Six No Fail Travel Money Saving Tips For Complete Idiots

So, your best pal just suggested a six-city, two week grand European adventure, but you just washed your last paper plate and it’s still a week until payday?

Tell me ’bout it, honey.

How do you make this trip happen? Because, I don’t know about you, but when someone says ‘Cinque Terre’, I’m all:

packing gif

Let me be real here: I am poor as fuck. This is due in equal parts to being a total fuckwit when it comes to saving money (also maybe due to a teensy addiction to filling every nook and cranny in my apartment with Bath & Body Works soap) and choosing one of the lowest paid professions: teaching. What teaching does enable me is the time to jet off to foreign countries. The salary just needs to catch up with my at-least-one-international-trip-every-year tastes.

I have also let my credit cards get the best of me, because it’d be wrong not to make that excellent credit rating work for me, right? Right? (More on this later.)

So, what is a broke as a joke idiot to do when travel just has to happen, because what is life without travel, ya’ll? Well, let your favorite idiot help you out with this one, because for once, I am kinda good at something. I know, I fell off my chair too.

Last summer, as many of you know, I went on a most glorious nearly six-week-long trip to Amsterdam, The British Isles, and Ireland. I went with my mom, aunt, and uncle, so we were able to save quite a bit on our house stays, but holy mother of the god of expensive shit, it was not cheap to travel for more than a month. Since I am always way too transparent here, I will just tell you what I spent. My grand adventure cost roughly $5,500.

Even more surprising- I had the trip paid off the month after my return.

I’ll give you a minute to get over the shock.

happy surprise gif

So, how did a certified money moron pull this off? Let me tell you!

1. Fun Shit is Magically Easier to Save For

First and foremost, when what you are saving for is weeks of travel in one of your favorite parts of the world, somehow, you have some extra money. It’s really crazy. Actually, it’s just easier to skip the latte when you are doing it for patat frites in Amsterdam. It’s easy as hell.

So, if you need to, make a vision board with all of the amazing things you are Starbucks starving yourself for and you will suddenly become Scrooge McDuck.

2. Cancel Your Ridiculous Amount of Subscriptions and Cut Any Non-Essentials

Even your Ipsy bag. Yes, I know it’s only $10 a month.

No gif

Before my trip last year was for sure-for sure, I was paying monthly subscriptions for Ipsy, Snack Crate, Weight Watchers ($20 a month and I hadn’t opened the app in months) and a handful of educational subscriptions, like Number Rock. These subscriptions totaled $56 a month. This may not sound like a huge amount, but they were all 100% unnecessary. After six months of not shelling out the cash for these monthly charges, I had $336. That is a lot of patat frites, ya’ll!

Also, I stopped getting my nails and eyebrows done. Any non-essential luxury had to go and it saved me tons. A unibrow and hangnail-riddled fingers ain’t nothin’ when you are Europe-bound. I kept my massage appointments, but those were for my health and sanity.

If I wanted to really deprive myself, I could have also canceled Netflix and Hulu, but since I wasn’t paying for cable, I needed something to do when all of my extra cash was hiding out in my secret spot.

Speaking of…

3. Save Literally Every Penny

Travel Image

One of the funnest things I did to save for my trip was to save loose change in a mason jar. I don’t know if it was the addicting clink of the coins when I dropped them into the jar or the satisfying weight as the amount grew, but I was addicted to finding change. I’m also super fun at parties, ya’ll.

My dude’s pants pockets, under the seats of our vehicles, and the couch cushions- nowhere was safe from my greedy beadies. I left no stone un-turned in my search for a forgotten eight cents.

When my jar got full and the time came to cash in, I picked up some rolling papers (no, not that kind, yo) or coin wrappers and did that shit myself. My hands smelled like the unwashed masses for days, but every single penny went to my trip, unlike what would have happened had I gone the easy route, i.e. Coinstar.

(Be aware that Coinstar takes 11.9% of your total amount as a fee and that means one less ice cream cone on the beach and that is un.accept.able.) 

4. Set a Budget and Try to Beat It, Baby

One of the most effective ways I saved trip money was setting a strict budget. In order for this to work, I had to take a truly honest inventory of my finances. It was a real coming to Jesus moment, because it was like a huge smack across the face with my newest pleather TJ MAXX purse find.

HOW IN THE FUCK DID I SPEND 150 AMERICAN DOLLARS IN ONE MONTH AT STARBUCKS?

Shock gif

I investigated where my money was going (Starbucks) and where I could cut corners and spend less (at Starbucks).

I set a budget for how much I felt was reasonable for groceries and other essentials per week/month. I did the same for weekend spending money. I even set a budget for how much I could spend during the week. It seems like it would have made more sense to just set one amount for the entire week, but I knew that if I gave myself $80 for the week on Monday, I would have had precisely $2.84 left to use by Friday. Because I spend the majority of my work week at, uh, work, I decided I needed the majority of my weekly budget allocated for the weekend.

So, I gave myself $20 for the work week, and if that only got me two and a half morning Starbucks runs, so be it. I pulled up my big girl panties and dusted off the Keurig I just had to have and made my coffee the majority of my mornings.

On Friday, I would pull $60 out of the ATM and that had to get me through all of my weekend activities. If I had a sushi date with a pal, this would eat up almost half of my cash. This made me take a good, hard look at whether or not I really needed to eat 18 long rolls and then be dead to the world the rest of the day in a sushi and soy sauce coma. More often than not, I suggested a coffee date instead (this was also a surprise diet hack).

Where I tried to “beat my budget” was when I started to have money left over on Sunday evening. It was like winning a game I didn’t even know I was playing. I started to try to have money left over every weekend. I straight up felt like Ebenezer Scrooge as I stockpiled my cash and coins.

5. Kash is King

Cash yo

Not only did I set a budget, I pulled cash out at the ATM for my work week and weekend money (as mentioned above). This prevented me from accidentally spending too much using my debit card. Because math is not my strong suit, $20 could easily have become $40 when I mindlessly handed over my debit card and not cold, hard cash.

Further, when I had money left over after the week or weekend was over, I saved my cash in a secret hiding spot and not in my savings account. It was and is way too easy to transfer funds from my savings to my checking to be used on something dumb, because when the money is just some numbers on a screen it doesn’t have the same impact as digging for your cash, counting it out, and then guiltily adding it to your wallet for a non-travel expenditure.

Cash
This is what I had left after this last weekend. Win!

6. Acorns

I am legit gonna sound like I work for Acorns or that I am getting some kind of kickback from them and while that is not entirely wrong, I’m not being sponsored to say what I am about to say.

I just love the shit out of this app.

If you have never heard of Acorns, make yourself a cup of tea or pour yourself a glass of wine, because you are going to want to hear this, and it is always nice hearing good news when you are enjoying a refreshing beverage.

So, in a nutshell (see what I did there?), Acorns is an investment app. This may sound scary, because if you are anything like me, you have not one iota of a fucking clue what investing involves.

Fear not, if you decide to try Acorns out, it is not a risky venture. I have been investing and saving with Acorns for more than a year now and I can confidently say I have not lost any pennies to Acorns. In fact, I am ADDICTED.

Addicted gif

When you sign up for an Acorns account, the easiest way to start saving money is to turn on Round Ups. Whenever you use your debit card (yes, you need to connect your account, but it is secure), Acorns rounds up your purchase to the next dollar. When your round ups reach $5, that amount is withdrawn from your checking account into your Acorns account. Along with a monthly deposit of $25 from my checking, I saved over $400 to go towards my trip and I never even noticed the round ups.

It practically felt like free money, ya’ll.

When I first started Acorns, I’d withdraw money here and there when I wanted to make a purchase, but had I not touched my account, I would have $1400 today plus whatever dividends I made with my investment portfolio (which is conservative and means lower risk).

If I have piqued your interest, check out Acorns using my link here. If I can get 12 friends signed up and investing (I have already converted two), I will get $1000 from Acorns. YES, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. When you sign up via my link, you get $5 and so do I. That is what we call a win-win, friends.

*Bonus: The Guilt Gut Kicker*

The tips I shared above worked for me and why I am so excited about them again is that I am currently employing them for another international trip I just made official a couple weeks ago!

This time around, along with the poop-my-pants-excitement, I am feeling a bit of guilt.

Oops gif

I promised myself that this year I would focus on paying down my debt and the second another trip was a possibility, I threw finally being a real adult out the window faster than you can say “Peace out, bitches!”

Well, to combat that damn dirty feeling of guilt, I am planning to save $100 out of every months’ savings for my trip to be put onto a credit card. I hope to save for my trip AND pay off two small credit card balances.

Sometimes just having a plan to be a better adult can ease those poopy feelings.

Also,

Take the Trip

What are your money saving tips? I am always looking for other ways to save/make some money when it’s for travel! Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Garbage Grownups

It has been discovered, after myriad messages (some really embarrassing and many most wouldn’t send their best friend) sent back and forth between Amanda “McMilkshakes” and I, that we are certified garbage grownups. What is a garbage grownup, you ask? Well, just keep reading. You will soon either feel an equal amount of disgust and pity for us or you will feel like you have found your people.

