Cash Flow

I start my new job at U.S. Cellular next Monday.  I am excited to get back into a routine and hopefully shed the ‘useless’ feeling that blossoms with unemployment.  I’m also keen to see some income.  After some scary touch-and-go, looks like we’ll be able to make the mortgage payment for May, but we won’t have much money to live on.  We’ll make it, but just barely.  And I mean barely.

I don’t remember ever living with this high level of financial concern before.  I remember having to watch the money I spent, but I don’t ever remember being this stressed about it.  Indi and I have done a good job at shoring up our expenditures and have done great at stretching our budget.  I have had no problems adjusting, save for one aspect:  fast food.

Before we left last year, we ate out a LOT.  Five or six times a week easy.  As we traveled, the vast majority of our meals were eaten out; after all, we normally didn’t have a kitchen at our disposal to cook our own meals.  Now that we’re home, we’re eating in, and that’s good for money and health.  But I long for the unhealth.  I can’t pass by a drive-thru without wondering what I could do to get a little money so I could get a burger.  It’s ludicrous; I mean, it’s not an addiction.  Is it?  Sometimes I get downright DEPRESSED.

Is it because I desperately need some pizza or fried chicken?  Do I have this unnatural requirement for grease and preservatives?  After some thought (and a homemade ham sandwich), I don’t think that’s it.  After all, it’s never a good idea to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach; the roads are nearly paved with temptation around here.  I think it is more of a problem with choice.

See, previously in life, if I wanted to eat unhealthily or get something fast it was no problem.  I was free to make that choice, even if I didn’t.  Now I have to buckle down and simply CANNOT stop to get something or make a trip to try out a new restaurant.  I will have to wait.  And I hate the fact that I am crippled by the last few months of unemployment.  I am thankful that this period is almost over.  I think I will have a new appreciation for the money I spend.  After all, of what worth was my world-wide trip if I returned to my old ways so quickly?

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