Life takes Breaks so why not my Budget too?

She loved life and it loved her back

My blog stopped working this weekend.  I have to say it was completely my fault.  I was trying to start a class for work, juggle CSU, and my personal life.  Needless to say I failed–miserably.  At least I didn’t forget to pay the bill for my Internet provider or to my domain provider.  Wouldn’t that be the shit, not paying my bill?  I can’t say I am perfect though, because I racked up some debt blowing off steam this weekend.

I had one of those weeks that just wouldn’t quit.  I keep thinking when it ends I will…  Not a good sign since I have been trying to live more in the present.

I tried starting a class for work that would give me more opportunities.  It would help at my current company, but I could take the knowledge to other companies as well.  It was a two-week class that involved a full textbook and no breaks in site.  I knew it was going to be hard and thought I was prepared.  I have been taking 8-week condensed courses through CSU for a while now, but it didn’t prepare me for an even faster pace.  I had 5 chapters I had to finish, study and somehow find time to work before the next day.  That is where I would take a test on the 5 chapters scoring 85% or better, and then I would do it all over again.

I also had Work

I’ve only been at my current place of employment a little over 3 months.  I’ve already started training a newbie, moved on to a more advanced unit and worked a whole area of 51 residents with 1 other CNA.  I’ve dealt with plenty of deaths and changed my outlook on life.  If that was a sign that I should have taken a break then I don’t know what was.  I didn’t take a break instead I went straight into starting school.

Then came my Personal Life

I’ve made some new friends, and some old friends since moving to my new state.  I miss Colorado in a way, but have been trying to adapt.  To me it’s like loving this state and then you run into something you don’t understand and being completely confused about everything.  I guess that is how someone describes a relationship.  I’ve also run into some of the same problems with my new and old relationships.  I’m happy, but then I am completely confused.  It didn’t help this past week at all.

I finally realized I couldn’t study, work and skip my personal relationships at this moment.  I needed to fix that.  Lack of sleep was only making matters worse.  I moved my class for work to January when I could take time off work.  I moved CSU to start classes at the end of September. I had a day off because of the timing of it all.  I reached out to everyone and anyone I knew.  I needed some sane time and being by myself was not going to cut it.  I had no one reach back.  It was devastating.  What would normally be blown off my back, cut like a dull finger nail clippers-painful and slow.

Then a Friend Changed Everything

A friend of mine dropped everything to come and fly out to me.  I was completely ecstatic.  Someone to hang out with who understands me, someone to laugh with, be at ease with, to talk to and enjoy life.  I laughed until my gut hurt, I talked about whatever came to mind, I overspent money enjoying life.

Sometimes over enjoying life is worth the money.  I now have some debt because of this weekend, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m not sure how I will pay it off, but sometimes living life is more important.  I won’t look at my budget, because I would rather feel the high that this weekend brought then worry about finances.  A big change to what I am used to, but for the moment it suits me quite well.  Besides, debt, my budget and money will all be waiting for me when I do take the time to see what damage I have done. Life takes breaks so why couldn’t my budget?

Have you ever blown your whole budget over a weekend of living life?  Have you regretted it?

- FBS

Save Money Why Stress?

Save Money why Stress

 

I have one of those relatives that will stew about money even if it is a $1.  She could even save money and will still let it run in her mind for months. She will ruminate, let this $1 plague her for months and never stop talking about it.  She doesn’t do it to spite anyone, I personally just think she has some sort of anxiety.  This anxiety makes her nervous, anxious and feel sick if something is a minor problem.  This time it was money.

 

I took my relative to Target with me as a fun little outing, working nights it’s hard to make time for the people I love.  We were having fun just chatting and getting food for me, when she found a deal on cat food. It was the cat food she busy for $11.99 sale price including a free $5 gift card.  She didn’t know it was for two items until she got to the register.  She thought it was Two separate $5 gift cards for both bags of food she purchase.  That’s another part of the story.

The Math

Cat food 16lb @Walmart – $11.78 per bag or $23.56

Same Cat food @Target 2 bags @ $11.99 and get 1 $5 gift card. Total $18.98

Savings of $4.58 before taxes. 

Not huge savings, but enough to get the food and two bags at Target instead of her usual place to shop which is Walmart.  Personally I don’t buy pet food from either place, but thought she should take the deal and run.  I did the math before we left the store and tried to calm her down.  Money is money and she saved money.  She didn’t lose any.

I’m just not sure why this is such a huge problem.  It’s the cat food she likes to buy for her two cats, it was on sale, and she did save money.  She had a problem with the gift card at first, but the cashier and I both showed her the ad to prove the fine print said two cat items.  With all this logic I’m just not sure why she still be having a problem with the money she saved.

Do you know someone who frets over a dollar or two?  Has anyone lost a dollar or two and wouldn’t stop talking about it?

