Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Tad Bit Glum

I spend a considerable amount of time each Saturday morning working the numbers and contemplating the budget, the bills, the debt, the future blah. I came in $9.30 over budget this past week. $9.30 is better than the week priors $12.73. I'm not to glum about it. But I hate looking at all the future expenses.

I hate knowing that the dogs need haircuts (we tried once to do it ourselves. It took several days to accomplish one pooch's trimming and it was a miserable fail) and we don't have money for it. We went to a celebratory dinner last nite for a very good friend who just received a great promotion but that starts this week's budget with $23 (2 days worth of spending) blown on one small meal and there's no food in our house right now but a few potatoes and box of cereal. The husband just got his guitars done (adjusted or whatever). Apparently it's been too long already and it SHOULD be done twice a year but the $110 expense is irking me beyond belief. OH, and I don't have any money budgeted for Christmas. That ones gonna bite me in the rear... I just know it.

I feel like a child right now, you know the "I don't want to clean my room. I don't want to eat my peas. I don't want to take the garbage to the road..." ranting type child. I don't want to spend money on gasoline, and dog hair cuts, and groceries, and for crying out loud I need one pair of pants that fits. I want to pay my bills and put the money towards the debt AND savings that I've budgeted and that's that. I'm sick of all the expenses. I know it's dumb. The expenses are the whole reason for the money in the first place but. "mommyyyy... I don't want to!"


"Sorry honey, we're eating cereal for lunch today"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My November Thanksgiving Plan

Oh goodness, I'm so excited for Christmas this year. The back rooms at the stores are starting to fill with Christmas candy and the Christmas departments are pretty much all stocked (a tad bit weird, and way too early). I almost broke open a few different boxes of Christmas candy while walking around in back today. I LOVE Christmas time. BUT Thanksgiving comes first!!!

Thanksgiving is awesome and not just because I love food. I love the big family gatherings only one month before more big family gatherings and I love the food! I'm already dreaming up all of the thanksgiving dishes I could experiment with this year. Honestly I'm having to daily remind myself that I don't need to splurge and go all out. I can enjoy the holidays with simplicity. I can... I think I can... I know I can.

I believe that being thankful is one of the most important things you can do in life and the "Thanks" part of Thanksgiving is really why I love the holiday. Every November for the past several years I've made a tradition out of writing thank-you notes to different people I appreciate. Every time I've given someone their Thanksgiving thank-you letter they've been SOOO thrown off guard. A few years back when I wrote one to my mother in law I made her cry and our relationship changed very much for the better from that moment on. The food is great but the Thanks is really what it's all about.

This year I'm pledging (and this is a big one) to write AND mail one Thanksgiving thank-you note every day in November. I don't think I've ever given out more than 10 in a single year. I'm going to allow myself the ability to stock pile. If I don't write any all week but send out 7 on Saturday that will be fine. I REALLY want to do this though. I LOVE sending thanks to the people in my life who I care about and appreciate and there are way more than 30 of them.

I don't need to spend and splurge on elaborate tasty foods (the traditional pumpkin cheese cake WILL happen though). A simple Thanksgiving can be just as grand. Giving thanks however, I can splurge on that and I dare say I shall enjoy it as much if not more than all those tasty dishes.

October has been a pretty great month all in all and now I'm SUPER excited about November.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Certainly not in the 1% but I Refuse to be one of the 99, Debt Quote Tuesday

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work.
-Robert Orben
This wall street thing is driving me crazy. The birds wake each morning singing their birdy songs. They go about collecting food and building nests. The ants march to and fro... continuously, working, working, working. The bees buzz and collect and build and work, work, work. The elephants, whales, penguins, animals all over the planet trudge the yearly paths they must follow in order to survive. It takes work to get somewhere. I think that's a fact of life. Right??? 

I have one brother who's paid his way through a very nice college. He works long hours in an office where he's proud of his job and worked his way up from the factory floor. He lives in a very nice home, drives a very nice vehicle, and he's incredibly responsible with his income. His wife takes incredibly good care of the family, my brother, and their three gorgeous daughters (one of those Martha Stewart type moms). She also works part time (I believe) as a special needs teacher. They're not rich but they're prosperous and very responsible. They also love each other very much, spend tons of family time together, and know what's important in life.

I have another brother who just lost his home. He's had a difficult time holding down jobs. Either he quits spontaneously because he can't stand the job any longer or he's been laid off due to the economy. It's horribly judgmental but it's also the facts: he's not responsible with the money he earns. He lived in his home for practically a year without paying any sort of a mortgage or rent payment and when the day came that he HAD to move he went asking people if he could borrow some money to put down on the first months rent for the new place. He did have a fairly nice income for a vast majority of the time he lived rent free in the house he was losing. Why the heck didn't he have a down payment for his new place? If I lived rent free for a year I'd be LOADED! I love him. He's a great guy. He trys to be the best dad he can be. But he doesn't seem very happy and I don't think he sees past RIGHT NOW.

I remember writing about this earlier in the year. I wondered at the possibility of two types of people. The type that plans and looks ahead, and the type that has absolutely no regard for the future. The first type of person works hard because they know as a fact of life that's what needs to be done. They plan, they do what needs to be done, and life might not be easy but it's not a futile struggle. The second type, well I was there for quite a long while... they want, want, want, but don't look ahead and then the world crashes down around them because they refused to watch it falling down (and didn't want to put the effort into stopping it).

My world began to fall. I could have easily decided to stop paying "the stupid banks." I could have declared bankruptcy. I could have blamed them for my debt. After all HOW DARE THEY charge me the exorbitant interest that I AGREED to pay them when I borrowed their money. In fact I could have gotten pregnant years ago, divorced my husband (just for legality sake... we would have stayed together in this scenario) and gone to college for free, gotten free daycare, and free food. Oh, how wonderfully easy life would have been.

I think I ramble upon this subject a bit too often but I'm kind of angry about it. If you want something then WORK FOR IT! Your life is in your hands. My life is in my hands. I'm responsible for what happens along the path I choose to follow. Why should ANYONE else be responsible for you, I mean unless of course you're a baby who needs to be bottle fed and have his or her diaper changed for them.

If you want to be rich then do what it takes. If you're just mad at other people for being rich then you have a problem. Apparently there's something I'm not getting. I don't think it's the government or anyone else's for that matter responsibility to take care of me??? In fact I don't want "free" food or "free" school. I'm pretty sure food you actually work for tastes considerably better than the free stuff anyway.

I only spent $3.08 today  : )

Monday, October 24, 2011

$13.77 a Day

Just a random morning ramble.

I'd hoped to be somewhere near a $10,000 debt payoff by the end of the year. I might make it pretty close to  $10,000 total in credit card payments including interest. I'm really happy with the $4000 we've paid off so far. It's getting close to double what we paid off last year. BUT I still really REALLY wish it was more.

After yesterday's post "$4000 paid off in 42 weeks" I did the math. I've paid OFF $95 a week in CC debt. $13.77 a day has gone to pay OFF credit card debt. I've paid well over $150 a week in credit card payments (that's over $20 a day!!!). I harp on myself for spending $4 a week on coffee. I've been trying to live off of $84 a week for ALL spending. My husband who I complain up the wazoo about spends between $80 to $100 a week on nonsense (and food). The point I'm trying to make and one I'm exceedingly happy with at the moment is that we've been regularly putting more money towards the debt than ANYTHING else. $150 a week is a TON of money for us. $4000 doesn't seem like a super lotta money (especially when reading about some other people's pay offs) but $150 a week is genuinely really extreme for us and I'm a little amazed right now.

Ramble done. Another little self inflicted pep talk complete.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 42 of this Grand Adventure

This past weeks budget ended $12.76 over. I'm sad to have gone over but I'm not angry about the $12.76. That's not a horrible figure. We are spending more frugally again. The husband is even slowly stepping on board. So far so good, thats what I say.

