32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Negative Net Worth

I follow many personal finance blogs and it seems that frugal or simply cheap living has become the new trend mostly due to the recession. I was conscious of my need to get my finances in order but it was kicked into high gear when all around me my friends and their friends were losing their jobs.  I felt fear of the what-if and panic that I had no savings and just several hundred bucks in my retirement account one of which I liquidated to make ends meet so I was definitely in dire straits (imo).  All intentions quickly turned into executed steps toward my goal….financial freedom. Financial freedom is defined (imo) as freedom to live the life you want without kissing the ass of dependence on a job, company, or executive board.  Last year, January 2010, I put more than half my tax refund into my long-open-but-often-empty savings account.  For a single parent of any number of kids, that refund can be a couple thousands of dollars.  Since then, I have contributed monthly towards my goal of having 6 months of living expenses saved.  Currently, I am about $5k short but well on my way since a year ago. 

I started the savings before calculating what my actual monthly living expenses are.   Just two weeks ago, I sat down and created an Excel worksheet.  On the first tab was my 2011 Budget.  After taking a closer look at it I think I should rename it my 2011 Statement of Cash Flows because there is not a nan category budgeted…..just a nice way of tracking a dollar.  I started with my gross salary less estimated percentage of taxes deducted (about 25%) less my pre-tax retirement contribution (6%) which results in my net take-home income.  I think I was more excited creating this spreadsheet than I am writing about it here.  Anywho,  I went line by line deducting every fixed expense I have such as rent, insurance, daycare, and phone bill.  I didn’t add anything trivial like shopping or entertainment so I really wondered if I can call it a “budget” but more like an accurate look at what I should have leftover to “play” with.  If it wasn’t too personal I’d share it here but know it is cute and awesome with tabs!  The next tab covers my per paycheck breakdown so I’ll know which bills need payment asap and which aren’t due til the end of the two week cycle down to the amount deposited into my savings account and 2nd “play money” checking account.  Most of my bills are timed or date-based since most are set for automatic debits.  This is how I schedule payments and keep track of how much this account need to cover my expenses this week and how much it will need next week to cover expenses coming out that week.  As anal and freakish as it may seem, I have each dollar accounted for and stalked.  On the final tab, I have my current net worth.

I should say that my net worth calculation does not include charged-off debts seen on my credit report.  The option is before me to take the ethical road and pay off old debts but since the creditors refuse to remove the debt from my record once paid, imo there is no point paying any of it.  My credit score will continue to suck for another 2-3 years but it’s well worth it esp if I don’t incur any new debt and since I have no incurred any new debt my score has increased about 50 points 2010 alone.  Not sure if that’s good or poor but I’m happy for any gain however small it may be.  Liabilities and assets listed, my current net worth is approx ($30k) with the parentheses representing a negative value.  Should I be ashamed esp since that published article stated that most African-Americans have a net worth of $1?  Of course not.  I’ve read story after personal story of people (ethnicity aside) who are in worst situations than I.  This is not a competition….it’s my own story of how I decided to get serious about my company and be the real CFO instead of throwing the title around because it sounds cute.  Trust me, I see and know people who do that often!  Then they create their own investment business and want to solicit clients from their circle of friends.  Dude, you FB about ridiculously expensive shit you just bought for no other reason than to have it (that was the true-to-life reason stated) so why or how good of a CFO are you for your own personal company?  And, how can I trust you will manage my money properly when you throw your’s away freely? 

Right now, my “company” has 4 current debts in repayment with an expected payoff date of February and April 2011 for two of them.  The only two I will have leftover will take years to payoff; one being student loans.  Also, right now, my income is too dependent on Child Support which is bad.  Child Support is legally court-ordered but I have experienced times when my ex lost his job (one time voluntarily) and I struggled to pay my bills as a result.   I never want someone else’s actions or inactions to dictate what course my life shall take….at least not on a financial scale.  This dependence on someone else providing for me is the opposite of financial freedom so my goal by this fall (kids leave for summer so no child support) is to save those payments or use them for fun extra curriculum activities for the kids.  By the Fall, I will be in repayment for my student loans so, as you can see, I have a schedule of longterm debts too.  At the end of 2011, I should finish the year closer to ($20k) for my net worth, $12k in my savings account, and more money to free up for more important ventures.  Not trying to get rich or play catch-up…just trying to make my own safety net instead of expecting the government to hold me up with public service programs or blame everyone but myself for my own personal financial failure because no one promised me prosperity or wealth just because I’m college educated.  And, if I ever hope to manage any financial function of a major corporation, I better be the best CFO of my own household first. Hell, I might present financial documents to show my positive changes in a future interview 🙂  If I can just figure out what this spreadsheet should really be called.

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January 17, 2011 Posted by | Life | , , | Leave a comment

Forever and a Day

…that is how long it feels since I have posted anything. 

Personal Finances – I am currently at $6,000 with my Emergency Fund balance.  I tried to create a budget when I realized that what I created was really just a listed of all my fixed costs per pay period.  Looking at my fixed expenses and not forgetting smaller ones that hit my account by ACH was really good.  I realized I cannot cut anything more than my freaking cell phone bill which is ridiculous.  I did set up another checking account which may be temporary but I need to see where my money is going or else I will continue to be confused.  My primary checking account is where my pay check is deposited, where I use Bill Pay for free, and where I have automatic debits set up.  My second account is now for anything in excess of my fixed costs which I have titled my Variable Spending (going out, shopping, etc) account since it can be as variable as I want post-bill paying.  I will calculate everything I need to pay for these 15 days and leave that amount in my primary account, transfer the excess into my Variable account, and make my deposit into my E-fund account as well.  This seems like a good solution for me and the second account has no fees and a separate ATM card which is cool too.  I should reach my $10k goal by June 2011 if no emergencies arise (Lord please!) and I stay disciplined with my spending.  Christmas is always a test though.

Running –  I have been running maybe twice a week or thrice if I can get it in.  Still in a blissful state right now with no pending races, no training, and no need to hit a certain distance or time other than laying the foundation for Spring season.  Running for fun is in!

School – I have about five more weeks til the end of this semester.  Thus far, I expect an “A” in my Executive Leadership class since I have gotten A’s on the last 3 of my 6 assigned papers.  Part of the final grade is class participation which involves discussions so, since I hardly (translation: never) raise my hand to say anything, I hope I don’t get a “B” based on that.  But, knowing I should participate instead of being an active listener never makes me raise my hand even to say “I agree with whatever you just said”.  My Finance/Stat/Econ class is wrapping up as well.  I have 2.5 sections to complete and then the final exam.  I should be finished with my lessons by Thanksgiving (it is a work-at-your-own-pace class) so I will have ample time to go back over the material since I can only take the final exam once.  I do not plan to take any classes next semester but I do plan to take 2 this summer while my kids are away at their dad’s.  I want to take this Accounting class I keep hearing about from students in my class.  Apparently, the professor moves kind of fast so it is intense and not to be taken lightly.  I would enjoy the challenge.

Dating – I went out on a date this past Saturday which went pretty well.  Background information: 29 yr old single dad with a young daughter, Bachelors in Political Sciences, Masters in Psychology, and currently in his 2nd year of law school at Loyola University.  We have a second date tentatively planned for this weekend – a jazz place I have not been to which he claims is the best in Chicago.  We met up at Starbucks in Hyde Park which is near my sister’s apartment who was watching my kids for me.  It was about 40 degrees outside but 90 degrees inside this closet-sized Starbucks location.  I walked in and almost walked out I was so hot!  My nose started draining like crazy and I apologized for the rudeness but I needed to wipe it clean as he handed me a Hot White Chocolate which is like my favorite drink.  He suggested we walk down to Borders which was a good idea because the cold air felt great against my skin.  I felt like I was having a heat flash.  We bought books for the kids, talked, then made our way to Leona’s to get something to eat and sat there for maybe 1.5 hours talking some more.  It turned out better than I expected so that is a plus. 

