Bricklayer Competition Part Two

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Last year Mr. B participated in a bricklaying competition. He came in second place because he started his pattern a row off and had to tear down two courses and start over.

Tomorrow he participates again and is determined not to make the same mistake.

Since Mr. B has been a bricklayer and I hear him tell stories about solving problems or getting things done, it’s really helped me understand him on a more basic level. The problem solving skills he brings to work are the same ones he uses at home when we have a disagreement. This understanding has allowed me to see when he’s trying to solve a problem rather than get caught up in the same old arguments of the past.

The longer he lays brick, the less we argue.

He still makes financial mistakes sometimes (he’s the guy that uses the “wrong” card because he wasn’t thinking and used the debit instead of the credit or vice versa) but they aren’t life-changing anymore. It’s still frustrating when he brings home the wrong thing because he didn’t read the package (Did you know King’s Hawaiian Rolls come in a Honey Wheat flavor? Gross.) but it’s not something that makes a huge difference.

So, today the whole family is going to the Training Center an hour and a half (ish) away from home to watch our brickie compete. If he wins he will go to Maryland. Don’t even ask me how I feel about that because I’ll just cry. I’ve tried to think of some way we could all go but it’s in Bowie, MD and as much as I want to stand in the middle of Bowie and sing WE COULD BE HEROES….JUST FOR ONE DAYYYYYY it doesn’t seem feasible at all. I just looked the town up and it’s home to the Belair Mansion which I would prefer not to go to because I don’t support plantations (obvi) but to stand in front of it and sing the Fresh Prince theme song? I’d show up.

He’s probably going to qualify.

Then he’ll go to Maryland. Without us. Sometime in September so the kids will be in school.

I will be so bummed proud of him.

I’ll let you know how he does.

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Great News That’s Not Set In Stone Because What Is?

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That union meeting on Tuesday was fantastic.

I wasn’t there and I didn’t even hear all the stories because Mr. B was so tired when he got home. I heard the most important thing – well, two things – I needed to hear.

  1. That BA was dead serious (his words) about making Mr. B a BA.
  2. There is no residency requirement.

So, excuse me while I do the cha cha slide all over my living room.

Of course, things change and we can’t know the future, but for today my fears are calmed…okay, for a few days because why not feel good as long as you can squeeze the feeling out of a hope-spike?

He’s finally someplace (besides our bedroom OH YEAH) where he’s being noticed for his talent and hustle. He’s finally not being underestimated and – even better – he’s being appreciated and everyone knows his name. He’s the up and comer.

I don’t even know how to express how it’s all making him feel.

The most important part of how it’s making him feel is probably the doing of everything. He’s become more confident in all areas and he works even harder on job sites because he wants to get to that journeyman level and see what shakes out more than anyone, including me.

Which I can’t even comprehend because I want him to get there (understatement of the year coming up!) pretty badly.

To know we won’t be forced to move into a community where rentals are $1400/mo. for a tiny condo and $2,200 for a little house? We can stay here in our awesome three bedroom with a basement for $775/mo.? That is going to be a huge help toward getting us to our financial finish line.

Oh, you guys, the next two years are going to be SO fun!

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How We Spent It 5/26/2015

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Added 5/28: I’m running a bit late on this because I’ve been tired. It takes a couple days to remember to go back and spell check a post from a union meeting day. Or I was just being hella lazy and have found a convenient excuse. Either one feels the same to me.

Today is the longest day of the month. Union meeting day. I love his union and I love that he participates and isn’t just on the sidelines but it’s still hard to have him gone from 5am – 9pm. Especially now that we’re doing softball because I’ve got to wrastle (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) one of the kids to a game and keep the other ones interested and watched over by myself.

I’ll do what needs to get done. Even if it drives me half anxiety-crazy to get it done. My kids are more important than my comfort. (Don’t tell anyone I said that though, okay? I’d hate for people to think I put effort into this parenting thing. It would totally ruin my reputation.)

Today is a very boring edition of How We Spent It because nothing is really getting paid. Well, one payment to Amazon.com of $25 but other than that it’s all going to savings accounts. Here we go!

How We Spent It!

May 26th $689.06 35 hours
Living Expenses $250.00
Rent Savings $260.00
AmzDotCom $25.00
Leave in CKG $22.67
$131.39 E-FUND!!!

Last week I got something for one of the kids and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was but it dropped the checking below the $100 safety net goal and that’s why there’s a $22 line item to leave in checking. That’s the amount it needs to bring it back up to $100.

The living expenses are split between the checking account for groceries ($150) and a payment to the chase visa for gas and tolls ($100)

The Rent Savings is a separate savings account that holds nothing but (you guessed it!) rent savings. That way I know where we stand and I’m never confused. Rent savings is on track and as of today we have $1,040 of our $2,250 November 15th goal.

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As a reminder that $495 includes a $120 outstanding check for a day camp for Middle Sister this summer in addition to the $100 for gas and tolls to the chase visa and the $25 payment to Amazon.com … what remains is $250. $100 buffer and $150 grocery money. Whew! This is why I have so many savings accounts, there are too many darn numbers to remember in the weekly checking account alone.

I need to get my emergency fund right. I managed to drain it for Costco and it needs to be brought back to its $1000 level as well. That will happen next week. I started to wonder if I should leave it at $900 because of the $100 in the checking and then realized that it was splitting hairs and I should worry about something worth worrying about.

The bills have become very regular.

Week 1: Car Payment
Week 2: AutoPay Bill Payment & car insurance
Week 3: Rent Savings
Week 4: Gas/Electric & Amazon.com

I don’t have the car insurance taken into account. I should have a separate little savings account to put aside $74/mo. for that as well. The nice thing about Capital One 360 is that you can open up to 25 savings accounts and name them whatever you want. Mine are named with what the savings is for AND the target amount so I don’t have to look it back up. (I added the picture above to clarify this bit.)

I’ll tack on the $74 to the $151 AutoPay Bills week because it is currently the “low” week…I figure it’s better to balance out the bills and have the same-ish amount due every week instead of loading up on bills one week and then having none at the end of the month.

There was one time I tried to pay my bills early in the month but then I would just use the later paychecks to pre-pay the next month’s bills, so it all ends up going to stuff regardless. .

I have a low payment coming up next week for the Gas/Electric because I was on a budget plan and consistently overpaying so they dropped my autobill by $11 and gave me a refund so instead of $195 next week it will be $85. I know it’s silly to give them my money but I love that same amount every month. It makes budgeting so easy. I’ll wean myself off eventually.

So, that’s it for now!

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Notes From The Other Side of Darkness

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Know where you’re going before you start.

Great advice, but most of us are already well past starting. We are in the middle of our journeys trying to pay bills or save for a vacation or trying to get our kids through school or thinking about shopping for a baby shower or graduation we’ve been invited to.

Not only are we in the middle of our journeys, we are in the middle of a whole bunch of little things that make our journeys really distracting all the time.

If I could have everyone do one thing – like, force them to do something – I would mind control everyone I know to take a breath and forget all the distractions and forget the journey and forget where you’ve been and forget who you are and forget what you should want and decide what kind of life you want to live.

When I did this (and then mind controlled Mr. Brickie to do it) we realized our priorities weren’t stuff-based.

I have friends who have priorities that are stuff-based and you know what, that’s FINE. There is no better or worse life for a person. Really.

This is what confuses me about life. The value judgements where we all have to do what’s best or better or good or bad or worst or … why does everything need to have a value judgement? Video games over hiking? Or letting kids watch television vs. playing sports.

