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Archive for June, 2008

Patience my little grasshopper

June 29th, 2008 at 05:52 pm

Tomorrow is the day I am scheduled to fly to Savannah to meet with wedding coordinators and meet with a realtor to look at some houses.

I am leaving poor baseball boy with his job security low right now (team is releasing players left and right while they are on a major losing streak), there are still no tires on my jeep, and other teams have been calling Baseball boy to play for them in other states and Canada. So it is chaos here. All I can do is leave my belongings packed up so that if Baseball boy must leave while I am gone I can find a way to get wheels on the jeep and go meet him wherever he is.
In the meantime I am excited to finally see in person the houses I have been researching online.

But now is just not the right time to buy in my desired Georgian city. The housing bubble seems to have burst down there, but the sellers have not aknowledged it yet. A majority of the houses that caught my eye when I initially started online looking 6 months ago are still listed for sale, with no price drop.

Comparing housing listing prices vs the price the home was purchased for a few years ago, sellers are still asking high margins of profit. Some homes are asking 50-75k over the initial price!

So I will look, and learn, and listen, but my checkbook will remain dusty. Oh well. Probably good with everything else so crazy lately.

Pretty pretty jeep tricked out redneck style

June 28th, 2008 at 12:58 am

I walked out of my apartment complex today to find my brand new, shiny, pretty jeep wrangler up on cinder blocks.



The thieves were attracted to my upgraded, big mudding tires that I bought off of craigslist for $600 and failed to mention to my insurance company. That was a my bad.

To their credit, Geico has been great, so far. We will see. They have provided me with a rental car free to me until next Thursday. An assessor is coming out Mon or Tuesday to circle thecar and confirm that the wheels, tires, rims are truly missing.

I called the cops, who handed me a card with a claim number, and said my situation is too bad.

I called the jeep dealership and they have nothing in stock. Everything is being imported from Detroit and wont be in till the 4th or 5th. They agreed to balance and mount the tires before we pick them up, and put them on the jeep ourselves at the apartment complex.

I am sad that Geico demands I buy standard, factory rims and tires or there is no coverage. I wouldnt mind paying the difference for the bigger tires, but Geico wont do it.

Here's the kicker- My jeep wheels had a tire lock. They were LOCKED ONTO THE JEEP. The thieves got the lock key out of the center consol and removed my tires, LEAVING THE 5TH WHEEL ON THE BACK OF THE JEEP! They TOOK THE LOCK KEY WITH THEM! So I cant remove the 5th wheel.

Now I will be driving my jeep with small standard tires and a big honking mudding tire on the back.

And since they didnt steal the 5th tire, Geico wont pay to replace the 5th tire, so I will have to pay for a spare tire myself. Although I dont know where to store it, with the big supersized tire locked onto the back of my vehicle.

And I have to pay my $500 deductible. So I pay $500 for tires that are crappier than I had yesterday. {{sigh}} And until everything arrives late next week, my jeep is propped up on cinder blocks, redneck style.

Yup- this set me back quite a bit. At this point, due to Baseball team issues I dont feel comfortable announcing to the world at the moment- we are bleeding money. This was it. We are borrowing from future savings to pay this deductible, and if one more thing goes wrong, I just dont know what we will do.

Oh- and they got my IPOD.

I was in shock all morning. Going through the motions to do what I gotta do- and now I find it mildly amusing. Theres nothing I can do, I might as well laugh at hoow comical it is to see a brand new, shiny wrangler on cinder blocks.

boring/ just yesterday's spending total

June 24th, 2008 at 08:07 pm

I am in the midst of wedding planning, but I wanted to list yesterday's spending so I have an accurate total when reviewing it later....

$20 for overpriced Mexican lunch
$20 for Baseball Boy's shoulder massage
$20 for groceries
$5 for a beer at the baseball game

oiy!

Wedding prices...need advice!

June 23rd, 2008 at 08:44 pm

Today is wedding planning day. And rather than asking soon-to be-brides questions on wedding websites about some of my concerns, I am turning to you, a mix of recently married, non-married and seasoned married veterans to help me with some budget concerns.

1. I need to hire a bartender with a liquor license. I contacted one man who explains that he can provide a bartender for $25 hr who will pick up the alcohal, take it to the reception, set it up, serve, dismantal and clean up, returning unused bottles to the company. The price for the alcohal is only a dollar or two above store prices. But I must plan to pay for the bartender to spend 2-3 hrs for the running around plus the serving time.
~ I'm thinking the cheaper way to go is for ME to buy alchohal, have my wedding planner set it up, and just pay the bartender to come, serve and leave. Right? Or is buying/setting up myself a huge hassle? The man made it sound like it's standard to request the bartender to pick up/drop off the alcohal.

2. Wedding hairstyles. I have called several salons. The CHEAPEST I can find is $80 an updo (and there is a total of 4 people plus me). Plus the cost of $50 pp makeup. To get by as cheaply as I can, should I forgo the bridal hair trial? I have very long hair, but I want a pretty standard half updo. I dont live in the city, so I have never used their services, they were recommended to me by my photographer.
And why is the BRIDES hair $25 more than the rest of the parties? And why is a bridal party hair updo $30 more than a normal updo?
~ I know you will suggest not telling them it's for a wedding, but really, how do you get away with that? 5 women walk into a salon early in the morning needing formal updos...even if no one mentions the word 'wedding' on the day of the wedding, I still think the salon will flat out ask me why we are getting updos.

