6.27.2015

The Mid-Year Goals - Revamped

Greetings from cyberspace! After doing some reflecting and prayer, below are the updated goals. The biggest change (no surprise here) is the Financial and Professional Goals. Being that I feel off the track (again... really getting tired of falling off!) these areas took some hits, thus, I have had to re-adjust some of them. I just need to make sure I keep an eye on my triggers.

Financial - 2015
  • Complete Baby Emergency Fund by October 1st
  • Pay Off 15% of current debt
  • Save $500 for Christmas
Personal - 2015
  • Complete the Bible in One Year app on my iPhone/iPad
  • Re-read Jesus Calling
  • Read at least 6 books from my current NOOK/Kindle library
Health - 2015
  • Complete a 5K within 40 minutes - Mission Accomplished!
  • Go to gym 6 days for at least 1 hour of exercise
  • Lose 20 lbs
Professional - 2015
  • Read monthly professional journal and complete CE exams within journal
  • Clean up email box by end of September
Well, I am heading out to go to a church BBQ, and to listen to some awesome messages.

6.26.2015

Changing Dynamics - Part III

Greetings from cyberspace! Continuing this theme, I want to address my dynamics with Buttercup. Long time readers know that I am an enabler. It is a behavior that I have been working on changing for a long time. It is not easy, but I am getting much better at it. With that being said, when I went to see my daughter, I noticed a change in her. She actually said sorry to me for her behavior. She actually cried. Now it does not mean it is all perfect. There is still a lot of work to do, but we are in a different place than we were last year at this time. Heck, even in a better place that six months ago. I honestly believe the difference is that I have been in prayer and have invited God to help with the healing. Our talks have been better, but when she gets in the 'please help me Mommy' mode, I have to step back and assess what the real need is. And I have been making this a regular practice with her. For example, her car. She needed an oil change, but she did not have the money for it. I can't afford any major repair but an oil change, yes. So this was a need that I was able to meet. What I can't meet is her desire for me to co-sign a lease. I can't or won't do it. It would jeopardize my own goals. She is struggling right now trying to find a place to live, and thus she and her fiance are having to move to another state to live with his family, which meant she had to quit her job. And start over - again. I pray that they will be able to find a job, and find one quickly. So, I can already see that she will be calling for financial assistance, and it will have to be the very minimum. And like I said, I will need to assess each need and determine the appropriate level assistance. Now I am not saying that I will fail and cave in. What I am saying that I will make the concentrated effort to NOT cave in. There is a fine balance that I need to accomplish. A lot of work. A lot of effort. I just hope and pray that she will be able to get on her own two feet. I know it will be a while, and there will be lots of frustrating, desperate calls. But we have a new understanding of each other and will each work on our communications and a plan together. This is not going to be an easy dynamic change, but it is one that I am working the hardest on.

On a side note, here is an update with the other dynamic changes.

The dynamics with my cousin has changed a bit. She got her eyes opened up to her behavior by one of our neighbors, and she has been making more of an effort to watch her behavior. Part of it is that I have distanced myself from when she wants to go hang out. I know she will start, and I just an tired of being her keeper. And I have mentioned this to her. Thus her making more of an effort to watch her behavior.

Hawk. Well, there has been an interesting shift with him. Before I left on vacation, I helped him work on his house a couple of days to get it ready for renters. What an eye opener for this gal. Yes he is a super nice guy. Attractive. Fun to hang out with. But he's a pack rat, and somewhat disorganized. That would drive me bonkers. Yeah. Definitely friends is best. And I honestly believe that he does not know what he wants for his life as in a mate. I know what I want. Hawk has nearly all of the qualities that I am looking for EXCEPT for the items above. I hope that he finds what he is looking for. We can hang out but that's it. Unless God's will is for us to become more, I am ok with what we have. 

So all in all, life is pretty good. Except being in debt. 


6.25.2015

Very Cool Idea, The Quicken Crash & Burn, and The Debt Tracker 2.0

Greetings from cyberspace! I have been on the hunt to look for a mini budget binder or book, and have not found ANYTHING I like that is within my price point. Until today. One of my daughter's former middle school teacher posted something on her Facebook wall. I took a moment to review it. It is perfect. It is the perfect solution for me. It's a mini budget binder. Small enough to carry around. Organized, simple and easy to use. I don't think it will cost me much to put it together. I will have to post the cost after I have create the mini budget binder. In other news, my Quicken software program crashed and burned. I re-installed, and  tried again. Nope. Still didn't work. I completely deleted all my backup. Re-installed and tried again. Nope... It would get hung up trying to add accounts. I think it is my computer, and buying a new one is NOT an option. And finally, I re-did the Debt Tracker. This time I created two of them. One for the money loans and the other one for credit card. Also, I made the decision to reset the total debt amount to coincide with my mid year goals, which I will be posting over the weekend.  By the way, a huge thanks to Michelle at Making $ense of Cents for the motivation and inspiration to re-look and re-vamp my goals. And as for all the action items I posted earlier this week, the only one left is to contact the collection agency. See.. progress!

6.22.2015

Back in the Saddle Again... Really?

Greetings from cyberspace! Today is Monday, and I'm back from vacation. The first part of my vacation was good (getting ready to see and subsequently visiting Buttercup) was awesome. The last part, not so awesome, for I got some sort of stomach bug that put me down for three days. It was awful. I felt so weak that I could not go to they gym. It was bad enough that I did a lot of errands, ie grocery shopping with my cousin, and it was hot and dry, as opposed to hot and humid, and my body was saying... 'Hello Rhitter... you need to slow down and rest'. Good grief. And I really wanted to go to the beach. Never happened. Sigh. However, I was able to get caught up on some reading and watch quite a few episodes of House of Cards (which is fantastic).  There are quite a few items that I need to put into motion before July 1st.  Why July 1st? Because it will be the beginning of a new quarter. What items do I need to do. Sigh.. pretty busy.
  1. Make space in desk for receipts
  2. Re-purpose coupon holder for cash envelopes
  3. Take credit cards out of wallet and find secure place to store them.
  4. Print out debt reduction plan and bi-weekly budget for the rest of the year.
  5. Contact collection agency regarding old bill (Round gazillion!)
So, as you see - one week worth of actions. One action per day during the week.  By the end of this week (which is a payday, thank goodness), I can work on operating on cash only. I've done it before. I can do it again. I just need to keep on it.  And then the final action item, which will be on Saturday/Sunday is create new goals.

6.20.2015

Goals Mid Year Review - 2015

Greetings from cyberspace! As we near the mid-year mark, it's time to review the goals and see if they need to be adjusted.  Well, I can tell you even before I write this... most definitely they need to be adjusted. What a surprise.

Financial - 2015
  • Complete Baby Emergency Fund by June 30th - Ummm.... Not gonna make this goal, but I will be able to complete this before the end of August.
  • Pay Off 5% of 41,074.41 (-$2053.72) per Quarter - Ummm.... This is going to take some extreme budgeting to get caught up. I'm calling this a no. I will be lucky to pay off 10% by end of year.
  • Save $500 for Christmas - Ummm... Like the goal above, this is going to take some very creative budgeting to make this goal.
Personal - 2015
  • Complete the Bible in One Year app on my iPhone - On target.
  • Re-read Jesus Calling - On target
  • Read at least 24 books from my current NOOK/Kindle library - Ummm... kind of behind on this, but then again, this is a matter of prioritizing my time.
  • Read additional 12 books for book club
Health - 2015
  • Complete a 5K within 40 minutes - DONE!!!! I completed this at the beginning of this month!
  • Go to gym every day for at least 1 hour of exercise - Ummm...somewhat on target, except for when I was on vacation. Otherwise, I have been very good about this. The only day I don't work out is on Sunday. I will do some yoga at home, but other than that, I have been faithful.
  • Lose 20 lbs - I've lost about 15 lbs so far. I need to weigh myself since I've been home, but I will be able to get back on track very quickly.
Professional - 2015
  • Read monthly professional journal and complete CE exams within journal - Are you kidding?? This is just a major fail for me.
  • Complete my 2015 re-assessment test by the end of the year - I have a re-certify one of my credentials at the end of this month. Yikes... 
  • Keep my email box below 50 emails by the end of a each week - Are you kidding? I get so much email that I can't keep up.  I think I need to modify this.
Well, there you have it.  Rhitter is still just trudging along. I think I need to stop obsessing for the moment. Time to step back, re-prioritize and get back to the drawing table. For right now, I am going to sit and find a movie on Netflix to watch. I haven't felt well all day long.

