Tag Archives: children

On the Can (Part Deux)

7 May

Saturday afternoon was spent in my garage sorting bottles and then with Pablo at the recycling place (a big semi-truck in a parking lot in the ghetto, really).   My garage was completely over-run by green trash bags.  So much so that you really couldn’t walk in there once you opened the door.  It sort of looked like a scene from that awesome train-wreck of a show “Hoarders.”  Only this stuff was actually worth something.  Not much, but something.

I decided I was going to finally return them because I haven’t blogged in awhile and I needed something to say.  Telling you how much I made from recyclables is news, right?  In my world it is.  ‘Cause there’s not much going on around here.

As I started the sorting process, I realized I really should have gotten myself some plastic gloves.  If you trash dive for bottles at your job and then put them in bags and forget about them in the garage A) critters eat through the bags looking for the sweet sticky remnants of soda and B) that soda is sticky as hell and sometimes moldy.

One thing I will NEVER do again is dump the recycling bin from outside of work into a bag and take it home.  It’s supposed to be for bottles and cans, but people throw their empty starbucks Frappuccinos in there along with their sandwich containers and half-full Naked juice with no lid.  The stench is strong enough to travel back through time and punch that guy who made fun of you in high school.  I mean, really eye-watering, I just-found-this-dead-raccoon-in-my-garage-and-it’s-been-there-for-weeks  kind of bad.   I considered just taking it to the side of the road and leaving it there for an ambitious homeless person but after I had already touched the slime, I figured it was too late now.


Sweeney came out, baby on hip, to see how I was fairing and I waved him away.  “I don’t want her to see my like this. You guys get back in the house!” By “like this,” of course, I meant surrounded by other people’s trash and covered in black mold.  If I’d ever been embarrassed in front of my husband…well…at that moment, I came pretty close.  As he walked away he mumbled, “I’d like to think this isn’t going to happen again…but…”

The truth is, it probably will happen again.  It’s  bit like giving birth:  You curse and swear at the flies circling your head and the mold spores threatening to permeate your perfectly good lungs, but when you get that cash in your hand and walk away from Pablo, the elation takes over and the pain is forgotten.  Until six months later when you’re kneeling in the garage again, feeling like a junkie looking for a hit.


(Not actual car.)
I was guessing I had $32.00 in recycling.  Pablo gave me $40.35.

If you just found forty bucks on the street, wouldn’t you be excited about that?  And yes, it was four months of mostly digging bottles out of the trash at work, but only two people saw me.  So it’s almost like it never happened…and I’m forty bucks the richer.


It’s 2012. So before the world ends, I’d like to pay off my debt.

3 Jan

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions.  In fact, I don’t remember the last time I technically made one.  Who keeps them past February first?  I AM, however, a fan of change.  Genuine, gut-wrenching, this-isn’t-working-and-I-need-to-do-something-about-it change.  I’m not word-mincey and I’m pretty honest.  For example, I have no qualms with telling you I’m in about $30,000 worth of debt right now.  And I earn $40,000 a year.  Do the math on that and you’ll know it’s not a great situation.  About half of my take-home pay a year goes to paying off my debt.  Yes, I suppose I could join the “screw ’em” mentality of thinking and just stop paying it; no one in this economic climate (or any other, let’s be real) would give me a mortgage anyway, and that’s always been my reasoning for maintaining a decent credit score (which, yes, is now screwed.)  BUT…it’s just not who I am.  I keep promises I make, I pay back money I borrow, I don’t call in sick to work unless there’s a good reason and I always blow on my coffee before I drink it.  Which is a decent segue to this photo:

This is a Starbucks tumbler that I can bring into the bucks everyday in January and get free coffee. I have very few vices, but coffee is one.  AND there’s a Starbucks below my work, so, as you can imagine, I spend way too much money there on a regular basis.  It’s too easy to go downstairs as a treat or to get out of the building and spend $7 a day.  Seriously.  While I’m there, I usually get a coffee cake or that exorbitantly priced cheese platter.   I’ll feel ok with handing them my cup everyday and walking out dropping nothing.  I won’t even bring my wallet inside.  My husband bought this for me for Christmas and it cost $19.95.  It will be paid for in a week of free coffee.   STEP ONE in the savings!!

I have a daughter.  Her name is Adelaide and she’s sitting in her pack ‘N play right now quietly playing with blocks as I type this.  She’s the best baby on the planet.  (Unless YOU have a baby, then probably to YOU, THAT’S the best baby.  But whatever…) 

We want to make sure she has everything she needs and she doesn’t have to spend her adult life paying back college loans like I have.  (Though in the spirit of keeping it real, almost all my debt is that bad credit card kind.  Only about .5% is now loans.  But I digress.)  I went into the Google yesterday to figure out how to set up a 529 account and there was a link to a page that would allow me to figure out how much it will be, approximately, to send her to school when she’s ready.  You know how there are some things on the internet you wish you never saw?  Well, add this to my list:  In 2029, when Addie is 18, it will be about $294,000 to send her to school for 4 years.  This isn’t even Harvard.  Good God, what if she wants to go to Harvard!?   Proceed with freaking out and tightening of the boot straps.

                 HARVARD——>For the smart and rich.    

So while I’ve never been good at saving money (my personal savings account currently has $.70 in it.  Cents. Not dollars.) I need, NEED to be better about it.  I can usually do things that aren’t for myself pretty easily.  Somehow, if it were for me, it just wouldn’t happen.  But, I guess, that’s a different blog.

So because accountability is huge in accomplishing goals we set, this blog is officially ON.  Read, comment, add ideas, etc.  I’m not into fear and I’m into thinking prosperously, so this isn’t about lack.  It’s about creating more of what is already out there.  There’s enough for everyone and I’m tapping into it…but along the way, I’m going to make a game of putting cash in the piggy bank.  Stay tuned….