UFM 25: Just keep swimming


This is the part of the month where shit gets hard. I’ve lost interest in my frugal quest, and there are still 6 days to go. I haven’t looked at my spending recently to see if I’m doing well and should be happy, or doing poorly and should be sad. This past week, I went out with friends four times. Twice we split, twice they treated (it was owed–I’m not leaching) but going out is certainly not part of the UberFrugal Month plan. I’m not really interested in if I’m saving, and I’m finding excuses not to write (as you may have noticed).

So what to do in the doldrums of a financial journey? Well, today I rode my bike to work, partly because there will only be a few more days when I can, and partly because it means I may not have to get gas until August (I will definitely have to get gas before August). I packed my lunch because it was there and I didn’t want it to go to waste. For entertainment, I’ve hit up the library (almost as often as I’ve hit up a restaurant–three times last week) and downloaded books online. I can do these things without really thinking about it (well, the biking I think about, but it’s getting there). They are habits, ones I mostly don’t have to think about.

And sure, there are more habits to develop. The habit of always having people over. The habit of saying “I’ll think about it” before agreeing. The habit of writing. But even if nothing else happened this month, I’ve written more than I have in the past six months. And I missed that. It’s important to remember that it’s not all about doing everything perfectly the first time (or the second or the ninth) but about making regular forward momentum. Even if you are a tiny fish with tiny fish fins, you can cross the ocean if you just keep swimming.

UFM 21: Oil Changes and Excuses for Not Blogging

Well, I can check one thing off the bucket list! Today I learned how to change my own oil. Did I actually change my own oil? No, my coworker did it for me, but did I see how it was done? Yes. Is that the same thing? No. Is it close enough? Maybe. Is that enough of this question-answer thing? Yes.

Late on Wednesday night (when I could have been writing), I went to an Autozone and bought quarts of oil, an oil filter, an air filter, and a timing belt. If that was all I had accomplished, I would have felt pretty proud because in the past I would have been nervous and frustrated to not know exactly what I was doing. This time? I looked up what I needed, bought what I thought was right, and if I was wrong, I would return it. No need to stress.

And today I took all my newly acquired car parts to my most mechanically minded coworker, our Director of Property, and he showed me how to do car things. Like for example, the oil filter is underneath the car. And car oil is remarkably clean until it goes in the car car where it gets gross. The air filter is wildly easy to change. I can identify my timing belt now (it was in fine shape), and my front tires need to be replaced. He suggested a place to go, and I will do it before we move. Tires seem like an important car feature. While I didn’t actually do the changing of the things, I observed carefully and it really didn’t seem that hard. Messy, maybe, but hard? No (guess we’re not done with the question and answers). And it feels good to understand more about something that was pretty intimidating to me before.

inside the blue thunder

Inside the Blue Thunder. 

So, where have I been the last few days? Oh, Frugal Reader. I have been spending the money and avoiding spending money. Last night, I went out to dinner and caught up with a coworker and mentor that I am really going to miss (and who I think might actually miss me even more). Tonight I went out with more coworkers, but someone else grabbed the bill at the fancy place this time (holla at your generous ladies!). I went to an optometrist appointment that it turns out my insurance did not cover, so I did not go through with the appointment. Costs delayed! Instead, I wandered around Target and looked at things I wasn’t going to buy. This was more fun than it sounds. I went to the library and paid my library fines. I worked on my résumé. I drank more beer than was probably necessary.

People keep asking me if I’m excited to be leaving, and I don’t know what to say. I haven’t really thought about it. Thinking about it means thinking about all the people that I’m leaving, and that’s sad. It also means thinking about all the things I don’t know, and that’s scary, so I’ve preferred to think about all the things between me and the move. My work. The errands. The cleaning. Packing. The trip.

It’s only really been the last few days when I’ve started to think about the possibilities, the excitement of a new place and a possible new job. Partially, it’s because pieces are beginning to fall into place which makes this big change feel less scary. We’re getting a place, I’ve got job options, things are coming together. So instead of writing I’ve been working on those things. I’ve been talking to people I won’t get to see for much longer. It’s an excuse, yes, but it’s also life.  It’s starting to feel real, which is scary and exciting, but mostly just real.