~Tipping. I know I have to tip. I guess this is a vent. Why am I tipping for a service I have written into a contract will be provided and I will pay the contracted price?

3. Bridal party gifts. I dont want to give gifts because I am paying for their and their dates hotel rooms @ $200 a night (2 nights). I am considering paying for their hair/makeup too. (I probably will). So how can I graciously explain to them the high costs of this and not have them expect 'something' as a bridal party gift?
I know they would understand and be grateful if they knew the prices of this stuff, but I dont know how to tell them without going into price details and sounding tacky or whiny.

4. Wedding insurance~ worth it or not? Have not looked into it because, well who uses it?

hmmm...thats it for now.

Spending update:
June 21/ $32 spent for overpriced Mexican lunch for Baseball boy and myself
June 22/$40 spent for Baseball boys monthly clubhouse dues.

Taking the first step towards the rest of my life

June 21st, 2008 at 09:34 pm

Well, in a few weeks I will be traveling to Savannah, GA. Anybody live in that area? I am going to meet with wedding vendors to finalize wedding details, but while I am there I will be devoting a day to house looking. (not house hunting yet~ just looking right now.)Is it bad that I am way more excited to be house looking than wedding planning?

I contacted a realtor who has agreed to show me properties. Now, I want to do this whole house business right. And by right I mean~ not get taken advantage of, not be misled.
I have a short list of houses I want to look at, but have not talked to the realtor otherwise. We have both been very casual at this point.

Now I know the realtor will work for me up to a point, but really will be working for himself. After all, his comission is based on the dollar amount I end up spending.
So when he asks me what my price range is, I'm not sure what to say. Do I give him a range lower than my absolute limit?

I am afraid if I tell him my real limit he will:
1. only show me houses at the top of the limit or above that limit.
2. Later not work hard to negotiate the price down for me knowing that I could afford more than I am verbally saying I want to spend on the house.

I also ask if anyone is from the area because I being out of state, would appreciate 'local' perspectives of the market. Looking at the national market hardly helps when you are pinpointing one city.

I think the market is declining now, but still has room to go down more. I'm just wondering if it's in a downward spiral, leveling out, or just now starting to go down. Many houses I looked at online months ago are still listed, but only 1 has decreased it's price, and was then purchased immediately.

Right now I am taking time to learn about the market, and see in person how much house I can get for my money as another step in the education process. I hate to waste this realtor's time when I wont be making a purchase this weekend, but think I do plan to purchase within 6 months.

So advice on what to tell/not to tell my realtor is appreciated, and advice on the Savannah, GA market is also appreciated.


Opps! Forgot about chronicling yesterdays spending:
$6 for Baseball boy's lunch~ not bad!

living in the laundry room

June 20th, 2008 at 11:34 am

Well, Baseball boy and I share a 2 bedroom apartment with another player and we all get along really well.
Yesterday our roomate told us that he has heard a rumor we will be getting a 3rd roomate.
Apparently this third roomate has a reputation with the ladies and our current roomate is a bit hesitant to get excited about sharing a room with that kind of activity going on.

So what solution was found? Stick the new guy in the laundry room!

We honestly have an empty laundry room in the apartment to fit a washer/dryer.

So the men moved the extra twin bed in the apartment to the laundry room last night. It barely fits. The bed takes up 80% of the room.

But there is an empty linen closet right across the hall, and after I went through shock and then hysterical laughter that they were really doing this, I think it is a workable solution.

Our spending yesterday was high. Not by me, but by Baseball boy. I talked to him yesterday about 'no spend days' and tracking culminated daily expenses, but like I said yesterday, he has a problem not 'counting' expenses as an 'expense'. He was all happy he spent "$15 yesterday" but then I asked him how that was possible when he spent $60 in vitamins and he argued that doesnt count because they will last him at least the next month or two.

*sigh* silly boy.

So here is yesterdays total:
$4 to wash/vacume out the car
$6 for Baseball boy's (fast food) lunch...just could not get him on board with my goal to eliminate fast food.
$5 for pizza for dinner for both of us..(it was kind of gross, will not be eating there again despite the cheap pizza)
$60 in vitamins...whateveh!
Total: $75

You guys have inspired me!

June 19th, 2008 at 04:51 pm

Ok, Ok, I promised an update on my admitted credit card debt. Baseball boy and I sat down, looked at the numbers last night and made some progress, but really need more info so decided to wait for this month's bills to come in and see what we're dealing with here in this new town.

In the meantime, I have been reading ya'll's blogs, and stumbled across the "Supersize Me...Not" blog from I forget who wrote it. And although I watched the fast food documantary over a year ago, the documentary's message resided with me and it drastically led to a reduction in fast food intake for me.

However, I am officially declaring to the world (you guys being the world I guess)that I am now going to eliminate fast food from my diet. No more fast food. No Burger King, No Taco Bell, no Arbys. Yes to Pizza joints. Some people consider Pizza Hut, Dominos, ect. fast food. I dont. If it has a drive through, it's a 'No Go' zone.
To be brutally honest I dont expect this to very hard. I have been a vegetarian longer than I havnt been one, so really soda, fries or a baked potato was all I ever ordered.
And lately when Baseball boy suggests fast food, it just makes my stomach turn. I have been hard core working out for almost a year now and 'being healthy' is seeping into other areas of my life, including eating healthy, and decreasing alcohal intake.
So really I am setting an easily obtainable goal. I am a cheater. I'll admit it. I am really declaring this so that I will eliminate the one fast food visit I make every few months. go me. whooho.

