27.40

I am a numbers girl.  You may not know that about me, but it’s one of my FAVORITE characteristics that I inherited from my Mimi.  She was SO smart with numbers – able to add like 15 up at a time with no pen and paper.  She was a wiz when it came to financials and she read the stocks page every day (still to this day, I have NO idea how she does that!  Sorry, did that.)  But no matter how good she was, I am thankful that I got a little piece of that part of her brain.

I was texting with a friend a few days about about a VERY familiar subject of mine – being broke.  I said, “If I JUST had $10,000 I feel like my life would change.  Not $100,000, not $1M.  Just $10,000.”

That’s it.

That’s my dollar amount that if I JUST had $10,000, my life would be able to change course.  I could pay off my car, I could end my credit card debt (which isn’t much…but still there!), I could stop teaching ALL the time for money and choose to teach which classes I want.  And most of all, I would feel comfortable.  I would have savings, and options.  And in saying that, the fervent prayer and mantra for the past few months came FLYING into my head “What are my goals for 2013”.  Really God – this is going to be one of those ones that is hard to swallow right?  And here it is.

Goal 2 in 2013 – Save $10,000 in the bank account (completed by Dec 31, 2013)

So.  That’s a big goal.  That is a big lofty goal that I am going to have to sacrifice to make happen.  And yet, I continue to make life changes towards this goal without specific plans (renting my house out, downgrading certain “necessities”, etc.).  This is a goal that is going to stretch me mentally.  But let’s be honest.  I have a home.  I have plenty of clothes and Lululemon and tennis shoes and heels and Tervis Tumblers.  I have a car that is in great shape as long as I maintain it.  I have all the earrings and bracelets and makeup that I could really need.  And deodorant  I mean, I am STOCKED UP on deo.

Obviously I am not writing this down so you can borrow money from me.  Or know my finances.  But know THIS.  This is going to mean no big bar bills or eating out every weekend (I budgeted for like 4x a month).  This means I will have to say no to somethings due to money.  This is going to be a complete lifestyle change from the way I have been living for 5+ years.  I unsubscribed from EVERY shopping email I get.  I cancelled BirchBox and my fitness “monthly” expense.  I have resolved that I will not order supplements for performance other than food.  I will have to be content with the clothing that I have (umm.  plenty) and how I look in it.  And I am SO going to be ok.

But guess what kids – this chick is like freaky AWESOME at finding deals.  I have 5 “free” movie tickets to the Edge.  I have a $15 GC to Max’s and a $50 to my favorite Mexican restaurant for starters.  My birthday is coming up March 4th, and instead of asking for something that i just WANT, I will be asking for what I need at that point (probably money for books for the summer semester!  or tires.  Ugg.  always tires.)

So.  Here are CLEAR ways to achieve this goal.

1) Cash basis.  I budgeted out bi-weekly for gas and groceries with a tiny entertainment budget.  Anything I don’t use from one week will roll into the other, but if I don’t have the cash, I won’t CANT DON’T spend it.  The end.

2) NO shopping until the first quarter is over, which is March 26th.  At this time, I will re-evaluate if I have a) hit $2,500 and b) how the rest of my finances will look.  This is mostly about habits.  I generally wear the same thing for weeks on end (outside of work) and no one really cares are work.  Also, I have two additional closets of my sister and dear friend if something really does come up that I don’t have the correct clothing for.

3) Direct Deposit into a savings account that is not readily available or easy to access.  See, things these days are SUPER easy.  I opened up an account at another financial institution and then each pay period, it will just directly deposit it into the savings account.  I opted for NO WEB ACCESS so I just can’t see it.  I’m just going to pretend I got a huge pay cut.  Seems feasible, right?

4) Couponing/deals for the grocery.  Buying what is on sale, not letting it go bad and really paying attention to the grocery budget on a bi-weekly basis.

5) Selling my car.  This is a 50/50 shot.  It has been listed on AutoTrader for 5 months, I have shown it to 6 different families and it has not sold.  I feel I need to stay firm on the price so that I am able to purchase something STURDY with cash.  This is more of a praying for God to move on this type of thing.  And like my friend always says, you only need ONE person to buy it.  And I do believe that someone will.  In selling my car, this will give me a little wiggle room for paying off things while still achieving my goal.

It’s just $27.40 a day.  How about that.  

What is your big 2013 goal?

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make it yours.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing goals with you and will WELCOME comments and encouragement!  I am attending a Goal Workshop tomorrow night, and I hope that it will spur me on to really thinking about what I fully want.  Not what my parents think I should have, not what my friends are doing, not what my peers judge me into doing.  What Ruth Wants To Do.

Over the last few months, I really have been rolling that around in my head – what is it that I really want to DO with my life.  In my early 20’s, it was to get married and show people that I didn’t have to have a degree to get anywhere.  I was SO adamant about that point.  SO!  And I still think it is crazy for something jobs to discount experience for time spent in college.  After all, I technically spent 4 years and PLENTY of credit hours.  But in this world, I can’t force people to think the way I do.  So, I am caving and getting a degree….10 years after the first time I started.  10.  Full.  Years.

GOAL 1 in 2013 (to be completed by December, 2013)

Graduate college at UAB with a Marketing Degree.

That means I have to take eight classes in 2013.

That means this spring, I am taking three classes.

That means this summer, I need to take two or three classes (depending on what is available)

And that means hopefully just two in the Fall of 2013.

And while that sounds like a lot to most people, to me, I just have to stay focused.  I’m Broke As A Joke, so travelling doesn’t hasn’t been an option.  And I have spent the last 10 years being (relatively) footloose and fancy-free.  I’ve had worse.  So what is one really tough, busy, mentally hard year.  I will tell you what – it seems like NOTHING compared to the emotionally hard years of 2008-2010.  Mental strength, I can find.

 

This goal is a perfect example of falling down 7 times.  I really haven’t EVER been public about this – if you point-blank ask me, I would tell you.  But I certainly don’t even like to tell people this piece of information.  It automatically prompts two responses: I thought you had one or Why didn’t  you finish?  The first statement making me feel inadequate about lack of education albeit PLENTY of hardcore experience.  The second question is just never fun to answer…but it usually goes like this:  I was supposed to graduate a semester early as I came into college with 14 credit hours (a full semester) based on my High School education.  I wanted to take off a semester and work or do SOMETHING other than school because I was freaking out about being 21 and having to get a full time job.  At the time, I was fully advised (told straight-up) just to finish school and get it over with.  And in one of my better bits of rebellion, just decided to fail school instead.  Go ahead.  Just read that again.  To be honest, I don’t really know if it was a conscious decision or one I just let happen, but  I received a 68 in a class that I had to have a 70 to graduate.  The best part?  If I had just attended class, if I had JUST SHOWED UP to class, I would have graduated.  My sorry a$$ decided that I didn’t want to.  So I tried talking to three teachers and no one would help me (I don’t know that I would have either).  It is one of a HANDFUL of regrets that I have.  Not one that I focus and morn every day, but one single event that if I could go back and change I would.  But let’s be honest….would I go back to being 21?  Uhhh, NO.  I can’t think of a worser time to go back to!  I happen to like 30, and graduating college NOW is going to mean something that graduating then NEVER would have.

So.  Here on my 8th time getting up, let’s graduate college, shall we?

musics

I have the CRAZIEST taste in music.  I mean, I realize it DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.  But there are three songs that I cannot get enough of.  Like its hard to breathe without hearing them once a day.  Yup.  I understand that is totally dramatic.  But its how I feel.

I was always that kid in college that listened to REALLY strange music – including “techno” (which is what my friend deemed anything with a synth’ed beat and didn’t have words.  ANY. THING.)

So one of my favorites Deadmau5 dropped a new album last week.  And it REALLY is sick.  And I love this song…

BUT THIS – This Mumford & Sons song.  I just want someone to sing something like this to me with SUCH passion.  I defs wasn’t on the first wave of people lovin’ them.  But for sure someone else needs to hear this!

But love the one you hold/ And I’ll be your goal /To have and to hold /A lover of the light

And then there is the dancing music I need.  My girl P!nk dropped something insanely good, and while this is the ONLY song on the album that she didn’t write, somehow I keep playing it over and over…

Where there is desire There is gonna be a flame

Where there is a flame Someone’s bound to get burned

But just because it burns Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die

You’ve gotta get up and try try try

Gotta get up and try try try

You gotta get up and try try try

And this one is just a bonus.  No words, no nothing.  Just a great driving beat that makes me want to drive my car FASTER and jump around and never stop moving…

What are your tunes this fall?

picket fences

SO.  Lots of stuff “unresolved” on this blog and I KNOW you have been DYING to know what is going on!

