Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Week Off Of Work

Today's blog is called My Week Off Of Work, or as I'm calling it in my head How the Heck Did My Vacation Turn Into A Trainwreck?


I worked 11 hour a day for over a month so that I could finally pay off my car (2 1/2 years early!) and have a nice vacation complete with a mani/pedi, couples massage, beach day, and trip to the springs. First, my dog gave herself a hematoma from a yeast infection in her ear. I didn't know dogs with pointy ears could get yeast infections in their ears. Spoiler alert: They can! She also needed her full yearly checkup, and I finally decided to get her chipped since we may be moving next year. In the same week two of my headlights went out (I have two daytime running lights, and two regular headlights). Then, on Saturday, my car decided not to start. Every dime I had made in OT and then some has been taken up by these events.

Back to Now:

My car is at the shop right now, as I'm writing this. Fortunately, they were able to give me a ride home and are going to be able to send someone to pick me up since none of my people are even awake yet.

Still, though, I'm using today as a Thankful Tuesday, because if it were not for all the crazy amounts of OT, this all would have sunk me financially. I'm at home, on a week off from work before the Fall Semester starts on Monday. My puppy is healthy, if not a little miserable from her cone. I'm propped up on my couch watching Cowspiracy in my pajamas, and I'm about to go make an awesome green smoothie. I could choose to be stressed out, and let this turn of events make me sad and miserable, but I'm not.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? What are you thankful for today?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Two Week Shopping Ban Fail

Not only am I a terrible blogger, I'm also apparently terrible at not spending money. My two week spending ban was an absolute fail. It started with school supplies, and just spiraled from there. To be honest, I can't actually even remember what all I bought.

Here are the top three lessons I took away from this experience:

1 - If you're going to succeed at a challenge like this, you have to announce it. You have to be accountable to someone besides yourself. While I have a public space, it isn't very well circulated, and I didn't really tell any of my friends and family. That led to lunches and dinner out, a terrible lack of meal planning, and activities that weren't remotely free.

2 - You have to plan! Just like with everything else, if you want to succeed, you have to plan. The old adage is true - fail to plan, plan to fail. Once you've decided to put yourself on a spending ban, you have to plan out your meals and your activities. Grocery shop for your dry, canned, and freezable items all at once. Things like produce, greens, and some dairy items do have to be bought within a few days of use, but limiting these midweek trips also cuts down on the possibility of splurges and impulse buys. Planning out your activities is also a wise idea. Whether you plan to stay in and watch Netflix, go for some exercise at a local park, or go to the pool at your apartment complex, planning something fun and free will keep you from spending.

3 - Don't think of it as restriction. This seems contradictory, I know. It's called a spending ban. If you think of it as something you can't do, then you'll be more likely to resent it. It will feel like a chore, instead of something that you're doing to help your future self.

In spite of having failed so epically, I will try another ban in the near future, and I will prepare myself much better!