Sunday, April 16, 2006

Scared To Look

There is something important I need to know. The information is at my fingertips, a mouse click away. Yet, I hesitate, apprehensive about what I will find. But I've been in the dark for weeks, and I can no longer function like this. Ignorance isn't bliss, it's total paranoia. The damage is done and I must now look at the carnage. I don't want to, but I have to check my online banking statement. Lord, help me.

Five months ago, I resolved to be more fiscally responsible after hearing a thought provoking sermon on money management. I wasn't a financial train wreck, but there was definitely room for improvement. Immediately, I cut out unnecessary expenses like my unused gym membership and premium digital cable. I siphoned more money into savings to cover any emergency expenses. Most importantly, I resolved to get rid of all credit card debt. On a Sunday in November, in front of the entire church congregation I cut up my platinum Visa card and my Macy's charge card (my other cards had been lost when I left my wallet in a NYC cab). Starting with the smallest debt and working my way up, I vanquished thousands of dollars in debt in less than five months. I made a commitment to only buy what I could afford outright. I was on my way to financial freedom and it felt great.

It's amazing how quickly things fall apart. In a mere three weeks I have undone almost all of my progress. Well, maybe it's not that bad, but it sure feels like it. It started with a $110 pair of Lacoste flats I bought in an emergency (my feet were killing me, I had no choice), and has since snowballed out of control. I have been operating as if I have no budget, padding my wardrobe, purchasing trips, and eating out at every turn. Buyer's remorse is prompting me to return some of my purchases, however the meals are a wash cause they're already in the can, literally. Completely clueless as to how much is actually left in my account, I have begun operating on the "hope this works" plan. I hand my check card to the cashier then hope it works. Thus far it has, but I fear my luck is running out. But even worse than all the spending was going back on my vow to live credit card free. In a moment of extreme weakness, unabashed love, and sheer stupidity I opened up a new credit card. Damn that 10% discount promotion!

Okay, I need to suck this up and balance my checkbook so I can begin to undo the damage that I've done. But I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm scared to look.

14 comments:

FLS said...

LMAO!!
"Ain't no such thing as half way crooks/Scared to death or scared to look/ They shook."

There needs to be a Shook Ones Part III (bank acct rmx).

I've been on the run from finances for a couple of years now, hiding out in different countries, switching numbers up. I feel you 110%.

Good luck.

with sprinkles said...

I know the feeling all too well, but the longer you wait, the worse it well get. You can do it. It’s just one li’l click.

NML said...

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by my blog last week. You've reminded me that I really need to put more money off my credit cards! Good luck and if anything, do a balance transfer with the new card.

Lynn said...

Welcome to my world!

Rebelioness said...

It can't be that bad! But, this is what happens when you convince yourself that buying a $40 doo-rag is a worthy purchase! =D

I live in financial ruin so I'm never scared to look anymore. But I realize that a healthy bank account is about as hard to maintain as a healthy diet: you keep it up for a few months and then it seems you lose all sense of self-control and discipline. It'll get better with time...

Dirk the Feeble said...

Here's what you do - sell all of your earthly possessions and live off the land. And by "off the land" I mean "out of dumpsters." But at least you'll be financially secure!

Bebe Valentine said...

You have captured a conversation that I have with myself entirely too often! It's good to know that I am not the only person who is sometimes scared to check the online bank statement, fearful of what awaits.

Trish said...

I've been doing the rid myself of credit card thing, too. Good for you. It's hard as hell.

Don't waste anytime feeling bad. everyone falls off the wagon, sometimes. You can right right back on track

Btw, comfortable shoes are priceless. :)

Obese Girl said...

Hey honey, you know you can always share a breakfast with me - hell, I sure dun need all dem calories! Somehow I have a sneaky feeling that calories love me tho - but we'll rant on that some other day...

Firstly, a great whopping congratulation on yer past thriftiness... I mean, to be able to clear thousands of debt in less than 5 months is an amazing feat.

Go ahead hun, make that click. Assess the damage and feel bad about it. Just fer a bit.

Then brace yerself coz you've tighten the belts before.

You can do it again.

*hugs*

Sara said...

Okay I just stumbled in to your blog and seriously, you're awesome.... you have talent, and I'm going to keep stopping in.

As for the credit card thing, don't feel too bad... the credit card people set people up for failure. Young people just starting out their lives are the best targets They want to trap you with debt... and keep you that way for your entire life.. so just be glad that unlike most people you've caught on to the trap early.

Anyway I really enjoy your blog, and in the sea of crappy blogs out there that's saying along. Thanks for entertaining me.

kat said...

I was supposed to stay late at work tonight to balance my check book. It didn't happen. I'm too scared to look too!

Hill said...

Ha! "I hope this works..."

Totally. Been. There.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by, but I didn't see any "fuckity fuck fuck fuck"s anywhere...??

I'll be back to check your progress soon. =)

goodness gracious! said...

hello-thanks for stoping by my blog.

you know, research has shown that one needs practice when breaking bad habits. that is, it's rare for someone to just drop a bad habit cold turkey. usually you reform, and then something trips you up. the important thing is no not quit, but instead pay attention to what made you stumble and learn from it. with practice, you figure out what makes you stumble, and avoid those traps. practice makes perfect!

Maria said...

been there!