I don’t really know why I’m doing this.
I just get these urges sometimes…
To conduct experiments and things, with my life.
This time, the experiment is total financial transparency.
Meaning, every Sunday for a year, I am going to post about:
-How much money I have
-What I earned in the past week (and where it came from)
-What I spent in the past week (and exactly what I spent it on)
-Ideas, budgeting methods, and goals pertaining to money
Today, the report will be basic, because I haven’t really been keeping track of expenses lately.
But one thing is for sure: If I didn’t spend money on self-limiting coping mechanisms (food and cheap beer are my fallback), I’d have a lot more money than I do.
My tendency is to do really well with self-control for a while, build up some funds, and then slip up once.
But it’s never once. You probably know how it goes.
The slip ups keep occurring, usually until I am broke.
Sometimes, I’ve thought about keeping the receipts from food and alcohol binges. As a reminder.
Or at least logging that information in some way, so that I can face the way it impacts me financially.
But I’ve always ended up throwing them away.
But from now on, I am going to share it all.
Every can of Steel Reserve. Every box of Nutty Bars. None of it gets to hide anymore.
I don’t know. Because I can.
It’s an approach that could open me up to plenty of judgment and criticism.
But also suggestions, conversation, and accountability.
So let’s get started.
My current financial situation:
Checking account: $6.24
Savings: $5.69 ($.69 available)
Google Wallet: $0
Food stamps (to last until May 7): $19.41
As you can see, I don’t have much to work with.
To make food stamps last until May 7, that would be approximately $1.35 a day.
My monthly expenses are covered for April.
Planet Fitness membership: $20.05 (auto-paid from checking on the 17th of each month)
ConvertKit: $29 (auto-paid from checking on the 20th of each month)
So that’s $49.05 a month in expenses.
Which means I need about $42.81 to be all set for May.
Which is completely doable, via some freelance web design services I’m doing.
And a trickle of passive income from my books.
And I could market my writer coaching business more.
Sometimes, I feel like I could go out and get a “normal person” job.
Anxiety and depression are like landmines though.
Some days I can function and adapt, but other times I feel pretty much useless.
And it’s difficult to be excited about earning money, when I expect myself to piss it all away.
So, part of my money plan is to address some mental health concerns that have been holding me back through most of my life.
And to be real with myself (and people who can help me) about my dependencies on alcohol and junk food.
It was recently brought to my attention that SMART Recovery meetings are now in my area.
SMART is a mutual aid system with a similar purpose to Alcoholics Anonymous, but the methodologies and recovery philosophies resonate with me more in SMART than in AA.
Since my dependencies on maladaptive coping mechanisms are a massive part (perhaps the core part, or close to it) of my financial obscurity, my goal for this week:
Attend a SMART Recovery meeting. Specifically (just to be crystal clear with myself): Tuesday, April 25 at 7pm at 217 N. Sycamore.
Also, I have an appointment with a therapist on Wednesday.
Another goal is to get out of my own way when I go to that appointment.
To be receptive, humble, and honest (first with myself, then with the therapist).
Third and final weekly goal:
Post next Sunday (April 30) with a detailed, accurate report of all income and expenses (even if it’s incredibly embarrassing).
I don’t really know why I am doing this.
But when I figure it out, I’ll let you know…
And off we go…
Also published on Medium.