Payday

I wish every month had 5 paydays in it. Since i get paid every Friday, 4 months a year i get to enjoy an “extra” paycheck. This really helps get caught up on bills that have been getting a little behind. This Friday will be my 5th paycheck this month. YAY!

Unfortunately, because my husband is self-employed, he gets paid “whenever”. So in reality, I don’t get an “extra” paycheck. My check is usually used for things for the business (paying the help, getting gas, buying materials, fixing the equipment, etc). I know you’re asking yourself: Why doesn’t the business pay for those expenses? Well, unfortunately we need these things now, not “whenever”. So, i guess eventually it will catch up and i will get reimbursed. I hope.

It sure is dry around here. It rained yesterday for a little while, but i think it might be too little too late. The grass is completley dead in some areas and homeowners are calling and cancelling their service. On the other hand, it is a good time to get caught up on those other projects (installing mulch, trimming trees, planting trees, etc) without paying extra labor.

All i know is that i refuse to go through another winter like last year. Something big is going to need to happen to assure a worry-free winter.

By the way, i finally had my performance review. As expected, i am an outstanding employee who has taken a lot of positive initiative in the past year and was instrumental in making improvements in the office and in the shop. My interpersonal skills have improved and i’m a pleasure to work with and for. I have done an outstanding job taking over the position of purchasing. Unfortunately, there is no monetary reward for all of my outstandingness. What really sucks is i make less money than the person whose job i aquired. I know i need to find a new job. Michigan is not a fantastic place to look for a new job. I feel like i’m stuck and i don’t like it.

Cautious

Although things seem to be going well, i am hesitant to start breathing easy. We are far from getting caught up with the bills, but at least money is starting to come in and we can start paying some of what we owe. I can’t help but feel like we’re just floating along in the sea of debt. At this time, we’re clinging to a life raft but we’re miles away from reaching shore. I look forward to the day when our feet will reach the bottom and we can start walking to shore.

We desperately need some rain around these parts. The grass is starting to dry up. I had the sprinkler on all weekend trying to keep my flowers alive. Good thing we have a well. I could never afford to live in the city. The biggest concern, however, is that the grass will dry up and not need to be mowed. That’s going to put a serious pinch in our operations. No labor = no payroll = less expenditures. However, no work = no revenue = no paycheck for us either. Fortunately there’s rain in the forecast on Wednesday. I pray, pray, pray that it will rain.

Strippers, and other party favors

The final countdown begins for my mum’s surprise birthday party. There are only 2 small weekends left between now and p-day. Everything is going pretty smooth, all plans are coming together. Evertything is on target.

But then my grandma threw me a curveball the other day. We were just sitting there discussing the party plans, the menu, etc… when she blurts out that she wants me to hire a stripper for the party. Take a minute to absorb that. No, it’s not a typo. Let me say it again in case you didn’t quite get it. My grandmother wants me to hire a stripper for my mum’s birthday party. Is this not the weirdest thing you ever heard? At first i thought maybe it was the gin and tonic talking. But when i called her last night to wish her a happy birthday, she mentioned it again. In fact, she insisted. She even offered to pay for it.

 There’s just so many things wrong with that idea that i don’t even know where to start. My head is spinning.

Any thoughts?

Looking Up

Well, i’d like to say that things are looking up recently.

“Looking Up”. What exactly does that phrase mean? I’d like to think of it as looking up and seeing your blessings and not your problems. Looking up and seeing your talents, not your downfalls. Looking up and seeing the finish line and not your feet. Looking up to see the goal, and not the path.

If you talk to a farmer, he’ll tell you the secret of getting the perfectly straight rows you see stretching for miles and miles. He’ll tell you that when you start your row, set your sights on an object directly in front of you at the other end of the field. As long as you never take your eyes off that object, you’ll have a perfectly straight row.

Hmmmmmmmm.

Sounds like a life lesson to me. I’ve been getting tangled up in my feet and looking around so that i’ve lost sight of my goal. I’ve been getting so wrapped up with what’s going on around me that i don’t even know which direction i’m pointing in. I guess that sometimes in life your path will have rocks and ruts and sometimes an overhanging branch will scrape your face. These things are minor and you will go past them. The important thing to remember is which direction you’re facing and to make sure you’re looking up to see the gate at the end of the path.

GRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……

Overdraft fees. What a freakin scam. Yesterday morning i made a deposit into my checking account – from another account at the same bank. Yesterday afternoon i had to do some shopping and used my debit card as a credit so that it would hit the bank today just to be safe. What do you suppose i saw when i checked my account online this morning? EIGHT f*&!@%g overdraft charges!!! Are you kidding me? I transfered money from one account to another AT THE SAME BANK and they did not post the deposit until the next day. What a joke. I expect a thank you card in the mail from the bank president for funding his kids college education – at Harvard.

 So let me get this right. I deposit money in my account today and it will be available anytime from tomorrow to a week from now. But any purchase i make today shows up on my account before i get that purchase home. Can this be legal? They are holding my own money hostage. Then i get whacked with a $34 fee PER ITEM for them not properly posting my deposit.

Just when i think things are looking up, i get kicked in the groin again. I’m throwing in the towel. Tapped out. I give up because i just can’t win. It’s impossible.

Frustrated

My situation does not seem to be improving like i hoped it would. I need some hardcore solutions. I’ve asked my boss for a performance review, but i’m not holding my breath on a raise. The company is on shaky ground, and i’m not sure the doors will be open next month. But for the record, i truly deserve a nice raise. I’ve taken on another position in addition to my own due to an employee quitting. Instead of hiring someone to replace him, they just gave all his responsibilities to me. And i don’t even make as much as he did. And i’m doing my work and his. Hmmmmm….

The hubby’s business is very busy, but not generating the revenue i had hoped for at this point. I’ve been working on a business plan so that we can apply for a business loan, but deep inside i don’t really want more debt. Debt is not going to solve a debt problem. If we raise prices, we won’t get the work. It’s a double edge sword. Be really busy and make some money, or quote the job for what it’s worth and watch the company down the street do the work.

I’ve sent my resume to a company that is building a new plant near my home. I’m skittish about doing a serious job search because i really do love my job. It’s close to home (7.5 miles @ $3.35/gal). This is a major advantage. All the good jobs are at least 20-30 miles away. I would have to take out a loan to fill my gas tank to get to work everyday.  i have insurance for me and my husband. Pretty good insurance and cheap for me.  i make a decent salary – even though i am still underpaid. I’m not saying there aren’t jobs out there that i can get equal or better salary and benefits. It’s just that i’m scared. Jobs are fleeing Michigan like the plague is here and i feel secure in my job – as long as it’s around.

 We’ve already cut up the credit cards and pay cash for everything. We stopped using credit cards last April and enrolled in a credit counseling program last October. So, although we are making some progress paying down our credit card debt, we are paying the least amount possible and can’t cut it down or skip payments.

 Maybe i should get a second job or do some work on the side. Although i don’t have a lot of extra time, it would just be temporary until we get caught up on a few things. What to do? What to do….

Countdown

There are now 31 days until my mum’s surprise birthday party and i am freaking out. I had wanted to have so much more accomplished before this stage in the planning process. The funds that should have been flowing in by now aren’t. I should look at the bright side, it is only the 6th. There is no reason to start panicking until next week.

In the meantime, i’ve been getting a lot of other things out of the way. Moving furniture, painting the garage, weeding, planting flowers, cleaning, stuff like that. I’ve also decided to start buying things as they’re on sale and put them aside for the party. Stuff like pop, garbage bags, you know the kind of stuff that can sit around for a while.

Invitations have been sent. Well, most of them anyway. There are a few people who need to get back to me with addresses. I’m not too concerned. As long as they’re mailed by this weekend, i’ll be happy.

It’s official. We’re having a party.