More often than not, payday in the Sassyfats household looks more like this: check the bank balance every five minutes until the direct deposit hits, do a happy dance for 3.7 seconds, go online to pay everyone who sent you a turn-off notice this pay cycle, then slap yourself on the forehead when you realize you're out of money and the cupboards are still bare. (Did you know that chid'rens demand to be fed several times a day? Each and every day? True story.)
Against my better judgement, I will go on record to say that we make a decent living. On paper, our financial situation is quite lovely. We have reached a point where we make more than we owe (on paper), and our living expenses are fairly stable (on paper). Ergo, I attribute 90% of our financial woes to user error. Which really makes no sense, because Miracle Man and I were each pretty good financial managers - before we entered our marital union. We each paid our bills on time and there was always enough left over for little luxuries here and there. But when we joined forces, our approach to financial management rapidly turned into this:
|Checkbook Balancing Time at the Sassyfats Home|
We are no strangers to receiving turn-off notices, car repo notices, and even the dreaded home foreclosure notices. We have bounced so many checks over the years that we have been banned from writing them in most retail establishments. When one of our cars starts making a funny noise, we both get a tight clenching in our guts because we know anything more than an oil change is going to mean we will have to decide which bill won't get paid that pay cycle.
After 14 years of wedded bliss, fiscal tomfoolery, and life-changing events, Miracle Man and I have learned a lot of hard lessons, and have gotten pretty good about making tough choices. Thanks to time healing wounds, generous relatives plucking us out of the drain we seem to enjoy swirling around, and newly acquired skills to negotiate with creditors, we are *this close* to living completely within our means. We have streamlined our spending by Draconian measures, and we have learned to budget and plan what gets paid on each pay cycle. It's almost like we're grown-ups or something. However, we still have no effing money most of the effing time. On paper we're doing great. In every day life, we're still squeezed so hard it hurts.
|Fried chicken is for rich people.|
|Stupid well, with its slippery walls and |
demonic child spirits and whatnot
Looking back, I can clearly see where we made our biggest mistakes. I want to go back in time, confront the younger us, and be all like, "Drop the credit cards and step awayyyyyy from the merchandise!!!!" I might even slap us around a little bit, just for funzies.
|Anybody know a good Plutonium dealer?|
Now my challenge is to make wise decisions now so that 48-year-old me is not stuck trying to figure out how 38-year-old me could have been so stupid. I mean, how many dumbass badges does one person really need?
Wish me luck, my friends.