Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm going to get out of debt.

I have been feeling bad that I haven't contributed anything to my blog for a while, but as I'm going through my list of friends' blogs, I see many of them aren't either, so I'm chalking it up to being summertime and being busy with other things.

Time to get serious. This article has inspired me to get serious.

I have decided to get out of debt. I'm re-committing myself to this project and will be very serious about it.

It's funny. I recently got a decent raise and you know what some of the first things I thought of when I found out? "Ooh, now I can get such and such," and "Ooh, I can finally afford this and that" and "Ooh maybe I can take a weekend trip and fly to a beach somewhere," and STOP THE MADNESS!

I'm such a dork.

I have lost my focus. Completely and totally and it's time to find it again. With this raise, I can really start thinking seriously about a house now. But I've GOT to pay down my debt load in the meantime and I've GOT to have it be my number one priority.

And I've GOT to get rid of that stupid Bank of America 18.99% LOC.

That's actually my next project. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Your Typical Sunday School Lesson On Tithing

I have been debating on sharing this story with you just because I'm not proud of myself and my weaknesses and it's about a pretty private battle going on with me. But this whole blog is about being public with all of my financial decisions and battles and triumphs and this story falls right into that realm. For what it's worth, read on:

Because of my fabulous trip to San Francisco, I way Way WAY over did it on the spending. Because of this, I was short quite a lot to be able to pay my tithing on Sunday. I had the money in my savings, but not any in my checking. I did't want to tap into my precious savings account and figured I would just wait until my next payday and pay double tithing.

But I didn't feel good about that and figured Heavenly Father would bless me if I paid Him first. Please note I didn't come to this decision lightly.

Well then I woke up Sunday morning in a very grumpy mood. No idea why. But I did not want to get up and go to Church and I didn't want to see anyone and I just didn't want to do anything. Eventually, me being the good girl, I did get up to get ready to go (Church is at 8:00 a.m.) but was determined to take my time getting ready and if I was late, then I was late and SO WHAT! (Awful, I know - I don't know where my bad attitude came from!)

As planned, I was still getting ready when my roommate was ready to go to Church, so I sent her on her way and would meet up with her in a few minutes. At 7:58 a.m., I went out to my car and it was dead. It wouldn't turn over and it wouldn't even make a noise. Because I just replaced my battery last year, I was certain it was my alternator. It's four years old and it's a Ford and well, it just seemed like it might be time for that to go out. The lack of noise it made when I tried to turn it on seemed like it coincided with alternator issues I've had in the past with other cars.

Anyway, perfect opportunity to stay home since I couldn't reach Jennifer and of course everyone was already at Church. Well, almost everyone. All of a sudden, because I couldn't make it there, I felt an urgency to be there. I immediately thought I needed to call a neighbor friend of mine who happens to be a little late each week to Church. Luckily enough, he didn't disappoint and he was still home and was getting ready to leave. He very kindly picked me up and I made it in to Church about 10 minutes late.

The talks were all on Faith and things I really needed to hear. I also quickly turned in my tithing to ensure I didn't talk myself out of giving it (which I'm really good at doing - talking myself in and out of things I really shouldn't).

I came home from Church and went into my room and bawled my head off (not sure why again, just feeling really low) and prayed and apologized to Father for my attitude and bad mood/feelings. I felt better and the day went on as a nice, slow, easy-going day.

Monday evening my brother-in-law came over (thanks Ron) to check out my car. When I tried to turn it on, it made a clicking noise that's indicative of a bad battery. It didn't make that noise the day before and Ron was able to diagnose right away that it was a bad battery. He gave my car a jump and we drove over to Checker Auto to talk about the battery that was only a year old that was bad.

Last summer, my battery died on June 23, which was just over a year from when I took my car back this past Monday. They honored their year-long guarantee (even though it was over a year) and gave me a new battery for free!

What I thought was going to be a $300-400 job ended up costing me the gas to get to Checker Auto. That's it.

I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that because I paid my tithing, as painful as it was, I was blessed. I'm certain it was the alternator on Sunday and only the battery on Monday.

What a great lesson in humility and faith, eh?

San Fran Pictures

As I said in an earlier post, this method of travel was my favorite. This is Ginger, Maddie, and myself on our way home (well hotel) from our seminar on the first day. It was simply beautiful outside and I loved having the wind in my face - I felt/looked like a dog the entire time! (smile)

This is me, Maddie (middle) and Debbie on our first day there. We are at Pier 39 (on Fisherman's Wharf) and were getting blown away (almost literally) by the wind gusts. It's was gorgeous.

One of our bosses insisted on sending us to tour Alcatraz on Monday night, which was one of the coolest things ever to see and hear (thanks Marc!). This is Debbie, me, Alyssa, Ginger, and Maddie (the whole group) after the tour was over. We (well everyone but me) are all in coats and jackets because the drive over and back on the boat to the island was cold. It was great - I loved having my cheeks pink from that fresh, cold air. Again, just call me your local dog loving that wind in my face!

And last but not least, this is me with a couple of monkeys in Chinatown. What a cool bench, huh? You've got Mr. Speak No Evil, Ms. Shopping Is Evil, Mr. See No Evil, and Mr. Hear No Evil. That was a great/exhausting/expensive day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack......

I got back late last night. I had a total ball and I'm in love with being outdoors. I couldn't get enough of the weather and just wanting to be outside all the time. What a concept - wanting to be outside in July.

I think we must have walked hundreds of miles while we were there. I wouldn't have it any other way.

My favorite method of transportation (besides walking) were the trolley cars. Awesome way to go from Point A to Point B - especially when it's work-related.

Least favorite were the F-line cars. Blech. A thousand people trying to cram into a skinny bus. Just completely gross.

I took some pictures, but I borrowed a friend's camera (thanks Shawna) and need her help in getting them uploaded to my computer. They will be coming later.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I spent WAY too much money (could NOT resist Pier 39 and Chinatown).

I had a blast - a total and complete blast - but I'm happy to be home.

Happy July everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I am OFF to San Francisco bright and early tomorrow morning. Tomorrow night, I get to view this:

My friends and I are going on a cruise around the harbor to watch the fireworks tomorrow night. How cool will it be to see them over the water? Frankly, I'm a little excited about this.

We get to play until Sunday night, then starting Monday morning, we are there for a 3-day intense seminar. My company is sending all five of the executive assistants in our office. This is why a couple of us decided to go early, especially with it being a holiday weekend before the seminar. It worked out perfectly and the personal cost will be minimal (hotel and food only for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

I haven't been to San Francisco in years - not since I was a kid (yeah, at least 100 years ago) so I feel like I'll be experiencing it really for the first time.

Like I said earlier, I CANNOT WAIT.

In the meantime, I'd like to wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day!

Great (and cheap) Mexican Food

My roomie Jennifer and I went to a new Mexican food restaurant last night. It's called Los 7 Compadres and it's at 2795 S Market Street. It's in the shopping center just west of Circuit City, Ulta, Old Navy, etc. It's right next to Quiznos. (Nearest crossroads are San Tan [Greenfield] and Williams Field.)

The price was great (I had a bean/cheese burrito for $2.78), the food was great, and the service was great. It's family owned and operated and I want for it to stay in business and do really well. So next time you NEED good Mexican food (and don't we all really NEED good Mexican food?), check it out. AND let me know what you think...

Here's a link to a review Jen found on it: