Friday, December 17, 2010

Therapy, Blog Style

I seem to be worried about stuff an awful lot lately.  But since my normal mode of coping with anxiety is big, fat, Denial, that means I basically worry, then push it out of my head and do nothing about it.

With winter, and the fact that I hate to be cold and feel like I need to keep the house warm enough that my tiny daughter won't shiver when going to bed, that means some higher household costs.  I also somehow managed to get myself a month behind on my cable bill, so now I'm just paying the past-due amount, which is the previous month's bill, because I didn't pay it, because I was paying the past due amount.

Then comes the end of the semester.  The extra class that has caused me tons of stress I have been teaching this semester had earned me a little extra pay at the end of each paycheck, but that ended with my December 15th paycheck.  Since my college is closing on Dec 17th and not reopening until after the beginning of the year, payroll has already run for my Dec 30th paycheck.  So I have, in my bank account, all of the money that I will receive until Jan 15th.  And that paycheck will be less than I am used to because of overloads.

I'm not good with money, and that I tend to spend it as soon as I get it, and I'm afraid I can't make it last for a month.  Now that I'm writing all this, my real fear is that it isn't enough.  The rational part of my brain said that I just needed to go ahead and pay the bills that are due between now and Jan 15th.  And that's when I realized that I'm afraid if I do that, that I won't have enough money for the bills, let alone the bills and Christmas.

I don't really have that many people to buy for.  I could honestly get away with buying Christmas gifts for 3 people, plus a gift for the family exchange.  One of those people being my young daughter who wouldn't notice if I wrapped up her old Elmo doll and gave it to her for Christmas.

Every time I talk to my mom, she's bought something else.  She's buying all kinds of stuff for my kid without discussing it with me, and most of it is labeled for 3 years and up.  (Does a 20 month old need an MP3 player?  Or am I overreacting again?)  She's bought all kinds of crap for me and my dad too.  I'm way behind in my shopping, because of finals and then being paralyzed with fear about spending any money.  Then every day my mother has new bags from a shopping trip. 

And then, possibly because I feel so worried and pressured, I can't think of anything good to get for my mom.  I have one surprise for her that I hope she loves.  I bought her a couple of mundane things that I think she will enjoy.  So when I think that I'll just get one nice thing for each of them and it's the spirit and blah blah blah, I don't even know if I can come up with something decent for her.

Last year I did a photo session with me and the Wee One that she didn't even know about.  I had the proofs on a DVD and the best photos I had framed and wrapped.  It was the first present that I made her and my dad open, and once they did, I showed them the DVD.  Tears all around, it was the most awesome surprise that I had ever pulled off.  However, now that she works at the photography studio, I ... have had some issues ... and wouldn't be able to pull off a surprise like that again.

This is all contributing to my difficulty in getting into the "Christmas Spirit".  Tonight when my daughter goes to bed, I'll do some bill-paying and budgeting, and then I'll order a few things online.  My parents will be fine and the rest won't matter.


Serifm said...

So sorry about your stress. I completely understand. I am terrible with money and have to stash large amounts of cash at a terribly inconvenient bank in another county in order to save anything at all.

I think you should cut your shopping down to 3 people and call it a day. I know you bought some stuff for your Wee One already, so that just leaves your parents. Almost done!

Funky Mama Bird said...

I HEAR you on the money stress front. I get paid once a month and have to make it last - it's very stressful.

One suggestion I have is this: Get your daughter a fleece sleep sack. Gunne wears one over a cotton one so we can keep the heat down low at night to save money - it really works, he stays toasty. They cost $14 on Amazon and she can't kick it off no matter how much she rolls - I know; my kid sleeps in every weird position known to man.

Good luck!

Laraf123 said...

I am usually good (maybe, just ok) with money but lately it has been going through my hands like water. I have definitely overspent on presents this year. I already have buyers' remorse that most people don't get until the 26th. This can't be good...

FruitFish said...

I totally get the heat thing. I got my bill for this month and whined a little, since I thought I had been doing better than last year, and was already pretty cold. So I went to the programmable thermostat and lowered it two degrees at every interval. After all I have to try to use that money to pay down debt so that I can try to ttc. Then I thought, great my kid is going to be bundled up just to go to bed.
My parents cut way back on what we got this year (probably 1/5 of what they usually spend on Christmas) and I have to say I enjoyed getting things just as much, but was way more excited and interested in what my nieces received. And their parents do not really buy much for them, because they know they are going to get things from others (doesn't hurt that they are little also.) And my sister was wrapping presents and my niece brought her one of her stuffed animals to wrap as well. So she wrapped it. The next day when I got over there it was still wrapped up, so my sister called her into the room to open her "surprise." It was so adorable, because once she opend up her beloved animal her eyes lit up and she looked at my sister and said "Oh, thank you, mommy!!!!" Hugged it and ran off to play. So I guess you can wrap up a loved toy :)