You’re Jingling Baby!

Say it Rah-shay By May 02, 2010 2 Comments

Or: Brother, can you spare a dime? In which I come clean about loose change.

She works hard for the money
So hard for it, honey
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right
Donna Summer, She Works Hard For the Money

This morning I woke up extra early, heart racing, head pounding as I contemplated my week ahead. This is my last week at my second gig and while grateful for the job, I do miss that my Tuesdays and Sundays aren’t mine for nine months of the year. Simultaneously, while thankful to get such a convenient gig and relieved for the two extra days a week that I will have no obligations, I am also panicked at the thought of loosing a second income for three months. The normal thoughts ran through my head:
The if onlys: If only I had saved, planned better, budgeted better… If only I had finished school I could have my pick of jobs.
The shoulda, coulda, wouldas: Should have been looking for a second job, Could have found one by now if I REALLY looked, would like to work for cookies (oops!)

Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me
Get the money
Dollar, dollar bill y’all
-Wu Tang Clan, C.R.E.A.M lyrics

Money is not something that I write much about in my blog. It’s a subject that makes me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons that I will discuss in depth later. I like money, I work to make money but my relationship with money is so fragile that I would sooner tell you how much I weigh than what’s in my bank account. In the last year I have been better at monitoring my spending but I have still really had to fight impulses to buy stuff just because. It’s more comforting to have money in my pocket than, say another ball of yarn and that added option of being able to BUY that yarn is priceless. When I think about my money woes, I get so overwhelmed! Each time I pull out my checkbook determined to balance it and reconcile my funds, I procrastinate, putting it off thinking that later will be the time.

The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money
The Flying Lizards, Money lyrics

Without having crafted a formal budget (OK, lack of funds made this work) I took some mature girl pills and have been making more conscious spending decisions. Do I need five crochet hooks? No. Do I want them? Yes! Will I get them? no.

It’s been tough; I like the thrill I get when I go into a store and can take the pretty new thing home with me. I like the hunt for the bargain knowing that I can tell the story of getting blah, blah, blah for half off. I like eating out cause I don’t have to clean the dishes but all of these conveniences come at a price and the comfort of having my own trumps the spending frenzy…sometimes.

Money, you’ve got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you’re gone, spending ends
They don’t come no more
Rich relations give
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don’t take too much
Mama may have, papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own
Billie Holiday, God Bless the Child

With my Etc Move becoming more and more real, my role as responsible adult is being brought smack dab into center stage. While married, The Bee’s dad (TBD) handled most of the bills and I gladly allowed it. When we went our separate ways, I took up my slack but honestly living with my mom was living with my mom. I helped but she really took care of the heavy stuff and when needed I stepped up. Now it’s all on me and I am totally scared shitless! I want to take care of my own, during the fights at the end of our TBD and my relationship he would make sure to throw in my face exactly what he had did and how grateful I should be. Because of this, I feel honor bound to get my shit together and take care of The Bee and me.

Money makes the world go around
…the world go around
…the world go around.
Money makes the world go around
Of that we both are sure…
*raspberry sound* on being poor!
Liza Minnelli, Money, Money (Caberet)

A blogger friend writes without apology about her money woes, more honest than I think I could ever dare to be. Once again I would rather share what size shirt I wear than talk about money. My worry is that I will be judged and looked at as a bad person who cannot take care of herself if I come clean about money and bills and cash. It may as well be Greek when I am called upon to make a budget, to balance my checkbook and I just feel sleepy when Market Place comes on the radio*. My financial stresses have caused many a 3am wake up and I realize that ignoring it won’t go away.

Only boys who save their pennies
Make my rainy day
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
Madonna, Material Girl

My grandmother always said, “Romance, without finance is a nuisance!” and she ain’t lying! I joke that the next Mr. Rachee will be an old rich man (la da di da di da da!), referring to a former supervisor’s edict: First marriage is for love, second is for money. Gosh knows I am NOT a gold digger but I will be looking for someone a little more financially savvy than myself. I am not going to be in some man’s pocket but like Gwen Guthrie says:
`Cause nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin
‘You got to have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
`Cause life is too serious, love’s too mysterious
A fly girl like me needs security
`Cause ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent
You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me

Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Money money money money, MONEY
Some people got to have it
Hey, Hey, Hey – some people really need it
The O-Jays, For the Love of Money

I do feel powerless as I worry if, like the number on the scale, the number in my account is going to make or break my day. Unlike the number on the scale, I am happier seeing the bank account number climb higher and higher. So, instead of whining about not having money, being broke, busted and disgusted (thanks Rob) I decided to face my problems head on.

I wanna be rich
oh I wanna be rich
I wanna be rich
oh I wanna be rich
For a little love peace and happiness
Calloway, I Wanna Be Rich

Initially I avoided credit counseling because I felt like I could do it on my own or that someone would KNOW what I was doing and make fun (because people have so much time and energy to waste on me but I digress). It was a relief to speak to someone about my shameful secret, to have someone guide me through the things I needed to do in order to get back on track and hey, I like the way I feel like I can control what I want to do instead of a number. I feel a sense of possibility that I have not felt in a while and a burden has been lifted. I will look forward to getting paid weekly but I won’t have that sense of desperate need that grips me at times.

Now, if you’re blue
And you don’t know where to go to
Why don’t you go where fashion sits
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Taco, Puttin’ on the Ritz
Last plug: I was told by a financial workshop leader to get my hustle on. Essence has a monthly column and a plethora of friends have two, three side things in addition to their 9-5. I used to think that I couldn’t possibly market myself. Shoot! Hard times will make a money eat an uncle and this monkey says, “Yum!”
Stay tuned for adventures in crocheting.
Pinching some pennies,

*I feel that Stephen Beard will come through the radio and bitch slap me for not understanding his financial news reports


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. It’s hard to go for counseling in whatever area we need it, but if you get somebody good it really helps! Good luck with all your changes!

  2. ~Rachée says:

    Thank you for visiting!
    Talking about it is hard. DOing something about it is the test.
    I’ll keep you informed.

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