I re-worked the number's yesterday and I've paid over $4000 in credit card debt this year which comes to almost $7000 paid out with interest included. I'm only $200 away from being under that $20,000 mark for the CC debt. I've been wishing for this moment for YEARS! It's like someone who's weighed over 200 pounds for such a long time and they've always hoped but never thought they'd see that 198 or 197 on the scale. I'm so excited for the $20,000 mark to be passed once and for all.

16.68% of the CC debt is gone so far this year. Especially if the husband gets the promotion (which we haven't heard back on yet) our credit cards should be completely paid off in 3 to 4 years. I've had credit card debt since I was 17. For over 14 years I've owed numerous banks debt and interest due to purchasing items I could not truly afford. Just 2 years ago I thought I'd owe debt and interest for the rest of my life. I felt like I was in such a deep dark hole that there was no possibility of ever surfacing. In 3 to 4 years I should be free and clear of owing anyone any longer. I'll have the opportunity to spend and save the income I make. I'll have the opportunity to live life free from that cloud of foolish past decisions and wasteful want. Every single day I take the tiniest little step forward towards my dream of freedom (which isn't free, doesn't come easy, and requires a lot of respect) but all the tiny steps are getting me somewhere.

It's moments like these, moments when I know that I'm really doing it; moments when life seems sweet and a pleasant aroma of accomplishment and satisfaction fills the air; these moments make the journey what it is and it is worthwhile.

A Pleasant October

Thus far I've very much been enjoying fall. The leaves changed beautifully but due to a few very strong wind storms they fell off much too quickly. Still the bright neon yellow bushes that spot the landscape on the drive north are all in full array. The delightful crispy crunchiness of walking down leaf covered sidewalks is ever present. The cool breeze accompanied by warm sweaters is so enjoyable. I also love how the earth tips northernly and the sun begins to rise southernly and the sky changes in overall appearance. If not for the temperature one can know it's Autumn simply by the change in the sky.

I LOVE this tree... I feel like it's an old friend.
I've been putting up a list for each month on the right hand side bar and sadly I don't often attain to much of the items displayed there. So far this month I've indulged in a piece of pumpkin pie, a few chai lattes (mixed up at home... much cheaper), one of my all time favorite seasonal beverages salted caramel mocha, apple cider fresh from the orchard, apple pie (home made and delicious), and I've even been to a bon fire fully equipped with smores. I intend to make the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake before the month is out. I'm looking forward to that one tremendously. I've also been reading more as of late (hooray... I LOVE to read but often do not find the time). I've gone over budget a bit but I'm quite happy with how October is progressing. Officially I've made it past the mid year slump. It happened to be a rather long slump but I'm on my way.

Additionally my son is growing and growing and every little thought of him makes life rather splendid.

Happy October everyone! Thanks for stopping by and reading  : )

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Birthday's Get me Everytime

So what do you do when an AWESOME 9 year old who lives across the country, who you miss and adore turns 10 in October, even though you promised not to buy anything new... Well (instead of making a card because I was informed of the event last minute) I bought a card and some Hello Kitty stickers and mailed them to Seattle. Thus, THREE new things have been purchased during "Buy Nothing New October." Alas, I should have embarked up "Buy Nothing New September," because I didn't buy anything in September.

It's been nice really focusing and paying attention to my purchases again (even though I've failed the mission). That first purchase didn't count because Bryallen informed me that I'd used a free pass that I hadn't previously known about. But these two purchases definitely do. Still, I didn't buy the new shower curtain or the shower mat, I've totally avoided purchasing a new shirt for work (I'm going to have to get the sewing box out today for the current one) and I also have decided that I should get one new pair of pants. Winter is coming quickly and only my work pants and PJ's are fitting me now. BUT I won't be buying those until November. So, if nothing else I have spent a bit less in October because of the challenge.

Today's Lovely 10.22.11: The sun has yet to rise and the green green grass is crispy and crinkly with frozen dew. Winter is coming and I don't mind that one bit.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quick little update

It's pretty much a given that if I haven't been blogging then I have been spending money. What an awful week food wise. I began everyday telling myself, "ok, you need to be wise with the spending and eat healthy foods." And then... yikes. I really don't want to add it all up.

As for buy nothing new October, thus far I've only purchased the few prints from the ultrasound disc. Two days ago I decided that I desperately need a new work shirt. I'm not sure how you can suddenly desperately need a new shirt but I believe I do. Yes I only have one. I'm cheap, what can I say. Despite the situation my plan is to wait until November 1st. I'm not going to buy anything (else) new this month. So there.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Reason #1 Why Not to Spend Money

Sorry but I find this quite amusing.

The cat in our family is very limited to her space. The kitchen belongs to her. She's established a few safe spots with the dogs. As long as she can make it to the bed or the ottoman she's off limits. I'm not sure how they worked that deal out. Table tops, her cat tree, the coke machine... the dogs can't get to her as long as she's up high. Our youngest dog is pretty sure that the cat is a game. "Get the Kitty" is the name of the game and the kitty is in no way shape or form amused by it. She may be a humane society backwoods runty stray with a little bit of Siamese in her BUT if you were to ask her she'd let you know first thing that she's 100% Siamese. AND she's not about to play silly kid games with a mini-schnauzer. 

Every time I walk through the pet department I want to buy her a nice fluffy cat bed. I mean she's a Siamese queen and she deserves a bit of comfort. Of course I don't want to spend the money on it. She's always sleeping on the table and the buffet, in piles of junk mail or on magazines. I've also thought about making her a nice kitty bed but I haven't gotten around to it. Pure laziness.

My husband had to get new shoes for work several weeks ago. Of course he set the empty box on the buffet (I mean where else would it go). Deedee has been quite contentedly sleeping in "her box" every single day since he got those shoes. Here I thought I should buy her a fancy cat bed or spend hours sewing her something nice and she's as happy as a clam in an empty shoe box. She's a bit chunky so I have had to duct tape one corner already. She tore it while she was snuggling her chubby self into the box. I'm pretty sure this thing is going to make her very happy for a very long time however.

Reason #1 Why Not to Spend Money: an empty shoe box will do just fine.

Today's Lovely 10.15.11: The wind this morning is absolutely musical.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I spent $10.38 over the budget this week. I'm going to attempt to spend $10.38 under the budget in the upcoming week. It's my goal to balance the $12 a day budget for the month of October. I've done really well so far and I'd be SOOOO happy to have stayed on track all month this month.

She's crying for food right now. I must go feed the hungry cat. Later.
I've a busy weekend ahead of me but I'm hoping to accomplish some de-cluttering somewhere in between all the plans. I totally dropped the ball on purging stuff (so far) this year. ooops. Wowwy life sure gets busy and flys by.

No news on the husband's potential promotion yet.

Hey, thanks to everyone who's checked out the ads on my blog (some of them are so irrelevant). I can't believe I actually get paid just for you all clicking on them. I'm getting close to another check. Woohoo. I'm so looking forward to chucking another snowball at one of those credit cards!

:  )

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goal Number 3 in the Works

We've had $10 in the bank account for the past 4 days. I hate when that happens... it's so stressful. I decided that I wasn't going to transfer money from the overdraft for a cushion because my husband was fully aware of the situation and we could make it to today without the transfer.

Well yesterday he got a job interview for a promotion. Wednesday night we scrambled to get a resume thrown together for him (he's been working at the same job for 13 years... never needed a resume before) and he mentioned that he didn't have a dress shirt (at least not one with buttons... thanks Bozzy). WELL, I went ahead and transferred money from the overdraft so that he could get a nice shirt for the interview. I am married to a VERY t-shirt and blue jeans guy!

