time tough

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One of my favorite reggae bands of all time, Toots and the Maytals, has a song I have heard countless times over the years. It’s such a catchy tune, you almost forget that Toots Hibbert is singing about something incredibly painful and devastating (something that is characteristic of the greatest reggae songs of all time. See also “Vietnam” by Jimmy Cliff).

“Let me tell you time tough…Everything is out of sight, it’s so hard (so hard, so hard, so hard)…Time tough (time tough)…Everything is growing higher and higher (higher and higher)…”

Lately this song has taken on a much different meaning for me. Funny how that happens at various times in our lives, eh?

Money is one of those topics no one ever likes to discuss. If you don’t have it, you hate to give off the impression that you can’t attend certain events and fun life experiences because of financial constraints. And if you find yourself sitting on a lump sum of change, you don’t want to make others feel bad, and so you try to discuss money as infrequently as possible. Lately, I’ve been finding myself in the former predicament. I’m embarrassed to say that at 33 years of age, I am without a pot to piss in.

I stress out as soon as I wake up in the morning and at night before I lay down for bed. I worry about finding enough freelance work to cover the extras. I know that part of my anxiety comes from my location in one of the most expensive parts of the country, but it’s also where my job is located, a job that would pay significantly less in another area.

To compound the problem, I have been mentally preparing myself to have Bryan move in for months. I thought it might help if we could split the bills, the grocery, and the everyday expenses that tend to add up each month. Selfishly, I also wanted him around to help kill giant water bugs, turn the knob on the shower all the way so the hot water doesn’t run, and unlock the bathroom door with a bobby pin when my dumbass closes it behind me (thank you for that, Bryan).

He’s become my best friend, confidante, and rock and I was sincerely hoping that by moving in together, we’d have just a bit more time to see each other (our opposing schedules make that virtually impossible).

But his financial situation is as dire as mine and it doesn’t appear that he can make that happen any sooner. And so we find ourselves prolonging the inevitable “taking our relationship to the next level” phase.

It’s frustrating, but I’m also realizing the pressure is unnecessary. Clearly it’s just not right for us at the moment. And so, I stopped bugging even though my heart aches and I worry when this will happen. There is also a growing concern that we’ll find ourselves in this phase of financial uncertainty for an indefinite part of time.

And that frightens me.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Tell me about it.

17 Comments… add one

Shell August 30, 2012, 12:25 PM

I’m sorry you can’t make it work for now.

Back when Hubs and I got married, we probably could have waited a little while til we were both better off financially- but we didn’t. We just found a way to make it work, even though we struggled. We struggled together.
Shell´s last blog post ..Pour Your Heart Out: Not as Planned

carma August 30, 2012, 12:28 PM

wishing you did not have the financial stress that you do. After leaving NJ 20 years ago we moved to a much less expensive area of the country to live in, which has helped tremendously. Of course it is only half as fun as NJ/NYC. We had a jolt when we were visiting 2 weeks ago when we discovered it cost us $100 to get into the city via NJ Transit and parking in New Brunswick. OUCH. Don’t miss that at all….

May some day you will both have jobs where you can operate from any where in the US. It would greatly lessen the financial burden to do so…

@bluenotebacker August 30, 2012, 12:29 PM

I think about this all the time & I’m not even close to moving in with someone any time soon. Eventually, sure, but even if she was here (she currently lives in another state) I shudder to think of subjecting another person, much less one I care about, to my financial ineptitude. I work in commissioned sales, so it’s tough to budget and easy to stress every freaking day about how I’m paying my bills

I am constantly jealous of my couple friends who have dual income households. It’s not fair! :P I don’t think I even have anything else coherent or logical to say on the subject. It makes me crazy and now I need to go find an antacid.
@bluenotebacker´s last blog post ..Studio30Plus Feature Today!

Nicole August 30, 2012, 1:07 PM

Thirty-one, divorced, and bankrupt were not things I ever expected to add to my life resume. Financial stress seems to come with the territory these days. Cost of living and a shitty economy contribute. But you know… I also think as a culture, we suck at managing our money, even though it is the greatest source of our daily stress.

