It seems only too apt that for my birthday month, I was faced with a very adult situation: finance. I’m not good with money. In fact, I’m terrible with it. It’s during these monthly fiscal predicaments that I understand that perhaps one of the underlying reasons why I’m with the person I am today is because handling money is his forte (he makes it grow like one of those bean plants in gradeschool)–apart from his obvious good looks and irresistible charisma, that is.
My brother got me my first ever credit card last week. I’ve never had one before for the following reasons: I’m the stingiest person in the world and I’ve never felt the need for it. I don’t like the feeling of buying something I can’t pay for right away. It was only lately that I’ve begun to realize the efficiency of having one, first for emergencies, and second, because of my job. When I do food-tasting sessions for reviews or Top 10s, I pay for it with my own cash which seriously puts a dent in my monthly budget. Sure we get reimbursed, but it’s not a quick process, and I often find myself penniless during the waiting period in between. And third, most importantly (haha!), because I’ve been discovering the wonders of online shopping and how much money can be saved through discount websites.
When I got the card, I bought something online immediately the next day. Then the next. Then the next. Roughly, I’ve spent an amount over half my monthly salary. You can only guess where my this week’s paycheck is going. But add electricity bills to that. Add my cellphone postpaid bill. Add my driver’s license renewal bill.
Here’s a rundown of my expenses:
1. Gift for my godson
2. Boxing gear
3. Boxing vouchers
Here’s the thing, before I write anything else. I knew I was in a bind and I wasn’t planning on buying my godson’s gift yet since his baptism is in July. I looked at one of my shopping sites and saw the perfect gift for him, but it was out of stock. I registered for the waiting list, knowing that by the time they restocked, I’d be financially comfortable. I texted my friend who works for said website and asked how long it would take for them to restock the Chicco Air Trike, and she texted me with: Now! Buy now! Mabenta yun e. Sure enough, as soon as I refreshed the page, it read SALE. I bought it even before I received the email telling me it was back in stock.
It was a nightmare just imagining what I had to pay for and how I was going yo survive until my next paycheck on the 30th. But God, miraculously, always has a way of giving a helping hand to those who are desperate and stupid. It’s funny how I hate the concept of deus ex machina in literature, but I crave it in real life. Unfortunately, Jason isn’t here to help me allocate my earnings to pay for the piling bills, and truthfully, I want to do it by myself while he gets some much needed RnR and male bonding with his friend. I’ve been spending the past week just crunching numbers and burning the buttons of a calculator, rewriting and re-computing over and over again.
First the credit card bills: I had to sell something I owned just to make things a little lighter (and it was only lucky that someone bought it in time!). Thankfully, some of my reimbursements arrived promptly, alleviating the cost as well as my stress levels. In the end, I only have to deduct the P2,000 from my salary to fully cover everything.
Electricity bill: This is something I do monthly, my only small contribution to helping our I our household, so it’s staple deduction to my regular income.
How I dealt with my monthly phone bill I have to attribute to my aversion to change–as in the jiggle kind. My postpaid plan amounts to P1,800 a month, but I always pay P2,000. My bill has been negative the last two months, but I exceeded last month. Ultimately, I only have to pay P826.
Phew! I’ve also separated my bills + future expenses in different compartments in my wallet, just so I won’t accidentally spend anything. With everything accounted for, I have enough for my commuting fare to work and incidentals (I need a huge amount for this because I never know when I need to spend something for work), plus my license renewal fee, which I keep overlooking.
It’s a combination of naiveness and what we call in Bicolano, “pagkanali,” and an excess of upcoming celebrations and parties…plus my lack of control whenever there’s a good deal (hey boxing vouchers!). My first official encounter with financial woes is so far turning out to be a success–but mostly due to luck. Wish me more luck next month!
I actually borrowed money from my brother (there’s a small credit cap on the card he gave me, he probably predicted my tendency to go nuts) to pay for my mom’s gift hahaha. I tried to use my card, but I was FORTUNATELY rejected! Her birthday is next month and I saw something online that I couldn’t pass up, especially since delivery would take about a month or so. Earlier today, I also saw another amazing deal for my little nephew who’s also celebrating his birthday in July. I’ve been looking for that toy for a few weeks and it was the last in stock! I paid in cash with my “incidentals.”
GOOD LUCK, Sasha in July!