7.31.2015

On Turning 52

Greetings from cyberspace! Wednesday was my birthday. I am 52. (Yes, believe it) I don't feel 52. I have been told I don't look it either. In fact, someone told me that they though I was 39! I'll take that. I look and feel better now than I did back then. But as the old saying goes, with age comes wisdom. This resonates with me even more than it did last year. Here are a few things that I have come to realize.

You can't please everyone
As much as I would love to, it is not feasible. I'm going to displease somebody. And with today's society, it does not take much. In fact, the only person I should be trying to please is God and our Lord Savior Jesus Christ. No matter how hard one tries, there are just some people that nothing will please them.

Beauty is as Beauty Does
I am no great beauty by no means. But I have my own special beauty. Yesterday I looked in the mirror and saw myself in a new light. I was smiling and I glowed. My heart was glad and not just because it was my birthday. I woke with a glad heart. And the day got better and better and better. The more I was grateful, the gladder my heart was. And with this glad and grateful heart, I was gentler, kinder and felt truly beautiful. I may not be Miss America beautiful, but I am beautiful in God's eyes because of His grace.

I am Loved
Yesterday morning when I came home from the gym, my cousin was up and waiting for me. We had coffee together and she wrote a beautiful message on the white board in the house. I had to go into work, but my co-workers got me a cupcake, and a lovely scarf. When I got home, there was flowers (albeit left over from the birthday BBQ we had for her youngest daughter), two gifts, a card and she made me a special dinner. (see picture above) The family signed the card with such sweet thought. The littlest one made me a card. And then I went out to have celebratory drink with some good friends, and I got two cute dresses, a Kohl's gift card. Hawk is took me out for dinner last night (his idea as he was not back from work on Wednesday until late). Buttercup called me three times, and I got such lovely messages on Facebook. But that was NOTHING compared to the feeling I had when I was driving home after leaving my friends. I was listening to my favorite worship by Lincoln Brewster - Today is the Day. It was the song that led me back to my walk with God. It is a song that I keep in my heart. I gave praise to God for this day He has made, and I realized that the reason why the day was so wonderful, it was because of His love. I have always known He loves me, but to actually feel it. Tangibly feel it. It overwhelmed me but in such a way that I smiled and have not stopped smiled.

What Matters Most
All my gifts were wonderful, but what mattered more was to spend time with the people that matter the most to me. My family, my team at work, my friends (including Hawk) and God. The Happy Birthday messages meant a lot to me, because they took time out to wish me well. What matters most is how I act towards people. To be kind. To be supportive. To be honest. To be faithful.

So What is Next?
To take these pearls of wisdom to keep moving forward in a positive manner in ALL aspects of life. Whether it will be dealing with the spousal support issue, or when Buttercup calls all frantic. Be focused and positive while paying down debt and balancing my budget. To continue to be a positive influence and impact to those I meet either in person or online.

Being 52 is great. I would not change my age or anything about who I have become. And I want to thank all of you for being so supportive and uplifting when the trolls came out.


7.28.2015

On Rebuilding the Emergency Fund

Greetings from cyberspace! A commentor mentioned that she liked my updated approach to my debt. In response to her question about rebuilding my emergency fund, at this moment it is linked to my checking account. I do like her recommendation to open an account with CapitalOne 360, but I have a real issue with CapitalOne. Even though I have two credit cards with them (due to them buying out my oldest cards) I do not use them at all. I have not used them for several years. I still get the annual fee charged to it, but I pay that off immediately. I keep them open as they are my oldest credit accounts. However, I am looking at opening a savings account with Discover. My only issue is that I really don't want to deal with a bunch of different accounts. I am having a hard enough time juggling multiple credit cards. However, only four of them have a balance, and at the moment, I am making minimum payments until I can rebuild the emergency fund. Dave Ramsey does have a valid point regarding the need to have one. I hope to have mine fully funded by the end of the year, which gives me about 8 or 9 pay periods, which doable, but I really would prefer to complete this sooner. Going back to my earlier post, just need to not get complacent. Good times ahead. Truly. It's all about attitude, right? If I was able to stay positive, focused and not get distracted (thank you Hawk, Buttercup and dear cousin), I think I would be much further down the road to being debt free. I hate takiing wrong turns, let alone a U-turn. Don't you??

7.27.2015

On Being Complacent

Greetings from cyberspace! This morning I was reading a financial devotional, and it discussed being complacent. There was scritpure, Proverbs 1:32, that states '.... And the complacency of fools will destroy them.' It went on to discuss what the definition of complacent meant. Like the author, I too thought it meant lazy. Quelle surpris, it does not.  It means either 'self-satisfied' or 'unconcerned'. It also talks about how 'complacency' led to the downfall of Rome. The Roman empire was not lazy, for it took a look of effort to build it. They just rested on their laurels, and it eventually led to its downfull. This was an eye opener to this blogger. I realized that I have become complacent when it comes to my finances. Because when I am on top of my finances, the debt goes down, and I am in control of my spending. Butt then I get these modes where I just am 'unconcerned' and the next thing I know, the debt has increased. Ugh. That is part of the reason why I started to blog, so that by writing it kept it in the forefront in my mind. It made me conscious of my situation. I can develop a plan and so forth, but I am quickly realizing that I need to control my variable spending and stick with the budget that I have set up. What is always a budget killer for me is gasoline. Ugh. I can't believe the cost per gallon in my state. It's over four freaking dollars. Seriously? And the cost of food has gone up. Ugh.. and being that I eat organically and clean (for health issue), my food budget does not stretch as it used to. But I will tell you this, at least I don't splurge on personal care items. I buy the very basic items I need, and when I do, I will buy mid-range priced items. I can't justify spending over $100 for any single personal item, such as face cream, oils, hair care products and so forth. $100 is my MONTHLY allotment for personal care items, which includes monthly manicure/pedicure. Where I tend to blow it on my variable spending is eating out. It is just so easy to say, sure, let's go get lunch during the weekend. Durinng the week, I am a brown-bagger. Once in a while, I will go out to eat, but it is rare during the week. And that is a part of my finances where I got complacent. I have some other areas that I am looking at where I spend unwisely, but I the main culprit is variable expenses. Back to the old drawing board.

7.25.2015

Thank You So Very Much

Greetings from cyberspace! Oh my goodness. I am so completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of kind words. I treasure each and every one. It also made me reconsider my decision to turn this into a private blog. I know better than to let the 'trolls' get to me, but having him attack my daughter put me on the ledge. I still feel like I am looking down and ready to fall, but know that there are those out there that are genuine and kind, makes it easier. I have had several people reach out to me privately (and I thank each one of you with the bottom of my heart) that have lifted my spirits up. Oh, and 'Jason', thank YOU for taking the time out of your busy day to comment. I choose to NOT publish your most recent comments, and I promise you that if you indeed choose to comment again, they will go unread and unpublished. And if you change your name, which I believe you will do to ruffle me, again, those will automatically get deleted. But I will give you this. I will combine ALL the debt (including the Ex debt) and make into one big fat number.  Just for YOU. And that is the take away I concede to you. Nothing else.

With that being said - I, Rhitter, am NOT going to make this blog private.  I will NOT be chased into the shadows by negativity. I choose to be a light for others.

Watch out world - she's back!!

Current Financial Picture

Baby Step 1:
Savings
  • 54.00 Emergency Funds
  • 0.00 General Savings
Baby Step 2:
Starting Debt: 58,038.79
Current Debt: 58,038.79
Percentage Paid: 0.0%

7.22.2015

It is My Trainwreck

Greetings from cyberspace! Have you ever had been in a mental funk where you just lost all your resolve? Yeah, there is where I am at. I feel a little defeated today. Part of it was that I forgot about a bill, and it threw my budget right out the window. And so, now I am scrambling. Grrr... I hate that. Really do. I am usually right on top of all my bills. But I have been so distracted recently (Hawk, Buttercup, Cousin) that I just totally forgot to keep up my bill journal. I have no one to blame but myself. So tonight when I get home, I will be spending some time going thru some past transaction and plot them in a calendar. I have a pretty cool application on my iPad that I can use. Also, I can use the calendar for reminders of when to look for credit card statements. I am just so tired though. Mentally and emotionally. I feel like people do not listen when I say 'No' or they hear it, and they still bug me (ie, Buttercup) and I give in. Where is my freaking resolve? I tell you where.. lost in the chaos known as life. I don't like the chaos that has been going on recently. It is unsettling. And it is making me crazy and unfocused to a point in which I just want to give up, and that it NOT a good feeling. The only good thing going right now is the knowledge that Buttercup is actually doing okay. She is struggling, but she is really trying to get her life in balance. I am proud of her.  But as I am sitting here writing this post, I am reflecting on a comment that I have not decided whether to publish or not. The commentor pointed out what a trainwreck my life is. And dear sir, you are absolutely correct.  The Ex debt legally is my debt. I chose to separate it out, but I log it as debt. If you have read my past posts, you would have known that it is mine. You ask for a timeline of my debt.. sir, I am not rehash my mistakes. No, sir. I am painfully aware of what I have done. Each time I log into my accounts, I see it. And I don't need you to 'slap' me in the face. The numbers do that for me, thank you very much. And as for comments about Christ our Savior, I have not always been a faithful follower,  and I have been tested so often, and FAILED equally as often, but the beauty of this, is that He is MY savior, as well as yours. Since I have been working dilligently to be more faithful, I am continually tested, but I am more often victorious. I still fail. I am human. Guess what.. So are you. However, calling my daughter a trainwreck, unacceptable. We all make mistakes. We fall. We get up. We start over, and the cycle keeps going. It is whether we learn from our mistakes, and I can guarantee you, I am still struggling learning from mine. The one mistake I HAVE learned from, is to NEVER turn away from God. Because without Him, I am nothing. So, sir, and you know who you are, I am glad that I have provided such entertainment for you. And thanks to you, I will be closing this blog to the public at the end of the month. I don't need your negativity. Not at all.  And for all my other readers, and those who have been supportitive, I will be sure to post one last time publicly before I close this blog. If you wish to follow me, please let me know in the comments.

7.18.2015

Oh Really, You Don't Say

Greetings from cyberspace! As I mentioned in a previous post that I pay spousal support. (Yeah, don't get me started) Well, last night I get a text from my former husband, indicating that since he's finished paying me back for half of Buttercup's car (which, BTW, she totalled back in September and I need to verify) that I need to increase my installment to him an amount ABOVE what is agreed to in our original marital settlement agreement if I don't want to create tension between us. Oh really... you don't say. Wow. Just wow. Definitely need to consult with an attorney regarding this, because honestly, I think I have paid this man far too long. And on top of that, I found out while Buttercup was in my physical custody over 90 percent of the time, I should have been the receipent of the SSI family benefits for her. When I do the math, he actually is going to owe ME! Part of this is my fault that I let it go on so long, and I was always fearful of him taking me to court. It's time for me to fight back on this, because this is no longer a laughing matter. And of course, he does this the day before OUR daughter's birthday. He has incredible timing. I mean on Mother's Day, he called me asking for money to take his dog to the vet. And while I was out there, he has the nerve to tell me that he no one else he can count on to borrow money?? Yes, he has generally paid me back.. eventually. The fact is that we are divorced, and I have allowed my tender heart to say yes, and not set any boundaries with this man. A big part is that I am afraid of confrontation, and he does get loud and threatening.  For him to hint at there could be (and there would be) tension between us tells me that he will NEVER change. He is still as controlling as was when we were married. He does not know how to manage his money. He owes so much money to others. I'm just gonna have to bit the bullet and retain a lawyer to get rid of this supposal support. Lovely... more debt.  Either that, or negotiate with my former husband. Oh really... you don't say. Fun times... NOT!!!

7.15.2015

A Biblical Revelation about Debt

Greetings from cyberspace! As some readers may recall, one of my goals was to complete a one year devotional, which I did. Today I was reading in my new year long devotional, 'Jesus Calling' by Sarah Young (highly recommended) and it spoke of God's grace being sufficient, on a daily basis. The main scripture that it focused on is as follows - Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:34. Now, I know that there are many other scriptures regarding debt, but this particular one is one of my go-to scripture when I am having a tough day. And it hit me, that I am always trying to figure out future payments for my credit cards, and it was driving me crazy (cue up Britney Spears if you please). I have rough estimates on the minimum payments. I have a set amount allocated in my budget for credit card payments. So why do I constantly obsess about this. I should not be in control here. God should be in control. After all, we are instructed to give Him all our cares. The verse before this speaks that if we seek His Kingdom, all items we need will be provided through Faith. I have found that when I have sought Him in all things in my life, if I needed something, He provides. It is that simple. God knows that I need to make these payments. I just need to do my part. Which is trust Him in ALL aspects in my life. Personal, professional, financial and emotional. Not always easy, because we are human and we tend to think we can handle it on our own, when in actuality, we can't. At least, I can't. So, there you have it. Tired of worrying about what the minimum payment will be. Pray about it, pay it, and pay extra if able. Sounds pretty solid to me!