Sunday, March 22, 2009

it is what it is-- and then a solution appeared!

Yesterday another financial surprise caught us off-guard. We were already tight on money because of the auto repair bill. The rest of the month's expenses were figured out & expected to be fine as long as were didn't spend anything in excess & stuck to the basics.

However, a bill that we thought was already accounted for got automatically deducted from our bank account yesterday, leaving us with only half of what we had left! That gave us $3 for ten days until pay day (the rest had to go to bills due before April). We would definitely need to buy gas, sheets for massage school, possibly food, send out books we sold on Amazon, and just $3 is never a good buffer in a bank account. Oh, we also don't use or have credit cards.

So this new financial surprise took the wind out of our sails, and we were both trying not to panic or let this define us. My husband went to lay down while I sat on the couch trying to think of some sort of strategy to keep our account from going in the red. But I just couldn't think of one.

At first I tried blaming my husband for not being sure that this bill was already paid, but that didn't work. Then I tried blaming myself for paying for my massage school up front when I also had the option of paying it in multiple payments, which would have left us with a nice chunk right now. But that didn't work since there was nothing I could do about that now, and since I still stand by the reasoning my husband & I had for paying it upfront.

That is when I wrote the "it is what it is" entry yesterday. I felt that was all I could really do. Then with perfect timing at the very end of that entry, right before I wrote "Thank you," a solution came to me! It seemed so obvious I was surprised I hadn't thought of it before. So I wrote "Thank you" to whoever for giving me the solution, and went straight to Aaron. He was quite delighted with it too and couldn't believe how obvious it was, especially since we had done it before.

My husband and I have this happen to us often enough (moreso in college) where we are faced with an extraordinary financial issue that has the potential to extremely stress out. But once we accept the situation for what it is a solution come to us. In college the solution would be an unexpected, random check to us in the mail within days, or something similar in nature. We were not eligible nor capable then to solve those financial issues the same way we can today.

I'll share what we did though I only recommend it if you truly know you can pay it back, and if this situation isn't a common one for you, but rather is born out of extraordinary, rare circumstances. (That's just my opinion.) We took out a cash advance with Advance America/Cash Advance. We used them once before when we first moved into this apartment, got our car and were extremely tight on cash with all the extra expenses from that month. It was a helpful, short term loan that we were more than able to pay back a couple weeks later. The same applies to the situation we are in now, and this solution works for us. If we did have an "emergency" credit card, we are afraid we would find other non-emergency excuses to use it, so for now we're still holding off on getting one.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

it is what it is

Sometimes it's just hard when you know you have no one or no thing to blame. Even when I try to take the blaming route, I just end up back where I am knowing it is what it is. So trying to blame something is useless, and so is going "If I had only..." because you obviously didn't and it is what it is.

Sometimes it's just hard not knowing what you're going to do. Even when you try to think of strategies to help relieve the situation, and you find none of them really work... it's just hard sometimes to accept it is what it is.

But that's what it is. Try to remember that this too shall pass. That's all you can do sometimes.

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the car has access to our bank account

Along with the exciting event of signing up for massage school, something else happened this past weekend. My husband and I were driving to the mall when we started hearing this odd noise coming from under the car. We had no idea what it was, and still don't, but it caused us to pull the car over and check it out. For a couple weeks our brakes have been squeaking but we kept putting off getting them checked out. Well, my husband pulled off the hubcap looking to see what caused this odd noise and also saw how dangerously low the brake pads were.

Seeing how bad they were made us take the car into a shop right away that day. Turned out all our brake pads and rotors had to be replaced. Can you say $907 bill? Haha.

However my reaction and viewpoint on the situation wasn't "Oh my god, this bill totally sucks! Eff those mechanics/my car!" (By the way, our used car is 11 years old with probably nothing having been replaced on it.) How I saw it was "Thank goodness this happened now when we just got our tax return back, and have a surplus of money." Do you know how many people are out there that simply wouldn't be able to get their car fixed with a bill that high?

My husband was a bit upset at first because he thought it might ruin how happy I was Saturday (from enrolling in school). But I explained how I viewed the situation and was just grateful; that made him feel much better and he was quite thankful too.

This is also the first month that we don't have any credit cards sucking hundreds of dollars from us, hence the extra money. Funny thing is our car has a tendency of speaking up about getting fixed when we actually have extra money to do it. Thank you, little green car!

PS- That odd noise that made up pull over in the first place stopped once we actually pulled over and hasn't returned since.

Edit for Friday:
Check out Melissa's post at The Inspired Room to see links to other people's posts about their inspired week, and share yours too if you want :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yay! Enrolled in massage school!

Friday was my last day at the temp office job, and at 10AM Saturday I enrolled at the massage school under their Holistic Health Practitioner program!

Here's what I'll be learning in the first six weeks:
  • Swedish Massage
  • Intro to Senior Massage
  • Intro to Pre-Natal Massage
  • Intro to Deep Tissue Massage
  • Contraindications
  • Anatomy
  • Business/Marketing
  • Body Mechanics
  • Ethics
  • Self Care for the Massage Therapist
  • Student Clinics
And then I can take extra classes during the week night and weekend, which I plan to take. On the menu: reflexology, hot stone massage, herbs & nutrition, and more!

I start in a couple weeks :)

From this morning.
I got the freesia flowers from the farmers' market yesterday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the sugar experiment

I am a bit of a sugar addict. I don't know an average person's sugar cravings but I am always in the mood for sugar, unless I just finished overdosing on it. Brownies, ice cream, cinnamon buns, pie, cookies, cupcakes, chocolate... the list goes on and I always desire it. Just a couple weeks ago I make some brownies, bought some vanilla ice cream, and had the combination of the two for dinner every night that week. That is not good, at all.

So this week I'm consciously trying to not eat (junk) sugar except:
  • When I add it to coffee.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • If someone gives me some for whatever reason (ie a co-worker brings in leftover birthday cake)
The last one hasn't happened in a while but if it did I know I'd eat it, or regret not eating free cake.

I have already said "No" to the Starbucks cupcakes and tarts, and have passed up a couple sugar opportunities. I think I can keep this up, and I want to as well. I also want to see if my sugar scale-down has any effect on my body. Sugar can really bloat a person and is just plain unhealthy.

Now I just need to up my calcium and protein intake. How pitiful a person's diet can become if you stop being mindful of it, and let it fall to the wayside. But I'm always up for attempting again and again at making it healthy, so I don't beat myself up over it. It's just interesting that several months ago I was eating quinoa, fresh veggies, brown rice and eggs, and then reverted back to easy, sugar fixes. Don't worry, Quinoa, I haven't forgotten you yet!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Advice to myself in regards to massage school

Be gentle with yourself. You are there to learn, not to go in knowing everything.