Friday, June 13, 2014

My Finances Give Me Anxiety Attacks

   Payday: a day that everyone should look forward to. Money in the bank and all that jazz. But here I am, looking at payment schedules for my student loans, looking at the cable bill, electric, and rent, looking at credit card payments (yeah, yeah, I know), looking at the grocery bill; basically, I am looking at all the money that I do not have anymore. Oh, money, you slip through my fingers so damn fast. I hate you money, but at the same time, I have to have you: I need you. I feel like I'm talking to my drugs or something, but it is what it is. If I were richer, perhaps I wouldn't have this love/hate relationship with money, or perhaps I would just have more bills.
   Every payday I go through that wonderful anxiety attack induced by paying my bills. I'm not entirely sure why I have these anxiety attacks; I always manage to pay all the bills. I've never been short. Sometimes we have to get a little skimpy on the grocery bill and have some mac n cheese nights, but really, who doesn't ever have to do that? Most people have experienced the wonder of a mac n cheese payday. So I'm not really sure why I feel the anxiety that I feel. Maybe because all of my adult life, I've been poor. I'm doing a lot better now. I guess I still fall even with that good-old poverty line, but for all of the years but the last one, I was under that line, so breaking even with that line is a step up.
   But the point is this: I've always paid my bills and I don't pay them late. I don't get cable termination warnings. I don't get the power company stalking me and threatening to turn my power off. No nasty notes from the landlords on my front door when I get home from work; even my credit card company never has to call me all like, "Marie, pay your bills, please." The only calls that I used to get were from those people who stole my information and then would attempt to try to get me to pay for fake loans that I never took out, and since I changed my number, the only time the bastards can call me now is at work. Which is annoying, to be sure, but most of the times, I don't even get those calls because as a lowly cashier (joking here, folks) personal calls are not allowed, thank God. They do attempt to e-mail me, but e-mail has that lovely little spam button... it's awesome. I wish we could spam phone calls.
   Back to the anxiety though, I really am not sure what causes this feeling. Maybe it's because I'm still getting phone calls for Tara, even though I've had this number for a year and a half now, and Tara's bill collectors have all been notified that this is Marie's number now, but they don't believe me. Bill collectors are like blood hounds when it comes to money, so around every payday, I start getting calls about Tara. Her rent check didn't clear. She owes someone money in Las Vegas. She's being taken to court by so-and-so. Tara, my friends, is in big financial trouble, and because her effing bill collectors won't stop leaving messages on my machine, I am privy to all of Tara's financial woes. Because bill collectors are stupid assholes, I also know Tara's address, the last four digits of her social, and her last name, but I won't put that here. In fact, if you know a Tara, and if you are thinking, "Shit, is she talking about Tara, so-and-so!" then the answer is no, because I changed Tara's first name. Tara is not actually her name, but I believe in protecting my fellow debtor's information. But that's off track, and to get back on that track, maybe what I am feeling is sympathy anxiety??? Maybe I am worried about Tara??? I don't know.
   I really don't know. Maybe my anxiety is leftover stress from my days of extreme poverty, maybe I am feeling this anxiety because I'm worried about Tara, or maybe I just don't like giving other people the effing money that I worked my ass off for, even if I do legitimately owe those people that money. Or maybe it's just the fact that the kiddo is growing like a weed, she's fixing to be out of school for the summer, which means no more school meals, and my grocery bill is gonna triple. Who knows? Not me. All I know is that payday is the day where I add up all the money that I no longer have and consequently have anxiety attacks. A lot of you, I believe, are probably familiar with this feeling, so let us ban together now and have moment of silence for money that is forever gone from our lives. Solidarity and all that good crap. Or misery loves company. Something.

Goodbye, sweet money. I'll miss you. 

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