Tuesday, May 04, 2010

No Money, Mo Problems

Sorry for leaving you hanging with these Coachella posts - they just aren't pressing at the moment. I'm going through an extremely rough time right now, in more ways than one. Though the big ONE is my whole money situation. After the whole bedbug disaster on the trip, then consequent loss of much-needed funds, I'm in the scariest financial situation that I've ever been in and I am not done being angry over it.

You see, when you are on a fixed income to start with and have a ridiculously tight budget, a few extra (hundred) dollars owed really throws you for a loop. I could barely survive before and I can barely survive now. What sucks the most is that I can't even rely on my parents for help... because my mother is the one I owe the extra money to (when my friends went to another hotel, I had to put my room on my mom's credit card - she was gracious enough to let me do it, but now I know my mom's in debt over this too).

So now, that money goes to her to get her out of the debt and I can't afford groceries or my car payment this month. I really don't know what to do. My boyfriend can't even help me because HE'S in the same amount of debt I am now. I've never seen him more angry or stressed out either because of this.

Anyway - rest assured that I am at least able to pay my mortgage and most of my bills. But this aggrafucking situation is more annoying now because I'm trying to eat better but all the healthy food is the most expensive. I'm trying to work out with my personal trainer but even though she charges 60% less than other trainers AND she's letting me pay when I can, it's still a lot of money (but this is important with me so I'm sticking with it!)

I guess it could be worse... I could not afford my mortgage and have to declare bankruptcy. At least I am barely squeaking by. I am grateful for that, believe me.

But it doesn't really take away the feeling that life isn't fair... and why is it the people who are the most financially unstable the ones who get screwed over by life? How come the rich, spoiled people of the world don't get touched? Irony. I guess.

Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger? Believe me when I say that this is something that I won't forget.

Anyway, I'm not just writing this to get it all off of my chest (which I am, and thanks, it is making me feel better) but I also wanted to get some feedback off of you.

Since my bf and I are poor as churchmice for the next month or two (or at least until the debt from the hotel is paid off), we are looking for suggestions on what the fuck to do with ourselves.

Luckily, we aren't really going out types - we are homebodies at heart. But we honestly can't afford to go to any bars, restaurants, birthdays, shopping trips, social events, movies, trips, weddings, etc.

So, what are some nice, low-cost (or free) things that you like to do?
One of mine is having a picnic on the beach.

Also, for those who are also money-conscious and into HEALTHY (and/or low cal, low/suagr) eating, please share below (in the comments) some of your best meal and snack ideas! I've got some great ones when I posed this question on Twitter.

Thanks everyone and hopefully I'll get back to posting regularly and happily once my pulse goes back down to normal :)

PS here is one good piece of good news! During the whole bedbug room change in the middle of the night, I left my SLR camera behind. I didn't even notice until days later (because I had been using my point and shoot). Luckily when I called the hotel, they still had it and sent it to me by express mail, free of charge :)


Kristin said...

I'm so sorry. I have SO been there. Maybe you could get a short term loan from your bank? Also, a lot of times you can call the bank that has your car loan and have them add a payment to the end of your loan so you don't have to pay this month. Things will turn around lady. Have faith!

Wanderlusting said...

Thanks! It's just my car insurance which is $107 a month - I don't have car loans, my car is paid for (thank GOD!). It'll just bounce and then I'll get charged a little fee next time but still annoying!

myedit said...

Boo urns.... money situations suck. I did a little math and in the last month we have ponied up almost $3000 for debt etc. (taxes, Matt's hockey...). ugh...
Tips for poor entertainment... check out local stuff, most places have days or special evenings when admission is free.
And my best each well but cheap tip is to add flax seed or frozen chopped spinach (both cheap) to all that you can. Seriously, they both go in a lot and help the old digestive tract...

Something She Dated said...

Depending on how much debt you're looking at and how much you need to cut back...first thing I'd suggest is instead of going to the grocery store with a list...go with a calculator and a dollar amount...I don't know if it's the recession or what but safeway is going a little nuts with their new "yellow signs" showing savings...

That and sell shit on ebay...and cancel stuff (like cable, cell...but make sure the re-up fee isn't steep first)

Good luck buddy :) Plus when in doubt...reach out...it's not like we've talked since highschool but if you're starving...at my house we serve a mean egg white and spinach fritatta :)

Glitter Scrubs - Lesley said...

Aww man :(

that sounds like a scary thing! I hope it passes quickly for you guys. I hate when things just come at you all at once! I try to curb my spending, but cutting back is one thing, banks and bills don't take too kindly when I don't pay on time.

However, it would be really dumb of me to sit here and think I've been in a similar money situation, because I still live at home and don't have a clear grasp on what it's like to have to pay mortgage or things like so I'll steer clear of the that, but I'd love to pilfer other's ideas that they share with you :)

Some things I like to do for cheap/free around town (and some even involve excercise!)

