Tax Refunds and Stupid Ass Responsibilities

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Tax season used to be fun.  I’ve been working since I was a teenager, so every tax season I’d get a little bit back as a refund.  *Sighs* Tax Season… when I was younger this often meant getting new clothes or shoes… maybe using it as a down payment on some stupid shit car I didn’t need.  Tax Season = OH MY GOD NEW BEDDING SET.

Well not anymore folks!  Somewhere over the last 5 years, I became responsible.  Like really, financially responsible.  Sounds great right?  NOT.  Now instead of getting those sick ass boots I’ve been eyeing for like 4 months, I’m paying down loans.  I wanted to go and buy some new jeans for spring… but no, alas, I’d like to lower my car payments.

This year I received a pretty decent refund, for me anyway, and over the past few months I’ve been negotiating all of my re-occurring payments *down*.  One of the ways I was able to do that was paying down on my cars.  So by parting with half of my refund, I lower my remaining 12 payments by $100.  Which doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up quickly.  I put the rest towards my mortgage… because sheesh… looking at the remaining principle just hurts my head.

I know that being financially responsible is a good thing, getting out of debt is even better (I’m looking at you credit cards!), but sometimes it’s downright depressing.  Especially with social media these days.  I can’t open up facebook without seeing someone buying something new, especially around tax time.  However, I want to be out of debt in 10 years (including my mortgage, unless I sell) and if that’s even remotely feasible, I will find a way.

Hey, I’m old school.  I still have a change jar!  That’ll be my new boots fund!

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How Did This Happen!?

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When exactly did I sign up to be an adult?  Does anyone know?  I’m pretty sure I was coloring in my coloring book one minute and the next I’m paying my mortgage.  Whew! That was a fun ride, I blinked and 15 fucking years flew by.  Today, the stark realization that I’m a grown-up has hit me… at the tender age of 26.  I don’t know why it’s struck so hard, but it has, and it’s mind-boggling.

Sure, I have a 5 year old and have been making said mortgage payments for 4 years, but for some reason, I just now realized it.  I guess Adult-hood is funny like that, it just sneaks up on you, right as you’re trying to color in Hello Kitty’s stupid hair-bow with your new crayons.  I’ve never quite felt like an adult, even when I was in college, or when I had Noodle, or when I closed on my house.  Never quite felt like it, it was almost like I was acting a part.  That this wasn’t my real life, and I was just playing along.

Where I spend too much time...

Where I spend too much time…

I’m on my lunch break right now, I’ve locked myself inside my office with the intention of snooping the internet for an hour.  Oddly enough, sitting at my desk, setting my paperwork aside, that’s when it hit me.  I’m a grown up.  I have my own office at work, my own desk strewn with paperwork and a photo of my daughter in a neat little frame she made.  I will leave here today, pick up my daughter from school and go home and make dinner.  We will eat dinner, I will help her with her homework, clean up and lay down to read.

It’s not like this routine is anything new.  I’ve been doing it for months upon months upon months, but maybe now it’s that I actually enjoy it.  Maybe it’s because now every day isn’t filled with a sense of monotony or longing for a chance to go out.  Maybe now it’s because I’d rather be at home than out and about (most days).  Maybe it’s because I finally got my head on straight and stopped taking for granted the wonderful things and people I already have in my life.  I think that coming to terms with the fact that my life does have some routine in it, let me start scheduling things outside of that routine (vacations, renovations, soccer (for Nood) and such). Quite possibly it has something to do with the fact that I achieved my goals I had set years ago and I finally realized it.  I finally took pride in what I had accomplished and with that pride, I set new goals for the next handful of years.  Life is finally smoothing out enough that I (we) can move on and forward.

Being an adult is a funny thing.  It’s a funny thing I tell yah.

 

But being an adult doesn’t mean that I’m not going to go sit on Facebook for my last 30 minutes of lunch while I sip my iced coffee. :)

Taking Financial Charge ( Read: Growing up Blows )

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Ahhhh, finances.  The one and only thing that gives me enough of a migraine that I want to shoot myself.  In the foot.  Three times.  Why my foot?  Because my head hurts too much from staring at these goddamned numbers!  Finances.  I’ve been told it’s part of growing up and growing old.  Checking Accounts, Savings CDs, 401Ks and Insurance Policies.  Mortgages, Equity, Taxes and Profit.  You know, I’d like to quit being an adult now, this shit is kind of pissing me off.

So for the past few months I’ve been playing catch up, I got behind on my mortgage and it took that to see the big picture of my debt.  I had been ignoring a large chunk of debt that had just been sitting on my credit score, and getting behind on my mortgage made me look at all of it.  So what wonderful conclusion did I come to?  What mind-blowing epiphany?  Well, I’m still going to ignore a fairly large chunk of it.  Ha.  Take that responsibility.   I have a fairly large amount of medical debt, most of it I’m not even aware of, they’re still trying to figure out which address is mine, and I refuse to call on the accounts the credit assholes sent me with my credit score.  That’ll be my next project.  Oh, and the car my ex-husband got repo-ed?  Yeah, I’ll ignore that too.  They keep wanting to settle and the amount gets lower and lower, that can be pushed off until they get REALLY desperate.

However, there are some things I CAN take care of now that my mortgage is current.  Like the previous entry stated, I’ve agreed to super-duper-low payments for my student loans.  As long as I manage to keep the money in my account for each debit for 9 months, I will no longer be delinquent and it will be off of my credit report.  My credit card also has a high balance (read: low balance but not acceptable to me) which I am going to start paying off.  As well as minor bills here and there that have managed to pop up (read: lab work).  So to do all of this I have started to alter the rough budget I have (not) been following.

So I’m sitting here, paying bills, tweaking my budget and I hate to say it, but it’s… nice.  I’ve never been one to let things get too far behind but getting everything up to par is free-ing.  These next couple of weeks will be tight, as the next paycheck of mine goes straight to the mortgage, but Ry’s paychecks can cover the smaller things as well as pay off some of the crap he has to deal with.  It’s a shame though, this budget I’ve come up with?  I’ll have to tweak in 3 weeks.  Why?  

Supposedly my first paycheck will come with my promotion on it.

Yup.  Yuppppp.  Little Miss Sarah got a promotion at work.  It took a year and a half, and some very unfortunate shiiiite at work went down, but I got the promotion.  Talk about the best holiday gift ever, both the cash portion and moving up in an office I was scared was stagnant.  So this year may have been tough on finances but hopefully this next year will even out.

So as far as I’m concerned.  2012 can bite me, 2013 needs to get here.  I’ve got a clean slate (as clean as possible lol) with my pocketbook, a good job, a great relationship and a wonderful family.  Time to continue on the up and up.  :)

Change. Change. Change.

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Things are changing in this household.  Some could say finally, hell, a lot of people will applaud.  Things are changing in my world and to put it lightly I’m nervous.  Nervous?  See: neurotic, antsy and being incredibly overwhelmed.  I can’t say that I’m not excited because well, I’m thrilled.  I’m just not one for major change.  Unless I have complete control of the outcome… which this time I don’t.

I’d like to say that my life is calm, relaxing and whatnot but in reality it’s been one hell of a roller-coaster.  A roller-coaster ride that has lasted damn near 11 years now.  My life has been completely insane, not all of it bad but definitely chaotic.  The one thing that has been static for 3 years now is my house.  I purchased this house in 2009, solely for the reason to secure my future, especially through and after a divorce, and because a mortgage was ( and still is ) cheaper than renting a house of this size.  So through the last few years, through the divorce, restraining order, Crohns flare, DUI, and now putting my life back together, I’ve always had my house.

My house is my safety-zone.  I know it’s mine, it’s my place to run away to.  It’s my quiet zone, it’s my own personal concert.  It’s peaceful or as hectic as I please.  It’s where I sit and write in my book or type in my blog.  It’s where I go to run away from the world.  My safe-zone.  Even through changing jobs 4 times in 3 years, my home has always been here.  On the worst of days, through heartbreak and tears, I could always curl up with a cup of coffee and listen to the silence, or my child play.  My house is my hide-away.

