Month: December 2016

Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures

I started drafting this post while I was waiting on hold with customer service. I am in the middle of doing something drastic.

How drastic? The most drastic. (How many times can I say drastic?)

I’m cancelling my internet service! Eek! I’m committing the ultimate blogger sin!*

You should be asking yourself… “No internet? Are you okay Kate? WHAT IS GOING ON!?”

I’m totally cool with y’all (y’all?? Maybe you should be worried!) having a gif intervention on Twitter. Please do.

Ok, back on topic. Drum Roll…

I’m moving!

This isn’t just any old move. We bought a house!

I’ve been mum about it because I didn’t want to jinx anything. Keeping my mouth shut about my biggest financial transaction has been so difficult! We closed the week before Christmas!

Due to all that, my life has been super chaotic over the last few months. We are going through all of our earthly belongings, purging what we can and packing up the rest. I’ve been living amongst the boxes since October. I’ve learned that as much as Hubs hates white walls, he hates living in Box Town twice as much. I never want to live in Box Town again.

I’ve sold several things in the transition. I’ve got a post schedule to discuss my successes and failures. Spoiler Alert: Yay eBay!

In addition to packing and purging, we’ve been learning all we can about home ownership. Our new house, while awesome, needs love. We have lots of projects planned. We go on dates to Home Depot and just wander around. We’re adorable. Free dates FTW!

The best part to come from all of this is that Hubs asked me with a straight face, “Can you keep track of all of our house expenses?” Hot dog! I’ve never been asked something so perfectly me in my whole life. Track stuff, on a spreadsheet? You kidding? I’d love to!

On top of the spreadsheet nerdiness, I’ve run our situation through a few Rent v Buy calculators. Based on reasonable estimates, the calculators say we are better off owning after only 2 years. It was tricky factoring in the love that this house needs. I know it will be expensive in the beginning, potentially incredibly expensive as we get through our first major projects. That throws off the Rent v. Buy calculator. Having actual numbers will let us know how we actually fare.

What I do know is that a week before we closed on the house, our apartment sent us a notice that our rent is increasing 7.5%. That was after a 7% increase last year and 9% the year before that. I’ve had about enough of that.

We’re outta here.

* Cancelling was super easy. It was like a 4 minute phone call.

Hindsight is the Best Sight

Scrolling through Facebook last week, I stumbled upon a post by someone I wasn’t Facebook friends with. We ran in the same circle, even lived in another country together, but we never connected in a let’s stay in contact sort of way.

It had been a while since she crossed my mind, so I clicked on her name and decided to do a little FB investigating. What was she up to? Married! Good for her. It looks like she is still in contact with a few people in our circle. It’s really more her circle than my circle these days.

I kept scrolling.

In a Flashback Friday or Throwback Thursday, she posted a picture of her and a friend with Mr Hot Pockets himself, Jim Gaffigan. There was a fourth person in the picture. Oh. My Gosh. That’s me.

I recognized the shirt before I recognized my face. Even then, I was only convinced because I know I went to that show and those were my glasses at the time. I didn’t recognize I was in the picture because it was roughly 50 lbs ago.

50 lbs is certainly enough to change my face and my body. Losing the glasses makes a difference too. But it is a little odd that I didn’t recognize myself.

I pondered the thought and I think I know why.

That girl in that photo was a shell of herself. I didn’t have the confidence that I do know. I wasn’t in a great place and even though I am smiling, I wasn’t happy.

It’s incredibly humbling to realize how far I’ve come as a person since that picture. If I hadn’t found it randomly in my FB Investigation (FB Stalking, let’s be honest), I wouldn’t have had that moment of gratitude to reflect on how far I’ve come. I still have a ways to go to, but I’m incredibly thankful that isn’t me anymore.

I took this mentality to the rest of my life, specifically the financial side. This is a money blog, after all.

So much of my thinking is forward. I may be horrible at setting goals, but I always have grand ideas floating around in my head. What if I paid off my student loans early? What if I bought a house without PMI? What if I maxed out my 401k? What if I continued on the path of financial awesomeness and was able to retire early? All of these statements are forward leaning. If I was a letter, I’d be italic, leaning into the next goal. 

I took the opportunity to stand up and look back. I knew what I would see. Just like I can barely remember (let alone recognize) myself 50 lbs heavier, I’ve forgotten a lot of what it was like to be Kate thousands of dollars ago.

I can’t feel the weight of student loan debt resting on my shoulders when I couldn’t find a job.  I know those were stressful times because I cried at my parent’s kitchen table too many times, but I don’t feel that stress anymore.

I’m not anxious to squeeze an extra few bucks out of our budget to get a little bit further. I don’t spend my time Swagbucks-ing, UserTesting or scraping up other little hustles to give the hamster inside of me the feeling that we are actually making progress. I don’t feel that anxiety anymore.

It’s so easy to forget how far we’ve come. Neither of my stories are overnight success stories. But sometimes it feels like I just woke up here.

I’m so thankful to have found that picture. I’ve come a long way. I’m sure you have too.

Do you have progress amnesia too?