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Do I want to be a quitter?

March 15th, 2008 at 07:57 pm

My husband and I have been having an ongoing discussion about whether I should quit the "office" job. (He wants me to quit....) We can easily meet our monthly income requirements between his job and my booming side business, and all our "benefits" are through his job, so the "office" job isn't a necessity.

Emotionally, I'm ready to quit, but mentally I keep putting it off because I like having that extra money each month guaranteed -- as opposed to having to go out and pimp myself to more clients for the booming side business.

If/when I do quit, a number of our expenses will go down. For instance, I won't have before- and after-school child care expenses (which is only averaging about $60 a month, so it's not huge but still a savings.) I also won't be paying for as much dry cleaning since the booming side business doesn't require even getting dressed if I don't want to. I'll be driving slightly less, so that means slightly less gas costs. And, Hazel the Housekeeper most likely will be let go since I'll need something to break up the days working at home, so pushing a vaccuum again might be in my future.

Not working at the "office" will allow me to have a life again. The booming side business has kind of consumed everything, so without the "office" job I can start working more regular hours at home instead of piecing together work hours here and there. I also can go back to being an anti-social/agoraphobic curmudgeon who rarely leaves the house, which is when I'm at my best.

I am now telling myself that I will give my 6 week notice on May 1. I'll be gone for about two of those weeks, so that's really 4 weeks notice. I could give them less notice, but I did tell someone I would help them out the last week of June so I figure I should stick to my word there.

Of course, I could come up with a thousand excuses not to quit between now and May, so this may all not come to pass but a girl can dream....

A day of nothingness....

March 14th, 2008 at 05:00 pm

I'm sure you're all dying to know why I've been so quiet for the last 24 hours. Well, to squelch any rumors that might be floating around out there, it's because there's simply not much going on here.

I didn't win the $200 million lottery jackpot. I haven't gotten any challenge additions this week (not even a measly buck left by the Laundry Fairy). And I haven't been spending up a storm.

I did splurge on a 12-pack of Pepsi for $3 today and put it in my trunk, so we'll see how far that goes in solving the impulsive trips in search of sugary, caffeine-laden drinks. Now my big concern is that I'll forget the Pepsi's in the car since I rarely go into the trunk. ...

I officially found out that Beauty of "Beauty and the Beast" fame is 5 pounds overweight. (I say "officially" because I knew she was packing on the pounds when she couldn't fit behind the bed anymore, but the vet "officially" told me this today. My response: who ISN'T 5 pounds overweight???)

So, now I'm either going to have to drag her out running with me (probably not likely given her short legs), or slap a "Wide Load" sign on her butt and leave it at that. (Where's my duct tape????)


Sucking it in to save money

March 12th, 2008 at 06:31 pm

At least once a year, I'm forced to dress up in something either than jeans and a t-shirt, and be my husband's Trophy Wife at a black-tie event related to his work.

In the past, I've gone shopping for gowns in January, which is when you'll usually find such things on sale. I've always lucked out and have never spent more than $100 on gowns that were originally much more than that.

Last year, I actually lucked out and came down with dysentery or some other cleaver excuse not to go (the exact nature of which currently escapes me). And, this year, I figured I would be off the hook since my husband switched jobs last summer.

Boy was I wrong. I now have two prom-like-events-for-the-geriatric-crowd coming up in the next month that require "formal" attire -- both of which involve me having to sit at a table with the same people, so wearing the same dress to both events won't work....

Aside from the fact that I didn't bother with my usual January gown shopping outing this year or last year, I've also put on a few pounds so I now either need to shed some weight fast, suck it up and invest in a new dress, or just suck it in and hope that nothing "pops."

The things we do for love.....

Changing my ways and other odds and ends from a wasted weekend....

March 9th, 2008 at 09:53 pm

After a month of stealing the neighbors' newspapers (kidding....), I renewed our subscriptions last week at the much lower rate and while doing so signed up to get two Sunday papers for the coupons. Today was the first day they came and after spending way too much time clipping and filing coupons, I've decided not to clip them from now on until I actually go to use them.

I've been storing them in baseball-card holders inside a notebook, but now I'm going to dig out an expandable file and just mark the date on the entire bundle of coupons each week and then take it from there.