- FBS

Fun for Friday: ND Translations

Foreign Language Translation
I seem to have to problem with some of the slang around North Dakota. It takes me a minute to digest what is said, compare it to what I know and then reply. It’s completely like speaking a foreign language that I’m definitely not fluent with. This isn’t meant to make fun of North Dakotans rather the fact that sometimes things are lost in translation.
ND Word – Explanation:
Supper – Dinner
Dinner- lunch
Lunch – lunch
Pop- soda
Davenport – Couch
Let’s go muddin’ – four wheeling in any mud hole.
Mountains – hills
The desert – A large amount of sand by the river.  Also includes lots of trees and nothing close to drought.
License plate tabs – license plate tags
Oh yah (said like oh yaw) – I agree

Yah (yaw) you betcha – I really agree
uff’da- I’m tired
eh? – used to confirm one is listening.  Starting to trickle down from the more Northern Areas
What the heck? – That’s a cool, strange, or weird story. (Explained more here in a previous Fun for Friday)
Thank you – said all the time for everything, but is actually meant 98% of the time.
Nort’ dahkotah- The way North Dakota is pronounced
 Directions:
Turn right at the Conoco, left at the yellow building. It’s the one right by friend/relative/co-worker/etc. – Directions to everything.  Which is still 99% more accurate than any map app for the area. You should see where GPS says I live…
How overly pleasant some people are:
People are extremely polite around here so it’s not uncommon for people in retail to be very pleasant–all the time. I bought some pepper spray when I first moved in. After finishing my transaction the check-out person said “Have fun with your pepper spray”.
- FBS

No Spend Month

no spend monthIn the past I have put the no spend challenge into place in order to pay off debt.  This time I had no money in my savings and a little debt in place.  First, I should explain the little bit of debt I came in contact with.

It’s not debt as in on my credit card, but taken out of the money I keep in my checking each month in order to make sure all bills are paid when they are due.  I have always, and always try to keep that checking number at a +$2000.  This month I had to take $400 out in order to buy some things in Colorado.

I didn’t go to Colorado this month, but instead of friend of mine (or should I say ex-husband) offered to help me with my crazy shed (post later).  He also offered to bring me the last of my crap he somehow managed to dig up.  He also was kind enough to offer to bring me anything I needed.  SInce I live in a smaller area without a Costco, I took him up on the offer.  I asked for a few bags of dog food, cat food and a trip to Ikea thrown in for good measure.  I could have done without the trip to Ikea but I figured since I don’t spend money because I really truly have nowhere to spend it, that a  one-time Ikea wouldn’t be a problem.

I had to wire him the money right away to make sure he could pay for all the items by the time he came to visit.  That left my checking account under the normal $2000.  In order to bring it back up I enacted a no spend month.  I couldn’t handle any sort of debt and no emergency savings.

Since I live in the middle of nowhere and I truly don’t spend that much anyway, I knew one month without spending money was a piece of cake.  I even went further to live out of my freezer and pantry and not buy any groceries.  Seriously, it was easy and now I have no debt (technically it was a loan from the bank of me lol), and a small savings.  I was also able to continue to contribute to my IRA and nothing bad came of it.  I cleaned out my pantry and have found I don’t need to replace most of the food.  I think I overstocked the last few shopping trips, and won’t be refilling most of it back up.

Would you enact a no spend month?

- FBS

Frugality is One Way of Life unless it Impedes Happiness

love the life you live small
Frugality for me was a necessity when I started down the path. It then became good because having extra money for debt made me feel good. At the time I even made my own laundry soap. If it saved money I at least tried it.
Currently, I’ve become less frugal due to my living situation. Having a roommate requires me to think of him as a paying customer. This in turns makes me think of his wants and needs, sometimes above frugality.
Even though I no longer make my own laundry soap and now have central air and a new washer and dryer, I am still looking at being frugal and minimalist. For me happiness comes from more money and less things to deal with. If frugality is a means to getting there than so-be-it. If it becomes to much of a hassle then I’ll let myself enjoy life instead, because life is too short to be thinking of every penny spent.

After working in the ER of a busy hospital for the past year, I realized that death comes at all times, ages, and places. Nothing else has brought me so close to the death process than seeing people awake one minute and completely still the next. It made me more appreciative for the days I have and the quality I put in my life.

Fast forward a year later and I working at a nursing home. I have become more in tune to finding quality of life. Working with amazing people has allowed me to see that life is a gift no matter who you are or the age. It has also given me the knowledge that sometimes we all need a little help, but it shouldn’t take away from living a full and happy life.

Both of these experiences has allowed me to find what I want in life more than what I think I need. It has made me strive for quality versus quantity. I now make choices more for happiness and less for what others think or are doing.

- FBS