Hell being the DMV or the grocery store on a Sunday…

How Does One Clean an Oven? Asking For a Friend

A: What’s an oven? As a Garbage Grownup, I have to tell everyone that I do less than half of the cooking at my house. I can microwave my ass off, and do okay with snack type things (think peanut butter and celery). And, I can make eggs. Otherwise, the cooking isn’t up to me. No one in my house wants to die of food poisoning, so we just leave it to Chef John. My other classic move when it comes to food is to spend a fortune on groceries and then eat out all week because we don’t have any convenience food in the house. I don’t know how Chef John hasn’t driven me into the wilderness and left me for dead yet.

As far as other household chores are concerned, I have one word for you all: Febreze. You’re welcome. I use it on EVERYTHING and it helps to mask the fact that I haven’t cleaned my couches in at least 6 months (and that’s being generous).

Strangely, I think I know what happened here…

K: I have never cleaned my oven, because I am too afraid the self-cleaning function will stink up the place (This happened to my parents when they were readying their house to be sold. We are all fairly certain the smell permeated the walls and will remain for all eternity). I am also concerned the chemical cleaners will be baked into our frozen chicken cordon bleu.

So, I read on Pinterest that you can make your oven like new with just, in my case, three boxes of baking soda and a gallon of vinegar. No mention on the article how you are supposed to get the dried mixture out. So, this is now our oven:

NEVERMIND

It’s just too embarrassing. I couldn’t share a picture. I just couldn’t do it.

It has been like this for a year (just use your imagination), because, oh well.

(Who does this? Who starts a big production of cleaning and then just stops in the middle for a whole year?)

One last teensy way I fail at being a real adult in the arena of Householding is that I don’t own an ironing board. I’m sure many people don’t own ironing boards, because who the fuck irons anymore? But, sometimes (like two times a year) you’ve just got to bite the bullet and pull out your rusty dusty iron.

So, what do I do to iron, then, since I don’t own an ironing board? Well, I’m glad you asked, Karen.

I use every flat surface in my house.

Subsequently, every flat surface has been ruined permanently by my too-hot iron. The real kicker here? Our coffee table has a stainless steel topper on it. Did it ever even once cross my mind to use that before, during, or after ruining my kitchen table, dresser, my duvet cover, or the wall? No. No, I did not.

Why Our Razors Are a Year Old, But Still Brand New and Other Hygiene Things

A: Shaving is a pain in the padded ass. I always get out of the shower with all the cuts bleeding, looking like I got into a fight with a small but ferocious alligator while I was in there. And have you ever gotten antiperspirant in a newly sliced armpit? Pass. Hard pass.

Another fun fact for lackluster hygiene is I have enough hair for three people, and I’m not washing this thing every day. It makes my arms tired and gives me a bad attitude. Well, a worse attitude. I firmly believe that God invented dry shampoo and gave it to us because he loves us and wants our arms to be rested. It would be bad manners not to take advantage of such a thoughtful gift.

K: I am a terrible excuse for a female*. I have a love-hate relationship with all forms of beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup and the perfect beach wave and I have more trendy beanies and chambray shirts than is even close to normal, but I hate the process.

Ya’ll know what I mean by the process.

I often dream of the Jetsons and the robots they had for everything. I want to live the robot life, ya’ll. If someone or something would shave my pits every day, I wouldn’t have armpits that could rival those of my boyfriend. I would also not have to warn said boyfriend- every six months or whenever I think the situation downstairs is getting ridiculous- that there are pubes everywhere and he may just want to burn the bathroom down, because like glitter, pubic hair never.goes.away.

You’re Supposed to Have Money in Your Savings Account?

A: About four years ago I got really sick with no insurance -another example of how I’m a horrible adult because you’re never supposed to not have insurance- and I still owe that hospital a lot of money. The last bill they sent was for $132,000.00 As a result we were completely wiped out and just when we were starting to recover, I got pregnant. The mature grownup thing to do would have been to go back to work right away and start building our nest egg back up, but this post isn’t about how I make terrific decisions is it?

I stayed home for 8 glorious months and loved the absolute shit out of my daughter while it was still an option. I’ve since gone back to work full time and am finally seeing some progress but it will take time to be on top again. My bi-weekly eyelash appointments are making it slower of course, but those are the breaks and my lashes are fabulous.

K: I am full on a moron when it comes to money. Well, let me clarify for anyone feeling aghast right now- I pay my bills, OK? And, I actually have excellent credit. Like, really excellent. I am not just using ‘excellent’ as my adjective of choice. By some strange miracle, I have been able to maintain truly excellent credit, all while balancing an idiotic amount of credit cards. When I am still living in a tiny apartment at the ripe old age of 78, I will have to tell myself, “Well, at least I had good credit…”.

I think it is pretty ridiculous that all around me there are people my age and even younger buying homes, appliances larger than a crockpot, and nicer cars than a used 2010 Hyundai. I actually have friends who own two refrigerators. I own zero refrigerators.

