This is my second week on the new part-time schedule and pay. It will also be my first paycheck with the change so I sat down today to estimate what that number should be.
THEN – because I’m apparently a glutton for punishment – I also sat down and listed out my bare minimum expenses. And I do mean bare minimum. There was no line for contributing to savings (not that I have in months). There was no “play money” buffer. Just rent, groceries, gas, credit cards (that I’m not USING but still have to pay off), storage unit… (Yes the storage unit is bare minimum. The full contents probably aren’t worth what I pay each month – certainly not worth the hundreds of dollars already spent – and while I probably wouldn’t miss most of the boxes, there are a few sentimental pieces that can’t be replaced. So for the foreseeable future, it’s a bare minimum expense because traveling 1,800 miles to load up a moving van and drive back is obviously NOT in the budget anytime soon.)
I added up the bare minimums. Funny how much that “expense” column outweighs that “income” column. It’s like tossing Ryan Seacrest in the ring with Andre the Giant. If Andre’ were still alive and Seacrest didn’t emit toxic fumes from overuse of spray tans and hair products. Bottom line is…well the bottom line doesn’t balance. I can trim here and there. The grocery budget is generous. Gas usage will probably be greatly reduced. I can make TheKid start carrying his lunch. And I would like to pay off at least one credit card with tax refund money. I KNOW conventional wisdom says to have a strict budget. But this is one of those times when I don’t need to look at the numbers. This is one of those times when I shop accordingly (read: conservatively), when I rediscover the joys of walking and/or riding a bike for errands, when it’s easy to cull out necessities from luxuries. And this is one of those time to have faith that every day we will have exactly what we need. I think I’ll have that printed and hung up somewhere in the house – “We have exactly what we need for today.”
Right after my moments of self inflicted torture I checked twitter to find that a great guy and new dad was just laid off. He’s a web designer and from what I’ve heard, a talented one – though I’ve never seen his work and am ill equipped to judge what is good in web designing. Point is, he’s one of thousands in this area flooding the job market. So I AM thankful that I have a job that, even part-time, pays me more than most full time ones would right now.