I have finally figured out how to budget my money. It has taken years of pain, tears, and hiding under the bedcovers, but I've done it... my day planner book is the key. I put down every bill, and every anticipated bill, for at least two months or so in advance, as well as anticipated paycheck amounts (conservatively estimated for sanity's sake). Then I go through and add and subtract by date through a pay period. I pay the bills now, at the beginning of the pay period. I know before I get my paycheck how much extra money I will have.

This week and next week, I have $15. I won't have any real money to spend on things like a brake job for my car, oil change, groceries, etc. until the beginning of August.

I don't have a birthday present for my mother. I don't know how to afford one. When I drove to North Carolina for my sister's birthday, I was still somewhat comfortable from my tax refund (wanna coast the edge of the poverty line with me, baby?) and was able to get her a nice present. I feel rotten about not having one for Mom. This weekend I won't be driving home, I seem to have been struck by some 24-hour long designer cold, and I don't want to make a 4.5 hour drive on any drugs.

Next week, the bf will be driving to South Carolina to see his parents and get something fixed on his new car, so I might hitch a ride then and go to see Mom... that would give me a week's grace to find some money somewhere (under the couch cushions?) to buy Mom a present.

Perhaps I'll find the Artful Dodger and learn about picking pockets.

On Monday, after my session, I discovered a small explosion of blue jay feathers in the parking lot. I couldn't find the bird itself (until I drove off, and then saw that a small jay had been run over... quite far from the feathers, actually), but the feathers were very pretty, long and sharp with slate blue and charcoal stripes. I gathered about six of them, and put them in the passenger seat of my car.

Later on Monday, I picked up A (the exbf... I'm not being deliberately cryptic) from work, and before he got into the car, I stopped him with, "Wait, I have to get some feathers out of the seat." He was glad to see me.

He is usually glad to see me. I don't think he wants to be glad to see me. I think he would rather like to be able to glower aloofly at me and express his displeasure every time I invade his life again, but he can only do that if we don't see each other in person. I try to see him in person as often as possible, because I honestly can't bear allowing him to hate me. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet. If he wants to hate me, why shouldn't he be allowed to? I'm not his mother.

I'm not his mother.

If I were his mother, I'd probably expect a birthday present. {sigh}

If I somehow manage to overcome my typical inertia today, and spend some time cleaning, I will feel much better. I always feel better when I spend some time cleaning. Maybe I'll recheck my budgeting figures, too. That's always nice.