Finances and the Issue of the Sugar Daddy
Several years ago, before the birth of HP, I maintained an incredibly boring blog that detailed my journey to financial responsibility. It had few readers, and I wrote it mainly as an attempt to keep my efforts to climb out of credit card debt and to establish regular savings and budgeting strategies in check. It lasted all of three months. I grew bored with it, and with its demise so died my futile attempts at fiscal responsibility. I also snagged a new job that paid considerably more than my non-profit gig and began spending money willy-nilly with little regard for long-term savings.
Every month a modest yet not unimpressive flow of cash enters my bank account. Towards the end of every pay period I realize I have just barely enough money to scrape together for a pack of smokes, a yoga class, some food and a night out. Every month a vow to do better. And yet, I seem to repeat the same cycle over and over. Meanwhile, my peers buy condos, prance around town in designer threads, and take cool vacations, while I wonder why at 30, I can't seem to get my act together.
Mainly it seems, because I live in profound denial of my complete inability to budget for anything.
Today, I decided to take some small form of action. I printed out my bank statement from July, and using different colored highlighters, identified the main categories through which I spend and waste money, and identified how much I spent in each. I won't go into the details but lets just say that eating and drinking out constituted a shockingly high percentage of my income. Not as much as necessities such as rent/gym/utilities/credit card bills, but it was definitely up there. That's the problem with living in DC and having a social life: every 25 dollar bar tab or meal out begins to add up. And July was apparently a very social month for me.
While I ponder ways to reduce my expenditures in this category (like eating in more often) I decided there were other actions I could take to gain some control of my finances.
1.) Although I have an online savings account that yields a nice interest rate, I always forget to transfer money to it. Today I had my HR Manager here at work re-route 300 a month to said account from my paycheck.
2.) My stupid credit bill. Oh, how often do I forget about thee? Far too often. From here on out, on the 15th of every month, a certain sum of money will be routed to paying the beastly thing down.
I already have automatic payments for the gym and my cell phone bill, so those I don't have to worry about.
Really, there should be no reason why I feel as poor as I do now. I even established a monthly clothing and beauty budget.
Which brings me to another issues.
A certain gentleman in my life is growing somewhat insistent that I need to have in my possession some prettier clothes and some better shoes. Really, he's growing tired of seeing my feet in the same Circa by Joan and David black sandals with a modest two inch heal. All of my explanations that they're comfortable and I hate breaking shoes in have been met with deaf ears. Mr. 46 wants to buy me some new shoes. And while he's at it, he'd like to buy me some new clothes.
I should stop here and explain that it's not as if I regularly dress in rags. I have nice clothes, I am simply of the mentality that it's better to spend more on fewer items. Thus, I tend to wear the same jeans by Paige Denim; the same American Apparel tees; the same couple of dresses by Susanna Monaco, Theory and Ann Taylor time and again.
Friends of HP are ecstatic with this development. Who wouldn't want a semi-wealthy man buying them stuff? My knee-jerk quasi-feminist sensibilities however, are having mixed reactions. While I adore fashion (I've been a devoted reader of Vogue since elementary school and I regularly troll Panda Head and Bright Young Things for clothing advice), part of me can't help but believe that it isn't the place of a man to play Pygmalion with the object of his affections and desires. Part of me thinks that doing so illustrates some slightly dark and power dynamics that I'd rather not think about, yet that tend to hover just beneath the surface of my relationship with 46 as it already is.
Yeah, I know. I'm totally reading too much into it, aren't I? Yes, there's a reason why ex-crush blew me off with the explanation that I "think too much." So I'm trying not to dwell over such unpleasantries. Instead, I am trying to keep an open mind while wondering if 46 is as much of a fan of Barney's Co-op as I am.