***


My grocery savings this week were pretty much a wash because the Grocery Game folks said I would find two coupons in the paper today that weren't there so I ended up paying full price for the items -- plus I bought Tide on sale, which is like buying any other detergent at full price

***


I'm not sure if it's the time change or the slight cold I've got, but I ended up getting a whole lot o' nothing accomplished today. I did book the beach vacation early this morning, but from there the day went downhill as far as productivity. I got very little work done on the booming side business -- mainly because I was redoing something that someone else worked on before me and it was a mess that took forever to fix (GRRRR....) Of course, it probably didn't help that the whole family laid down for a nap after a late lunch and the nap turned into a two-hour snooze fest for my husband and I while the kid and dogs bounced on the bed every few minutes while watching Monsters Inc. for the 50th time this weekend. (Please don't send me any nastygrams for sleeping while my child and dogs were running amok. We were all in the same room, sober and watching/listening to a G-rated movie -- not exactly "quality time" for Mini Me, but I'm sure she'll get over it....)

***


This cold is just annoying enough to make me want to lie low for a few days, but I have a bunch of commitments this week so I don't think that's going to happen.

I promised I would put in a few appearances at the "office" this week. In my line of work, it's usually a bad thing to go in if you're sick but I'm not so blatantly sick that I should stay home (then there's the whole no play/no pay deal I agreed to, so financially it's at least to my advantage to "suit up" and show up for at least a couple minutes every now and then).

Mini Me's also got a "gallery opening" that I have to attend this week. Yes, at the tender age of 7, she is having her first art exhibit.... I don't know how it happened since her kindergarten teacher once questioned her artistic ability (to which I reminded the wench of Jackson Pollock and others who looked at the world through a different lens). But no matter now, because the little Picasso's artwork was chosen for a display at a local gallery -- a real gallery as opposed to the gallery on my refrigerator.



To give you some idea of what we're talking about, here's a self-portrait that she did, which I thought was so good that I got it framed and it's now hanging in the area between the kitchen and living room.

Going to the beach

March 9th, 2008 at 10:46 am

I finally was able to book my vacation (with cash), so this is going to be me at the end of May.

It could be a pricey day for me or a GREAT day

March 8th, 2008 at 07:05 am

My husband and Mini Me are off to see the accountant this morning while I head out to see what's going on in the "office" for a few hours. We think we'll get about $1,000 back on our taxes, but none of us are mathematical geniuses so who knows....

Assuming we don't owe a bunch, then tonight we're booking our cash-only beach vacation. It's OK if we owe a little because I've got a bunch of cash saved up for the trip, so we'll just scale it back a bit. Even Mini Me is excited about going to the beach. I used it as a bribe to get her out of bed this morning -- if you want to go to the beach in May, you need to get out of bed NOW!

I'll report back with either good or bad news later.

Oh, and I discovered a rock that the laundry fairy left me in the washing machine this morning. I wonder what that means....

And I thought my child was spoiled...

March 4th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I know a kid's first birthday party is a big deal (witness the homemade Cheerio cake I made for Mini Me on her first birthday), but this couple just so don't get it....

The little germ factory is at it again

March 3rd, 2008 at 07:29 pm

Mini Me missed two days of school last week with a high fever and cough. She went back today because she didn't have a fever and seemed to be on the mend. However, when I picked her up this afternoon, I could tell all was not well.

Although she's not running a fever, she is coughing a lot and looks miserable. She's also got very little energy.

Rather than send her to school to be miserable tomorrow, I've decided to keep her home again. She's off for parent-teacher conferences Thursday and Friday, so if she doesn't make a considerable improvement tomorrow I'll just keep her home Wednesday as well.

The problem now is that I need to show my face at least twice over the next two days at the "office" job. My husband has agreed to come home early tomorrow, but Wednesday is still questionable for both of us. Where's a grandma when you need them????

The Germanator (aka Mini Me) is not one to hang out in the doctor's office. In fact, she may be the only 7 year old in the modern world who has never had antibiotics. Since she hasn't been sick for more than 10 days yet and is eating OK -- and has a wet nose -- I see no need to haul her in to the monster of all germ factories -- the doctor's office. Instead, I'm just going to ply her with lots of liquids and sleep, save the $30 copay, and hope for the best.

Happy Gotcha Day!

March 2nd, 2008 at 07:16 pm

Today was Gotcha Day at our house.