My house is about to become a lot more chaotic.  Hell, it’s pretty chaotic at the moment.  I’m sitting here listening to my daughter sing about a whale… Ryan wrestle around with his son.  I can barely hear myself think.  Chaotic.  Chaos.  At the root of the word.  Just recently we decided to merge our families.  No you assholes, I’m not getting married, hell no.  Not for a long time.  We decided to move in together.  Numerous reasons.  Of course to take the next step in our relationship, but also to help with my finances, and to prevent Ryan from having to pay a large amount of rent or having to move a handful of towns away from his son.  There’s a lot that plays into it, and basically what it comes down to is that it’ll benefit both of our small families.

So we spent this weekend doing as much packing as we can, and then working on cleaning up my house.  Ry’s son is taking over my 3rd bedroom, which means that it’s no longer my closet.  I never realized how much clothing I actually have.  Christ.  Beyond that, just cleaning.  My scummy living room furniture is going to the curb, and his is coming in.  As is my 10 year old mattress for his new one.  We’re also renting a small storage unit for the furniture of his that won’t fit in my house, like his entertainment center.  Merging houses isn’t as easy as you would think.  For the most part we’ll be able to do it… there is a few small issues.  My shed is too small for a motorcycle in winter… but hell, we’re building a deck this year (sorry Dad, you’ve been saying you’d help since lasts spring… times up haha) so we might as well build a larger shed.  One big enough for the kid’s bikes, lawnmower, yard chemicals, motorcycle, etc.  Why not?  We have a lot of work to do with this house, now and in the future, and the thought of it makes me full of anxiety, but I think with Ry being more a long the lines of step-by-step instead of my do-it-all-at-once-why-isn’t-it-done-yet? will help.

I’m nervous about my safe-zone changing, but I think it’ll work out for the best, and all involved will benefit from it.  So yeah, nervous, but also excited.  I’m thrilled to (continue) waking up to the person I’ve fallen in love with.  I’m thrilled that Noodle has someone to play with and hopefully learn from.  I’m beyond excited about the future.  Here’s the hoping to making this house into a home.  :)

Growing Up Blows. Big time.

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I remember being mad at my parents when I was a kid, you know when they said they wouldn’t buy me [insert random obnoxious kid toy here].  I remember thinking “Man! When I grow up I’m gunna buy all these things!  Live in a big house, have like four bikes!” so on and so forth.  Blah.  I thought being an adult would be sooo much fun.  It would be easy, of course there’d be no school, so I’d just have fun with my friends and buy stuff.

For some reason my child mind was too naive to think about jobs, bills, food, and well… basically how much being an adult sucks.  Holy shit it sucks.  I can’t tell you how many mornings I want to sleep in and then go hang out with my friends (Okay.  Every.  Single.  Fucking.  Morning.) or go shopping for some new clothes (but goddamn that gas bill!!).  Hell, I’ll be on my lunch break, get the urge to go on a long drive… but wait.  I caaaan’t.  I have to go back to work.

Ha.  Adulthood.

What a joke.

Oh and for the record.  I’m STILL not using Algebra.  A big ole FUCK YOU to my 8th grade math teacher.

Adults.  Heh.

When you’re a kid, getting your driver’s license is exciting.  “Oh I’ll pick up my friends and we’ll go to the music store for CDs then go drive to the beach.”  My stupid teenage mind didn’t comprehend.  To drive you need Insurance (Money), A Car (Money), License Plates (Money) and the ability to not attract every moron on the road (see 3 out of 4 of my accidents) (Lack of said ability = Money).  Fuck.  Remind me why I didn’t move to a warm city? You know one with public transit and no snow.  Walking (Less Money).

Oh and those rebel thoughts when I was young?  “Fuck-a-cerfew.  I can’t WAIT to move out!  Soon as I’m 18… I’m OUT OF HERE!”  Yeah.  Living on your own, Rent/Mortgage (Money).  Utilities (Money).  Food (Money).  What the fuck.  I think I want a do-over.

You know what all that means?

A Job.

Which means, less time to act like a kid.

Which means, money made.

Which means, money spent.

Which means.  Crap.  My gas bill just took precedence to going out on the weekend.  Ha.

Growing up blows.  Pass the wine (whine).

 

 

 

But hey.  Even though I have to go to work during the week, I can still walk around naked, blasting metal, and paint my walls blood red, in my OWN house.  Adulthood sucks…. but so do the teenage years.  :)