22.07.10; Torn up Thursday; 09:03

Days remaining before we trainees go live: 2. Desired workstation: 1. *blushes*

Dear Niwee,

Now that I’m earning again after experiencing financial drought for about 6 months, methinks a financial assessment is in order. I prayed to God (and I still do) that I wish to be debt-free before this year ends and, if it were His will, to enjoy financial freedom for the rest of my life.

When I got hired recently, I was ecstatic that I’d finally get to practise money management by dividing my salary into money jars. With my undying tendency to get ahead of myself, I already made inquiries for pole dancing and yoga classes, plotted subscription to integrative medicine and initiated exchanges for business revival and new business ideas. Something tells me it’s not happening yet. In fact, this fantasy will take longer to come into fruition.

I’m ashamed to admit that, based on my 2 paydays so far, about 55% go to my outstanding bills and debts, 30% to necessity, 10% to play and 5% to charity. Although I wish to speed up the disappearance of the tall pile of bills, a part of me rebels when I can’t acquire the material highs and social presence that I was accustomed to. But when I treat myself to, say, a tall cup of blueberry tea latte or a ticket to the cinemas, a feeling of guilt tortures me. I also feel bad that I am sometimes tempted to cheat on my self-imposed tithing. The worst part? Thinking that it’s OK even if I don’t have any fund for emergency cases. I got sick this week and trainees can’t afford to go on sick leaves, right?

Just when I managed to convince myself that this deprivation stage will pass, I felt this heavy burden against my shoulder again. I remember my father asking me to contribute to household expenses only when I’ve finally paid off my bills. So how come my mother all of a sudden begs me to cash out my lapsed life insurance policy and/or take out another SSS loan in order to pay her car loan and settle my brother Lecquiem‘s tuition fee? Ah, yes. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Most friends remind me it’s not a daughter’s obligation to take care of her parents’ payables. Sure, a part of me wants to play deaf to her theatrics. But I can’t ignore the fact that I am involved in this mess since my father had to settle some of my bills while I was enjoying my second sabbatical. To top it off, my mother had been trying to raise money by placing the house she’s worked hard for under a mortgage. Saang kangkungan naman kami pupulitin nito?

Yes, I’m a headless chicken right now. Call me selfish but it’s hard for me to give up my insurance policy. I had no history of injury and hormonal imbalance when I purchased this policy when I was 21. I have plans to take out another SSS loan but that was for investment purposes. What should I do now? Take another job like this? Ask friends for help again? This is depressing.