BTW - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all Dad's and Single Mom's out there!

6.19.2015

Memories of My Visit with Buttercup

Greetings from cyberspace! I started this post while in-flight from Chicago to San Diego, which by the way, my travel day really just sucked. For any Chicagoans, I apologize ahead for this statement. I really dislike O'Hare Airport. I had my flight departure time delayed three times and my gate changed twice. Good times. In honestly, the weather in Dallas was the culprit, but being that I have been thru this with O'Hare, in particular with American Airlines, I felt the need to blame the airport. Getting to Missouri was a breeze. Getting home, not so much. Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled post. My visit with Buttercup went so much better than my visit from last year. She actually spent time with me and we talked. It was great to reconnect with my daughter. She still has a lot of growing up to do, but hopefully, our line of communication is more open, and our conversations are more honest. I may not always agree with what is going on in her life, but she is willing to listen instead of shutting me out. It gives me hope. Real hope. I also believe that all the prayers that my church, family and friends as well as my own made the difference. And now, I just need to keep up the praying. The weather was typical, hot, humid.. bleh. We had a least two good days of weather. I spent a lot of time at Barnes and Noble using the Wi-Fi (being that Buttercup's father does not have internet) or at the library that was close to my daughter's work. I really did not want to drive back and forth, wasting gas, whereas I could read and or watch some Netflix.  Buttercup and her boyfriend did everything they possible could to make my visit wonderful. We rented some movies that I hadn't seen yet. I cooked a few of my daughter's favorite meals for her. Even her father and I got along okay. (We only had one pissing contest, but it was long overdue) I have to say, Mission Accomplished! Here are a few pictures from the visit.

My Mother's Day Gift - she waited until I came out there to give it to me.  I just love this
The first day.  Just wanted to hold her and never let go. Happy Momma!

Sequiota Park, Springfield, MO - We hiked around, and then followed the trail walk, just talking.

This was at the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, MO. It was HUGE! I loved exploring the whole store.
This was my Mother's Day dinner. We went to the restaurant where she works. Food was FABULOUS!
Buttercup and her boyfriend. Really enjoyed meeting and hanging out with him. 
Being dropped off at the airport. It took every ounce of strength to say good-bye.
Thank goodness for my glasses. I had tears in my eyes (I'm tearing up as I write this)


6.15.2015

Greetings from Springfield, MO

Greetings from cyberspace! I'm at a library in Springfield, Missouri while I am visiting Buttercup! It's been a good visit so far. She's been pretty open to all topics of conversations. Budget wise, I've been doing okay on the budget, but I am sure I may have gone over. By how much??? I am not sure. I did tell her that I would pay for gas for her driving me around, and some incidentals. Other than that, she's pretty much paid for herself, which I am very proud of her. Just need to get her on board to a budget. She will get there. I only have a few more minutes on the computer. I needed to check my weekly budget, and now I need to get down and dirty when I get home. It's kind of hard to see where I am right now when I don't have my computer with me, but I have an idea now that I can see what my basic budget on my web app. I just need to write down some stuff on paper, and then transfer when I get home. So much fun. On the personal and home front, there is a lot of stuff going on, which I don't have time to write about right now, but maybe on the plane ride home, I can sit and write and then upload when I have Wi-Fi.  Until then - hugs all around!