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I'm Losing my Frugal Focus

June 23rd, 2010 at 10:56 am

I've been divorced over a year, and am still working to pay off the ex-spouse. This last month, I've completely screwed up on saving and have spent money on eating out and on just stuff that I wanted.

So this is a note to me to encourage me as to why I'm doing this.

I know I feel angry right now. I am just coming to grips with new emotions about the divorce because at first I was so terrified I would have done anything to get away. Now I'm angry because I'm the one paying him money. I suppose I should be wildly grateful he didn't get away with more, but I feel like I'm being punished. I still have to save another $17K and instead of being proud of myself for saving so much, I'm angry because I'm saving for him instead of me.

And this anger is working itself out in unplanned purchases and I am spending more than I wanted to. I'm also doing things like losing receipts and not marking down things quickly.

So while I know that I have to work and save to pay him off, I also want to be able to work and save for me. I want to be able to start paying down my shiny new mortgage (because of course he got all the equity I built up). Because if I don't, I'll never retire.

And I want to have fun. I want to have money to go out to eat with friends, and to go explore new places.

I went to the aquarium of the pacific yesterday. I spent more than I budgeted for and I'm aggravated about it. I had paid for the trip, so entry and gas were all budgeted, but I gave my self $25 to pay for food, and that wasn't enough, I purhased little gifts for people, I spent $2.00 for tea, $6.50 for a drink and snack, and $29 for a meal and then $16 on little items (how they do stack up), 9 dollars for feeding little cute birds, and $1 for a tip for the driver.

And through it all I was angry because no one else on the trip was alone, just me. Because I have been trained not to make friends, because my husband always made it a priority to cut me off from people.

So I'm both depressed and angry and that's impacting my focus.

So now I have new goals:
1) Pay off Ex-spouse (find some of his old underwear and set fire to it in the barbecue and dance around it when he's paid off).
2) Set a budget to do fun things that cost money (like going out to eat with a girl friend or exploring the coast line in California).
3) Start cleaning up my house with the goal of being able to entertain.
4) Also save and add to an emergency fund (I do have one but it doesn't have enough in it)
5) Also save and start a Roth IRA with whatever the minimum is(I'm guessing $1000).
6) Start doing more socially.
7) Take care of myself instead of treating myself like I'm not worth anything.

8 Responses to “I'm Losing my Frugal Focus”

  1. north georgia gal Says:

    I an completely relate to your post. When my ex-husband left me, I was devastated...then I got angry. Angry at how I had made him my whole life and he threw that away. Anytime I would make a friend, he would be so completely jealous that it was easier for me to just stay home instead of doing fun things with friends. I never got my hair cut or did anything for me. I wasn't allowed to spend money on myself for anything, but he would spend all he wanted on his hobbies, like golf. Once the anger went away, I felt relief and happiness. I started to take care of myself and I learned to make friends, and you will too.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    ((hugs))

    For what it's worth, you sound to me like a completely amazing woman. I'd be a lot more angry and depressed than you sound from your writing; it's so understandable and natural. Your ex sounds like a complete loser, especially for leeching your money and equity away from you in exchange for nothing but a rotten marriage. I believe that you will be able to work through these and come out the other side a success, financially and emotionally. I'm pulling for you, big time!

  3. momcents Says:


    I have to tell you that my uncle took my children and I to the Aquarium of the Pacific last August when we visited Southern California. We LOVED the place - in fact my kids have matching t-shirts from there that they like to wear. It was such a fun place to visit. We still talk about the shark tank and touching the sting rays.

    I think you should regularly provide yourself with funds to bring enjoyment to yourself. Even if it means taking a bit longer to get rid of (financially the ex). It is time to takeback the joy he robbed you of (referring to your statement about ex keeping you from friends).

    I am not by nature a social person. I have close friends, but don't do the socializing with acquaintences very well. Not in my comfort zone. I'm challenging myself to feel differently in situations which I perceive uncomfortable. I have recently learned that I am a member of a caring church family, and it probably the safest place to start.

    I think you can get back on track.

  4. Shiela Says:

    ((HUGS))

  5. nmboone Says:

    I don't know your divorce situation details but it doesn't seem fair that he got away with so much! What kind of lawyer did HE have? I can totally understand your feelings about all the money going to him and not doing anything for yourself. I hope you can find ways to treat yourself on your debt journey.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    The first goal made me laugh.

  7. Miz Pat Says:

    First of all, thank you for your responses. I appreciate the feeling and kindness.

    The divorce is a California Divorce. This means he gets half because unless I have police reports proving abuse, because we're the "no fault" divorce state. He doesn't work, and claims to be totally disabled, so I would end up paying scads of alimony. Instead I'm trying to pay him 60% of the appraised value of the house. I really have gotten off easy, when you consider i would have paid him $1200 a month for life otherwise, but its still hard to do.

    The Aquarium of the Pacific was utterly enchanting. They have huge exhibits - and twice I listened to scuba divers in the tanks telling people about the fish and habitat. If I lived there, i would definitely buy a yearly membership.

    I'm not good at making new friends, and I'm definitely not a party type of person. I do have a wonderful church, which I've been bypassing, because I've been depressed and moody. Not a lot of people there, but all good people. Actually, they're the reason I want to fix up the house to entertain. That would be fun. Maybe we could have lady's groups or gasp - a barbecue or something.

    Thank you for your support and wisdom - all of you. God bless.

  8. Jerry Says:

    I'm sorry, Miz Pat, but I'm also glad that you are able to work through these emotions. It leads to better things in the future, I am sure of it. Once you are done with this challenge you will be freed from that frustration and you will have the insurance of pursuing the things that YOU want to do. The fact that you have a list is great! Good luck and much happiness. I will bet that the good people at your congregation will be so happy to see you when you return.
    Jerry

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