Seven years ago today, Mini Me arrived from Korea at the age of 5 1/2 months. To this day, she remains the best thing that ever happened in my life. Here's the first look we got of her in December of 2000:



As we like to say, she's our little bird her flew across the great blue sea to make our house a home and our family complete.

More for the challenge and other odds and ends

March 1st, 2008 at 05:26 pm

Excuse me why I wander all over the place here today....

Another freelance check arrived in the mail today. After I took out 25% for taxes and covered my basic income, I had $9.70 left to put toward the challenge. The new total is $3,613.53.

That $9.70 won't buy me much, but I did put it in the new car fund. At the rate I'm going, it might buy me a gallon of gas when I finally get the new car.

Both our regular paychecks showed up in the bank yesterday, so I paid some bills and updated the debt/savings numbers over there on the left. I only paid "some" bills because the balk of our bills are automated and will be withdrawn from our checking account over the next few weeks. I do nothing but make sure there's money in the account.

Most of the projects I've got going on the booming side business this month are being delivered in bits and pieces, which I don't particularly like. Mainly I don't like it because I don't bill for jobs until a project is complete and at the rate these bits and pieces are arriving I won't be seeing another check until April. Out of 11 jobs I've got on my plate for February/March, I've only managed to get one complete job done in the last two weeks. Blah.....

In addition to putting the challenge money toward the new car fund and debt, I've also been saving up for a vacation in May. I am holding off actually booking the vacation despite having all the cash in hand until after we get our taxes done next week. I don't want any "surprises" coming back to bite me in the you-know-what. I noticed when I went to check the prices again that the rates had jumped in the last two weeks, which is making me nervous.

Mini Me is still sick, which has put a damper on the weekend -- but has also saved us money. We had to skip vision therapy today, so that was $97 not spent. We also skipped our usual Saturday lunch and ate leftovers. We're still planning a celebratory lunch tomorrow -- for an occasion I'll explain tomorrow -- plus a family outing if the little germ machine is well, so there's still the potential for serious spending this weekend.

I'm now off to shampoo the carpet in Mini Me's bedroom. She was coughing so hard last night that she threw up on the floor. I then promptly stepped right in the mess when I went to check on her in the dark. Kids....

A no spend/no fresh air day

February 28th, 2008 at 04:22 pm

Mini Me is home sick so I went no place and spent nothing today. In fact, aside from a mad dash to the mailbox, I can't say that sunlight ever touched me.

I did get a workout on the treadmill this afternoon. As I've said before, I hate running on the treadmill, but there is one good thing about it -- an excuse to watch TV.

We don't have cable and don't really get television reception where we live. But we do have free access to DVDs from the library. I rarely even watch those, though, because I can usually find a bunch of other ways to fill my time. However, I've been curious about the show Lost, so I got the first season from the library and have been watching it whenever I find myself on the treadmill. It's great for making one want to jump out of their skin every now and then.

People tend to find it surprising that we don't have cable and/or watch TV on a regular basis. Initially, when we got rid of it, it was very much a money-saving decision. Now it's more a lifestyle choice.

A Housekeeper's Cheaper than Divorce or Death

February 26th, 2008 at 02:17 pm

Today was Hazel the Housekeepers' day to come work her magic on the hovel we call home.

It's been suggested that I drop Hazel the Housekeeper and put the $80 I spend on her every two weeks toward debt payoff. In the end, I don't think it's worth losing my marriage or life over, so Hazel stays.

My husband has a very demanding full-time job and is working on another degree in his "free time." As I've whined about here numerous times, I work two jobs, which equate to more than 40 hours a week -- plus I have a 7 year old and two dogs to pick up after, not to mention the countless hours of volunteer work I do.

If my husband and I were to clean the house, it would take a full day, which is something neither of us has available to give up at this point in our lives. In the days when we did have a day to give up for cleaning, we would bicker over who was going to clean the bathtub. Now, it's a no brainer. Plus -- and here's the big clincher -- I have issues with chemical smells and asthma, so it's better to leave the cleaning to a professional and skip the whole gasping and wheezing part of the experience.

Hazel is not the greatest of maids, but she's better than the alternative -- living in filth or lying dead from an asthma attack. (Plus, I love walking into the bathroom after she has left to find the perfectly folded towels....)