Cha Cha on the Rocks with a Homemade Twist

Oct 27, 2022 | Blog Beat, CCRx*

My budget is going well!

In fact, immediately after admitting to you that I have a problem I download the 21st-century excuse for a solution — an app. Aptly named, You Need a Budget (YNAB).

My accounts are linked. Every purchase captured and counted. I am on day 81 of enthusiastic transaction accountability.

I am still navigating the budget learning curve. Is it just me, or are credit cards super confusing? But 81 days and counting, my money is more mine than ever.

I was an addict. But I am not a quitter anymore.

Any former addict will admit: coming clean is the dirtiest you will ever feel.

In my case, I was covered with the shame of having mindlessly spent so much money. The shame of being a self-proclaimed independent 37-year-old woman who is teetering dangerously on the edge of being financially dependent on a man.

Now, with the evidence of my spending so obvious in front of me, I have a choice.

I can let the shame control me, ignore the problem and continue to impulsively buy what I want but may not need. Or I can allow myself to change.

I’ve made dinner the past four nights. Simple dishes — brown rice pasta, assorted veggies, beans for protein. Salt. Pepper. Green Cholula hot sauce.

To be honest, no one, including me wants to eat my cooking. But the impulse to order Uber eats is stymied by the depletion of my “eating out“ budget category.

Where is that money coming from? Cha-ching, cha-cha! A small but mighty breakthrough.

I envision myself becoming obsessed with my budget. In a short while, I’ll be a master saver — a master saver still lives a fabulous dynamic life and dresses distinctively to match her daily mood. A master saver who makes up for the 30-odd years of impulse buys.

I envision myself being as focused as my money. Every day, every dollar counts.

It will take time. There’s no grand gesture to fix my finances. (I suppose downloading the app and setting up my budget in the first place was a grand gesture. But that was a beginning, not an end).

For now, I am really proud of myself and thought that you should know.

That goes for writing too, cha-cha! Thanks for showing up.

I will not feel guilty or ashamed. I know I am doing the best I can.

Because not only do I have a new perspective. I have a budget.

Originally from the east coast, Cha Cha lives in southern California with her fiance (he’s a plumber) and their bob-tailed cat, Copper Soup.

As a woman, Cha Cha spends her time writing, reading (though not as much as she wishes she did), watching Project Runway (way more than she wished she did—especially since the show ended in 2019), trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day (otherwise, she won’t leave the house because she works from home), learning how to manage her money, and talking to herself out loud.

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