Tuesday, January 24, 2012


You would think my life would be anything but serene right now.  My kids are always at each others throats, my house is a total disaster, I've been working a LOT of hours every week (I think I even forgot I had kids this week), and I don't think I've spent more than five minutes with my husband in almost a month.

It's serene because I'm seeing progress.  I'm seeing a LOT of progress.  We've managed to unbury ourselves from the biggest pile of past due bills I think I've ever seen.  It's serene because, for now, I'm still in a happy place when I get called in for some extra hours.  I've hit my goal of overtime days for January and then some.  I know a ton more is headed my way for February.  It's my hope that I can just bust my ass now, just for a few months and then I can ride out the summer enjoying my time at home, with my family.

I've had bumps.  Most people would think I was effing insane by what I consider bumps but a bump is a bump.  It's still really hard to figure this stuff out but we're plugging along. 

I've realized that I had a shopping addiction.  I still have a shopping addiction.  Thank Goodness for Pinterest and Target lists.  I can feel like I'm shopping in a way.  Find super cute things, fall for them, place them in the appropriate list and move on.  I'll get there.  Nick and I went on a date tonight.  Do you want to know what broke ass people do for dates?  We went for me to get the worst $10 haircut known to man and then walked around a little strip mall right next door..sporting my terrible haircut.  We walked around Target.  Have any of you been there?!  Have you seen ALL of their spring stuff?!!  It's amazing and it's beautiful and I want it.  I want it all.  I was saying just that to Nick as I was looking for new couch pillows to go with the new furniture that I plan to buy next year. 

Then the most amazing thing happend.  Nick looked at me and he said, "soon.  You'll be able to buy whatever you want soon."

Now you don't know my husband at all but normally he just walks quietly with me talking about work or video games or the kids or not saying anything at all.  He was very hard to convince about this Total Money Makeover.  Even though he's been through it with me once before, he was a skeptic.  What those words meant to me was...I've turned him into a believer.  He actually believes we're going to make it, we're going to hit all of our goals and get out of this huge ass mess we've gotten ourselves into.  He's finally, 100% on board with all of it and he sees that our sacrifices ARE making a difference!

That's when I realized how serene I am about the whole thing, it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would, giving up my shopping addiction. 

I walked right out of that store with a huge ass smile on my face...and didn't buy a damn thing. 

Monday, January 16, 2012


We all have them.  We all do it.  Something reminds you of something else and before you know it you're staring glassy eyed at a pencil but all you're seeing is the Eiffel Tower or that pair of Louboutins.

I'm so sleepy lately that all I seem to do is daydream.  I'll daydream about hiking around Slovenia while cooking dinner.  I'll daydream about sunbathing on a beach while I'm folding laundry. 

Lately I've been daydreaming about my forever home.  I hope I can go home to my forever home some day soon.  I would love to build from scratch but I'm sure if I looked hard enough I would find one standing somewhere that would need minor changes. 

Hell, I don't even know where I want to end up.  I've had my eye on the Smoky Mountains for awhile now but I think I should visit before I decide to live there forever.  Who knows, maybe my heart will really be in New Mexico...or Montana...or in Boston...or on a beach in Florida.  Maybe I should just invest in one of those high tech ultra luxe RV's. 

I'm hoping you didn't show up at this blog today for anything deep or profound.  If so I apologize.  I'm still getting back into it and maybe someday I'll have something great to say that can resonate with the world. 

Today just isn't that day. 

I'm too busy trying not to turn into a cryogenic sample on my couch under these three blankets...and letting my mind take me places like Hawaii, Mexico, or Italy.....or even to the shoe store up the road...or even better, a new super capacity washer and dryer.  Man, now I'm getting excited. 

So on these cold, winter nights...let your mind go for a spin somewhere nice, or to the local appliance store.  It's' nice to just daydream every once in awhile.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I relapsed.  It happened today, and it happened so fast I don't really recall what I was doing until I was racing home to revel in my loot. All fifteen dollars and ninety eight cents worth.

I made a run to Wal-Mart and came home with chocolate cake and paint rollers.  Did I need them?  Well I sure as hell thought I did while I was there and forgot all about our budget.  I went for a toothbrush and deodorant for Nick.  Can't have the man stinking like dirty man B.O now can we?  Can we?  Damn..I was hoping I would get a resounding yes and then I could return the deodorant and get my four bucks back. 

What?  It was a twin pack and a better deal than a single one.  I know you were wondering who the hell spends $4 on deodorant when they're on budget lockdown.  I would've been.

I got home.  Made the cake.  Ate a piece..or two...or four and then it started to sink in.  I slipped.  I relapsed.  It's like a drug, spending money.  It's a nasty addiction because it can be big like furniture and vacations or it can be small..like paint rollers and chocolate cake.  Budget relapse can happen in all kinds of sizes.

