The Unachievable Plan

I have plans, tons of plans!  Often, they are super unrealistic but I feel like its always good to have goals for things.  Seems totally realistic to buy a Harley even though the last time I tried to be in charge of a bike I hit a hay bale and tipped over……..yea……that happened.  Saturday morning I made a plan to steal a ’74 Trans Am….seems totally legit to me.  Just need to find out the garage code and we are good to go!

Today marks the beginning of the end of a plan that in theory seemed great, but reality had other plans.  My Dad had bought a sailboat…I assume….before I was born.  In any case, I don’t remember an existence pre-Sea Jet. That’s the name of the boat, the Sea Jet. Seems like an odd name for a boat that’s in no way large enough to be sea worthy, but it’s a play on our family initials. She’s a couple years older than I am, but she’s got a retractable keel, and that makes her a very rare girl indeed!  She’s also, I think, one of the smallest sailboats you can find with a sleeper cabin.  You could go drop anchor in the middle of the lake and live on her for the weekend if you want.  We never spent much time out on the boat, life just got too busy.  The Jet mostly hung out back behind my Grandpa’s house taking Mother Nature’s abuse.  When I was in high school, Dad and I did get it all cleaned up and launched out in the marina for the summer.  It was a good summer, and I was a big fan of scampering around the deck barefooted whist trying to learn how to sail.  I never really did learn how to sail, this was a minor flaw in my sailing plans, but that’s what Google is for right?!?!

After Dad died, I wanted the Jet to be my project.  I was going to get her all cleaned up and redone.  She was going to get new vinyl decals (blue instead of the 80’s brown she’s currently rocking), new cushions  and curtains in the cabin, and new riggings all around.  I decided on redoing everything in blue because Dad had blue eyes and I thought that would be a nice touch.  Plus…..I mean the cushions are orange…..ORANGE PEOPLE!!  I just couldn’t leave them like that!  The inside is also rocking some sorta orangey tinted wood….nothing a coat or two of white paint wouldn’t help perk up!

Can't say the years had been particularly nice to my Jet....

Can’t say the years had been particularly nice to my Jet….

Lichen, or as I prefer to call them "Nature's Slip 'n Slide", are no match for my muscles and some Dawn!

Lichen, or as I prefer to call them “Nature’s Slip ‘n Slide”, are no match for my muscles and some Dawn!

Alas, sailing isn’t really a middle class, single, white girl’s hobby.  Marina fees for the season alone are much more than I can afford, and the Jet does need new riggings before she’d be lake worthy.  I’m not sure how much the rigging would cost me, but I’m betting it’s not in the budget.  I haven’t had the heart to un-bag the sails, they look like they are fine, but if they aren’t that would be a huge expense.  Beyond the financial issue comes transport and storage.  I’m not sure my Terrain has the muscle to haul her, and I have a hard time shelling out the funds to spiff her all up if I’m just going to have to leave her outside in the weather as always.  Plus, Grandpa’s house is no longer available for free storage, so that’s a whole issue as well.

Long story short, we have to sell the boat.  I think this is the first project in my life that I’ve had in my hands and had to give up on.  I don’t often bite off more than I can chew, although I do love to dream big.  So I spent the day scrubbing the years off the Sea Jet and getting her ready for the “For Sale” signs.  Hopefully, she’ll catch someone’s attention and they can take her out to the lake where she belongs.  Realistically, I’ve done most of the hard manual labor for them now anyway!

Check the sweet 80's vintage vinyl!

Check the sweet 80’s vintage vinyl!

Budgets and Why I Hate Them

Another serious post means that it’s time for another edition of Fun Facts About Me!  I’m part of the 1% of the population who have amblyopia or a “lazy eye”.  My amblyopia is due to the fact that I was born with one very nearsighted and one very farsighted eye.  Basically, it was easier for my brain to only use my nearsighted eye, so that’s what it did.  My eye’s aren’t crossed, they both point straight forward.  (I bring that up because it isn’t the case for everyone with amblyopia.)  So yes, I’ve been to the eye doctor a lot in my life, and yes I had an eye patch growing up. :/  It was not cool, I didn’t feel like a pirate all the time, and I generally hated it.  Grown up me had surgery to help the issue, and I wear mild contacts to help crisp up my vision.  Otherwise I have generally great eyeballs! I know this because I was at the eye doctor this week.

Maybe it’s the way I grew up, or some delusional idea that college would set me up for life, but I never envisioned a life where I would have to pay so much attention to my budget.  Granted it was never part of my life plan to be a single, upper twenty something, but we have to play the cards we are dealt.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that success takes hard work and dedication.  It’s just that I thought I had done all of that.  I worked….reasonably….hard in high school, and enrolled in a great college.  I worked…again reasonably…..hard in college.  I thought that was all you had to do.  I had always been told, that success in school created a successful life.  Unfortunately, I ended up in college during an economic crash, and a high GPA wasn’t going to save me.  I graduated from a great college with good grades and ZERO job prospects.

