Finally a New Year - Let's Hope it Gets Better!

2012 was supposed to be our year.  It started off that way, and we had a good shot at it, but I royally ^&%$ed it up. Yes, it was my fault.  Yes I am learning from my mistakes FINALLY.  I have been looking over my past posts, seeing the obvious signs, things I want to go back in time and slap myself for.
There is a blog I follow called "A Slob Comes Clean" in which the blogger, Nony, talks about "Slob Vision".  When she first started the blog out of desperation to try to get her house decluttered and have some sort of way to be held accountable (by all her followers), she had something called slob vision.  There were things in plain view that she simply did not see.  Others saw them, but they were invisible to her.  She would even take photos to post on her blog and see things cluttering up the picture she never even noticed before. In the years she's been blogging and learning and retraining herself to see how "normal" people see, she no longer has slob vision quite like she used to.  Now she can see the stray pot holder or the empty paper towel roll laying on the couch etc. I know exactly what she means as far as the clutter and slob vision, but I am also FINALLY seeing how this can be used for my spending problems as well.

So, what should I call it? If a slob has slob vision, what does a shopping addict and someone who can't control their spending have? "Broke vision"? Doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well, but it works for me. For now anyway.  If you have a more clever version let me know!

So, I am starting off 2013 with a much better grasp on my "Broke Vision" than I have in the past.  At least I think I do. While I always knew it was my spending that was the problem in years past, I always made excuses... my mental health (I always though I was bi polar or actually a split personality - honestly!  I thought there were two of me.. the one who made the budget and got the numbers to work on paper,... and the other one who took the paycheck and went and blew it, disregarding the budget altogether, month after month til we were in a hole and I got depressed.  Then I blamed it on Depression. While I have been depressed years ago, and know the horrifying way it can disable a person,  it is not fair to say I have it now. That stops now. The "bi-polar" and "split personality" things have also pretty much stopped since I came to this sudden and obvious realization that it's just me, no excuses, just me.  I have become aware of the issue and admitted it and that is of course the first step.

This last month of 2012 was tight, but we still had a great Christmas.  Swagbucks (which I go on and on about) really helped. I still do Swagbucks daily, and use the Amazon gift cards I earn with the free prime shipping to get things we need for the house (like I had to order a new phone charger when both teens left theirs at their great grandparents' house in FL), and it arrived the next day.  We've both stuck to the budget, and together we deal with the obstacles that confront us almost on a daily basis.

The new year has always been a challenge, but I'm proud of how we've managed so far. The Friday before New Year's, the van decided it would not back out of our driveway. The transmission has been shot for about a year, but we could still drive it in 2nd gear around town if we kept it at 40 mph or under. It was fine for C driving to work and back just 2 miles down the road. The Explorer was still not starting, and we couldn't save up enough to have it fixed. Totally unexpected things kept taking the money we'd save. So, I made a reservation for Enterprise to get a car for that weekend at $9.99 a day.  Thankfully I'd also just gotten my bonus at work, so we finally had some money to get the Explorer looked at. They towed it in Friday. We had the rental car through Wednesday due to the manager extending the $9.99 a day through the holiday, so we got a 5 day rental for about $55 which was a fabulous deal and saved a lot of headache with bills that had to be paid and grocery shopping etc. Unfortunately, the manager I'd always dealt with was not there the day I returned the car, and the guy who was there did the charge wrong and charged me $186.  I was STUPID and didn't even look at the receipt he'd handed me as we were walking back to the car for them to give me a ride back home (excellent perk with them by the way). I noticed it after I got home, and called them.  The two guys felt bad about the mistake but could not fix it, only the manager could after it was done.  So that charge was going to go through. The manager did refund all but the $55 the next morning before I'd even called them back, but refunds always take longer than charges (like that's fair). The problem was that I was using my PayPal card using my bank account as the backup funding. This allows me to be able to pay for the service since the bank authorizes the charge, even if the funds aren't necessarily there at the time I use the card.  Now in the past this has gotten me in trouble OBVIOUSLY, but recently, I don't even use the PP card unless there is some special reason - in this case it was renting a car.  I know the amount with go through no matter what it is, so I know I can always get a car when needed.  That has been very important recently with the 2 cars being out of commission. I also needed to use it to pay the garage for the Explorer since it might have ended up being more than I had and go into overdraft.  My debit card of course would not allow that, but the paypal card would.  I'd have my Explorer back and then deal with an overdraft fee at the bank later. Everything was fine, and would have stayed fine, except when Enterprise did the $186 charge by mistake and it didn't fit the authorization amount it had done earlier, it basically doubled the amount it put on the paypal card (even though one was just an authorization), so when I used the PP card to pay for the Explorer it maxed the amount I could use the PP card for.  Now that's fine, except there was sme weird glitch in how the Paypal card worked and when something that had been pending should have gone on to my bank account (which still had plenty of money in it to cover almost everything on the papal balance) PayPal balked at it instead and showed it as a negative balance. That happened to be the $186 from Enterprise. Oddly enough, the charge to the garage went right on to the bank account without any issue.  Still not sure why one didn't go and one did, but there you go.  So, the next morning, the refund from Enterprise went through which took the Paypal negative balance to just $50 something, then I got my monthly cash back bonus of $7 something and it's now -$43 and change. There's a "resolve negative balance" link. I clicked it to pay the amount with my debit card, but it's denied it all 3 times I tried even though I have the money in the bank, it's available, and the card info is all correct. So, I dunno. It's ok, I just can't use the Paypal card at all til the negative balance is removed. I hadn't planned on it at all anyway, so wasn't even worried about it til a couple days ago...

