Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Brain Spew

Preface: I'm not so much complaining as just mind spewing for therapies sake. ok.

I've been hearing myself say constantly as of late, "AHHh, I'm so overwhelmed!" I feel as though I'm accomplishing the bare necessities but I'm not doing anything with excellence and there are SO many things left undone. I'm so frazzled.

There's something very much like a scene from Disney's Fantasia playing out in my mind at all times. Hundreds of thoughts are dancing (clumsily and very out of sync) around each other, colliding, quarreling, hiding, and jumping out from behind a curtain to twirl and dance some more. I cannot seem to grab hold or control them. Like Mickey mouse attempting to conduct the brooms and mops while watching them revolt and cause chaos. Water rushes everywhere and the effort to clean a mess results in catastrophe.

I've visions of a heavy hippo named healthy eating twirling and plopping about. A broom and mop making splotchy messes on the walls of my mind rather than helping me organize. A few little critters calculating and computing the financial obligations like a game or a comedy where tearing a few hundred dollars to bits is hilariousity. Multiplied by a million more characters. Welcome to my mind. I fear this may just be the result of being born female.

I am a self proclaimed dreamer, planner, organizer (of sorts), ah but also an artist. I tend to go about accomplishing every task in a rather round about manner only nothing seems to be getting accomplished lately and my mind is swarming with undone activity.

So, I'm listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio the other day on my way home from work; listening and thinking, "Balance the budget, get out of debt, plan some dinners, don't spend money, Christmas presents, lose the baby weight, bathe the baby, get the junk out of the basement, dust bunnies in the bedroom, brush the dogs teeth, ahhh weeds are taking over the front lawn... shoot, when's the last time I showered and I need to e-mail back my friend who's been kicking butt with her finances right now. ect; ect; ect."

He, Dave Ramsey, gets a question from a listener, "How do you stay focused financially once you've paid off the debts?" Dave said that you should always have a goal. If you've paid off your debts set a goal of saving so much, or donating so much, or something to strive for financially (something obtainable). You need a goal, always. That is the idea behind the baby steps after all. Well this little bit of advice caused a light bulb moment for me. I need "A" goal right now. Not a list. ONE goal. ONE thing to shoot for (that's obtainable) and I need to set it on a platform above all the dancing hippos in my mind.

I'm kind of laughing right now because I'm thinking about what goalS I could shoot for after I accomplish my first goal.

GOAL: $1000 emergency fund in the bank.
I think I'm almost up to $200 at present. I need to focus and work at it and get that $1000 in the bank and nothing else (except my family) can dance it's way around that.

$1000, $1000, $1000, One Thousand Dollars!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Family picnic = free lunch/ dinner! And a good one at that.

I redeemed a second empty coffee bag for a free coffee this morning. On that note I noticed that I've a box of tea that's been sitting around A LONG time. Until I finish that box of tea I plan to not drink any coffee (or buy any new beans).

I ate a bagel and some cereal while anxiously awaiting the picnic. And miraculously I've pulled off two no spends in a row!!!

Oh, the mini victories feel so sweet. I've $32.58 left for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I was not planning on today being a no spend so I am going to shoot for one more during the next three days.  

woo hoo!


Happy to announce that I didn't spend one single penny yesterday. I cannot remember the last time that happened. A dear friend of mine has been reading through my blog. She's been attempting the $12 a day challenge and doing incredible at it! I on the other hand have been struggling hardcore but she inspired me to buckle down (at least for yesterday).

I'd run out of coffee BUT I had two empty Starbucks bags (which afford a free tall coffee each). I redeemed one bag yesterday morning and one today. Lucky me, there's a Starbucks about 6 blocks away. I ate cereal all day yesterday. I made my very first Quiche for dinner. I'd bought the ingredients for it on Thursday and I do love Quiche so it was a treat really and I was pretty proud of myself for FINALLY making one. So simple, so delicious, and only 5 ingredients (eggs, milk, cheese, broccoli, tomato... oh and pie crust).

Today is a new day but I am SOOOOO stoked that I managed a no spend. Hooray!

I've been backsliding pretty bad when it comes to the "acquiring new" items versus simplistic living. I really truly believe that I have beyond all that we need and buying new anything is just excessive/ wasteful. The catch is that I've brought a perfectly new little person into this world and I get to decide what he needs. Although we were VERY blessed by the baby showers it is quite easy to think he "needs" more than he actually does. This is mostly where I've been slipping.

