Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In Which Your Narrator Discusses the Lone Dollar in His Wallet

I have broken the law. Well, I think I have, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. Let's say I did because its more romantic that way. I just wrote the following on the lone dollar bill in my wallet: You Are Not Broke. I have had that dollar in my wallet for the week or so. I haven't spent it, I've been tempted, but I haven't. I did some great damage to my bank account recently. So, if you look at my bankbook you will see that I am practicing deficit spending, but not doing a very good job of it. But I have this lone dollar in my wallet and for some reason having the legend You Are Not Broke written across the top makes me feel better. That dollar has become my talisman. Its tough to look into my wallet and see nothing where the money should be except for my written upon dollar. Its my fault that I am in financial straights. I have too much outflow and not enough inflow when it comes to money. I have put the brakes on the outflow. I have been watching my bills carefully and made calls. I have gotten interest rates lowered and discovered charges that were not authorized and had them stopped. I have bought anything for fun in weeks. My only "fun" expenditure lately has been my monthly fee for netflix.

In May I had a little sitdown talk with myself and said "self, your spending too much money on things." I replied "self, you're right. we must stop!" I have stopped buying food in the cafe at work. At a dollar or two it doesn't seem like much, but add that up and it quickly becomes very much indeed. I have coffee can that I keep change in. I used to use it as a snack fund when at work or school, but now its used as a rudimentary savings plan.

I keep eyeing my credit cards while holding a scissor. I'm going to get to that soon enough, but there is a certain amount of fear over that and I know that's part of what the credit card companies want. They want me to beceome addicted to their cards. I have them in an envelope on a shelf somewhere. If I need them I can get to them, but I doubt I'll need them. Yes, you read that right "them." The fact that I have to discuss credit cards in plural makes me sick. I just realized that I have three Mastercards, a Discover Card, and my checkcard is a Visa. Oh, I have a JCPenny Card, too. Who needs that many credit cards?

I work in retail, so I see a lot of open wallets. I can tell you this: I got nothing in cards compared to some of the people I see. I wince when a card is declined and they dig through their wallets to get another one... and that one is declined... and they write me a check. I feel like saying "don't. you don't need it," but I can't. But its not about them, its about me.

I got myself into this mess and I'll be damned if I let it get any worse. The only debt I feel okay about is my car payement and student loan. Everything else... makes me feel like a schnook.

It does pay to call the credit card companies and ask to get your interest rate lowered. I did that today and it worked. The interest rates were lowered, considerably. The best rate I have now is ten percent, the worst is about 16. Thank God for internet paying. That has helped, but not a hundred percent.

What this boils down to is this: I have not been a good steward of the blessings God has given me.

So, I will keep that dollar in my wallet. The one that says You Are Not Broke. It shall be my talismans. I'll keep it there to remember. To remind myself.

1 comment:

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Hopefully you'll get that job; sounds like it could help right this situation.