I was thinking today about..  Where would I have ever learn good money values? Not at home. My parents are wonderful people. My father is the 2nd boy in a family of 4 children where his Mother was a single welfare mom. His alcoholic father had walked out on them when my dad was very young. My mother is the 2nd oldest girl in a good catholic family with 12 children. They both grew up with so very little. Neither of them grew up with any money sense at all.  If there were book out there on how to really screw up all money situations,kill the golden goose and spend down all principle and have very little to show for it at the end of the day this book would be written by my parents. They followed in their parents foots steps on having more children then they could afford, although there are only 3 of us. My Mother is a very smart woman that has a college degree that she chose to never use. My father dropped out of school in 8th grade to take care of said alcoholic father, joined the air force at an early age and did 3 tours of duty. They married and settled in my hometown where my father took night classes. My father got a job at a big company that he stayed with until he retired this past summer. This is a post in itself and is in our blog future. My mom worked at a night shift job that was not good. She was an anonymous whistle blower on the owner and the situation ended badly. She got a lesson in how money does prevail even when someone does the wrong thing. She left the job and was not able to find a job that would use her degree. She went to work in an all night coffee shop in a hotel.   My Dad is good natured a hard worker and very intelligent. He rose fairly quickly in his company and became somewhat of an expert. That is something one could do in the 70’s ever without a college degree. My mom is an ideological gal with socialist tendency, not so good natured, some what opinionated with crazy problems with authority <yes she was a flower child of the 60’s so I get that she comes by it honestly>.  The fact that she never used her degree is the reason I don’t have one. The martyr card she played so often in my childhood resounded in me that my Dad with his 8th grade education but good worth ethic trumpted my Mother with her college degree and refusal to ‘work for the man’.  They bought a cheaply made old tiny house that was way out of their league to maintant and/or fix up. They never had savings ever. They lived paycheck to paycheck. My father has a 3 pack of cigaretts a day habit. I cannot imagine what he has spend on that gross habit. My Dad is fond of saying that I had the worst time ever when it came to asking for things. I always asked when they were broke. My older brother knew exactly when Dad got paid so he learn to get what he wanted. My other brother was born years later so I was not even in the house for most of his kidhood but he was fairly spoiled and still is to a degree that I believe to be unhealthy.  My parent do not run a household of fairness. It has always been whoever had the greatest need got the money. It is still this way to this day. My brother’s and I are all married. I know both of my brothers have asked for and recieved substantial sums of money from my parents in the past couple years. I asked them what they could afford to contribute to my wedding 5 years ago but other then that I have not taken any money from them since I was 20.


I mentioned in a previous post that I would write about health. Currently I am about 25  pounds heavier then I’d like to be.  So currently I am spending $34.95 <I think> on a Weight watchers pass that allows me to use the tools and go to the meetings. I spent apx. $100 dollar a month on a gym membership that includes childcare and a permanentlocker and that is literally 6 minutes away from my house. I use the pass and it has help me lose 15 pounds. I am forever at the gym. I take 4 yoga classes a week and get in 3-5 cardio sessions in a week. I think the gym is a Zenspend in a lot of ways. I am not so sure about the WW pass. I will see next week when I return to going to the meetings. I was having a tough time balancing time commitments this summer and attending the actual meeting fell to the way side. I still use the on line tools though.. They are helpful. However, I liked the class I took last year at my gym for weight loss a little better, however it was 166.44 a month on top of my membership. I was closer to my goal when it ended but gained the weight back and then a few pounds. So it was not manageable. I really looking for something that works with my real life not a life that I can do 12 weeks at a time. Lord knows that if you could buy being at your optimal weight I would have. No questions. I am sure knowing me, I would not even have looked at that price tag. I have had surgery for weight loss. It has helped me keep off over 100 pounds for 7 years. I actually look at it as the tool that took me from morbidly obesity to just a normal weight loss struggle. At the time I was working in the travel industry, my insurance payed for all but co-pays of at the time $200.  I remember seeing the 28k price tag on the insurance claims that  came to my house. Since then I have had reconstructive plastic surgery, I chose to have my operation preformed in another country. I went to a consultation at what is considered one of the best medically facilities in our country and was quoted 45k. I left the country and had the same thing for 11k plus the benefit of substantiallymore care. Here they sent you home after surgery, there was in the hospitalfor 3 days recovering before I went back to the hotel. So I am not kidding when I say if I could just pay for it I would. I do eat health foods. I belong to a CSA that provides beautiful organic fruits and vegetables. I have a garden that I too grow great foods at. I just have the sweet tooth from hell. I have a coffee addiction that consums me.

This is not a zenspend. $170.34 at the grocery store. A shopping cart full of crap.

1. Went hungry

2. Took a hungry Wonderboy < who rarely ever sees the inside of the grocery store>

3. No list

4. Night time to tired to think about the prices ect…

5. My Honey is away this week. < the crap that I allow in the house when no one is watching is shameful>

6. My cravings were all out of control because of hormones.

I will look over the receipt tomorrow and get to the bottom of what I was not realizing… It will last for over 2 weeks so it is not that far off of budget it is just so shocking to see the numbers. My Honey is a great shopper so a while ago he took it over because my impulse control is … non existent. If I see something new I have to try it. So in hindsight I would have hightailed it home and ordered pizza.

Car Detailing

September 9, 2008

So recently I got a new <to me> car. My Honey and I were trying to figure out what to do with my old car. We had bought it used and planned for 3-4 years of use and the 4 years were up.I was ready for a different car. My honey was thinking about driving it to work since it get better gas mileage then his. Before he could do that I went our and mucked it out… seriously Wonderboy and I had committed crimes against this cars interior that I am not proud of. So after it was mucked… I started thinking maybe it need detailing.  So I looked around and a place that had a package for $69.95 which didn’t include the seat Shampooing…I called and found out that that would be $29.95. which brought the price up to the prices everyone else was quoting. Then I saw a coupon section on the website.. Free Seat shampoo with the price of Interior detailing! I could not get me crazy print to work for the life of me… I unplug it like it was I checked the ink… ARG! So I thought I would  mention it and see if we could deal when I got there.. on the way however I had to stop to drop off and pick up some books at the library. I look over and low and beholdthey have a printer and charge only $.10 So I quickly asked the library how one would access the computer at the library. It was very easy. In less then a minute I was on my way with my coupon that saved me $30 bucks. Yay! I love the library.

So preschool started again and this year we are doing 5 mornings a week. Wonderboy is at a school he loves with teachers that are crazy about him. I am shocked at the cost though… $570 a month for five mornings a week… from 9 to 11:30.. so around 12 dollars an hour… it is actually a little more when you factor in the vacations days/weeks every month. The school is excellent. The teaching style really is the best for Wonderboy.. He is truly learning a lot and even the project he brought home today was really great. Since he is in class 5 days a week and other kids are in class t/th or m/w so I think there must have a lot of repetition.  Which for my style of learning is wonderful. I think that type of learning makes my Honey a bit crazy. The thing is my Honey is a very quick study and he grew up in a small town where he was bored in school.  I had learning disabilities so I had a much harder time in school. They teachers and the staff at this preschool are more physical<hugs ect> that the other schools I checked out for Wonderboy. Wonderboy really does respond to that well.  The boutique-y other things that this school offers really jive well with me.. Small class sizes… cultural field trips… organic snack times..  This is a Zen Spend.

Tomorrow night Wonderboy has swim lessons its 15 weeks of lessons for $259.00. I think every child needs to be able to swim. If this school helps him get more confident in the water it will be a great value. My Honey swam in college. We both have done triathlons. Plus as you will hear me post health is a big part of our lives so giving someone the gift of a lifelong exercise ability is important. Wonderboy has had swim classes since he was 6 months old. Until now they have been ‘with parent classes’ and we have never like the teachers. We asked around and everyone who has gone to the new school RAVES about it. So that expense is a Zen Spend.

We are a hockey family so I am also looking at a Saturday morning skating class at well for around $90.  Wonderboy has been watching Hockey since he was born.. Pro games <we used to have season ticket, College <we still share season tickets> and going to My Honeys adult hockey games. This expense is a Zen Spend.


Wonderboy talks about Karate <2 of his friends go to a class> and Gymnastics <my Honey watched the Olympics with Wonderboy> We have room for those activities in our schedule however I think…yikes! The cost is crazy. I am not sure what I will do this this. On one hand I want Wonderboy to get a taste of everything this world has to offer. On the other I think it is a lot.

Hello world!

September 8, 2008

So for a couple of years now personal finance has been a topic of interest for me. Since I am 36 you would have thought, perhaps, this would have been a topic for more then a couple years…. so that should tell you a little bit about how I view it…. My old money motto was ‘Its just money I’ll make more.’ I was broke all my friends were too it was all good… Was it? Hindsight being 20/20 I am so sick at how I mismanaged my finances when I had more freedom.  I will cover all of this soon. Since this will be an anonymous blog I will be using real numbers. I love reading blogs and that voyeuristic part of me loves seeing the nitty gritty so I figure I will be doing this Scars and all…. I get that you will be reading this shaking your head sometimes.  Hopefully you will also cheer with me when I make my goals or learn the lessons I am struggling with. If you see yourself in my words or maybe learn from my mistakes then this will be a successful blog.