make if I leave the house which despite the fact I work from home I do leave the house from time to time, I spend too much money. Today’s extravagance involved buying elder boy and I each a lemonade at a smoothie bar, the cost for 2 natural fresh organic lemonades was $12. Yep, I spent $12 on 2 non-alcoholic drinks. I must admit they were tasty as hell but its these seemingly small purchases that just kill me. After all we are a one car family and its one old paid for car so I do some things right but its the small shit now that breaks my budget.
I must confess that I have started praying for guidance to be a better steward with the resources given to me because truthfully I blow money on stupid shit despite the fact I have cut back big time. Yet I wonder if there is some deeper reason why I spend, see my parents never had two nickels to rub together and I mean that with love. Pretty much if they had money, they spent money and in 31 years of marriage, I doubt they ever had more than five grand in the bank at any given time. Lets just say I was reminded of how hand to mouth they lived when my Mom passed away unexpectedly and I had to help the family out. Twas not pretty at all. Its that shit that makes me want to get a handle on my finances, so that when I die the bill collectors are not calling my kids. Truthfully though, my Moms left behind a fabulous wardrobe, think Carrie Bradshaw.. and that is not an exaggeration. My Mom was tiny, like a size 3-5 and caught all the deals but she never had financial sense and the reality is for many Black women in particular how many of us look sharp as hell when we leave the house, maybe even with a fly car but we keep the phone ringer off because the bill collectors are blowing our phones up?
Now I will admit that most of the debt I have amassed is via education and medical bills, not great at all but I can honestly say I have never charged a fancy purse or anything extravagant. No, instead I just never stashed away enough in savings because I was spending what should have been saved which is stupid as hell because inevitably the rainy day comes and I get caught without an umbrella.
So here I sit, once again trying to decide whether to pull the plug on the cable but more importantly trying to figure out how to stop spending on bullshit, after all $12 can buy a meal not 2 lemonades.
They say confession is good for the soul, perhaps I can get serious about changing my spending habits sooner rather than later.