16 January 2009

On a Shoestring

It's no secret that I've gotten myself into quite a pickle as far as debt is concerned. I've been shoveling out for a while now...and I'm not quite half way there. I've been working hard, but aside from a significant number of completely ridiculous unplanned expenses this summer, I'm less far along than I had planned to be.

Despite not being on target, I'm trying to keep my resolve. For a while, I had the second job at Macy's. That didn't last long, but not for lack of my trying. I suppose I had made an erroneous assumption - I thought that they could work with me on scheduling issues. Not the case. Ultimately, scheduling comes down from the corporate offices and the store managers have little control over them. I found that ridiculously irritating, since to me, that translated into a lack of respect for my time. Silly, I know. The job itself helped me to finance Christmas this year. It helped to pay for a little tree, stocking stuffers and a slew of gifts. It didn't last, but the extra cash was nice.

Of course, there are also unbudgeted work expenses. I traveled to New England at the end of October. We don't have access to petty cash, so all cash expenses are out of pocket. $80 in cabs and tips and gas later, I had drained my end of month credit card payment. (I always like to add a little extra to my payments if I've got a little cash.) Here we are three months later, and I still haven't received my reimbursement. It makes me cranky...and it makes me not want to travel quite so much.

I long for the day when $80 in cab rides doesn't break my piggy bank. That day will be here soon, and in the mean time I'm learning moderation, budgeting, and general fiscal management in a way that I'd never considered before.

With my shoestring budget, my media detox (which is off for the night so I can catch up on my Netflix and 30 Rock watching), cuppa tea and stack of work to think about, I'm mostly just dreaming about Italy, Morocco, Paris and cross country trips. As I creep ever closer to paying of my debt, I can hardly imagine what it feels like to be able to save money and travel to all the places I dream about.

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