Monday, December 21, 2009

my favorite gifts

some presents stick out in your memory as the best gifts you've ever received.

1) my parent's rule was that i was not allowed to get my ears pierced until i was 13 years old, because that's when my sister got hers pierced. i wanted nothing more desperately than to have pierced ears, and at age 10 i think it was the worst thing going on in my life that i could not wear earrings. that year for christmas my sister gave me a gift certificate to get my ears pierced, because my parents had put the caveat on the rule saying, "well if your sister doesn't mind you getting them pierced early, then it's okay." it was kind of crappy of my parents to do, now that i look back at it. "hey, we don't want to be the bad guys, so let's make you look at it as your sister's fault." it was probably 5 years before i ever went a day without earrings.

2) my cabbage patch doll. i wanted one more than anything. everyone else had one. but i did not. my parents gave me the choice of taking sailing lessons or having a cabbage patch doll. i just got the impression that they would have been very disappointed in me if i had chosen the doll, so i sucked it up and took the sailing lessons. i believe to this day that a) i was too young at the time, and b) i am not suited to handle a boat. sometime after the sailing lessons ended, i came home from school one day and there was a cabbage patch doll sitting on my bed. my parents said they were proud of me for never complaining about the lessons and for realizing i made a choice and not asking again for the doll. stupid learning experiences. i really should have just chosen the doll from the beginning.

3) my red phone. my dad is almost NEVER involved with selecting any gift i receive. i have a love of rotary dial telephones. completely obsolete, and a pain in the neck to dial, but i love them. i wanted a red one, but i had never seen one. my dad was shopping in a store in austin and saw one, and bought it for me. it was amazing to open that on christmas morning and know that my dad was the one to have thought of the gift.

i know that i've received other gifts that i have absolutely loved, but those 3 really stick out in my mind.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

oh blurg

today just sucked. there's really no other way to put it. i can't talk about any of the events that sucked today- except for 1.

the effing $1200 bill from the pulmonologist because of the asthma attacks i've been having since the fires. that's $1200 AFTER INSURANCE.

i was thinking of this upcoming year and how money might not be as tight. i've refinanced my debt (1/2 the old monthly payment) and i'll pay off my car in january. i've still taken a pay cut due to furlough time at work, but once i pay off my car things will be a lot easier. i was going to try to start saving money again and had made a list of things i was going to buy that i need.

1) a new phone. my current one is one drop away from being held together with electrical tape. (seriously.)
2) a new mattress. my current one has a dent the size of the grand canyon in the middle of it (exaggeration.)

so, as my first 4+ months of car payments will be going towards paying off asthma attacks, i guess i have to put off a comfortable night's sleep and an un-kludged phone a little longer.

yes- i will still contact the insurance company to make sure this is legit. i should have met my deductible for the year, so i want to know that all the accounting is correct. although with all the other things that are wrong right now, i feel defeated and don't have the energy to fight this with all the other things i'm fighting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

i love articles on how to save money

okay, #1- drive more efficiently- drive 55 instead of 70. wow i'd love to drive at 55. i think my max daily speed is 35.

#2- before starting your car get your kids buckled in. no kids. no savings. check.

#3- conserve energy- set your thermostat lower and wear a sweater. um, no thermostat, i always wear sweaters. and sleep under 3 comforters and a wool blanket. no savings.

#4- walk or bike to work- then how would i get to my meetings?

#5- bring your own lunch (i try- so this is real)

#6- cut back on dining out- no brainer. take a cooking class and cook at home. well, cooking at home is a problem when portion sizes are for 4 and there's only one of me, but i do try.

#6.1- don't order the appetizer, dessert or the special. i already don't. the meal is enough. american portion sizes people.

#6.2- don't order the 2nd cheapest wine- order the cheapest wine. or how about how i do it, don't order wine? there's the real savings.

#7- quit smoking- yeah, that will save me a boatload.

#8- rent DVDs from the library for free. except that you have to drive to the library. i'd like to see their selection match netflix. plus netflix has instant viewing. please, if you're going to give me a tip give me apples to apples. not apples to rotten fruit i don't like.

#9- think before opening the refrigerator door. okay, i can think all i want but there's still nothing in there. imagining a cornucopia of food won't help.

#10- don't shop on an empty stomach, eat a light nutritious snack before going. but that means having a light nutritious snack to eat before i go? if i had that, i wouldn't need to go to the grocery store.

#11- don't sign up for extended contracts or warranties for electronics- who has money to buy electronics right now? not me.

#12- manage credit card spending- HA i'm probably the only person with a credit score of 750 who can't even get a credit card! (i tried so i could have one on hand for emergencies- car breaking down, etc- and was denied 3 times. oh well.)

#13- ignore the minimum payment on your bill and pay more! wow, i bet people would LOVE to do this, but people who are charging things on credit cards don't usually have the money to pay $200 instead of the $20 minimum, but nice thought.

i always read them in case there's something in there i can use. but they're usually things like, "don't drink starbucks coffee. it's $4 a cup and at $4x5days a week at $20 a week you've just spent $1000!" i have had 3 $3.80 iced teas in the past 3 months, because i gave up my twice weekly habit months ago to save money, but thank you article for telling me a way to save money that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain!