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Exhausted

February 2nd, 2007 at 12:13 am

It has been a long and difficult time today. My friend H who had a breakdown at the end of last year rang and asked me to meet her in town. She told me she is going bankrupt. The only money she has was a check from a non-profit and she wanted me to help me work out what to do with it. It turned out she could afford $20 on groceries for the week, so I went shopping with her. First I had to stop her diving into several clothes shops on the way; then she said she "needed" incense, but I was able to persuade her she should get food first.

H is not only irrational, but has an eating disorder. It was like shopping with a difficult toddler. I was trying to steer her to the fresh produce and the bulk bins of beans and grains, and she kept heading for the brightly packaged convenience foods. Every time she saw something she liked she wanted to put it in the basket, so I would demonstrate how much we had already spent on the calculator, and we had to decide what she should take out. When I tried to point out the store brands were cheaper, she replied, "I have expensive tastes." I remembered what a beautiful person she was and that she is now unwell, or I would have lost patience.

In the end we got
2 cans of gourmet coffee
bread
a HUGE block of cheese
bananas
canned tomato soup
pumpkin seeds (for the same price as a whole pumpkin)
dried figs
frozen oven fries

I could not live on that, but she was very happy with it. When we got to the exit she announced she was tired and wanted to take a taxi home. I was tired too, so let her have her own way.

As she was pulling out her cell phone, she suddenly stopped, looked at me and said, "If I catch the bus instead I'll save money, won't I?" She caught the bus, and as she was leaving told me that she was going to put the $10 she'd saved aside in case she needed it later.

I can remember what it was like when I was trying to get started taking control of my finances. There seemed so much advice it was all overwhelming. I had to get started by taking baby steps, and I hope that is what H is now starting to do as well.

6 Responses to “Exhausted”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Sad

  2. MarthaAnn Says:

    I am not sure that I could be as STRONG as you.

    You are a good friend indeed

  3. marymara Says:

    Yesterday at work I showed coworkers meal plans I had drawn up for the month of February and the groceries I planned to buy. I also planned for the toiletries and paper products that I would buy at Walmart. I wrote down the amounts I would be willing to pay for each item. I worked three days on this. The responses were what I expected. "I could never do that." "That is too much work for me." I brought in my haul for $30.00 less than I budgeted for.
    I do work parttime. If I had a fulltime job I couldn't take the time to try to be precise so I consider this kind of planning as part of my work.
    I heartedly endorse My Budget Planner to be found on mybudgetplanner.com for $19.00 as the best resource I have ever had in keeping me inline and happy. Maybe it is similar to Pearbudget. But MBP is fantastic.

  4. LuxLiving Says:

    Very nice of you to attempt to help her.

  5. Homebody Says:

    Marymara post your meal plans here pretty please? I would be very interested. I just invested in youneedabudget.com software and really am doing well with it too.

  6. sicilyyoder Says:

    I do menus- just started as my Godmother does thiem- I spent alot less at the store: I have a teenage nephew to cook for and he isn't a vegan, so this is what we are having:

    Tomato soup with fresh basil added
    Grilled Cheese( veggie for me)
    Orange slices
    ______________________
    Spagetti
    homemade garlic bread
    salad
    ________________________
    Soupbeans ( haystacks)
    Corn chips
    Tomato & onion chopped
    Andrew eats ranch dressing & cheese with his haystack)
    Apples
    _______________________________________________
    "Alphabet soup"- you use tomato soup and cook alphabet pasta and add it in.
    peanut butter sandwich
    fruit cobbler( homemade- real simple to make.)
    ___________________________________________________
    burritos made from leftover soupbeans and avocado, tomatoes, cheese( veggie for me)
    rice
    orange slices

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