In Finance

I swear I am not an alcoholic, a gambler or an addict. Well, except for one tiny exception. I have trouble saving. Mostly I put this down to the small problem I have of being unable to stop spending. This tidy little cycle spins its web from pay stub to pay stub. It’s a carousel without the fun factor.

It’s not easy if you have a real problem. It’s not as simple as just turning a switch and pronouncing that this month I will give up my last 10 dollars to savings. Firstly $10 seems measly, it’ll me a hundred years before its useful – why not throw it all into a double layer ice-cream sundae that will make me feel good now. These are the thoughts that swim into my usually well reasoned mind when I’m not looking and before I know it I’m eatting a 1000 calories of delicious sundae.

Do you get it yet? Sometimes you will fall off the savings horse and you will have to try again. Just like with anything in life that’s worthwhile, there’s a period of “Good heavens (insert your name here), you spent how much again?!”

Here’s another excerpt from my ol’ Finance Diary

It’s Wednesday.   June, 12 th
It’s been 2 weeks since I confessed.   And it’s been 4 weeks since I fell off the wagon.  I took down the horses and all the packages on the buggy with me.  My friend it was horrible.  What I’m trying to say with this mixed up metaphor is that I have climbed down further into the barrel of the debt gun.  My roommate went away for the weekend a month ago and left me with money to pay off my last credit card debt.

I held myself back for the first 48 hours.   Then came Friday – it’s 6 pm and the bank is already closed (how convenient).  So… I went to McDonald’s and ordered 3 cheeseburgers, a fries and a large diet coke.  Every meal after that was a McDonald’s cheeseburger.  I always had to get a second because I would end up eating the first on the way home.   And I just couldn’t remember it so it didn’t count (the first burger).  Anyone reading this would wonder why I’m not fat.  Being broke I can’t afford to eat this way.  Being broke I buy a bag of apples and few bags of microwave broccoli for the week.  And since I spend most of my money on books, clothes and whatever else by the end of Sunday there’s just no real money to be spent at McDonald’s during the rest of the week.  Regardless of how much I earn per week.

Oh yeah, so after McDonald’s I proceeded to spend every last cent of the money I had to pay off my credit card debt.  I hid this from my roommate until I had the last $20.00 in my pocket.

I have a problem.  My goodness I have a serious problem.   Even though I would lay awake in bed wondering whether I should confess before the money ran out.   Spending just felt so darn good.

Getting it together financially is hard.  I’m back on the horse.  I’m not punishing myself about his, what’s done is done and I can’t go back and fix this.  In order for me to save back the money I spent to so lavishly and carelessly it will take 1.5 months.  It will put me further behind on my car buying schedule and that credit card… well.

If you read through that, you’ll understand what a dark patch that was for me. Reading it now I’m shocked at just how far I’ve come, er ok, how low I’d sunk. What about now? Well I tried again and again and again. Now I can announce that I haven’t eaten McDonald’s in months and I’ve even managed to save a little.

Leanne Naidoo

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