I got home from work after an 11 plus hour day. I had tried to call home once from a payphone but he didn't answer. I was dying to hear about the interview. When I walked through the door my husband was quite proud of himself. He said the interview went very well. He would find out later about the job but even if he didn't get it he said the interview was great experience, he'd received some tremendous references from the higher ups and he was having a terrific day. AND (he was glowing about this one) he didn't buy a new shirt. Apparently he'd played dress up for awhile with some clothes he'd inherited when his uncle passed away and he informed me that he "looked VERY good!"

So, I did transfer some money from the overdraft BUT he didn't even use it. Seriously, who is this man??? Two weeks in a row he's stuck to his spending cash allowance and on the heels of a big interview he declines purchasing a new shirt. Ahhhhh, life is changing.

Maybe babies do make people grow up  : )

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I bought something new : (

I was sure that I could make it the whole month easily without buying anything new (food not included). I never buy anything. But we had the ultrasound a bit ago and they only printed out 2 photos for us and they're already starting to get a little ragged from me showing them around so I ordered copies. $1.88 spent on 2 photographs and "buy nothing new October" is shot. The worst part is that the prints aren't that great because the originals were formatted pretty small and I could so easily have waited to buy them until November. Grr.

I certainly don't intend to buy anything else this month but I'm bit regretful that I didn't wait on those photos.

I did turn down a show curtain liner that was on clearance. I really wanted to get it. I replace the shower curtain liner about twice a year. It's weird but it's one of the only things I really buy. Clearance shower curtain liners were VERY tempting to me. At least that's a victory  : )

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Movement and Debt Quote Tuesday

There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I'm almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn. -Paul Clitheroe

I come from an anomalous family. My grandparents (both sets) were very well off. My mother's siblings have done pretty well for themselves. My dad's siblings (and he's Irish Catholic so there's ALOT of them) are all (with the exception of one) VERY wealthy.

My parents spent ALOT of money when we were kids, when they were married. They actually spent ALOT of money that they didn't have. A few mortgages, several credit cards, and a divorce later my family (or I guess I should say my mother) was really quite poor and VERY in debt. Somehow my mom still managed to get new credit cards, additional personal loans, another refinance on the house... you name it she did what it took to have money. But eventually she was just trying to scrape by (the very same position I found myself in a year or so ago).

I knew it was bad. I didn't really understand why but I knew we were broke, poor, struggling... it was bad. When I was a kid and we were in our horrible financial mess I remember getting quite angry with the relatives. Here we were surrounded by millionaires (no joke). They were purchasing crazy elaborate things that no one really needs and we were having a difficult time buying groceries. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't just give us money. I was sure that if my mom asked for money they'd have to "help us out." For years I didn't understand why they were allowed to have so much while we struggled by. It just wasn't fair.

I'm intrigued by the current world economic situation. I feel like ALOT of people are almost exactly in the place we were in as a family when I was a kid. And ALOT of people are looking at the wealthy "relatives" with fury and anger because it's just not fair! I know there's a lot more to it than that but boiled down to the basic bare bones of the matter it's quite similar. What I didn't see when I was a kid was that my relatives had worked very hard for their money. Each of them had spent MANY many years in college. They worked long hours at their office jobs. They handled their money responsibly, not purchasing things with credit, or things they could absolutely not afford. They earned their income and they were taking good care of it. My parents did the exact opposite. They always spent money they didn't have. They had pretty decent jobs but they weren't responsible at all.

If you constantly spend less than you earn, no matter your situation you will get ahead, be ahead, have that financial stability and security that I longed for as a child and am working diligently towards now as an adult. If you are constantly spending above your income level then it won't take too long before it's difficult to see the top of the pit you've dug for yourself. Them's the facts.

Life isn't fair but I can understand now why my relatives weren't entitled to give us poor folks their money. They could have. It would have been a nice thing to do (my parents would have blown it and I think it's safe to say that it wouldn't have done any good in the long run). I'm finally at a place in life where I'm really not looking towards anyone else to help me out of the pit I've dug. I realize that hard work and wise responsible living will go eons farther than a helping hand up. Life is about learning, growing, experiences, trials and victories. I'm all for helping people. But I'm inclined to believe that "it's better to give than to receive" is 100% true. I'm pretty sure that every time, the giver does actually receive more than the getter.

