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I am struggling.

July 26th, 2008 at 11:56 am

Well, this month has been a struggle to track expenses, and I've all but given up. With visitors, weird bills, and a work conference, I haven't kept up with it like I should have. I did well the first half of the month though, so I can go back and look at that I suppose. Otherwise... here's to August!

My work conference was GREAT. I had dreaded it a bit before I left, mostly because I thought I'd be miserable without BF and feel left out because I didn't have a roommate, etc.

Looking back on it, the group of people I was with was truly amazing. We're all around the same age (22-26), and we all got along so well that it was really surprising. I expected to be in meetings and presentations all day, then at night for a few people to hang out, but mostly be in my hotel room. It turned out the complete opposite.

We had alot of speakers, and met SO many executives and even the CEO. It's weird to stand up and introduce yourself to the CEO of your company, especially when he already knows everything you're about to tell him. And afterwards, we all hung out together. One night it was a structured event because we had dinner with some execs from different departments, but the rest of the time it was up to us. It's kind of crazy that we all came in not knowing each other, and in 5 days, we were seriously sad to leave.

I did miss BF, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We were so busy with structured stuff during the day, and socializing at night, that it wasn't that bad at all.

We all came out as friends, with some people closer than others. The girls were grossly outnumbered by the guys, but everyone meshed really well. Every meeting we went to, the presenters or facilitators would end up telling us "My stomach hurts from laughing with you guys so much" and "I've never seen such a close group".

When we got out of our last bit of training yesterday afternoon, everyone was tired, but ready to go back to our individual work places and put it into action. A few of us stayed a little longer to exchange some self-study materials, and it was cool to walk out of the building and see your whole group waiting on the rest of us, not wanting to leave.

And then we all decided to run to McDonalds for our last meal together, and there were alot of handshakes and hugs afterwards before heading home. We joked that we were going to insist on all being in the same district. We'd either be the best or the absolute worst in the company, lol.

I'm off work today, which I would normally be pumped about. But having so much stuff I want to get started on, change, learn, it kind of sucks that I have to wait until Monday now. While at the conference, I did get a binder about our big project at the end of our training, so I could start looking through that today. I can also try to knock out a few more self study assignments I suppose, if I really feel like accomplishing something.

I have been depressed all day, and it's kind of hard to pin-point the reason. Part of it is going from a very busy, very social past 5 days, back to the same ole routine. I went from Starbucks, meetings, training, executives, having drinks with new friends, and travelling to new places, back to an apartment that needs to be cleaned, a truck that needs to be washed, and bills that need to be paid. And BF did have to work today, so now I am sitting alone bored.

Another thing I'm struggling with now... at our conference, I really got to compare my life with the other people's. I know it's difficult to tell what's really going on in someone's financial life, but since we're all around the same age, in the same job, with the same salary (yes, we all figured that out)... who better to compare yourself to?

And here's what I found out: 3/12 of us were engaged, 1/12 was married, 3/12 were in long-term relationships, and 5/12 were single. 3/12 either owned a home or were in the process of buying. From the vehicles that I saw, most were 2004 or later models. Everyone I rode with had a navigation system, and XM radio. Everyone had nice clothes and cell phones... fitting for young business people I suppose.

I know many of you will look at all that as over-the-top, and I really tried to, but I couldn't help but get a little depressed over my situation. I live in the highest cost-of-living area out of anyone, and I also pay the most in gas driving back and forth. (Rent would be much higher if I lived closer to work). I have a truck that has been dependable for the most part, but is starting to show its age and wear. No navigation system, I got lost and ended up at an international airport on the way down because I was trying to read BF's handwritten directions. And the radio I have usually doesn't even change channels. I push all different buttons, but it stays on the same channel until it feels like changing.

While everyone was wearing Ralph Lauren shirts, I went to Target and got 2 shirts for $6, because I literally had nothing else but dress clothes. And the dress pants I had, I got at Walmart the day before I went.

I know my situation could be alot worse, and I am truly thankful for what I do have, but it's difficult when you see people in the same position in life, and they are able to do so much more just because they live in a different area, where they pay $500 less rent every month, and $400 less in gas. Grrrr.

Now that I'm done whining, I will say that I could go out and buy a navigation system right now. But then I'd just want to get a satellite radio for the long drives to and from work. And why get a nice radio and satellite system when I have no room for anyone in my 2-seater truck, and it isn't too fancy itself.

So the grim realization is that I have debts to pay, expensive rent due in a week, and gas isn't getting much cheaper.

It's depressing, it really is. I don't want to look back when I'm 30, and be in the same position as I would've been if I had actually spent some money on "frivolous" things that would've made life a bit more fun. I guess I just have the temporary mentality of - you are only young once, why not enjoy it?

Well, now that I have talked all this out, and maybe understand it a bit better, I think I will go see about paying some bills. Maybe it will make me feel a little better to see the amounts on BF's student loans go down a bit, as well as our credit cards.

