Head’s up, Calvin. If you’re reading this, be informed. (Since I’m writing this, I’m informing MYSELF, too.)
I AM TAKING CONTROL OF OUR FINANCES ONCE AND FOR ALL AND THERE’S NO TURNING BACK NOW. I AM A FORCE OF NATURE TO BE RECKONED WITH. I AM BRINGING DOWN THE HAMMER.
Last night’s hour-long perusal of lofts we’d like to own in Maine (like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or even this one, which are all just about utter perfection, according to what we’re looking for – a top story full-floor unit with an open floor plan and exposed beams and brickwork RIGHT in the heart of the Old Port and we could WALK TO J’S OYSTERS) made me long for home with a deep, sharp ache in my stomach that hasn’t subsided yet, and here it is the next day. I mean, I could SEE, HEAR, TASTE, FEEL, AND SMELL us living there (give it a minute, you’ll understand). I could absolutely put us there in my imagination – fully furnished, fully conceptualized, fully realized.
This longing made me want to assess the feasibility of moving right NOW (Now? Now. How about now? Now?). Here I am, post-assessment, and I realize that we’re not in the position to move. Our home’s value, which is still (barely) more than we owe, is not enough to give us enough money for a down payment AND to pay off the outstanding (and I DON’T mean “marked by superiority or distinction; excellent; distinguished”) debt we have. Plus, you know, the lack of jobs all lined up and ready to go for us.
As usual, our timing is all wrong. Because when we ARE in the position and we DO have the equity and our debt IS paid off, the housing market will have turned around and we won’t get as good of a deal on a property as we can this very second. The upside is, we’ll make money on the sale of our house, and we’ll probably be able to find good jobs where we want, by that time.
So, anyway. As is my habit, I looked at the problem as a whole, and then broke it down into manageable chunks. And then? OH, AND THEN (“No ‘and then!'” Spot the reference…).
The upshot of today’s planning is short and sweet (you’re welcome). I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ve probably even mentioned the solution I have in mind before. Call me a late-mental-bloomer. Call me a procrastinator. Call me all Zen with the knowing of “when the time is right, it’ll come naturally”.
Starting today, and on every Friday hereafter, I am withdrawing $100 in cash from the checking account (muggers take note). That amount of cash will have to see us through any entertainment we’d like to indulge in (the bar, a new CD, the movies, fast food, what have you) until the next Friday.
Beginning the first Friday of April (since I need this month to re-set our spending habits), I will transfer, each week, the substantial amount of money that we’ll be able to save, now that we’re not spending it on bullshit, into our savings account.
Notice I’m not naming any figures. That’s because I’m embarrassed to mention how much money we’ve been wasting every month. Suffice to say, the $100 “mad money”, plus the weekly amount I plan to transfer to savings, together are LESS THAN the amount of money we’ve been pissing away on NOTHING. And still equals a whole heck of a lot, relatively speaking. Maybe not a lot to be saving, but a lot to NOT be spending, if you catch my distinction.
Surely two grown people can find plenty of stuff to do on the weekend on a $100 budget? I mean, what the hell? Have we been COMPLETELY RETARDED all this time?
Don’t answer that. kthxbye.