Multi-millionaires are now only millionaires. They have to travel within the country rather than internationally. Maybe they even have to fly coach. I have not slept through the night in months. I wake up with bile in my throat all the time. I stay at home because I can not bring myself to pay the $1.50 to take the bus anywhere. When I do take the bus somewhere I am in a rush the entire time. The last thing I want to have happen is to go over the time limit and have to spend another $1.50 to get home.
It's frustrating to not be able to invest in things, no matter how financially beneficial they may be to my future. Last Saturday I had to take the bus to another part of the city for a job (application). I was at the bus stop early, but the bus was even earlier and pulled away just as I got there. I ran down to another bus stop. Missed that bus too. Panic set in. It was hard enough to spend $1.50 for the bus, now I was contemplating spending over $10 on taking a cab, because I couldn't risk being late. (Ultimately I took three buses and got there five minutes early.)
Golden Boy is letting me borrow his car this weekend, and I was going to ask if he minded if I used it to go over to Target, to buy some cleaning and paper supplies I need. The kitchen sponge is falling apart and I barely have any Tide left, for example. Toilet paper is low. But there's no point, because I can't afford it. I will have to hope that 9 a.m. buys new sponges. I will have to wait.
A couple of years ago I used to try to encourage a friend to buy supermarket items (that didn't spoil) that were bigger, pointing out how they cost less per ounce. Each time she'd reject my idea, saying she couldn't afford it. I apologized to her about a month ago. I don't know how she didn't smack me.
It's frustrating at this time of year, especially. Every commercial is about holiday shopping. Everything you see out there has to do with consumerism. Sales. Buy things to stimulate the economy. I hear snippets of news that the idea of lowering interest rates for items bought in December is being tossed around. In an effort to encourage people to shop. To stimulate the economy. That won't help me.
I love my family, I love my friends. I would love to be able to give them things when I stumble across that perfect present. It would be nice to see a movie. It would feel wonderful to show people my appreciation for their generosity by doing more than just sending a thank you note.
My cousin on the East Coast wants to come out to San Francisco next spring. She gently inquired about staying with me, spending a few days here to explore the city. I want to say yes, of course. This is the type of relationship I have always wanted to have with my cousins. That I've always wanted to have as an adult, living on my own. But I'm hesitant to tell her to come. Even if I got a job tomorrow, I am so far in debt that five months from now I won't have enough money to show someone around the city.
So much of what we do involves money, especially living in a city. Even if I just wanted to go hike through Golden Gate Park. It costs money to take the bus to get there. And back, depending on how much time is spent there. Or you go for a long walk and then want to get a hot chocolate before heading home. I wanted to go somewhere, do something, for Thanksgiving this year. But you can't show up with empty hands. And since my pockets are empty, my hands remain empty. So I avoided talks about Thanksgiving plans as much as possible this year.
Lastly, it is frustrating to have money on the mind all the time. Everything always comes back to the money, and it's such a taboo subject. I have stopped reaching out to friends because getting together always costs money, and I feel wrong about letting others always pay. Last night I pulled out suitcases, but paused and looked at the biggest one. I've had it for over five years and never used that one. Could I sell it? For how much?
That's how I look at every single thing I own. How much is that worth and could I get money for it? I own two watches - one is professional and appropriate for work, while the other is more casual. Who needs a casual watch?! I don't need two watches. Hell, I have a cell phone, so I don't need any watches at all. I have four coasters - surely I could just put my drinks on top of a magazine. Wait, why do I need a subscription to Newsweek? If I cancel a magazine subscription that was a gift, will they send me the remaining money?
This is what I do instead of blogging. I look for jobs, and walk around my apartment trying to figure out why I own four mugs and how much I could get for them. Oh yeah, and I obsessively look at my bank account balance. My hope is that I'll realize I reversed two numbers, and the balance will be higher than I thought it was.
Hasn't happened yet. But that won't stop me from compulsively checking.