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Had a bad day, hoping for a better one

December 23rd, 2009 at 07:26 am

Yesterday, we take the car in to be fixed on our way to work (planned). Of the two potential repairs, its the more expensive one (of course). For the second day in a row I contact a company regarding a nonworking gift certificate (no response on either day) and the crowning piece of disaster, my phone.

I decide I need minutes on my phone but something is up with the website so I call. Guy doesn't listen well and decides he knows what my problem is and promptly deletes my phone number of 5 years (heart attack begins). I spend the next 60 minutes mostly on hold while he tries to fix it. Then the phone hangs up on me. When I call back, the line is so busy that they won't let you wait to talk to someone. He did fix it online eventually but my phone thinks its a different line. Fortunately the real phone number works its just labelled wrong (no I am not going to call so he can break it again). I finally manage to buy minutes for my phone.

This all occured before my work day had even begun. After work, we get the car back and realize that the little rattle they managed to fix but that they created a bigger rattle that made the car sound like it was trying to tear itself apart. *Sigh*

So I both started and ended my yesterday on a sour note. At least a client brought us fancy chocolate wafers and cookies. Dark chocolate makes everything better.

So far today I have had more luck. Got the company on the phone re the gift certificate and sent the car back to the repair shop so they can fix their oopsy. Our current stance is you broke it, you fix it. They are going to have to talk fast if they want us to pay for a second repair since they had all day yesterday to get it fixed right the first time. They didn't call till 4 yesterday despite having told us the repair would only take half a day. The slowness of their work is starting to get obnoxious but until this repair, they did a good job for a decent price so we have been putting up with the repair times.

Is this week over yet? Blah.

What are they thinking?

July 10th, 2009 at 08:39 am

Sort of a rant, more like a musing.

First up my father. The man who thinks you are doing okay if you don't have more than a year's salary worth of credit card debt. He commented the other day on the phone that he had thought we were going to get ourselves into financial trouble because of all our remodelling plans. (FYI, this came up because I was unemployed for a month but already had a job lined up). Really?

I suspect the problem is that he is now making a lot more than he used to which is closer to our income but since they have let their lifestyle expand to fit their income, they can't imagine how we can afford to do all this stuff.

Now if say disneysteve wanted to tell me that I was spending too much by all means, I would believe him (because we did go a little overboard, should have paced more) BUT I am pretty sure my father with his 2 car payments, a new garage and credit card debt has more debt at a higher rate than I do. (Though the garage should be at a cheap rate, he should have been nearly done with his mortgage). I also happen to know that I can pay mine off in a year or so. My father's response to my saying I can pay it off in a year? Well but you will always have bills. And with statements like that, he's worried I will bite off more than I can chew?

Then the inlaws. Nice people, they plan to have all their debt gone in two years. They struck me as being bipolar. I think in their minds, they know that we need to stretch things out to budget and keep expenses down but then they talk about all the things we need to do right now. No, they can wait and be paced. There is nothing with this house that is in need of immediate repair or replacement now. So I emphasize that we have already spent our budget for now and that we need to pace out the expenditures. Then they act like we are broke.

Is "budget" really that dirty of a word?

I get the impression that people are so used to their style of living that they can't even imagine that someone lives differently than they do.

For example with the inlaws. I think they were genuinely worried that our neighbors would think ill of us if we didn't fix all the outside things within the first month of living there. But then they live in a wealthy neighborhood. We live in a blue collar neighborhood and have received many compliments from the neighbors regarding the outside appearance of our house and yard.

In fact, most of our neighbors eagerly watch all we have been doing to fix it up because the previous owners had let everything go for awhile. A couple have even guessed from the speed of our repairs that we are professionals instead of blue collar. But the inlaws were extremely concerned with giving the neighbors the impression we were working on things. I suppose in the defense of the in laws I should point out that they never saw the place before they came out so they didn't realize how much we had already improved the place but still.

Don't they realize that you shouldn't attempt to lead spenders to spend more money than they should? They can do that well enough on their own.

People either assume we are rich because we don't have their expenses or they assume we are poor. There just doesn't seem to be a middle ground of comfortable.

Refinance Already!?!

March 31st, 2009 at 09:35 am

We received a letter in the mail from a mortgage corporation trying to get us to refinance. They not only knew when we got the loan (Nov 2008) but how little we paid as a down payment (3.5% due to it being FHA) versus our home's appraisal value.

And they still wanted us to refinance with them with no closing costs for a 0.25 reduction in interest. Say what? Is it just me or is that weird? I mean what are they thinking? I realize our area isn't losing home value but still. Don't they want people to have 20% equity? I just thought that was very bizarre.

