The part of California I live in has been blessed with some nice weather since the beginning of the year. Today, it's pouring rain. Well, my doggies decided they wanted outside and I took the opportunity to sweep the house and put on a new slip cover to the overstuffed chair I have in the living room.
Yep, you guessed it! Not only did my doggies go play in the rain, they decided to DIG in the mud. Oooo, what a mess. I had to wipe them all down, clean their paws as best I could, and toss the mud covered towel in the washer for a good soaking.
Of course, my puppy, the Golden Retriever, decided that she was good to go when it came to jumping up on the new slipcover. I had to pull her off (cuz she surely didn't want to leave that clean smell behind) and recover the chair with the old slipcover. She seems quite content now draping her head over the edge of the arm.
The other dog, the American Staffordshire Terrier, decided she wanted to romp on the couch. She has to stomp the cushions "just right" before she plops herself down.
They are a handful sometimes, but are the most loving dogs. Enjoy the pics!
...yeah, right here. Come a little closer. Is it just me or right here across my forehead does it say S-U-C-K-E-R? Well, then what about this cap I'm wearing. You know, the pointy one. Is that D-U-N-C-E I see?
I have got to be one of the most gullible people out there. My ex-bf came over my house today to, once again, "borrow" money. He's been having a real rough two years. He's a carpenter by trade and while working a job, he had an entire side of a house fall on him as the crew was trying to raise it. With that, it broke his back.
Now, yes, he did go on disability, but was still living like he was working full time and having that income. When the settlement came, he was so behind on bills already, that most of the $$ went to catch up.
Fast forward to this year and his ex-gf (me). He's come around several times in dire straights begging for a loan. Now, y'all know it's not a loan, 'cuz I'll never see a cent of it. Let's just call it a gift then. This gift is now at $2,900!!!!
I know, I know! I told you I had sucker writen across my forehead! For many different things, I can say no. To many different people (usually myself the most), I can say no. But to him, I just can't seem to say it. I feel so badly for everything he's gone through and I don't want to see him out on the streets.
Here I am, trying to find ways to cut back, save, figure out how to use things one more time, and I have given this man one-twelfth of my total take home pay for a year! *heavy sigh* This is one thing that I don't know how to control.
I've been thinking of joining the $20 Challenge for some time. Now, with my goals for the new year in writing, I think the my Journey and the Challenge can go hand in hand.
One of my goals is to get rid of 1/3 of the "stuff" in my house. I've already started to donate items through Freecycle, but have other things that I'd like to get some $$ for. I placed my first Craigslist ad today selling 23 of my cookbooks.
I love cooking, but seem to be a major collector of books. So much so, that I have an entire room filled with them (no lie!). Letting 23 of them go is only a grain of sand in the desert.
Listing them on E-bay, Half or Amazon was just something I didn't have the patience to do. For some of my teaching books, I'll do that. We'll see how this ad goes first.
Anyone with Craigslist experience? Half.com? Amazon? Tips? Tricks?
For the $20 Challenge, I'm starting with nothing. If the books sell, I should have $30 as my seed money. *fingers crossed*
I am so HAPPY!!! I changed my T-Mobile cell plan over to T-Mobile To Go pre-paid plan. Bills...I hate 'em...trying to remember to pay them on time, well that I hate even more. The older I get, the fewer bills I want to see. *smile*
With changing over to the pre-paid plan, I can buy 1000 minutes for $100 and they last up to a year. If I was the sort who HAD to have a cell phone, I'm sure there would be a plan that would cost me less per minute than ten cents, but I've been paying premium rates on the minutes I wasn't using. What a waste of $$$.
My contract ended in December, so there were no extra fees for closing the one plan and opening the other. They said they will port my number (GREAT!).
Funny thing is, when I initially went into the T-Mobile store to find out more about their alternative plans, they told me that I would have to spend $50 on a "To-Go" kit to change over even though I already had one of their phones! I asked about this when I called the 800 number and they said I didn't need to pay anything extra to change plans. Hmmmm....wonder why the push from the store?
Anyway, with the changes in insurance and cell phone plans I've made today, I should be saving an extra $500 or so a year. YIPPEEEEE!!!
For the first step of this life journey I'm on, I called a different insurance company that is recommended by the local teacher's association. Although they charge more on my second car (my big, old truck that I only drive a couple of times a month) than I currently pay, overall their cost was less annually for both vehicles.
Using the additional 10% off for combining both my home owner's and the auto insurance, I can save about $335 a year. Also, the amount of coverage for both insurances goes up. Not bad, pay less and get increased coverage.
I do need to check with my current insurance company to find out what my deductibles are. The deductibles that the new insurances are based on are $1000 on both cars and home. I have a feeling that my current deductibles for both is only $500 each. We'll see.
I'll give my insurance a chance to match this new coverage. If they can't, I'll be moving over to the "teacher's" insurance as soon as possible.
My next step along this journey is to change my cell phone plan. I'll call T-Mobile and see if I can move over to a pre-paid plan. Currently, I'm on the $19.95 a month plan plus taxes, that gives 60 anytime minutes and 500 minutes on the weekends. I rarely use the phone and think spending the $100 for 1000 anytime minutes would be a better deal considering my usage.
If anyone knows of a better plan, let me know.
In order to make things a bit more concrete in my mind, I have decided to use this journal as a way to keep myself accountable for changes, i.e. goals, that I'm planning for myself. What I would like is to have more of a life's purpose, not only my work life, but in all areas.
Being a teacher, that purpose is pretty clear to me during my work day, but it's after the time when the teaching ends, that things become more fuzzy and clouded. I used to be the type of person who had so many different goals, but now as I've gotten older, the goals have been met, and no new ones have taken their place. Now is the time to start to clearly define what NEW goals I need to set up to help on this Life's Journey.
I want more joy in my life. I want to feel that I'm accomplishing more, not to look good or better for others, but for that almost palpable feeling of fulfillment. For what is life, if it is not full.
With that in mind, I've decided to set up three main goal areas of things I'd like to work on this year. This is an initial list. Expect changes!!!
-set up a retirement account through work
-contribute fully to an IRA
-sell unwanted items and use the money to pay for home repairs
-research new home/auto insurances to find the best for less that currently paying
-have a will drawn up
-find a place for all financial paperwork to be centrally located, easily obtainable place
-get a free electronic bill paying system through my bank to save $$ on paying bills
-set up a PayPal account through a separate bank other than main one
-check into cancelling monthly cell phone plan and going to a pre-paid plan
PHYSICAL LIVING SPACE GOALS
-get kitchen finished
-beautify front/back/side yards
-clear out one-third of "stuff" in house
-attend classes/workshops of interest
-build friendship base
-find activities that I love that will help me drop weight
-train my dogs
These are just the basic ideas for the main goals. What these "basics" don't state is how it's all going to be accomplished. I will be thinking about the different ways each goal might be obtained and list those ideas here at a later date. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
It is through the attainment of these goals that I hope to clear my mind of all the clutter, just as I hope to clear my house/life's clutter. With that done, I should be able to focus on the idea of "fulfillment" that I mentioned earlier.
First the drudgery then, with a clear path, all journeys are possible . *smile*
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