Fat cat

You know how I’m a giant fat ass currently? I went to my Hello Fresh ordering system and selected dinners that were lower in calories this week. So, last night, I made a chicken breast with scallions, ginger, wasabi and just a tiny bit of this packet of sauce they included that was like citrus soy or something. I just assumed it was loaded with MSG so I was really sparing.

Then I made ginger rice and broccoli. I know technically we’re not supposed to eat rice if we want to be thin but whatever; it was delicious.

The whole thing was delicious, and that is why I ate both servings.

So.

Hey, June, how’s the fat-assing going? Oh, it’s going well. I’m fat-assing super well.

Also I did Tracy Anderson this weekend. See above for reasons. I did the half-hour cardio I used to do obsessively about 10 years ago now. I did that thing every single day back in aught 12, which I guess is oh god this whole being in the 20s thing is confusing. Nine years ago? Don’t make me think about numbers. I have literally had no caffeine yet.

I realize I’m supposed to have no caffeine. But whatever.

{sips coffee.}

I further realize a middle-class white woman droning on about her weight is incredibly original and you can’t get that kind of content just anywhere. So I’ll wrap up this kvetch by saying there is now, post-Tracy, some sort of fire in my left knee. It’s not there all the time. Just if I move a certain way, all of a sudden my kneecap-al area is fire.

You’re drivin’ in my car. You turn on the radio.

But let’s talk about the middle-class part.

Technically, I am. I looked on a chart once. I don’t really make that much money, but I can’t complain. I mean, I have enough to pay the bills. I usually have some left over for fun, too.

But I bring this up because slowly, over the last few years, I’ve gotten my money thing in a lot better of a place. People, I’ve observed, like to feel smug about my not doing well with money and I’m here to say you can shut it because I’ve pretty much conquered it.

You know, that’s a shitty thing to do. Everyone has a thing they struggle with, and what a shitty, shitty thing, to judge it and comment on it. I don’t comment about what a dull piece of unimaginative crap you are.

Anyway.

First of all, credit card debt was a big thing for me for ages. A few years ago, I gave my mother all my credit cards so I just couldn’t use them. I kept the vet credit card because I knew I might need that for big things and thank goodness I did, what with Edsel’s faux heart situation that cost a fortune and Iris’s many woes.

Other than that? Credit card debt? Zip. Zip-a-dee-doo-da. It took awhile. Any time I got a big chunk of money, like from taxes or a sugar daddy, I’d throw it at debt. I had a very obsessive chart I kept where I listed all the cards I owed money on and what the interest rate was.

When I moved in here, I had money from selling the last house and moving to this cheaper house, and when that money got to me, I couldn’t even wait. At lunchtime, I went to Subway’s drive-thru and sat in their parking lot with my phone and my faux tuna sub, opening each credit card’s website and BOOM! paying off a card. BOOM! paying off the next card. It was so fekking satisfying.

Every time I pass that Subway I feel that BOOM.

I also obsessively kept track of all my bills and got them as manageable as possible. I switched car insurance. I switched home insurance. I switched cable and then got rid of cable. I switched phone providers.

Then I got on those payment plans with my utilities, so each month they take out the same amount and at the end of the year, I’ve gotten a free month of utilities because they overestimate how much one person in a 999-square-foot house will spend on, say, heat. Then after that they lower the bill a bit. But the point is, I know. I know that every month, Duke Energy will be $85. I know Piedmont Natural Gas will be $40. There are no surprises.

So, with all this being careful, my credit score is now 795 and my whole goal in life is to get to 800. Getting to 800 is my Dean’s List of 2021. Back in college, to find out if you’d made it on the Dean’s List, you had to walk down to the student union and look at this typed, paper list posted behind glass in the main hallway.

Every time I made it (and once it was a goal, I always made it), I practically flew home. Also, when I think about how far I fekking lived from the student union and I walked all the way there, it’s no wonder I used to be lithe. I lived off campus, and it was like a 30-minute walk each way. I used to read and walk at the same time so I wouldn’t get bored.

Anyway. I have it in hand. Money, I mean. The only problem I have anymore is I just don’t make that much, so I’m not prepared for big emergencies. If a big emergency came, I’d have to call my mother and have her send me a credit card.

So my new goal is to work on that: After I hit the 800 score, I will work on saving absurd amounts. I DO have a lot going into my 401(k) each paycheck, and maybe I could save LESS there and more in real present life. I don’t know.

I currently have Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu and once we aren’t homebound I will eliminate one of those, but frankly I have so little entertainment I am loath to give one up now.

Also I’d save a fortune if I drove these animals to a field and became petless.

In the past, how I chipped away at credit cards was to freelance, but work can be very busy now so I don’t dare freelance. I’d promise some place I’d get something done and then have to work late at my real job and that would be terrible.