It really might help both of you feel better AND get ahead if you implemented a budget, especially for the things that cost SO much. By having a food budget and planning meals each week, I can go the entire week not spending a dime on buying lunch or coffee because I bring my own. It doesn’t mean there’s a big pile of dollars on my living room floor that I go home and roll around in, but it makes me feel as though I’m doing SOMETHING to alleviate my stress.

If you guys work together, do some numbers-crunching, and get on a little system, then maybe what seems so impossible or far away can actually happen. It’s worth a shot, right? xoxox
Nicole´s last blog post ..custos morum*

Krysten August 30, 2012, 4:15 PM

Oh Charlotte… I could have written this post. Aside from the fact that you and I live in different areas it sounds like we’re in the same kind of predicament.

Although Izzy is moving in soon, technically his lease isn’t up until March. We’re trying to get him out of his lease because us living together makes much more sense than us living apart. Originally, his apartment complex management seemed to think that they’d have people hopping to move into his place and all he’d lose is his security deposit for breaking the lease. However, after several showings we’re no closer to getting someone to take over his lease.

So here we sit, Iz paying way too much on an apartment he’s rarely ever in and me having told a little white lie to my folks about when he’s moving in (my folks own my place and are looking forward to the added rent they’ll get to help with the mortgage). Every day I stress about whether or not Izzy’s place will get rented and it just SUCKS.

Anyway…. I hope you and Bryan will be able to make things work soon. And if you ever need to vent about money stuff, feel free to email me. I totally understand, unfortunately.

Alexandra August 31, 2012, 12:28 AM

It’s hard, Charlotte. SO HARD to be patient for good things.

When we were married, we had to wait almost three years before we could move out of an apt into a house.

When I was single, I had to wait until I was almost 36 before I had my first baby.

While dating, I had to wait until I was almost 33 before I met a man I knew my life would be so right with.

It’s hard to wait, Charlotte.

But, wait. Because when things are hard to come by, you appreciate them every single day of your life.

Just like I now appreciate, and say thanks to God daily for my three children that I had to wait a lifetime for, my husband who I met 5 years shy of 40, our first home, at almost 40 years old.

All these things: SO MUCH sweeter because they were hard to come by. Anything worth having, is something we work for.

Gia August 31, 2012, 1:33 AM

Nicole’s idea sounds like it might work! Implementing a budget – but I understand that it can be tough when everything seems stretched thin. I wish I had some solid advice on the subject but I am no authority on finances. I think all my extra change goes to shoes so clearly I am getting realllllll secure for the future.

You seem very resourceful and I think you are going to figure this situation out. It’s nice that you the support of Bryan and you guys are enduring the same kind of hardships together.

Sending you looooots of super tight hugs! hope the burden eases on you in the coming year! XO
Gia´s last blog post ..the thing about fashion

Keishua August 31, 2012, 12:59 PM

That’s hard stuff. Maybe you can just have lots of sleepovers until the time is right. It can be frustutating to not get what you want tho. As someone living in a expensive part of the country…two incomes sometimes feels like too little. That said, the next step doesn’t need to look any one way. If you are comitted to and in love with each other life will figure itself out. I don’t mean that to sound cheeky. I just believe that you can be with the one you love. It might not look like a fairytale but it will be your story. Love you Chica!
Keishua´s last blog post ..joy,truth and then some

Shana August 31, 2012, 1:32 PM

Yes…I’ve been there. It was so bad that even though I’d sold my apartment (which my grandparents helped me to buy) at a huge premium I was totally broke. If I hadn’t moved in with John when I did, I don’t know what would have happened. After we moved in together, I put myself on a super strict budget and for almost a year I didn’t spend one penny out of the way. I went a really long time with gray hair and I didn’t do anything for myself, like manicures or new clothes or drinks with friends. It was really hard, but I dug my way out of debt and I learned how to live on less.

