31 October 2008
30 October 2008
I walked into the courthouse and placed my bag and the contents of my pockets in the metal detector basket and walked through the gateway. I beeped, and the guard told me to open my jacket, and I started to remove it. He stopped me and repeated, "just open it" and I mumbled something about having flown before, which I instantly realized was a stupid thing to say. He said "What's that?" coarsely, and I repeated it, blushing and wishing I could keep my damn mouth shut for a moment of my damn life. He let me through.
I waited, pretending to read while I scoped out the people in the courthouse waiting area. Lots of lawyers, most of them good looking, and I checked their ring fingers, because fate might have brought me to that courthouse, you know. I saw an awkward attorney hit on an attractive law clerk, who barely seemed to notice that he was totally into her. She smiled at me and I smiled back, thinking "I could be you, too. We all make dumb mistakes."
Then the lawyer came, and the law things happened. There was a lot of walking around, checking in here, checking in there. Watching my husband remove his boots and wondering why he did that, hoping he didn't pick today to have a knife in his pocket like the day we got on the plane to get married. Feeling mad and sad and sorry. And then we left, and I walked back to the library.
I walked up, and the meter guy was looking at my car, pen on the ticket form. I shuffled up, saying, "That's me, sorry, sorry. Am I too late?" He laughed, and said "yeah"- sarcastically, like I was stupid for asking. I stammered, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I had to go to court and I didn't know where to park..." and he looked up, and looked me over in my little blue court dress and my matronly nude hose and put his pen down. "It's okay. Just go." and I thanked him, and I left.
29 October 2008
Let me just say that doing the Year of Frugal Living and being so on top of my finances really served me well today, because I was able to succinctly explain exactly why I need that money, where it is going, and spout off all the numbers of what I've paid off and how much progress I've made right off the top of my head. When he left, I had 5 credit cards, now I have three, and I have paid off 10 percent of the debt, plus consolidated over 30 percent of it at 0 to 3.99 percent interest, which means less money paid to interest and more to the principle. I felt proud to say it, and it was impressive (I think) to hear.
So, good news (I hope!)
28 October 2008
I also added a debt ticker to the sidebar, I got the idea from Manda's blog, which is in my blogroll. I had no idea I had paid off 13% of my debt! I even double checked the numbers. I counted the money for the lawyer because it's an accomplishment, all the same.
Speaking of the lawyer, I'm going to court tomorrow at 10 am, so wish me luck. It's a "status hearing" and I don't think much will come out of it. Nevertheless, I'd prefer not to go. Oh well.
27 October 2008
They have oil plans to lock in rates, but I (luckily) don't go through much oil and don't really want to commit to automatic delivery. Last winter I got oil twice, both times less than the full tank, and I still have 5/8 of the tank left now, nearly 6 months later. My furnace only heats the house- every thing else is heated with electricity- and my house is a small, well-insulated, south facing ranch. I have a programmable thermostat that I keep at 63 when we're not home, 66 when we are, and 64 when we're sleeping (I think). I know that it's at 66 when we're home, but it might be less during the day.
Anyway, no oil for me!
26 October 2008
Okay, so this won't be as verbose. I decided to start with the Christmas Challenge. In August, I started an automatic savings plan with my ING Direct account that took 30 dollars every payday for Christmas. As of today, it has 180 dollars, and by December 18th, I'll have 300 dollars.
I wanted to point out that I have *never* saved in advance for Christmas. Last year I paid cash, but there have been Christmases past where I charged presents. I am probably still making payments on those presents. :(
My goal is to use my 300 dollars for Christmas without going over. I know this number is small- I don't have a lot of people to buy for and we're not huge present givers (for example, I don't have any nieces or nephews and only have one sibling- and I obviously don't need to buy for my husband anymore...). When I spend something, I'll post how much on the blog- but not what, just in case someone is reading!
25 October 2008
So, any ideas? I was thinking about some sort of a menu game- like we would all post links for recipes that use a certain ingredient, so if, say, pork roast is on sale at your grocery store, you could potentially get like 4 meals out of it.
Any other ideas?
23 October 2008
I don't know what else to say! (For once...)
22 October 2008
It's the gift that keeps on giving (for a year, anyway).
Speaking of the gift that keeps on giving, did anyone else see the new e-cards they have to help you tell people you "may" have given them an STD? That's the internetz at its finest...
21 October 2008
I hate hate hate him right now.
Our court date is October 29th. I called the lawyer and told them what he's doing. I guess it's in their hands now.
If this really happens, if he really gets away with this, 2009 is going to be the Year of Really Really Frugal Living. Like, posting to the blog from the public library because we shut off the cable/phone/internet kind of frugal living.
Did I mention I hate him?
Do you think I could submit this blog as evidence that I'm paying things off and he's screwing me every chance he gets?
18 October 2008
For the last few months, every time I thought of something I wanted but didn't need, for me or for the kids, I wrote it down in my phone (where I keep track of my spending). So, right now my Christmas list (for myself) looks like this:
- an "under the counter" radio for my kitchen, so I can listen to the news while I cook
- these cool prints from IKEA from my kitchen
Yup. Even virtual shopping makes you feel better.
I'm scared of all of this. I'm scared they are going to let him have unsupervised visitation, even though I know and my lawyers knows (and everyone else agrees) that the court won't give a confirmed drug addict unsupervised visitation with a 2 and a 3 year old. But nevertheless, it freaks me out.
