Category Archives: challenge

>F is for Freedom?

>Wow, hi there.

Life has been pretty crazy around here.

For a while now, things have not been going well at my job.  This is the job I was not looking for.  This is the job that was supposed to be such a great opportunity for me.  This is the job that was going to allow me to pay off my credit cards – FAST!

I have not been enjoying this job and I definitely feel this is not the place for me.  I have felt trapped because I am not in the position to quit due to our finances. 

Today I have a paid day off as yesterday I was “let go”. 

It’s a weird situation though.  Essentially my company is allowing me to choose my end date.  They asked if I would like to work for a few more weeks while I look for a new job and would accommodate any interviews I get lined up. 

I’ll take it.

So today I spent lounging around at home doing whatever I pleased.  I made bruchetta for brunch and got caught up on blog reading while lounging in my new jersey dress from Old Navy that arrived yesterday in the mail.  I may even have a glass of white wine that arrived in the mail today from my wine club.

I did look for a new job too…..

So now what?  I can’t say I didn’t think this possibility wouldn’t happen.  I was preparing for it and socking away money in savings – when I could have been paying off my credit cards.  The end date I am choosing will allow me to get paid two more times not counting the paycheck this Friday. That will allow me to put an additional $2000 in savings.  I will be able to collect unemployment if I can’t find something new by then.

I’m actually pretty optimistic.  I have other things to keep me busy right now.  I’m taking this great class on reorienting my career (don’t laugh) and I couldn’t be taking it at a better time.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I started a production company with two friends I met on the set of the award winning indie film I worked on?  We held our first auditions last Monday and the second auditions will be Saturday July 2.  We have a Kickstarter video planned to raise the money we need to shoot our project which is scheduled for a weekend in August. 

So not entirely freaking out here and am wondering what the universe has in store for me.  I’m thinking positive and have great references lined up.  It’s summer and I plan to enjoy it as much as possible.

We got our car back last night too – it had issues for the second time and the dealership covered it all – huge sigh of relief there.

So universe – throw me a bone will ya?

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Filed under career, challenge, CND, debt reduction, earning money, films, finances, good juju, movies, personal finance, self employment

>Decluttering Continues

>I spent most of the weekend going through more hidden clutter spaces. I cleaned out under our bed and all the bins (six) we have in our hallway shelving unit. The bins are now organized and labeled and some of them are even half empty!

Unfortunately I do have to use under the bed for storage. It’s not good feng shui or what I would prefer but unavoidable for now. I hope to eventually elimate that when I free up more space in the other hidden clutter areas.

At least I know what is under there now and I even found my yoga mat! I have a rolling bin that has all of my craft supplies and tools with the exception of some stamps and stamp pads and 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper. Those were kept in a couple of the bins in the hallway. I will use up the paper on pages for my sister (nephew and niece books) and I still make cards and gift tags. I also have a bin and two photo boxes with all my photos. This is temporary as I want to get them all stored digitally (I have not taken a regular photo in about four years). That will be a project when I get the decluttering done. I am hoping for a digital photo frame for my birthday next month.

I came across some really old stuff this weekend. All the RSVP’s and gift cards (with notes of who gave what) from my wedding six years ago. TONS of photos, some of me when I was little. Stuff from highschool (a Christmas card from my now hubby), kids projects when they were little (we saved a small amount), stuff from a trip to California five years ago for a half started scrapbook, stuff from when I lived in North Carolina ten years ago. I filled a large garbage bag full of items I was keeping that I really never needed to. It feels like I lost ten pounds!

I even freed up a shelf in the hall closet as the four small bins of crafts supplies and tools I had in there fit in to the rolling bin under the bed. I have a few piles on my dining table that need to get in to their permanent homes and I plan to start tackling the hall closet this week.

What’s left on my decluttering list?

  • Hall closet
  • Rolling cart in laundry center
  • Storage off patio
  • Master closet (need to purge clothing)
  • Hallway bookshelves
  • Pantry

Projects that resulted from decluttering…

  • Photos need to be digitally stored (give originals to my mother or others)
  • Finish up some scrapbook pages started for my sister (nephew & niece books)
  • Find permanent homes for some items
  • Selling/donating craft supplies I no longer need
  • Bucca de Beppo wall (more on that in a later post)
  • Finally get wedding photos framed for parents and other family (did I mention I have been married for six years?)

I am hopefull I can complete the decluttering by the end of June. The other projects will be things I can finish throughout the summer. They have places to live (either temporary or permanent) and I can find everything and that is half the battle.

I actually found a journal I started five years ago and it had a list in it of goals. I am sorry to say that I only had completed 1 of them. How is that for procrastination? Yikes – so embarrasing to admit. I know the reason for it too. The clutter, even when I couldn’t see it, prevents me from getting things done. The clutter and unfinished projects throughout the condo are the reason we did complete that one goal – owning a home. We didn’t have the money to finish the projects to move so we just bought the place we were living in. Ug!

This will also make it easier to finally finish all the little condo projects around the house. We will be able to find all of our tools easily and won’t be tripping over piles of stuff to install baseboard molding etc.

I am gratefull for this blog and the blog community in general. This allows me to be somewhat accountable for things I am trying to accomplish. It’s also a journal and scrapbook, wishlist and keepsake all rolled in to one. This online way of journaling actually made it easier for me to give up scrapbooking! I will still make pages for my sister and others which makes it OK to keep a lot of the stuff I spent good money on. When I do a scrapbook page – I do it. Mucho dinero can get invested in a page. I will post some later on to give you an idea.

For now though, I am on a roll and can’t be stopped!

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Filed under challenge, clutter, completed goals, organizing, projects

>Chinese Chicken Salad

>A little less than halfway through the two week $200 challenge and we have $70 left. We have spent it on groceries, a birthday gift, gas and stuff to get cat pee out of carpeting – NICE! We don’t have many plans for the long weekend ahead but to relax and get some small projects around the house done. Projects that don’t require purchasing anything as we already have the supplies.

Monday night I made Chinese Chicken Salad. It’s one of the least expensive recipies to make. We only needed less than $5 worth of groceries because we didn’t have a few ingredients on hand.

Here is the recipe…

Ingredients
1 chicken breast – cooked and cubed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (I have a large jar of toasted ones at home)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (I had pine nuts which was yummy and I think I prefer it)
1 head cabbage – shredded
4 green onion
1 package Ramen noodles – crumbled

Dressing
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package Ramen flavoring (chicken)

Mix all ingredients together and let sit overnight. It tastes better the next day!

I don’t have all the numbers but it’s probably under $1 per serving.

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Filed under budget, challenge, goals

>$200 Challenge

>How far can you stretch $200? That is the challenge I have given myself. The hubs and I both got paid today I paid all the bills (along with the savings bill) and what is left over is just $200. It’s a little depressing actually. But, rather than dwell on it, I am challenging myself to actually live on it for two weeks.

Debt really sucks but I need to do this challenge to see just how far we can stretch. We have the added stress of my step daughters 16th birthday on Sunday. We at least have a small amount in savings but I would like to try and not touch it if at all possible. I won’t feel I have failed if I do have to dip in to savings as long as I have done my best to be as frugal as possible.

Tonight I am going to plan groceries for the next week. I have a full tank of gas and my husband carpools with his dad some days so we should be able to stretch our gas budget as well.

If any of you have great recipies that are cheap and feel people for a long time, email them to me!

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Filed under budget, challenge, completed goals