What is essential?

“It is when you no longer feel the need for money that money will come.”  Rhonda Byrne

I believe this.  For the past 2 years my husband and I have lived off of 1 income plus unemployment wages.  Lucky for us we were eligible for the unemployment max.  Unlucky for us it doesn’t compare to the paycheck we were previously making.  But we have made it work.  Cutting back on the “extras.”  Difficult at first but manageable.

I started working as soon as I could get a work permit.  I wanted to be able to have my own car by the time I was 16 and I knew my father wasn’t going to buy it for me.  On my 16th b-day I had enough money to buy a brand new Ford Festiva.  I loved that car.  The freedom it gave me.  I had to pay for my own car insurance each month and all of my gas.  So I couldn’t stop working.  I had more money than I knew what to do with.  My father was my banker.  He told me I could keep $20 a week for whatever I wanted and the rest had to go into a checking account.  I was making close to $300 a week.  Sometimes more.  I was rolling in dough.

Once I went away to college I didn’t have to get a job because I had a nice little nest egg.  Until I got that stupid speeding ticket.  I didn’t want my dad to know about it so I got a job to pay it off.  I didn’t really like the job so
I worked until I had enough money  to pay my ticket and then I quit.   He still found out because I was on his insurance.  My second year at college I felt like I should find something to keep me busy.  Laying out at the pool and partying wasn’t really going to help me find my career path.  I got some recommendations from my school and picked up a few shifts a week at a retail store.  It was perfect because I was in the store alone and I could work on my homework during downtime.  I made enough money to move out of the dorms and into an apartment.

When I think back to how simple everything was it makes me laugh.  No cell phone or cable tv or internet.  Now those needs add up to one of my unemployment checks.

I am resourceful.  I don’t worry about it because it will all work out.  But the reality is I am working to make it all work out.  I am looking for ways to save a buck.  I clip coupons.  I have put together a few things to sell on Ebay.  I won’t miss any of the the “stuff.”  It is all from another time and place.  I “have” enough and I will wait until the time is right to want more.

I believe that the feeling of needing money comes from the thought that you don’t have enough.  I believe that when it comes to money you can either create the lack of it or the abundance of it.

Abundance is what I will work to create.

 

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chore wars

My husband and I have specific jobs.  You may call them chores or household duties or tasks.  I call them jobs because they are responsibilities that meet our competencies.

Some of them are more gender suited.  For instance, he is responsible for taking out the trash and recycling and I am doing the laundry.  I make lunch and he makes dinner.  I wash the dishes and fill the dishwasher and he starts the dishwasher and empties it.  He takes care of any computer maintenance or charging our many gadgets.  I am in charge of our finances.

This system works for us.  The work never seems lopsided until it comes to cleaning.  Neither one of us got the cleaning gene.  It comes down to making deals with each other then procrastinating or doing a half a*& job.  Then it becomes a BIGGER project that needs tackling.  When we are both employed we will be hiring a service.  I believe my sanity will be restored.

This subject comes up a lot when we get together with our couple friends.  Wife is always more frustrated.  It always comes down to cleaning.  Always!  I feel this way, if you are going to fight about cleaning then cut back somewhere else in your spending and hire somebody to come in and do it.  Neatness is different from cleanliness.  It may not be clean enough to eat off of but it makes easier for someone else to clean.

Customer Service

I have to go to the bank every two weeks to deposit my unemployment check.  I have to walk into the bank and sign the check in front of the teller.  What would seem to others as the best customer service makes me not want to bank there anymore?  Here is why…

It begins the second I open my car door.  Upon arrival at the bank the parking lot attendant greets me with eye contact and a warm “Hello.”  Once I enter the bank I am accosted with good cheer.  “HELLO! And blah, blah, blah!”  There is never more than 3 people in line.  Which is fantastic!  There is a line coordinator that swings around and asks if I have a straight deposit and then I am shuffled off  from the line and we complete the transaction at his/her desk.  Small talk ensues.  “How long have you been unemployed?  What business were you in?  How about this heat?”  I am thinking…I don’t know you!  This is the first time I have ever met you.  Just finish the transaction so I can get the heck out of here.  All of this attentiveness makes me very uncomfortable.  I feel like this is how they keep the bank robbers at bay.

If there isn’t a line I am directed right away to the open teller.  Actually all of the tellers are ready to assist, with smiles.  I sign the back of the check and hand them both my deposit slip and check.  Always  a comment about the weather or something I am wearing.  Small talk.  Transaction takes less than a minute.  Once my transaction ends and I get a smiley face stamp and “Have a great day!”  I count the steps as I walk to the exit and someone rushes to the door to hold it open for me.  This happens every time!  “Have a great day!”  UGGH!

So this week I decided to try another branch.  I wanted to see if this is the companies customer service standard.  I have to say, I received what I would consider quick and friendly service at this location.  It wasn’t like walking into Disneyland.  Their approach was definitely not “customer service on speed.”

I have worked in the customer service industry my entire career.  I have worked for companies that are leaders in the industry.  I have been to training seminars to make sure we are doing it their way.  Heck, I have conducted those trainings.  I understand the principles of customer service.  However, I like to be left alone.  I will accept your greeting upon entry. This lets me know that you know I exist.  You can give me your name.   I want to know that someone is available if I need them. I am the kind of person that likes to ask  questions when I am ready.  This is the time for you to use your sales pitch but don’t overdo it because I am on to your up-selling.  I just want the basics, Friendly, Knowledgeable and Quick!

Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.  ~Peter Drucker


Monday Blues

On Friday nights the world is full of possibilities. Free for the whole weekend, you can do whatever you want. But by Sunday afternoon there is a small white cloud on the horizon; the storm is coming, your freedom is about to end. By dinner time the cloud is bigger and darker, and by night-time, the whole sky is black.  This is because you know the next day it is back to the daily grind.

I have never known what this meant until recently.  Weekends off is not something I was familiar with.

My career has always managed my life.  Blackout dates managed when and for how long I could take a vacation.  I chose to split my days off so I wouldn’t be away from work for too long.  I have learned that you need this time with your family and your soul.  The act of planning an event or relaxing keeps you going through the week day.  It gives your life balance.

On “my next chapter” weekends will be a must.

 

Reading

Since my lay-off in mid March I have been reading everyday.  I have a Kindle.  It makes it really easy.  I enjoy all types of books but I have come to realize that many of my “friends” don’t read.  I can’t really get a book club together because they just don’t have time to read a book.   I find out about what to read from all kinds of places.  Oprah.com, Magazines, my friend Tonya, the news, Kindle best sellers.  Books cost money so I try to stay away from the new releases and best sellers and focus on what is recommended.  Some books are memorable and some are just time fillers.  Most are crime related.  Some are self help.  But all are worth the time.

My friend Tonya recommended “The Help” and I read it in 2 days.  It really opened up my eyes to what it would have been growing up in Jackson, Mississippi.  I heard about “The Hunger Games” on the news.  I couldn’t get enough of this series.  Both books are being made into movies and I like to read the book before the movie.
If I see the movie first I probably won’t go back to read the book because someone else has put their interpretation of the characters in my head.

I still enjoy reading magazines in their physical form.  I cut things out for my inspiration book and vision board.  I have found that I have been neglecting the magazines because I can’t wait to find out what happens next in my book.