“I just fixing it”

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That’s my son – he’s “fixing” the light. Why? Well, daddy hung up a few pictures over the weekend, so Z figured it only made sense that he would grab his hammer and “fix” things as well. What made him climb up on the back of the couch and fix the light? I have no idea. My husband wasn’t doing that (he’s 6’4, no need to ever really stand on anything to begin with, but he also wasn’t “fixing” things – he was just putting holes in the wall and hanging pictures. I’m very happy my son did not put holes in the wall). When I asked Z what he was doing, he very matter-of-factly stated “I just fixing it”. Then he got down, went and grabbed his screwdriver and climbed back up, adding “I’ll be careful, mommy”. What a little man, this one. 🙂

I have to laugh, because on Saturday I was feeling frustrated. I wanted things fixed too. I know that what I’m doing is for the best and for the long haul. And I had to laugh, because I realized something pretty concrete about myself. You see, here’s something else about me. I see long-term. Always. I see dollar signs, ALWAYS. Want examples? Ok, I am behind a slow car. I want to speed around them, but I carefully weigh the appropriate time to pass, making sure I can’t get caught. Why? Because I don’t want a ticket. I don’t want my insurance to go up, plus the cost of the ticket. When my husband passes a vehicle (or *ahem* has a my-engine/ego/truck-is-bigger-than-yours moment, of which he always denies being the reason), I see a ticket which means I see money. My husband asked if I’d be happy with $1M in the bank. Sure, but I wouldn’t stop there. It’s not like I’d say “Well, we have enough, no need to keep saving!” Nope, I’d keep saving. Just in case. My husband likes to do donuts in a snow-covered, mostly empty, parking lot. He’s always safe when he does it. But I see dollar signs. I see black ice, I see loss of control and now there’s vehicle repair (and insurance!) costs. When a friend is having a baby, a birthday party, a wedding, a bridal shower, well, basically any party, I see money. Isn’t that sad? I shouldn’t be living life this way!

I think it’s time to admit it – I want to be money hoarder. I want to hoard money. If I could have a house (obviously fully on lock down, made of things more secure than a bank, since those got robbed) full of money, I would do it. I LOVE to see money in the bank, in my cash envelopes. It’s a challenge to go grocery shopping and try to NOT spend all the money. It’s stressful, yes. But my goal is to always leave the store with money in the envelope. Does it happen? This past week was the first time it did. And boy am I giddy with delight about it!

What is my obsession with money? Why do I feel so much security wrapped around it? We weren’t rich growing up, I know that. But we still took vacations (no, we didn’t stay in expensive hotels, and we traveled with family members). We didn’t eat out, but our bellies were always full. We always had a roof over our head (my parents even had others living with us a few times). We were always clothed, with plenty of toys. Were the clothes and toys handed down from other friends and family? Sure. Did we care? Nope. They were new to us. I don’t remember ever feeling like we weren’t going to be ok, financially. In fact, I don’t remember ever thinking about things like that until I was a teenager and started asking for money to do things. Then it was just a matter of my parents wanting us to be responsible and earn our own money to do “discretionary” things. So I did. I started babysitting around 12 years old. I had a full-time job at 15 (I was home-schooled). I maintained a full-time job (minus one season when I went to a private school in 10th grade) until I had my son at 29. When I have a job, I work hard at it. I don’t just do enough to not get fired. I push myself. Why? I suppose because of how I was raised. My parents don’t do anything halfway either.

So when it comes to the Mturk and Swagbucks, I don’t just settle for $1 a day. I have a goal ($7 a day) and I make sure I reach it. Does that mean that some days are really frustrating (weekends, mainly..seems to be less surveys/work on the weekends. Makes sense, but still!)? Yes! But I push myself. I get up, everyday (weekends included), long before my husband and son. I shower and get ready for the day. I take the dog out and feed her. Then I grab the laptop and get to work. I stop when my son wakes up. As soon as my son goes back down for a nap, it’s back on the laptop. I’m on it until he wakes back up. Normally, I can reach my $7 goal by then. So I don’t have to do anything after he goes down for the evening. Very rarely do I need to log back on. When I think about the time vs. payout? Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic. 4-5 hours for $7, maybe more on a GREAT day. It’s sad, really. BUT if I reach my goal of $7 a day all 30-31 days of the month, that will equal $210-$217 extra for the month. All towards debt. It’s only for a season. Then I can stop. Then I can be lazy and get fat.

OR, like I said to a girlfriend, I’ll find something else to be obsessive about (again, laziness is another thing that isn’t in my vocabulary – thanks mom and dad! :)). Because that’s me. I have routines, folks (for some that means I’m OCD). Right now it includes working on the laptop for pennies. But it’s part of my routine and it’s paying down debt. But I do so look forward to a routine that doesn’t involve working for so little pay, lol! However, this allows me to stay home with our son. For that, I am VERY thankful. So I am not complaining. At all. I am sharing with you just a little more into my life. In hopes that you see that there is someone else out there who has a similar story to yours. I don’t have a lifestyle where I just lay around, reading magazines/books all day while sipping champagne and eating strawberries. Nope. My life is a normal American life. Finding the next dollar, while enjoying what I have to the fullest degree. I am blessed beyond measure and I know that. I am thankful for all that I have been given. I have more than many. Did we make dumb financial mistakes? Yes. Some of our money issues are because of job layoffs, moves and medical. But we will move forward and get out of this debt hole. We’re living like no one else now, so we can live like no one else later (thanks Dave Ramsey!). We’re “just fixing it” now 🙂

To those of you (you know who you are!) that have reached out to me, thanking me for sharing, because it’s encouraged you and because you enjoy reading what I write – please know it means the world to me to receive those messages. It’s a huge encouragement to me to know that I am not alone either in this!!!

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