Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Brittany Thoughts

Today has been a mellow sort of day. I am writing this on Tuesday evening. I've been home sick all day and have spent the whole day reading, puttering on the internet, and watching documentaries on Netflix. It has been POURING again all day and I took up station on the short couch underneath the side window in the living room. It has been very nice to relax and watch the rain fall! (Now if only I felt better...)

This week I am hoping to get out to my dad's shop again to start going through more of my things in storage and breaking boxes down to haul them to recycling. (What is it with us Hassells and keeping boxes?! I thought there was a lot more stuff in storage than there actually was, due to the amount of empties.) What is (maybe?) going to be hard on me is what I think most of the stuff left in storage is my toys and stuff from when I was young. Some of the puzzles, games, and such were sold at the garage sale I had a month or so ago, but there is still so much more to go through. And I am going to allow myself time to go through these things because, growing up an only child, these were my main source of fun. I had friends, yes, but my parents were good at getting me toy that allowed me to think and explore the world and so I have more of an emotional attachment to them. (Does that make any sense?) I know my rock tumbler, microscope, fingerprinting kit, etc, are all in storage still. I guess I will just take it as it comes and hope some kid gets my rock tumbler and realizes just how freaking cool it is to make shiny, smooth rocks.

But I digress.

In other "getting rid of things" news, there are a few high priced items I have at home in Portland that I think I'm going to have Jonathan parcel post to me so I can try and sell them sooner, rather than later. I have an HP netbook, a star-shaped diamond pendant, and two amethyst rings that I never wear. The rings, even though I haven't worn them in years, still have a wee bit of emotional-ness to them. My first real serious boyfriend gave them to me and I do like them. They fit. They sparkle. They're very pretty. Do I not wear them because I have so many other options of things to wear in Portland? Or do I not wear them because I'm afraid I'll scratch the gemstones or something? I used to wear them quite a bit, not just when I was with this boy. Do I not wear them because of the emotional attachment? (Even though there is none now, he was my First Serious Boyfriend.) I think I want to treat them like my feathered headbands, I do like them and if I'm going to wear them, I need to make an effort in wearing them. (Side note: I did wear one of the headbands on Saturday and got a lot of compliments! I just need to keep wearing them.)

In awesomeness news, today I checked my savings accounts and am quite pleased with the balances in both my personal account and Jonathan and I's joint account! Yeah!! It feels SO GOOD to have savings again. Now that I've cut down on my frivolous spending I have managed to put lots of money in our accounts. We have zero credit card debt. I have been able to use my debit card exclusively for purchases this month. I feel like a badass. I have wanted to be here for so long. I have two bags of items to take to Goodwill maybe tomorrow!

What some of my money goals are:

*Have six months' worth of savings in our account in case we both lose our jobs and have no income. This means to pay our bills and have nothing extra we need $9,000 in our savings. Our basic costs equal about $1,500 each month, which includes a little wiggle room. We could make it less, but we are fairly frugal as is. We could be super frugal if we *had* to, though. (Right now we choose to eat organic and Alaskan salmon several times a week - I eat it every day right now in AK - but if we had no income that wouldn't happen, obviously! And, yes, we choose to eat good foods because we don't hardly eat out or do things that cost money, but if I have to eat food every single day, you betcha it's going to be the best food I can afford.)

*We need to be thinking about buying a new car sometime soonish. My car is finally starting to show its age. I have a 1998 Honda CR-V that I LOVE but the transmission is starting to have more problems and it has multiple little fixes that aren't necessary, but would be a good thing. And that starts to get expensive. But I looooovveeee my car and, while I am excited about getting a new one, I don't want to spend the money on it. At this point it makes sense to buy a car I can use for a long time again and now that I've been a car owner for nine (?) years I have figured out things that I have wanted in a new car. Unfortunately, that means it adds to the cost. I am not 100% sure what Jonathan wants, other than a wagon, but I am really wanting a 2008 Subaru Outback (so, yay! Wagon!). The only thing I can forsee that would make me not want it is how well I could see out and how safe I felt given that I am barely five feet tall. If I don't feel like I am in "control" of the vehicle, it's not going to work. I also looked at the 2008 and 2009 Foresters, but the Outbacks have a bit more cubic space in them for hauling stuff, which is one of my main things I'm looking for in a car. That, and it has to be able to haul a skiff, because I am totally owning one someday and I intend to cruise around, putter, and fish. Life goals, y'all.

*We want to go to the Mediterranean someday (before Antarctica, I know, way cheaper). When we get hitched (someday) I don't want presents. We've been together for almost four years. Not that I have a clue when we'll get married, but we really have all the "stuff" that we need. We haven't done a big vacation since 2008 when we went to Kauai. Yeah, we drove from Oregon up to Alaska through Canada last year, which was totally awesome, but I want to leave this continent! (This was a favorite trip, though!)

So, in summary, I think this is kind of listed in order of life importance, even though I wasn't trying for that. We are also wanting to try and rent a house when our lease is up in February, because we want to not have to deal with upstairs neighbours and I want to do cool stuff like have a place for my kayak to live, compost, have a little garden, etc. Right now we have zero outside space that is ours. I'd love to put our laundry drying rack outside instead of in our living room. Just saying!

Today I checked my credit card and Citizen's Photo in Portland charged me less than $20 for developing my film negatives and shipping them to me. That's over half the cost it normally is! It will take me some time to scan them all on the film scanner I bought, but it will pay for itself quickly! Yeah!!

I've been working on eating a little bit cleaner, as well, even though today I ate a little bit of brownies my housemate made and also had some coconut milk ice "cream". (And juice! I had way more sugar than usual today. And I'm sick! So bad.) I have been reading a book on Japanese food, which is one of my favorite cuisines, so today what I've mostly eating, aside from the crap, is a little bit of brown rice, canned salmon, 1/3 of a sheet of nori, ripped into little pieces (seaweed is good for you!), and some stir-fried veggies and garlic, topped with a little bit of shoyu. I have eaten three small bowels of this today. It's SO good! I think I might make some homefries for a snackie, though.

Alright, I think this stream-of-thought post is over!


  1. Those are some great goals. I have to give it to anyone who thinks ahead enough pad their savings like that.
    I'm also in the same boat as you with a car. My car is a 2000 VW Bug that I've had for 9 years and now everything is going. The actual costs to fix it greatly out weight the value of the car. However we are thinking about donating it to the local PBS station and go carless. It is think of a scary thought but I'm looking forward to the bike kicking my butt into shape. Best of luck finding something.

  2. I like the idea of going car-less, but I have too many things I like to do that involve getting outside of Portland, you know? Coming from an island, having the option to drive places is awesome. But I applaud your wanting to ride your bike everywhere! I think that is way awesome.

    Yeah, the saving the money is hard sometimes. We had a really expensive end of year last year. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. So we had next to no savings for months, which didn't make me feel very good. So I really like the idea of having that much in savings. At least maybe a few months' worth of living expenses, even if it's not six!

  3. Go Britt go! Sorry, I'm not feeling well so won't go into specifics, but you are awesome. Well done. :D