It’s the end of the world as we know it

All of these are signs of the end of the world as I know it…

I called Comcast and reduced our cable subscription to the lowest possible that still gives me access to “Defiance,” “The Strain,” and “The Walking Dead.” At the end of the call I’d reduced my monthly bill by $85.

I cancelled my Hulu subscription.

I decided to empty out my storage room, which means getting rid of accumulated items that have been sitting in that room for three years.

I am going to share my brother’s Netflix subscription, which means I am going to  cancel mine.

And, oh, by the way, I’m thinking of cutting back on coffee. No, I’m not talking about giving it up completely. My sleep patterns go wonky when I give up coffee. But I’m up to somewhere between 4-6 cups a day. I think I need to cut back a little.

And that’s just the beginning …


A lunch dilemma

2014.01 lunch bagI was good today and brought my lunch to work. Brown-bag lunches are part of an attempt to keep my diet regulated and my budget under control. That is, I eat better and spend less money if I bring my lunch instead of going out to buy it.

I don’t want what I brought.

This happens frequently. I go to the trouble of packing a lunch, then when I eat it it’s boring or I just don’t want it. It’s the reality of being an emotional eater. I usually pick what I eat based on how I’m feeling. How I feel the night before, when I pack the lunch, is never how I feel when it’s lunchtime.

I’m just weird.

The good news is that, as a result, I never finish my lunch. The bad news is that by dinnertime I am starving.

I just can’t win.

I didn’t plan that!

As if I needed further proof that God hates me…

I bought a DSLR camera kit. I’d been lusting after one for quite a while but I couldn’t justify it to myself. I own a very nice point and click I bought mid-2012 that produces very nice shots. But I really really wanted a DSLR camera.

Christmas sales exist to make my life difficult. Amazon had been listing an “everything included” sale on a Canon Rebel T5i that literally had everything I ever wanted, including a long-range zoom lens, a tripod and an extra battery.

I really really wanted it.

I consulted with a friend who takes photos professionally. She told me to get it, that it was going to be the best deal I could find on this kind of thing. And still I paused.

“That’s a lot of money,” I kept telling myself. And I kept visiting the listing, secretly hoping that the sale would end and put me out of my misery.

I stayed within budget for all my Christmas expenses. I put aside the money for the New Year’s trip. I didn’t go crazy on any dinners, or presents or anything else.

“I deserve this,” I told myself. And still I paused. I knew that if I was going to buy it, I would need to put it on a credit card. The one that I’d almost paid off from my last shopping spree.

One morning, after Christmas, I finally gave in. Practically holding my breath, I ordered the camera kit. I entered my credit card info (secretly hoping they would deny the charge and save me from myself).

The camera was ordered. Amazon sent me a message to confirm that it would be shipped shortly.

I started to breathe easier. I should have known better.

Later that same day I cracked a crown. A subsequent visit to the dentist confirmed that I needed extensive work, again and on the same tooth as just a year ago.

How much is this going to cost me? You guessed it! Almost exactly the purchase price of the camera kit.

God is laughing at me. I just know it.

The first choice (college) — the good news and the bad

My niece got into the school of her choice! It’s great news, really… until you realize that it will cost her an estimaetd $54,000 a year to go there. Yes, you read that correctly: fifty-four THOUSAND dollars. That’s a little more than $200,000 for a four-year degree… assuming she doesn’t have any extra expenses.

I’m happy for her, and scared. If she doesn’t get really close on the funding (through financial aid and scholarships) I don’t see how she’s going to be able to go. 

I don’t want to be the person to tell her that. I don’t want to be the sole voice of reason (and doom) in the chorus of well-wishers. I want to believe that we’re going to find a way to send her there. I want to believe that it will all work out.

But I’m me, and historical data doesn’t lend itself to my being hopeful about something this big.

Join me in holding your breath for the next six months… 

Smart Shopping in October

Edited, Photo by Emma.

I don’t need anything new. I rarely do. I’m one of those people who buys new canned food when I still have at least one of each in the pantry. I buy sodas when I’m low. I buy new pants when I notice the ones I own are starting to show wear. The same with shoes and other things.

I don’t like to run out of things. I don’t like to suddenly reach for something only to find that it’s not there.

Yes, I know that’s a little OCD, but I’ve made peace with who I am.

For those of you who aren’t trying to save money, and may honestly need one of these things, Lifehacker has a list of items that are best to buy in October. These include Cars (I bought mine over the summer), digital cameras (and mine is just a year and a half off), and, surprisingly, wedding supplies.

Their list is longer, of course, but those popped out at me.

Oh yeah, and cookware. Now, maybe, I do need some pots and pans…

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Source: The Best Things to Buy in October || Lifehacker