So today is the 12th day of NaBloPoMO and the first time I’ve really had to struggle to come up with something to post. There are a fair number of things I could post on. But I do a lot of self censoring online these days. I don’t do it just to try and keep people having a positive opinion of me, though that is part of it, I also don’t want to unnecessarily hurt someone else’s feelings. As part of a self improvement program I am doing I am trying to come up with five beliefs about myself that are false. I am having a hard time with it. My number one belief about myself is that I am honest with myself about myself. That belief is either true, in which case it will be hard to come up with five false beliefs, or it’s false and it gets to be number one. Lame but I managed to write something. I should have done what wickedfrenchkiss.com did and used somebodies list of questions as a starting point for blogs but it is too late now.
I’ve loved this song since the first time I heard it. Great beat and mesmerizing vocals.
This is the followup to yesterdays post. I guess since I asked you to track your spending for a month I really should post this in a month. But it is my blog and I’ll do what I want.
So now you have an idea of were your money goes. If you are anything like me you found some surprising if no terrifying results. I was spending between four to five hundred dollars a month on eating out. That and random unplanned purchases are where the most of my money went. Unplanned purchases are when you are wandering through a store and just see something and buy it, fifty dollars for this video game, buy a couple of shirts, etc. I was losing another hundred to two hundred dollars a month on unplanned purchases.
So before I worried about a budget I determined to cut out the waste. I first figured out a clever way to deal with unplanned purchases. I didn’t allow myself to buy anything. I could not purchase anything that was not essential. Eventually I allowed myself to buy things If I had saved up the money. This removed the temptation to buy things when just out and about. I didn’t have to argue with myself over whether I should or should not buy something. There was no discussion just no. I am not good with subtlety. I need black and white decision making.
You can see my need for black and white in my handling of eating out. I allowed myself a couple of times out a week. Very quickly I was back to spending four hundred dollars a month. Guess you can’t win them all.
Remember our mystery quote: “I am happy as long as I am healthy, and I am rich as long as I am not in debt.” In part one I talked a little bit about health. Here in part two I plan to try and give some specific help with finances.
I might have mentioned it in the past but I used to “write” a self help blog called the Slackers Guide to Life. I still own the domain it just redirects here. I put write in quotes because I almost never actually wrote anything on it. I divided the effort into a few categories. One of the only categories at which I had any success was money. So let me share some of my limited wisdom.
So you are drowning in credit card debt and only making minimum payments. You make good money but never seem to have enough. The first thing you have to figure out is where all your money is going. I I don’t recommend jumping instantly into trying to budget and save money. Take one month to determine how you are sabotaging you finances. You need to record every purchase of any kind you make. There are apps to help with this. I currently use mint to track my budget and all my spending. But when I started I actually found it better to do so with just a notebook. I recorded the date, the amount, and what I purchased. Once the month finished I went back to the list. You can break the expenditures into as many categories as you want. I went with a simple systems. I grabbed a red highlighter and marked outlays that weren’t good for me or were unnecessary as bad. The rest were acceptable.
When I finished I totaled everything up. I was shocked to find that my bad outlays were almost twice as much as the good. Be cutting out some of the bad things I could literally save hundreds a month. So I recommend trying this for one month to start.
Earlier in the year I read a quote that has stayed with me since, “I am happy as long as I am healthy, and I am rich as long as I am not in debt.” Sadly I can’t remember who I got this quote from to give them proper credit. As I said, these words have stuck with me and been rattling around in my mushy noggin for months.
I am not healthy and I am in debt. The health thing is what it is, to sound like a professional athlete. I am currently under care for this biggest health problem I have. Now that places some limitations on what I cad no in the form of exercise. One very important aspect of my health is totally within my control. What I put into my body would frighten most people. If it the product hasn’t been processed or extruded or purchased from a chain restaurant, I usually don’t partake. I don’t really like eating this way it’s just the most convenient. I often make resolutions to eat healthier. I say as I eat a bag of cheetos. They are baked though.
Because I am just trying to post things during NaBloPoMo I’ll write about debt at another time. Nothing like dragging out a blog post to fill a self assigned schedule.
In a cheap bid to keep nablopomo going I am posting a blast from the past from way back in 2004
Here is the description of an authors first acclaimed literary novel:
Suder takes it name from its protagonist, Craig Suder, a black third baseman for the Seattle Mariners. A failure on his tean, in bed with his wife, and in his relationship with his you son, he walks away from his problems when his manager encourages him to go on leave. (Up to this point things sound good. This is a promising set up for a compelling internal struggle.) The manager, who is also a demented taxidermist, lends Sudar a cabin in Portland, Oregon, and sends him there to get some rest. On his way to the cabin, Sudar develops an obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with “Ornithology.” a Charlie Parker jazz standard. He plays it on a record player that he takes with him wherver he goes, and decides that he will learn to fly under his own power. Suder’s series of misadentures includes his being pursued by a Narragansett Indian Cocain dealer, an obese gay Chinese man, and his manager, who desperately wants to stuff an elephant Sudar has befriended.
uhhhh….. huh ………. I ….. ohhhhhhh…. brain hurt
After almost 4 days of being sick I examine the disaster that is my apartment. All the waste bins are filled with used kleenex. My clothes, mostly sweatshirts and pajamas are balled up and on the floor from wherever they happened to fall. Every flat surface is covered in stuff, much of it trash. And yes a certain odor does permeate the place. Sadly it is a little too cold now to open up the windows and air the place out. Guess I’ll just burn some incense.
This time from my balcony. As always clicky clicky for larger size.
Big in the UK, I first encountered Elbow in the soundtrack for an episode of Topgear. I sense fell in love with most of the bands work.
Allerton Park is a large park and conference center near the small town of Monticello, Illinois. It also happens to be one of my favorite place to visit. I like going there in almost every season. Fall brings out the best in the place in my opinion. The crispness in the air, the fall colors, and the slow spread of decay create a bright melancholy. I love to photograph the place. Click for larger images.
I got all philosophical as I watched and listen to the leaves fall one by one and looked at the many fallen trees. It reminded me of the scene from The Last Samurai. “But then I come to this place of my ancestors, and I remember. Like these blossoms, we are all dying. To know life in every breath, every cup of tea, every life we take. “
Sadly the thing that died was the batteries on my camera so I had to take the last few pics with my phone.