So Brian's back working a regular, paycheck-every-week fulltime job again. As Farmer Jones would say, Praise Jesus, the crops are saved! Well that's what I'd imagine a farmer would say. But he's understandably stoked about it; it's been over a year since he was laid off and while we were lucky enough that he had fairly steady sub-contract work, the company (What up, Wells Fargo, you slow-paying piece of shit) didn't make it a priority to always send their checks in a timely, under 30-day manner. Made for some interesting challenges in bill paying, I can assure you.
I don't think I can express how excited I am to start paying bills on time again! To be in the grocery and splurge on Arnold Jewish Rye and Laughing Cow cheese if I feel like it! To fill the damn gas tank all the way instead of putting in ten dollars and making it last a week (although with gas going up and up again I may still stick to that policy). It's the little things that make me happy, it really is.
Believe me, I'm the last person you'd want to come to for Sound Financial Advice. But something Mrs. Redneck told me the other night just plain shocked the hell out of me. As I've written about before, they ended up losing their house to foreclosure a few months ago, but lucked up and found a decent (and bigger) place for about half the monthly amount of what they'd been paying. She was talking about how much better they've been doing financially lately, then said, "And it's really made a difference with not going out to eat so much." I thought, Derrr, huh? She said, "Oh yeah - we were terrible; we used to eat out at least three or four nights a week and not always fast food either; a lot of times it was Olive Garden, Longhorn, stuff like that."
What the...This is a family of four we're talking about! Yes, the kids are young, but still! I tried doing some quick math in my head (NOT an easy endeavor for me) and figured out at the very least, they must've been spending over a hundred bucks a week doing that. This, while falling four months behind on the mortgage? I mean, I'm very familiar with that feeling of, Well we're fucking broke anyway, what's another twenty dollars in the longrun? I know I'm being Captain Obvious with this, but this is NOT the way to run your finances, unless your agenda is running them straight into the ground.
While I enjoy eating out as much as anyone, we rarely, RARELY do it. He could care less about it and when you're on a budget like we've been on for months, food is the easiest thing to control. It takes a little planning and effort, but it can be done -we are living proof you can be poor as sewer rats and still eat very well. It helps that both of us take an interest in cooking and really enjoy doing it. I don't think Mrs. Redneck is that into it and that makes it more difficult to stick to. But seriously - it's worth trying. I'm just happy they're finally realizing it and doing something about it.
The one sucky thing about him going back to a regular schedule is the alarm going off at ass-crack thirty every morning, a full hour before I need to get up. The past two days I've gotten up with him then went back to sleep then overslept then was late to work. Total fuckery, because that forty-five minutes is the best sleep I get all night. But I think I've worked out a new plan I'm going to try starting tomorrow (Heather was the lucky recipient of that email) - I'll still get up with him but instead of going back to bed like a lazy whore, I'll use that time to exercise. Here I've been cheering Johnann on for going to the gym every morning for months, saying stuff like "People who work out in the morning have a better success rate!" and "I always feel better when I'm working out." And watching The Biggest Loser every week (finale tonight, woo!) and having the 30-Day Shred and my cute little stepper machine sitting there collecting dust and not fitting into half my clothes and bitching about it but doing nothing about it - God! Enough already! I know from experience the hardest part about starting a routine is the starting part. After awhile it becomes habit like anything else and before you know it, you feel weird if you DON'T do it every day. I'm looking forward to that.
I'll end with this: the only one who's not excited about Brian working every day: