Recently, an article was published about the importance of having a “fuck-off fund,” and let me tell you, it Spoke To Me.
I once had a fuck-off fund and I blew it.
When my grandmother died, I received a small inheritance. It wasn’t THAT small; it was more money than I’d ever had before. But it was small in the “I can’t quit my job on THIS” sense, so it was useful to an extent.
And then I applied half of it toward my student loan balance.
And I don’t know why I did that. It was the largest waste of money I have ever engaged in, and I wish I hadn’t done it. But that’s not the point here.
The point here is that the rest of it got spent down to almost nothing during the six-ish months I spent unemployed after meeting and moving in with my now-ex. Because I didn’t know shit about money. Because I didn’t know that while I was unemployed, I could defer my loan payments or apply for Income-Based Repayment for the monthly charges. I just kept collecting unemployment and food stamps, and spending $600 a month on loan payments, because I didn’t know any better.
Being in a relationship is also expensive. Moving in together, date nights, trips, etc. etc. I became a bigger spender than I would have been otherwise, especially when we moved to a nicer place.
We were going to get married. And I spent a lot of money on that, too.
And then we broke up and I was stuck. I had two cats and nowhere to go, nowhere I could afford anyway. I had about $4,000 in savings, which wasn’t enough for a down payment ANYWHERE. My monthly income would have been eaten up to get anywhere I needed that required a pet deposit. I could have moved, but my money would have been eaten up so quickly, I am still not sure how long I would have had.
And then I crawled to my parents to ask to borrow a down payment toward a place of my own. My parents were immediately generous, especially since I was in a place of emotional turmoil.
Having parents who can loan you money are a lifesaver, but they also get to make a lot of decisions for you/with you/against your wishes because they have control. Which is why I find myself starting this blog today, because my parents know my financial situation and how fucked I would be, and therefore how fucked they would be if I were hospitalized, so they peer (? parent-peer? parent?) pressured me into buying health insurance. Which is now when we have to go into Severe Budget Mode. Because I’ve been kind of skating by til now.
I plan on keeping a page on this site with my anticipated monthly income and known monthly expenditures. I do this on paper about once a month when I’m two weeks from payday (oh, I get paid monthly, so I have to stretch things for a whiiiiile sometimes), and keep track of how much petty cash I have, essentially.
I’ll be watching what money I have, how I spend it, and projects I am undertaking to help save money. Since one of my moneysaving endeavors is to share grocery costs with a friend, and that involves cooking for her and myself, and I’m not sure how legal that is, I’m not going to put my full name anywhere on here. I’m not even sure I’ll be sharing this with people I know.
I’ve been inspired by a lot of other bloggers, and have had a lot of blogs that I started back in the day largely centered on this topic, because I hate wasting money, and I’m already pretty budget-minded, but I need to get better.
Witness me getting better. WITNESS ME.