This apartment freaks me out. The last time he lived alone he was involved in some really bad stuff. It was a long time ago, before we were even together, but he's not that different now, obviously.
Yuck.yuck yuck yuck.
I'm going to Target today to get Halloween costumes (my MIL offered to pay, I love her). If I see those shoes I wanted, I'm freaking buying them. The last time I bought new shoes was when I started working full time again! Seriously! I'll be freaking damned if I let him screw up everything for us. Freaking damned.
17 October 2008
I may throw up.
14 October 2008
I can't even imagine things being that hopeless. Things have been pretty bad for me, I'm sure many people who took a look at my debts would say things are pretty bad for me right now, but I still have a place to live and I have a job, so things could be worse.
It's really sad how much money tears peoples lives apart.
13 October 2008
Good thing I'm 30, though. In theory, I have 35 years to make up that money, and I will. I feel okay about the fact that the market will recover- between what is happening across the world now, and th new president, things will get better.
My friend suggested that we start a ladies' stock club since we can actually afford stocks right now. I love this idea and I'm going to open an account today during naptime. This morning on the news one of the financial advisors quoted Warren Buffett, saying "Have greed when others have caution, have caution when others have greed" (That isn't the right quote because my kids are shreiking and I can't think, but that was the jist of it.) The point is, prices are lower than they've been in 25 years and most of us are young enough to wait it out. So, I'm in.
12 October 2008
That's just weird. I think its one thing to fix up your yard for optimal usage, but another to take a 1/2 acre lot and cram in 400 different "areas" that cost 10 grand a piece.
Last night I went to a "green" expo where I learned about biofuels (so cool) and I saw a bumper sticker that said "The earth can no longer afford the rich." That sounded about right to me.
11 October 2008
I realize I have no money, I realize I have debt. But its been so long, and I was down the street from ikea with 2 hours to kill. And I didn't "need" those things like I need food and shelter, but they are all practical items that I have been wanting. I feel okay about it.
Excuses, excuses. :)
08 October 2008
I don't really have any tips for this, but it's a bummer. Every time I hear the politicians talk about people tightening their belts, I know what they mean, and I realize how lucky I am that I'm taking money out of debt repayment to make up the difference instead of paying bills with credit cards and stuff like that. I was there once, and I don't want to be there again!
Luckily, tomorrow's pay day... I'd just love to have one, just ONE payday where the money wasn't already allotted to bills right down to the last dime. Could you imagine?
05 October 2008
In the last nine months, I have:
- paid off 3362.00 worth of credit card debt
- saved 1379.00 for emergencies, oil and Christmas presents (1000 for emergencies, 250 for oil and 120 for Christmas)
- paid 2798.00 off on my car loan/personal loan from the credit union
- paid off 1126.00 off of my student loans
- saved 2500.00 for a lawyer
For a grand total of... 11,165.00. Boo-yah. High fives all around.
I'd also like to mention that I have not visited my old flame Target since September 5th (I think- I could have paid cash since then but it's been a while. The point is, I can't even remember.) I'm thinking of putting up one of those "30 days since our last accident" counters on the blog, but I haven't figured it out yet.
04 October 2008
David Sedaris tells funny, but sometimes depressing stories about his family. So when the Q and A period began, an audience member asked a question about his family, and referred to them as "dysfuntional." Before answering the question, Sedaris addressed the use of the word dysfunctional. 'I wouldn't say my family was dysfuntional' he said (and I'm paraphrasing) 'I'd actually say we functioned quite well.' He went on to describe a dinner table where the father would have one eye on the tv in the other room, and the children had to be quiet so he could hear the news- but when he left to go watch tv, the children (I think there are 4 of them) would sit around the table for hours with their mother, laughing and talking. In high school, he said, no one wanted to date or go out with friends because it would mean missing homemade pizza night or other family time.
I loved this, because he didn't speak of fancy vacations, of huge houses, of things- he spoke of time, and laughter, and things easily afforded and enjoyed. Children just want to be with you, to have your attention and love, and that's free to give.
And now I'll go pay attention to mine.
02 October 2008
I also wanted to thank everyone who posted about the third quarters numbers. Your support means so much to me.
I'll try to post those year to dates as soon as possible, but with tonight's debate and tomorrow night I'm going to see David Sedaris (!!!!) I might not have time until Saturday.
Have fun watching!
01 October 2008
In the last three months, I have:
- paid off 974.00 worth of credit card debt
- saved 1279.00 for emergencies, oil and Christmas presents (900 for emergencies, 250 for oil and 120 for Christmas)
- paid 964.00 off on my car loan/personal loan from the credit union
- paid off 322.00 off of my student loans
While this isn't great, it's not bad either. If you add it all up, I'm 3,539.00 better off than I was on July 1st. Okay, that makes me feel better. The credit card and student loans numbers really bummed me out, because let me tell you, I paid a lot more than that, these are after interest numbers. And for the credit cards, I actually paid off 1394.00, but I had to put a few work expenses on a card, and I should be getting reimbursed for those. Just in case I don't, though, I included that debt in the totals.
This post is my 181st post on this blog, and that counts for something, too. My hit counter is at about 13,000, and I get roughly 60 visits a day. That's incredible, and keeps me very motivated.
All in all, not bad.