Given that we have escrow I would never consider getting a loan with a mortgage corporation, too much risk that the selling of the loan would cause issues. I picked a stable bank for my loan and plan to leave it there till paid in full(15 years).

Weird.

I know better (or I should by now)

March 18th, 2009 at 01:52 pm

*Warning, rant against myself ahead*

I am a spender and the financial head of my household. Doesn't that sound like a very bad idea to you? Isn't that rather like the fox guarding the hen house? I suppose its good for me to learn self control but what about the times that doesn't happen because my self control takes a vacation? You know like right after we bought our house?

I should have taken more time to remodel the house (buying the house was fine, fixing it all up within a 4 month span, not so much). I can see that I should have taken my time. Sure, I haven't put us into an impossible situation (or even a difficult one, but that is besides the point), I never do which explains why I never learn my lesson. I can always get us out almost as quickly as I get us in.

My husband is unwilling to say no to me because he worships and adores me (and a small part of him also likes not having to wait). So I need to learn self control. I am the only one willing to say no to myself and even I cave sometimes. And when I cave, boy do I cave. And even if my husband was willing to say no to me, I am extremely persuasive. By the time I am done talking, I can have most people convinced of most anything.

The reason I am a little (or a lot) frustrated with myself is even though all the debt we are accumulating can be paid off in less than a year once DH is fully employed, I still shouldn't have let it accumulate. I should have saved up the money and spent it as I acquired it. For one its less work and two its less stressful.

I caught myself while spending this money looking to my DH to see what he would say but what did I expect from him but to smile and nod. The second I looked for someone to judge my actions, I should have known to pull back. The second I started making excuses, I should have known what I was doing wasn't compatible with my goals. I don't often regret my expenditures but this time, I really do. There was no reason these things couldn't wait. Absolutely none no matter what I say in their defense. No amount of discounts should have led me to spend money that wasn't in hand.

I did well for the first part but the more I spent, the less I paid attention to whether something had to be done at this moment or not. Sure I am not paying interest on the money I borrowed and I probably won't have to with careful planning but that really isn't the point, is it?

I am supposed to be building cash reserves, not spending money. Its almost as if by acknowledging that the main focus of the next 5 years was to work on the house, I decided it all had to be finished as soon as possible.

What the heck was I thinking? I can even look back and see what I did right and where I started to slip. I really think my perfectionism just reared its head and said it was totally unacceptable not to finish up the basics immediately and then my self indulgence kicked in and said, while you are spending all that money, would you pick something up for me as well?

Gah, and now I have to wait to fix stuff until DH is employed. I hate waiting (and yes I respect the irony of how that cuts both ways). Well at least I can minimize the drain in the meantime. But really? Where the heck did my brain go?

Hunger that just won't stop.

March 5th, 2009 at 06:58 am

My appetite likes to do extremes. No appetite means I will lose 10 lbs in a week (happens about 1 per year), regular appetite means I am eating about a 2500 calorie diet and turbo appetite means that I just keep eating and you don't want to know the calorie count.

Right now, I am in turbo mode. 5'4", 145lbs, size 4 just yesterday ate half of a half of a subway sub, 3 cups of coffee, big container of black bean lasagna, a BK tendercrisp with a medium fry, fruit snack pack, a bowl of Crispix, couple bites of an unappetizing apple, and a cup of tea (which was the only item with no calories besides all the water I drank).

Today is promising more of the same...I nearly dragged my husband out to eat this morning but managed to convince my food obsessed mind that the homemade slice of quiche would be better. I can already tell, a mere 20 minutes later, that its not going to enough.

I am hoping that this is just an overreaction by my body to the running on Tuesday. My body does have a tendency to freak at any large changes in activity and we took a week off from the running while we were busy working on the house.

I honestly think my appetite is my greatest enemy when it comes to saving money. I wouldn't eat out if I didn't have so many specific cravings. Blah.

I envy you...

January 8th, 2009 at 07:59 am

You can eat in every day, eating the same thing over again without any problems.

I, despite being a size 4, have no will power when it comes to food. If I want to eat out, I will. If I try to ignore a craving it will last for two weeks until I give in. I eat very healthy things and very unhealthy things. I never can eat anything more than a couple times and if I manage to force myself to choke it down more, I won't eat it for another couple months or years.

If I was obese, people would tell me to join overeaters anonymous. Because I am thin, they just comment on the amount and frequency of my eating as an eccentricity.

We can make greek foods, morrocan foods, french and italian foods. We make homemade artisan bread and do many foods from scratch. Still I love to eat out. What the heck is wrong with me? What is it about junk food or simply food made by someone else that makes it so attractive.

