Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Total Money Makeover

I think I'm pretty good with money. We do have our weaknesses, such as eating out (I despise cooking and the mess it tends to make), as well as shopping for clothes. Other than that, I just save whatever is left.

I've never actually made a budget, but I am about to learn. During my lunch breaks, I catch The Dave Ramsey Show on 98.9 The Big Talker here in Austin. He always says something that catches my attention, including his constant urge for listeners to take part in a total money makeover.

He teaches Seven Baby Steps to financial peace. I started reading this book two days ago, and have had a hard time putting it down. Yesterday rocked my financial world escalating my situation from doable to downright terrifying.

My parents graciously paid off my student loan, but my husband discovered an $8,000 chunk of money we had forgotten that he borrowed. This discovery virtually canceled out the payment of my loan, in a sense.

As a result, we are learning how to budget tomorrow. I will be printing off the budgeting forms and getting to work on this. Luckily, we don't have any credit card debt. We aren't starting off too bad, but I would like to be debt-free in less than two years.

We'll see how this goes!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Opportunity is A-Knockin'

I've sent out hundreds of cover letters and resumes over the past year. I usually accompany them with only a few professional sentences along the lines of, "please let me know if you require any additional information in regards to my skills and qualifications for this position."

Now, that took several e-mail attempts to polish that one sentence up. I am a writer, and always felt like I had the right word for most situations. Somehow, though, I wasn't standing out among the crowd.

Then on one cold January night, I was browsing the Internet for publishing firms in Austin. I loved to edit and might like the publishing industry, I thought. I had worked for a magazine and my college newspaper, so I thought, "why not,"!

I played with keywords in the search engine until I came across one that caught my eye. On their site, I found a video about what it was like to work for their company and was floored. Everyone looked really nice, it seemed to be a fun work environment and they all worked very hard. "That's it," I thought! It was like something resonated with me.

I immediately located the owner and started, well, writing. I did something I had tried in the past but never with much success: expressed my sincerest interest in a position--any position--for the company.

That was six months ago. A month after my e-mail, I received a response from the owner. He said he would let me know if anything came up. Over five months have passed, and guess what? I have a telephone interview tomorrow.

Looking for a job? My advice: pour your heart out. Someone will listen and understand your passion.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother Knows Best

Early on a Sunday morning, I have quietly woken up before my alarm. No more sleeping in until noon and groggily hearing the shrieks of my parents, "what is wrong with our teenagers?!"

No, I am now 24 and laying in a bed my father made for me as a teenager while I listen to my mom and dad prepare some food today. It's Mother's Day morning, and this post will be a shoutout to them both.

Mom, thanks for reading to me every night as a small child. Over the last two years, I have regularly babysat and put two amazing kids to sleep while their parents went out on a date. A huge part of our routine is story time.

I had asked my mom a couple of years ago if she read to us before bed. Taking offense to this question, she defended herself with, "of course we read to you! Every night!"

My bad! Memory has never been my best friend. This nightly reading obviously shines through in mine and my brother's lives. He uses words to make music, and I string words together to make stories. Thanks, guys, for taking the time to patiently answer our "but why"'s during the reading sessions with a "let's listen and find out".

I was going to make this post about my dad, too, but they heard me giggle over their comments while cooking. So, I need to get downstairs and be a helpful daughter. At any age, you're still a daughter or a son. Don't ever forget.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Somehow I have completely let my blog go untouched for too long. Time to get back in it to win it and let this ol' thing document my life again.

From what I can remember, my last few posts were probably shedding light on my not-so-lovely side. Over the past few months I have grown slightly bitter towards how my life was shaping itself. I was feeling a little undervalued and overwhelmed.

Things are better, and I finally received the nod I had been waiting for. Not a title bump or raise per se, but more hours. We'll take what we can get! I always work hard, so a couple extra hours a day is fine with me. Now I am working on another goal: this blog.

I had hoped to write twice, maybe three times a week. Fail! Let's see if I can keep your interest.