The only thing I do seriously consider is the truck. If I were to get a gas-saving car, I could almost justify the trade. I get about 20 MPG in my truck, and with $3.90/gallon gas and driving 90 miles every day, the savings could add up. But then again, if I'm going to have a car payment, I would want to get something that I'm going to be happy with for a long time. With BF, and a big dog that likes to ride, I don't know if a Civic is the best choice.

I don't want to go buy a Civic or Corolla, and then the next training position I'm in be somewhere with lower costs, where I can live right next to work and save $800/month. At that point, I could deal with paying a car payment and having the gas mileage of a smaller SUV.

Something to think about. But right now, I'm struggling with all kinds of emotions. The best solution may just be to pay some bills, and chug along on my work assignments, hopefully I can get to that cheaper location sooner.

10 Responses to “I am struggling.”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    You know what, you should get rid of the "you are only young once" thought!! I am over 60 and I feel young. I paid off my house, paid my bills and saved as hard as i could when I was younger. Now, I have no debt, nice large home free and clear, sportscars and I am enjoying life. Take it easy, you will be young for a very very long time!!

  2. sillyoleme Says:

    lol, thanks Ima. I feel a little better.

  3. boomeyers Says:

    Don't think of this as punishment, think of it as making wise choices. And someday, when you and BF can get married and be debt free, it will be because of those wise choices. Then you can buy a house and when you have kids, if you save wisely, you can choose whether you want to stay home for a while, or keep working. But again, it will be a CHOICE, not forced.

    Have you looked into any ride share programs in your area? Even if you could drive in part way and share the rest of the way? Just a thought.

  4. baselle Says:

    Oh wow - envy is the one emotion that unchecked can kill your goals. Remember that they are all struggling with debt and money issues - their rent might be cheaper, but they've put that "saved" money somewhere else. Or are their credit card bills something to be ashamed of?

    Rediscover why you picked where you picked to live. Their rent might be cheaper...but they might have to suffer from something else. Cheap rent, but nothing to do or ugly surroundings or bad neighbors.

  5. sillyoleme Says:

    Yes, I wish I could say that I loved where I lived enough to justify the rent, but unfortunately that isn't the case. In the position I have with my employer, I had to relocate here. The apartments in the town I actually work in were $1300-$1500 plus security deposits and pet rent. Where I am now, roughly 40 minutes away via interstate, is $875 for a brand-new three bedroom, and I got the first month's rent free. I would have gladly lived closer to work, but not paying $700 more in rent for a less desirable place.

    Most everyone else got to live/work in a small town, not a suburb of a big city (in my case, Baltimore & Washington DC). I am hoping that my next placement (about 6 months from now) will be in a town like that. One of the guys is actually working in my hometown at the moment, he lives right beside his store and pays $300/month. I'm actually really shocked that the company didn't figure our salaries based a little on cost-of-living.

  6. aevans1206 Says:

    I live in an area with VERY high living expenses. I've stopped comparing myself and others and live completely for the goals I've set for myself and my family. Hang in there. One day it will all pay off, especially your diligence, budgeting and constant effort to achieve what you want out of life.

    My mother just cut out a lot of extra expenses for her and my father, one of which is her XM radio, which she states she absolutely does not miss. All of those extras never really make anyone happy.

    And don't give up on tracking your expenses. I'm not the best at it either and sometimes I feel like I'm taking one small step forward and a giant leap back. If you always know how to get back to base, it will get more comfortable and you'll understand the process a bit more. You are way ahead of the game, young lady Smile

  7. whitestripe Says:

    hmmm. i sometimes get a familiar feeling when i look at facebook profiles of people i went to school with. there are a couple who are married, many (i mean, MANY) have kids (fortunately i do not feel jealous of that just yet), only a couple have a house, a few that i know of have interesting jobs and SO many of them have nice cars, and i mean, brand new, nice cars. i have a 1998 nissan pulsar, and sometimes i get the feeling where i would love to just go and get a loan and buy a nice car like they do, but then again, i check myself, and realise it's not what i want. and i will only ever be ok with doing that if it was something that I WANT. so my advice is to only do something if it is for you, not because someone else has it. Big Grin

  8. ladymiller Says:

    Just wantd to say I enjoyed your letter and wanted to comment. Please don't give in to others "keeping up with everyone else" attitude. I have experienced the same thing before. But we don't know the huge debts that others are racking up to pay for the expensive clothes, cars, GPS's, and partying!! You may see a happy go lucky attitude but what about when the party is over. The bills start coming in and the sleepless nights worring about paying those bills start.

    I commend you for you good attitude. Be encouraged!!

  9. sillyoleme Says:

    Thank you everyone, I really and truly appreciate your comments. Because everyone seemed so interested, I decided to be completely honest... so I'm adding another blog in a few seconds, with a little more detail. Frown

  10. ME2 Says:

    For all you know, 11/12 of the people you were with are in debt up to their eyeballs.

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