I fought with my parents about what to do next, and ended up moving in with the guy I was dating.  It seemed like staying in a bigger town was a better option than moving back home and living with my parents again.  Plus, I’d sworn to myself that I wasn’t going to be one of those people who ended up in their parent’s basement.  Moving in with that guy was awful, I didn’t like it at all, but I was too proud to admit my parents had been right and move home.  Lucky for me, I found a job about a month after graduation.  Technically, I was offered a job in Rapid City and an onsite interview in Iowa.  I sometimes wonder how life would be different if I had taken a chance on the interview, but the past is yesterday and it can’t be changed.  The major bummer about my job in Rapid City was that the fact my degree was totally irrelevant to them.  So here I was, bright eyed and bushy tailed with a freshly printed diploma, and no one cared!  I have to say it was a bit of a let down.  Our professors had always told us if we completed our program, companies would want to hire us.  I had been promised that I would be in high demand!  Instead, I was basically in no demand.  While the job was disappointing in some ways, it was also incredibly fun in others.  I learned how to stab veins like a pro and I met some of the best girls I know!  It takes a really special group of girls to sit through double happy hour at the Applebee’s in Gillette Wyoming and live to tell the tale.  We were those girls!!  Shout out to my beauties at UBS!!!

Seriously though, if you're able you should give blood.  It's an easy way to help strangers in your community and across the country.

Seriously though, if you’re able you should give blood. It’s an easy way to help strangers in your community and across the country.

Eventually, I was offered the job I currently have, and I thought all my American dreams would come true.  I’m currently a lab manager, and while it isn’t hard chemistry all day every day, it is a chemistry job!  I finally felt like I was an adult off to achieve all my big adult dreams!  Turns out that isn’t exactly how the real world works.  Looking back at my childhood, there were probably moments where my parents struggled with money and the annoyance of a budget.  The thing is though…..I never noticed!  I never felt like we were deprived, struggling, or living within a budget.  We lived within our means, but to me that’s different.  Within one’s means is a feeling of being responsible.  When I talk about my budget, it’s generally with more of a sense of being deprived of the things I want or feel like I should be able to do.  We were raised that if you couldn’t afford to buy something outright, tough cookies for you.  Credit cards, loans, and debt were not the answer, and I’ve kept that mantra going in my own life.

It wasn’t until I lived on my own, with my own bills, did I realize that money can be such a struggle.  I never thought that managing my money would entail me checking my credit card bill before agreeing to a sushi date with my bestie.    I don’t want to worry about whether or not I have enough money for a weekend away visiting friends, or if I can spring for a cute pair of shoes at the mall.  It’s those little moments where I feel like I can’t do the fun things I want that I feel annoyed.  I understand budgeting and planning for big purchases or vacations.  It’s the “fun money” that annoys me most.  I worked hard to get where I am, and if I want sushi and beer I should be able to have sushi and beer worry free!  The other annoying part of adulthood is what I like to call “surprise expenses”.  It never fails that I’ll be having a really good month with my money, working on my savings account, and then something with happen.  The car needs an oil change, the dog has a vet appointment, the house needs something….etc.  I get that these are important things to spend money on…..but that doesn’t make them less annoying, especially when I’m trying to save for other things.

I don't want to have to budget for this!  I just want to enjoy my sushi guilt free while the sake melts away my problems!

I don’t want to have to budget for this! I just want to enjoy my sushi guilt free while the sake and soy melt away my problems!

I…generally….live within my means, and I try hard to only dip into my savings for important things.  I make good money at my job, and I know that I’m much better off than most people in this world.  The main cause of my financial stress is that I’m paying for graduate school, my car, and mortgage payments all while trying to funnel money into my savings account.  It’s possibly the biggest middle class, white girl problem ever, but if you’re going to have life problems, better that they be absurd than serious!

Hopefully writing this post will help me remember to be GRATEFUL for the things I have.  However, you should never get to a point in life where you become stationary and stop striving for bigger, better things.  I’m not one to create a dream board, but I will share my “To Purchase” list with you.  These items aren’t in any particular order, some aren’t very practical, some are, and there isn’t timeline for purchasing any of the items.  But, if you’re going to have to live within a budget and dream, it’s good to dream extra-large and in charge!

  1. Harley…preferably the automatic one that is currently only a concept demo because I have limited skill….. :/
  2. Towing kit and roof rack for my Terrain
  3. A nice makeup brush set…why must makeup cost so much money, does anyone know the answer!??!
  4. Snowmobile
  5. Fixing my poor, virus ridden Macbook
  6. Jetski
  7. COWBOY BOOTS….the more bedazzled the better!
  8. Crossbow….or a new compound bow  Yes, I want a crossbow, don’t judge me!
  9. New sunfish sailboat and trailer