It isn’t ridiculous that people are smarter with their money than I am, but that I spend my money on an inane amount of soap from Bath & Body Works (that I am having a hard time fitting in my tiny apartment). Or, that I spend actual money on a home design game (I am not even shitting you- I have spent real monies on decorating a fucking designer entryway FOR A GAME ON MY PHONE). Or maybe it’s just a lot ridiculous that I have been paying for a monthly succulent subscription (while at the same time wondering why I don’t have a garden of my own). I have eight succulents so far. How many is too many succulents?

How I Almost Shit My Pants in My Car and Other Tales of Woe

A: Once upon a time about 8 years ago, I danced and performed hula with my niece. The shows were short, so our costumes had to be ready in advance, allowing for quick changing between songs. Her mama was out of town and mine was in the hospital, so the baton of preparedness was passed to me. I promptly dropped it twice and then gave it to my 11 year-old niece because I was ill-equipped. “Why is the steam button on this iron broken??!!!” It wasn’t. You just have to add water to the fucking basin if you want it to make steam.

Good thing my sister made her daughter ready for real life because we would have had some messed up outfits for the Reno High show. I still don’t iron very well, but I do know where the water goes. I’d call it a win.

K: I actually wrote the full tale of what-the-fuck here, but long story short, I was mere seconds from shitting my pants in my car. It came out of literally NOWHERE. I had just had my first ever chiropractor adjustment and I was on my way home and BAM- situation.was.dire. 

I was in the middle of a residential neighborhood and was actually *silent inner scream* contemplating squatting behind a rhododendron.

I don’t know about any of you, but the realization that you are going to almost certainly defile the seat you sit in everyday, is something that changes your very psyche.

I ended up making it, but I had to run into a luxury apartment complex that was just closing. There was a lady behind a desk and I am not even sure if she saw me sprinting as I desperately clutched my ass (as if that has ever helped) or not, but the thought that she might come into the bathroom after what happened in there, and I’d have to make eye contact with her through the stall gap and say, “Yeah…I don’t live here… but… as you can see… it was an emergency,” made me clammy as fuck.

To make matters even better, I got locked in. I got locked into the apartment complex office I busted into to take an emergency poo. I eventually found a way out through the gym door that led outside. I then had to wait, like a wild half woman/half animal freak, for a car to enter through the outer gates to make my hurried, shameful escape.

swore I’d find myself on the evening news. I was nervous for a least a week after.

You know shit like this never happens to Jill, with the bleached asshole, Range Rover, and yoga addiction.

 

#1 Garbage Mom

 A: Let’s just get it out in the open: I am the worst mom on the face of the earth. It isn’t on purpose, I’m just not good. I don’t like being judged for not being good, so I cheat and then I get caught, and it makes me look a hundred times worse. I could tell so many stories here but I am the most embarrassed about just one.

So, I was supposed to be making Ava’s baby food at home. I made a huge production of it and pinned all kinds of recipes. I even got a special silicone mold to hold all the different foods I was planning to make. It was going to be epic.

Well friends, sorry to disappoint you, but it did not go down like that. It didn’t taste good, it didn’t smell good, and it took way longer than I anticipated.

My sweet girl has never been a sleeper, and what little free time I did have I wasn’t interested on spending it making baby food. I wanted to spend it sleeping. But, I wasn’t going to let the people who told me I would hate it win, and so I went and bought all the baby food flavors I could have made on my own if I had been inclined to do so, and I put it in my own containers.

The problem is, I left the store bought containers where they were found and my secret was discovered and mocked for a long time. I should have just told the fucking truth but hearing “I told you so” just really makes me mad, and as a Garbage Grownup I’m more comfortable lying than I probably should be.

PS: There’s a reason Gerber is a million dollar company.

So, tell us, how are you a garbage grownup? Come on, ya’ll know you’ve burned an iron shape into your curtains too.

 

This is the way to Starbucks and the answer to all of my adulting questions, right? Yeah, this is it. (It was not it.)

 

*Being a female means a lot of different things, but I was referring to the run of the mill, girly female here.

I Can’t Be Allowed to Adult Unsupervised

Somehow, someone deemed me fit to be an adult.
WHO APPROVED THIS?
Someone in the Adulting Main Office must have had no more fucks to give the day I was being reviewed. So, when my file came across their desk, they just stamped “ADULT”, without even reviewing it and, thus, allowed my incompetent ass to slide right through into fully verified adulthood.
That’s the only way I can figure I’ve been allowed to adult for this long. I’m wholly unqualified.
If the garbage disposal confusion wasn’t evidence enough (I never knew it wasn’t meant to ground up fully intact foods, like an entire chicken breast), I reckoned they’d figure me out when I failed to ever check my engine oil. On more than one occasion in the not-so-distant-past, the service station attendant has had to deliver the shocking news, “Ma’am, you have no oil. Like, none.”
I knew the Adulting police had to bust me for not owning an ironing board and ruining my kitchen table trying to hastily iron a dress for a wedding I was running late for, because I was playing Words With Friends, instead of watching the time.
Yet, no one has come to revoke my Adulting license.
HOW CAN THIS BE?
Had someone interceded, or, at the very least, monitored my every day Adulting charade, perhaps I’d have learned that leaving a candle burning for too long is not only a fire hazard, but a smoke stain disaster waiting to happen.
HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?
I wanted to get rid of a winter-themed candle from Bath & Body Works that I have in my bathroom, because spring is bound to show itself eventually.
I figured I’d let it burn for an evening and I’d be well on my way to having room for my spring-appropriate bathroom candle (this is a very important thing, obviously).
What I found when I went to brush my teeth for bed was nothing short of shocking.
First, the candle was on fiiiiiiiiiiya. Like, duh, it was burning, so fire. But, it was raging. It was also hot to the touch (and on the top of a cabinet), so I’d have to stand on the toilet to blow it out.
Because I didn’t want to rip the toilet out of the wall, I sort of stood and half-leaned with my right hand on the bathroom counter.
At this awkward position, I couldn’t really get at the top of the candle to blow the son-of-a-bitch out appropriately.
I decided one, quick stand on the toilet to blow it out would have to do the trick. Crossing my fingers for the safety of my toilet, I stood, blew, and was thanked with a splatter of hot wax all over my face (how it didn’t splatter the wall really just explains how things go in my life).
On the way down, I noticed the wall above the candle looked curiously dark.
When I looked closer, I realized the wall next to the candle was also a nice shade of charcoal.
As my gaze widened, my shock went much like this:
First, I was all:

Then, I was like:

And, finally, I went:

(I wanted these all to be gifs, but my WordPress app wasn’t having that for some reason.)
The candle I had burning for hours, spit out a coat of black soot on all four walls and the entire length and width of the ceiling.

The offending candle. My mom says only cheap candles coat entire rooms with soot. Hmmm. What do you have to say for yourself, Bath & Body Works?
In panic mode and since I’ve been binging on Nightmare Tenants and Slum Landlords, I quickly wet a rag and went to town wiping off every square inch of the bathroom walls and ceiling. I can’t ever be confused for the disgusting pigs that destroy other people’s property.
After cursing, re-wetting and wringing-out a now black rag, scrubbing furiously, and basically having a FREAKING heart attack for a good half hour, I felt my bathroom had been returned to its former glory.
I sheepishly went out to the living room, sweaty, covered in soot, and sat calmly on the edge of the couch. I turned to my boyfriend (WHO WAS MERRILY WATCHING TV THE WHOLE TIME) and asked him if I was the only 30-something who didn’t know burning a candle for too long would turn a small, confined room into the inside of a chimney.
He just responded, “Baby….how did you not know that?”
I DON’T KNOW.HELP.I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

If anyone reading this has some pearls of wisdom they think I need, please, share them in the comment section. I need all the help I can get.

How Do I *Make Shit Happen*?

Sometimes, I look at the lives of really successful, happy people and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.
All around me, people are purchasing their first homes, buying appliances and custom cabinets for said home, adopting pets, traveling, investing in IRAs.
And, here I am, buying a coat rack and feeling like that means I’m an adult.
It’s not like I haven’t tried.
I have.
It’s not like I sit around feeling sorry for myself all the time.
Sometimes I do, though. And, when I do, you better believe I really go all out with crying over dog videos in my onesie pajamas.
I tried really hard last year to find an affordable home to purchase that would provide me with the next step: adopting a dog.
I never found that home.
Maybe I was too picky, too hesitant, too scared of a major first step, but I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt on this one.
I chose one of the worst times to look for a home to buy in my area, as home prices are at a record high. I also wasn’t comfortable buying an overpriced home in a bad area. I’m no home buying expert, but that didn’t seem a wise investment.
Yet, still, I see people my age buying homes in my area.
What the actual fuck?
I’m planning a trip for this summer to the U.K., while at the same time, I can barely afford the gas to get across town during my monthly “week of poverty” before payday.
How are people, with huge families no less, able to travel so much?
What the genuine fuck?
I wonder sometimes if it’s my outlook. I try to have a positive outlook on things, but that’s hard when you feel like life is constantly beating you at some game you never knew you were playing.
I know a great many people will say that the power of positive thought truly exists. I’m not here to say I necessarily disagree.
But…until positive thought pays off my student loan debt, I’ll probably be a semi-skeptic.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m not a hard enough worker or I lack gumption.
I’ve been looking for a side hustle to help pay for aforementioned trip.
I’ve looked into VIPKID, which is an online tutoring company. You tutor kids in China, so that means I’ll have to tutor with my Flock of Seagulls bed head hair and with sleep crusties still in the corner of my mouth, because the time slots for my time zone are un-Godly-early.
(I’m still highly considering VIPKID. I’ll just be a total sleep-deprived grouch is all.)
I’ve gone so far as to schedule a vehicle inspection with Lyft, but I keep getting this text message:

