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Gym, pups, and other interesting tid bits

Financial Freedom June 13, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 6:50 pm
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I began reading Suze Orman’s book after I filed my taxes for 2016.  One of the two biggest things my ex and I would “fight” about was money.  He wanted to spend it and I wanted to save it.  I would go nuts when he would “borrow” money from our savings to cover bills until pay day when he would put it back.  It was a very ugly cycle.  One that I am happy is broken.  I have begun following the principles in Chapter 3 of her book 9 Steps to Financial Freedom.  I write everything down.  Everything.  I bought a 1.39 worth of bananas and yes wrote it down.  The money may seem like a very small amount but when I have 2 dollars until pay day, that dollar purchase is a huge deal.  I have begun analyzing where I spend most of the money I make.  It is at the grocery store.  Some things I cannot help but purchase.  Fruits and veggies are non-negotiable.  I need them in my house.  They are staples in my diet.  Chicken, fish, and turkey however, I am learning to buy when it’s on sale or walk away if the price is just too much for me.  I try to spend around $10/week in meat.  Eggs are much cheaper and I can make meals stretch using them.  I do not need $5.99 almond butter when there is an alternative for $3.29.  When I have more money, I splurge on the almond butter because I get it “life is short” and I want to enjoy the foods I eat since I spend most of the day eating.  Working two jobs requires a lot of energy.

The other thing I am considering is switching cable companies.  Dish has been sneaky with their pricing and has added $1 to each of my bills for the past two month.  Think I don’t notice?  I do.  I’m waiting to see what it is all about before making a move.  I have done my research and am just waiting to see what the next move is.  I just got a new dish as the other one was knocked out of satellite range after a bad storm.  I don’t owe Dish anything for their service and there was a nice man who came and hooked me up with a new dish.  But the bill is just too high for someone who only watches the games on the weekends. Verizon is another company I am looking to leave and again just when I get one bill straightened out, something else happens and I am on the phone another two hours trying to get an issue corrected.  I have X-finiity’s rates and am again just waiting to switch over.

My credit card was paid off a few months ago.  I am honestly so proud of doing this.  Prouder than I thought I would be.  I had close to $5,000 on it and paid it off chunk by chunk.  I am never going back there.  The next big thing I will have paid off is my car.  Only 7 more payments.  This is also a very freeing feeling.  Then my student loan.  Bit by bit I am learning to allocate funds to make them work for me.  I am putting more away into my savings than I have in a long time.  This time it is staying put.  I am putting the money that I would be using to pay off my credit card toward paying off my student loan.  16 more payments and it’s paid off.  This motivates me very much.

I know my dad would be very proud of the decisions I am making.  I am learning I have plenty. I am learning to buy only what I need.  I am learning to eat all the foods I have left in the house before buying more.  I learning to go without some things for now, because I know I will be able to buy them later.  Having a full tank of gas is not necessary all the time.  Half a tank will get me where I need to go and then I can add more.  In the summer I drive less and ride my bike to the gym which is more savings.  I am learning to juggle which bills to pay when.  I have found the inner strength to not turn on the air conditioning when there is a super hot day.  I know the next will be cooler.  We are currently in a three day stretch.  Today is day three.  I made it.  I know it will be hotter for longer this summer and I know my will is stronger than any ray’s of the sun.

I am very grateful for my ability to analyze situations and make the best decisions for me. I am grateful for the ability to reflect and think about what I am best using my money for.  Please feel free to share any money saving tips you have.  I love learning and enjoy multiple perspectives on things.

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Your momma raised you right July 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 5:45 pm
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This past week I have heard this statement twice and it got me thinking.  Yeah, my mom really did raise me right.  As did my grandparents and my dad.

The first time I heard this, I was at an inservice.  It’s a myth that teachers have off in the summer.  I pulled out my salad while everyone else headed for whatever was brought in.  No biggie.  I am used to this.  I bring my lunch all the time.  As I was opening the lid to the container of my salad, the presenter walks by and says, “Your momma raised you right.”  I took this to mean I eat my vegetables because my mom served them to me when I was growing up.  I smiled and said, “Yes she did.”  The whole situation made me flashback to pulling weeds on the farm every summer, wiping sweat as I went row after row hoping not to step on a snake.  My grandparents, who lived right up the road from my parents, took care of my sister, cousin and me, while our parents went to work.  They had a huge garden, modestly sized patch, and a field of sweet corn which grew enough produce for our family, theirs, and my cousin’s.  Eventually they grew so much corn, we had the chance to sell it in front of their house.  If we picked it, we could sell it, and keep the money we made.  We took turns, and I don’t ever recall there being a fight about whose turn it was.  We just rotated.  Though I hated pulling the weeds, I loved almost everything that came from the garden and the patch except the bugs.

The second thingI thought of when I was eating my salad was HAVING to eat the vegetables.  Because my grandparents gave us so much produce, we usually heard “Do you know how hard Grammy and Poppy worked to get these vegetables to grow?  Now eat them.”  Things like asparagus, broccoli and green beans were regulars on our dinner plates.  I was not a fan back then, but sure love them today.  I recall one night sitting at the table long after everyone had finished staring at some pickled beets.  Oh boy.  That smell, that color-bright purple!  To me they tasted like dirt.  Finally after becoming cemented to the chair, I plugged my nose and ate them as fast as I could.  I’m still not a fan of pickled beets, but I do like them grilled.

Yesterday while I was at the gym, I noticed a towel on the machine I was getting ready to use.  I politely asked the woman next to me if the towel was her’s and she said no.  So I took it and put it in the dirty towel bin.  When I came back to the machine, I noticed the woman was done with her exercises, and I told her I was concerned about what the area would look like once the gym changed to staying opened 24 hours.  I had visions of coming in and there being dirty towels everywhere and empty water bottles laying around.  She said it is like that at the Y she goes to.  The girl who opens in the morning is constantly having to clean up after others.  As I am putting my weights away after using them, she said, “Our mothers raised us right.”  I took this to mean we put things back when we are done with them.

The woman left shortly after that conversation, and I had a flashback to cleaning my room at my parents’ house.  Growing up, my sister I were expected to have our rooms perfectly cleaned.  Toys, books, clothes, and shoes needed to be put in their place.  Once a week our mom would remind us to clean our rooms.  Things were to be picked up and put away, and not stuffed into the closet or shoved under the bed.  I recall my mom getting so frustrated with us for not cleaning our rooms, that she came up the stairs with a trash bag threatening to throw everything away that was still out of its place.  We moved like lightning putting toys back in the toy box, hanging up clothes, and making our beds.  Eventually she made her way back downstairs, and we realized we could breathe again.  Our things were safe for another week.

Little moments like pulling weeds, sitting at the table until all the vegetables are gone, and cleaning a room at a record pace are what helped develop my character and work ethic.  I still hate pulling weeds, but will in our deck boxes.  I love eating most vegetables.  Fennel, I have tried you many ways.  Licorice is not my thing.  My house is probably is as neat as it’s going to get with two dogs and a husband who still thinks he’s 12.  I do know I have the best family, who has always supported me no matter what.  Even if a threat or two was issued, the job still got done.