So I can imagine some readers getting frustrated and thinking "you'd better not be thinking about depriving that little guy of yours." No, no, no he will have the world at his finger tips but I've found myself purchasing a sleeper or some other article of clothing that I was thinking he hadn't enough of BEFORE checking through bags of hand me downs and realizing that he had plenty. I bought a teething ring the other day before finding two in a bag of random items that I'd set aside because he wasn't needing them yet. I did the same thing with a bottle brush and then realized we had one.

The point I'm getting at is that I've strayed from spending wisely. I've made a habit out of not just grabbing things I "need" on a whim but rather holding off for several days before making the "needed" purchase. But this habit is slowly being broken and I cannot stand for it. I can honestly say that at least 99 out 100 times that I've put off purchasing something in order to brain storm a solution to the need I've come up with a free/ alternative plan. I need to return to that mindset and I am setting out to do just that.

I shall resume my list of "stuffs" purchases. I shall be thorough and honest. I rather lament that I got lazy and neglected it in the first place. It turns out that listing every "thing" purchase was quite invaluable to me. (the list is on the right side of this blog under 2012 stuff purchases... which is totally inaccurate since I stopped adding to it months ago. The 2011 stuff purchases list (just a bit below the other) is in fact correct).

For the record I've $32.58 remaining through Wednesday in order to balance this weeks budget. I'm on a mission! I also hope for one more NO SPEND between now and then. Shoot this was going to be a quick little blog... that didn't happen.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Putting on Rose-ish Colored Glasses

I just added up the 19 hospital/ doctors bills we received for our little mans entrance into this world.  The total (after insurance paid their share) is just over $2900. (That's not a lot of money to some people but it's A TON of money to us) I've been paying a little at a time but we just don't have that kind of dough lying around. We'd go into debt a million dollars and more for the little dude but it's still sad that we owe even more money now. AND I had a no bells and whistles delivery. We used a midwife which is cheaper than a physician and I didn't have any pain meds/ epi which saves a considerable amount. Geesh! (just to clarify I didn't refuse pain medication to save money. thats the way I wanted it. I'm just saying that would have cost even more)

Adding to the $2900 debt increase this year we just CHARGED (that's right, got out the credit card) $500 for our Boz. His teeth were getting really bad again and there was one that was really infected and causing him alot of pain. I don't know if you remember but he got several teeth pulled last year due to gum disease. Well he just got 5 more pulled. It needed to be done. He's feeling MUCH better now. His mouth is cleared of the bacteria which does affect his little heart. Truth, it had to be done. BUT I'm feeling like such a failure when it comes to the debt journey right now. I guess I'm sort of feeling like a marathon runner who just stopped half way.

BUT I haven't stopped! Here comes the Rosy part. I'm not doing good. I've had some pitfalls. My hours at work are still slow (which is REALLY hurting us financially). The debt is starting to climb up again (that terrifies me and makes me feel like a loser) BUT I have last years victories under my belt. I can keep chugging along knowing that we'd be SOOOOOOO much worse off if it weren't for the hard work I put in last year AND I can keep going. I can get out of debt, totally, for real, for good! I can do this. I've been doing this. I'm still doing this despite how it looks and feels right now. 

Looking through the rose colored glasses I can see that I haven't been perfect along this journey of mine but I'm still going, I HAVE NOT QUIT and we're going to get out of debt. It's just not a sprint : (

Life is beautiful!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some Good Some Bad

Do you want the good news first or the bad?

Bad: My hours have been severely lacking at work lately. I'm a 40 hour employee but have only been getting about 30 hours for the past several weeks. Ok, it's great coming home early to be with my little guy and the husband BUT we need every penny we make and at present I'm having a very difficult time figuring out how to pay the bills. It's gotten to the scary point. I actually feel like I did back when I started this blog over a year and a half ago. It's not a comfy feeling. Horrible confession: I haven't looked at the bank account for about a week and I'm scared to. Yeah, yeah that's the exact opposite of how I should be handling this but old habits die hard.

Good: After seemingly endless attempts the husband got the promotion (starts training tomorrow). It has it's downfalls, like being away from home an extra 14 hours a week and needing to put even more miles on the car and spend a bunch more in gas <boooo> but it's what he's been trying for and it will mean extra income. Hooray! I am proud of him.

Life is crazy and splendid and difficult and spectacular!