2 01 2011

i was lucky enough to come into a bit of an xmas windfall this year. nothing earth shattering (most of it went to bills and to my saving’s account), BUT i decided to give myself a small allowance to spend on whatever i wanted. DANGEROUS. it could have been anything, or everything… i have a bad habit of burning through cash without really paying attention to where it goes, or really caring too much when it’s gone. i’m all like “oh, that’s was fun”, instead of feeling the intense sense of guilt and shame that keeps most people from getting in financial trouble.

the last year has overall been a good one for my financial evolution. this was the first year in over a decade that i didn’t use my credit cards even once. i also managed to have a savings account with actual money in it for more than 15 minutes. on the other hand, i didn’t pay off my credit cards as much as i would have liked, i didn’t manage to keep the majority of the money in my savings account, and i still didn’t start an HSA.

so for 2011, i have only one resolution. it isn’t to save more, or spend less, pay off the credit cards, or even open an HSA… (although all of those things are certainly worth keeping in mind). my resolution this year is just to PAY ATTENTION. wherever my money travels should take me this year, i would like to be watchful and be thoughtful about every dollar i spend. i’m thinking about leaving my debit card at home, giving myself a cash allowance, being more careful about monitoring my mint account… but it doesn’t really matter what i do, as long as i’m being vigilant.

i decided to lube up my resolution and get started a little early with the aforementioned windfalll. instead of just throwing the money into my checking account and going apeshit on whatever i happened to find first, i sat down and really thought about things that i wanted, needed, and would generally be too cheap or too broke to afford the rest of the year. here is what i came up with: Read the rest of this entry »

what the f? it’s 2010.

1 01 2010

what was supposed to be a champagne soaked evening on my couch, somehow turned into snowy half-drunken romp around portland. sadly, the boyfriend had a tummy ache, and rather than watch terrible friday night tv and then hit the sack at 10 (as was the boyfriend’s plan)- a friend of mine had invited me to to join her in a little something called a “hash“. fortunately for me, i caught up with them just at the tail end of things- and didn’t have to do any running. i just got to partake in the drinking and the naming ceremony of a runner who had just completed her 5th hash- a raucous and embarrassing ritual that involved asking the one to be named a lot of really pointed personal questions, and then yelling out possible names based on what they have disclosed.  clitberry cuntcake i congratulate you! (although frankly, cabin beaver was still my favorite). i will most definitely be attempting to join their next event (that is, if they’ll have me).

next on to bubbas to meet some friends for dancing and some more whiskey. i used to go there a lot in my younger days, but the crowd seems to have changed a bit. lots and lots of creepy old people trying to recapture their youth on the dance floor in the most obscene way possible. hell hath no fury like a couple of drunk 40somethings bumping and grinding to bon jovi. apparently desperation smells like axe body spray and polyester halter tops. but really, save for the smarmy guy who danced through our circle just to cut a big fart, and the fat guy who kept sticking his dirty dancing ass where it didn’t belong, it was a really good time. we rang in the new year rocking out to journey (as well we should have). i forget sometimes how much i love dancing. oh, and did i mention that i found $20 on the ground in front of the bar? drunk people are the best.

anyway, happy new year to all! may 2010 kick more ass than ever!

looking forward.

31 12 2009

ok, now that i’ve acknowledged that last year wasn’t a complete bust, it’s time to start thinking about my plans for the future. i read this really level headed article on about how to make attainable resolutions. i think they’re on to something.

i’m actually a huge fan of every day resolutions. why wait for january 1st to decide what you want to do to make your life better? the website 43 things was a huge motivator for me this year. it’s basically a place for you to list 43 (or fewer) goals that you have. they could be daily goals, or life goals- it doesn’t matter. and instead of just giving you a list to check off when things are done, it gives you the ability to write entries about the goals on your list as you are working toward them, and once you’ve completed a task, the ability to share your experience with others. it also allows you to give up if you change your mind (how forgiving!), tells you how many other people have the same goals, and lets you to cheer each other on. anyway, it’s pretty cool.

i haven’t updated it in a while (because maybe i’ve been paying attention to something else), but it’s still nice to revisit every now and again an remind myself of what i’m working toward. some small goals for 2010 (as seen on my 43 things):

1. pay my bills on time: i don’t ever pay them later than a week or two (and i always pay my credit card bills on time), but i am making a commitment this year to pay my bills on the 15th when i get paid- before i have the chance to spend the money on something else and need to wait for my next paycheck!

2. stick to my budget: i have an extremely reasonable budget set up, but i can never seem to stick to it  completely. i have this idea that if i dole myself out $100 in cash on monday (instead of just throwing that card out at random all week), it will help me think through my spending a little bit better. if nothing else, i’d like to see what it feels like to stay within my budget for 1 month at least. i’ve got a 1 out of 12 chance of success!

3. save! i put $100 a month into my savings account right now, but i’d like to make an effort to start putting all my SCR checks and any other ebay, craigslist, and surprise money in there as well.

4. establish a clothing allowance! i think i’ve decided that $20 a week is fair, and i plan to do a lot of thrifting this year. i’m not quite ready for the self flagellation that is wardrobe refashion yet (i do want new things sometimes), but i will be making a very strong effort to bargain shop the hell out of everything- and display my findings here in my soon to be established “hi style lo budget” (it’s cute because i spelled it wrong- right?) feature.

5. volunteer! i’ve dabbled in volunteer-work a bit more this year than i ever have, but in 2010  i would like to be able to find a consistent (weekly?) opportunity. as pollyanna as it sounds, i may not always have money to give- but i can always give time. the world needs more volunteers, and i need to get off my ass and do what i know is right.

when i was in college and i had my first really messy “i thought were were going to be together forever” break up, i posted a little note on the inside of my front door that said “keep going”. that’s what i really want this year. it is nice to have an organized list to remind myself of  specific goals, but if i rolled all those 43 things (well, 39) into a big katamari ball… it would all equal out to something like this: give up the quest for perfection, but never stop trying to be a little better every day.

looking back.

30 12 2009

2009 was a crazy-ass ride for me. i actually can’t remember a year that was more wonderful and more awful all rolled up together. the ciff’s notes version of my 2009 (in rough chronological order): i got divorced, started therapy, started medication, gained 30 lbs, bought a house (well, condo really), renovated perviously referenced condo, stopped medication, stayed fat, started blog, costumed nightmare burlesque show, was diagnosed with hypothyroid, got through nightmare xmas, ended up here.

after such a blitz of total insanity, i think it’s hard not to make a boatload of outrageous resolutions about how at this time next year i’m going to be a totally different, and totally better, person. but for right now i’d like to hold off on the plans for next year for a minute, and look at some of the things what went right this year (blogwise of course):

i got 5 boxes of cereal for $1.50

i got 18 bars of soap for $2.49

the coupon goddess made me feel like a rockstar

i bought all of my OCT meds for dirt dirt cheap

portland finally got a magical cvs coupon machine

i paid $.84 for hot pants

i got famous. twice

i capitalized on other people’s laziness

more than anything, i survived. i got through all the chaos, i learned A LOT, and i think i might actually be better for it. why does self improvement have to be so traumatic?