Obsession, you are a cruel mistress. You get into my brain, drive up my stress levels, and invade my dreams. You drive at least 75% of my internet research. You determine the television shows I watch. You cause me to fret over my bank account, my credit rating, and why I probably can’t afford to up and move somewhere else, after all.
Awhile back, I used to be married. Clearly, this was not the wisest decision I ever made. In addition to not wanting to be married in the first place, it turns out that I’d married a liar, cheater, and thief who ruined my credit. And when I say “ruined,” I mean that he burned it, buried it, dumped toxic waste all over it, and then got the entire site condemned. It. Was. Bad.
I’d originally thought that I’d have to wait until I was 30 to buy a house. By that point, I assumed that my credit would have mostly recovered. I also wanted to buy a house on my own. I didn’t want to rely on anyone else’s credit for a loan or anyone’s else’s money for my mortgage payments. I wanted to buy my house.
I’m still a couple of years away from 30 (thank god), but I got the idea in my head that I could start looking into a house. I’d heard about FHA loans and figured maybe I could get approved, and I have a friend who’s a pretty big deal in St. Louis real estate. I’d also been scanning home listings for more than a year, ostensibly so that I knew what I could expect when I did buy a house, but also because it’s like the crack cocaine of sitting on my couch and paging through house photos.
Having no idea of if or for how much of a loan I can get, I’ve made a few decisions about money that I’m going to have to stick to this year. First, I may have to continue working at the bar. I’ve had so little business (or, like last night, decent business but bad tippers) lately that it doesn’t seem worth it, but at this point, I guess that every little bit counts.
Second, no more new books. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on books every year and I don’t even have the shelf space for all of them. (Though I suppose it’s a more economical item to collect than, say, Faberge eggs.) It’s embarrassing to admit, but I don’t currently have a library card and will have to pick one up soon.
Third, no car payment. I don’t have one as it is, but I’d originally thought I’d buy a new (to me) car in March. Now, I may have to wait a bit in order to jack up my potential down payment for a house. This means that if anyone makes fun of the Lumina, I will have no choice but to kick your ass and then ban you from a housewarming party.
Fourth, rein in the music purchases. Yeah, I’m one of those losers who still pays for music. I don’t spend a ton of money on it every year, but I could cut back and pester my cooler friends for mix CDs. Also steal iTunes gift cards. I kid.
Fifth, any 2010 dinner parties are probably going to have to be potlucks. Cooking and cleaning for just 6 people costs kind of a lot of money, and while I don’t mind doing it, maybe I’ll have to wait until my first dinner in my new house to take it on by myself again.
Sixth, stop buying hookers.
My cats will have to behave themselves for a new house, too.