Money, Money, Money

I have written a post with this exact title before.  And I actually wasn’t planning on writing this post until tomorrow.  But the post I wanted to write today needs a little more time to stew and be put together (read: I haven’t started it yet and it will be much harder to throw together on a whim, like I am doing with this one).

So, as most of you know, money has been a huge bone of contention with me (I wanted to come up with something witty to say here, but when you’re writing on a whim, it doesn’t always come very easily).  I have had issues with having enough money to do things that I need to do.  And I have definitely had issues with having enough money to do things that I want to do. 

Part of the reason that money has always been an issue is that I have not had a full time job.  Ever, really.  And you might be thinking that this is weird for a 25 year old woman.  And, ordinarily, I would agree. 

But I don’t.

See, when I was a high schooler, I wouldn’t have had a full time job anyway, and so I babysat.  And I was a great babysitter.  It gave me the spending money I needed, although not always as much as I wanted, and nurtured my love for children.

In college, I got a work study job and then moved on to being an RA.  Well, let me tell you something.  Being an RA is a lot of hard work.  A lot.  And even though I technically only got paid for 20 hours of work a week, I definitely worked at least that much, if not more.  Add in the fact that I was an integral member of my student government delegation and my classes (with fieldwork in the schools) and I was stretched to the max without even having a “real” job.

Fast forward to when I leave college.  I want to be a teacher.  I live in New York (not the city, the state – you know, there is a whole state).  Well, teaching jobs are still hard to come by (and it’s my fourth year out of school now).  So, I subbed.  But if you want to be available to sub, you can’t get another job because then you won’t be available as a substitute.  Catch-22 right there if I ever saw one.

So, if I were in a “post-grad school” I would be in my fourth year.  I would be a senior.  Which would make you think that I was a pro at this “post-grad/real life” working.  Well, I am not.

Because this year is the first year that I have a “full time” job.  See, I don’t really have a full time job.  Well, technically, I do.  I am a long term substitute.  For the whole year.  And that is great.  Because it means, that for the first time in my life, I am not worrying about money.  I have decided to continue living at home since I don’t know what is going to happen next year, but if I wanted to leave, I could.

I am trying to save money for grad school (since I still have to go back) and I will.  And should be able to without a problem.

I am purchasing things that I want and need (new clothes?  new shoes?  a new TV?  a television show I love?  a book I want to read?). 

I can pay for gas.  I can pay my monthly bills without any problems (all of my student loans, my car payment, my car insurance, gas for my car).  I will even be able to purchase Christmas presents galore this year (if I want to). 

I actually have money in my bank account right now.  Money that is going to continue to grow because I am going to scale back on my spending.

Because I’ve gone a little spend crazy.  Because I can really.  And I haven’t had that opportunity before.  But I know that I need to stop and I need to be cautious and I can’t go too far, too quickly.

So, I am vowing here and now to stop spending so much.  To spend wisely.  Does this mean I won’t buy new things if I really like them and will use them?  Of course not.  It just means that I will look at my purchases more closely before buying them.  And I do that already anyway. 

Because when I can’t find a job next year, I want to be able to figure it out and to be smart about things.  And I will be.  It will all work out.  I am going to be fine.  Everything will be fine.  And I may even have some fun this year.

What are your money plans?  Have you ever found yourself in a position where you had more money than usual?

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