So the other night, I spent (hah) about 3 or so hours looking deep into my finances. I had my expenses spreadsheet laid out and showed it to my unofficial financial adviser. The outlook was bad at the onset.
This story starts 3 years ago, around September 2009, when I bought an orange 1972 Volkswagen Beetle. I bought it in spite of three things: a. I know how to drive, but I do not have a driver’s license, b. the vehicle’s registration had been expired for two years at that point, and c. I had only been employed at my then very comfortable position for about a month. I loaned from a couple of friends, and drove the bug home without a concrete plan.
See where I went wrong there? (Anong English ng kahunghangan? Oh, right. Idiocy.)
A few days later, the rug was pulled from under me. The entire writing team was retrenched in favor of cheaper labor, and we were left holding the bag so to speak and mine contained loans and a car that still needed a registration renewal. I fell in a pit so deep it took two years to semi-recover from it. Meanwhile, I asked a friend to let me park my car at their funeral home (because who steals from a funeral home, right?) and the poor bug stayed there for roughly two years. During the two years, the bug was unuseable because of a broken accelerator (my friend’s father had tried to start it, and broke the carburator spring/throttle return spring). Fastforward to 2011 and I’m semi-back-on-my-feet. I took the car to the shop of a friend’s cousin’s mechanic. It stayed there for another year.
2012 rolls along and I decide that it’s time to get the project going again. This time, the bug has moved from a friend’s cousin’s mechanic to a friend’s cousin’s mechanic’s uncle (who bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Fredricksen from Up). The project is ongoing, and I am broke. Over the three years, my bug has incured a boatload of kinks and every sort of dink imaginable. The replacement parts alone cost me around 30,000 pesos and as of this writing, it isn’t even running yet. I still have labor, body work, transfer of ownership and registration renewal with which to contend.
And it doesn’t help that the parental units seem to be on unhelpful pills whenever the subject of that Bug comes up. I’ve probably heard every single version of “Kahunghangan yan eh.”
Hence the current state of my finances. Picture my spreadsheet: on one side, in black font, is my income, and on the other, in red font, are my expenses. Needless to say, in this Excel War, the Reds were winning. My financial adviser had tips and changed some entries to increase money for the money vortex. As she outlined my spending vs. earning plan, her face grew darker and she needed more cigarettes. At the end of it all, the verdict was such: I needed a. a raise, b. another job, c. to sell stuff, d. a miracle, or e. to ‘donate’ a kidney. I hardly have any assets to sell, miracles rarely happen when you expect them to and I’m still quite fond of both my kidneys.
Anyway, the Reds are winning. It’s dire, I know. The farking orcs (and bills, and things that need replacing, and more bills) seem endless. I looked at the spreadsheet and thought I could cry, which I did do a few minutes later. But help comes. It always does. “Look to the east!” said Gandalf. And true enough, help comes. When I needed cash for the car, help came. When I needed a place to park, help came. When I needed a mechanic, help came. When I needed more affordable car parts, help came. And this time, when I needed even more cash and more help, help was already there. (Sorry for the sappiness, but I couldn’t thank you enough guys.)
I guess my point is, despite the idiocy, I’m lucky. Where else could you find friends who will resist the urge to say “I told you so” just to rub your mistakes on your sorry ass?