Randomness – I got business cards!  Yeah, that exclamation point was only because I felt I should be excited.  A manager suggested we all have personal business cards for networking which I thought I should have had years ago but better late than never, right?  That are a brown color with a white swirly design since I like warm neutral colors and have my static contact information on them.  I gave my family a card like they don’t know me and I still have about 245 more to give away.  I am not good at promoting myself but I guess I should get better at it.  Also, weeks ago, I send a tweet to BGIM suggesting she write some of her recipes on her blog and she did this pork chop one which I actually have most of the ingredients to try.  I do not mind cooking but if I can cook something creative (my recipe or not) then my kids might grow up thinking mommy was not a total failure in the kitchen.  And, I got my Cajun injection for my Thanksgiving turkey!  I am uber excited to possibly eff up my Thanksgiving dinner but I am willing to for the lesson learned.

I have the above picture as my desktop at work.  It is called Life – I like it.  Hasta Luego! 🙂

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , | Leave a comment

Eat My Words?

Last month, I wrote this blog post about a guy I was dating.  Basically, I wrote this about him:

One day I was venting to my sister about a guy I was dating.  I told her how he does not have a retirement savings account (this is all before the recession), he does not have adequate life insurance (it was enough to cover his funeral only if he died debt free), he had no bankable skills to mention (career wise), he cannot afford to live alone (not enough income), and he is kid free never married in his right mind.  I wondered how we would live, how we would cover our bills, who would pick up most of the financial obligations, and who would be the breadwinner.  I wondered if one of us died earlier than we expected (any time prior to retirement) and I wondered if he had more children.  I wondered all these things also taking into consideration that he was about 8 years older than I, working on his credit also, making less money than I, and not degreed in any field or skill.  Looking at his financial outlook, there are slim chances he would amount to anything with so many factors not in his favor.

Long story short, he read this post and made one line in particular his Facebook status.  “…there are slim chances he would amount to anything with so many factors not in his favor”.  I read it on his page and thought to myself, “what happened now?” so I texted him.  He then told me that I had written those words and that he now knows how I truly feel about him.  Inside I struggled with myself over my response…I replied “ok” and that was that.  Do I eat my words and regret ever writing them knowing that there was a chance he would read this blog since it is public?  No.  Honesty prevails whether I should have told him how I felt or not is another subject.  I never meant any harm and, if you read the post itself, I was making a point of how those in relationships should and must consider the financial state of the other person because it may no longer be a “their debt” category if the relationship progresses into something serious – it becomes “our debt”.  I even commented about my huge student loan debt, I write here often about paying that down and accepting the fact that I may die first before that balance is zero.  I have written about my own personal bills, getting my personal finances in order, funding my emergency account, and having finally gotten life insurance for myself in the event I die sooner rather than later and leave my family struggling to cover my expenses.

Did what I write change how I felt about him?  No.  Does it matter now?  Nope, but I am sure my name is apart of some Gold Digger file cabinet guys register ex-girlfriends under when the female even hints at money in any way that makes him uncomfortable, insecure, or less than a man.  What he replied back to me today, “I know what you think about me” is so far from the truth that it’s apart of another galaxy.  Money does not make the person or else I, and a lot of other people, would be piles of shit laying along the side of the road.  And, quite frankly, if money was ever an issue I would have not bothered from day one, I would have ran when he lost his job and started collecting unemployment, would have chucked the deuces when he couldn’t afford to go out like we used to,  and I would have bailed when he was searching day after day for housing knowing he was getting kick out of his apartment pretty soon.  I still stayed you asshole!  Is the amount of money important to me?  No.  Is stability important to me?  Yes.  Is what you do with your money important to me?  Yes.  We need to be able to pay our bills, take care of any kids we may have, and plan for a brighter future where we live more than work ourselves to death – that is my goal as far as finances and notice I said we (had to bold and underline that one since most guys think women are looking to be taken care of financially – wrong chick).