Well.  I could NOT sell my house.  It was totally underwater, and I cannot apply for refinancing for an entire year.  Blah blah blah…its a buyer’s market, etc.  Dude.  TRUST ME I am tired of my own voice!  One thing that has just been NAGGING me is to be faithful in the small things.  Fiscally responsible.  Do my quiet time.  Be kind and work out issues internally instead of in someone’s face.  You know.  The basic small things 😉

So.  TOTALLY new concept for me – taking things one step at a time.  Like WAY new step for me.  But I want you to notice that NONE of these things happened on my own.  Team.  Others.  Relying on OTHERS.

1) I called someone to rent my house for me.  Boom.  Rented within two weeks.  He walked me through steps and totally set me at ease.  You need help?  Call Lee.

2) The place I was planning to move to fell through (like had planned to live since January).  Par for the course. So here I was- three weeks out and could NOT find a place to live.  Like NOT AT ALL.  The whole reason I am renting my place is so I can pay down the mortgage, and finish my degree (with 6ish classes left.)  I couldn’t bear to live in Pinson, Pelham, Alabaster….etc.  My life is pretty centered Over the Mountain, and downtown.  The point was to save MONEY.  Then I get backed into a corner with 1 weeks to go.  And then my guardian angel Heather posted on Facebook that I am looking for a roommate (Brookhills Small Group Leader page…)  Within the hour, someone calls me.  I see the house that Saturday, pay rent for two months and moved in last week.  TEAM WORK.

3) School – something I can’t seem to wrap my head around.  You see, I don’t have a degree.  Wow.  First really public admission.  I had never failed anything in my life (at that point), and I failed college.  {Oh sweet, young, 21-year-old Ruth, how you would REALLY learn failure later on.}  But I have this big desire to become a nurse.  And see, you actually HAVE to go to school to become a nurse.  So.  I head to UAB to meet with an advisor less than one week before classes start.  And even though the deadline to enroll has passed, he encouraged me to walk to the first floor and see if they would work me in.  And EVEN THOUGH, the sweet woman on the first floor thought it was too late, she would make a phone call.  The voice on the other end of the phone call says, “Let her go to school.” So.  All of a sudden, I’m enrolled in school.  And it turns out I only have 6-7 classes to grab a Marketing Degree.  And heavens don’t I WISH I could just do it in one semester.  or two.  But it will probably be 3 semesters, maybe 4.  So again, without the stress of a house and high bills, I actually can take SCHOOL.  TEAM WORK.  and Go Blazers.

OH.  And I got a promotion at work.  PLT, right?  It almost makes the misery of the last 6 months worth it.  Almost. But that is a story for another day.  But there is NOTHING better than having a boss that says, I have your back.  AND one who is thankful for even the small things you do.  OH!  And my new boss knows I am smart.  It’s the little things.

(that me doing a victory dance)

Moral of the story?  It’s amazing how much more you can accomplish with HELP. Why is it taking me 30 years to be ok with that?

REAL ESTATES

So.  Having this problem with selling my house.  And I start to understand a little bit about these stories about people just dropping off the keys and NEVER making another payment, regardless of how much it affects their credit (because let’s just be honest.  I don’t know too many people with good credit any more.  Or I should say I know more people with bad credit than steller credit!)

 

So back in 2008, the ex and I bought a house.  It is DARLING.  I mean, I really really really love my house.  Its got beautiful windows, original hardwoods, a mudroom where I can do my laundry and it was JUST the right size for a starter house.  Three bedrooms and one bathroom = 1200 square feet.  And I am sorry, more room just means you buy more stuff to fill it up and its more surface area to dust.  Gag.  Dusting.   I LOVE the fact that it is a corner lot, so I have two neighbors.  A dentist who splits his time between this house and his real house in Mountain Brook, Al and a older lady behind me who is on disability.   And my house is in front of a stop sign, which means that (under normal circumstances) people drive fairly slow on the road.  Which is just excellent.  It is an easy yard to take care of (mowing the yard, etc) and the grass I feel like, grows EXTRA green there.  It’s just a pretty house!

Well, so in 2011, amidst ALL THINGS related to my car crash, we became no longer married.  Part of the deal is that the house becomes mine but the loan from the bank still has both of our names on it.  So over the course of a year I have applied for refinancing, I have looked into “government assistance” programs, I have contemplated a “short sell” and at the very last option, looked into selling my house.

So me.  30 year old me with a decent job and never having missed a payment on her mortgage.  I KNOW I shouldn’t qualify for really any programs because I pay my bills!  And I have a job!  And I DON’T REALLY NEED Government Assistance (that word tastes nasty to me).  BUT turns out if you just STOP paying your mortgage, its the only way to actually get “attention” and be able to opt-in to ALL these plans that Dear Sweet Mr. President has helped create to stimulate the economy.