In other news I noticed that several of you chronicle your spending daily here. I would like to try that too. I am unsure of the rules, but I will start it. But only will be logging MY spending, because Baseball boy can be hard to track. He's the type to stop at White Castle on the way home from the gym, eat it in the car and tell me he's starving when he gets home, and say "lets get lunch." I only know he ate already by the smell of dead carcass in the car.

So heres my spending yesterday:
$0
Now that I think of it, this might be hard to do. Baseball boy pays for alot of my little daily expenses. Example, he put $20 in the car we share yesterday. Hmmm...well, I already know I dont spend $$ on 'things', I tend to blow the budget about 1x a month on something big, like last weeks Mall of America trip.

A little bit of this, a little of that

June 18th, 2008 at 07:19 pm

Well, I have gotten in the habit of posting a little story, a little something everyday on this site. Generally I find a topic and stick with it. Not today, I'm going to jump all over the place to see if you can keep up.

First, to update yesterdays omission of credit card guilt~ Baseball boy and I have a meeting to sit down tonight and do a thorough financial gameplan to eliminate the debt as fast as possible. He has been much more open to discussing finances lately, and I can only guess it's because he finally has a paycheck coming in. Looking back, I realize I tend to get money obsessive during the times he's unemployed. LOL.
So problem resolution will be posted soon.

I am still feeling numb and 'out of it' from putting down my dear dog yesterday, so I'm having trouble thinking in depth or following a string of thoughts today. Hence the illogical blog jumpings-

Next, a house that I have been eyeing online has gone under contract. And not under my contract. I am really upset over this. I invested alot of research into this house, and had big plans for it. Only I have never seen it in person. I was planning to see it at the end of this month when I am in that town doing wedding stuff.
The damn house was overpriced for months and finally the sellers lowered the asking price by 30k and *swoop* some pheonix couple grabbed it. (you see what kind of research I am capable of? I even know the buyers hometown)
I bet they have no plans to put in a cobblestone driveway with a large latice overhang the way I did. And enclose it with a stone fence with iron toppers, and have a big wraught iron gate at the end of the driveway.
*sigh*. Oh well. They say not to fall in love, and I did, but now I have a "love standard" against which to compare all other houses I look at in a few weeks.
Looking online, there are some houses worth looking at, but none compare in size/quality/price. Well, the location was iffy, so maybe it just wasnt meant to be.

And finally, Baseball boy is talking about getting another dog. I admit I went on a rescue website today and it breaks my heart knowing those adorable dogs are homeless and in need of a family. But I have some reservations with buying a house already owning a large dog. I am trying to figure out how much homeowners insurance will increase if I have a dog. I am wondering if getting a large dog AFTER I buy and insure my house isnt a smarter thing to do.

I was also thinking of telling Baseball boy we cant get a dog until this debt is paid off. If I can stick to my guns on that plan, the debt would surely be wiped out by the end of the summer.

Thats it for now. How do we like the blog styles? One topic or several? Which is more fun to read? I know I can drone on and get boring sometimes when I delve into a specific topic on my mind...

ok ok- I'm in DEBT already!

June 17th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

I'll admit it. I'm in credit card debt. I have been in denial for over a month now.

I never have a balance and for several weeks now I have pretended that my INTENTIONS to pay it back in full as soon as I can means that it WILL be paid back in full before I know it. Therefore, I pushed this concern to the back of my mind.

But one thing has followed another financially and here I am in debt with little hope of being out of it by the end of the summer, unless I dip into savings, which I REALLY dont want to do.

So what has financially killed me? Let me tell me. I have not actually written out a list because my denial was keeping me from aknowledging the problem. So let me see where the problem came from, hold on here...

ahh...the problem came from my poor, poor planning.

February 08 Baseball boy is projected to earn $2200 a month with his team and we determine that is enough $$ for both of us to live off and I can travel with him for the season without working.

March 08
Baseball Boy is released from his team and unemployed for 3 weeks. He has not collected a single paycheck.

April 08
Baseball boy finds a new team to play with that will pay him 1700 a month and provide a free apartment. New team does not begin season for a few weeks.

End of April 08
Baseball boy is given a better oppertunity to play for a big name team and he must take this chance. Big name team will only pay $1700 month/no apartment.

May 08
We move to new team town.
*We stay in a hotel 4 nights @$60 a night trying to secure an apartment.
*We find apartment for $800 month, plus put down $800 for security. (This is the beginning of the bad. We had not planned to pay rent combined with 2 months no pay means we entered the season with just $1000 in EF, and so security had to go on CC)

May 08
Baseball boy is released from new big name team and now unemployed, 2 weeks into our lease. We move back to home base to regroup and forfit that months rent.

Mid May 08
Baseball boy goes back to original new team, but cannot get the same agreed pay. Agrees to $1400 month and free apartment (still not bad so we thought everything would be ok)

Mid May 08
*Our dog has tumors removed and sent in for testing. $800 on the CC.
*bought a plane ticket for early July to future wedding site to meet vendors and plan Nov wedding~ $340 on CC.

End of May 08
*I drive across country in SUV to live with Baseball boy who has flown up there and gotten settled in. $350 in gas spent on the CC. Slept in the car so I was saving 'some' money and this put me farther into denial.

Early June 08
*Grocery shopping buying staples like butter, silverware, dishes, oils, and seasonings that are not 'meals' but will be used for the rest of the season and must be purchased to be able to use the kitchen and avoid eating out every night. $120 on CC for initial grocery visit.
*Mall of America- ouch-$300 on CC
Set up a bank account in new town and must wait for Baseball boys first check to clear. (Do get a $50 gas card for opening up account though!)

Mid June 08
*Laid dog with cancer to rest, $350 on CC.

And we have charged up about $200 in misc costs such as gas, clubhouse dues, dog food, grocery trips, fast food, and we went to a movie.

Credit card balance is over 3k and I am finally admitting it. It sure is easier to spend the money than to pay off the money.
Plus that pesky CC provided by Baseball boy's father was used during the unemployment and we are determined to pay dad back the $800 racked up, plus a $300 vet visit loan I took from him 2 months ago. So dad gets $1000 as soon as we can get it to him.

I *could* dip into my retirement savings to pay it off and be done with it. But I dont think I will.

1. I worry that if I start dipping into retirement, it will become a habit. I must budget, and stress, and pay it off slowly and the pain should keep this from happening again.
2. It's all on a 0% discover card. The 0% lasts until August, so this month I will apply for a new 0% and switch the balance to give myself more time to pay it off the hard way.

It all went wrong by counting on that big paycheck, then by planning to not have to pay for an apartment. My my my...I have become a little overconfident in my frugal ways and now look at the mess I got into.

And I can't get a job for the season because 1. we share a car, and 2. The lack of job security leaves me unable to committ to anything during the season. We moved to 3 towns last season.

This is a sad one

June 16th, 2008 at 06:59 pm

My dog is dying before my eyes.

She has been diagnosed with cancer for a few months now.

The vet assured us he removed all of it 2 months ago when it was first spotted, but said it will likely come back and to keep an eye out.

3 weeks later she was back at the vet to have 4 lumps removed and sent in for testing.

We just heard back from the testing that it is aggressive (long medical terms) and obviously there is nothing to be done.

I say obviously because in the 8 days it took to get the test results back hundreds of lumps have formed over her entire body and are growing phenomenally fast.

Her breathing is labored, she is very mopey, and just has no energy.

She has been on over the counter tagnet and benedryl and up until this morning the medicine was doing a world of difference in her energy and appetite.

Not today. She positions her body in such a way and just wont move a muscle except to move her eyes.

This is a terrible blow to Baseball boy and I because just yesterday we took her out to the park for an hour to walk around and be petted by children.

Her mind is still very good. She is aware of her surroundings, listens to the people outside our apartment, comes (laborously) when called, but she seems to be going in and out of pain, to relief, and back to pain again.

I am new to the area, so I called a Vet hospital that I passed by yesterday and made plans to bring her in Wed morning. There were no openings for tomorrow, and I am worried about keeping her going beyond her comfort level just because the vet is booked with appointments.

Baseball boy rescued her as a gift to me 6 yrs ago. She started out as 'my' dog, but she is really his.

Neither of us has owned a dog before, so she has taught us alot.

Of course whenever I think about it, I start crying. Although I have had well over a month to prepare for this.

I cant figure out why I cry. Is it because I will miss her company? What does 'miss' really mean anyways? It's one of those words that you say, but when you break it down, I'm not sure of what 'missing someone' entails.

Is it because I worry for her well being after she is put down? Obv I have no idea of what happens after death, and I wish I could just take her wherever she ends up, check it out, and make sure she will be happy there.

Or maybe I cry because of the impending pain and guilt I will feel once this is all over. I know that I am in the middle of a tough process and it's about to get worse.

If I could analytically understand my emotions, it would help me to be more objective and kind of get through the ordeal. But I just start crying and I am not sure why.

Financially this will be an end to a very expensive process. This has run into the thousands this year, but every dollar was well spent for my peace of mind. And this dog did not cost us much at any other time except this past year, so she's been playing 'catch up' with our wallets.

Wed's trip will come from the retirement savings I have though, my EF was wiped out between the last vet visit and the recent move here.

This is horrible, and the closest I have come to feeling my heart break.

Does anybody know me?

June 15th, 2008 at 05:38 pm

Suposedly we write these blogs anonymously. However, some of us are better than others to omit identifying information from our blogs. I am horrible at it.

My life has always been an open book, and I have rarely felt ashamed of my actions enough to hide anything.

So when writing the blogs, I give away a good amount of detail. And if you read my blog installments- even more detail comes to light.

I'm not so worried about a majority of bloggers who are 'strangers' but I wonder if any of you are people I personally know?

I doubt most of my friends or family would participate in this website, but I can see a few people I know interested in this topic. And it makes me paranoid that they will tell the rest of my friends and family and I wll be crucified for either 'airing my laundry publicly' or 'dragging their identities into my stories.'

Some things I write are selfish. Some things I write dont paint other people in the best light, and alot of things I write are a fraction of the picture as it pertains to that subject, but it's from my viewpoint, and sometimes I dont feel like being PC.

I would hate to lose this 'anonymous' space where I can chronicle the unedited version of my life.

Sometimes I participate in life and put on different 'identities' where I talk about one thing with one person, another person views me differently, and a whole other group of people know me as a totally different person than I normally am. I am many different things to many people and I find myself editing, omiting stories to 'click' with a particular person, and I worry that the things I write here, if discovered by someone I personally know, might offend them. (Wow. That was a horrible run-on sentence. Sorry about that.)

But maybe I put to much ego in my own writings and what I say would hardly impact a friend or families perspective.

I know people take themselves much more seriously than others take them.

Has anyone here been 'found out' by close friends, family or co-workers? Do you guys write for a specific audience, knowing, guessing, assuming or worrying that someone you personally know will be reading it and linking it you?

And do any of you reading this have a pretty good guess of who 'I' am? (maybe that sounds egotistical right there, to assume that my circle of friends is so large and I am at the fore of their minds so they immediately think of 'me' when reading my stories.)

LOL. maybe today's blog wasnt about money specifically. It was more about peace of mind.

Me against Mall of America...guess who won? Our economy will last another day.

June 14th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Well, I just moved to MN about a week ago and though I am a nature lover, I figured I'd leave the goreous parks and head over to the Mall of America.

From the outside, it's just a gigantic warehouse looking thing. I was expecting a high rise I guess.

Inside, it's overwhelming. 4 Stories of stores. You just look up and up and up and up at the hallways and neon lights.

10 minutes into the expidition Baseball boy turns to me and says "I dont like this. Its just not right."

"What? What do you mean?" I ask.

"I look around and its like, consumer overload. I cant get away. I feel like I'm in a tunnel and its all man-made, heavily designed, manipulative methods used to sell to me and convince me to spend every dollar I have. It's just not right."

I agreed and clutched my purse tighter to my side. I was afraid. It was me against commercialism at it's best.

2 stores in, it got me. I had Baseball boy try on a brand of t-shirts he likes but we can only find at Macys in FL (here, the brand had it's own store), and as his pile grew to 3 shirts, I got into the spirit, and look- The brand carries a girls line! How cool! So I bought a shirt. $160 later we leave that store.

Then, its game on. I dont know. I must have blacked out. Those merchants know how to get my guard down. Pretty colors.

So over the next few hours we try on clothes, zig zag from one store to another. I found a HUGE scrapbooking store and gave Baseball boy $10 to get a smoothie just so I could be alone for a good hour in that store.

Then I bought 2 Old Navy tanks (like there isnt an Old Navy in every mall across the US)..so that was just silly.

I stopped in my tracks when I encountered the roller coasters. "Disney Land? Is that you?" No, its commercial America, Dora the explorer is here to greet you and take your money. Thank you very much.

I found it ironic that I suggested to Baseball boy we check out the aquarium. We come from Florida after all. He found it ironic that the aquarioum is on the second floor- thats alot of heavy water for one floor to hold!

Hmmm...what else did we get? Alot. I'm scared to look at my CC balance. It was bad. On the drive back home my senses cleared up, my mind woke up, because Baseball boy pressed his luck and suggested stopping at Target for butter and olive oil to which I angerly snapped "no! We're broke!"

But we need those two items. Baseball boy foolishly bought several Asian type of stirfry meals and only when he tried to cook them did he realize they required those key ingrediants.

Sigh. Target. We're coming back for you. Tomorrow. It NEVER ends.

Diamonds and Gold...Oh my!

June 14th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

I found a diamond. I FOUND a DIAMOND! How many times does that happen in ones life?
The story of how my diamond came into my possesion is not very interesting, and did not involve any skills, so I have no advice to pass onto you readers for how you too can find your own diamond.

I find it ironic that there was no mining the earth to find this precious jewel as a natural resource.

No. This is America. Any natural resource we have has already been located, exploited and sold to the consumer masses.

And since I live in America, my diamond came to me in true American fashion. It has already been polished, cut, and placed in 14k gold to sparkle and shine as diamonds in America do.

But enough about my comparision of American consumerism and my discovery...onto the story-

I recently moved into a new apartment for the summer. I have lived here just over a week. My fiance, Baseball boy, has been here almost 3 weeks, and our roomate has been here almost 2 months, living with two men before Baseball boy and I moved in.

Last night, I was cleaning crumbs off the carpet (no vacume here) I spotted a glittery, glistening, shiny little nugget of gold in the fibers of the carpet.

Picking it up, I realized it was a DIAMOND EARRING! No mate has been found yet.

Where it came from I havnt a clue. I imagine it possibly became dislodged from some girls ear during a heavy make out session on the couch with one of the previous baseball boys who lived here.

Or perhaps its even older than that and belonged to the previous resident and ewwww!...the apartment complex did not vacume and wash the carpet before the baseball group moved in.

Do I keep it? I could ask the previous players if any of their 'girlfriends' complained she lost an earring, but doubt the players will care enough to even track down the girl missing the earring. I guess I will at least do that. Beyond that, I dont see anything else I can do.

But it's a real diamond. In real gold.
I am not a yellow gold girl and wear silver or white gold, so I would prefer to exchange it somewhere for cash but dont know where to do that.

If it's not worthwhile to sell, then I will keep it. I have already sterilized it and found a back for it. I have several piercings in one ear so this little diamond will look good at the top hole of my ear, and I will make an exception to wear yellow gold for this little diamond.

My my my...I wonder if there is some type of lesson here about keeping a dirty apartment...

My man, the starving artist type~ Updated!

June 13th, 2008 at 04:17 pm

Well, I wanted to give you all an update and answer some of your questions regarding my post yesterday describing baseball boy's financial weaknesses.

First, baseball boy is exactly what you guys assumed him to be, he is a sweetheart. He loves me, and takes care of me in so many ways, he gives me everything in his power to give me. He has seen me being really bitchy, he has seen me really selfish, and he has seen me really say rotten things to him and he forgives, he moves on, and he gets me thai food to cheer me up.

Second, to clarify life in the minor leagues..I think I was a bit general yesterday and I know someone will bring up an example of a minor leaguer making 15k a month. Triple A guys and guys who have previously made an appearence in the majors get paid serious cash. Obviously, baseball boy has not made it that far or we would not be having this problem.

Third, it is HIGHLY unlikely at this point baseball boy will make it any closer to triple A or the majors. Last year it was a definate possibility, and when it seemed like it was going to be a waiting game to see this pay off, I have no problem waiting. But this year is completely different, he was demoted, he's a year older, and his performance has been off. His dream is to PLAY professional baseball, not make it to the majors, so he is living his dream now. Last year was exciting, and this year was a letdown, but there will be no breakdown by him realizing he may never advance farther.

Fourth, yes merch. I do have house faver. I cant help it. My early twenties was spent with everyone telling me the best, smartest thing to do is to buy a house. Best return on my money, "buy now so your house will double in a few years!" Now everyone is telling me that NOW is the smartest time to buy a house because its a buyers market. "Buy now because you will never be able to find such good deals!" LOL. The market went upside down but the advice stayed the same! I have been furiously saving for 3 yrs now with my eye on one goal, and I'm in a position to do it finally!

Now, onto the update~
Baseball boy and I talked last night. We made some progress. I am not fully satisfied, but he finally said "I figured you were going to bring this up again, and I know you will just keep asking me questions until you run out of energy, so start."

He has some fears about the whole house buying thing and his lifestyle. Oddly enough, I had already considered and taken all this into account but I guess he thought it would be a problem.

So here were his fears:

If we buy then that means I stay behind each season, while he travels to whatever team will have him. The past 2 years I have traveled with him. So next year I would stay behind and work full time to pay the mortgage and bills. Once he is done playing ball and becomes a minor league coach (his plan B), he will still travel each season because that job only gives 1 yr contracts and has very little security. So we expect him to be coaching a different team every year, or every few years making it impossible to buy where he works. I have realized this, and the traveling and living with him yr round are qualities I am ready to sacrifice for roots and stability.

Baseball boy is worried that when we buy a house he will be unable to immediately find off season work. We live in a FL suburb town right now because 6 yrs ago he had spring training in this town and although he was released from that team the very next year, we just never saw the point in moving. His next team was in AZ and why move cross country to get moved again? I have grown to HATE this FL area but I started school earning a masters for the past 3 yrs so we were stuck.
While I was at school, Baseball boy was building a client base at the baseball school. It took him an entire off season to build his reputation and earn clients, and he worries that moving back to the south (where we both want to be) will leave him with no work for an entire off season.

He didnt come out and tell me this next problem, but I have figured it out. He actually has grown to really like FL. Every year I become more restless to get out of Florida, and he gets more comfortable here. In the past I told him that keeping me in FL when we are finally able to leave is grounds for me leaving him. I just graduated school in May, so I can leave, leave, leave! We both went to undergrad in the South (USC Gamecocks!)and we initially both wanted to settle down,raise kids in the south. So I can see Baseball boy adjusting to the southern lifestyle easily once he is back in the south.

And finally, he stunned me with his one last night- In the event he cannot find a baseball teaching job when we move, he wants to work part time at a desk type job to help with the bills, but is worried that he will be earning minimum wage (no office skills on this boys resume) and worries that I will get more frusterated with him (he needs to work part time to still be available to practice and work out). Awww...that was sweet of him.
But I had already planned on him contributing no income for the first off season while he built a client base, so I am just happy he offered to work at all!

Buying a house is not important to him, and after last night, I can understand why. Baseball boy has always planned to live a gypsie lifestyle. He would move from state to state playing or coaching, and never spend a year in one town. His priorities were to first find a girl who was willing to let him do this, and second, to earn enough money so she could travel with him and be happy. That has been his gameplan from the beginning, and in his mind, he had achieved it and was sucessful.

He layed this life out for me when we first started dating, and to me, it was a dream come true. Travel the country and live in every time zone? No brainer, I was on board! And we were young. He only knew that if he was offered the chance to play pro ball, he would do it. We were too young to think of a second career after that. It just naturally evolved into him wanting to coach professionally too.

But now, I am ready for other things. I am ready to have something to show for my life, I am ready for my own career, I am ready to have kids, to have options, not be told where to go, what to do and where to live.
And he gets that. He just feels he cannot really have a say in the decisions made because it will be 'my life' half the year, and if he wants to keep me he has to make sure I am happy. And forcing me to keep living this life, or forcing me to keep renting in FL will no longer keep me happy.

So we never got to how get him more financially independant from me or his dad (yes! I am an enabler! But I figured it's better I help him because we are a team!)and we have not talked the logistics of how we will really do this, but it's progress. Next I will work on getting Baseball boy to completely live within his means. And we are making progress on that front too, yesterday he stopped playing his video game because he was near completing it but doesnt want to trade it in for a new game because it will be expensive. Smile

My man, a starving artist type, a big drain on my money

June 12th, 2008 at 09:50 pm

Well, so far people seem to be reading my blogs and so I hope things have been interesting so far. Today I am selecting a new topic to discuss and would appreciate your input.

My fiance is essentially a starving artist. He makes almost enough money to live on, but cant pay his car insurance, medical bills or cell phone. Sometimes he needs help with gas.

Actually, I think he could break even with his expenses if he took a mild interest in finances, put pen to paper and created a gameplan.

This is where I need help, I have fluctuated between being aggravated to trying to talk to him about it, to letting him sink in bills to covering the expenses. I cant frame this issue in a way to 'wake him up'. He ranges from feeling helpless to ignoring it so he does not have to feel helpless.

And before we go into the 'kick the bum to the curb' spiel, I have been with him for almost 10 years, he is a catch and I'm not letting him go. This is my one complaint I have ever had about him.

I dunno. The situation is that he plays professional baseball in the minor leagues. He's not a 'bonus baby' who signed a contract for half a million, and he's been playing for 6 yrs now.

The players get paid about 1-4k a month during the season (6 month season) and nothing in the off season. My baseball boy currently makes 1400 a month in the season and earns about 600 month in the off season giving baseball lessons.

I look around at other players to see how they are progressing in life and I'm realizing some things.
A majority of the minor leaguers live with their parents, the few who own a house are bonus babies who made cash to sign their contracts.
And as we get older, the players are so much younger. My baseball boy is the oldest on his team. Generally by this age 'life' and all the expenses related to 'life' cause players to quit the game and retire.

My baseball boy wants to continue until he's forced out of the game.

The baseball life does have its good points. He was offered a job 2 yrs ago as a college coach making almost 40k to start, but turned it down to keep playing. Every year he keeps playing is another year on his resume for a future in a baseball career. But every year he plays is another year of decent earned income lost.
I guess I look at it as, he's kind of been interning for 6 yrs now.

Now financially he is very good. He does not have a CC, he does not live very far above his means, he lives very simply. But somehow, it does not get his bills paid.

I am not so concerned with how long he wants to play, I am more concerned about having my life on hold to live this life with him.
I want to buy a house. I want to have the option to have kids. I want to have an emergency fund.

He just wants to play. And we have kind of worked out a tentative plan that I worry could go very, very wrong.

I have been saving for a house down payment on my own. I can cover the mortgage and all bills (barely) associated with the house. He pays/contributes nothing until he's done playing ball. He just needs to make sure his expenses are covered.

I dont want to do it like this, but I try to talk about finances, expences and he just has no interest, or he takes an attitude of "well, theres nothing I can do, I work as hard as I can for the money I have, but I just cant help you with buying a house or that type of stuff", and this leads to an "I dont have any say in this process because this is your purchase so I am not interested in anything about it."

What bugs me as well, ironically, is how generous he is with his money. He always buys me little things, or fills up my car with gas, or hands me $20 to get myself something to eat. I know he does it to give me what he can, but then it haunts us when he doesnt have $$ later in the month for basic bills.

And finally, to add to the complexity, his father is his biggest fan. And a total enabler. His father gave him a credit card years ago and my baseball boy will use it at the end of the month when the money is gone. My baseball boy justifies it by saying that he only charges things like gas and basic food now as opposed to a few years ago when he charged everything all the time. He doesnt get that he's too old to have a credit card at all in his fathers name. And I tried talking to his father who goes into how it's "his biggest dream to see baseball boy play, and well worth the money, and if baseball boy was told he had to play for free then Dad would gladly pay his entire salary if it meant baseball boy could keep playing."

I recently tried to explain that we are thinking of buying a house and his dad just blew it off as "you guys cant do that right now, keep doing what your doing and in a few years when this career is over then you guys can think about getting a house."

So, I guess my questions here are:

1. how can I get baseball boy to participate in finances? I think if he was interested, he could live within his means. But he just see's $$ as a "money comes in, pay the bills, buys some dinners, money is gone, wait until next paycheck comes."

2. Is it..I guess..OK for me to buy a house on my own for us? Is it understandable that I have rented and saved for years now and am ready to have something to show for my life, I am ready to have a choice in where I live, and have some control or stability over our situation?

3. How can I get baseball boys father to realize he's not helping baseball boy by paying these bills? I help baseall boy out too every few months but it barely bothers baseball boy to take my money and it really bothers me when I get behind paying my own bills because I am trying to keep baseball boy from using that pesky credit card.
I feel that his father dis-credited the home buying idea because he feels "well, if they buy a house then thats another thing I have to pay for." I dont want him to feel that way. I want him to be excited for this step in our lives.

So..I dunno. This can only last another few years, and there are many, many other baseball wives in my situation. We just dont talk about it. We walk around with our coach handbags and pretend to be rich. But secretly, we all live in a 1 bedroom hell hole, or with our parents. Thats the big baseball secret revealed.

Wedding details and ouch! blowing the budget

June 12th, 2008 at 12:19 am

So...I have been planning this wedding for well over a year now, and as a fellow bride, I love sneeking peeks at other people's wedding budget details. It's fascinating to see other people's priorities, it's a great feeling when you realize you got a deal over someone else, and it's fun to judge and just think "what is she thinking?!"

Wedding background...it's a destination wedding to be held in historic Savannah, GA. the wedding will be small, and all guests are staying for the weekend. Very few of my friends or family have been to Savannah, so everyones excited to see this infamous city. I myself live out of state (FL and currently, temporarily, MN), so planning it has been a fun challenge.
So...here are my details so far...

1. Reception location and guest lodging for the weekend $12,000. We rented a B&B for the weekend but will be charging guests a discount rate of $100 a night (this place charges $200 a night), so we hope to recoup about $4400. So once all is said and done it will be $7600.

2. Wedding planner $1,000. Our location requires we have a wedding planner, so I hired a woman for day of services.

3. Ceremony location $400 (getting married in a park, includes a required police officer)

4.My dress! $1400 including taxes and alterations

5. Reception music $1,000 for a 2 person jazz band

6. Grooms outfit $600 (we bought him a grey pinstripe suit)

7. Invitations $90 (ebay)

8. Save the dates $9.00 (postcards)

9. JOP $150.00

10.wedding rings $1200

11. photographer $700 (craigslist)

total so far....$14,149.00

Need:
Food
alcohal/bartender
florist
ceremony strings
hair/makeup
cake
horse carriage (my favorite part)

maybe if theres room in the budget:
transportation to/from airport
arrange a trolly tour of city the night before the wedding

parents in law will be paying for: rehersal dinner

I originally had a $14,000 wedding budget, but well, paying for the location just ate that all up! So the budget jumped to 20k max. I refuse to go over 20k, hope to keep it around 18k.

I am paying for everything but the rehersal dinner myself, and am unclear how I will pay for it. I had $14k in savings that I have accumulated over the 4 yrs we were engaged (I dragged my feet partially for financial reasons, also for family reasons), but that money is long gone, and I think? I will put the remainder on a credit card and pay it off with the wedding money we get???

I know it's terrible. That is an evil, evil plan.

But I justify it as I do have the $$ in the bank if we dont clear 4-5k in gifts to pay off the card. I just REALLY, REALLY dont want to touch the savings because its earmarked for retirement, and I have a seperate savings account from my at home business but that is earmarked for a downpayment on a home. And if I dip into either account, I am afraid it will cause a downward spiral where I keep dipping into those savings. If I see a growing cc balance, I will cut myself off. If I skim a couple grand off savings and theres plenty more...I am afraid my wedding will get huge and gorgeous and out of control.

So thats it. judge, shake your head. I know 20 yrs from now I will tell future brides not to spend this kind of money on their wedding. I actually already kind of regret creating such a lavish wedding, but I cant scrimp out now, so I am just trying to convince myself that at least there will be no regrets later.

I am torn between being aghast at the $$ being spent, and being super excited for how cool the weekend will turn out.


First Entry...Let Me Introduce Myself

June 11th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I am a longtime reader, short time participant. Sometimes I think I am ahead of the game and I have my %&*! together, other times I feel like an ideot and a dunce.

A few things that are important to keep in mind when you read to my thoughts:

~I am a terrible speller
~I second guess myself constantly
~I am a very picky eater (not so important to you, very important to me)
~I am fascinated by money and all the different options available to spend, save or invest money
~my friends think I am one of the most 'got it together' people they know, and I let them think that but I dont know how true it is.
~I am truly, truly blessed but that does not stop me from encountering problems.

A little background to give a context surrounding my thoughts:

~I come from an upper middle class home but never knew it growing up. I always thought we were struggling.
~ my mom passed away a few years ago but when she was alive she was the most extravegant/miserly person I have ever met.
~I used to live like a pauper to avoid asking my mom for money. The gult trip I received was never worth whatever I needed.
~ now my mom's money is my money and I am trying to become a financially smart woman, but its hard emotionally and mentally to go from a starving -just getting-by mentality to a more-money-than-you-ever-thought-you-would-see mindset.
~My friends have no sympathy from me (nor would I expect them to) but in order to keep my friendships secure there is alot of problems in my life that I cant talk about with them.
~I have a deep set feeling of guilt for having money I feel I did not earn. I feel that none of my accomplishments are 'my accomplishments' because I had 'help' attaining the achievement.
~After paying my mom's bills I have not touched a dime of the liquid cash available to me in order to seperate 'my achievements' from 'my inheritance' but I still feel everyone looks at me and just sees me as a lucky trust fund girl.
~I chose to leave my hometown after high school and now live across the country from my lifelong friends. I miss them terribly but my fiance hates my home state (MI) so I am sad that I will likely never live near my friends again.

And in closing, here are my stats that are helpful to know when reading my thoughts:

~I am a 28yr old female
~I just earned a Masters degree in communications (Whoohoo!)
~I am engaged and have been dating a great guy for the past 10 yrs (so weddings and home buying are on my mind alot)
~my fiance plays professional baseball but he's not a signing bonus guy so the lifestyle eats up more money than he makes. He's getting kind of old in the baseball world so its very doubtful he will ever make it to the majors.
~It's pointless to state where I live because the baseball lifestyle keeps me moving every few months. I love traveling, so I dont mind it, actually I love it, but I guess other people get confused keeping up with me.
~I have not worked for 2.5 yrs because my life turned upside down when my mother died and I chose to follow a few different avenues besides the corporate life (though I'm ready to get back into it soon)
~I started my own work from home business after my mom died and was very sucessful but burned out on it very quickly, so I closed it last year, yet I still tell people I have not worked in 2.5 years...thats odd. I just noticed that.

So...I guess that sums up me. Or a part of me. I guess my future blogs will paint a more complete picture. And I hope that reading my thoughts helps you in some way. I enjoy reading other people's blogs, and writing helps me organize my thoughts, so I will give this blog writing a shot.