Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day After 2016 Election Results

I’m in shock. I can’t believe it really happened. Our country just told every woman, child, minority, non-Christian and LGBTQ that they don’t matter. I’m embarrassed. I’m scared. But mostly, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the children who have been shown that bullying and racism is OK. I’m sorry for the women who have fought so hard for equality just to be told we can be groped and treated like objects and it’s OK. I’m sorry for the hard-working immigrants who have sacrificed everything to come here to escape the persecution and poverty in their native countries and provide a better life for their children who will now no longer feel safe in their own home here in America, as Americans. I’m sorry for the majority of Muslims who are not terrorists who are now going to be treated as if they are. I’m sorry for the LGBTQ community who now feel that they have to worry about the rights that they’ve fought so hard for might be taken away.

Election night: I was unwinding after a day of work, watching Netflix with my husband when I decided to check and see how the election was going. I opened the tab and saw the first results. Clinton was behind. What?!? How was this happening? I honestly was not prepared for this. Through this whole circus, I never really believed that Clinton would lose. I still had faith that our country would do what was right and fair. I checked the results a couple times throughout the night. I started to get physically sick to my stomach as it was becoming clear that this nightmare was becoming reality. I had to put it aside for the night. I needed one more night of not believing this man was going to become president.

Come morning, my husband wakes up before I do and I ask him how he is. He says, “I’ve been better. We have an orange president.” I had really hoped I was going to wake up to find it was a bad dream. Nope. This is life now. I then checked online and saw that the GOP also took the House and the Senate. God, how did you let this happen? And so many people did this in Your name. I’m sorry for you as well.

I feel as a country we just took a huge step backwards. David Duke supports this guy for fuck’s sake. We now have a KKK supported president! How? Why? When did everyone fall asleep and let this happen? And I’m not exactly a Hillary supporter either, I was for Bernie, but I would have welcomed Hillary with open arms over what we ended up with. Bernie supporters had pro-Bernie stickers on their cars; Hillary supporters had pro-Hillary stickers on their cars; Trump supporters? Well, they had pro-Trump stickers, yes, but they also had anti-Hillary and anti-a-bunch-of-other stuff on their cars, or rather on their gas-guzzling, dually trucks that tow nothing in suburban Southern California. I try to live by the “promote what you love, don’t bash what you hate” way of life. All I’ve heard coming out of the Trump side is hate. I don’t know anything that this man likes, but I sure know everything he hates. And do you know what hate breeds? Even more hate.

I saw a tweet today that hit home. When I got dressed this morning, I put on all black. Granted, I work in an office and a lot of my clothes are black, but today, I consciously decided to wear all black. Then I saw this tweet:
“Despair opens the door for evil. Now is the time to double down on your beliefs. Together we will find a way. I believe in us.” - @zoeinthecities 
Thank you Zoe. I needed that. She is absolutely right. “Darkness cannot dive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t want to be one of the people that I have been so upset with for the past eight years. I will not say, “Thanks, Trump” for everything that goes wrong. I will maintain my beliefs and I will work even harder to make the people I come in contact with know that they matter. Maybe this will be a blessing. Maybe this is what we need to form together even closer to love and drive out this hate. We can’t let this break us. We need each other.

Please love each other. Even more.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Oh, shit! I did not just do that...

Remember the days of Netflix when you would actually get a DVD in the mail and then drop it back in any mailbox to return it? Turns out, you can't do that with Red Box movies. 
I had a letter to mail and a Red Box movie to return the other night. I grabbed both and headed out the door with my hubby. He drove up to the mailbox on the side of the road for me to jump out and mail the letter and then we would continue on to the store up the street to return the Red Box movie. I jump out, open the mailbox, drop my stuff in, get back in the car and it hits me. Oh shit,

Friday, March 4, 2016

Grocery shopping on a budget

In my last post I said I would go over our grocery shopping habits. Keep in mind this is for 2 adults who try to eat relatively healthy. Oh, and I hate to cook so I'm not spending a bunch of money coming up with any masterpieces in the kitchen. (Yes, he knew that when he married me.)

First piece of advice: Always, always make a list. And stick to it. I'm not talking about a mental list on your way to the store. Stand in your kitchen when you make your list and go through your cupboards and fridge to see what you have and what you need.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Living on a budget

Where were you all year? Oh wait, it was me that was missing. I can't believe I didn't write a single post in 2015. It's been another, shall we say, interesting year... but aren't they all?

My husband and I were yet again the victims of a lay-off. This time was different though because it was only my husband that lost his job when the company he was working for tanked. The last 2 times we went through this we were both out of work, so this is actually an improvement. Anyway, seeing as we're now pros at this sort of thing (yay us?), I thought I'd share how we make it from day to day. If you've lost an income and need some money saving advice, or even if you have a job but you have no savings (start saving NOW, you never know when your world might turn upside down), this is for you. I'm not saying this is the only way to do things or that this method will work for everyone, but it works for us and it's at least a place where you can start thinking about what will work for you.


First piece of advice. Set up multiple bank accounts (we use 2 credit unions). We have 2 checking, 2 savings and 3 jars (yes, actual glass jars... they come free with pasta sauce and pickles!) Here is how we utilize them:
  • Checking account #1 is used for all of our bills. We know how much we have going out each month so we make sure there is ALWAYS enough to cover them in there. I was raised with the "bills come first and everything else comes after" mentality. (Thank you, mom and dad!) It's true. Do it. You can eat Top Ramen and carpool a ride to work, but those bills just keep coming. Don't get behind, it's hard to catch up.
  • Savings account #1 is tied to our checking account #1. Since we've been through this before we have learned to save in the good times. We actually have a healthy savings account, so we have that tied to our checking account #1 just in case something comes up and our account is short that month, we have overdraft from the savings account. (I also use this savings account for my schooling.)
  • Checking account #2 is for groceries, cat food, gas, entertainment, all the rest. Again, like with bills, groceries and gas come first and the rest is for playing with or rolling over to the next month. We spend about $100-$125 a week on groceries and, since my husband isn't working and we don't have to gas his car, about $25 a week on gas (we both have economical Hondas). The grocery bill includes toiletries: TP, paper towels, cleaners, etc. We are fortunate in that we have no children, so we can get off pretty cheap in those areas. I'll break down our grocery list in another post.
  • Savings account #2 is tied to checking account #2 and is for gifts, clothes, and big goals like vacations (hey, we can dream!) It's also for transferring money into checking account #2 if we fall short. Sadly, it's usually used for the latter, but we're happy to have it when we need it.
  • The 3 jars are for: pennies, silver and paper. We try to withdraw and use paper money when we can and any coins we get go into the jars. If we've taken a $20 out of the ATM and have a couple dollar bills left over at the end of the day, those go in the paper jar. Every once in a while we slip a $5, $10 or even $20 in there! Crazy, I know. lol. This can be used for just saving, or for going out to sushi or pizza once in a while, or grabbing a few bucks to treat yourself to a coffee on the weekend.
So, you may have read the line about us not having children and thought, well, they have it easy. No wonder they can make it. We do however, have a mountain of student loan debt from my husband's degree (which we are not deferring because we want to pay those bastards off as soon as we can) and I am currently going to school as well. We are able to pay for my schooling as I go because, since I work full time, I am only taking 1 class per semester. (But, have you seen the prices of books and their new "companion codes" lately!?! Ouch!)

Again, this isn't a "this works for us, so it will work for you" post. It's merely a "this is what works for us, maybe there are some things in here that will work for you too" post. I hope it inspires you to come up with some ideas of your own, start a savings account if you don't already have one, and think about what you would do if you ever found yourself in an unemployed situation. It happens. And it sucks. But keep your chin up and keep on keepin' on.

Leave me a comment with some of your own money savings tips. I'd love to get even more ideas!