Does anyone know what they LIKE anymore? I mean outside of a value system more complex than a google algorithm. Hemingway didn’t worry about running a 5k, did he? YES I picked the worst example on purpose because it doesn’t matter what your values are if you’re suffering from untreated mental illness now, does it? Ha! See what I did there? Bait and switch! So smart!

Trying so hard, right?

I mean people who are working on computers all day are feeling superior to fast food workers. I wish I had that Tumblr response to how fucking pointless Excel spreadsheets were a minute ago but serving food is eternal in some way. It was deep, man.

I guess I just think we’ve all allowed someone, somewhere to tell us what we should want and how we should want it. Sure we all swerve from the script in some way or another whether it’s in the bedroom or on an online forum. I mean, this isn’t an easy thing. Not everyone can do it.

But from over here I just want to tell you, if you can be honest with yourself and you determine what you really want based on what you like and what you find important? It’s worth it. I don’t feel bad about living in an apartment. I don’t feel bad about how much money my husband makes. I don’t feel bad about WRITING anymore.

I want that for you, too.

If you already have it let me just give you all the virtual high fives in the world because man, there’s nothing better. We grilled mini meatloaf meatballs and mushrooms and chunks of colored peppers and ate them at a kitchen table in my living room while talking about video games before my kids went on their bikes and scooters to go play at the park while I write this.

Maybe I’m not saying this the way I really want to because I get a bit emotional when I think about it really hard.

Knowing what you don’t give a shit about is the most important thing in the world. It opens your choices like when you try to open a yogurt and even though you’re being really careful it just spits yo-goo-rt all over you. You have a spray of goo choices when you just…let go of the things that don’t matter to you.

So you start with your list of NO MORE THIS and then you take your list of YES PLEASE THIS and by the time you’re done, you have a picture of exactly what you want.

Then you just have to be willing to lose everything to get the life you really want. You might not have to go through a foreclosure and online beg-fest to get to your happy place. Or you might have to go through something far worse. Your mileage may vary like WOAH.

Isn’t the rest of your life worth a few awful years?

I think so, but I’m talking from the very edge of the other side. The first steps into sunlight after years in the dark and cold loneliness of failure and fear like a prison of regret and self-hatred. Those steps with your feet in the grass of hope and you look up and realize the reason you hated the sunlight for so many years was because you felt the brightness of the sun was mocking your mistakes and you preferred the rain because it was soothing.

The place where I can finally enjoy the sunny days (in theory, don’t get crazy now, I’m blue eyed and hella pale, the real sun is my mortal enemy) in addition to the rain and the overcast days.

Sure, things will still come up. Emergencies will happen. Our emergency fund will get used and need to be replenished. Winter will come and Mr. Brickie will be out of work again. We will have to balance side jobs and sports and game clubs and other after school activities.

But this summer there are camps and friends and bikes and parks and freedom.

It only takes a moment to start. It’s worth writing down what you don’t care about so you can open the portal to the place where things you really enjoy can exist. It’s like a houseplant no one can kill, no matter how not-green your hope thumb is.

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Apprentice Update – 60%

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Mr. Brickie is a 60% apprentice right now. That means he makes 60% of what a journeyman makes. Every 750 hours of work (plus two training classes, plus going to union meetings monthly) gives you a 10% bump. There is also a test at the 80% level, I think.

Each bump is a raise of about $4/hr. It is a big deal amount of money.

Right now we are at what I call the “bridge” between the apprentice level when we can no longer qualify for SNAP benefits and the level where we can afford food. We are 99.9% sure we are not receiving any more SNAP benefits (food stamps) because I did the math and we dropped off paystubs yesterday. We are nervous but the paystub drop-off was 100% voluntary because I don’t want to be caught up in fraud, even if it’s by accident or ignorance or “hoping for the best.”

In addition, Mr. Brickie’s next job location will involve a lot more tolls and gas. So we may be stretched razor thin this summer. I just don’t know yet.

Back to the apprenticeship.

