Monday, March 29, 2010

Monthly Progress Report...

Below is my monthly progress report. I lost it this weekend.

My friend’s birthday was on Friday. I was originally going to skip the birthday dinner but felt bad since she’s been to my last two birthday dinners. OF COURSE it was at an expensive Chicago restaurant, OF COURSE I had to take a taxi to get there, OF COURSE we split the bill, OF COURSE it ended up costing me $60 and OF COURSE, 5 out of the 6 people at dinner were women attorneys working at firms so it was a drop in the bucket for them. I did bum a ride off one of my friends back to the parking garage so I saved myself another taxi ride there.

On a side note, my best friend knows I am strapped for cash so we just met up on Friday for a $27 Thai lunch instead of going to an expensive restaurant. That was her birthday gift. She even told me I should skip the dinner when we were out at lunch. I should have listened to her.

My other friend who wanted to go on vacation was at the birthday dinner on Friday. I finally told her the "real deal" and I think she finally gets that I am pretty strapped financially. She is also coincidentally the friend who gave me ride back to the garage. Her firm pays for her monthly parking downtown.

I get paid tomorrow. It’s been 33 days since my last paycheck. I tend to lose my focus in the last week before I get paid again because it seems like it’s never going to happen.

April should be a better month but it is going to be very tight. I have to pay my quarterly water bill ($107), a straggling medical bill ($45) and for parking passes ($190). I got another medical bill in the mail for $30. I am going to call them because I don’t think they accounted for my $30 co-payment. I can get a copy of the cancelled check for proof if needed.

  • The deficit is the reason for my low $100 checking account balance.
  • No additional debt and everything paid for with cash and debit.
  • I allotted more for transportation and Food & Dining in April.
  • I am going to talk to my family & friends about gifts and let them know I have to cut back.


6 comments:

Broke by Choice said...

Good job on March. I can sense your frustration over the dinner. Once you talk your family & friends I hope they will have a better understanding on how to best be supportive of your goals.

Anonymous said...

WCB,

It will be easier to admit to having no cash to friends and family once you start doing it. You will find that a lot of other people are "posers" as well, and will welcome someone else who wants to pay off their student loans (at least for me, it is almost always student loans/some amount of credit card debt.)

What worked well for you this month?

What didn't?

And how will you address those issues?

I have to say that I lived in Chicago and do you really need to take cabs as much as you do? The CTA isn't the best, but it is better than a $20 cab ride. Is that something that is doable?

Is that something you can give up? And take the CTA instead?

Anyway, you are doing a good job of tracking your money and being more realistic. And you are being good about confronting your choices.

I will say again, your real friends will not mind that you have no money for a $60 dinner. Certainly there are other social activities that don't cost that much to do instead?

Hang in there!

Kris

Aaren said...

Just be warned: if you tell your friends and family about having to cut back on gifts, they might get mad at you for having spent the money in the first place!

I echo everything Kris said. Analyzing the good and bad is so important, especially as you know expenses will be increasing soon. And having a support system that knows the situation is a relief! You don't have to carry that burden alone (that's what we're here for right?! :D).

Looking forward to even better progress in April!!

Anonymous said...

if you had dinner with 5 lawyers then hey put it down to networking for a job :)

But just one point, you assumed that $60 was a drop in the ocean for the others at the table. The general public assume that all lawyers are very well paid and prosperous, this is a myth, people watch too much TV. Not everyone works at Biglaw and gets starting salaries of $120k plus, unfortunately a lot of lawyers are not making much more than garbage men and plumbers and these days :)

Anonymous said...

You have the take action to cut this deficit now, remember bootcamp :)

2 things jump out at me:-

1. several hundred dollars spent on eating out and grocery/household! Look I know you said you dont cook, but you MUST learn to cook, there are loads of one pot receipies that you can be made easily and cheaply

2. Transportation expenses! wow thats a lot of money nearly $500! Look, unless you live out in the boonies can you take the bus instead of driving and parking?

Those look like 2 of the biggest drains of your non fixed expenses

Revanche said...

You should most definitely tell your friends and family that you're on a very tight budget now. They should rally around and be willing to find less expensive options or at least understand when you opt out of pricy gatherings.

It takes some practice and compromise, but you can still have a social life on a string.

And who knows? Maybe your forthrightness will prompt some of them to reconsider how they're spending, too.