I feel deflated.
I don’t want to mope around, feeling sad over money because at the end of the day, it’s just that — money. Money that can be replaced, money that can be earned back.
But still, when I think about how I could’ve used that money, I can’t help but feel miserable. Had I known it will get stolen, sana ginamit ko nalang pang-spoil kay Yuri!
Here’s what happened. I follow the 52-week challenge that we see all over the internet every January. I put my money in a nondescript coin bank because back then, I couldn’t find a decent ceramic coin bank. I just wrapped craft paper around it and printed out the guideline so each time I put money inside, I also crossed out the corresponding date. I didn’t necessarily follow the sequence either. Whenever I had extra money with me, I skipped the low amounts and went straight to the higher amounts. Because I kept track of what I put inside the coin bank, I know the exact amount of money that I had in it.
Even if my money was inside what literally looked like a kid’s coin bank, I was still careful. I locked my bedroom door each time I went out — except for one time when we were running late.
I’ve never opened the coin bank because I didn’t want to get tempted to fish out some cash from it. Until last night. Before I showered, I just got this strange urge to check the inside. There was absolutely no reason so I believe it was God who prodded me to do it. I took the top off and poured out the money on my bed. Imagine my despair when out came only three pieces of P500-bills, a hundred, and a couple of smaller amounts.
I literally scratched at the bottom of the coin bank, thinking the rest of the bills must have gotten stuck. Nope, it was empty! 15 weeks of saving, all gone! I sound relatively calm right now, but believe me, last night, I bawled like a baby.
And then there’s our ex-maid, Rena, who started working for us last month and left just last Monday. She was our prime suspect because there’s just no one else who could have done it. Asking for my friend Yankee’s help (because Yankee’s friend was the one who referred Rena to us), we searched for her home. Upon arriving at her home (being in one of the shadiest areas of Davao City at 10 pm is not the best experience of my life), we found out that she’s been telling us so many lies. And major lies at that — involving her children! We had the impression that she was a devoted mother, but the truth, we found out, was that her kids were not even with her. They refuse to go with her, so they’re with the father.
I don’t want to talk about her lies anymore because they are not relevant, but I think it says a lot about her character. She denied taking the money, of course, and was pretty adamant. But once you’re proven to be a liar, what value does your word hold? Anyway, I didn’t expect to get a confession or to even get my money back — I was just glad that God revealed her true character to us.
Until now I am still not 100% sure who took my money, but I’ve exhausted all the options. She was the most plausible suspect. It might not sound like a very large amount to some, but it was substantial to me. I couldn’t help but think of the things I could’ve bought with that money. I could’ve paid Yuri’s tuition fee. I could’ve added it to my Sunlife insurance savings. I couldn’t help but blame myself for being lax, or for choosing to use a coin bank instead of a real bank. In my defence, this is the first time in a long time that I’m using a coin bank. I don’t know, it just seemed so exciting to open a full coin bank come Christmas, lol!
Job, the typical male that he is, came to my rescue by telling me he’ll just replace the money that was stolen. I was grateful, of course, for the sweet gesture, but it’s just not the same. That’s 15 weeks of choosing to set aside cash rather than spend it. I’ve been recovering from being a spend-aholic, and it was such an amazing feat for me to be able to do that. I was so proud of myself! Tapos kukunin lang pala ng iba. Lord! *hagulhol*
But I’m not giving up. I may feel defeated right now, but it doesn’t mean I’m not saving anymore. If anything, I’m thankful for this experience because it taught me to always have my guard up and be vigilant. Again, at the end of the day, it’s just money. It’s just a material thing that can be replaced.