“Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”
I love this quote and have some real life experience in knowing that it’s true.
Way back when I was younger, I believe around 10, a family friend took my two brothers and I down to a local swimming hole. Of course, it being local, a lot of high schoolers were hanging around and doing front flips and back flips…well, a lot of cool flips and twists and dives. My brothers, both being more coordinated than I am, were able to copy these moves and were diving in no time. I, on the other hand, stunk. But I really wanted to do one cool thing-a shallow front dive. Our family friend showed me how to do it numerous times.
We were there for 5 hours. I know this because for four and a half hours, I did belly flop after belly flop. My stomach was bright red from the sheer amount of belly flops. I was sore and my muscles were aching. Yet, after every single belly flop, I’d pull myself back up onto the rock and go over in my head one more time what I needed to do. I’d ask the family friend what I needed to correct and watch one of the high school kids do another fancy back twist or whatever. And I’d try it again.
My brothers kept asking me if I just wanted to quit and go home-they were tired after being in the water for so long but I told them I just really wanted to try “one more time” and I think the family friend recognized my stubbornness-I wasn’t leaving until I did one. Part of it was stubbornness and part of it was the fact that my younger brothers could do it but I couldn’t. And then, the stars and moons aligned or my body was just sick of getting hurt or I positioned myself just right or something because after all my times of belly flops, I did a perfect shallow dive. I came up to everyone cheering for me—apparently I’d been watched after so many times of trying this out. I was so excited and proud (and sore, don’t forget that!) and knew that I was awesome.
How does this apply to other areas of my life? I’ve “failed” budgeting many times but I seem to be on a roll right now and am glad that I tried it “one more time”. I’ve failed at my finances but have picked myself back up (for the last time I hope!) and seem to be doing fine.
I try to keep in mind that it doesn’t matter that I failed before-yes it sucks but I’m going to fix it. The stars and moon will align and I’ll have that moment.
This weekend I had the joy of shopping in Wal-Mart. Not a really unusual experience as this is where I end up most of the time. However, this time I was buying two movies (with my personal money) and had looked at the cost the day before so I knew how much they should be. Imagine my surprise to see one of them $5 cheaper! So I grab the movies and head to the counter along with the few other things we had stopped in to buy (charcoal mainly as they were running a sale). She rings everything up…and its $5 more than I expected. I politely question the movie that was marked as full price on the little price thing and she rings for a CSM. 5 minutes go by, a line is building up behind me and there is no CSM on the way. I just handed her the money as I *hate* when a line is building up behind me and stalked out of there. (Okay stalk is a harsh word as it wasn’t her fault and I recognized this but I stalked out in my mind.)
Could I have returned the movie? Yes but honestly, I went in there thinking it was full price. It was a pleasant surprise to see it marked $5 cheaper and I had the money anyways. It was more the fact that this is the 3rd time this has happened to me in the last 3 months. The first was my Brita Faucet Filter-the advanced models were under the tag for the basic model and were $10 cheaper because of this. I couldn’t find anything that said “advanced” or whatever on the tag and compared the other tag (with the basic models under that tag) to the cheaper one. Couldn’t find a difference and as all the models matched, we thought it was a special sale. It took 15 minutes for the CSM to answer that call and another 5 minutes for her to bring us the “correct” model. So I took the basic model as I didn’t really care about the differences and mainly just did not want to pay an extra $10. She even stated that everything was tagged incorrectly but she was fixing it now. If I hadn’t spent 20 minutes in the store waiting on a response, I might have argued it farther about the fact that the entire shelf was marked and I wanted it for the lesser price.
On the next trip, I found a bag of charcoal for $6.48 which was $2 less than it normally was. We bought two bags (we go through a lot of charcoal in the summer) and got out to the car before I looked at the receipt. It was rung up as $8.48 for both bags. We went back in and the lady was changing the signs to $8.48 and was mentioning to another worker that too many people had caught it and this was the last one. Remembering the fuss from the last time, I decided to take my $4 loss and go away.
Sadly, out of the four grocery stores in the town that I live in, Wal-Mart is the lowest priced and most convenient for us. And it’s only most convenient in the fact that it has everything we want in it so I don’t have to make multiple trips. And I do know that mistakes happen and things get mistagged/priced but I also know that when I was working retail I had to honor certain things. Entire shelf labeled as one price? Signs hung up wrong? Both of these things were to be honored if a customer brought it up and we could clearly see what they were talking about. (If I would have found only the advanced model I was holding under the cheaper tag and everything else was the basic model? I’d have assumed a customer put it in the wrong spot and picked up the basic to begin with. Same with the movie.) It doesn’t exactly matter as I’ll still be there shopping this next weekend but I will still be peeved about it.
Before I go on to today’s post: is anyone able to guest post for me? Work has been incredibly stressful the last two weeks (end of the month and I was the only in my department for the last 3 to 4 days so a lot of things fell on me to do) and I’d love some guest posters. I’m starting to feel a little bit burnt out. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to guest post for me.
As I have been a bit stressed, I’ve decided to share some more pet peeves of mine: (for the original pet peeves, go here)
When I’m changing in the locker room and don’t go use the little changing stall (of which there is only three and I go at lunch time so they are usually full) please don’t glare at me if you bring your 9-year-old son into the locker room where I’m partially undressed. Not my fault! In fact, there is a sign stating that you aren’t supposed to bring older boys into the locker room. I’m now uncomfortable as I have you and your son staring at me but there is nowhere else for me to go.
Speaking of locker rooms, why is it okay for young children to play in them? I mean running from the showers (that are on only because they are playing in them) on the tile floors to the main room, to the bathrooms and all over again—how is that even SAFE? And the mothers who sit there and let that happen are just weird-one even told her daughter to not yell when she was playing. (Okay, the yelling at the top of the lungs was bad so thank you for that but still, you were condoning her playing in a locker room with a slippery floor)
Expecting me to stop what I’m doing this exact minute because you have an *emergency* even though it really isn’t and could wait. The first time I might fall for this but after that, please don’t whine when I put you to the back burner.
When I give you a plan on what to do at work with a situation, you tell me it won’t work, but when the boss tells you your plan won’t work, you then tell them this awesome plan “you” came up with. Honestly I wouldn’t care except you lie a lot and try to make yourself look better.
Having someone tell me the wrong date/time for an event and showing up but it not going on! Then when I call and get told “oh I didn’t tell you the new time? My bad”. I don’t mind as much if they show up too but if I’m alone, it sucks.
Cutting in front of me at the store in order to talk with the cashier. Hey, I was a teenage girl once too but seriously? It’s time to work and not make me miserable. I already hate shopping and you are making me wait even longer. Wait until I am done or your friend/boyfriend learns to multitask.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I sometimes have imaginary conversations with myself. Sometimes it’s after an argument or disagreement and I come up with the PERFECT comeback that is, of course, too late to deliver. And then I tell myself that I’m going to say that the next chance I get—and I don’t because of the whole forgive and forget thing that people are big on. (I’m a grudge holder at heart but I try not to be) I’ve confused my fiancé with this because I’ll hold the conversation in my head, turn to him and tell him what “we” (meaning imaginary him and I) have decided on. And sometimes, it’s as simple as me holding the following:
Me: I feel icky and can’t stop thinking of what I don’t have but everyone else seems to have
Imaginary Doctor: And when do you notice these episodes?
Me: after surfing through Facebook or having a conversation with a friend. But not every time…. I. Doctor (similar to I, Robot): What conversation topics seem to trigger these thoughts the most?
Me: When they talk about their vacations or new cars or they show off their new outfits they didn’t have to think twice about buying…
I. Doctor: Ahh…I’m afraid you have : (Cue imaginary booming thunder and flashing lightning)
I-Want-Itis. It’s not serious if you learn to learn to ignore these thoughts and don’t live above your means. Otherwise, you will have a new case of debtitis or brokeitis…or even worse: have both of them at the same time.
Yeah, that’s a “real” conversation that took place. Okay, not really, but it could have….maybe…okay not really but it’s still true enough.
I know that I’m working on getting out of debt and I’m really proud of that fact. I know it will turn my life around for the better. But every now and then that old jealousy demon raises its nasty head and makes it hard to be satisfied. Part of it is the “keeping up with the Jones” and the other part is just plain envy. I want a new car or a vacation or that new outfit. But I know that I’ll get there eventually so I’m working on just ignoring that nasty little demon and following my imaginary doctor’s advice.
The girl I work with (let’s call her A) was talking to me the other week, and it keeps making me laugh. She couldn’t remember what she had spent her money on the previous weekend, but her credit card had a higher balance than what she thought it should. After much talking (where I did the whole “smile, nod and make random noises”), she figured out that she had forgotten about going to a restaurant with a friend. She then went on to lament on how this ALWAYS happens to her. My suggestion of tracking fell onto deaf ears-she really just wanted to complain.
The talk then turned to budgeting. She was going on and on about her sister didn’t know how to budget and neither did her roommate. This was kind of funny but she didn’t see the irony of it. Mostly because they can’t keep track of their money and cannot save. Right after this she was musing out loud that she didn’t think she would be able to save “this time” either. But then started talking about some fancy doodad she was going to be buying on credit later.
The sad part is, I have a lot of experience in what she’s doing but she’s not at the point where she will take control of her finances. And sometimes you just have to let them make a mistake in order for them to fix it. Hopefully she fixes things sooner rather than later!
Thank you for all the awesome comments on yesterday’s post. They help encourage me when it gets a little rocky and tight in the finances. But the fact that I can look back at this time last year and realize how much better we’re doing is a wonderful thing. Truly amazing. Today’s post won’t be very long as I didn’t really plan out anything. Work took me on a mini field trip and I forgot about it yesterday and read instead of working on blog stuff.
Interesting news though? My car started up without needing to be jumped the other day. It felt amazing-apparently we have to be very careful of how we turn it off. So it’s a pain in the butt to remember but it beats having to jump it every time. And it beats having to shell out money to fix it right now.
And on other news? My water company wanted to charge us $140 for last month. My normal bill is around $45 (on the high end there to). Hmm….that’s three times as much. They had down that we used almost three thousand more gallons this last month. So we went and found the water main with the gauge and turns out the “8” they wrote down was really a “6”. They’re sending someone out to double check on it. I took a picture and emailed it as we will not be paying that high bill. I’m glad I look at bills now instead of just paying them. You know what the really cool part is? If it actually was that high I could afford it as it’s in my budget. Maybe it’s a little weird to be excited over that as I won’t be paying it but it goes back to the whole issue of I wouldn’t have been able to do that a year ago.
Also, I spoke with my friend that I helped work on her budget a few months ago. It has been working out for her! I know that sometimes her husband will go off track and they have to talk about it but for the most part, it really works. She’s changed some things (my suggestion to pay off student loans now instead of in a year or so she’s decided to forgo but she’s also making trips every week so the gas adds up) but really liked it. It helped her narrow down apartment searching to what she knew she could afford. So yay for budgets!
That’s it for now.
I’ll admit it. We live paycheck to paycheck. We don’t have a buffer in the bank account and aren’t a month ahead of ourselves. It’s not as bad as what it used to be though. A little over a year ago, we had no savings, weren’t paying off debt, and would count our change-up a week before payday in order to find money for milk, bread or gas. Now? Well, we’re saving, paying down debt (even if it’s slow going right now) and we keep money aside for milk and bread and other little grocery things that crop up.
But we’re still living paycheck to paycheck. But I’m okay with that right now. I know that after we get married, we’ll have a little boost in our money situation as we won’t have to put money aside for that. And once we figure out where we will be living in a few months, we’ll know what our rent situation will look like. Right now, we’re looking at worst case scenario of the high-end that we can afford. But we’ll be looking for something around what we pay now but in a better house.
I am looking forward to the time where if I have to spend an extra $40 on groceries, I don’t need to take it from our date money. Which is what I did this last time—because, hey, it’s got to come from somewhere right? Or we’ll get to a point in the grocery budget where I’m not spending it to the limit every single time and will have roll over money. How exciting right? But that’s the future.
Thinking about this weekend I realized I was really fine with what we are doing. Yes, it’s stressful at times and I am usually wishing I didn’t have to save as much money as I do. Or that I wasn’t trying to pay as much debt down as we are—but that was from our past mistakes so there’s no real excuse I can give to myself. And yes, it sucks to have to save up for something we want to do. For instance that concert we want to go to next month? We double checked that it was still on because if it wasn’t, we were going to be able to use the money for something else. But it makes us stronger people and I love knowing that we are living paycheck to paycheck because we choose to. It’s not out of our control-we aren’t spending like crazy people and instead, it’s all going to savings or debt pay down. So I’m proud of that.
Sorry for the rambly post-it was one of those days after one of those weekends!