Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to... oldest (and SHE thinks wisest) sister Leslie. You're 45 today. My goodness, how am I related to someone so old?!? (smiley face here) Love you sistah dear!

PS: Happy birthday to you too Ronaldo (my bro-in-law)!

Cheap Entertainment

Today is Saturday. My chores day. And guess what I'm NOT doing? CHORES.

I sit near a bunch of boys at work that are the TV show "Lost" fanatics. It's all they talk about. I live with a roommate who is also a "Lost" fanatic. I work with an executive who couldn't believe I've never seen the show "Lost" and asked me what kind of ridiculous shows DO I watch if not "Lost."

Hmm, maybe they're all trying to tell me something?

I went to my local public library yesterday and guess what I found? The first three seasons of "Lost" on DVD that I could check out. I've avoided this show for the past four years - why in the world should or would I start on it now?

Because it's summer and I will be here in town alone for most of it, and heck, why not jump on the bandwagon?

So instead of chores and weekly grocery shopping and even getting dressed or showered for that matter, I'm sitting on the couch, completely enthralled in "Lost." Totally addicted already.

But heck, it's free entertainment and I aint spending any money. How's that for justification? (Mom, you would be so proud!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Am Pocahontas

You Are Pocahantas

Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Great Dave Ramsey

I love this guy. Everything he teaches and talks about is purely common sense. This month's newsletter has him talking about how to pay for the gasoline that is so expensive.

Dave's Thoughts on Gas Prices (click here if you want to read his stuff online)

Gasoline has gone up 26% since this time last year. SHOCKER! Since most of us are used to daily commutes, running the kids here and there for their various activities, and visiting friends and family, this price increase is affecting us. The Consumer Price Index figures say this is the number one thing that's gone up in our household budgets this year — and it's only May!

"But there's nothing I can do," some say. I say, "Oh, yes there is!"

It's time to revisit the budget.

When I tell people this, some tell me they've crunched their budgets as much as they can. Then I ask, "How much is your car payment? ... How much is your monthly cable or satellite bill? ... Is the Starbucks drive-thru a regular stop on your morning commute?"

I hate to break it to you, but new cars, cable, and Starbucks are luxuries, NOT necessities! You can easily survive with a used (and paid-for!) car, no cable reality shows, and coffee made at home. Just think of all that money you could use to pay off debt and put toward your gasoline money for the month if you did just those 3 things!

Earlier this month, an algebra teacher in Michigan sent me a great email that I read on the radio show. She wrote:

Dave, I often give my math students this calculation to figure out. A typical latte costs $3.59 for 16 oz. That's 22 cents per ounce or $28.72 a gallon! Ask your listeners if they've drank a gallon of latte lately!

HOLY COW! If that doesn't put things into perspective, I don't know what will!

First Things First: You must remember there IS a difference between needs and wants in life. The first things at the top of your budget should be your needs: shelter, food, transportation, clothing, and utilities. If you currently go to the movie theatre every weekend or have a Hawaiian vacation at the top of your list when you struggle to pay the electric bill, your priorities are out of wack. Don't sacrifice your needs to finance your wants. If you do, it will catch up with you and you'll regret it.

Plan Ahead: You can also strategically plan ahead when running errands and commuting to work. If you go to the grocery store twice a week, reorganize your list so you only have to go once a week. If you have a lot of errands to run, plan your route ahead of time so you're not retracing your steps around town. You could also organize a carpool with some of your coworkers who live near you.

June will be here before you know it, so go have a Budget Committee Meeting right now to see where you can free up some more money — because every little bit adds up when gas is $4 a gallon!

I remember complaining when it cost me $16 to fill my little Honda Civic. I filled my Ford Focus up this morning for $43 and some change. ZOIKS.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is just to pass along Dave's common sense. He mentions eliminating vacations if money is too tight. I have a mini-vacation coming up in July. No, it's not necessary, but the opportunity is there and because I know about it ahead of time, I can save a little bit more on the day-to-day spending to enable me to do this trip, including eliminating unnecessary expenditures, which includes needing to drive everywhere. Gas is a killer!

I am as excited about the financial planning of the trip as I am actually taking it. It will probably be the first trip I take that will be paid with cash rather than credit. THAT'S what I'm excited about.

I've never been smart about money. I still struggle with it to this day, but I'm working on it and trying to be smart about it and I'm doing an okay job. Still not great, but oh so much better than when I started this blog back in October.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Meet my niece.

You have to meet my niece Sydney (click below):

Comments from Sydney Kerby

Read her comments over and over and read them out loud to yourself. They get funnier and funnier the more you read them.

I'm still crying over it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A HORRIBLE way to save money... to get really, REALLY sick.

I've been puking and pooping (sorry) since Wednesday night. It is now Saturday night and this is the first time I've even ventured out of my bedroom.

You save money because you aren't going anywhere so therefore you save on gas money, not to mention wear and tear on your car.

You save money because you aren't eating or drinking a single, solitary thing, so no grocery money is spent.

You save money because you can't drag yourself out of bed long enough to take a shower. You're saving on water, heat, toiletries, energy in general.

You save money because when you're not puking and/or pooping, you are sleeping, so there are no energy costs going on there with the TV on or the lights on.

You save money because when you're puking and/or pooping, you don't want to go anywhere, do anything, see anyone, and you save on entertainment costs.

I'm WAY tired of saving money this way. I hope never, Ever, EVER again to be so gosh dern frugal. BLECH.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There's going to be a prom...

...on Saturday night, it's May 14th!

This was the beginning of a song that Mistie Davis, Stacy Malone, Staci Blythe, and myself sang to our dates (Brian, Andy, Dennis [I think], and Nick) in front of our class, telling these guys that our answer was yes we would love to go with them to our senior prom.

Exactly 20 years ago today. May 14, 1988.


I really AM that old.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Birthday... my just-younger sister Andrea. Thank you for allowing me be a part of your family. I love you sis!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Looking Back...

For some reason, my roommate Jennifer and I were talking about our youth and I told her about my first bike - my first banana seat, basket-on-the-front bike.

My sister Andrea and I got our "new" bikes for Christmas one year. The interesting thing was they weren't new. They were used (I don't remember if they belonged to our older sisters or if they were purchased elsewhere - Mom and Dad, would you like to comment on that?) and in pretty bad shape. I believe when we realized what they were that Christmas morning, some disappointment was felt - at least by me.

But the thing that sold us on them was the fact that we got to go to the store with Dad, pick out whatever color of paint we wanted the bike painted, chose a new seat, and chose a basket for the front.

I don't remember what Andi chose, but I chose the color copper. (Weird color, I know, and as I see the pink bike above, why couldn't I have chosen a cool color like that instead?) Anyway...

These bikes never felt used. They were our very own from the very beginning because we got to be part of the process of making them new again. I loved that bike.

I'm sharing this trip down amnesia lane because my parents weren't wealthy. But as kids we never really felt poor. My folks new how to scrimp and save and make do and we always felt comfortable growing up.

I'm not exactly sure where I got my horrible, HORRIBLE spending habits. It was definitely NOT an inherited thing or learn-by-example thing. I went completely against the grain on this front and am paying dearly for it now.

Silly me.

Do you have memories to share on making do with what you have/had? Please comment. I'd love to hear your stories. Seriously.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

American Idol

I just had to share what my niece thought of the vote for last night's American Idol. You have to know her to really appreciate this, but just know she's got a very low, scratchy voice, and she's a very no nonsense, tells it like it is, wonderful girl.

Click HERE to learn about her thoughts from last night's contest.

I LOVE that Kalli girl...