I talked to him about his life insurance.  I told him the policy he has (or had, not sure anymore) was a rip off and he should get out of it and buy his own policy for the same if not lower price with a much higher death benefit if not now than later.  We have talked about stocks, investments, retirement accounts, and savings.  I have been very outspoken on what I think he should do, what I have read, what tips I plan to utilize, and what he should be doing at his age at this point in his life.  I talked about my student loan debts and told him they amount to the price of a small home.  He knows about a car loan I am still paying off.  He knows about defaulted credit cards I had way back when in college.  He knows I am in school now denying every student loan thrown my way because I would rather pay out-of-pocket for any expenses my company does not cover than dig myself in deeper doo-doo.  He knows this and I talk about my finances openly like everything else we have ever talked about.  My frustration was because he did not listen to me.  Ok, maybe I wanted him to do what I said on some of those suggestions – I’ll admit that but I think I am right on most esp the retirement account.

There is nothing else to say about the topic, the fact that he read my blog, or was offended by anything I wrote about him.  I would make the same financial analysis with any other guy and I have with every other guy so no one shall ever be exempt just like I would expect a guy to make the same analysis of my financial state before we get “serious” because my small house of student loans and car loan debt will interfere with our monthly cash flow as we merge all of our monthly expenses into one cash pool.  My debt does not go away with marriage as his debt does not go away – we gotta budget for them both so just face the facts!  And, just like I access every other compatibility within a relationship, it is amazing how sex and money are the sensitive buttons when it comes to guys.  If you even insinuate they are inadequate in either, they get pissed, call you names, and/or say you never really loved them.  Newsflash, the many times I brought these topics up – that showed I cared enough to talk to you about them, wanted to offer my suggestions, share what I have read, or tell you what I was doing to make my own finances better just like you have talked to me about areas in my life where I totally suck or need to “get it together”.  Lastly, I do not regret a single line or word I wrote on this blog and I will not apologize but I do acknowledge how my words offended you deeply so for that I am truly sorry.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , | 4 Comments

My Recent Budget

This Friday will mark the end of my budget for this pay period.  Last pay period, I went over budget about $200 (if I remember correctly) which is horrible!  This time, I have not gone over budget.  I think I have about $20 to spare (maybe less than that) till Friday so I am doing good.  If I do go over budget from here on out, that means I had to transfer money from my savings account into my checking to cover my expenses which is something I am trying my best not to do.  This recent pay period I did put $500 into my savings account, went out-of-town, have paid bills with the remaining balance, and managed to live.  I have Bank of America so I can check my account balance and transactions online (usually to check for errors) but I also have a spreadsheet I created in Excel where I track each time I spend money.  I save all receipts until I enter the business and dollar amount and reason (if applicable) for the amount spent.  For example, I spent $41.17 at CVS Pharmacy but I only bought a pack of gum.  When I go home and type in CVS, input the amount, and add a comment I will write “pack of gum and $40 cash back”.  Sometimes I will write what the cash back was for (my son’s lunch money) but sometimes I just needed cash on me and since there is no Bank of America ATM nearby, it’s a no-fee solution to just get cash back.  The other thing is that Bank of America does this Keep the Change program where they round-up all your purchases to the next dollar and transfer the difference into your savings.  So, in essence, I type $42 into my Budget Spreadsheet instead of $41.17 which keeps me on track since that $0.83 will not appear in my checking account anyways.

If I have money (credits) pending or know I will have something deposited into my account, I do not count those transactions until they are received.  Some people (and companies) like to account for them before they have cleared because it makes their balance, bottom-line, net worth, liquidity, etc look better.  Personally, I am not trying to impress anyone and I like to keep things clear and concise so either I have it right now or I don’t.  Today, I swiped my debit card to buy a new pass for the Metra which gets me to and from work.  Although I had it budgeted for my next pay period which begins Monday, I ran out of rides before then so I will have to claim it on this pay period (if it clears before Friday) and move any other transactions I was going to make to next week.  Does that make sense?  Even if a company or business debits my account late (anything dealing with the city of Chicago really), I still subtract that amount from my balance so I do not forget about it and send myself into a negative standing.  So, debits I account for immediatelty and credits I account for later (when they clear my account).  All in all, I have been diligent with my budget, my savings, and keeping track of my spending.  I now know how much I have in my account at all times, how much I have starting out, and I must account for each penny spent so it better be a “need” instead of a “want” more times than not.  I do understand that putting $500 into my savings each month may be asking a lot but I only do so because my child support is non-existent and I need a safety net.  Since I have an extra pay period before May’s rent comes due, I will be able to put another $300 into savings which will make my April Savings total = $800.  The good thing is that I might actually make a good anal accountant.  The bad thing is that I hate accounting.

