Friday, 2 March 2012

Mom Got On a Plane, What to do next?

I don't want to measure the volume of the tears I shed the day my mom went to live in the States for good for three reasons:
  • I'm not good at Math ("not good" is an understatement).
  • Crying when someone leaves is NOT Postmodern, and that'll undermine the image I'm trying to put up. On the other hand, crying in the bedroom while listening to "Leaving on a Jet Plane" as background IS Postmodern and Melodramatic. Those two make a great tandem. 
  • Finally, there's really no means of measuring tears because it's just a "salty water from the eyes" if you shed them with no feelings at all. So if tears is equal to emotions, then tears are immeasurable. 
The notion of "you're-finally-free-'cause-your-mom-is-not-here" is a myth. Here's the thing: my mom left me with my grandma who practically stays in her bedroom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don't think about laziness yet,  my grandma needs all the comfort she can have, just like any other elderly lads. As a trying-to-be-responsible adult, you can't let her think about bill deadlines; she'd been doing that for more than 50 years, don't you think she deserves a break? This left me to become a home economics supervisor, and it's not a joke. 

You're a newbie to home management, and I can understand if you mess up with little things, but what you SHOULDN'T blow is your monthly budge. 23-year-olds like me should be hanging around Starbucks, racing after Whalesharks, planning an out of town vacation, or watching movies weekly, but that is not my case; too good to be true. Doing all those would mean breaking your most beloved piggy bank and never getting anything in return except for tagged photos in Facebook from your Whaleshark adventures. For young, vibrant, fun-loving young adults like me, here are some things that I've been doing for the past few days to make home economics easy.
  • On food budget. Planning meals on a daily basis is a headache; that's already tried and tested. So what I did is list the recipe we're going to have for the week (I'm working full time during the weekdays which makes it utterly impossible to do other things aside from waking up early and taking a bath). Select budget friendly and healthy recipes, they work well if you're living with your grandma; veggies and fish are your grandparents' friends. Highly perishable ingredients should be consumed immediately, while meat should be kept frozen. Thus, it is wise to buy them on the day you'll use them, but for other ingredients such as spices, you can buy them ahead of time. 
  • On daily expenses. It's necessary that you set a limit to your daily expenses such as your transpo needs or else, you're broke. In my case, I spend about Php 28 for fare, and Php 20 for lunch, for a total of Php 48 a day. However, there are times when Matia's BBQ house, which is located outside our workplace, tempts me perfectly. I recognize my weakness as a mortal and I admit that I can exceed my 48-a-day budget whenever our team goes for a lunch out. This should not bother your conscience, as long as you're not doing it always. After all, all work and no barbecue makes you a boring zombie. 
  • On leisure. If you'd tell me that you don't need enjoyment because all you care about is your money and career, I'd be more than willing to call you a hypocrite. Honestly, who doesn't want to be pampered? On the other hand, fun is very tricky: when you're on the edge of enjoying the moment, you can't seem to get enough, but when it's over, that's when you realize that what you did was just 'too' over the top. The keyword is self-control. Never lose your senses on fun moments; they kill the hell out of your wallet! 
  • On bills. I hate bills, and so do you. I know this because people will do anything if there's a way to get things for free. In the age of commercialism, however, "free" is a big lie. The problem with many consumers is they use services but never bother if they can pay them as agreed. Phone bills, electricity charges, and water bills should be prioritized; pay on-time as much as possible. 
At first, you may find it difficult to act as a real adult, but you'll get used to it in no time. All you need is to fix your mind about the reality that partying is not your thing anymore. Solo living doesn't suck. In fact, you'll appreciate little things more than ever, especially if you get to extend your budget up to the next payday. Remember the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment when you switched from pencil to ballpoint pen in elementary school? That's more like it. ;) 

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