So here is the kicker.  I have been dropped by 2 real estate agents.  HA!  My house, that I love so much, is what you call under water at this point in the economy.  And all we really did was purchase a house before the bottom dropped out.  It wasn’t a BAD purchase!  It wasn’t expensive in the first place!  And I swear, I wish Banks (or Wells Fargo, who I hate with a FIREY passion) would just listen to Lawyer Documents (apparently they don’t) so I wouldn’t even have to MESS with this.  But the Real Estate Agents both want to list it SO LOW that I would have to come to the table with $50,000.  Literally.  $50,000.  In Cash.  One of the agents said, well that shouldn’t be a problem, you are from Mountain Brook so your parents will pay for that, right?  Ummmm…no.

So I asked them to list it higher, because I believe that if this is what God wants me to do (and trust me, I’ve been praying left and RIGHT for almost 2 years) that he will sell the house for more than a Real Estate Agent believes it will sell for.   And response is?  I am “not interested” in listing it for higher.   Well I am not interested in being classy today either, but I will for both our sakes, yes?

So let’s go ahead and just be clear on all that you read above.  A woman who has a good paying job, a good car, a great life ,CANNOT, as in UNABLE TO,  sell her house.  Now, ALL OF A SUDDEN, I cannot help but think about a widow who was just left with a house, or a single mother whose income is cut in half.  Or even someone less fortunate than me with less support and less education!     And it certainly does make you feel more sympathy for those who torch their own houses for the insurance money, or like I said.  Just walk away from the  debt.

So let’s all have faith and PRAY that God would be clear about where this house should go!  How about that, friends.  God is bigger than the real estate market.  This I am sure of.

house for SALE

Come buy my house. No, like SERIOUSLY please come buy it! Or at least come let me “borrow” some of your equity. I am currently putting my house on the market, a feat that some people think should just happen overnight. Unfortunately it takes FLIPPING RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF TIME.

;

SO after 6 weeks of working on things like painting, ya know…It’s about to go DOWN. Yall wanna buy it?

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testing testing 123….

So, I dropped off the face of the planet.  I am SURE that you have been anxiously awaiting my return with tales from the beyond about what happened.
Well.

Life.  It happened to me 😉

I became really overwhelmed by people’s bad attitudes and the soul-crushing days I currently attend.  I let it bother me.  I started to not breath, not sleep, NOT have a good attitude.  In ALL things.  And I am still having a hard time grappling with God’s purpose for me where I currently am and how I can behave.  In the past, it has been the work that I don’t like, but I have always liked the PEOPLE.  But in these current times, it is the PEOPLE who are rude, ignore, frustrate, and yell at me and the work is not so bad!  It is actually one of the first times that  I have felt fairly SMART and COMPETENT and more emotionally abused than anything.

I have come to the conclusion that I would like to start my own business to manage.  What, you say?  Well, Ummmmmm, no idea.

BUT here is what I would make sure happens:

  • All people MUST use their vacation days.  You get more, and the more time you spend at work WITHOUT a mental break the less effective you are.  TRUE STORY.  I would actually like to give everyone a week off each quarter.  I swear that people would work better and be less sick.
  • Option to work 4 8-hour days or 5 6-hour days.  The 40-hour week is SUCH a myth.  Most people don’t have 40 hours to work, save a few high insanely intense positions.  Yes my friends, accountants and lawyers are one of them.  But I would just want to hire more people so the work load isn’t so much.
  • A garden at work.  Birthdays at work.  Open Forums.  Places where people don’t feel used or abused.
  • Flexible work hours (you like 6a to 2p?  OK! Have at it!)

I swear that work CAN be enoyable.  I swear that in something you HAVE TO DO day in and day out, there has got to be a happy medium.

My current (ahem) situation involves people who think since they haven’t had a vacation, a lunch, a place to rest their head that no one else should either.  That seems “fair” right?!  Yeah, that is what I thought too…..

SO.  What else have I been doing besides dreaming of winning the lottery so I can actually do something worthwhile? Like go back to school and be a nurse??

  1. Beach
  2. Becca met a boy
  3. Fireworks (at the beach, that is)
  4. Got an iPhone
  5. Became obsessed with said-iPhone
  6. Concert
  7. Eating
  8. Kickball
  9. Margaritas
Not in that order 😉  But close enough!