I had to spend my “me money” on groceries.
You might not think this is such a big freakin’ deal. You’re entitled to your opinions. Hell, you’re entitled to tl;dr everything I write. Just like I’m entitled to write what I want, when I want.
And, right now, I want to vent some spleen.
I don’t spend a lot on myself for several reasons: 1) I’m hella fussy. Anyone who’s read my blog entries on finding the right shoes would know that. 2) Everything - and I mean every last thing - I want or desire is not available in my area, not for sale, non-existent, or freakishly, fist-bitingly expensive. 3) Most of the time I feel like I don’t deserve the luxury of spending money on just me.
Seriously, the most money I usually spend on myself is about $20 on chocolate. That lasts me the better part of a month. A month and a half - or more - if I actually stick to my rationing regime.
Everything else goes to the household. Kids, mostly. Little bits and bobs to keep the spawn happy and the odd I-hope-you-like-it thing I find for Hubby.
So, if I want something big, I save for it. I scratch together loose change from cleaning, from pockets in the laundry, from shopping overflow and -yes- even from the footpaths. I collect it all in an old simmer sauce jar. When it’s full, I go cash it in and spend however much I’ve saved solely on myself.
It takes me a year to fill that jar with change.
A year’s worth of slow effort is worth a little self-indulgence, don’t you think?
Not this year.
This year, some neighbour decided they didn’t have enough to do and complained about our dog’s relative freedom. As a direct result, we have no money for food.
Let me unpack. The hound was a surprise gift from a relative. We had no time to prepare for his arrival and have been desperately scrambling between stopgaps ever since he arrived. Alongside the usual stuff like buying his food and necessities…
The dog is a border-collie cross. He loves rounding up animals but hasn’t any idea what to do with them after that. On the times he spends holidaying with the kids at Grandma’s little farm, he rounds the sheep up all day long.
The neighbours uphill from us have two cows. Our fence is one the dog can very easily slip through.
I’m certain you can connect the dots. If we let the dog roam loose in our yard, he’s soon in their yard and pestering the cows.
So we’ve had to tie him up.
I got a five meter length of chain [those plastic-coated wire long leashes are a sack of suck] and one of those can’t-tangle-it tether-posts and did my best. He has access to food, water, shelter and shade. And I have to make sure he doesn’t tangle himself anyway because he’s that kind of dog.
RSPCA rolls round because of the aforementioned complaint, and proceeds to tell me the hound needs exercise.
I say we have plans to fix the back fence this weekend past. It’s been four weeks in the planning already, and a belligerently unbelievable chain of errors has stood between us and fixing that effing fence.
RSPCA plans to be back sometime this week.
I go off my nut panicking about the fence, and volunteer my savings to pay for the materials.
As I write this, the fence is halfway done [we ran out of light, strength, agility and motivation] with the hope of getting it fixed all the way real soon now.
I have $14 in my bank account.
My regular budget for food and necessities is $200.
I had $84 in change in my jar.
I had $35 squirrelled away over the passage of six months.
I need to keep $50 for petrol.
So yeah, thanks a real bunch, concerned neighbour. If you’d just come over and talked to me, I’d have told you we were trying to deal with things at our own speed. Which, I admit, is rather glacial. We could have worked something out.
But, because you apparently would love to see us get into legal trouble for something, you had to go blather to the authorities. And now we’re completely broke, with no safety net, and barely enough money to get by until whenever Hubby’s indie business actually makes some.
Thanks a lot.
As if I didn’t have enough concerns on my plate, bleeding my soul dry, now I have to worry about whether or not we get to eat, next week.
Fuck you. Fuck you very much.