Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Essentials

I don't know where to start. I'm trying to write more often so that I'm not so all over the place. But, let's be honest, my every day is all over the place.

Hmmmm. Let's see. Oooh - well, I cut Sadie's hair all by myself! I think it turned out pretty well, considering I'd never done that before. If you look closely you can tell it's an amateur kind of deal, but she loves it, so whateve.

She was nervous! And I was snapping at her to stay still because I was so afraid it would be lopsided. I apologized. She's very forgiving [and crazy fidgety!].

I cut her hair as a way of not spending money. The finances are stretched. And have been that way [at least for me] for a very very long time. And yet, you'd never know it the way I spend. It's something I've prayed about, repented and fallen back into time and time again.

Just recently I've had a change in heart. It was definitely a God thing. Spending money for no good reason suddenly just made no sense. And then shortly after I started to feel that way I had a wonderful conversation with Jermaine in which he said he kind of liked the idea of "roughing it".

It's funny. I've working diligently on the other side of the mountain - job searching, trying to make money. I didn't put half as much time on the saving end.

So we made this deal - only neccesities. For a while. My friend Amie [who by the way, just starting reading my blog and wrote a very flattering comment that gave me a great deal of joy!] actually has been doing this for a couple months. And my friend Jess [who is always leaving wonderfully sweet comments] just started doing it, too. Wow. We're very in fashion.

But I didn't realize it was the same thing [the pact between Jermaine and myself and my friends' pledge to buy only the essentials] until now. I thought we were just roughing it. It sounds so much cooler that way.

So anyways, this is what we're working with and this is how we're working it. Now, I must admit, this is only day 2. I'll keep you informed.

But . . .

. . . unbelievably, the same day we decided this I got a phone call from my temp agency offering me a five week gig. I took it, even though I had a plane ticket to LA with my in-laws for next week that I would have to give up.

Boo, I thought. Then, today I found out that they were going to let me go to California [and make up my hours]! Bru-ha-ha! Yay God!

And, when I got home I had an email from an potential employer wanting to set up an interview! This is the only interview I've received from the 60+ applications I sent out and it came the day after God changed my heart.


I have a money-making temp job, saved $20 cutting my kid's hair, I get to go to Los Angeles, I have a job interview, and I got a notice today saying I'm in jeopardy of eviction because I haven't paid my rent.

Oh, shoot. I hadn't mentioned that part yet, had I? Crap.

Well, you know, the good with the bad? (:

Long story short [because this blog is becoming a long story] we are waiting on a check that was supposed to be here three weeks ago. It's for a graphics job Jermaine did before we got married. It's been extremely frustrating but we have good reason to believe that it will be here tomorrow. Will you pray for us?

Thanks! Yes, yes. I think that's it [for now].


Jess said...

You're a far better blogger than I am. I am super slack and have actually had a blog set up for my spiritual wanderings for a week or so and STILL haven't made an entry. (On the bright side, I am beginning to get a more solid idea of what this pilgrimage will entail.)

Also, I SUCK at the "only essentials" thing. I have a really terrible tendency to buy gifts. Maybe that counts, maybe it doesn't. I'm confused. I need to lay out some rules. Good news is, if I get the job I'm interviewing for tomorrow, I'll be living in the woods for the next year and will hardly have time to spend anything and will be whittling necessities to the bare minimum anyway. But alas, I have to get through this interview first. :(

And congrats on YOUR interview!! How exciting! What's it for?

Love you. Miss you.

Anonymous said...

: ( I was just writing a long comment and it disappeared. : ( I hate that.

In short this is what it said:

YOU MUST MAKE A LIST OF NECESSITIES AND NON-NECESSITIES! Otherwise you will always cheat yourself and your bank account.

Here is mine.

I cannot buy:
Books : (
Make up

I can buy:
Lingerie (blush)

Anything not on those lists I pray about if I think about buying it. And if I need further help deciding I call Daniel. Also, if I am having a moment of weakness and am about to buy something I shouldn't I call D and he talks me into putting it down and walking out of the store. Actually, it hasn't come to that quite yet.

Another helpful hint is this:
I repeat:

They are good at what they do. They sell really cute stuff. Just stay away. Stay at home. Write a letter. Go for a walk. Do anything other than go into that store.

I think that's all. : ) Good luck to you both with your thrifty spending!!


brandyglows said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVED your comment. (:

Anonymous said...

Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance...thrift is poetic because it is creative.
G.K. Chesterton


Jess said...

Amie is right - Target is pretty evil. They get entirely too much of my money. And she's pretty much spot on with her list - including the lingerie. ;-)

Here's the thing, though, don't neglect some "fun money" in your budget. It sounds silly to say, but fun IS essential and going to happen anyway (let's be honest) - and any budget that doesn't take that into consideration is doomed from the start.

So look at your budget - how much can you have for "fun money" a week? Maybe it's only $10, but $10 is a movie rental or a pizza or a new journal. Given the context of our discussion, it would probably be appropriate to pray over it as well.

But pick a number, and STICK with it. One easy way to do that is to buy giftcards. This week, take your $10 and buy a Target giftcard. Next week, take your $10 and buy an AMC giftcard. And then ONLY spend the giftcards - NO fun money is to be spent from your actual bank account. I've found that this works pretty well for me and I am also strangely MORE frugal when I use the gift cards. Probably something to do with the fact that I've only got $10 or $25 and I've got to really consider what I want.

The other thing I do is to save all my change - it just goes into an old hurricane glass and when I fill it or before I go on a trip (like Disney) I go and cash it in at the bank or the machine at the grocery store. Then all of that money is considered "fun money" and I can spend it as I choose on my trip.

Just an idea for you. :)

Love you!!!!! (and happy early birthday!)