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struggling with viewing money

i'm really struggling with how to view money. My paychecks are no longer regulated and stable, and i'm being frugal.. almost to the point of being cheap.

but i'm afraid if i let myself be less anxious about money, i would spend as much as i did while i was with dell.

today, i got a parking citation for $511. you read that right. apparently i blocked a disabled access ramp, it was unmarked, there was no disabled parking around it. i took some photos, and will probably take more, and andy and i are going to contest it, and maybe they will reduce it by several hundred dollers.

the city of austin has been changing parking laws, and extending the hours. i got the ticket at 6:52 pm. This was in downtown Austin.

my very stressful saturday is paying for this parking ticket.

but i can't think like that. i hate that i think like that. i cried over the ticket, and i feel sick to my stomach. but i have a very healthy savings, i haven't had to touch it, it's been 3 months since i quit my job. it's like i don't know how to think about money anymore. i can't be crazy spendy, but i don' t have to go crazy cheap and frugal.

why the fuck am i crying over $500?

i need to not care so much.

i need to not care.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
If it was unmarked, you've got a good chance of winning. I won a case against a two truck because the signs marking the lot were not legal.

I think it makes sense that it's taking you time to adjust. You were at your old job and old salary for a long time.

Also, even though I could currently pay off a $511 ticket with no struggle, I would probably still cry over it. That's a lot of money for a ticket, especially one that's unjust.
Jul. 22nd, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
i think the ludicrousness of that amount over a parking violation definitely contribute to the crying.
Jul. 22nd, 2011 06:42 am (UTC)

I think it's quite normal to be frustrated and sad over a parking-ticket of that magnitude, -especially- when it seems unfair, like this sure does, if the ramp is unmarked it doesn't seem reasonable to expect you to *guess* what it's for.

As for viewing money, my advice would be to try to decouple spending from immediate income, and couple it to *average* income instead. As you say, your income is fluctuating and unknown, but you've got good savings.

So I think a good thing to do would be to have a budget (I'm sure you do already) for spending, and review and adjust periodically.

For example, if you decide to review and adjust every half-year, then your spending should be compared with the *budgeted* spending, not with the (fluctuating and semi-random) income that month.

Basically, you want a smoothing-function for your income.

Oh, and Nadine ?

Surviving the 3 first months as a freelance wedding-photographer without touching spendings is AWESOME, you rock !

Jul. 23rd, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
i think you're right. i'm putting too much pressure on myself, so if i spend some of my savings, it's okay. it's what i had allocated already.. it's better to look at them on a month to month basis instead of tryign to allocate unsteady income.
Jul. 22nd, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
I love you.
Jul. 22nd, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Transitions are hard. Money is hard. Transitions with money? Yeah, tears make sense.

Anytime I need to change how I think about money (when I quit my job to go back to school, when I finished school and got a real job again, when I was unemployed, etc. etc.) I give myself a trial period.

Usually it's for 3 months. 3 months of careful spending and extra saving. 3 months where I pass on the sushi dinner out in favor of the grilled chicken in, pass on the new shoes, pass on the unnecessary. At the end of the three months, I see where I am.

Surplus? Sweet. I can see how big the surplus is, decide consciously how much more to save and how much more to spend.

Ate into savings? Crap. Where did I spend that I didn't need to? Where can I increase my earnings?

Then I just keep an eye on it. If every time the 1st of the month comes around, and my balances are higher, I'm going to stick with what I've been doing. If the 1st comes around and my balances are lower than last month, and I didn't do some big vacation, or big home improvement, or whatever, I'll buckle down.

Let go of the "I need not to care." So you care. Care. And then realize why you care. I'd care more that it felt unfair to get a ticket at all for an unmarked situation, let alone one as large as that.
Jul. 23rd, 2011 07:30 am (UTC)
you're wise :)
Jul. 23rd, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
That is a crazy amount for a ticket! What's with the extra $11?

I don't care how well off you are--$500 is plenty much to get upset about. Even millionaires would rather invest or spend that much $$ than spend it on something idiotic like that.

Good luck contesting. I agree with everyone else that you should be able to get it reduced to a more sane amount by showing that the ramp was not marked.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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