They say that if you have chronic money troubles, it’s because you have wrong perceptions, attitudes or practices when it comes to finances. You hold a wrong view of money and what it means.
I believe it.
I know that one of my assumptions is that there isn’t enough. That you have to struggle to get it. That spending it demonstrates self-worth, so when you don’t have it to spend, you are worthless, and then when you get some, you spend it into feeling better about yourself.
Knowing that stuff like that is floating around in my head, it doesn’t surprise me that I come regularly into dry spells like the current one. Trying to make it to tax return time, trying to spend nothing, feeling like a pathetic wretch.
I spent a year doing the mandatory budgeting for the Habitat for Humanity homeowner program. I learned a lot, and I really did my best to get things in order. But I feel like I never really got a grip on things.
Of course, when you’re in a marriage, you can only take on 50% of the responsibility. The rest of it falls on the decisions the other person makes. I remember as a single parent making it work on next to nothing. I had no formal budget, I didn’t save anything or work toward any better future, but I had no debt and I paid all my bills on time.
Now I am still the one officially in charge of the finances, but it feels like there is a little (sometimes big) hole in the pocketbook through which unknown amounts of money are going to randomly escape at unknown intervals.
Throughout the whole year of budgeting, I wished so much that I could try my hand at managing a livable amount of money, instead of poverty wages. What could I do, in terms of saving, paying off debt, (investing, even?) if I had a regular amount of money coming in that was actually enough to cover the basics. I really don’t think it’s fair for me to pass judgment on my budgeting skills until I have that opportunity, and I’ve put the word out to the universe that I’d love the chance.
After all, there appear to be large amounts of money out there somewhere, funding those Hummers and huge houses and expensive dinners. If I change my attitude, and assume that the money could just as easily come into our home (after all, my husband does have a master’s degree and I have a bachelor’s… weren’t we told those expensive little pieces of paper were supposed to pay off somehow?), then maybe I could have the chance to manage money responsibly and avoid these painfully thirsty treks through financial deserts.