Still no life insurance policy.  Honestly, I’ve let it fall by the side of the road along with my DNR and Power of Attorney forms.  I started out so good but have gotten lazy recently.  Gotta get that finished at least.  My credit score has not changed since my last update a month or two ago.  I should receive my next quarterly update next month.  I now owe $577 on an emergency room bill from last year when I was having chest pains which had a balance of $1,300.  Since I went to the ER this past weekend, that is another bill tacked on there…..irritating although I was in serious pain.  Trying not to create more debt but it seems medical related expenses come from nowhere just like that.  D (of D.J.) is having a birthday next month.  Not sure what to do but I know what he wants…a bike, a Nintendo DS, and to see Iron Man 2.  Nintendo DS is not happening because I bought him one last year and it lasted about 60 days before he had completely destroyed the hinge and had some wire from somewhere sticking out.  Lesson learned: never spend that much money on a video game that I can’t keep in my house and watch over.  Anything portable has resulted in destruction with these kids.  A bike is cool but I keep finding new ones at $60 which is nowhere in my price range of free.99 so I shall keep looking.  Iron Man 2 I can do all day but I think I should actually take him somewhere.  Maybe Medieval Times.  Paintball.  Laser Tag.  Another amusement park.  Bad thing is I don’t feel like doing any of this stuff.  Wish I could just pay to let him play and I pick them up later after I do something I want to do.  Too bad it doesn’t work that way.  Other than that, that is my recent budget-toward-financial-freedom update.  Nothing more to report until 2 weeks from now but, if something interesting happens, I will post about it.  My life is officially BORING!

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I heart Personal Finance!

Piggybacking off My Employment Future, during our company meeting this past Friday it was disclosed that some offers have been placed on the table from interested parties so our owners will pick some one/company soon.  What the next steps will be are these lucky new owners coming in to do Due Diligence (I know what that means but not within this context) and they will be interviewing everyone.  Why?  That’s the part I was leaning forward at the edge of my seat to hear but all I got was a face full of floor because she never answered that.  My timeline of a few months or even a year is shot to hell since she clearly said “in the next few weeks” and warned us that there may come a week when we’d all be asked to work from the office just in case we are called on for an interview.  Oh, and dress business casual too.  Well, I got an email from my manager today saying our work-from-home days next week Monday thru Wednesday are cancelled and that we are to dress business casual for those 3 days.  I need a paper bag to breathe into.  Why is everything going so fast?!  Our CEO is 62 years old and her ex-husband (our Chairman) is at least 5 years older than that so I understand y’all want to retire but I still have a question to ask and no one but me seems a tad bit uneasy about this sell.  I’m not getting a phat check after the sale closes…I just wanna know if I should start kissing butts for a new job or am I cool.  For right now at least.  I guess D-day is next week….dress to impress whether or not I think it matters.

A co-worker was offered a new position in QA which is a new one-person dept created just for this new role which we really needed a looooooong time ago.  How does a software company NOT have a QA dept?!  I have no freaking idea!  It’s a Microsoft Vista situation waiting to happen.  So, this co-worker accepted the position which includes a pay raise since the last time the position was offered to the same co-worker sans pay increase it was turned down.  Co-worker tells manager (after accepting position) that he is moving to PA with his wife.  Manager talks to the corner offices who agree to keep employee on but allow this person to work remotely full-time instead of hiring someone who knows nothing about the system(s) and lose someone who has 5 years of knowledge stored in their head.  This person makes employee #2 who is a full-time remote employee.  The other is a computer programmer working from TX.  My point is….there really isn’t any but maybe it will come to me later.  This person who is moving to PA just passed his 5 year anniversary too and received a check.  You got a pay raise, allowed to work remotely, and a check for staying here 5 yrs….is this not a great situation or what??  I kinda wanna know who the new owners are.  I am anxious for next week in a good and bad way but I shall plan for the worse but pray for the best.  I don’t wanna be laid off.  I don’t wanna job hunt.  I don’t wanna be like so many others out there scraping for anything.  I don’t wanna go back to school either.  I should title this post “I don’t wanna….”

My budget is revealing little things about my spending habits I didn’t want to admit to myself such as I spend way too much on silly things at CVS just because it’s walking distance from my house and they give me $5 off coupons.  I am recording every single penny spent.  A lot of work but necessary.  If I spend $100 at Wal-Mart I force myself to add a comment (using Excel) documenting all the items bought that equaled $100 so I know what I really didn’t need and where I need to be more disciplined.  So far, I am about $100 over budget which means I spent more than my recent paycheck and now must either dip into my savings or use what I had in my checking account before this paycheck was deposited.  I told myself that I don’t need a budget because I can add, do bookkeeping in my head, and I know I am not dropping big faces at the mall but it’s a big difference when you see you don’t have to go to the mall to overspend on stuff you don’t need. 

My ex lost his permanent job weeks ago (he just told me this last week), has been working a temporary job (which explains my low child support payments), gets a new assignment next week, and is trying to network for a permanent job outside of retail in time for the kids to come for summer since the long hours of retail don’t do so well with having at least 3 kids to take to and from daycare.  Yeah, I thought everyone knew that one.  This puts my budget and savings in trouble because I didn’t expect to spend my money on daycare which his child support pymts are supposed to cover which blows my pretty little Excel spreadsheet with the formulas programmed to calculate columns for me to smithereens and makes me wanna call Wayne Brady to choke a b*tch (Dave Chappelle).  My attorney gave me my options: A) change my case standing from private to public which means the courts handle it all and she is left out of it.  The pro is the state can intercept his tax check like everyone who played against the Bears this season.  The con is that the state may lower our agreed child support amount from the divorce papers to match his income which will leave me with pennies just because he eff’d up his career for some lil na na.  B) file paperwork to hold him in contempt of court since he is not adhering to the divorce agreement as it applies to child support.  It will take 4-6 weeks for the judge to review my case and assign a court date (I hope I don’t have to attend) at which time the judge will decide between jail, work release (locked up still but allowed to leave for work only), or a personal finance class to teach him how to budget his money.  The pro is the judge will force him to catch up and he will understand I pull the reigns in this so pay up!  The con is I have to pay for my attorney to file and pursue this issue in court.  Either way it goes, I come out my pocket money but, long-term I gotta think about this strategically.

My investments are doing well…..all 12 shares of them.  I didn’t have a lot of money to start investing in and I didn’t want to use any of my money so I used Mr. D’s instead.  I sold some and bought some more but I have gained 21.26% thus far.  My 401k is rising, then dropping, then rising, and then dropping a bit more but it’s on the up tick right now.  I have been reading about mutual funds and ETFs and how to make an income off them too.  It’s a lot of reading but it’s worth it.  I have funded my revocable trust.  Only thing left to add to it is my bank account which I never seem to have the time to do.  Still have not bought life insurance because I was making sure the 20 year term so cool since my kids will be 24 and 28 and fully capable of taking of themselves by then (they getting the hell outta my house anyways), the cost difference between a regular term policy and the ROP (Return of premium) policy, and confirm which non-medical exam policy I was going to settle on.  You would think I was dying tomorrow….well, lets pray not.  Once everything is finalized my net worth should definitely be more than the $5 some article said most African-American women are worth nowadays.  Kick my butt Mr. Article!!

