$60,000 In Debt

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My friends and I were talking last night about all of our various amounts of debt.  I was actually on the lower end comparatively, but the number was much higher than I wanted it to be.  I mean ALL of our numbers were higher than we wanted, but we all went to college and most of us also went to grad school so none of us were escaping debt free.

I've wanted to start tracking my money better for a while now but the idea of doing that while renting an apartment was a little daunting.  I just worked out the math though and found that my current debt is almost exactly $60k.  A nice round number and the fact that I will be moving home again soon? A perfect time to start this little project! 

It feels a little weird to be sharing all of these numbers with the world, but as I've done with many other things on this blog, I'm hoping some more accountability will keep me on track with my goals.  Also I'm pretty sure that unless you didn't go to college (in the US) or your parent paid for college entirely, my situation is probably not that far from the norm.

Until this past year I had never carried a credit card balance.  I hate the idea of paying to have a balance, but after moving out a  year ago I found it more important to have some money saved up and not pay off my card entirely.  I got a second card to act as a buffer (and it has no interest for a year) so I'm still in pretty good shape.   As I start planning to move back home in August though I'm starting to plan on getting my cards back down to $0 and returning to aggressively paying off my student loans.  I wish I had kept better track of how much I had paid off two years ago, but I can tell you that when I received my tax information this past year that I had paid $6000 in interest on my loans alone.  JUST interest.  Whatever I paid it was a pretty large amount.

What I'm going to do is provide a breakdown each month on how much I've spent, and what my before and after balances are.  It's going to take a while, but it'll be satisfying to see this number creep down bit by bit.

Also it should be noted that this month I accidentally paid my rent twice (don't ask how) but this means I am officially paid through until the end of my lease!

Oh, and a lot of what is on the credit cards are things that I don't normally spend so much money on.  Because Josh and I are trying to cram a years worth of trips, dinners, and ice cream into a few months, my credit card charges have been a little top heavy and will definitely drop off significantly once he leaves.

Failed Attempts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I didn't have much planned this weekend except for a skydiving trip.  We were supposed to go on Saturday but the weather decided not to cooperate so we quickly rescheduled for Monday.  The forecast looked beautiful and despite having to give up most of another day to the skydiving trip, we had very limited time left before Josh leaves.

We arrived early in the morning.  It had been cloudy and rainy but it looked like it was clearing up.  There were strong winds in the forecast, but at the moment everything was calm.  We all quickly suited up and hustled onto the plane.  We got all the way up, got hooked onto our tandem instructors, and the door was about to be opened when the pilot suddenly dropped the plane a bit.  Everyone turned around to hear him say that we couldn't jump.  We were all confused since everything seemed fine, but apparently the wind had picked up on the ground and it was no longer safe to jump.

This was very disappointing.  We waited around for a bit (being entertained by the wonderful Nevaeh) but it soon became apparent that the wind was not going to let up.  We tried rescheduling but later decided that we were best off trying to extend our vouchers until next year.  There is just too much to squeeze in over the next few days before Josh leaves, so we'll save it for next year when there aren't a dozen other things to stress out about on top of jumping out of a plane.

Other than the failed attempts at skydiving, this past weekend was actually quite nice.  We spent Saturday at a friend's house, drinking, laughing, and playing Cards Against Humanity. Sunday was spent lounging, catching up on 24, and eating dozens of freeze pops and ice cream (yes we had multiples of both).

After the thwarted sky diving attempt Josh and I had a nice lunch at British Beer Company followed by some more tv/ice cream/freeze pop time.  Oh, and of course there was copious amounts of puppy play time throughout the weekend. 
Mac welcoming a new pup to the group


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I am in an extremely happy mood today despite it only being Wednesday.

Here are just a few things that are making me so happy today:

-It is beautiful out.  My morning walk with the dog today was the perfect temperature and there is no better way to start the morning than by watching the early sun glistening off the river.

-Second breakfast.  For some reason I was starving this morning despite already having breakfast so I got myself a mini bagel from the work kitchen.  It really wasn't much but it was such a treat that it has kind of made my morning.

- Josh comes home from training today!  It has only been two week since I last saw him, but knowing we only have a few weeks left is making me even more excited to see him tonight.

- I'm wearing my favorite maxi dress.  I forgot to take it out of the dryer right away after it's last washing (and I don't own an iron) so it has been sitting around in a wrinkled heap until I finally found the motivation to wash again it last night.

-Freshly painted toe nails. 

- Lots of work to keep my busy.  I had a meeting with my boss last week and she asked me if I would be interested in taking on the regional conferences permanently (I've been handling them while the woman responsible was out on maternity leave).  Nothing is official yet but I've already started cleaning/clearing/and reorganizing all of the files for the conference.  Few things make me as happy as a good organizational spree.

- A clean apartment.  I did a deep spring cleaning this weekend.  That, combined with the superpowers of my new vacuum, make my apartment feel like a new place.

- A stocked fridge (or as close to one as my fridge will ever get).  I somehow found the motivation to go grocery shopping last night.  Week night grocery shopping has never happened to me.  Ever.  So much easier to handle than Sunday morning grocery shopping.

- Planning a trip!  Josh has a short break from training in July so I'm going to go down to Austin, Texas and visit him.  I've got my tickets booked and now I just need to figure out all the little details.  Planning trips is almost as enjoyable to me as organizing things. #superdork. 

- Puppy play time.  Coming home from work, grabbing the dog and a cold beer, and heading out to the park has become one of my favorite parts of the day.  It's a great way to get out and enjoy the sun and my neighbors company while watching a dozen dogs have a ball playing with each other.

I'm sure I could rattle off several more things that are making this a great day, but instead I'm going to focus on just enjoying it.  Hope you're having a good day, too!


Friday, May 16, 2014

I haven't kept a handwritten journal in years.  I sometimes have thoughts that are a little too personal to be posted on the internet, but I know whatever journal I try to start will just go months between entries.  This is going to be one of those posts that is maybe a little too personal (and definitely too cheesy) but considering there are a whopping two or three people that even read this blog, I kind of think of it as my personal diary anyway. 

I wouldn't consider myself an experienced dater, but I've been on my fair share of dates and experienced quite a variety of guys.  There have been pluses and minus to all of them, but for the most part I always blamed things not working out on myself.  Even with the few guys that I dated for 3+ months, I always felt quiet, awkward, and kind of uncomfortable.  It was never anything the guy said or did, I just felt like I wasn't really comfortable around other people.  I actually started to wonder if maybe I just wasn't designed to be with another person long term.

Of course, when I'm with my friends or family, and in what I would consider my most "natural" state, I tend to be loud, obnoxious, chatty, argumentative, funny (or I think so at least).  I make lots of weird noises, talk in funny accents, and strut around my house like a dinosaur.  In my most natural state I would say I'm pretty entertaining. Some might even say I'm a catch.

And yet for some reason this never seemed to come out around guys I was dating.  I always blamed this on myself just being awkward, but  it wasn't until I met my current boyfriend that I realized it was never me.  There wasn't anything inherently wrong with any of these guys (well maybe some of them), but none of them were ever able to draw my true self out.  It was never that I was just innately nervous or quiet, but instead I was just waiting for someone that would actually appreciate (or at least tolerate) my natural state.

I'm not sure what that says about either of us, but I know it makes me feel pretty damn good.  I'm sure if you asked him he say that he wished some of my natural state went back into hiding.

The Guild

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This post is a shout-out to my Guild.  I'm not sure who originally came up with this nickname, but it was never chosen by any of us in the Guild.  It was bestowed upon us by the boys.  They apparently felt the need to give my group of girlfriends a name because just referring to us as "the girls" wasn't cool enough.  Guild it is then.

We have a running iMessage chat that I think the boy are actually jealous of.  You could walk away from your phone for twenty minutes and come back to a hundred messages easily.  To be fair this doesn't happen to me as often, because I am usually one of the ones instigating the 100 messages.

It really is a great group of girls.  We all went to high school together but only formed the group as it is today during the summer after high school.  Somehow we managed to stay friends through four years at different colleges and now another four years at different grad schools, first jobs, second jobs, volunteer programs, marriages, etc.  We are rarely all here at the same time and yet we are always around.  It's strange to think about what might have become of us if we didn't have facebook/texting/imessage.  I'd like to think nothing would be different, but I'm almost certain that wouldn't be the case.

But here we are... the Guild.

Last night I was feeling particularly emotional.  I spent the night curled up under a blanket with a bottle of wine and watched Bridesmaids.  I don't know when I started becoming this overly emotional version of myself, but it's very new and foreign to me.  Being the oldest of three girls I was always the stand in boy for my father.  I was the one that had to help move heavy furniture or help fix things around the house.  I was never the girl who read Cosmo and giggled over boys.  I hated the mall and boy bands.  I was never the typical girl.  I'm not sure if its because I fought it off for so long, or if I'm just changing in my old age, but I'm starting to feel more and more... girly.  Crying for no reason was never my thing.  Now it seems to happen fairly regularly.  When my kind boyfriend asks what is wrong, half the time I can't actually even verbalize these feelings. 

After my weird night last night I texted them about it.

"Do you guys ever get really emotional about nothing? And like just cry?"

I was quickly assured that it was totally normally.  No questions asked.  No explanations needed. Thank god for the Guild. 

The Afterlife

Friday, May 2, 2014

I somehow found myself simultaneously reading two fairly contradictory books.  The first, Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Didn't Know About Them) is pretty self explanatory.  It looks at the Bible and uses historical critical analysis to discuss many of the problems and issues with the text itself and the context in which the Bible was written.  I agreed with pretty much everything the author said.  Between being a history major and attending a Catholic college, I was very interested in taking historical religious courses and spent a lot of time debating with my priest professors on a  lot of these very topics. 

The other book I'm reading is Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into The Power of Love.  I'm only about half way through, but it is so interesting to me how I can feel just as strongly about some of the things in this book as I do in the highly critical / borderline anti-spiritual first book.  This one looks at past life regressions.  This is something I had only vaguely heard of before reading the book, but the topic has quickly become fascinating to me.  It's basically a type of hypno-therapy.  The highly educated author and therapist takes patients suffering from a variety of ailments, hypnotizes them, and tries to find causes that may be coming from something that happened in a past life.  He gives dozens of examples in the book and each of them sounds amazing.

It's funny that I find my self nodding along to all of the talk in the first book about how miracles cannot be historically proven and therefore we cannot say for certain they happened, and then be enthralled by the story of a woman who learns that she accidentally killed her child in a past life and then days later meets and falls in love with a man that has the same birthmark as this past life child.

I know the realist / analytical / cynical part of me often stands at odds with the imaginative / fantastical /fascinated with the supernatural part of myself, but I am totally ok with that.  It all makes sense in my head.

I don't question much on the realist side of things.  I mean the whole point of it is that everything is based in historical or scientific proof.

I think about the more paranormal side of things all the time though.  I can't say I really believe any one idea since I really would like proof, but I also can't say that I don't believe that anything is possible.  I strongly ascribe to the idea that there is so much we simple don't know that we can't rule anything out completely. 

I'm fascinated by ghost stories, past life regressions, mediums, etc.  I definitely do not go around talking about these things like I know they are real, but I could still talk about them for hours.  Part of me loves the fact that we simply do not and probably will never know.  Part of me doesn't actually care if these things are real or not.  I prefer to have some mysteries... some questions in life that I know I'll never get the answer to.  Having all the answers would be boring.

Do you have any strong feelings towards the more paranormal?  Have you experienced anything that makes you feel that way?  When I'm done reading this book I plan to go out and do a past life regression.  Even if it is all just being made up in my head I think it would be awesome to experience anyway.