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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finally managed to pay bills yesterday, have postponed it forever until it got complicated (and expensive as it does if you don´t pay in time...) Called an OA_friend to tell her about my predicament and she suggested that I should divide the action into two parts, sorting the bills and paying them and text her when I finished each part. I followed that suggestion and it worked.

But I am thinking why this has happened - it is not the first time and probably not the last. The plan is to put those bills in a pile and once a month - close to payday - pay them and put them in two binders - one for business, one for private. If I do it just like that, it is hardly any work at all...I come home from work, tired and hungry, think that I should only eat before I do administration, make the food, eat, doze off and wake up and think that I will get up really early next morning and do it, have too much to do in the morning think "ah I can do it tonight, come home tired and hungry... then weekend comes and I think I will do it, I will "just" do other chores first ...clean the house, do the laundry, walk the dog...etc. and suddenly it is sunday night and I think I will get up early the next day...really insane.

Once I have gotten really late with paying it gets harder - I am getting scared that I will not have money enough to pay all the bills and what then? That is also weird because when that happens - I get some sort of economic blow and don´t have the money to fix it – I find ways to manage it. And I mostly have some sort of feeling in the back of my head if the money is enough or not... and this time I thought there was enough money but I was not sure... the longer I wait the more complicated it gets as I get reminders and have to sort that pile and be careful that I don´t pay the same bills twice....not to mention the shame over behaving this way...again.

But with the support of that friend I managed to get going with the sorting before having dinner... it was hard because I was REALLY hungry and REALLY tired, but I finished sorting and thought that I would do the paying after dinner...but thought that she would probably expect my sms in half an hour after me reporting that I was done sorting, so I started - it was about ten bills, two of them toll fares from norway, took a while to understand where to pay and what the OCR was and it was only about ten dollars altogheter, took about ten minute to understand and pay...

I need support systems in this because it seems I can´t do it on my own. I have through the years constructed idiot-proof systems how to manage my papers, they have all worked for a while and then fallen apart and I messed them up. It is the same with cleaning my house or keeping my car tidy. I have these nice systems that work really well and then I start falling behind. Because I don´t respect my systems, because I think it is silly to need them..Once falling behind I give up, and then it gets harder because it messes up and gets more complicated to get going.

Some years ago I made a deal with a nephew that was great. He is in a wheelchair after an accident many years ago, he is also an alcoholic and killing himself slowly with ous relatives standing by, unable to do that much about it... anyway my idea was to bring my papers once a month and we could pay our bills together - many good things there, I was motivated to visit him on a regular basis, my bills would be paid as well as his and we would have a nice time together.

Worked impeccable for a couple of months, the weak spot was that I was not able to connect to internet in his house which meant that I could only organize the bills at his house and then pay them when I got home. And somehow I can´t accept that I have this weakness, after a couple of month I thought that a grown-up should be able to pay her bills without that extra support of making deals with somebody else. So I blamed the not-on-internet thing and stopped with the visits. Paid my bills on time for a couple of months and then messed up again...

It is really hard to accept that I am not grown-up in this...but using the program I can remind myself that I only have to accept that one day at the time.

Today I accept that I am not cpapble of taking care of myself in the long run without support....

Another interesting thing - I have a friend who broke her wrist skating and yesterday I brought her a lot of mail...she had engaged a cleaner for a couple of hours because she can´t wash up the dishes and she can´t vacuum with one hand.... and just as I can hire support that plans my food and bring the grocery bags to my door, I can hire a cleaner now and then when it gets overwhelming... I should be careful with money and budget but it would be possible with an hour extra now and then. But my moral inner mer starts preaching that a grown up woman who is not disabled should be able do take care of her own house...

Off to editing – I managed to book an interview yesterday that was a big cloud in my sky... now I am happy and enthusiastic because it will be a bsiness edition again...although I still have a lot of work to do before it is done...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You sound a lot like me. I always have the best intentions that never seem to work out! My parents made sure my brother understoof finances, but never did with me. There was never even a hint of what i should do to plan for anything, therefore, I still haven't a clue about some things. As for cleaning help - once in awhile we all need it, especially if we work. Things get dusty no matter what. Even a little help say once a month or every 6 weeks, would most likely help you in keeping tidy.
    1966 days ago
    Wrong choice of words maybe amber -of course she could vacuum but it was difficult - she would probably have been able to wash the dishes with one arm too but it would have been complicated...
    1966 days ago
    Your friend can't vacume with one hand!? Why not? That arms not broken.

    I used to take care of a 2 year old when I had a shattered ankle in a cast; using not the usual crutches that you could lean your weight on, but the kind that has a sort of 'bracket' that you slip your biceps into. And, I had no car (since I had wrecked mine - that's how I shattered my ankle), so I walked on those crutches 6 blocks to the grocery store, and (carefully) walked myself back home on ice, carrying heavy grocery bags with each hand while holding onto the crutch handles. To say nothing of having to carry my laundry to the laundromat in bags too, and carry them back home the same way. It was really tough but I did it.

