When I was a little girl, my kindergarten teacher made everyone in the class go aroun d in a circle and say what they wanted to be when they grew up. Answers were stock: athlete, singer, ballet dancer, football player, veterinarian. Yawn.

When it was my turn, I told the teacher that when I grew up i wanted to be a fire truck.

My teacher didn’t like this answer very much, and while I explained to her with my childhood logic that fire trucks were way cooler than firemen, and how important the role of fire truck was to every day society, she still wasn’t biting. But hey, this is America, and my mom said I could be anything I wanted to be. That just so happened to be a fire truck.

I am a dreamer. I accept this fact. Dreamers like me are often frowned upon in today’s society. We are seen as unrealistic and Impractical. Sometimes even lazy or possibly insane ( like I’m sure my kindergarten teacher thought of me).  I’ll admit that I often times spend so much time over analyzing everything that I fall short in the follow-through department.

I have big dreams of getting rich, having a big house, traveling the world, and living comfortably off of my investments. But I’m disorganized and chronically late. I want to learn skills but I lose interest quickly.  I want financial security, but I spend money impulsively. I have every resource I need to make my dreams a reality (lucritive business, common sense, high IQ….) but I falter at the ACTUALLY DOING IT part.

I want to be a fire truck. I want to race towards problems head on, equipped with a solution and hope for a better future.  I want to be a dreamer AND a doer. A dangerous mix, because then I might just change the world.

 

 

Post war and up through the 90s, a certain type of processed cheese was made readily available to school cafeterias and to food stamp recipient and those on the welfare system. Obviously those on the welfare and food stamp program are still able to purchase cheese with their food coupons and WIC cards, it’s just not labeled as ” government cheese” anymore because that would be offensive, and our society is entirely too obsessed with political correctness. Whatever.

Well apparently buying cheese these days with a food coupon is much the same as buying government cheese in the 60s. Same general rules of cheese purchase. It must be generic brand. And it must be in brick form. Sliced cheese is no-dice cheese.

I learned this tidbit of useful knowledge when I was stuck in the check out line at the grocery store behind a woman and her two screaming heathens. She had a whole slew of groceries, arranged in strategically calculated piles so that her 15 different food coupons would eventually cover the costs of each and every grocery grouping. things were moving along at a snails pace, as these things usually do when food coupons are involved. On side note, call me an asshole, but I personally think that there should be separate registers for A transactions. I mean, it’s bad enough that I have to bust my ass working insane hours to the point of exhaustion just to feed my own family. And then as an added kick to the nuts, I have to pay ridiculous amounts of taxes to supply those who want to have  litters of children they can’t support and refuse to even try to get a job, because the government is so happy to give handouts these days. So why should all of us hard working tax paying American have to waste our valuable time standing around waiting for those who refuse to help themselves, as they spend our tax dollars to serve their laziness? It confounds me. Now before I get an inbox full of hate mail, I will concede that there is a necessary function to the welfare society. Sometimes people get in trouble. They get laid off, they get in dire financial straits, and they genuinely need help. And these folks are cool in my book. They can check out in my line, no problemo. It’s the ones who abuse the the system that really get me livid.

Okay enough ranting. So I’m at the store, and this chick is taking forever with her purchase, and I have places to be. But the transaction is almost over and I’m getting real excited now, because I really want to just GTFO. And it comes down to the last item. THE CHEESE. This bitch had a package of presliced name brand cheese. So the nice lady at the checkout register kindly told her she would have to exchange her sliced cheese for store brand brick cheese. And ermahgerd, did this woman flip a bitch. She didn’t want brick cheese because she didn’t want to have to go through the hassle of slicing the cheese herself.

ITS FREE FUCKING CHEESE, YOU TOOL!!! Just take your government brick of cheese and get the fuck out of my lane!!! So after 15 minutes of whining to a manager and getting nowhere, she finally bought the brick of cheese and got the fuck out of my way.

As a final thought, I would like to add that since I was simply buying a gallon of milk, and left the line in under a minute, I was able to give her an evil stare down in the parking lot. I think it is important to note that she was wearing a Juicy Coture sweat suit, was carrying a Coach purse, and was driving a shiny new black Lexus.  I hope she took her brick of cheese and shoved it up her ass.

 

I write you this letter to inform you that our time together being united through one common vessel of interest, namely my dodge charger, is coming to a bitter close. I recently had the glory of making my very last car payment on the aforementioned vehicle, which was a very exciting day for me! Finally I was released from the clenches of sub prime auto financing!  You, 2.7 l V6 engine, obviously had other big plans in store for me. You have taken it upon yourself to begin ticking… An unnerving sound indeed. And while I can drown you out through the obnoxiously loud music I frequently play through my shitty stock speakers, I know that you are everpresent as people turn and stare in irritation whilst I chug-chug-chug past them. (mental high five to my cars’s limo tint). My mechanic has regarded you as a “disposable engine” and has advised me to get rid of you with a quickness; however you, oh knocking bane of my existance, are firmly bolted to my beloved and paid in full car. And thusly have waged war against us both. I refuse to give in to your bitchy ways, and since you are widely regarded among mechanics as the WORST engine Chrysler has ever made, I believe our relationship with one another will soon be expiring (much like your warranty did last year. Oh fate, you are a frigid bitch, indeed!). You will be unbolted from the bosom of my car, and sent to rot in the bowels of junkyard hell where you belong, you evil ticking demon spawn! And finally, after choking up a couple thousand dollars that I should never have had to spend, I will secure a new engine that is most assuredly NOT a 2.7l v6 (since you are such an epic failure pile of mechanical garbage), and all will be well with the world.

Sincerely,

The hand that feeds you

P.S. You are a douche

2012 financial goals2012 has arrived, and they say that however you spend your new year‘s eve is how you will also be spending the rest of the year as well.  Well, it was a banner year here at my place!  I spent the night in much the same fashion as I do every year….. on my couch…. with my dogs….. watching tv….. eating chinese food.  Yeah, nothing to write home about.  But I personally think that this is a good sign.  I mean, sitting on the couch being a lazy ass costs a grand total of ZERO dollars (well…. minus the cost of the sesamie chicken).  So fortune must have a low budget year in store for me, right?

Things were on an upswing with the paying down debt thing, but then one of our vehicles started having unexpected issues, and seeing as how it was locked into a sub-prime loan with horrifying interest rates, it seemed like a golden opportunity to unload the dead weight and upgrade to something more reliable.

On top of a new year, I also recently celebrated another birthday… the 27th one to be exact, which means I officially am down to 3 years to achieve my 27th birthday goalsfinancial freedom goal.   That includes having all outstanding debt paid off, except for a home loan (which I do not have yet but need to have one before the next 3 years is up).  Oh yeah, and a healthy stacked bank account.  I’m sweating in my proverbial boots.

But I have faith.  2012 is going to be a good year.  And a frugal one, too.



hair pullingSTRAPPED FOR CASH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?


Here are 10 cash generating ideas that will get those presents under the tree without putting you in debt.  Proceed with caution…. some of these methods are for the truly desperate.

Roll Change.  You might be amazed how far this one will get you.  Change is lying around everywhere, so spare changegather it up and start rollin!  I actually take this one step further.  I have a vase in my bathroom that I throw all of my loose change throughout the year in.  Around Thanksgiving I roll it all up, and put all the money towards Christmas presents.  Last year I rolled $350 in change.  You can also toss loose bills in the vase over the course of the year as well to get the tally up even higher.  (P.S. Don’t be lazy and use Coinstar.  Just suck it up and roll it yourself.  It’s actually very relaxing, and extremely rewarding.  You can even get the coin sleeves free from your bank)

Sell Clothes At Plato’s Closet:  The nicer the stuff, the more cash they give you.  I once sold them a couple pairs of jeans and got $30. Thats a Beef Summer Sausage from Hickory Farms.  Keep in mind when cleaning out your closet…. items must me laundered and in good condition.  They only accept name brand items, and the max they generally will dish out for a single item is $100.

Get A Seasonal Job: One that offers quick cash like waiting tables.  People tip big around the holidays.  I waitressspeak from experience here, and there are big bucks to be made with this one.  Bonus points for working on Christmas Eve.  I once made 200 bucks in tips on a 4 hour shift on Christmas Eve.

Ebay Your Junk:  They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  We’ve all got crap lying around that we aren’t ever gonna use again, so why not sell it?  Not only will you pocket some extra cash, but you will free up some closet space as well.

Yard Sale your junk that isn’t worth selling on Ebay:  People freakin’ love a good yard sale.  I’ve known people that yard sale as a career.  This is a much better option for those little things you have lying around that you never ever use.  Ask your friends for their junk, to maximize your selling potential.  Just make sure you post up signs around the neighborhood to drum up interest.

Pub Trivia.  For all you brainiacs and jeopardy fanatics, enter your local Pub Trivia contest!  There is usually a pretty good payout to the trivia winner!  Or for those lacking Mensa level IQs, there is always Bingo.

Collect Cans.  Why let dirty hobos have all the fun?  Think about it…. you get something like 10 cents for can collectingeach can you turn in.  You gather up 300 cans and you have just pocketed yourself 30 smackeroos.  Not a bad gig.  I know some residence-impaired individuals who support a hefty binge drinking habit using this method.

