I thought I’d try and squeeze as many cliches in the title as possible. But what do they say about cliches? They are actually true for a reason.
Friday night after working at D’s, I let my guard down and we went out to eat. That was $17.
This past Saturday I played in my first competitive beach volleyball tournament in a little over a year. Never mind the fact that I played terrible and went 1-6 and was last place in my pool, but I paid $35 on top of that.
After that I bought beer and brought it out to the beach to hang out with some friends and blow off some steam playing fun beach volleyball games. Of course I was wise enough not to drive home, so I called up D to go have a burger with me before I drove home. Beer and food was another $20.
Now $17, $35, & $20 isn’t necessarily a big deal in most people’s worlds, but here is the current situation:
I still haven’t gotten paid for any jobs I did in October yet (except for the haunted house which was $250, and of course the little side jobs like personal assisting, taskrabbit, and the last of the container store), and at the top of the month are my biggest expenses (rent/$1400 & health insurance/$205).
I also paid $200 for five personal training sessions, and the rent check ($150) from the guy who rents my garage bounced, and I can’t get a hold of him!
Sunday morning I found myself in a predicament I have been in countless times, especially in the last four years of freelancing; I spend money before I even have it in my hands, then panic when my bank account balance gets too low, and have to borrow once again from my emergency fund. And I’m really pissed that guy’s check bounced and I can’t get in touch with him. I should’t be freaking out over $150, but I am because I need it.
The part about hindsight.
When I was first thrown into the freelance world in October 2008, I had a job lined up right away. A big job. One that paid me aprox. $14,000 that month. And…wait for it…I was still getting my full time salary for six months after that, along with some other freelance jobs.
By the time my severance ran out, I had aprox. $25,000 sitting in an emergency fund, and no debt.
If only I’d just been a little more careful with my budget (which didn’t really exist), I could have stretched that money out for a long, long time.
Instead I paid for expensive beach volleyball lessons, went out to eat, did a little traveling, etc.
And I had many months that were very lean in terms of freelancing work, especially in the latter half of 2008.
Old Habits Die Hard.
This past week was a lapse back into the old me. The one who let her guard down and didn’t consider all the factors before being careless with spending.
That girl had a really good time. She did. I’m sure she was a lot more fun to be around because she always said yes to plans. Always had new cute bathing suits. And certainly played better volleyball because she paid so much for training. And even though it was free I was always out playing games during the week, when I should have been working on my business, and looking for more work.
But a part of growing up (no matter what age you are) is realizing what is working and what isn’t. That life doesn’t work for me anymore. At least not right now.
I have to learn and remember what triggers my spending. One thing for me is being out at the beach all day. Sure it’s fun, but it leads to feeling too carefree, which leads to going out to eat.
And part of me does crave being in competitive tournaments again, but I also know the cost. The cost of training, or constantly playing, and the entry fees themselves.
It’s not to say that I can never do them again, but I need to make sure everything else is well taken care of first, and be prepared to not do as well because to do well you have to be consistent. And that’s just something I can’t be right now.
Do you ever find yourself falling back into old habits that weren’t financially healthy for you?
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