It’s Happening!

I’ve talked about our downstairs bathroom before, but last night I had a super not-even-remotely-a-secret meeting with my aunt about it. She offered ever so sweetly to help me rehab the bathroom as my Christmas present. She has insane amounts of experience with this stuff. She and her siblings are basically gutting and redoing an entire house for their parents. They added a second floor all on their own! So yeah, I’m gonna take the help.

She has some great ideas and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for me. I was too afraid to tackle that vanity top, but she says it’s out of here!

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I showed her the towels and hardware I bought for my little plan so those will be the springboard for the design. She is the kind of person who can envision a room and execute it perfectly. Actually, all my aunts are that talented. I’m a very lucky neice. So stay tuned for the revision of my bathroom plans!

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Money Money Money Money

MONAAAY.

Yeah Soul Train knows what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about money.

Now I’m no Dave Ramsey, but I’ve picked up a few things along the way that help keep me from debt collector’s (mostly) and wage garnishments so I thought I’d share. In lieu of a long and dramatic back story I’m going to hit you up with the cliff notes list version of my mistakes/misfortunes.

  1. I thought my parents were going to pay for college.
  2. I worked a lot, and spent that money on things that were not school.
  3. I used my credit card with a much higher limit than I should have had to pay my school bill.
  4. Both my parents were laid off. Then they got jobs.
  5. Then I was laid off. Then I got a different, less lucrative job.
  6. A year later, I had surgery.

My surgery was in March, but just in case you didn’t know that stuff is expensive. So all in all, I mishandled my money and expected others to take care of it. Naively. In May, I started my current job which pays more than any other job I’ve had and it pays regularly. The same check every week. That’s incredibly convenient. So I’ve devised a plan to pay off my debts and pay my bills and have a semi-normal social life in the process.

The Big Plan

The first thing I do at the beginning of the month is whip up a calendar. All my bills have due dates. Do you see where I’m going with this? The first thing I do is plot those dates. Then I move them back to the corresponding payday. So if a bill is due Friday, I move it back to the payday just before (Tuesday). Then I do a little math. Paycheck – Bills = Money for other things. Money for other things breaks down into Debt Repayment, Fun Times, Lunch, and if I’m really lucky, Savings. Let’s be honest, Fun Times does not get a large budget.

I pay way more than the minimum payment for my credit card.  18 times more to be exact. I also pay a hefty sum weekly to my school so that one day they will let me back and I can be an academic. This doesn’t leave me with a lot left over to do wild 23-year-old things. Hence my frugal posts. 

By paying my weekly bills as soon as I get paid, I’m not tempted to spend money on other non-necessities. I figured out that by following my bill paying regimen I can be debt free in 7 months.  At least, that’s the plan.  I am waiting to find out if my contract at the company I work for will be extended or not. They could even hire me. Whoa. My plan for now is to assume that nothing is going to change because I haven’t heard anything either way.

This might not be the best way to handle finances, or even a great way, but it’s what I found worked for me.

Do you have a strict budget?  Do you wing it?

The Best Laid Plans

This week life has been happening all over the place. It’s getting to the point that I’m putting real weight on the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

My plans for Saturday:

  • Go grocery shopping
  • Start prepping and doing some cooking related to my previous post
  • Enjoy the beautiful fall weather

 

My Saturday reality:

  • Wake up to an empty house (except sleeping boyfriend), meaning no cars to take me to the grocery store
  • Call my mom, who has my sister/roomie. Mom begs me to come over. *sigh* Ok
  • Have my entire day hijacked by my mom and sister
  • Get home wiped out, but with renewed relish to grocery shop the next day

 

My plans for Sunday:

  • Go grocery shopping
  • Go to the pumpkin patch with my 2-year-old cousin (the only child in the world that doesn’t overflow with glee at the very sight of me) without the rest of my family (who he adores above me)
  • Cook like a maniac

 

My Sunday reality:

  • Go to the pumpkin patch with my little cousin, my mother, my sister/roomie, and my baby sister. Guess who my baby cousin wanted nothing to do with? Yeah. Me.
  • Day sucked away by other people’s plans
  • Get returned home with no way to get to the grocery store
  • Mope, eat donuts

 

In other news, I have a new niece. This adorbs little tiny human has had a tough week and it has weighed on all of our minds. She deserves her little one-week old privacy, but if you could keep her in your thoughts/prayers, I would really appreciate it.

Quick update on the bloggy blog: Check out the new tab at the top of the page. I am now available to receive your emails!

Don’t give up hope on the Marathon Cooking because it’s GONNA HAPPEN. Everyone in my house is on board and thrilled so we are all motivated.