Plus? This year I had work burnout for the first time, and that was actually really scary, so I want to be careful not to get there again.

You know what I enjoyed? I liked reading everyone’s tarot cards. Maybe I could do more of that as a supplemental thing. I mean for people beyond all of you.

I don’t have to figure it all out this morning. My point is, I’m doing better in this category and I don’t know if I’ve come out and said that, point blank, so I’m saying it today.

Successfully,
June Moneybags Gardens

59 Comments

  1. Pets are so expensive. My dog got sick last weekend, and we spent $4,000 in 24 hours, trying to save her.
    She still died.
    I’d do it all over again, because what other choice is there? But this past year. We’re lucky that neither my nor my husband’s job has been impacted. But our young adult kids got Covid, and so they were out of work for three weeks. We helped them with their rent and stuff, because of course we did.
    And then our septic system needed to replaced, which was $30K. So our well wanted to get in on the fun…
    Sometimes you just feel like you’re drowning. And yet, we’re some of the lucky ones. We’ll be okay. Eventually.

    Like

  2. Great post. Finances were a major point of contention of my marriage. I was the spender. 10 years later I also have no credit card debit and a few months salary in the bank. It’s a wonderful, impowering feeling.

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  3. Congratulations and great job!

    The pandemic forced us into an accidental near-year’s worth of saving since apparently our primary hobby is eating out. Cooking is cheaper but not as enjoyable as someone else making it after you’ve chosen from a menu.
    I have a love/hate relationship with credit scores. We ended up taking over an inlaws mortgage (it beat them living with us) and I worked extra, nights, side job, you name it – for almost two years straight, everything extra went to that account. I was never so happy to call for the payoff amount and send the check (still a check at that time) in. My credit score promptly dropped a good 40 points – because I’d used up my “good” debt. I ranted about that for quite awhile – apparently, still doing so, actually. Bitter.

    Lovely post, you’re pretty.

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  4. Congrats! What a relief that must be for you. I too have the knee issue, and it sometimes is up
    and down my whole leg, I cannot bend my left knee fully, it hurts like a mo fo, fucking aging b.s.

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  5. Being broke and in debt sucks. I remember avoiding the mailbox because I don’t want to see PAST DUE or DISCONNECT NOTICE on the envelopes. Paying off a credit card is such a great feeling. We’re in much better financial shape than we were 10 years ago but still have a lot to make up from the Poor Years. I pay everything off early and have been able to finally put money into retirement accounts. I only have an American Express card and not a regular credit card and that helps me not to spend money all willy-nilly and falling back down the “small payments stretched out over many years” rabbit hole.

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  6. It is weird but I have enough money – I think – but you never know – but the better my score gets, the less I want to spend any of it. Is this a sickness?

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  7. I am so impressed with you. That too, was my goal and I was single. And broke. Finally paid off the credit cards and got rid of them all. Then I put my meager emergency fund together. Don’t worry about roof. My husband just lost his job so I am so glad we’ve been living below our means for some time. I’m giving you an A. Ok, maybe the Dean’s List.

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  8. I look at serving sizes and think “in what WORLD is that four servings??” Which probably explains a LOT. Good for you on the money front June. You’re an inspiration.

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    1. In a rare splurge for Valentine’s Day, I bought a box of donut holes. Nothing fancy, grocery store – I made the mistake of looking at the per servings. You’re apparently supposed to stop after 2 donut holes. That’s not even enough to make up one whole donut! Let’s just say that box didn’t make it through the holiday weekend.

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  9. During the first six months of the pandemic, I wound up losing my nice credit score because I fell behind on payments and then broke my ankle and everything became a mess. So I’m fighting my way back into FICO’s good graces. I’m so happy to see that it can be done.

    In addition: (1) insurance will pay for damage done by a tree to your house, I know because that ALSO happened this summer (it missed the house, but hit the fence and while investigating it, I stepped in a rabbit hole that broke my ankle). (2) if something major comes up, isn’t there a way to borrow from your 401k? I don’t know if this is true, but I feel like there’s some dealio that makes it a better option than maxing a credit card. Like a tax break? Or something? I don’t know from finance. 😀

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  10. Great job June! Paying off credit card debt is super hard and sometimes it seems like there is always some kind of emergency so you can’t save. I think my husband’s score is 800 and mine is like yours, 795. He likes to point that out a lot, how much better his is. I think you’ve done a wonderful job!

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  11. This is definitely a feel good post. It just makes me want to get up and get dressed and accomplish something. Good for you, June!

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  12. Don’t mean to rain on your parade, go you, but having credit cards and not using them makes your credit score go down, because they don’t know if or when you might max them out. Sorry.

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      1. I’m sorry, June. I kind of thought I would come across like your “friend.” I’m going to go sit in the corner now. That’s fantastic that your score has gone up.

