Thursday, July 4, 2019

My Personal Independence Day

You're probably wondering what am I talking about............well sit back and I will tell ya a little story.
Tomorrow, July 5th marks my 1 year anniversary from leaving full time employment.  That time was a really bad time and I will get to that part shortly.  First let me explain that I never had the desire to climb that corporate ladder.  The ONLY reason I worked was we needed the money to pay bills and it was expected of me.  I mean I have a college degree and no children..........so why on earth would I want to stay home or perhaps work part time?  What a total waste or so this is what I thought that others would feel about me.  Well that is what society wants us to think.  Even though I never wanted to climb the ladder I found myself getting on those higher rungs.  I was a good employee who was dependable and willing to come in early or stay late to get the work done.  I was making a very good salary but it came with its own price tag.  I was consumed with anxiety.  Major anxiety.  I would toss and turn.  I would get to work an hour before the others so I could try and figure out reports.  I came home in tears and exhaustion.  When at home and even on vacation all I could think about what was what was waiting for me.  It was a never ending vicious circle.  My husband was getting tired of hearing about it and I was just plain tired. He finally told me something had to change.................either get a new position or resign. When I had a breakdown at work, more emotional than mental I knew something had to give.  This was the second time it had happened in a span of 7 months. So I resigned.  It was frightening.  I mean I had worked full time since 1983.  What would people think.  What would my husband think?  What would my family and friends think?  And Lord only knows what the people in my former department thought.  I know they gossiped about it because I received a text from a former coworker only a couple of hours after I left on my last day. asking me about my resignation.  I didn't tell her so they could be the only ones. That really hurt my feelings and contributed to more anxiety.  It was embarrassing to me.  I was so ashamed.  See I hid my worry and anxiety so well that no one knew about it.  And when I did try to explain to my direct manager that I was having problems............well it didn't get me anywhere.  There's a lot more to the story but I will leave it here............I think you get the picture.

So...............what happened?  How did we manage?  First and foremost I need to say the ONLY way I was able to leave was we had paid off our mortgage and cars.  We did not have a lot of money in the bank due to poor money management for many many years but we were debt free.  I know my husband wondered why I was making such huge payments to the cars and home but I had been listening to Dave Ramsey and I wanted out of debt.  I craved freedom.  Looking back I think this was all happening to help prepare us for July 5, 2018.  With each milestone we got more excited.  I remember the look on the teller's face when she took our last mortgage payment.  She said "you're paying off your home!' with this huge grin on her face.  I walked out of that bank on clouds that day. 
Well like I said being debt free was the only way.  By the grace of God we had gotten there. 

It hasn't been easy.................I replaced anxiety of the workplace with anxiety of did I do the right thing? How are we going to pay bills?   I finally went to a doctor and was told I had anxiety (duh I knew that) and mild depression.I was prescribed medication but I hated the way I felt the next morning.  It felt like I got hit by a car or something.  I was so groggy.    I was really at a low place in my life.  I didn't know what to do, where to turn.  I would practically run to the door to meet my husband at the door when he came home from work each day because I was so used to being around people.  It took a couple of weeks for me to get the courage to venture out.  I didn't want my husband to think I was just having this great time while he was at work. 

I was home full time until early October.  That is when I got my part time job.   I don't make much money at all but once again the Lord has been good to us.  We had some expenses since I left........new washer and dryer set us back $2000.00.  A new roof was over $8000.00 and we had our a/c unit fixed that took 3 visits for around $1100.00.  We will be slowly building our home fund back up.  It is going to take a lot longer this time around.  But slow and steady wins the race right?

I'm writing this in hopes to give someone out there the courage they need to make a change. Decide right now, this very minute that you are going to do something about your situation.  You may not be able to leave your job right now.  But start planning for it.  Pay down your debt.Try as much as you can to live on one salary and use the second one to pay down debt or build savings.  I know it can be so hard when you see friends taking all these trips and having the cutest wardrobes. It's hard when cruising Instagram every woman "appears" to be living their best lives.  But most people on social media don't share the bad with the good.  You really don't know what is going on unless your are personal friends or family. Just be happy for them and say God Bless.   You don't have to live like a monk but if you are able start paying as much as possible to debt WHILE putting some money in savings as well.  I never felt comfortable with what Dave Ramsey recommends, $1000.00.  He says to get that first $1000.00 then throw all monies to debt.  I felt like we needed at least $2000.00 but that is just me.  You do you.  But just do it.  Do it now.  You never know what will happen.  You may be a new mom who realizes that you want to stay home with your baby but can't due to bills.  I would suggest you take another hard look.  Day care is outrageously expensive and there are other costs associated with working outside the home.  Gas, heck just being tired and going out to eat multiple times a week or calling in for take out adds up.    Go to your local library and check out The Tightwad Gazette.  Now I realize that some of her ideas may be a but outdated but her premise is never old.  Find some blogs that speak to you at whatever phase of life you are in right now.  There are tons of frugal blogs out there.  Go to Youtube.  There is a plethora of information out there at the touch of a finger. 

Whatever you do please don't allow anxiety and dark thoughts to  take you to places that you don't need to go.  I never thought about suicide but I sure wished, at times, that I'd get sick, like seriously ill so I could miss a lot of work. Sadly I was so happy when I was out with back surgery.  When my VP saw me that first time he even mentioned how great I looked.  I looked great because I wasn't working.  It was wonderful.   If you start having these feelings please go to your doctor.  Go to your pastor or priest or a good friend but go get help.  Put one foot in front of the other, take deep breaths.   Take one day at a time.  Take one hour at a time.  Don't let that job rob you of your happiness and self esteem.  Let's be honest.............once you leave they will hire someone else to do your job.  As much as you'd like, your job will most likely never care about you as much as you care about it.  Take care of yourself.  Take care of your finances.  If all you can cut and save is $2.00 then so be it.  You start there and keep going.  If you can't leave work, try to find another position within your company that you think your skills will be a better match.  When possible, get outside.  Studies show that getting out in nature is like a natural way to combat depression and anxiety.  If you are near water even better.  Something about the ions that the water gives off helps even more.  Work like everything depends on you and pray because everything really does depend on God. 

Note to those who are in management.  I know there are lousy employees who make your work life al lot harder than it should be.    I know there are great managers out there.  I would suggest that you let your people know how much you appreciate them.  Just a simple thank you. Listen to them, really listen to them.   A doughnut or letting someone leave work early one day out of the clear blue sky will be appreciated.  If an employee comes to you and says that the work is stressing them and when they ask for help, no one can help them.  HELP THEM.

Start or recharge that frugal journey.  You don't have to go hard core, become a minimalist, make your own deodorants, lotions and soaps, move out to the country to become homesteaders.You don't have to get rid of all of your clothes to have that magical capsule wardrobe (although that can be helpful) Just start with small changes.  It's probably taken years to get in debt and it will take a while to get out.  Start cooking more meals at home instead of going out.  Now I know that this can be daunting if  you're used to restaurants but trust me you will save BIG BUCKS.  Make a list of meals that you/your family loves and buy the ingredients to make those meals.  Try to keep something really easy like a frozen pizza in the freezer for those days when you just want something really quick.  Become more of a conscious consumer.  Pay attention to what you have on hand and what you need.  Prepper Princess on YouTube says that grocery stores are usually on a 6-8 week sale cycle.  Try to buy items at their best prices.  This is going to take time.  Don't get discouraged if you're not like the crazy coupon ladies you see everywhere.  You do you. 

I hope this post has been helpful for someone.  It can be hard to start saving more money at first.  It really can but you can do it.  You too can have your own version of Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July

Image result for fourth of july
image via cityofnewberry.com

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

CASH ONLY

Image result for cash only
image via cashonly.info

This was written on a piece of paper at the front of my local Food Lion when I went in about 20 minutes ago.  What?  Why?  My town, for some reason, had a power outage YESTERDAY afternoon.  It affected, from what I'm told, the whole town.  There was NO storm so I have no idea what happened to cause it.  Thankfully I only needed a couple of items and had cash to pay for them.  There have to have been untold numbers of customers who did not.  I know a lot of people who do not carry cash at all.  Like none at all.  They use their debit/credit cards for EVERYTHING.  Even for that item that costs less than $1.

This gets me to my question-------are you prepared to go cash only if needed?  Do you carry cash in your wallet or are you debit person? Do you keep cash on hand at home just in case?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

My Day Off

Ya'll I am off today and can I say I am loving it!!!!  Even though my part time job is pretty simple it still has its moments.  We deal with the public and the public can be really rude.  It takes everything in me to not say what I want to say.  I just have to take it.................

Oh well so like I said I am off today.  While I was running some errands I took just a few photos around town and thought I would share them.  Here goes!



This is the sidewalk outside the posh coffee house in our little downtown area.  I think Mayberry is bigger than my downtown.

This if Full Bloom Coffee-it's more of your upwardly mobile place-most of us more down to earth folks go to Aversboro Coffee, but this is a beautiful building.

There are trains that go through out little town
and this is the cute mural on the side of Full Bloom Coffee.  Isn't it pretty?

I'm not Catholic but I love coming to this church and just praying.  It is so quiet during the day when no one is around. They keep their doors unlocked so you can go in and pray or just close your eyes and breathe.  Really breathe.  Sometimes I feel like an angel will fly down to sit next to me.  One time a lady came up to me and asked if I was part of the Legion of Mary.  I had to say no maam I am not a member here.  She looked at me and said well please come here Jesus is here.
Now I am doing some laundry and basically chilling out.  Tomorrow my husband gets his monthly pay.  I love that day!!!  And two bills have gone down a little bit.  Our cell bill went down about $13 and car insurance went down about the same maybe a tad bit less. 

We will be going on vacation mid July.  I've been able to put a little bit back each time I get paid from my pt job.  We are not doing anything extravagant just a couple of days in the mountains.  Once that is over I will decrease what I have been putting back.  I will still put money back for vacation just not as much.  The other part will be put aside for Christmas or at least that is my plan.  Lord willing of course.  He may have different plans.😀

I am really looking forward to filling our grocery and entertainment envelopes up again because both are empty! 

Monday, June 24, 2019

You Get What You Pay For

I've heard this saying my whole life and for the most part I totally agree with it.  There are a few times that cheaper is just as good.  Generic groceries and medications are as good MOST of the time.  There are some situations where I will only buy name brand foods and some people can only use name brand prescriptions (even when generic claims to be exactly the same). 

Shoes is an area that I need name brand.  Cheaper shoes such as those sold in Walmart, Target and Payless are not good for my feet.  I had a major foot surgery 10 years ago so I don't waste time looking at the cute shoes at Target.  Most of them have no support whatsoever for me.  So what's a girl to do?  I wear Clarks shoes.  Yeah I know they aren't the cutest but they feel good on my feet.  I try to  buy them when they are on sale because they are not cheap at all.  Near the end of April I came upon a sale at the Clarks outlet in Mebane.  Buy one pair at full price and get the second pair for $20.00.  I bought two pairs of sandals for $100.00.  To me they are cute, are not flat (flat shoes are not good for anyone btw) not the most supportive but do help and they are super comfortable.  I've been keeping count of how many times I've worn them.  So far, I've worn them 37 times (and I think I've worn them more but forgot to count).  That comes to about $2.70 and that cost will go down each time I wear them.  The last pair of Clarks sandals I wore literally fell apart after several years.  They more than paid for themselves.

Are you loyal to a particular brand because of fit and comfort?  If so which ones do you like?  Perhaps you are blessed to be able to wear anything.  Oh well.......

My foot surgeon told me to never walk barefoot.  He said it's the worst for our feet.  I know there are some folks who swear by being barefoot but I will listen to my doctor.

I got this pair and an identical pair in navy

Monday, June 10, 2019

$30.00 For Groceries to Last 7 Days

Is that possible?  I've been trying to come up with a menu for 7 days and only having $30.00 to accomplish it.  No, we are not in that tight of a place..........not yet!  I watch Youtube videos and read other blogs and see where others do it.  Some out of necessity while others are trying to see what it is like.  So...........this leads me to ask ya'll if it is possible and if so, what menu would you have?  Let's play!!!!!!!!!

You can use whatever spices/oils you already have but that's it.  How far can you make your $30.00 go?  I'm sure it is way better than me!

My list that I kind of came up with had chicken legs, milk, eggs, bread, a few canned/frozen veggies,a box of mac and cheese, sandwich meat, cheese, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce/noodles, 1 bag of chips,bagged salad and some cheap fruit.

I'm going to try to link a video trailer to the movie Food Stamped.  Now this is not to start a debate on food stamps but I think this movie kind of goes along with what I am asking.  Trying to have a healthy menu on a small budget.  Now the film makers are foodies used to really nice organic foods but they are vegetarians so they don't spend on meats.  I found the movie really interesting.


Friday, June 7, 2019

Kudos to Ulta's Customer Service

Image result for Ulta
image via lapalmera

Yesterday I made a somewhat impulsive purchase.  I've been wanting a tinted moisturizer for some time now.  I really want something to just even out my skin tone and hide redness.  I don't want anything heavy.  I normally wear Bare Minerals or Pur Minerals.  For the most part, I am satisfied with them but the older I get the more the powder kind of settles in lines.  So off to Ulta I went and bought Bare Minerals Gel Tinted Moisturizer and a tube of a nude lipstick.  I "test drove" both products for a day and just wasn't satisfied.  The lipstick looked too brown and totally washed me out and the tinted moisturizer?  Well.............it really didn't cover me as much as I wanted.  Plus within minutes my nose was shiny like a new penny. 

In years past I would've taken the hit and never use them again but I was told by an associate that if I keep the receipt I can return anything for any reason within 30 days.  I thought I'd give it a try and the employee at the register was very kind.  I told her they just didn't work for me.  She asked me if I had used them and I was honest and said yes.  Then she gave me a full refund for both items.  Needless to say I am very pleased with the outcome. 

I don't know if any of you wear makeup but if you do, and if you have an Ulta nearby, give them a chance.  Also if any of you have some recommendations for a foundation for oily, sensitive skin with rosacea please let me know.  I've tried so many over the years and yet to find one that I dearly love.

bareMinerals ORIGINAL Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15, Medium Beige 12, Large
image via Bareminerals