I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Things I would like to discuss with the universe

(And, before I start: yes, I am trying to take these things up with the people who might actually give me answers. They just haven't got back to me yet and this makes me feel tense.)

Problem: Why didn't Amazon use my gift certificate that I had thoughtfully saved in their little save-yer-gift-certificate thing? Did I fuck this up somehow? Why did it charge me money? Why wouldn't it let me cancel the order once I twigged to the fact that it was about to charge me?

Preferred result: Amazon staff will reply to my e-mail saying "Goodness gracious, something went wrong there. Why, we'll refund your money immediately." And then I can use that money for my sister's birthday present (which I foolishly agreed to pitch in for, $50 worth, and which I won't be able to afford if Amazon keeps charging me, ACK).

Problem: I can't remember which of the windfall checks we deposited last January is from X, and which is from Y, and frankly that does mean a lot because of taxes, and I would really rather know this before we go to see ye olde financial advisor (sigh) tonight.

Preferred result: Magically, the information will appear on my desk. Alternately, I'll remember where we deposited the checks, because apparently I need to know that information in order to get someone to tell me. Alternately, our financial advisor will be willing to throw together some kind of tax estimate based on both versions.

Problem: I think I may have run the car out of gas, and it's (badly) parked a block south of our apartment. It had a quarter-tank of gas when I got there, and then when I re-started the thing in order to park it somewhat closer to the curb, it suddenly started flashing the GAS light at me and the needle was pegged near the zero mark, in the red zone. I'm baffled as to how I lost several gallons of gas, or possibly broke the car. (Eeeee.)

Preferred result: Everything will be fine and we'll have enough gas to get to the gas station. On Tuesday, that is. No money in the budget for gas until Tuesday. I have no bloody clue how we used it all up, although my Hub driving to work four times in two weeks (one week having two days of work as we were just back from vacation, one week having three days of work as it involved New Year's) may well be a clue.

In other news...

My Hub has got the hang-- kinda-- of Mvelopes. So far he does not blindly hate it. So far he does not mind having eight different totals for his checking account versus just plain looking at his checking account. The main problem thus far is getting him to check the damn thing instead of looking at his bank account. He forgets.

He did, however, make the decision to move money over from one envelope to the other, sacrificing his video game money in order to go out to eat. I'm kind of satisfied; he had that moment where he had to think about it, and that's a big step. He also realized that while he doesn't have a video game per se that he wants to buy, he does want to throw more money at X-Box Live points, in order to buy more content, since he's burning through his current balance like WHOA. And he's pleased that he doesn't have to remember not to spend his NPR money or the Yahoo money (automatic payments every month), since those are tucked into their own little envelopes. I totally understand that one, since I had the same reaction of "WHEW, there's a layer of stress I didn't even realize I had, all gone" when I first set up the household budget on the thing.

He might get the hang of this. I think it might work. He doesn't have to do any math or any upkeep (I'm handling the which-envelope-does-this-go-in maintenance, since I'm already doing it for everything else) and just the fact that the money is in seperate piles, piles with names all symbolizing things he wants, is already much different for him than just looking at the single nameless mass of money in his checking account. Looking at the names means that every time, he remembers that he might not want to spend $20 on [random item here] because that'll take $20 away from something else he really wants.

It's all about names. He laughed at me when I said that I loved knowing that all the money had names, but really, that's the thing that makes it work-- that moment where you look at it and remember "Oh, right, that $50 is earmarked for Mom's birthday gift," and then don't spend it on something else. It's magical.

Also, it is Thursday, and we have not driven to work at all this week. My Hub has a $0 balance in his "parking" envelope in Mvelopes. Coincidence? I hope not. He hasn't said anything, but then again we haven't had cold/wet weather in which to walk to the El, only chilly/dry and warm/wet. He may start bemoaning his fate when the weather starts acting like proper January again.

I really, really wish we could telecommute during the winter months... well, I probably could, with a slight upgrade on my laptop. My Hub, on the other hand, needs to be at the office. And since I don't mind dealing with the weather half as much as he does (or perhaps I'm just more determined to not pay the $14 to park downtown), that pretty much ruins the whole point. Oh well.

We've eaten salads or at least mostly-veggie dinners for three days straight now, and I think we'll end up with at least one more salad dinner tonight, since we have chicken breasts and from-scratch croutons already made. All I have to do is slice up the pears, wash and spin the lettuce, have my Hub make the dressing (he's good at it, hence his eternal fate), and chuck lettuce, dressing, chicken, croutons, pears, goat cheese, and chopped walnuts together. Instant-ish awesome dinner!

You may have noticed I'm slowly adding tags/labels to my posts. It's slow going, since I have to go back and read all the damn things, but I will get organized. More or less. I'm not sure what good this will do me or any of you darling readers, but all the cool kids are doing it, so I feel strangely compelled to keep up.

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  • I love the envelope idea - that is so awesome!

    By Blogger airlie, at 9:29 PM  

  • Hey Arlie-- I can't take credit, it's not mine. I'm using Mvelopes, an online system based on the traditional method of envelope budgeting. It is pretty awesome, though!

    By Blogger Meg, at 7:30 AM  

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