Thursday, August 31, 2006

Batteries, please? Aisle four.

Well, even superheroes have bad days I guess. I'm not really having a bad day exactly, I'm just completely exhausted. I keep going over in my head all of the things I'm trying to juggle, and all of the things I'm trying to accomplish. It almost seems overwhelming sometimes. Generally I try to keep the momentum going to fast that I don't think about it. Once in awhile, like today, I trip and fall, and all the balls seem to come bouncing down around me.

So, in an effort to purge myself of this mental whirlwind, I am going to list all of the things I worry about on a daily basis. Here goes:

1. Money. Not concerned about paying the bills exactly, somehow I always get by. Just the whole idea of managing it, getting out of debt, creating a college fund for the kiddo.

2. Food. My food, his food. Eating the right things, getting enough water, fruits and vegetables. Staying on my weight loss plan. Getting him to eat anything, period. (Picky eater.)

3. School. Somehow managing to scrape by with my schoolwork until I'm done. (I completely hate this one.)

4. Work. Liking my job, not liking my job. Mostly being dead tired after working. Dreading Mondays (11-hour shift.) Finding a new job.

5. Skin. Moisturize, sunscreen, blah blah blah. It seems like everything from magazines to tv and beyond is focused on perfect skin these days. If I don't protect it now I will look awful later...

6. Fitness. Training for a 5k. Then a 10k I guess. Keeping my ankles iced. Stretching. Doing Pilates regularly.

7. Sleep. Actually maybe this is more like #2. I fall asleep constantly. Almost fell asleep walking through Wal-Mart today. Does one ever get accustomed to sleep deprivation? Should I try to endure the headaches for a week or so and give up Diet Coke? (Please say no.)

8. Other people. I miss my dad. I should visit my grandma more often. I wonder if my mom is secretly as tired as I am. I hope my brother has enough money. I wish I had more time for my friends.

9. My house. There are only two of us and yet there seems to be endless dishes. I always have bruises from tripping on toys. I am tired of laundry. I really want to scrub everything in this house. I hate clutter.

Wow. I do feel better. Blogging = yoga - crazy headstands.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

See? Niiiice Vacuum.

One of my girlfriends and I have just been laughing over the amusing escapades of my kiddo. Case in point: He generally likes to turn on his Baby Einstein cd while he's playing in his room. Once he's turned it on he leaves it alone, so I usually don't monitor that whole operation too carefully. Well, the other day he cranked the volume wheel all the way up -- from the living room it sounded like Mozart exploded from his bedroom in some kind of toddler-esque sonic boom. I ran in the room in time to see him running from the stereo in sheer terror. I don't think it's really possible to replicate the look on his face, although it still cracks me up thinking about it. Needless to say, he hasn't messed with the stereo since then.

And of course the vacuum always elicited a similar response. At least, that is, until I decided to adopt it as our family pet. Now we have a petting zoo session before I vacuum, patting the innocent little creature on the head and saying "Niiiiiice vacuum." I'm just hoping it's housebroken.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Have Value to the World! Wahoo!!!

Amazingly, according to Quicken, I now have a net worth of $79.01!!! I am so thrilled. Of course, this is taking into account the idea that if I died and someone sold my car, they would be able to pay off the rest of my debt with my checking account balance and the proceeds from my car. That's only vaguely heartening, and anyway my net worth will probably dip back into the negative here in the next week when I pay rent and all that. But still, for a brief moment, I am basking in the wonderful knowledge that I have value.

One of the good aspects to all of this is that I have gotten a hold on my debt a lot sooner than most people. I put a stop to the increasing balances months ago and have been paying steadily on them. I was shocked to hear people at work (in their mid-20s!) telling me about their $20,000+ debts. At the worst, mine probably topped out at $3,000 and I have since paid quite a bit of that down. (Not including student loans, but I don't really count those at this point, since I'm still in college.)

I am planning on posting a lot more about my finances on this blog, but I would like to first get more of an idea what I'm doing with Quicken, and more of a relative idea of where I stand financially and where I'm going.

In the meantime, I have to figure out how to get a baby spoon out of my garbage disposal.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Must Live For At Least One More Week (21 Baby!)

As I type this, I am sitting here drenched in sweat, probably bright pink in the face, with frizzy hair and saggy limbs.

