Last year I remember having the worst relationship with my mom. Our biggest blowout was in the spring, when I was involved in both track and a competitive basketball league.
Here’s why there was a lot of tension: my basketball team worked out at a gym three times a week, requiring a gym membership of approximately $25 a month.
My track team worked out 2 hours daily. Funding demanded multiple expenses including a $40 track fee. Plus I needed shoes for tennis, workouts, basketball, and track. Not to mention the uniforms, gym bags, ankle braces, tournament admission fees, gas money, etc.
One tournament I was playing occurred immediately after I ran the 800-meter race at a track meet. I sprained my ankle during it and was taken out of both sports. I went from barely having enough time to eat my Cliff Bar and Gatorade dinners to the kid who begged her teacher for extra credit worksheets so she’d have something to do at home.
With my injury came more disheartening bills, and the depression from disability and lack of social life began eating at me. I sat around on Facebook and began online shopping, much to my mother’s displeasure. Within the first week I’d gotten on her last nerve.
Anytime I asked for anything an abrupt “No!” was the receiving answer. The feedback got louder and more aggravated. Ultimately I realized that any new pair of Vans or Hollister sweaters that I wanted would have to be bought on my own.
It’s hard to get everything you want, and have no job. Things I do to get money are babysit, extra chores, and odd jobs in the neighborhood. To budget I prioritize and estimate the cost of what I want. I decide what I want and what I can do without. For example, I have an outdated cell phone, but it functions. Instead of spending $100+ dollars for a new one, I use the money for things like movies and shopping.
It took a while for me to prioritize and realize that my expenses can be manageable. Yours can too.