This 60% – 70% bridge (in real numbers that are only accurate for this day and our situation are $25.55/hr. vs. $29.81/hr.)

60% → $764.43/week → $3057.72/month (assuming a 40 hour week)
70% → $889.84/week → $3559.36/month (assuming a 40 hour week)

In the example above I calculated taxes using the hourly paycheck calculator (it’s usually right to within about ten dollars) and then took off union benefit payments which for this union on this day are $2.20/hour.

The difference is a jaw-dropping $501.64 per month. Each subsequent raise looks the same. The only way you go above 100% of scale is if you are a foreman or something else within the union. Raises are negotiated by the union and go into effect in June of any given year.

Awwww, remember back when he started and he made $16.27 an hour? When the best we could do was a full time check of $478.52? Trying to figure out how to keep a house with a $1200 mortgage on an income of $1600/month that he only made during perfect weather when there was a job? …awwwww so cute!

Or….aww, remember when he really first started and took an 8 week unpaid apprentice course that paid a  $50/wk. stipend? AWWWWWWW….

Me too.

There has been a lot of scratching and crawling from there to here.

But when your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is an actual pot of gold, well, like my friend once heard a garbageman say, “You have to dig through a lot of trash to get the fur coat.”

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Finding Joy in Nothing

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We have been BUSY lately. In addition to regular work and  Mr. Brickie working on side projects we have had softball every weekend since it began a million years ago. I love the girls being in softball but man, we haven’t had a weekend that was just a weekend to relax and do whatever since Mr. Brickie has been back to work. When we realized the three day weekend was coming up I asked Mr. Brickie if he wanted to get in contact with someone about doing a side project and he just looked at me and for a moment I could see how exhausted he was right down to his bones and he said, “I would really like to do nothing this weekend.”

I gave him a hug and said, “I think it’s a fantastic idea for you to recharge your batteries!”

He smiled that smile that gets me right in that low spot of my heart (I like to think it’s the part that belongs only to him, so cheesy, I know) and I hugged him again, a little tighter this time, because that poor man would work himself to death if I asked him to.

So now we are all home and it’s abnormally quiet for a Saturday afternoon. Big Sister is sitting at the table drawing. I think she said she’s making a coloring book. Earlier she was teaching Little Sister to spell some sight words.

This is the first day I can remember where I slept in (till 12:30!!!) and did not wake up feeling guilty and awful about wasting the day. It is the first day I can remember just being in the moment and not feeling a pull toward working on something for the future.

I am in the moment and at peace.

It’s a great feeling.

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A Potential Future

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Mr. Brickie called me from the car sounding out of breath and a little manic. “I have a story to tell you. Don’t let me forget.” I laughed and we said our goodbyes and hung up.

This is what being married is like for me. He knows he will forget good stories if he doesn’t tell me but he wants to be home so he won’t tell me before he leaves work. There is something about the drive home that lulls the stories and happenings of the day right out of him. I write, “Tell your wife a fun story.” on a pink mini post-it and stick it to the bottle of Sam Adams Summer Ale in the fridge I know he’ll grab first.

After I close the fridge I, too, forget there is a story coming later. I’m distracted by the time and the list of things I need to do and the knowledge that the girls are about to get off the bus and I’m going to have to go through their folders and sign their student journals and look at grades and praise the day and ask for their stories. All those thoughts wipe clean the anticipation of a story from the Mister when he gets to the house.

Snacks and homework doled out. Papers signed and praised. Husband comes in, says hello to everyone, gets in the shower immediately and changes into something more comfortable. He passes me on the way to the kitchen for a snack and a beer and as I walk toward the table I hear laughter behind me. His laughter. I wonder what is so funny in the kitchen and hope if it’s something he’s found online he’ll show it to me.

He comes out with the bottle of beer held out toward me, post it note still stuck on the front. “You are a genius.” he says. I smile and say, “Thank you.” but really I don’t feel like a genius. I feel like a person who didn’t want to miss out on a story. I tell him if he puts the post it down we’re both going to forget so he better tell me the story before he finishes the beer.

