Five Midsummer Goals

Funny about Money challenged me and other bloggers to come up with five new goals or ideas to improve our financial life, here in midsummer 2008. Then we’ll see, come the end of the year, whether any of these bear fruit.

Five new goals, huh?


Okay, here’s we go…

1. Increase deposits to savings account by $250 per month. On the surface this should be easy since I’ll be saving the $200-$250 per month I was paying for Son’s preschool. Then again I am about to quit my job, so it’s a good goal.

2. Monetize a blog. I’m not sure if this one should be monetized, but I’ve been wanting to start a profit-making blog for awhile.  Stay tuned.

3. Sell all of my saleable stock. I have a bunch of baby clothes, toys and other miscellanea that needs to go on Craigslist or be sold in some other way. Gee, wonder why no one’s buying it. Oh, that’s right. It has to be listed so they know it’s for sale…

4. Get Quicken, or another money management software (suggestions welcome!). It’s embarrassing that I have not done so yet. I have my own method of random organization bolstered by masses of receipts. It’s quite effective, as you can imagine. I’d like to be able to get my taxes ready for filing by February 1 next year, instead of this year’s April 13th chaos (hey, I was two full days early!).

5. Cut restaurant spending. This is the largest area of waste in our budget. Between Husband ordering lunches and me having pleading that I’m too tired/busy/pre-menstrual too cook, we could save considerable moolah by cutting down this unnecessary spending. My new goal will be two dinners and two lunches per month. Think I should run that by Husband first? Nah.

Those are my five midsummer goals. I’m going to tag five more people, and they’ll tell five friends, and they’ll tell five friends, and so on and so on and so on…

If you aren’t tagged and would like to participate just link back to this post and I’ll post your link here. Ifyou don’t have a blog go ahead and tell us your goals in the comments!

Five bloggers who will have terrific goals and ideas:


Square Peg in a Round Hole

I’m not a minute-detail-oriented person. I’d love to knit and have tried to do so many times, but that type of close work drives me insane. Following in my father’s footsteps and becoming an accountant? The stuff of nightmares. I’m not the type that is a secretary. I’m the type that needs a secretary.

As an example: I can’t type. Well, I can a little. I actually took a typing class in ninth grade, but moved to a school district offering fewer class periods per day so abandoned typing after learning only asdfghjkl;. My own weird hunt and peck method results in some occasionally hilarious and all-too-frequent typos, as my online friends can certainly attest.

Why, then, did I take a job that involved minute attention to detail, almost exclusively?

It was a great opportunity, working with a someone I really like and admire. Then there’s the money, which isn’t too bad. Also, I thought I’d pick it up fairly easily; after all, I’m a quick study. Then there’s the money.

It’s perfect! The only problem is I absolutely hate it.

I’m no good at it. I admit it.

I knew I’d need a working knowledge of Word, which I thought I had. And I do, as long as I don’t have to take into account that I must edit very complicated embedded tables set to other computers’ specifications, and try one of three thousand eight-hundred and sixty seven possible fixes, none of which work.

But even more telling, I must first see the error I’d never ever, ever EVER notice on my own. See, this line should span three spaces and not four, and that line should be underlined twice, not once. Or something equally trivial but of utmost importance to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is important work. A mistake on my part could be big trouble for the client, and many mistakes put the account in jeopardy, as it should.

I don’t want that kind of pressure in a part-time gig. I don’t want to have to sit around, like I am today, waiting for others to look at a file and make sure they don’t want to make any changes. I don’t want the pressure that comes with filing deadlines and client peccadilloes.

I just don’t want it.

Why haven’t I quit?

Well, there are parts I’m good at. There was no learning curve for me with dealing with the clients and coordinating jobs with sub-contractors. I’m pretty darn good at it. Most of them have no idea how brand-spanking- new this is for me. I have a great ability to sound like I know exactly what I’m talking about when I do not, and I’m savvy enough to know exactly how far out on a limb I can safely go.

And yeah, I’m pretty smart. I learn quickly, but I wasn’t learning this quickly. So out of my frustration and pride grew an intense desire to tame the beast. To be good at it just because I wanted to be good at it. To conquer it.

Now, after two months of struggling and working around things and arranging to take a Word class (which won’t teach me these complicated fixes anyway) and trying to find a way to make it work I had the same epiphany I had after the last time I tried to learn knitting:

It’s okay not to be good at everything. There’s some things that while valuable, and easy for others, are just not worth the effort it would take me.

I’m wonderful with people, a superb marketer, a great project coordinator, a terrific delegator. I’m creative and innovative and dependable and trustworthy.

No matter how hard we try we just can’t make me fit into this work. I’m okay with that, and truth be told I think she’ll be a little bit relieved. She trusts me, and in this unique circumstance she has to have someone she trusts. But she also needs someone who can see all of the grooves in these very complex holes.

And that ain’t me. Thank you, G-d.

Deal of the Day July 30, 2008

I was just telling DH that I must see Mamma Mia…

Let’s face it, a night out to the movies can be quite a budget breaker. Enter AMC Theaters to the rescue with this printable coupon. Print it out for use on any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday for a free small popcorn with the purchase of any size fountain drink. Expires 08/05/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Monday Link Love

The Festival of Frugality was hosted at Antishay Ventenne this week, and my post Freezing Increased Food Costs was included.

Other great reads include:

The Carnval of Money Stories was hosted at Almost Frugal this week, and included my post Sure, We’ll Pay You for Not Delivering the Car….

Also check out:

The Carnival of Personal Finance was hosted at Taking Charge this week and included my article Take the Park the Car challenge.

Also clickworthy:

Special Thanks to Gather Little by Little for including my post 43 Good Facts to Know in her Friday Gathering – Life change edition roundup.


Deal of the Day July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Adam!!!

In addition to some great Back to School sales and their Customer Appreciation Week, Staples is cutting most in-store personal purchases by 12% via this printable coupon. Excluded items include personal computers, laptops, gift cards, phone cards and postage stamps. So, about all that leaves to buy is office supplies, a few tech items, and furniture. Expires 08/02/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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And the Soul Wears Out the Breast…

Death can come in an instant, or it can be a long, lingering process as the soul fights the body for just one more day.

When my stepmother died it was nine days from beginning to end, and I didn’t actually believe she was going to die until the day she did. I’ve always thought it was a blessing that she went as quickly as she did, both for her and for my family. Watching a loved one suffer and deteriorate is ravaging to all.

If it’s a sudden death, though, you feel robbed. Robbed of time to say everything you want to say, robbed of one more look, one more smile, and you’d give your right arm for just one more hug. If you believe in G-d, as I do, it’s hard to understand why He would want anyone to linger. Perhaps He’s giving people time to resolve their lives, or perhaps sometimes He thinks the soul has more work to do (have you ever seen the movie Defending Your Life? Go rent it!), or perhaps He thinks someone has more of an impact to make.

That last can certainly be said for Randy Pausch, the computer science lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University whose “Last Lecture” became a huge sensation when it was posted on youtube. I’m sure Randy hoped he’d make an impact on those present, but I doubt he could foresee that his speech would be viewed nearly 4,000,000 times, not to mention the news coverage and clips millions of others were lucky enough to see.

So, yeah, he definitely had more of an impact to make.

Job well done, Randy, but now you can rest.

Thank you for sharing, Randy.

Deal of the Day July 27, 2008

Happy Monday!

Michael’s is offering a rare, terrific printable coupon for 20% off your entire purchase!  Where was this last week when I was getting ready for Son’s birthday party?

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Deal of the Day July 27, 2008

Here’s for the littlest people and those who adore them.  Welcome to the world, little Nathan!

Babies “R” Us is again offering $5 off purchases of $25 or more with coupon code 923288. As usual, exceptions include diapers, formula, and gift cards. Other online savings includes their clearance sale with price reductions of up to 60%. Expires 07/27/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Deal of the Day July 26, 2008

To kick-off the anniversary celebration and in commemoration of National Cheesecake Day on July 30, The Cheesecake Factory restaurants will offer every delicious slice of its more than 30 varieties of cheesecake with a dollop of nostalgia by featuring all cheesecakes at $1.50 per slice, limit one per guest, on that day.

In addition, a special, limited edition cheesecake, the 30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, will be introduced on July 30 with $0.25 from the sale of each slice sold this year benefiting the national hunger-relief organization, America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network. Additional activities will be announced throughout the year.

I’m not a cheesecake fan myself, but I have a feeling Husband will be dropping by…

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Thirty-nine Hours

Thirty-nine hours.

My Dad’s big move from the 5 bedroom house to the 2 bedroom condo is was today, and I’ve been out there all day every day this week packing and organizing what’s going, what’s staying and what’s going to be donated. There is much craziness, especially since Son’s birthday party is on Saturday.

At this point there is nothing done for this party, except for the invitations. I have not finalized the menu, done the goodie bags, decided on a cake, nor gone to Costco, Publix or Walmart.

And I’m not crazed. Which is very surprising, considering that this is the only large party I throw each year, how anal I usually get (just ask my sister-in-law) and how normally 90 percent of what needs to be done would be done by now.

So, tomorrow I will take Son to his swim lesson and afterwards drop him off with my sisters (who came into town to help with the move). Then I will do two weeks worth of errands in one afternoon, start the set-up, bake most of the cakes (I think I’m doing cars, which means several separate cakes). Saturday I’ll have plenty of help from my sisters, which is good since I’ll need at least four hours to decorate the cake(s) and the party starts at two.

I know I don’t have to put new Son-centric labels on the Play-doh or spend six hours on a cake, but I enjoy it, and so does Son.  Last year he and his friend A sat mesmerized by the train cake I made, practically drooling with anticipation.  Son has an unhealthy love of cake, but really, who can blame him?

So, do it I will. And if there are only burgers and dogs and two types of hors d’oeuvre instead of ten, so be it.

And in forty-eight hours I will get to relax and enjoy the memory of my son’s glee as he blows out the candles, sees his friends and plays hard enough to make him fall asleep before his head hits the pillow.

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