Tuesday, February 22, 2005

02/22/05 Tuesday -- Hawaii

Hawaii. They're going to freakin' HAWAII on vacation. It's not fair! There's just no justice! Oh, alright... there's plenty of justice. They've scrimped & saved, born with one another in good times and bad for 10 whole years, are raising two great kids, going to school, working full time, are fantastic friends to their friends... dammit. Plenty of justice.

I don't DESERVE to go to Hawaii & I know it. I went on that cruise last fall & still find myself feeling a little guilty when I think about the money I spent. I shouldn't be thinking vacations at all unless I have a nice healthy chunk of emergency dough stashed away somewhere. But I'm not a saver in the same sense of the word as my soon-to-be-Hula'ing friends -- I have to (and do, btw.. I'm not a complete idiot) trick myself into holding enough back to pay my bills, into saving for retirement. I'd faaar rather swap out the twenty in my purse for a nice spontaneous lunch at Applebee's than put it in the bank to accumulate interest and become something much more lovely than either the original $20 OR the lunch. Immediate gratification, that's my bag! My albatross? Dammit... it's my money. I earned it, I spend it! Oh.. wait.. now I'm responsible for a whole 'nother person in the world. Oh yeah.

Thank God for electronic transfer. There's something tricksy about how not seeing money... not holding it in your hot, sweaty, grubbly little hand makes it not truly exist. Oh, sure.. the credit card pitfalls work in that dangerous sort of way, but unreal green can work in your favor, too. Payroll direct deposit that can be split into multiple accounts... I'd be in deep kempche if I changed jobs to a company that gave me a paper check again! But.. knock on wood.. I haven't. Hope not to. I rather like having the big money decisions taken care of impersonally & automatically every two weeks, yet still remain in my complete control. May be the saving grace of a relationship, too, should I ever marry! Why, you ask? Two control freaks arguing over money.. *shudder*

Money disagreements have killed flat out or eroded away more marriages over the years than any other single issue I can think of. So... average out the bills, have one great big pow wow each year to keep the budget on track, keep ice & medical cards handy, be prepared for enormous angst and mind-blowing makeup sex, but set it up to have the bank divvy the paychecks for you into appropriate accounts for the next year. His / Hers / Household expense / Retirement / that sweet little 'vette someone just HAS to have / new roof on the house / Vacation / Kids Christmas / How to shack the P's up when they can't take care of themselves anymore / Child Support / WHATEVER the split needs to be. Oh, sure... there will be little skirmishes along the way. But at least you've carved out the big battles without carving out chunks of one another. And then there's that mind-blowing makeup sex to look forward to......


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