I’ve rescheduled twice, and Lyft doesn’t like to give out a phone number so one can problem solve using spoken words.
I didn’t even want drunk people puking in my car anyway, Lyft.
I should probably just figure out a way to make a side job happen and quit my bitching, but a very dominant, stubborn part of me knows I already work my ass off as a teacher, so I’m not thrilled at the realization that my career isn’t cutting it in the having-money-department.
So, all this to say, my goal for this year is to learn the secret to making shit happen.

Maybe it really is positive thinking? Maybe it’s not being more concerned about binging on Call the Midwife, but binging on bringing in some Benjamins? Maybe it’s not worrying how old I’ll be when I finally own my own refrigerator?
In fact, my first order of business is to quit worrying about everyone else.
(Maybe I can get this tattooed on my forearm?)

So, do you know the secret to making shit happen? Sharing is caring!

A Sublime Russian Hat

Ya’ll, I’ve been thinking it’s about time for a good ol’ random observation post (let’s add a random musing while we’re at it). It’s been a time since I’ve done this kind of post, and since I’m either trying not to lose my shit among the madness that is Christmas Shopping, or dealing with self-inflicted acid reflux due to excessive holiday eating, I seem to not have the time to write a proper post.
When I say ‘proper’, I mean a real, polished work of art (or a polished turd depending on who you ask) that I feel could truly be published.
Speaking of publishing-I think I might be getting serious about the writing a book thing. But, like, don’t tell anyone. I want to keep it on the DL.
This is another reason I’m not posting my “real” posts to my blog for the foreseeable future-they just might end up in a book!
HOLY SHITBALLS.
Now I really have to do it.
I can feel my acid reflux gearing up for another round, so let’s just move on.
The Musing
I’ve recently discovered I’m an utter shit show. I mean, I’ve always known, in some respects, that I’m a walking shit show, but now I’m one in all the ways.
I used to be that person who is annoyingly, embarrassingly early to any and every event that has a time associated with it. In fact, I’d stress about being late (on time) so much that my morning/get ready routine was much like that of a person who’s perpetually late (harried, sweaty, and cursy), but without the added benefit of sleeping in or extra couch time.
Somehow, there was a shift in the space-time continuum, and now I’m that person screeching into the parking lot with the bottom of my skirt hanging out of the car door.
This past weekend, a good friend of mine got married. The wedding was in Tahoe, which is a good hour away, but was in the late afternoon, so I had plenty of time.
I sat my fat ass on my couch the entire day, blogging, playing Words With Friends, and just generally enjoying my slothness.
About 45 minutes before our planned departure time, I lazily began my I-just-want-to-look-decent routine. Upon putting on the dress I planned to wear, I discovered I must have grown a few inches up, instead of the usual out.
That dress, unless I was going for the bottom butt look, was not going to work.
My second option, was a flowy number that was so wrinkled it would appear I had it bunched up between two couch cushions for years, instead of innocuously hanging in my closet.
If there’s one thing my mom taught me, it was “Dear God, just don’t show up in wrinkled clothing!”
Because I’m such a winner at adulting, I don’t own an ironing board. Whenever ironing is necessary, like once in a freaking lifetime, we just iron on the bed, against the wall, you know, whatever surface is available.
At this point, we had five minutes and the stress of having to iron, had me perspiring pretty heavily.
In my crazed-what-the-fuck-kind-of-ironing-is-that-job, I knocked over a half empty cookie container. As I frantically ironed more wrinkles into my shit show dress, I was stepping on (and spreading all over the floor) shortbread cookie crumbs.
Once I decided I’d done enough damage to my permanently wrinkled dress, I turned off the iron, folded the towel, and saw that while I was ironing more wrinkles, I was also removing the finish on the table.
I don’t even know if I’ll ever be an adult at this rate.
The Random Observation
The wedding previously mentioned in Tahoe was a picture perfect winter wonderland. It was just beautiful.

The wedding and reception was held at a resort and spa. The ceremony took place in an open area that looked out onto the lake and surrounding mountains. The guest rooms also looked out onto this patio.