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  13. Congrats on the money thing. I didn’t get a good grip on my money until I lost about 180 pounds of ex-husband. My current husband is good with me handling all our financial stuff. Lesson learned from the last one. I also eat two servings of low calorie foods so I totally get the food thing. It did sound delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good for you, June! I also get confused on whether to add more money from each check to my retirement fund or do less and put extra into savings for the here and now. I never know what the best option would be.
    I know the BOOM feeling and it’s great. I’m also trying to pay down my debt. I have one card left. I am finding the most credit I have available the less I want to use it. Is this being a grown up?

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    1. Oh, the thought of using a credit card is akin to putting my hand on a burner. And whenever I have to use the Care Credit one, I feel icky about it. But why can’t you ever go to the vet for less than $200? Why?

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      1. I looked into pet insurance for that very reason. I was appalled at the pricing of that too!! Fecking flea meds are approximately 11 millionty dollars a year. Just a regular check up with minimum shots is about $300. And I go to one of our areas cheaper vets.

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        1. I spend like half my mortgage every month on flea meds for these five animals. I give them Revolution, which is 8 million dollars a tube. It’s absurd. Why I gotta hoard animals? Why can’t I have a cheap hobby, like racing cars or international travel?

          Liked by 2 people

  15. I am so pleased for you! Your post was such a happy, bright read on this snowy/freezing rain/ everything cancelled kind of day.
    I read 21 comments as 21 compliments and instantly I felt a shot of joy for you! (Actually pictured as cupid’s arrow, so, I don’t know about that.)
    Anyway, congratulations!

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      1. I missed snow when I lived away from it; not quite so much today I would happily send you what we shoveled off our driveway this morning, but I’d need a carton the size of your snake shed.

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    1. I keep thinking I should be saving money because I haven’t gotten my hair done or Botox or pedicures or gone to the movies. But instead I’m spending it all on food. See above re my ass.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations! You’ve done really well getting things way under control, and making a plan for the future. I would happily pay for a tarot reading if you open up shop. (But only if you promise to wear a caftan and turban while doing so. Haha)

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  17. So proud of you, June. I know how hard it is to dig yourself out of debt. And for whatever reason that 800 credit score is very hard to reach. Also too, I’ll bet that fire in your knee is due to the wasabi in your dinner last night. That line worked better in my mind. Furthermore, I wish we had drive-through Subways..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truthfully, my drive-thru Subway sucks hard. First of all, I think they chintz on the meat. I think they literally give you a little less than they’re supposed to. Secondly, it takes forever. But it’s the closest drive-thru to my house, so. It’s like that Chinese place I used to go to all the time at my old house, where I said their slogan was, “It’s nearby.”

      Anyway, I know. That elusive 800. And the credit score people always list the reason as “ratio of debt to credit cards too high.” I have like five credit cards with a zero balance and one, the Care Credit, with $1000 on it. How in the name of Mother Mary is that ratio too much? Anyway, if we actually get stimmy checks I’m paying that motherfuckermary off and GIVE ME MY 800.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Congratulations! I agree with Another Pam that it is a huge weight off of you.

    Hope your knee will be okay. That reminds me of the one time I tried Pilates for Dummies years ago and ended up with sciatica. Never again!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I spent two years working on a budget that I only tweak every now and again. I lived at the poverty level for a couple of years, even with my good job and my college degree. I lived in Alabama, see, where there is no money unless you inherit it. What I inherited was my father’s health woes and fireplug stature. I’m saying I know of what you speak. I’m fostering dogs this past pandemic and only paying for treats and one super cute pink velour coat, but I can see where that would break me and I no longer live at the poverty level (I moved out of Alabama.) Good luck on your new endeavors, whatever they may be. (I got a roommate but it’s not always that great, tbh.)

    Liked by 2 people

  20. You inspired me to get my credit score in shape a while back and I am still working on it, but this is helpful to hear.I am also playing with trading stocks – mostly out of sheer boredom. I set aside $150 and whether it goes up or down, that’s what I use. I have no idea what I am doing yet but it’s been interesting to learn. Apparently this is a thing the young people are doing, as all of my children started doing this before I did. Who knew?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That’s awesome. I’m kind of in the same sitch, just earlier on. I am ALMOST done with the credit cards. Then I want to start putting more in savings. I don’t max my 4-oh-wonk yet though. That makes me gasp at little. Good job!

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    1. I’m not maxed, although I’ve considered it. For awhile I was putting 15% in, and then my work matches some of that. But seriously I was destitute each paycheck and decided I was being extreme. So I dialed it back to 11%. I dialed it to 11, like Spinal Tap.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I never get that sick, scared feeling. Except when I think about what if something big happens. Like what if a tree falls on the house. But insurance, right? Wouldn’t insurance cover that?

      Or what if I have an emergency need for a baby leopard? They probably cost a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

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