Grouse Grind is free to climb and $5 to ride the gondola down.

My friend and I became obsessed with rollerblading the seawall last summer. Holy calorie burner. The views are stunning too!

Craigslist. I've sold so much on there it's embarrassing lol. Even though I think you cleared your closet recently you're so creative with your posts I'm sure people would jump at the chance to wear the same stuff as you.

Summon the sunshine, pack a lunch and a book and head to the beach.

Good ipod tunes and walks are my fav free things to do.

I attempt make 50% of my plate veggies cuz meat and what not is pricey. (note: this does not appear to work with travel. I'm seriously lacking nutrients! help!) sometimes it has to be the cheapies like carrots, but I don't mind. I should try to grow my own garden lol.

Hope this passes quickly!

Ginny said...

my cheap healthy go to meal is rice with veggies. Rice is cheap and you can usually find some good veggies to throw in and it's filling.

daisychain said...

Food wise, how are you with tofu? Versatile, great for protein and super cheap from Asian supermarkets x

Anonymous said...

Just a thought...you could sell your condo and move out of Vancouver. By a house in a smaller city for probably a third of what your condo is worth and be debt free. Then you can travel to the city anytime you want, and you don't owe money. Living out of the city is wayyyyy cheaper.
Just a thought...plus there's more good jobs elsewhere right now. I look at it this way, you can work to live or live to work. In Vancouver you're all working to survive, in the rest of BC you're working to live...and have disposable income!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear the challenges you're going through! You guys will definitely get through this... As for things to do on the cheapy side:

- Along with the beach / park theme, get a frisbee or soccer ball and play on
- Go swimming in the local pools
- Vancouver Art Gallery has some free nights for the public
- Make more potluck dinners / brunches with friends (make a healthy dish)
- Walking anywhere and everywhere
- Borrow / lend books, magazines, DVDs among friends. Swap!

To the comment made by the Annonymous post about moving out of Vancouver. You bring up some strong points about it being ridiculously expensive to live in the city. You don't know how much I'd love to live elsewhere in BC (outside of the Lower Mainland) and buy a home without selling my soul to the devil. It's easy to say to move to a smaller town, but it's not always easy to transfer careers. Not everyone can work from home, and small towns don't have massive construction projects to manage(as per my occupation). Perhaps I need to ring in more debt and go to school to change careers? Who knows... :-)

Wanderlusting said...

Great advice everyone!

Anonymous (#1) - My mortgage is cheap, considering. Because I split it with my bf, we only pay $362 a month each.

So, obviously, living Vancouver isn't the problem.

It's called being unemployed and surviving off of EI until I can find a suitable job.

Remember, I had no problems paying bills, etc when I had a job...

ALSO - I love living in Vancouver. I JUST LIVED IN A SUBURB FOR 10 MONTHS. I am thankful to be back.

Wanderlusting said...

And I should probably clarify to everyone that this "debt" I am in is a matter of $250 each that we both owe to my mom. If I had a job, I would easily just pay it but since my government cheques barely cover my cost of living as it is, it's really hard to come up with $250 just lying around. We are cutting corners everywhere.

I know I can pay it back somewhat easily over time but... you know, the money is owed to my mom. Doesn't help with the guilt factor.

Wanderlusting said...

OH and I have to point out that I bought my condo for $140K... if I sold it now I would get $160K at most (I know because I have talked with realtors).

Are you telling me I can buy a house in the lower mainland for $160K? I don't think so.

SheLikesToTravel said...

My favorite thing to do when funds are tight is check out the library. They have great DVDs and CDs to check out, my branch shows movies frequently on weekends and they offer a lot of different classes. (Some include job finding network.) So helpful and fun... and free!

Wanderlusting said...

GREAT idea... library!! I should renew my card, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Suck it up Princess!Many people live on less then you and they have children to support. Get rid of your personal trainer and start prioritizing. ALSO! tell your boyfriend to get a job. If times are so rough, he should go out and get a 9-5 like everyone else. Its great he wants to be a musician but there comes a time when we all have to give up some things in life or temporarily put it on hold. Prioritize and grow up! I've been living on EI in TORONTO for four months now with many bills but there is no way I would spend money on a trainer. I wanted to work out so I bought a work out tape from Walmart. I think you can do more.

Wanderlusting said...

Thanks Anonymous, for proving exactly why I'm moderating comments. Jealously is SO unbecoming. As is just being a bit of a moron in general.

You ASSUME my trainer is expensive (she's cheaper than a bunch of DVD's from Walmart - and probably A LOT more effective :)) and you assume my boyfriend doesn't have a job because he's a musician (he works 830-5PM, 5 days a week, which I mention often on the blog).

Next time you attempt to look intelligent, try reading my blog first instead of making assumptions on someone you quite obviously know NOTHING about :)

But anyway, thanks for giving me and boyfriend a good laugh tonight. Dumb people ARE good for something :D