Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Nitty-Gritty

A very important blog follower has requested that we post not only about the cool stuff that happens, but the nitty-gritty as well. Like what it's like to live on 25 pesos a day, between two people, for example. While we aren't head banging to heavy metal or dancing our pants off at fabulous parties or watching the sun rise, our lives are...a little difficult. I say this because we really have no money. This is mostly to blame on the fact that it is the end of the month and as is custom here we are only paid once a month. Wow, I thought I knew how to budget, but...next month its time to take it to the next level. Having loads of cash in the beginning of the month is great, but then we pay rent on the 12th...we have some good steak, take a cab here and there, and end up with 200 pesos for the last two weeks. As of now we are living off some converted dollars (thank you ever so much Shelley). Also I would like to dedicate this post to meatloaf (no, not the singer), a life saver of the poor.
However, if this experience has taught me anything, it's that when you really have no money (besides a few dollars in the bank that are being saved for trips and such) you discover what it is in life you truly need. My parents have always said that while they have never been more poor than when they first got married, they also have never been happier (this claim was taken back when I spoke to them on their 26th anniversary last Friday and my mom told me they are actually happier now than ever before; my dad then attributed it to the fact the wine has only gotten better with the years...a hopeless romantic). In any case, besides getting stressed about what we are going to eat, and running all over the neighborhood in search of the pack of six eggs for two pesos instead of three pesos, we are very happy. In fact, never been happier. And while my first fall in a long time might ruin this, I've never thought about shopping less. I went one time in our first month here (not to mention the awesome red bag I bought), but as time went on my desire for new things faded. I've never had fewer cloths in my life, and not once have I stared at my closet (as I so often did with three times as many cloths) and stamped my foot while shouting "I just don't have anything to wear!!!!!" We've also gotten very creative with our cooking, and always eat tasty things even if they are cheap.
It is hard though. We can't go out when we want to, we have to make constant choices between the things we want to do that cost money, and I'm often stuck in the house when not working to avoid spending the few pesos that it would cost to sit in a cafe. Sometimes, when cooking or deciding whether or not we should spend the few extra pesos to have a little fun I put my head down, sigh, and feel utterly overwhelmed by our empty pockets. Lucky for me, Josh is always there to take me into his arms, hold me close and tell me its going to be OK. We'll find a way.
As another month ends another opportunity arises to be better budgetters, and I think its also time that I found a second line of work. But until the day comes when we have some extra cash on hand, we will eat out once a month (thanks Behars for an amazing three year anniversary dinner!!!) and abstain from ice cream.

No comments: