Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let's have a chat about personal responsibility

This morning, while engaging in my typical work-day routine, I was tuned into a local news station. A little segment on tips to lower your monthly cell phone bill was covered... and it got me thinking about personal responsibility. Here's why--

The story covered a woman who went over her allotted plan minutes by 590 minutes in one month. Her bill was $380. And for good measure, "7 On Your Side" stepped in to teach her how to deal with the cell phone company, and ultimately lower her bill. LOWER HER BILL--for services (aka cell minutes) she USED.

I'll tell you how to deal with the cell phone company -- DON'T GO OVER YOUR MINUTES! PAY YOUR DANG BILL.

On the way to work, I heard a commercial about getting out of debt. Some of the comments made in the ad said things like, "It's not your fault" and "Where's the bailout for the little guy?!" Here's some news for you: Max out your credit cards on trips, iPods that sync with a pair of tennis shoes, concerts and a flat screen TV? That's great! Don't blame it on ANYONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF.

I am so sick of people taking to the internet to air their financial "dirty laundry." I know that times can get difficult. Lord knows we have scaled back in many ways over the past year. To be honest, I'm GLAD that we were forced to look at the way we were spending. Why?! Because we learned that we were eating dinner out 3 nights a week, simply because we could.

Y'all, we live in the South. We don't discuss money -- people with money don't discuss money, people without money shouldn't either. If you're having problems with budgeting, please do the following:

1) Step back and take a serious look at your finances. Really. Look at your online banking register. If you are like me and actually balance your checkbook, take a gander. What are you spending your money on? Meals out? Happy Hour? Trips? CDs/concerts/entertainment? Here's a tip: plan your meals for the week, go to the grocery store and stop going out. IT ADDS UP.
2) Learn how to budget. There are many resources online that can help you set a budget. Most people spend what they make. If you're not making much, you don't need to be spending much...period.
3) NEED VS. WANT. Entertainment and travel -- those are wants. Food from the grocery store -- NEED.

I am terribly sorry for such a rant when I haven't posted in weeks. This has truly been burning a whole in my nerves for a while!

Who needs a therapist when you have a blog?!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I don't have an exciting title, but things sure are exciting!

ARGH! I seriously forget that I have a blog sometimes. Things have really just reached an all-time-high on hectic-ness. I really hate to keep updating with things that are me-and-AL-centric...I really never intended for my blog to become one of...those sad "look at me, look at me" blogs. However, things have been really moving and shaking lately.

Between planning events, trying desperately to keep the ball rolling on the home renovation and preparing to switch jobs (OMG!) I feel like I can't keep track of what day of the week it is. Luckily, today was a classic Monday, so I was reminded right quick.

While it seems that every bit of exciting news in my life revolves around engagements and babies, I am happy to inform you that neither apply to me today. I have been offered a job with a wonderful organization doing big things in our community -- Partners for Active Living. Leaving United Way is certainly bittersweet. I LOVE my coworkers, the organization and the close connection to the community. I am so very excited to start a new chapter of my career and my life in Spartanburg. Even more, I am stoked to take on a new set of challenges around issues that I feel passionately about!

On the home front, the renovations are coming along... Probably not quite as quickly as I would like, but that's because I'm a complete control freak. I am ready to live in a home. I am exhausted from the "work site" feel of things. I do, however, have a huge appreciation for Allen and his talents. He has completely transformed this condemned mess of "house" into a real house. It is amazing. I am just SO ready to be finished and throw parties!

Today is my baby brother's birthday. He is 22, which makes me want to cry. He is a young man! It makes me an old woman ;)

Also, this weekend we'll attend my sister-in-law's college graduation at University of South Carolina. Again, I am in disbelief that she is graduating, as I remember meeting Addie as a high school cheerleader and debutante. Also makes me feel old!

In addition, (told you we're busy) Allen's brother, Adam, is graduating from high school this month! Makes me feel VERY old!

Life is grand!