Luckily this is a day I remembered to put something in the crock pot at 10:30am. A pot roast I took out of the freezer at 7am is perched sort of sideways – still over half frozen – on a stick and twig bed of carrots and water. Seasoned and on low, it turns into a lovely meal by the time we are all ready for dinner. I threw some cut up potatoes in there at 1pm so it was a whole thing.

We sit down to dinner and the post it note is not only still stuck to the bottle of beer it has almost become part of the bottle of beer. The condensation and pressure from his hand holding the bottle has the note soaked and plastered on the bottle as if it were part of the label. It dawns on me beer/soda notes (post its specifically made to stick to glass or aluminum in the cold of the fridge) would probably be a great idea.

When everyone has food on their plate and no more passing of bowls or plates is going to happen for a bit I turn to Mr. Brickie and say, “Tell me a story, honey.” He breaks into a grin and says, “Gladly!” Here is the paraphrased version of what he told me at the dinner table that night.

The Story

Mr. Brickie was sitting at lunch with his coworkers including the foreman and the BA (a BA is like a regional manager but completely different but they have regions so it’s the easiest way to explain) and they’re all eating and the foreman and the BA are talking about Mr. Brickie (in that way people talk where they’re by you and they know you can hear but they’re not including you in the conversation).

The foreman said, “He’s really good. He’s smart and thinks ahead. He’s not going to be on the wall long because he’ll be a foreman or doing estimating or something that you need to think for.”

The BA said, “Fuck that. The minute Mr. Brickie goes journeyman I’m making him a BA so you better start kissing his ass now or you’re gonna have a bad time.”

….and they laughed and laughed (no, really, they did)

Mr. Brickie and I were just talking last week and I asked him what his ultimate goal would be … like what kind of career path he saw for himself eventually. He mentioned the training center because he loves to teach but ultimately his, “I’m going to look a little embarrassed right now because I’m telling you what I really want and it makes me feel a little exposed.” was to be a BA.

So it really kind of felt like kismet and Mr. Brickie was SO excited when he told me this story. I asked him, “What about being a BA is so great? Tell me why it would be a cool job.”

He said, “The guaranteed full time work is a great start. You don’t have to worry about the weather and you get paid vacation. You get a company car and a company gas card. Sure, you’re on call but not the kind of on call where you have to go somewhere at 2am.”

Me, “Oh, well, wow. Do you make scale?”

“I know it’s salaried but don’t know if it’s more than scale.”

Huh. Well, to be honest I don’t care if it is more than scale.

When Mr. Brickie gets his raise in June of 2017 after he becomes a journeyman his pay will just barely clear six figures in terms of a full time salary. We wouldn’t ever actually SEE six figures if Mr. Brickie stays on the the wall because of winter and rain days and such. So 40-hours a week regardless of weather is a very, very big deal.

The Potential Downside

“There is…..one thing.” Mr. Brickie says to me in that tone where you know this is going to be close to a dealbreaker but since nothing is really a dealbreaker in terms of this job you realize that the tone is more of a “Climb Every Mountain” kind of jam instead of a “These Boots Are Made For Walking” jam.

“Yes?” I say, totally cool and not gritting my teeth AT ALL.

“We might have to live in the same region the BA covers.”

A silence falls at the table like even the kids somehow know that is some nuclear level information that just got dropped. “Will we have to move?” asks Middle Sister. “Daddy says he doesn’t know if he’s going to get it for sure so they can’t know that.” says Big Sister. “Will I still be able to go to school this year?” asks always practical Little Sister.

I’m just staring at Mr. Brickie with my mouth hung open like a fish. Moving in two years. Back to Illinois. But, you know, only  maybe.