I have just done the first workout for my 5k training: The Couch-to-5k Running Plan! (Listed under my links, as well). This was recommended to me by a fellow Weight Watcher, and at first I mocked the very idea that I was a couch potato. I do pilates, I run around a restaurant for many hours a week, and in between I chase a toddler who is constantly trying to injure himself. I can run a 5k, no problem!

Right.

So this morning I donned my SuperCute Jogging Outfit (something every girl must own, whether it really is for jogging or just for sitting around the house watching Sex and the City). Anyway, I did the workout and now I think I may be going into cardiac arrest. If I don't post tomorrow, you'll know what happened. However, my obituary will probably read "hit by a car" or something similar, because there's no way I want my military buddies to know how out of shape I've gotten, and laugh hysterically at my funeral.

Also, if anybody knows how to program a digital watch, please e-mail me... :-/

Sunday, August 27, 2006

As It Turns Out, I Have an MSI K8MM-V.

Okay, so thanks to Tricia, I have figured out how to enter cash into Quicken. Crisis averted.

In other news, I stayed up late last night not doing my homework. In fact, rather than doing my homework, I cleaned out my refrigerator. Then I balanced my checkbook. Then I read the manual to my motherboard. Now, granted, all of those things are fascinating, enjoyable, and far more important than writing the proposal for a wireless Internet setup that my Information Systems instructor is dying to read. And yet, somehow, it is still on my to-do list. College is such a waste of time. If I accomplished all of those great and necessary tasks on a lazy Saturday night, just think what I could be accomplishing with my re-energized Sunday morning. Perhaps I could write a novel, or cure an ubiquitous disease. The world will never know what it has lost by requiring me to go to college.

Hmph.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Curse You, Happy Little Bell Sound

I guess it's a little bit sadistic, but the main reason I love to watch the Suze Orman show on Saturdays is the fact that she yells at people. I would love to yell at people. I probably could get away with it once in awhile. But what is so very entrepreneurial about it is that she has figured out how to get paid unhealthy sums of money for yelling at people.

This whole personal finance thing is kind of overwhelming. I'm the first to admit I have no idea what I'm doing, at all. But I think I'm making progress toward...something.

My new endeavor is to follow Flexo's lead by entering all of my transactions into Quicken. So, having enthusiastically forked over fifty big ones for this perplexing maze of a financial guide, I am now met with a rather big roadblock. The program tracks your spending and savings accounts, while I, as a waitress, deal with cash. Crap.

I do like some things about it. It tracks your spending each month to tell you where you are putting most of your money...helpful for me. It does have a calendar for paying bills, which of course is only half the battle. (I know when they're due...it's actually writing and mailing the check that I can't seem to master.) And my favorite feature is that it has a twinkling little bell sound when you open the program, reminding you how flippant and cute life is -- right before the screen pops up and you are met with the depressing fact that your net worth, your entire value to the world, is in the negative. God bless computer programming. :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

There Are No Muskrats in Missouri

Well the kiddo got bitten at daycare today. On the mouth, if that isn't random enough. I am not sure I should be concerned about this. He seems ok, I don't think the bite even broke skin, and if it did I don't think the other kid had Hepatitis so it probably would have been ok anyway. I can already tell that I will be living by the motto "boys will be boys" from now on.

In other news, I need a new can opener. I have the strangest can opener I have ever seen, having left the decent one with my ex (adding to a long list of random household items I didn't realize I would miss so much). The sharp little wheel thingy seems to be on the wrong side of the scissor-like part, and although I'm left-handed, I tried it the opposite way and only succeeded in propelling the can off the counter at what may possibly be a record velocity. I wonder how many times you have to fling a can at the wall for it to give up and burst open of its own accord. Or maybe, if I throw the can through the wall, my neighbor will throw her own properly functioning can opener through the hole at me in annoyance.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Debut of SuperChick!

Navigating the world is a tricky thing, and even more so when you find yourself a single mom, mired in debt, and trying to figure out how to fix a leaky toilet before you're even finished with college. That, however, has become my journey, for better or for worse.

Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I am rising to the challenge of mastering my personal finances, raising a child who will (hopefully) be screwed up only to a marginal degree, and keeping the house going while working full time and getting a degree. That's right, I am SuperChick!!