The beautiful bride and a wedding crasher.
Do you see the woman in the top right corner of the picture?
She looks pretty easy to miss, right?
Wrong!
I almost missed the entire wedding ceremony, because I was trying to figure out a way to get a good shot of her without being rude or too obvious.
By the time the ceremony was over, so was my opportunity to snap a picture of her, because she went back into her room. The free wedding entertainment was over. Duh.

Here’s a zoomed-in version.
This woman made my entire life. It looks like she’s kind of far away in the picture, but she was practically on top of the entire wedding procession. And, she was every bit #goals with her Russian kubanka hat, glass of champagne, and zero fucks.
So, I iron towel patterns into kitchen tables, but maybe someday I’ll just live in a resort, drink champagne all day, and own a sublime Russian fur hat? If that’s the case, I’ll send my clothes out for ironing.
Forget adulting.

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I'm a Hot Money Mess

So, it turns out that I’m not only completely inept in the Eating Healthy and Working Out arena, I’m also a hot mess in the Saving (Having) Money department.
I’d like to reassure any and all who think I’m somewhat of a productive, responsible member of society by saying I always pay my bills on time, and despite having more debt than I’d like, I have excellent credit.
This is where the positives end and the what-are-you-some-kind-of-moron-or-something begins.
Without fail, the week leading up to my monthly payday, I am firmly living under the poverty line.
So, that’s why right now I’m on the struggle bus careening straight toward Mental Breakdown Town.
I’d really like to blame my monthly financial crises on my lowly teacher pay, but, no, it’s 100% me.
(That’s not to say I don’t think teachers all across the world deserve pay that accurately depicts the jobs they perform, because they do.)
True talk, my monthly salary is totally enough to pay my bills, buy groceries, spend on occasional fun, and put aside some (meager) savings. Now, I can’t go all crazy and buy a house or go on a trip or anything…
So, why am I washing our paper plates and rinsing and drying out paper towels, you ask?
(Speaking of fucking paper towels, Target recently halved what they give you on their 99¢ rolls and thought we wouldn’t notice. Assholes.)
Well, let me just plainly list the reasons why I’m forever transferring money from my savings and overdraft to my checking account:
1. I am paying for too many monthly subscriptions (Ipsy, Snack Crate, Weight Watchers, Netflix, Hulu, and numerous educational related apps and services).
2. I have an addiction to Starbucks. My “Once a Week” deal has turned into, “Manic Monday”, “Friyay”, and far too many trips over the weekend. If it has a cute, made up name for the excuse and it’s easier than pushing the Keurig button, I’m game.
3. I go to Target every weekend. I am firmly anti-Walmart, so our non-grocery essentials are bought by moi at the Happiest Place on Earth. It’s just that I’m-going-for-toothpaste, turns into shit-fuck-how-did-I-spend-$100?
I got $99 problems
I got $99 problems
4. I need, like, I’m not joking that it feels like needing-to-breathe-need bullshit things like these:

Amazon

RoseGoldRebel

FabFitFun
If I don’t buy/have a rose gold Starbucks travel cup, I don’t know how I can go on living.
Our Earth is really just a spinning globe of garbage, but I feel an intense need for endless crap that I’ll forget I own in 6 months.
It’s pathetic, really.
5. I will have a fridge full of food, but cooking sounds like hard labor, so I’ll pick up food whenever I’m feeling lazy. And that’s all.the.time.

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Me, when I have to cook literally anything.
6. I can’t start walking, hiking, doing yoga, or journaling without buying the latest and greatest accoutrements. When someone told me about the “envelope method” for spending money, my first thought was, “Well, I’ll have to get a really cute envelope. I wonder if they have fake leather ones in a gorgeous mint color?” WHAT THE FUCK EVEN IS A “CUTE LEATHER MONEY ENVELOPE”? (Google didn’t know either.)
Really, I could go on, but I’ll just quit while I’m not even close to being ahead.
So, I know. I need therapy, Dave Ramsey, and Shoppers Anonymous in a major way.
Because I don’t spend my money on things that will actually prove useful in time (*Ahem* addiction therapy), I’m going to list the ways I’m planning to attempt to straighten up my money act.
1. I’m finally quitting Ipsy (along with Snack Crate). I know it’s only $10 a month, but, holy shit, did you know that 10 times 12 is $120? Also, I already have 82 black eyeliners and 45 mini tubes of mud mask. How many black eyeliner pencils does one need in a lifetime? Because I think I have that many. Not to mention, this month’s ugly bag was just…I can’t.