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Career, Life | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Monetary Idiots Bleed Broke

My mom texted me last week asking what is my credit score.  I answered her text with the same question.  She replied 450 (the lowest it can possibly get since she’s going through bankruptcy) and then I replied with mine.  She then asks me to get her a car.  When did I become rich?  Someone please tell me that.  I was irritated at the audacity of her question so I reminded her of the fact that I do not have a car myself (more out of preference & money sense) while biting my tongue to remind her that I am not nearly as stupid as she thinks I am.  Why would I get her a car to take on another liability all because she eff’d up her credit and hasn’t learned a freaking thing at all about money just to be left with the full debt later on?  Yes, you gave birth to me so thank you very much for not aborting my existence.  When my older sister died years ago, my mom won her settlement out of court and got a big pay-out.  Big as in hundreds of thousands of dollars up front.  To someone who has always been poor or living from check to check, imagine the whirlwind her life and spending took.  She got a house (not sure if the deed is in her name alone or her’s and my step dad), she went shopping galore, she bought any & everything she wanted, and she spent maybe a quarter of my 1st check without my knowledge (long story).  My attorney friend told me to sue.  This is my mom.  I learned my lesson.  She has not.  She continues to this day spending as soon as she can get her hands on it, calling me cheap, saying negative things about how I manage my money while at the same time thinking I have a joint account with Warren Buffett.  Sometimes it’s no one’s fault but your own.

I have a friend who swears up and down to be a victim of the economy, a victim of the American Dream gone wrong, a victim of some upper echelon white person who bamboozled her into getting all these stupid loans just to have too many degrees and no job with no prospects in sight.  Several times (I stress the word several) I have told her to move out of her high-rise apartment which is costing her at least $1,000/mth in rent.  No, she told me.  It goes with the image of her career she’s trying to project and is more of an advantage than a disadvantage.  This was all before the recession hit our area so now the talk is “woe is me”.  I listen but I remind her of what I said earlier.  I heard the complaint about bills, the internet being turned off, the little things here and there bought from fairly expensive stores when she didn’t even have adequate groceries.  I remembered it all and now, if I say so, I get my head bitten off in 2 seconds flat.  How dare you think this is MY fault!  It’s the economy!  The executives with their bonuses!  The mortgage bubble which burst all over my career!  It’s not my fault!  I’m a victim in this!  But, to myself as I retreat away before I start another uproar, I say sometimes it’s no one’s fault but your own.

Most of us come from families with no money so we were not taught how to properly manage money when we have it IF we ever had any left over after paying bills.  That holds true for me as well.  I truly believe some people have an innate refusal to see their mistakes as their own faults.  I truly believe that some people cannot learn from their mistakes which is why you see them making the same mistakes over and over again as if they suffer from short-term memory loss.  My mom never learned from her own lesson and, if someone threw money at her right now, she’d be broke in record time back to singing her “woe is me” anthem.  My friend is too arrogant with too many downright stupid folks in her corner to know she is the idiot she must stay away from.  How can the #1 person in your corner tell you just months ago to move out, live with roommates, and eat Ramon Noodles but now this person grabs an instrument to help you in your “woe is me” song?  How does this work?!  Do you both have short-term memory??  You must because I remember that conversation and I agreed with the idea of roommates but her pride was bigger than her reasoning so now you find yourself on the verge of eviction with nothing but a bony finger pointing at the other person to blame who does not even know you exist but you can’t seem to get their name off your tongue.  Accountability.  Responsibility.  Caring enough about self to know you have to self-educate you on what parents and schools failed to do. 

My intention is not to complain or point fingers at anyone I know.  It’s actually sad and disheartening to see someone kill themselves, tell me the person responsible ran that way, but they are holding the knife covered in their own blood.  I shake my head and wish they’d wake up pretty soon and learn from their mistakes.  We all make them but very few learn from them only to become serial repeaters.  This should be a mental disorder.  This love of disorder and dysfunction and ruin in one’s personal life.  The love to play the blame game but shout from the rooftops about how much smarter they are than everyone else in upper management positions.  Who is 2 months away from living on Lower Wacker Drive?  It sure ain’t that ole stupid manager with the corner office.

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments