Thursday, March 31, 2011

WAHOO!

I sold the car, I sold the car, I sold the fucking car!!!! It's gone! It is out of my hands! YAY!  So now that means I have a small down payment for car #2 and I can pay cash for my new phone.  Today I am a grown up. :)

I even bought myself a steak to celebrate. And it is delish. Relishing the good steaky, lemon-free goodness this evening.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting Back

First good, long skate since.. I don't know, December? It was beautiful. There is just something about drowning out everything else, working through the pain (and, oh yes, there was pain!) and loving it. Even now, I know that it was a pain in the neck dodging idiots and small children, but honestly, there's no where else I would've rather been. 

I love skating. I've got to start making time for it again. I let everything else take over and I was more stressed out and depressed because of it, but it's time to get back. When I skate, everything seems better. I'm happier, more relaxed, more energetic. It's the best of all worlds. There is just nothing like going out there, pushing it, and working up a good clean sweat. I know what you're thinking, I could probably get the same thing from just about any exercise. And in theory you're correct, except... I wouldn't be skating if it wasn't for the lovely ladies of my league. They are just amazing and without derby I wouldn't know some of my best friends.

Alright, now I'm sounding mushy. Well, people I'm off to find a shower (after that lovely sweaty skate, I stink) and then get ready for Monday. 


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Insomnia

OK, so not full blown insomnia, but enough sleep deprivation to make me exhausted. You know those nights where you can do nothing but think? No matter how many times you resolve the issue in your head or work through it on paper, it will always be there, plaguing, persisting. And not that it’s a bad thing, just not one that I want to experience at one o’clock in the morning.

I try ‘journaling’ and writing it down, getting it all out on paper, trying to empty my mind so I can finally slip off into sleep. This doesn’t work. I try distracting myself with other things, movies, books, puzzles. They don’t work either. As soon as I’m done with them or lose interest, my mind is back where it started.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thanks

I just wanted to send out a shout out to H tonight. I don't know if you even read this, but I wanted to say thanks. Thank you for listening.  Even when you didn't have the answers or couldn't offer any advice, you simply listened and let me stutter my way to catharsis.

I can't tell you just how much I appreciated this.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Green Beer Day

...a.k.a. The-Day-When-Everyone-And-Their-Brother-Calls-Themselves-Irish

I for one am not doing the green beer, nor kegs and eggs. I'm just looking to go home, make some corned beef and call it a day. Granted, I did have a shot of whisky last night in honor of the day. Good stuff. :)

Went back to derby for the first real time in about three months last night. It was horrible. Like I had never been on skates before. I was shaky and nervous and tired. I cannot let myself get so overwhelmed with life again that I ignore skating. It is what keeps me sane, and therefore, the first thing that should not be eliminated from my week.

In other news, I've decided that I am going to like life. It doesn't matter that I'm not where I want to be education or career-wise. It's where I am and I'm going to make it the life I want.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brown Bag

In conjunction with my budgetary efforts (gosh, that sounded stuffy!) I’ve started some serious brown-bagging. I was just a little bit shocked when I realized how much I could be saving. As I work long hours, buying breakfast, lunch, and dinner out is an easy trap to fall into. For me, this expense can range anywhere from $20 (breakfast four days a week?) to $116. Eek. $464 a month on food? I don’t think so.

So, brown-bagging is in process. In my mind, this includes a number of things. First off, I hate eating as soon as I get up in the morning. As I’m usually very low-maintenance (up and out the door in under 30 minutes), this isn’t a viable option for me. But with 10+ hour shifts, I’ve got to make sure I have something in the morning or I’ll feel like I’m running on empty for the rest of the day. I like to leave bagels or cereal and milk at work (yes, I do that) so breakfast is readily available and there’s no excuse for buying food on the way. Also, I’ve come to like packing homemade oatmeal --I can’t stand the instant stuff, but I whip up my own mix the night before and toss it in a tupperware.

Secondly, lunch. This is harder. It seems like the brown-bagging bunch is a rarity in my department. There are three out of 50 that I can think of that brown-bag every single day. It would be a lot easier if my only option was McDonald’s -not really a temptation to buy out there! However, I don’t have that ‘luxury’. I work in an area rich with cool restaurants, fun cafes, and a host of international cuisine. Damn. So... avoiding lunch temptation is a little harder.

As for dinner, well. I feel like dinner shouldn’t be on here, but it is. I work into the evenings and often don’t get to cook dinner at home until 9pm or 10pm. Not only is this a pain in the ass (I have no desire to clean up the kitchen at 10:45 at night), but I am always hearing that eating dinner late has a negative impact on your health, including eating habits, overall health and even sleep. To try to cut down on dinner out or late night cooking, I’ve started packing a small second meal. It’s a little bit annoying (you’ve heard of the bag lady? I’m the tupperware lady...), but so far it’s proved effective.

Brown-bag favorites so far: egg and tuna salad (sounds disgusting, but delicious), homemade rice pudding for breakfast (just found Joyce Goldstein’s recipe for single-serving rice pudding -fantastic!), and homemade potato soup.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Money Money Money

So, I finally got my budget written up. It took me four hours, but I think it's done. I figured in everything I could think of, including figuring out a spending cap for myself so that I would be reminded to put away some each month.

Now, I've decided this: Debit Cards are of the Devil. OK, maybe not of the Devil, but they're entirely too easy to use and not think about what you're spending. It's like, "Oh, here, take this little shiny piece of plastic" but you never think about the money being deducted from your account. So, one of the first moves in my new budget is to cut down on the debit card. It's gotta go. I've also got a plan in place to maximize the payments on my loans so that they can be taken out ASAP.

I am so sick of being in debt. While I wouldn't give up my degree for anything, I wonder why people shell out so much for pieces of paper --at least my degree is from a reputable, accredited institution. I cannot imagine spending that much on a degree that will do you little to no good in the real world. Next thing on the list is to continue with 401k contributions and also add a little to the IRA.




Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Big Deal

OK, I will be the first to say that I always have some growing to do when it comes to matters of financial security. Even with all my bills paid on time and my credit card use minimal or nil, I know that I could be saving more, investing, planning for the future. I have decided that now's the time for change.

I look at my grandparents and (while we don't see eye to eye on everything) I have to admire them for their financial health. Thanks to their personal character and careful living, they managed to work at blue collar jobs all their lives and come out well in the clear. They saved their money; invested wisely and now they have a lot to show for it. They are some of the most generous people (maybe the most?) I know, helping out their kids and grandkids with not even a moment's notice, and yet they still live relatively simply for the wealth that I know they have. What incredible role models.

Granted, I will say right here and right now that I'm not really out there to get rich. Too many people I know have more than they know what to do with and end up squandering it or spending it on things that don't matter. Instead, I'd like to be financially secure and have enough extra for emergencies, special occasions, and supporting the causes I believe in.

So, here starts a new chapter --or at least a new paragraph to a new chapter? I've been at my 'new' job for over a year now; coming up on my first apartment move-in one year anniversary next month. A lot has changed in the past 16 months and I cannot be more grateful for it, but now is the time to change. To start, I am putting money aside in a 401k. It's not much, but it's enough to get me started.

Secondly, I am going to educate myself. (Please note: this means that I still do not want your unsolicited financial advice). On that note,  why are the finance books geared toward women called such stupid things as "Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?"? Really?  No wonder I have't taken this as seriously as I should when that's the first book that pops up on the library's hitlist.

Here's to financial wellness