This is not my favorite.
2. I’m going to get serious about Acorns. Haven’t heard of it yet? Y’ALL. It’s awesome. Basically, what they do is round up to the next dollar all of your debit purchases and that amount is “invested” into your Acorns account. You can also arrange to have a monthly payment invested into your account. I legit saved over $80 the last month (you better believe Homegirl wears out that debit card).
The beauty of this is that you hardly notice 23 cents being taken out at a time.
The downside? You can withdraw your funds at.anytime.
So, what I meant by “get serious” is I need to start actually leaving my savings the eff alone. Had I just not touched it from the moment I downloaded the app, I’d have so much money saved.
Ugh. I can’t even think about it.
P.S. If you like the sound of Acorns and you want to set up an account, follow this link so I can get credit for referring you. If 10 friends start using Acorns, I get a $500 bonus. (I’m not being compensated in any way by Acorns, it’s just legit one of my favorite apps).
P.P.S Thank you to Angela at Hot Mess Memoir for introducing me to Acorns.
3. I’m going to slowly back away from Starbucks. Not only is their coffee grossly overpriced, unless you do the sugar-free thing, the sugar in their drinks is through the roof. I hate how convenient they are, though. I have one so close to home and on the way to work. I can slip in and out of the drive thru and be on the freeway to work, before I realize I did it again.

My new deal is one Starbucks visit a month. It gives me heart palpitations just typing that. Also, I’m on the market for a shock collar that’ll give me a good wringing the second I start heading to the ‘Bux.
SEE I CAN’T SAVE MONEY WITHOUT SPENDING IT.
4. I’m going to give myself a weekly spending allowance of $80. This will include spending for dinner out or other entertainment on the weekend. On Sunday, I’ll withdraw the cash and only allow myself to use that cash for any and all purchases.
$80 sounds like a lot, but it’s mind blowing how much I spend when left unsupervised.
Maybe at some point I’ll be able to live off even less per week?
I mean, stranger things have happened.
So, what are your budgeting strategies? How do you save money? What’s something you struggle with not spending money on? Let me know in the comments!

WTF Wednesday #12

It’s 9:15 PM and I just realized that I haven’t put together my post for tomorrow. I think I just outed myself as the kind of blogger who does not have their shit together. I almost never have blog posts planned days in advance. I usually get a wild idea the night before I post, and then I spend a few frantic hours piecing it together. Not always, but almost always. 
Anyway, this week has moved as slow as an eight-year-old when you’re late for anything, but at the same time, it’s speeding by far too fast. 

How I feel about everything this week!

Amidst a full week of state testing at school and trying to walk enough so I can eat dessert, I’m working on something that could be the most epic thing I’ve ever done. That, or it could be all for naught. No pressure. 
I promise I’ll be back to my usual crazy rants and ravings next week, so forgive me this one really lazy attempt at a post. 
Also, as soon as I can, I’ll share what I’m earning more gray hairs and an extra eye twitch for when possible. 
Since I might as well wrap this up as lamely and lazily as possible, I’ll now hand it off to you. Since reading comments are my absolute favorite pastime, let me have it. 
How is your week going? Any juicy gossip? Got any rants you need to get off your chest? Did you learn an awesomely random new piece of trivia? Anything. Let me know in the comments. 
Sorry I’m lame. 

5 Reasons Why I'm Failing at Adulting


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1.When my students do or say something turdly, really, just once, want to say, “I know you are, but what am I?” I know… but it would be so awesome to give them a little dose of the ridiculous excuses/responses/attitudes they give me every.single.day.

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2. Every year when I renew my car registration, I don’t put the new sticker on my license plate until I get pulled over. It’s like tradition. It is just so hard and takes too much effort to wipe the dust and grime off of my license plate and place the new sticker over the 10 that are already there, about to fall off. Pure unadulterated laziness.


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3. Every month, since I was 11 (why, God?) Aunt Flo has visited. One would think that after three decades of this ridiculousness, I would know to be prepared. Yet, every month, I ruin a pair of panties and I have to waddle into the store, with an entire roll of toilet paper wrapped around the crotch of my underwear.

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4. I love to wait until the bitter end before a credit card payment is due. That way, the extra money I was planning on using to pay down some of the debt can be used to buy new shoes or way too many Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccinos far before I have to make the payment. Winning.

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5. I buy bananas for one sole purpose: I like to watch things slowly wither and die. For what other purpose do bananas serve? I sure as hell never eat them.

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Adulting is Hard-Shopper Lottie

Hello Readers! I hope I am finding you all in the post-bliss of Christmas eating and joy! I am currently self-medicating with hourly doses of Pepto. There will be a day when my body will just reject my lifestyle choices, and I will be one of those people who eats kale because that’s all my ravaged stomach can handle. Not yet, though, not yet.
If you need something, other than making poor diet choices, for your free time, then check out my latest post over at Shopper Lottie:
10 Reasons Why You’re Not Quite An Adult