If I forget for even a second then I fall back into those old ways that I've spend thirty some years perfecting.  I felt even more guilty when I sat down tonight to pay the bills and realized that I came up $280 short of my goal.  Which is good and it's bad.  It's bad because..well..I missed our goal by $280.  That's not chump change either.  It's a decent amount.  I could take a nice weekend trip somewhere for that amount.  It's good because we started so far under on the bills AND $200 in the hole.  I still have a chance to make it up.

Do I think I will by the end of the month.  No.  I might like to daydream a lot but deep down I'm a realist.  I'm hella behind on one of our car payments and that's getting taken care of next week (that's what I've been busting my ass for with all that overtime) and then the week after that is our dreaded mortgage week...or Shark Week.  That week has always been tight for us because it's such a large payment that we don't have a ton left over once we pay that..and the house insurance..and taxes...blah, blah, blah.  That's the week the sharks circle the sinking boat.  Just waiting.

If you haven't noticed..the American Dream is friggin expensive.  It costs a lot of money to live in debt like we do.

Anyway.  I just paid a buttload of bills.  I have a case of dry mouth over it and I can feel the beginnings of diarrhea rumbling around because I just dropped a bunch of cash on stupid bills.  Who likes to pay those anyway?  I don't.  I hate it.  Which is why I'm doing it. 

Can we say vicious cycle?  I know if I keep on it, if I stay on this bike and keep peddling my fat ass off, eventually I'm going to reach my destination.  Then I can hop off this rusted piece of crap and be able to pay cash for a nice little golf cart to drive my skinny ass all the way to retirement.

Hopefully I won't relapse again.  Chocolate cake can be like meth when you tell yourself you can't afford it.  I never thought $15.98 would make me feel so damn guilty.  So guilty I might need to eat some cake.

Hey..I have some of that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


That's my goal. 

I want us to be financially free.  It already feels like it would be an amazing thing.

Over the holidays we found out that we'd basically been living a lie.  Neither of us had any real idea.  I mean I know we lived paycheck to paycheck (still trying to figure out how that one happened) and never had more then just a little in savings.  Then it all came crashing down. 

It got a little harder to pay the bills.

Then the dog got sick.

Then I was hell bent on giving my kids a good Christmas...and went over what I had budgeted to spend.

We ended the year so far under that it physically made me sick.  Then I decided I was sick of it.  I'm sick of the weekly battle between which bills can be paid and which can be floated just so we can eat or get gas.  There is absolutely zero reason for it.

I started selling all my stuff to get started.  I sold my beloved camera.  I tried telling myself that it was logical since I hardly ever used it...but I'm going to be honest.  It still hurts.  I want it back.  I will get it back.  Just as soon as we get out of this canyon we're in. 

One night I sat down with every single piece of paper having to do with a bill that was in my possession.  I relied on the Dave Ramsey plan in the past...twice, it's NEVER let me down.  It was never as hard as it is this time.  This time we're in for the long haul.  I figured out an eighteen month plan, the first twelve of which are what I'm referring to as budget lockdown. 

It's these first twelve months that we're going to have to re teach ourselves what is important and how to spend smartly.  It's only twelve days in and I'm frustrated.  Not because we don't have a ton of money to spend, we're all actually having fun finding places to save.  I'm frustrated because I'm learning that it's damn near impossible to eat healthy on a strict budget.  Did I mention that I'm fat?  I'm fat.  I don't like being fat anymore than I like being broke.

At least I'll be able to afford a gym membership when this is all over, right?

So far I'm hopeful.  The first two weeks of this year were pure torture.  This week will hopefully be our first week of seeing some results.  I want to be able to show the kids that all of our "sacrifice" is working.  I say it like that because my kids think of giving up Pop Tarts because of budget is the worst offense in the world..it ranks right up there with child abuse. 

I do have to say that I'm excited that my kids are on this journey with us, I want them to learn to live within their means and what it will do for them in the long run. 

We decided as a family that we will reward ourselves with a nice trip when this is all over.  I can't wait.  It's going to be such a blast to be successful in this and be able to let the kids in on reaping the benefits.  Going on a family vacation that's massive in scale, being able to buy Pop Tarts again, being able to sleep because I'm not so worried about a turn off notice for the lights and what if I miss the deadline.

It's the first time in my life that I actually get excited to get a phone call to go into work for some overtime because every time I'm driving there..it's with a smile on my face.  It's the means to the end, I'm working for something and that's not just paying the bills.  I've also applied to about a dozen other jobs.  I have my days free, the kids are in school and my regular hours only require three nights a week.  I can handle a second job for a few hours a day.  If I knew anyone around me with little kids I'd start babysitting...I'd do anything...I CAN do anything for a year.
That's why I'm an Atomic Mom.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I'm going to try this again.  I need to go back to the Atomic Mom title though.  It was me.  It is me.

This is going to be a year of many ups and downs and I really need a place to put them and share them and work though them.

I'm going to try it again.  We've just started a Total Money Makeover.  My goal is to be almost debt free by December 31st.  I even have a countdown on my desktop. 

I guess I wanted to stop in and say howdy...and as soon as I figure out how to get that title header off I'll be back.