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Debt UPdate

Adulting.  Why did I not relish in the glory of being a child as much as I should have?  Why didn’t I take more naps?  Draw on more walls with crayons?  Eat more dirt?adult-life

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of amazing things about being an adult!  You can go to bed whenever you want and even spoil your appetite before dinner.  Hell, you can have ice cream for supper if that tickles your fancy.

However, all of the luxuries of being an adult are outweighed by the one cruel reality that comes with living on your own:

BILLS.

It is ALWAYS something!  Every time I feel like P and I are getting a handle on our debt and we are starting to make progress in the road to one day being DEBT FREE …

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Cue joyful Whoopi gif

life throws in a speed bump, then a pothole, and finally just for shits and giggles one heck of a financial detour.

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Followed by discouraged Whoopi

Let me preface this rant by just stating a few things.  I’m so incredibly lucky.  Everyone is healthy, I am 33 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby that I can’t wait to meet in mere weeks, and we have a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in and bellies full of food.  Life for the most part is amazing…

BUT why does there always have to be a BUT?

When we found out I was pregnant we had been trying for years.  We had definitely planned for the extra finances that a baby requires.  We also bought (ok, we actually financed) a new vehicle that was safer and more family friendly for myself and baby.  We crunched the numbers and an extra car payment could squeeze into our budget.

BUT…

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The reality of your computer’s motherboard dying isn’t nearly as stylish as when it happened to Carrie in Sex and the City

Then my husband’s computer crapped out (his motherboard died). It was 8 years old (which is like 150 in computer years) and he works in IT and has to have a top notch computer in order to do his job.  Well, a top notch computer is expensive.  P built it himself with all the bells and whistles.  Let’s just say it’s black with red components (he was going for a Darth Vader theme ) and the red LED lights he placed in his new computer now make our office look like a XXX store.  It was definitely an expense (not to mention office decor) that was unexpected for me.  We ended up having to finance it.  Boo. On the upside we were able to get 12 months no interest, but still its an extra monthly payment that we were not planning on this year.

Then a few weeks later P’s Jeep decided that it was sick and needed to go see the Jeep doc.  That damn Jeep racks up more medical bills then any other Jeep I know.  Then the following week, my old Jetta decided it also wasn’t feeling well and racked up another bill 4 times over what the Jeep bill was!!!!

WTF!

So in a nutshell, our debt is back to where it was last year.  All the progress we made is now back to square one.

BUT…

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I’m discovering that all of the bills, the stress, the responsibility, and the unexpected twists and turns are just a part of being an adult.  Time to put my big girl pants on (and oh, how BIG my pants have gotten) shake it off and start all over again tomorrow with a big girl panty attitude!

 

Til next time,

Ang

Lake Pend Oreille

2015: My Year In Review

Hello all!

Hope everyone had a happy and healthy 2015!

2015 was the year I really let this blog (and my writing) take the backseat.  Which may be the reason I have been such a grump for most of 2015.  When you stop pursuing your dreams, you start settling for a mundane reality and that’s just not going to be a life I want to live.

So with me being MIA for most of 2015, I want to update my readers (if I have any left) on what the year held in store for P and I.

In February we went to Hawaii which was one of the best decisions we could have made.  We actually got into more credit card debt BUT it was an opportunity that I’m so glad we took when we had it.  It gave me great inspiration for a novel that I hope to write one day and we definitely won’t be able to go to Hawaii again for a looooong time (and you will know why if you keep reading).

Even though we got into a little debt in Hawaii (*cough* a couple thousand *cough*), we made great progress in March when I PAID OFF my student loan!!!!!  Talk about the Best.  Feeling.  Ever.  We still have P’s student loan but it is so nice having that extra $160.00 a month to put toward other debt now.

April was a great month!  My brother and sister-in-law welcomed a son who is the cutest baby ever!  I’m biased, but he really is adorable! We took a trip to their home near Seattle to meet this prince of a nephew and he is absolute perfection.  They are fantastic parents and he is growing like a weed every time I get the privilege to see him.

I also have really missed being onstage and acting in community theater.  I ended up taking the plunge and auditioning for the local semi-professional theater.  I was on cloud nine after the audition.  There is just something about taking risks while pursuing one of your favorite things that is just magical.

The magic just kept on coming in May!  I found out I got a part in one of the plays for the theater I had auditioned for in April!  I was going to finally be returning to the stage after 3 years!!!  As if that news wasn’t great enough, the following week P and I had found out we were pregnant!!!  We had been trying for 8 months since our last pregnancy ended in miscarriage.  Shocked and excited we had a feeling that this was going to be our year.

The summer was a whirlwind, we shared the pregnancy news with some close family and friends before our first appointment July 1.  That is when we got some sad news.  The baby ( I know some people don’t consider it a “baby” until it’s born, but when you are the mom and you take that positive pregnancy test after taking so many negative ones, it instantly becomes your baby) was measuring 3 weeks smaller than it should and there was no heartbeat.  Our hearts just sank.  How could we be having another miscarriage?  The doctor told us to come back in a week to see if the baby has grown or if in fact we had experienced another failed pregnancy.  The wait was awful, but luckily we had great friends who invited us out on their boat on the Fourth to watch fireworks and spend a day on the lake.  There is just something about being on the lake and having the wind whip through your hair that is the best therapy and distraction P and I could have asked for.  At sunset, we watched the fireworks off the lake, P had me in his arms and I just kept thinking that no matter what news we get I have the perfect partner to get me through the ups and downs of this life!

The following Wednesday we went to see our doctor and our worst fears were confirmed.  The baby had not grown and still no heartbeat.  We were gutted but at least we now knew with a 100 percent certainty and could grieve and move on.  And so we did…

The rest of the summer brought lots of laughs and tears and P and I finally made a decision to expand our family.  We decided since the play I was cast in would end its run by March 2016, we would start the foster-to-adopt process to expand our family in April!  Nervous and excited we had a game plan and we could finally relax!!!  We were so focused for so long on getting pregnant that we just needed to refocus on what our actual goal was:  Being loving parents one day and raising some incredible kids.

Over Labor Day weekend we traveled with some friends to Seattle to go to Bumbershoot (a music festival).  It was very “frugoal” as we split the costs of gas and a hotel room.  Such a great weekend filled with some fab music, lots of beer, and many memories!

As summer turned to fall (my fave season) the energy in me seemed to shift.  I felt lighter and was enjoying life for the first time in months!  We celebrated Oktoberfest and squeezed in one last camping trip of the year.  The day after we got back from the camping trip I noticed my monthly visitor wasn’t RSVPing for her normal week she stays with me.  I felt great on the days I normally should have been PMSing…hmmm.  I picked up a pregnancy test on the way home from work and saw a very faint line to indicate a positive.  My reaction and P’s reaction was…mixed.  It wasn’t until I took a digital test the next day that glaringly stated “Positive” where P and I were like “are we really ready to go through this again”.  We set up a doctor’s appointment in mid-November to determine if this baby was a stage 5 clinger.

The next several weeks went by surprisingly fast.  It could have been because I was just dreading the appointment.  Our experiences had always been nothing but massive disappointments but I was trying not to let our past miscarriages dictate what this experience “could” be.

November 11 happened.  The day of our appointment.  I was a nervous wreck all day, but was suddenly calm as I was driving into the parking lot.  P was coming from work and met me there.  Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long and was rushed into an ultrasound room right away (my doctor wanted to get right down to business).  In a matter of seconds, he performed the ultrasound and for the first time in our three pregnancies we heard the HEARTBEAT!!!!  Best sound ever!  It looks like third time is truly the charm for us! Hell, P and I were engaged three times before we finally walked down the aisle and now it looks like third pregnancy we will finally have our healthy baby (fingers and toes crossed).

Looking like this pregnancy is going to stick, we decided to buy me a newer and safer car…a Jeep.  I know, I know, I’m going to the dark side.  I have bitched countless times on this blog about what a money pit P’s jeep is, but this one gets better gas mileage and is great in the snow (and we have gotten SNOW this winter).  So now we have two car payments vs. one but P is driving the Jetta as his daily commuter car now (which gets great gas mileage) so we are saving some money on gas.

The holidays were fast and furious!!!  They were lovely and P took full advantage of me being the DD (which he should since he always had to drive my drunk ass home).

2016 looks to be a promising year.  I’m going to strive to write more and support and patronize the local theaters since I will be taking a break from the stage (I had to drop out of the play that I was cast in due to the fact that I would be portraying a woman who couldn’t get pregnant and would obviously be sporting a baby bump…now isn’t that ironic?).  I also have to start getting ready for this baby.  I’m 19 weeks today and we get to see our baby again on Wednesday!  There are still days I feel a sharp pain or dull cramps and I get worried, but just have to have faith that we will get the honor to meet our healthy baby in June.

For anyone that is curious, the fur babies are great.  Juju had a mass that he had surgery for (which turned out to be cancer) but the vet said they caught it in time and it only has a 9% chance of returning.  Scully is our four legged toddler who wants lots of snuggles one minute and then is out to destroy everything in the house the next.  Orville is still…an asshole, but he is our asshole and he’s a cat.  He can do what he wants.

We already have at least three weddings to attend for friends and family in 2016, my cousin Megan is expecting a baby in March, and we expect that there will be a few engagements in the family too (*cough* Mike *cough*Tim*cough)!

2016 will be a lot of transition and any vacationing is going to be minimal (which is why I’m so happy we jumped at the opportunity to go to Hawaii).

Wishing everyone a year of love, laughter, and committing to something you are passionate about!  Thanks for reading my year in review!

Ang

 

 

 

 

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Ready For Fall

Well hello to my GORGEOUS readers (I’m drinking wine so I may or may not, but probably do have my beer goggles on).

It has been one looooooooong summer and I am so ready for fall (and no, it is not because of “pumpkin spice latte” season…geez, I’m not THAT much of the stereotypical white girl).

Summer sucks for the following reasons:

  • Any temperature over 85 degrees is miserable.  I already know I am going to “Hell”, I don’t need to get acclimated to the temps yet.
  • anigif_enhanced-buzz-29343-1373055715-0Wildfire season.
  • Bugs.
  • Bikinis (I gained 15 pounds this summer, so even a moo moo was hard to squeeze into).

P and I also had a very expensive summer.  With a summer mix tape that included songs like “Not Cooking At Home Boo (Too Hot To Turn On The Oven)”, “Oh SH$# My Car Broke Down…Again”, “We Broke As F&%$, But Let’s Go Out Of Town Anyway”, and the always classic “Sipping On $8.00 Beers With Our Friends (You Only Live Once) Remix” our debt has gotten out of control.chow-yun-fat-lighting-cigarette-with-burning-money

Why is it that I always feel like we take two steps forward with our debt promptly followed by two steps back?

Whoa…

Holy late 1980’s Pop Song Epiphany Batman!

I just realized when it comes to how P and I view money, I am Paula Abdul and P is that cartoon fox with the wife beater and suspenders (it is a fox, right?) in the classic “Opposites Attract” video.

See?  Who needs therapy when some old school Paula vibes will suffice?!

Back to what this blog is about:  Fall!!!!

This is what I LOVE about fall:

  • Soup.
  • Hot chocolate.
  • Boot weather.
  • Football season (Go Hawks).
  • Leaves changing.
  • Bugs dying.
  • Halloween.
  • Clothing that covers everything is finally acceptable to wear once more.full-body-sweater
  • Blissfully making the transition from summer social butterfly to spinning a hermit cocoon for the fall.

I LOVE FALL!!!!!

Can’t wait to drop some lbs and save some monies (not a typo, just had to drop a rhyme) this fall!

Ang

Those summer nights

Capturing Summer

Hey all!

I am still alive!  No need to call the authorities.  Some of you have been worried that I have given up on this blog, but no.  This blog is still here.  My posts have been sporadic this summer but I am going to really, really, REALLY try to get myself into a writing groove this fall.  I want this blog to not only document my personal struggle to get out of debt, but also be a resource to help others.  That will include branding, a new blog design, and a LOT of hard work.

I felt the need to post today to share one of my passions that I have rediscovered this summer:  Photography!

Here are some of the images I have captured this summer.  Enjoy!

Friday Night Quotes: Movers, Shakers And Dream Makers

Anyone else feel that they are on a perpetual hamster wheel in their life?  Going through the motions but not really getting anywhere?

In a rut?

Or do you feel like you are a supporting character in your own life?

Anybody?

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life.  I am married to the love of my life, have the best fur babies any fur mama can ask for, a house that feels like a home, and great family and friends.  I can actually say that I enjoy my job most days and I have my health -which is definitely something money can’t buy.

But I want more.

My eyes are constantly on my phone and my head is in the clouds.  I’m not really living.

I’m definitely drinking.

And watching.

And judging. 

BUT

I’m not growing,

Or thriving.  (Hmmm, may need to use this material for the next local amateur poetry jam night).

I need some inspiration from some folks who didn’t waste their time checking their iPhones or updating their Instagram/Facebook daily (yeah, yeah, I realize I just shared this post on Facebook).

Thanks for reading (and perhaps relating) to this blog.

Much love,

Ang

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Hobbies and Hubbies

This blog has been building for awhile in this head of mine and I have been hesitant about writing it for two reasons:

1.  I am pretty sure it is going to make me come across as a nagging, negative nelly of a wife.

2.  I never want to throw my husband (P) under a bus (unless it’s that time of the month), and I am quite sure that this blog is going to do that.

This is my thought this morning…screw it.  I need a place to vent!  I mean isn’t that why ALL of my fellow bloggers started writing in the first place?

Anyone that reads this blog on a regular basis knows that P and I are “trying” (aka “struggling”) to get out of debt.  There are months that we take several steps forward, then there are times that we decide to stop trying and take bigger leaps back.  I think I finally figured out what one of our biggest issues is:

Our hobbies.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a beautiful thing when someone has hobbies.  Having hobbies means that we are able to focus on various projects and activities that we are passionate about, and passionate people make the world go round.

Enter rant.

I just think there is a HUGE amount of financial discrepancy between P and I’s hobbies.

Let me break it down for you.

OUR MUTUAL HOBBIES

Travel

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Price:  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  

Yes, this one is our most expensive ones, but we usually try to fit in one vacation every couple of years (if we can afford it or not).  Our thought process is this:  You only live once.  So when the opportunity to go to Mexico or Hawaii comes along just put it on the credit card and figure it out later.  Not a good mentality.

Hikes/Drives

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Price:  Free!!!

P and I are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country!   There are some Sundays when we take the Jeep (ugh…the “jeep”…more on that later) and just drive.  We also love taking the dogs and going on some gorgeous hikes!

Eating

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Price:  $$$

P and I are HUGE foodies!  We love food, but who doesn’t?  Going out to eat should be a luxury for us, given our debt situation BUT it happens at least a couple of times a week.  This hobby is probably one of the hobbies we need to work on being less passionate about!

MY HOBBIES

Reading

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Price:  Free!!!

I have loved reading since I was a wee one and I typically don’t spend any money for books.  I either go to the library or buy books with money or gift cards I receive as birthday/Christmas presents.

Writing/Blogging

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Price:  Free!!!

Another free hobby that I LOVE!

Photography

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Price:  Free!!!

Besides the initial cost of the camera, taking pictures is something that also happens to be fabulous and free.  I mostly enjoy taking nature shots and pics of my cute little animals (Juju, Orville, and Scully).  Yes, I realize taking regular photo shoots of my animals is kind of sad but aren’t they just too adorable for words?!

All things Bravo

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Price: $

Andy Cohen is the SHIT when it comes to tapping into what a twenty-something…okay I can’t lie to even you guys about my age…a thirty-something wants to watch for brainless entertainment.  Since we don’t have cable, I do have to buy episodes online of my Real Housewives.

P’S HOBBIES

The Jeep (Just Empty Every Pocket)

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Price: $$$$$$$$

My hubby loves the other woman in his life. His damn Jeep.  He spends much more time with her than me and has spent thousands on tires and accessories.  Not to mention that this bitch is one gas guzzler.  Another annoying part about owning a Jeep:  You have to WAVE at everyone else who is driving a Jeep when you are in a Jeep.  Some people wave but others ignore you and then your feelings get hurt.

Guns

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Price:  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Between the price of guns, ammo, time at shooting ranges, and accessories, this is almost on par with the money we spend on traveling.  P wants to get into shooting competitions too.  He sees fun, I see even more dollar signs.

Gaming

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Price:  $$$$$$$

I will say, P has been much better about buying video games lately.  He still has a collection of hundreds of games that were anywhere from $30-$60 a pop, but he has gotten better.