If you need help budgeting or anything, I’m happy to offer my services. I’m pretty good at it…since it’s my job and all!

Hang in there. It will get better.

Mrs. Match September 2, 2012, 7:48 PM

Ugh, yes, the subject of money. It always reminds me of that episode of Friends, where Ross, Monica and Chandler have money, and Phoebe, Joey and Rachel don’t. They try to discuss money and it’s so uncomfortable for all involved.
I’m sorry you’re struggling, and I hope things turn around soon. I’m very sorry to hear that’s the reason Bryan can’t move in sooner. You would both save a lot if he did, but if the move would cause him to be more broke, then you’d fight and that’s no good. Hang in there.
Refer to that message I sent you about all the extra money making sites and such. Hopefully it will help, even a little bit. Sending you many hugs and prosperous thoughts your way!

Andrea Bartman September 3, 2012, 3:51 PM

Sorry to hear about the tough time you are going through. Life does not always turn out to be what you expected, so you just need to make do with what you have got. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

Stacey September 3, 2012, 7:42 PM

Six years ago I was broke with horrendous credit. For me the problem was working jobs that kept me poor. If I hadn’t started working at the company where I am now, I would still be trying to pay off credit card debt.

Being broke is stressful. I hope things turn around for you soon.
Stacey´s last blog post ..Small World

Natural Fit and Frugal September 4, 2012, 3:44 PM

Life is full of ebbs and flows for sure. We have been in both financial situations. My fav saying is, this too shall pass.

In our ebbs we have cut out everything we could classify as extras (anything we really don’t need to live day by day). It can actually bring you closer together especially when you cut off cable ;).

In our flows we save as much as we can for we know the ebb will come again some time.

Financial matters are the most stressful things to face, the good thing is you are not facing it alone :)
Natural Fit and Frugal´s last blog post ..Eco-Nuts – A natural laundry alternative

Rika September 4, 2012, 4:59 PM

When I was going to university, I met a guy and quickly moved in with him. After one and a half years, I decided to do a 3 month internship abroad, which we both were ok with, even happy for. However, couple months after returning, I realised that the feelings are gone and I was with him only because I had no money to move out. I had quit my student job, when I left the country.
As soon as I realised the real reason for the living situation, I felt it necessary to break up right away. Luckily a friend of mine had a spare room in her apartment, so we agreed I’ll pay as much rent As I can, when I can. A few weeks after moving out I got my student job back, but with less hours per week. So for the next year all I had money for was a little bit of rent and food – sometimes even problems with that.
I seriously thought I was going crazy. Stress was sometimes unbearable.
But after a year school ended, I got another internship were I could earn decent amount of money by doing extra work, and after 4 months got hired in the company.
What I learned from my struggle is that in order for there to be valleys there have to be hills and if there is a will, there is always a way. Plus creativity costs nothing ;)
Hang in there, Charlotte!

Karen Peterson September 6, 2012, 3:04 PM

Every single day of my life. And it sucks.

I hope things get better for you soon!
Karen Peterson´s last blog post .."What we have to do…is find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities." –Hillary Clinton

(FL) Girl with a New Life September 10, 2012, 1:02 PM

Yes, yes and yes.

I’ve had to kick boyfriends out to end relationships, even though that made life a financial disaster, and I’ve had to move out myself at the end of relationships only to have half my stuff absorbed by an angry ex-boyfriend who refused to let me back in to reacquire it.

My best move (even though it took some sacrifice) was getting a roomie during my single days and splitting the expenses in a way that would never hinge on a relationship.

Just my humble experience.
(FL) Girl with a New Life´s last blog post ..Getting Cozy: Preparing for Fall Guests

Char October 6, 2012, 12:33 AM

Hey Char, sending mental hugs and a virtual Chinese money tree your way. This is a difficult time but that means there’s a silver lining behind your current cloud!
xoxo
Char
Char´s last blog post ..Weekend Blog Hop Till You Drop

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