We were watching my mother -in -law's dog, Duke for her while she and my teen girls were in FL with family.  Our dogs got along with him fine, so we weren't worried at all when we went to Johnson City with Zoe and used some gift cards we'd gotten for Christmas to take her to dinner and a movie since she was the only kid home. When we gt back a few hours later, our elderly chi-beagle had a big knot on his face. We assumed he and Duke had gotten into a fight.  Duke had eaten an entire loaf of bread off the table - I didn't know he did that, but my MIL swears she told us he would. C surmises that Mickey tried to make Duke stop, or tried to eat some too, and Duke snapped at him or smacked him... or could have even hit him with his tail accidentally.  It's like being hit by a baseball bat sometimes. Duke's a BIG dog. Mickey's face is about eye level with the bottom of Duke's tail when he's wagging it. It didn't seem to bother Mickey at all, and we assumed it would go down over night and the next day.  Unfortunately, it must have started to bother him as he woke up with it all red and a little bloody a couple days ago. We put medicine on it and tried to get him to stop scratching it, but this morning he woke up with it twice as big, a nasty wound on the outside and his eye swollen shut. We made a makeshift cone and attached it to his collar to get him to leave it alone, and now he just looks miserable. I need to get him to a vet on Monday, but that's the sort of thing I would use the Paypal card for.  It's always been the emergency card. Yes I know we should have an emergency fund for this sort of thing. I am well aware thanks).  So, I tried again to get the negative balance off the Paypal card, but it still won't use the debit card. There is something it will take, called a Money pak card you buy at retail stores and then put on your PayPal account instantly.  I'll have to get C to buy one for $50 tomorrow at work if they have them.

Since the garage payment will hit the bank account probably Monday night, I've got to have money to cover the vet bill which could be really high since he also needs his shots which I'm sure they'll insist on. Well, we get paid again this coming weekend, but I am bristling at the idea of having to go over budget for anything, even a pet emergency. So, I am hoping to sell on ebay, a couple of the collectible things I got from work as a Christmas gift. They've both had several views and one has 3 watchers so far. If they both sell, it will mean at least $300 which will certainly cover the vet bill, and hopefully any overdraft amount after the garage bill.

Oh, let me tell you the story about the Explorer and how things in my life can never just be simple!...

Actually that'll be my next post. :)

I sure hope y'all are having a better new year than we are.  (We just had Duke, and a cage full of birds and a bowl of fish dropped off for us to watch for my Mother in Law... for THREE MORE WEEKS! ) Pray for us all....