Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Mental State of My Finances

Fortunately, I am an optimistic person--at least in most aspects of my personality.

But financially?

Financially, I'm definitely bi-polar. And these days, I'm on the down side of manic-depression.

I don't know if it's the weather (RAIN!). Or the bills (HIGH!). Or the sense that I am just marching in place and getting nowhere (ALL THE TIME!)

I am getting tired of thinking about every little purchase: It's a first-run movie; maybe I should wait until it's on Netflix. Can I go out to lunch with my colleagues; this would be the second time this week. Yes that pair of shoes is a steal but do I really need another pair of shoes.

At the non-profit when I work, we are constantly on the look-out for "compassion fatigue." Now I'm wondering about "frugal fatigue."

And yet, what is the alternative?

Run my credit cards up to the max?

And then what?

I'd be 'fatigued' for good at that point! With far less options and way more debt.

So, I guess I'll stick around for the mania portion of my bipolar finances.

But expect some whining along the way.

It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to! (With apologies to Leslie Gore.)


Anonymous said...

You've been making steady progress though! Maybe it's slower than you'd like, but it is definitely steady.

You can either keep it up or gazelle intense for a while... but succumbing to fatigue is only going to prolong the pain.

You can do this!

Sharon said...

I hear you. I'm thinking we all get to that point one time or another. I was suppose to be all about balance, but this month I've swayed way over to the spend side. Not very balanced. You have done such a great job paying down your debt. Look back at where you started and you will get pumped again. Going out to lunch with friends is important. (Just don't run up your credit cards...that will be a lasting hangover I'm sure you won't want!)

Here's to sunshine and spring...

LC said...

I like that "frugal fatigue" label. This is probably politically incorrect, but husband and I used "welfare syndrome" to describe the end of the week during a long trip when we quit our jobs and vanned around the U.S. with a few side trips into our northern and southern neighboring countries. We had paid off credit cards, saved for a year and pulled my contributions out of the state retirement system.

This was in 1978-79 and we had a budget of $100 a week for food, gas, campsite fees for husband, 5-year-old son and me. It was tight even then, and when we found free campsites, we stayed a while. But by the end of the week, we were ready to eat out, and spend spend spend. We satisfied the urge by 1) taking turns on choosing the eatery for the end of the week splurge, and 2) each of getting to purchase one "treat" during our end of the week grocery shopping.

Hang in there! Keep thinking about how great you have done, cause you have!

Anonymous said...

Whatever side of the bed you woke up on, it's the exact same one I woke up on apparently. Oh yeah, I had my own moaning session. We can do this, yes we can! *ruffles pom poms*

Grace. said...

Thanks folks--especially MutantSuperModel, from whom I intend to borrow one of those pom-poms and ram it down Murphy's throat! Sheesh, and I used to be such a pacifist!

Anonymous said...

Geeze, I thought I was alone in all of this. Living on a budget whether voluntary or forced upon, is hard, hard, hard.

I found that you have to 'splurge' a little bit to balance out the deprivation. Splurging, unfortunately, right now, for me is buying a better grade of food or filling up the gas tank to read an actual "F".

WOW! That's big. Driving around with a full tank of gas and a packed pantry makes me feel very successful.

Ugh. Who'd a thunk?

Barb said...

Grace, its a mind set and it takes some time getting there. The main thinng is you cant have it all, all the time. Try looking at it as a challenge......look for creative alternatives. I suggest allowing yourself a realistic budget each month for "non budgeted stuff" and go from there. If youre like me, you never need another pair of shoes again.

Louise said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head - frugal fatigue - describes it exactly! some days it just feels like there is no end in sight and there's no more to cut from the budget.

Anonymous said...

"Never need another pair of shoes again?"

Does the term 'delusion' ring a bell?

Petunia 100 said...

Grace, do you use a budgeting tool such as Mint? I found Mint last December, and have been so very pleased with how I have kept my spending in check since I have begun using it.

I think you should have an amount each month that you can spend any way you please. You just have to pick your splurges carefully, make certain you use those dollars in whatever way brings you the most enjoyment.

Barb said...

LOl. I have many pairs of shoes and many clothes, morrison. Its doubtful unless I move to alaska or the the cayman islands (possible) that Ill need clothes unless I gain or lose a large amount of weight.........your experiences may be different.

Lisa said...


Sometimes you just gotta let go and splurge a little. I am sure we all go through the binge and purge of personal finance. At least I do. Some days it is just near impossible to be balanced about anything. And that is okay.... You will be back on track in no time.

Anonymous said...

Your doing great, like you have told me before we can't keep up all the time.

But on the goodside you won the dave ramsey book on my blog so just send your info to and I will get it right out to you


Grace. said...

Wow Judy--that definitely cheers me up! I sent you an e-mail, and I'm very glad to have won the book.

MasterPo said...

In these times do the best you can.

Living Almost Large said...

me too. I have spending fatigue. Too much these past two months with supporting my BIL but at the same time trying to be "frugal".

Diane said...

Wow! What a timely post. I have been on a cash diet since January 1. No food, no entertainment, no clothes, nothing that isn't absolutely necessary. I received a couple of gift cards for Christmas and I have used them to augment my pantry with fresh fruit and veggies. Three months is a long time, so I decided to let loose a little in April. I had to replace my phone (tax-deductable business expense) and I finally broke down and went shopping. I bought a new CFL light bulb at the hardware store and fresh food from the Dollar Store. Also two new pair of socks! Yippee. But I still have to write a check to fund my 2010 Roth IRA. I better stop spending my brains out... Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.