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My finances are almost under control. I've got an auto bill-paying system taking care of my bills with about 50% of my biweekly pay. I don't have any current creditors screaming down my throat (long-past creditors, which I need to fish out of my credit report and do something about, yes, but not current creditors).

That's the good part. The bad part is that the other 50% isn't getting saved, but rather spent, and spent even somewhat frivolously, mostly on more expensive food than I really need. Changes in my habits would free up cash to save, and keep me from being in the situation I'm in now.

My bank balance is $0.97, having frittered away all of my last paycheck already. I'm at home rather than out seeing a friend who's in town that I haven't seen in a few years (since the last time I saw her, she's gotten married and moved to Oregon, not necessarily in that order). I feel it's rude to go to a commercial/service establishment (in this case, a bar/club) with no intent to engage in commerce.

The irksome thing is that I should have money. Today was payday, but payroll had some glitches and was submitted to the direct-deposit folks a day late (Thursday instead of Wednesday), and my pay hasn't hit the bank yet. If I'm lucky, it'll be processed tomorrow and I'll have money to do things then. If I'm unlucky, it'll be Monday.

In the meantime, I can't get or do things I want, like see old friends, or get clear garbage bags to pack recycling in, or get new books, or go out to eat, or... I've said that brass in pocket is a great anti-depressant for me, and it's true. This is annoying.

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you already know what you have to do, so i'm not going to tell you.

but, just as a side comment... except for a few times when Alex has taken me out to dinner, i haven't dined out in about three years. my expedition to Five Guys a couple of weeks ago was my first "restaurant" meal on my own in that time. yeah, cooking food from scratch is a pain in the ass... but it beats not being able to afford to eat at all...

Yeah pathmark pasta was not great but it worked when I needed it.

Pathmark pasta, my ass - i make homemade "artisanal" bread that's, if anything, better than the equivalent in Whole Foods, and costs about one-tenth as much as buying theirs. i buy chicken on sale, trim it and portion it out into meal-sized batches, and freeze it. and one of the best tricks is to buy very good quality seasonings, condiments, and flavoring ingredients, even though they cost more - they allow you to create expensive-tasting dishes out of very cheap basics. (with the right herbs, the right oil - or butter - to cook them in, and a bit of sauce, scrambled eggs can be a gourmet meal.) my latest experiment is growing hydroponic watercress...

It was an example :) Substute ramen, race and beans, ect.

and if you have a slow cooker, you can start stuff in the morning before you go to work, and have a hot meal ready when you get home. stew-like dishes are about the cheapest things you can cook ;-D

1. Yeah I was there, and even last year when the cash started coming in, I was still there.

2. You need to budget out some fun money, I have to do that or I get too focused on the "OMG I NEED 100-200kK for a house in 5-10 years" It's why I have the oddball watch, had that Ninja 250 POS bike, ect

Budgeting out fun money? That's the opposite of my problem. My "fun money budget" currently is greater than Federal poverty level -- and that's after paying for 3 cell phones (including 2 iPhones), student loans, property taxes, car insurance, power and heat, etc.

I don't have savings. I haven't gotten effectively focused on the "OMG I NEED 100-200kK for a house in 5-10 years" (or, more appropos for our situation "OMG, Our Car is a POS and needs to be replaces in a year, two at most") to the point where I'm actually doing any saving for that. That's what I really need to do.

When I'm broke, I bring grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. When I have brass in pocket, I get lunch out. This is a habit I need to change.

it does get expensive. Adn it's a stealth expense. I have a friend that eats out a lot ( AMerican casual dining chain ) and then is always complainig of being poor when it comes to other stuffs.

Think of Mr. Micawber -- "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." Act according to your desired result.


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