Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas

Christmas a holiday we no longer enjoy. This year we didn't set up any decorations or lights. Our only decoration in the living room is a giant GRINCH sitting on the mantle. We told our friends we needed a new tree or that we had plans to go out of town (lies). In the end when December 25th came around it felt great. We woke up, had a simple breakfast, some coffee and we headed to my father in law's house to see family.



The wife and I agreed not to get each other anything for Christmas. I didn't have to worry about spending money on crap and she didn't have to stress about buying me things I don't need. Of course we did have to shop for family but this year we created a budget. We allocated $50 per person and we stayed under $500. Believe me it was a great feeling, other years we've had to spend close to $2,000 on family and each other.

Even as we tried to shun the holidays we got a ton of stuff from family. Here's a few of the items that stood out:

-Apple TV
-Apple iPod Shuffle
-4 Nike Golf shirts
-Juicy Couture perfume
-Coach wristlet
-Gift cards: Macy's, Chili's, P.F. Chang's, Best Buy.

In the end, I'm glad this is over, I really don't like people giving us stuff and us having to stress about buying stuff for them, why can't Christmas be more like Thanksgiving? just a nice family dinner with friends and the people we love...

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

HS

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 2010 Updates

Quick updates:

Life- I'm down 17 pounds in my weight! the wife is down 20 pounds. We started our Body For Life transformation on November 8 and we can't stop now, we are addicted. The only down side is our grocery bill is close to $500 per month. We have to eat a lot of protein and vegetables so I've noticed an increase on food spending. I also need to go buy some new pants, I'm down 2 sizes. I'm hoping to find really good sales after Christmas.

Career- I'm still looking and applying for jobs. I had a programming test with a small company and when I sat down they asked me to calculate algorithms, I got up and told them sorry I'm not a programmer. Luckily one of the managers wanted to talk so I spent a couple of hours with them, hopefully that turns in to an offer. The company is private and very small, around 600 employees. I would love to be making 90,000 and small companies usually pay pretty good.

Debt- still with us and it won't go away. I keep making minimum payments and I will admit, we've charged stuff here and there. I had to pick up a tab at a bar for $150 so that went on credit. The goal is to have all credit cards paid off before Summer 2011. The plan is to stop using credit cards one of these days...

Infertility- Funny thing happened after I made that post, turns out we really don't want kids. We got lucky and had to spend some time with our niece and nephew and after 2 hours we looked at each other and said 'thank god we don't have children'. At that moment we realized we can just go home and relax, turn on the TV, pet the dog and go to bed. No screaming or crying children, it was very peaceful. I remember saying to myself life is good and just really enjoying the moment. Thanks everyone for the positive and sincere comments. I feel so much better and I'm happier now, I think I just needed to let it all out.

Have safe and happy holidays!

HS

Monday, December 13, 2010

Body For Life

Another area of focus in our lives is health and weight. The wife and I started Body For Life a few weeks ago. At first it reminded me of those fad diets like South Beach and Atkins but after reading the book I realized it could work for us. Body for life is a 12 week program where you combine exercise, cardio and change eating habits. What we like about this program is you have eat every 2 hours. Our goal, like this title of the book is to do this for life. We started the program 5 weeks ago and we have another 7 weeks to go. This program works! I took my weight this morning and I was amazed! I've lost 15 pounds over the last 5 weeks.

For anyone looking for the book or reviews, here's a link on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Body-Life-Mental-Physical-Strength/dp/0060193395

The main thing about this program is you need to have motivation and will power or it will not work. You have to change how you think about food and what goes in to the body. You have to work out 6 days a week but Sundays you get to cheat and eat anything you want- hamburgers, pizza? go for it.

All this brings me back to 'debt'. I am trying to figure out how I can do something similar with our finances and have the wife on board. I would love to do Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover but the wife has no interest. She refuses to do any of the bills or work on a budget with me. She's happy with her check card, Macy's card and a credit card for emergencies. I wish she could see the big picture...maybe I need some kind of reward for her?

She loves our 'Body For Life' program. She read the book, we sit down and come up with a weekly store list. We shop for groceries together and cook most of our meals together. We even work out at the same time and have similar weight goas... why can't it be the same with our money!?

HS

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Infertility

Well I didn't really want to have to do this post but it looks like I don't have a choice. We are having issues conceiving and I think I just need to vent. We have been trying to have our first child for over 2 years and no luck, we are officially way past the definition of 'Infertility' - describes couples who have never been able to become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (Mayo Clinic). We have tried everything: luck, diets, vitamins, doctors but we can't find the cause. Our egg and sperm just refuse to become one. Luckily there are no issues, the wife produces lots of follicles every month and I have healthy sperm. We might go more aggressive and try other treatments, we've even mentioned a surrogate mother, any takers? $25,000 for 9 months ;).

Then there's the money factor- fertility drugs and treatments are expensive. Each month I get all these bills, 100 here, 200 there. I'm tired of it all, I can't never really predict what's coming or how much. We do have great insurance but that can always change, in fact even income could change if one of us lost their job.

The real reason for this post is this infertility is making me 'angry', I am the nicest person you will every meet. But lately I find myself more upset and in some strange way very depressed. All this anger is not leading anywhere good. This morning I realized some of this anger is turning in to hate, which is leading to 'envy' what others have. I found myself leaving some very negative comments at another blog, a very nice couple who have 10 beautiful children and 1 more on the way. Not sure why I said certain things at the time but today I realized it is because they have something I may never have. It was anger and envy took over. I don't want to say or mention their names, they are not happy with me and I can understand. To that wonderful couple, I just want to say- please accept my apology, I know I disrespected you and I'm truly sorry. I'm working on getting through this stage in my life and I'm hoping one day I can be like you. I've learned from it and I'm working on my self esteem. Again, if you happen to read this, I apologize. I am very sorry for what I said. I want to wish you and your family the best, I will continue to read your blog because of your amazing story (don't worry I won't comment).

To all my other readers, I know you want to hear more about debt and money so come back next week to see where I'm at with all the bills.

HS