There has got to be a way to control my obsession with food. Maybe I need more calories in the homemade stuff so I don't crave the junk?

Almost spent money but decided against it.

January 7th, 2009 at 03:48 pm

This is why I try to remember to always take my time before spending money. I want an elliptical and a treadmill.

Up until househunting (November), I regularly went to a gym 3 times per week. In the winter, the main draw was the elliptical since I have weights at home. Found both on sale today. Wanted to get them. I could even have done them with no cost financing BUT I would be spending $3500. Talked to DH, we decided we were going to do it tonight and then I started making a list of all the housing projects that we need to accomplish.

Yeah that cured me of wanting to spend that money. I am just going to have to teach myself how to run outside (already walk a lot aka 30 minutes a day at about 4mph outside, if I want to improve fitness, I need a lot more than that) which means I will have to accept looking like an idiot in public (main draw of not doing a gym and doing it at home instead, I hate exercising in front of other people).

Which also means I am going to need some winter gear. I think Ross has some of that for cheap though and I already got the shoes so that I won't hurt my feet (again, last time I learned to run, I overdid it and gave myself stress fractures. They have finally fully healed.)

A girl with Roseacea going outside to exercise in the winter ( and in the dark, maybe I should just give up on fitness till springtime). Gah. I hate not exercising. Maybe yoga and weight lifting until it warms up? Have I mentioned that I hate winter. So glad it doesn't stay bad out here all the time or I would go nuts.

*Sigh* I am so looking forward to the last of the debt being gone and my saving being replenished but for the next 2-3 years, we are not going to have any difficulty spending it as fast as we can save it.

That's okay, maybe next fall I will fit in the exercise equipment so that I don't have to worry about losing fitness over the winter time. Hopefully. It would be bad if I still couldn't justify it next fall. Maybe I will make hubby promise to make me buy it next fall no matter what. He hasn't even had a gym membership over the winter like I have and spring is rough for getting back in shape.

Ah well, financially and house wise we will be in better shape this fall (sort of, there are going to be projects to do for awhile).

Stress

December 29th, 2008 at 02:43 pm

Usually not a problem for me in short doses. Give me a crisis, I deal with it and come up with the best resolution possible.

Long term though? Ugg...Between everything that can go wrong going severely wrong and one of my coworkers leaving and my husband being sick of his job and our finances being the tightest they ever have been due to all the things going on in our lives...

I feel like crawling into a corner and refusing to come out. I need to remember that I am entitled to a moment of relaxation. Its okay to stop and breathe. I have always had an issue with internalizing stress and the winter holiday season is always my least favorite to begin with. On Wednesday, when I was home alone, I had this blank lost look in my eyes because I didn't know what to do with a mostly free day. This is a bad sign for me.

When my coworker is gone in a couple of days, some of the stress will let up tremendously (we are basically helping her transition). DH will take a course in the spring to help his resume when job hunting and I am down to simply organizing the house. Hopefully this will be enough to get me through the rest of winter. Oh and I need to start exercising again. Weight training and cardio are the best stress relievers. I have got to get my focus back and stop the little voice in my head from telling me what a total failure I am. It's just not healthy.

Murphy was an optimist

December 11th, 2008 at 09:30 am

I am ready to go hide in a little corner and refuse to interact with the world. I am getting tired of trouble shooting every single thing. Can't just one thing work without complication? Okay, that's unfair, but I have had a lot of things take unexpected directions lately.

I am one of those people who always plans defensively and am rather fond of Murphy's Law because it means I am always early and always prepared for problems. Unfortunately, you can only have so many potential problems become actual problems when you begin to wonder what is up.

House buying - built in extra time because I was afraid of a last minute problem scotching the deal. Problem came up but built in time saved the day.

Painting - built in extra time for repair, it took that time and then some

Moving - gave us an extra day then we normally have when we move and while we got all the big things moved, still have a few minor items and managed to forget food and cookwares.

Microwave - lost by UPS, kept an eye on it and got my refund.

Technicians - every single one has run well over their alloted time except for the DirectTV guy who just showed up at the end of his time but was quick. Aka, lots of time eaten up in waiting and watching other people work.

Moving van - company overcharged me by well over $100, am currently fighting this.

Car insurance - took much longer than it should have because we didn't have auto insurance before (course not, we didn't have a car)but finally got the right quote.

Washer Machine - water hoses are too short. Need to go get extensions or longer ones.

There was more but I have blocked the painful memories. :P

Okay, I feel better now. I am just getting tired of delegating potential problems to certain nights of the week so that I can solve one problem at a time. Thank goodness I bought a car so that I am more flexible on getting places.