    Taking care of all a hyperactive 2 year olds needs while on those type crutches was really difficult too. Especially leaning over an old claw-foot tub to do so.

    So, I know what can be done. Your friend CAN vacume with one hand! The handle doesn't require 2 hands to operate, and surely she can move the thing around with one hand and 2 good legs.
    1967 days ago
    hi Meddy- it does not have to overwhelm you. this is the way i do it - i know my total income for the month - and i have an old fashioned ledger which i keep in my kitchen cabinet. all the fixed expenses are listed with the amounts - which i deduct from the top figure (my total net income). the only variables are groceries and gas for the car - and heating or cooling bills depends on the weather.
    i have monthly envelopes - for my credit card bills (i mostly have turned to pay with cash - easier and you don't overspend- when money is gone your done). when those credit card bills come in - i take out the receipts - match them on my account this empties that envelope. when i go to the bank - that receipted account goes into that envelope. i can always find it if there is any question of the payment - the banks have screwed up on me before.
    i ALWAYS PUT THE BILLS INTO MY BANKING PACK SO WHEN I GO TO THE BANK they will get paid and nothing gets forgotten or left on the counter.
    i hope you get some good ideas from this - if i can help any more let me know - i refuse to pay 'late charges' which are ridiculous - cash cow for companies. i don't use bank machines and i don't have cards that charge 'annual fees'. that is why i no longer use Costco -
    good luck - you just have to get into the 'habit' and you will be successful.
    1967 days ago
    Sometimes the things I WANT to do get in the way of the things I SHOULD do. On the other hand, I've learned that the nagging of certain SHOULDS can put a cloud over enjoying those things I WANT to enjoy! That's my motivation for getting my taxes done early in the year, and not letting it nag me for 3 months! Helps, but not always. I think we all struggle with this to some degree Cecilia. But, if you're doing fine, and you are, no sense beating yourself up over it. I'm all for hiring anything done that you can afford to if it makes your life more enjoyable.
    1967 days ago
    I told my 23 year old daughter that she needs to put away a little of her paycheck each week so that if any emergencies came up, she would have the money. Well, as far as kids go, she did not listen. Her car needed new tires and where did she turn, to mom and dad. The same with her boyfriend. He turns to his parents when he is in a bind. They both need to learn early how to budget their finances and save money. My husband and I have never struggled for money and have never paid a fee for carrying a credit card balance. You need to think of money like we think of food. We need to budget our money like we budget our calories. We have to avoid over indulging on food and money. Both need to be in balance at all times. Make a plan for your spending and bill paying. Write it down and keep track. You will be a better person for it.
    1967 days ago
    You are bigger than any obstacle, Meddy. emoticon emoticon
    1967 days ago
    One of the great things to come out of AA (and subsequent 12-step programs) is the accountability of the buddy system. Whether it's your sponsor or one of your peers, I think the support is a great way of not only keeping you connected, but also of nudging you to confront your problems (in this case, procrastination!) and to learn how to deal with them.

    I also don't see any reason why we shouldn't value our time and when circumstances allow, hire someone to do housework or chores or errands. It's a win-win situation: they wouldn't be doing the work if they didn't need the income... we are freed to do something more personally meaningful with our time. Thinks me.
    1967 days ago
    I wonder how many 'proper grown up' people there really are in the world? Every one has their Achilles heels (my list would be longer than there is space on Spark) and we all have to find ways to deal with it all. Perhaps the grown-up way is to acknowledge that we need help with certain things and hire in help like your friend with the broken wrist. It may not be 'moral' on some peoples'terms but it would get the job done and free you up for other things.
    Currently I have hired in help with getting my flat in serious order. This is not someone who actually helps me clear but went around looking at the way things are organised, poking in my shameful corners and analyzing what needs to be organised/thrown out. A table with time-frames has been drawn up and agreed and now every day I get an email asking for an account of what I have sorted out and ascertaining whether or not I'm keeping up with the table. A kind of personalised Fly Lady. I get irritated by the email some days but I can't let him - or myself - down so I comply. By some people's standards I shouldn't need it - but actually I DO - so instead of feeling ashamed, I'm happy to have a way to deal with one of my major failings. Perhaps your friend with the SMS system is actually the way forward if she's prepared to do it regularly?
    1967 days ago
    I hope it works! :)

    I need lists to organize my work. And I'm pretty good being hard to my husband that he organize HIS stuff. I'm his personalized guilty conscience ....
    He loves me and he hates me for that.
    1967 days ago
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