TOTALLY different subject: baby's first photo
It's so fuzzy. But I'm pretty sure he's the most adorable thing I've EVER seen!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just by the Hair of my Chinny Chin Chin

Actually I'm REALLY glad that I don't have any hair on my chinny chin chin but I do like that saying.

I managed to stick to the budget AGAIN this week. That's two weeks in a row. Oh yeah, I am back baby! It certainly wasn't easy. We ate some pretty cheap dinners this week (healthy, but cheap). I'm proud to say that the husband did a very good job with his spending money as well. He spent $30 less this week than he did last week and he's been paying very close attention to what he's been spending his money on. He's like a whole different man (almost). He has been quite and grouchy all day today and I have a feeling that he's stewing about the tight budget. The week I pay the mortgage (this week) it's always SUPER tight around here. He says nothing's wrong and that he just doesn't want to talk but I'm not dumb. There's probably something that he really wants to buy and he's resisting asking me about it. Who knows (well he does). He can only hold out for so long.

Thank-you for all the congratulations on the baby BOY!!! I CANNOT wait to meet him BUT we certainly have a lot to do before his debut. We are really genuinely so excited. He is another REALLY good reason to reign in the spending and grow up and (to throw in a little Dave) to live like no else right now so that later we can LIVE like no one else!

Today's lovely is actually from yesterday, 10.6.11: I place fairly large stickers on the floor as advertisements in the stores that I work in. It's just a small part of my day but I get to do it everyday. Kids that notice my "fun" job are always extremely fascinated. I think some of them may actual aspire to be me when they grow up... who wouldn't want to get paid to put huge stickers on the floor (little do they know). Well yesterday I was putting down a sticker (I think it was for Campbell's soup) and I looked up and a super adorable little boy (probably about 4 years old) was standing directly in front of me. He said in the most genuinely sincere little voice, "Would you like some help?" It was too cute, really. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pretty Good Week

Shoot I missed debt quote Tuesday AGAIN.

Only 3 days left in the week and just over $30 left in the budget. I'm cutting in close again. We've done really well with spending this week but yesterday I bought lots of little food items at work that added up really fast. If I could redo yesterday I'd still have the $12 a day budget left for these next three days. Oops.

Something miraculous has happened. My husband's spending money ran out (I give him the spending cash on Thursday when we get paid) yesterday... that's not the miraculous part. So yesterday he apologized for spending $4 with the debit card on food at work and today he asked permission to spend a few extra dollars for food at work. Last week he was screaming about me not wanting him to spend $30 a week on outings with his friends and now he's watching every penny like a hawk. Even if this is just for one week, I'll take it. It's a amazing.

As for Buy Nothing New October: So far so good. I haven't made any purchases (other than food).

Little life update: We had the ultrasound on Monday (Wowwy was that AMAZING) and we are expecting a son in February!!!

I'd better go to work now. Hope everyone vastly enjoys today!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Buy Nothing New October

Tasmanian Minimalist, a fellow blogger who's been quite inspiring to me has just embarked upon "Buy Nothing New October." I think it's a great idea and I've decided to come along for the ride.

I cannot believe that October is actually here. But I'm ready. October ushers in great sweatshirt weather, beautiful multi colored leaves on all the trees, and great temperatures for walking/ exercise. We've the first ultra sound on Monday... boy or girl!?!? I've never been so excited about anything in my life. I feel like I'm back in the game with the budget and I'm hopeful that the first week in October is going to be another balanced budget week.

I can't remember the last time I bought something new BUT I'm looking forward to consciously thinking about it again everyday. I'm kind of looking forward to buy nothing new/ stick to the budget/ work with the husband on OUR spending October.

Let's do this!