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Jul 6, 2015

All There Is

Incredibly frustrating. And defeating. Got paid three days ago, just in time as the checking account was nearly zeroed out---a pretty regular occurrence, this paycheck to paycheck thing. I spend more money than I should on beer and green. Let's get that out there right away, as it's definitely an area where I'll be tightening the belt moving forward.

 When I looked at the money forecast for the next two weeks, til next payday, I've discovered that I literally have no money to spend. Over $700 in bills going out in the next 48 hours, leaving me less than $150 til a week from Friday. And out of that $110, at least half will go to bills in the next 10 days---some bills I'll actually send a bit late in order to stretch that $110. No money for food, no money for gas, no money for...wait...food and gas is really all I spent my money on. I literally cannot remember the last time I bought something nice for myself. Like how some people can see a nice shirt or a hat they want and decide to buy it. I don't do that. In fact, I can't remember the last time I purchased something that didn't already have at least one owner.

 I'm pretty sure the socks I have on right now were either a Christmas gift, or they were hand-me-downs from my father. My fucking socks. The underwear I have on was a Christmas or birthday present, I can't remember which. I don't know what this means, that I get underwear as presents. But I don't feel good about it, as much as they are appreciated. The shoes I have on are from a second-hand store. As are my pants. As is the shirt I'm wearing.

 I bought a hot dog for lunch today for $2.50 because my stomach was beginning to devour itself due to hunger. I thought about running to the store and picking up a package of Ramen noodles to hold me over at work for the next two weeks, but I didn't. The prospect is so depressing. I realize my own standard of living has not increased in ten years. I've only lived from paycheck to paycheck.

 I feel hunger pangs every day.

 Granted, I have $1500 in savings right now because I've religiously put money away every single week this year, starting it out with a chunk of money I got from family for Christmas. But that's not to be touched. That's a chunk of emergency money that I've never had before. So I'm holding onto it.

 Upon greater reflection, it's not that bad. But it's still depressing, and disappointing. I'd like to reach the point where there's actually money IN my checking account when the next payday rolls around. Going to have to determine what exactly I can do. Here's a start:

 1. Cheap Beer
I'm a craft beer fan, and drink two to three per night, as does . This will have to stop. As I'll likely continue to drink beer---because what's the point of life if you can't indulge a bit? So PBR it is; will just have to stick to the two beer maximum to stretch out the supply as long as possible.

 2. Less Green
I'm also a two to three bowl a night person. And I don't buy the cheap stuff. The easiest option would be to cut back drastically, and only buy when the price is lowered via bulk purchase and distribution. I have a friend who dealt for roughly ten years. That's a 10-year supply of free weed, and he (luckily) walked away without penalty, holding a good $100k in cash. Oy, the temptation. Can't do that though with too much risk and too much to lose. Will aim for a 1-bowl/night.

 3. Cheap Vapes
Need to start rebuilding my own coils, and getting juice from Steven. Will amount to a significant cost savings per month.

 4. No Dining Out
Well, Mondays are a given, but I'm considering putting that on the credit card until finances stabilize. I know it's a terrible long-term solution, which is why I'll only use that option for the short term---perhaps a month or two until I can see the effects of this saving.

 5. No Unnecessary Expenditures
Well, I don't really do much of this anyway. But essentially this will entail not spending any more money than I absolutely need to in order to survive. Sorry chaps, but I won't be buying beer for the jam spot. Nice day? Shucks, don't have the money to buy bait to go fishing, nor the extra gas to justify the extra driving. Basically, I'm not spending any money at all, other than gas for the car. Hopefully there is enough food at home.

 6. Lunchtime Walks
Normally I drive a mile to the jam spot to play music or hang. Can save money on gas over time if I cut out this 4-5 times per week activity.

 7. Cut Subscriptions
Currently subscribed to AMR, Curse, Blizzard Watch. This amounts to roughly $150 per year in expenditures.

Gotta start somewhere.