Someone told me that when poor people actually manage to have money, they don’t know what to do with it and it becomes a source of stress. That’s kind of how I feel right now.

I have a couple hundred dollars in my bank account somehow, and I will get another couple hundred before the end of the month.

About half of that I will need to help cover rent and bills at the first of the month, but I’m so used to not having any money, or having just enough to buy gas and groceries that it’s still weird.

I keep wondering if there are bills I haven’t paid or something. (But no).

I paid off my credit card this month (yay!), so that’s a chunk of it.

I’ve been throwing literally all my extra cash at that thing for years.

Side note: when you’re 19 or 20 years old and the credit card companies start sending you cards in the mail, don’t actually activate one unless you’re sure you can manage it.

When I was in my early 20s, I got in the bad habit of spending money I didn’t have on things I wanted, thinking I could pay it off later. The bad news is, you can’t. Or later is a lot further away than you thought, at least.

But hey, I’ve finally paid off at least the biggest portion of the bad money decisions I made in my early 20s.

I have a couple bills I pay on the credit card because they’re due between the 1-15, but I actually will have the money to pay that off the second half of the month so that’s fine.

I’m talking about spending money you don’t have on clothes or a cute purse or eating out at restaurants with your friends. It sucks living within your means sometimes, but by now I’ve learned how to actually do it and make it bearable.

(The key is to shop at thrift stores and to know how to cook and have good quality tea and coffee at your house so it doesn’t feel like you’re giving up anything to just stay home).

Part of the problem is that when I work odd jobs to supplement my income, I don’t always know when I’m going to get paid for them.

I have extra money now because I’ve managed to get paid up for all my work for the month. That doesn’t always happen, and it sucks to not be able to count on it always happening.

I basically have to budget for assuming that I won’t get some money until a couple of weeks after I’m expecting it, and then be pleasantly surprised if it does materialize.

It is bizarre, however, that having extra money can cause almost as much anxiety as not having enough money. It’s hard for me to just let it sit there for some reason. It’s like it feels like that money couldn’t possibly belong to me, and might vanish at any moment. Like it’s just a mistake and the credit union will correct their records any day now.

Only it isn’t a mistake.

So I will try to enjoy this feeling while it lasts.

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