Fiverr.com:  Okay this one is for the truly desperate, and I have no personal experience with it, so I can’t really give it a thumbs up or down.  Anyway, you set up an account, and tell the world what you will do for $5.  And people purchase your $5 service online.  Example:  For $5 I will write your name on my nuts with a sharpie marker.  (don’t use that one though, I call dibs on it.)  You be the judge.

Swagbucks:  Again, I have never used this one, but I hear that with a lot of dedication and time invested, there is an actual payoff.  You use Swagbucks as your search engine just like you would Google, and over time you accumulate loyalty rewards points.  Every time you reach 45 points, you are awarded a $5 Amazon gift card.  You can also win prizes and enter sweepstakes.  Sweet.

Sell Yourself:  You don’t have to be a strumpet turning tricks or sell your kidney on the black market.  Thereno hookers are other methods of selling your goodies….

Plasma:  Blood banks need plasma, and they will usually compensate you for your time.  35 and up is the average going rate for plasma donation, and you will be helping someone in the process.  Plus, they screen your blood for communicable diseases before hand, which is a major perk for anyone, namely strumpets.

Platelets:   Same gig as the plasma… platelets usually take about 2 hours for a donation, but you can donate more frequently, which racks up the cash even quicker.  $50 is average payout for some platelets.

Hair: The approximate going rate is $5 to $10 per ounce, although some people can get pretty arrogant, and proceed to list their hair on types of hair ebays for top dollar.  I saw one women with a buy it now price of $2000 just for her hair.  I find this pretty laughable, seeing as how that is equivalent to the down payment on a Ford Focus, and nobody’s hair is that freakin’ nice.

Sperm: $50-$200 is the going rate for a good specimen.  This one takes a certain type of guy, but I think they give you the option of even being part of your little spawn’s life.  Just think…. you could have present money AND a bouncing baby boy for Christmas this year.  Score!  (literally…. with yourself..  bwahaha)

Nude Modeling:  Sometimes local artists and colleges need a nude model.  I would avoid answering want-ads and craig’s list posts for this one though…. seeing as how people are psycho and could be planning to ax murder you.  So make sure the gig is legit before you commit.

A side thought on Christmas shopping…..  now I’m gonna be honest.  I have not done one lick of holiday shopping this year, thus far.  None.  I have been avoiding the whole experience like the plague!!  (aka… Im freakin’ broke.  BROKE!)  And truthfully… I haven’t missed it.  I am not really that big on shopping to begin with.  I find it dull, and I find commission-hungry cashiers to be obnoxious and pushy.  Furthermore, our business has made me a fairly recognizable figure…. and the constant mingling and shameless self promotion can turn a simple shopping trip into an exhausting ordeal with a quickness.

My last post touched on how holiday shopping is heavily laden with pressure.  Consumers are pressured to buy bigger and better, and the tried-and-true American method of paying for things we can’t afford normally is to CHARGE IT.  Just ring it up on a credit card, and pay it back later.  What a novel idea.

Okay anyway, in order to drum up business this time of year, many stores will offer promotional coupons, one day sales, lay-away options, and my own personal favorite…. the store credit card!  Simple premise…. you sign up for a credit card with whatever store, you get 10% of that day’s purchase, and you get to charge it to your personal store credit line.  Freakin sweet, right?  I get a discount AND I get to charge it, like it’s free money at my disposal!

Not-so-much.  The problem with these store cards is that their interest rates tend to be super high…. we’re talking like 20% or more which is awful, sub-prime even.   And the real kick to the nuts is that it lowers your credit score to apply for new credit.  And this will keep affecting your credit score anywhere from 1-2 years from the date of the credit report pull.  Which in lamens terms will drastically reduce your chance of being approved for credit which you actually need.  This is because of two reasons.  Number one, obviously lower score means less of a chance of getting approved for loans, and also less desirable loan rates.  The other reason is because applying for multiple lines of credit within a short amount of time makes you look needy and desperate.  And nobody likes needy and desperate people.  Especially not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac….. although I’m convinced those suckers don’t like anyone.

Point is, if you have any desire to apply for credit to buy a new house or car over the next year, then don’t get baited into opening new credit lines at department stores.  The 10 bucks you might save on your hundred dollar purchase is not worth limiting your luck with lenders on the cool shit like houses and cars.  I hold tight to the idea that when it comes to gifting, if you can’t pay in cash, you have no business buying.  I know that this is not always feasible for everyone, so if you have no choice but to charge it, my advice is to use a card that is already in your wallet and has the lowest interest rate.  Good luck out there….

Ahhhh Christmas time….. so full of magic and joy…. and copious amounts of spending on presents for people you don’t even fucking like….