Camping

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Price:  Normal people ($$), my husband ($$$$$$$$$)

P loves camping and being out in the woods with nature.  This girl needs a toilet and AC.  One day when we get an RV I will happily join him on his excursions out to the woods.  This weekend my husband went out camping sans me to shoot guns, ride ATVs, drink and pee outside.  Man stuff.  Normally camping is a great way to get away for cheap.  Well this lady checked our bank account and found that he spent several hundred dollars on three days of camping.  WTF!!!!  He gets home today, so their will definitely be an interrogation waiting for him (of course this will be after I kiss and love on him and tell him how much I miss him).  He may have to try to “Sharon Stone” his way out of this one.

I’m not saying I’m a savings angel and P is my Tasmanian spending devil (but I am implying it *wink*).  I’m just saying that there is a huge difference financially in what we spend our money on in our free time.  P works hard and I work hard…sort of.  If we weren’t in such a financial hole I would definitely be more apt to loosen the purse strings for myself and let things go more with what he spends his money on.  The truth is that we are in debt and I don’t want to be in debt forever.  I know many people think that it is a part of life to have a car payment, a house payment, student loan debt, and credit card debt, but I don’t want that to be our story.

Anybody out there feel the same?  Is it just me or does your spouse also have more expensive hobbies than you?  How do you deal with it?

Thanks for letting me vent guys!

Ang

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Introvert Bliss

What a beautiful weekend it has been!  I had probably the most anti-social weekend I have had in a really long time AND I loved it!  I have always considered myself an introvert but a social introvert.  I love being social when I want to but I adore alone time.  Who else feels this way?  Isn’t it the best!  Though I am starting to miss people after a few days in seclusion at the compound.  You can only have so many conversations with your dogs, your cat, and the back of your husband’s head.

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead filled with avoiding social interaction!

Ang

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Sunday Quotes: Motivation

Motivation.  We all need it AND we all lack it at times.  I am in a very “lack”luster phase of my writing right now.  A million ideas crop up in this brain of mine for future blogs and potential novels but yet I don’t type a single word.  I am inspired every day, but not motivated.  Why is that?!?!  Hopeful that these words of wisdom will motivate me to just shut up and write!

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday night and a motivational week ahead!

Ang

Hello Old Friend

This morning was simple.  I hit the gym, grocery shopped for the week, visited my parents, caught up on laundry and bad TV, then paid most of my bills for the upcoming month.  I was rocking this Sunday like a champ.  Then it occurred to me that I have a blog that people actually do read (a truly beautiful thing) which I have been neglecting.

Bad Ang!

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My pride of my accomplishments for the day were suddenly replaced by guilt.  So now I am drinking wine, since alcohol postpones guilt until at least the morning.

So why have I been so absent?

The answer is simple:  laziness, excuses and anxiety over anything related with money and since the primary focus of this blog is chronicling my struggle with getting out of debt, I was avoiding this blog like the plague.  my-reaction-when-I-get-into-an-argument-with-women-homer-simpson-hide-in-bush-disappears

But I am back.

This year has already presented itself with triumphs and challenges when it comes to my finances.

The triumphs have been eating at home more, getting healthier, and I am FINALLY out of student loan debt!

The challenges are having any semblance of a social life, my husband, and a little bit of keeping up with the Joneses.  Oh, and we went to Maui in February, which we are still paying for (but boy was it fun).

I wish there was a day that goes by where I didn’t have my mind on my money and my money on mind (that is actually pretty catchy, I should write a rap song that incorporates that…).  But since the entry fee for entering the magical land of “ADULTHOOD” is a steep one, I can’t imagine that happening until dementia kicks in.

I just want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog on a regular basis.  I appreciate you and I am back!  I promise!

Ang

Sunday Quotes: Positive Vibes

Happy Sunday to you all!

My birthday is next month and it is always a time for me to reflect about where my life is vs. where I want my life to be.  One change I want to make is thinking more positive.  To stop worrying about what is or what isn’t and have faith that everything will work out the way that it is meant to be.  Positive thoughts attract positive results.

Being negative isn’t getting me anywhere.

Have a great rest of your Sunday (and Game of Thrones starts tonight…eeks)!

Ang