So hey, this is all conjecture based on a conversation that happened at lunch so I’m not looking for houses to rent and planning to hire the movers! I’m getting much better at letting things unfold naturally and this is one of those times where the news was a nice bit of information and even if nothing comes of it, hearing two guys Mr. Brickie respects talking good stuff about him right in front of him felt good!

I do have to say, though, I swear I did a lot of math before Mr. Brickie started this job and I never remember any of the outcomes having a six figure result. Maybe I tried to add in for three months of unemployment each year … even though this year there was only one month of unemployment due to weather. Ah well, maybe I was trying not to count my chickens before they were hatched.

So that’s the story that might have a lovely happy ending. I’ll find out more soon.

Takeaways

  • Paid vacation and no unpredictable breaks? That would be wonderful!
  • That would certainly help with the pension amount at retirement.
  • What do you mean we might have to move in two years? Fuuuuuuuuuudge.

Follow Up

Mr. Brickie is going to see the BA at the next union meeting and get some clarification on the whole conversation. See about the residency requirement that may or may not be a thing. See if he was even serious. Mr. Brickie is amazing at talking to people and keeping it low key so I’m sure he’ll be able to get some information without seeming overbearing or weird. Thank goodness.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Useless In Times of Prosperity

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There are people who are awesome in a crisis.

I am a person who is awesome in a crisis. Like a specialty tool, I can be brought out to solve things when other people can only sit on the couch with their hands over their faces wondering why they have been chosen for yet another round in the “Oh shit” hamster wheel of survival.

When awful things happen, I shrug and do what needs to be done. A breakdown won’t help. The more pressure there is, the calmer I am. The worse the situation, the more focused I am. I can find a pinpoint of hope and worry the edges and peel away at it over months – years if need be – to let the sunlight in.

Since childhood I have been praised for my ability to handle a crisis. I did not blink when I took a box of turtles to my mother in the beautiful rehab facility on the hill. I smiled and was friendly and everyone thought she had a lovely daughter. When I got that same box of turtles from my daughter for Christmas, however, I almost lost my shit. The smile plastered on my face barely stayed and if my daughters were more observant in that wary way I was as a child they would have seen the slip.

I am beginning to feel useless.

The budget is done through November. I spent about ten hours putting it together. Now? Once a week I change the projected paycheck number with the actual and the only thing that changes is how much leftover goes to the credit card paydown. It’s a whole system and it’s done unless an emergency happens.

My daughters are getting through their last two-ish weeks of school and then it will be summer. So I don’t have to balance all the reading log signatures and the historical walking field trips that need jackets and extra snacks and they are signed up for camps for the summer and they have softball through July and they’re doing well so they’re on auto-pilot, too.

Dinners are planned in advance and a pork roast is thawing in the kitchen. Everything taken care of.

At this point I could be totally replaced by someone not-smart, someone entirely not-me. I have this really scary “my work here is done” feeling that makes me feel not just useless but like an imposter in my own home. It’s not that I wanted to be poor forever, it’s just…it’s what I’m used to. It’s part of my identity.

What do you fight when the fight is over?

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I’m Feeling A Little Lost

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It’s been a bumpy friend road these last few weeks.

I’m confused and kind of sad and so I am choosing to just be in limbo for a minute because it feels like there is too much stuff in my brain to make sense of it all. I’m overwhelmed.

By now, I figure you know I’m not normal. My biggest accomplishment of the past ten years happened this week. I went shopping alone with the 5yo. I haven’t gone shopping like the normals in ten years. I did have a panic attack in the store but ignored it while saying to myself over and over, “If it is a heart attack at least I’m not going to die at home.” It was not a heart attack (which I knew already in the back of my mind) and I got home safely.

The other thing I have is a shitton of empathy. I’m the person someone calls if they’re in a bad place because I’ll let them talk it out. I’m the person someone calls if they have an unexpected windfall because I can enjoy their success without wondering what it means for me in my life.