What is it about this time of year that makes me want to tap into my inner Grinch and scream “Bah-Humbug, everyone!”  Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is cool and all, and I like presents just as much as the next person (even though as I get older, the presents get significantly crappier and less desirable… maybe I just need new friends.)  Everyone wants to blame the lack luster Christmas spirit on the fact that Christmas has become too commercialized over the years. But I counter, has Christmas ever really been anything but commercialized?  Not in my lifetime at least.

Last Christmas was spent at the in-laws house, complete with present service for… let me think…. 9 kids in total.  This was the first Christmas all of us had spent together in…. well, ever probably.  Life has scattered all the BF’s siblings across the east coast, and getting together is a luxury that is generally avoided. Anyways, the whole event turned into a demented Griswold family Christmas (complete with the  ridiculous amounts of Christmas lights, of course.)  At some point sibling rivalry took hold, and everything became keep up with the Jones’,  and who could spend more money and look like the coolest aunt-or-uncle ever.  Now I reiterate, we are by no means rich….. and yet there we were buying multiple lap tops, PSPs, and DSis, just to keep face so we didn’t look like the loser aunt and uncle who buys crappy presents.

On Christmas morning, these kids were not even visible behind their mountains of presents…. and after the great present unwrapping ceremony which left the giddy children intoxicated on gluttonous gifting glory, there were still tears shed, because DSi’s were the wrong color, and one kid got more presents than the other.  So what does all this overindulgence have to tell me?  That we are all slaves to the system?  That Christmas is simply an institution that we must buy into like sheep?

Nope.  It tells me that I’m a fucking idiot for blowing all that money.

Yes.  Capitalism tells us that we must spend spend spend in order to provide a bountiful and rich holiday for our family.  American fundamentalist ideals dictate that the quality of the holiday is determined by a dollar amount…. not by…. okay, I’m gonna go out on a limb here….. LOVE.  Wait I’ve got another one lying around here somewhere…… oh yeah, TRADITION.

Exhibit A:  Here is a shining example of Capitalism at it’s very finest…. On black friday this year, jolly bargain hunters literally stampeded Wal-Mart like a heard of ravenous bison for a $2 Waffle Iron.  Literally.  Stampeded.  Wal-Mart.  FOR A WAFFLE IRON.  I don’t know about you…. but I’d be pissed if I got a waffle iron for Christmas.

HO HO HO you greedy bastards......

Exhibit B:  Another awesome example of all that is morally repugnant about this holiday.  L.A…  a woman uses PEPPER SPRAY on fellow shoppers in order to secure a discounted XBox.  Now I know L.A. is like a whole different planet, and the star-dust in everyone’s eyes generally makes its inhabitants act all crazy-like, anyway.  But this woman is a real gem.

A right jolly old elf

There is so much pressure on the American parent to create the perfect holiday…. it’s so easy to say, “if I just buy the perfect gifts, and buy the perfect tree, and buy the perfect food, etc… then I will then be able to essentially buy the quintessential Christmas, and have the perfect holiday memories to cherish forever!!!”  (cue the rainbows and butterflies….)  And so we buy…. we dip into savings…. we overdraft…. we max out credit cards with intentions of just paying it back later……. But let’s be honest…. when the dishes are put away and the shreds of wrapping paper are being towed to the trash, what we are left with is debt and guilt.

Truthfully, yes, I think that the holidays are overly commercialized.  But the holidays are simultaneous with giving, and therefore, this is something that is unavoidable in a sense.  And let’s be honest…. the extreme pressure to buy things is never ever going to go away.  But here’s the kicker…. we as free thinking human beings have the ability to actively choose to buy things…. we choose how much to buy, and when we buy. The part of me that is fundamentally jaded simply thinks that the vast majority of people are greedy and our intense need for instant gratification outweighs our sense of restraint and financial self-control every time.  We are consistently overindulgent on just about everything, and the holidays are just another excuse for us poor consumers to blame our shmorgishborg of ritualistic mass spending on the big evil corporations and their devious plots to bankrupt us.

And so I post a challenge.  You see, Christmas is the last major holiday of the year.  In the truest sense, it signifies the closing of the year and the beginning of another (among other things of course).  The time passed could have been good or bad, affluent or humble.  But it is in these times of change that we have the opportunity to resolve to make changes in ourselves and our environments.  Does that mean stop buying things?  Hell No.  Christmas without presents would suck.  But don’t get lost in the circus….. stand up to the pressure.  Make a reasonable budget, and stick to it!  And finally, and most importantly, keep in mind that our worth as a parent or a friend is not measured by the dollar amount we spend.  The traditions and togetherness we share will trump any gifts we give.

I say that buying my kids ten thousand dollars worth of presents will not buy them one ounce of character.

Okay, I’m done ranting for now.  Hallelujah…. where’s the Tylenol