(More rambling ahead....)
This time of year coincides with my tightest budget as well. I see where I could have, should have, would have spent money and where I know I made some mistakes financially throughout the year: I could have done without that trip to Miami, I should have saved more money during my internship, I didn't need to have cable and internet, or I didn't need to get a bed let alone a queen versus a full-sized. The thing is, those things are/were nice for me to have/experience and everyone I talk to says that I should have enjoyed it. I should have a freakin' bed. I should have enjoyed my time in Florida where I worked my ass off, and I need internet for both work and school.
The things that has come into issue is that 1) I don't have the money I was hoping I would have to go home during the holidays, and 2) I am losing weight (yay!) but clothes are becoming an expense that I did not forsee.
1) I didn't think I would miss my friends and family as much as I do. I have generous people here that invite me to their homes but I am never fully comfortable although I am very grateful for the offers. I had planned in my budget to get tickets home by now but things such as eye exams and increasing clothing budget (god, that sounds so ridiculous!) sweeped out a large chunk of my budget. Even my surprise stipend for teaching class this semester won't make a big difference...if I ever get it at all. The fact that I miss home is made worse with how busy people are this semester which makes a huge difference in my social life. I am feeling the loneliness but reminding myself every day to just hold on until April.
2) The clothes budget. Granted, for Michigan weather, I have had to purchase long underwear, long sleeved everything, and more winter gear in general, but I got by last year with one pair of snow boots and a snow jacket that I already have. Since the beginning of the year, I have lost almost 20 pounds and dropped about two to three pants sizes. This is all AMAZING and I am continuing to make progress, but my clothes just don't fit anymore. I have a gigantic stack of clothes I plan on selling that are too baggy and look just plain sloppy on me. Plus, when I wear baggy clothes, I feel crappy. So, I have tried to hit up the thrift stores and Target clearance racks to get some things to tide me over at least until the beginning of the winter semester. This will also be a vital time when I will be doing interviews (...um...hopefully...) and also transitioning into a professional position. I have a dress for the conference I am going to in a size smaller than I am right now ($7, Target, awesome) and I also grabbed an AMAZING pair of Isaac Mizrahi pants in a size smaller than I am right now ($4, Salvation Army) that I know I will fit into.
And all of this ridiculous rambling just boils down to the fact that I am truly bummed about not having the holidays that I hoped for and not being able to be around the people that I miss the most. But my brother made a comment the other day that encouraged me to just focus on myself, focus on the end goal, and keep moving forward. Just have to remember that every.single.day.