I’m straightforward, have great boundaries, and won’t do things I’m not comfortable with. Trust me, this is great because the flip side is someone you ask a favor and they do it but then they kind of hang it over your head or bring it up as a big deal or even just feel resentful. I’ve spent a lot of time making sure I’m not that friend.

When I was discussing this new phase of the blog (I call it the “not poor” phase) she said I needed to be careful or I would be seen as a “Mark” and first I was like “10 points for awesome slang use” but I’ve been thinking about it a bit more and feel a bit odd that anyone would see me as a mark.

That being said, doesn’t it seem weird that I’m totally fine sharing about food pantry hauls and looking for a new place before I become homeless or an Internet fundraiser but I can’t find the words to talk about the raise Mr. Brickie’s getting June 1st? I can’t find the words to tell you the story about his possible post-apprentice career path.

The good things sound like bragging.

I don’t mind being schadenfreude fodder but I don’t know if I can handle being a success story.

Which makes me wonder if I ever thought this plan was going to work or if I was just convincing myself to keep moving forward so I didn’t just give up.

I’m in a really murky place. It’s not dark, I’m not sad…It’s just hard to see what’s what. I am so confused.

Maybe I’m just turning into a butterfly and this is the part where I have to squeeze out of the cocoon of poverty and damn if it isn’t a painful transition.

I really thought this blog would get easier to write as I had good things to shout from the rooftops.

Maybe I’m just a jerk and want to keep my good things a secret! LOL

For now I’m still blogging and you know what? I went through hell – I get to blog about heaven, too.

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How We Spent It 5/13/2015

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A late payment from a winter sidejob came through and cleared at the same time as a four-day paycheck today.

Which means, how we spent it today is going to involve MAGIC.

Behold! Imagine in your mind four credit cards.

You look away from the table – only for a moment – and when you look back there are only three!

We were going to do the Amazon.com card first because it has the lowest balance but my husband asked if I could do the Walmart card so we could never use it again and I said, “Sounds good.”

Because it doesn’t matter.

The level of debt we have and the number of cards we have means that picking between the interest rate first method or the lowest to highest balance method don’t matter. All that matters is paying them off so if he wants to do Walmart? Fine by me.

I worry, of course, that what I really should do is just hoard the money just in case.

But we all know that won’t help.

So today is payoff day for a credit card.

I’ll be over here celebrating with a cup of black instant coffee made with my trusty teapot.

The one thing I hate about checks is when the person you give them to (I’m looking at you, school) doesn’t cash them for weeks. Like, seriously, you’re just being mean. I’m lucky I have a bank where I can enter those checks in and be regularly reminded of them.

Sure, I could balance and track my checkbook on paper but let’s be honest, who does that anymore? Anyone? I never did. I used to track my checkbook in my head and now I track it online and with the bank’s app.

I don’t know if it’s anyone else’s but between this and the Costco meat in my freezer I really feel like I’m starting to live the life I’ve always imagined.

A life where I’m not afraid all the time.

So we paid:

  • $779.11 to payoff the Walmart card and now it’s in the safe.
  • $32 Capital One minimum payment.
  • $151 to the Chase Visa for the automatic bills that go on the card. (Ins, Internet, Cell Phones)
  • That leaves $28.99, so I put that on the Chase Visa, too, because why not.
  • As always, $200 for gas and iPass and toilet paper for the week. Mostly gas and iPass. We don’t use THAT much toilet paper!

I reversed the plan for sure, but it’s all the same money going toward the same debts.

I know I seem a little flighty with the money right now but…well…no but, really. I’m feeling flighty and kind of devil-may-care. Next week will be boring. Just the car payment and living expenses. On the bright side I’ll be able to pay both and still be on track to paying the car off in November. (It’s a long shot, but hey, let’s have a stretch goal for once, right?)

Dreaming big. Hoping for a pre-Christmas car payoff. It would be a great way to start the new year for sure.

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