Archives for May 2012

Monday Dare: Cha-ching, bitches

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Don’t lose my shirt by trying to save some dough.

I like to save money. I also like to spend money. So I guess those two things cancel each other out. Probably not evenly since I spend a lot more money than I manage to save, but what is it those wise people say about progress? The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I’ve also heard people say Everything happens for a reason. But sometimes things happen because you’re stupid and make bad choices.

When I try to save money by clipping coupons, both adages run through my head simultaneously. It gets confusing at times because the words tend to mesh together, and I’m left with a single quote that makes no sense.

A while back, I decided to start saving money by clipping coupons. It seemed like a smart move. Who doesn’t want to take home TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF GROCERIES FOR A MERE THIRTY SEVEN CENTS?

Because I’m all about committing fully to a new endeavor, I decided to do this coupon clipping The Right Way. Stuff all my coupons in a miniature accordion folder from the Dollar Store? Oh, no ma’am, that’s not the way sanity works in this house. I invested $24.99 for a deluxe coupon binder with a velcro closure. And another $18.58 for see-through storage pages with special coupon-sized vertical compartments. Then another $18.58 for pages with HORIZONTAL compartments. I mean, really, can I be bothered to tilt my head forty-five degrees to read the wording on a coupon when I can BAM have everything in a quick and easy-to-read layout?

Upon receipt of the velcro binder, I felt it needed a personalized touch. So I wrote CHA-CHING, BITCH in large block letters on the cover with a black Sharpie. I admired my handiwork for a whole afternoon before it dawned on me that, since I’m Asian, the phrase looked kind of racist, especially if you didn’t notice the comma right away. I spent a good eight minutes coloring in most of the cover with the same Sharpie. Side note: That Sharpie smell is motherfucking strong. I think I got high a little bit.

I spent a whole afternoon carefully perusing the Sunday newspaper for deals and steals. It was fun at first, deciding which categories I should place each coupon, cut to perfection with a heavy-duty paper trimmer (another $26.00). After fifteen minutes, I got tired and started stuffing everything in the “Non-Perishable Boxed Groceries” section.

By the time I actually made my way to the store, my eyes hurt from the strain of reading so much goddamn fine print, my senses were still a little dull from the Sharpie high, and my coupons were a mess because everything was in one section.

I saved a grand total of seven dollars. Well, actually, it was more like $6.75, but I’m rounding because I think I deserve that much.

Clearly, I’m doing this all wrong. But I’m willing to give it another go because my initial investment of $88.15 for the supplies still haunts me at night.

Do you clip coupons? Any tips, tricks, or secrets of the trade? Or…coupon horror stories? I suspect there are some out there.

P.S. Do you Facebook? Me too. Let’s get all friendly and shit on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page.
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Monday Dare: Thug Passions

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Figure it out

I can’t wait to be a grown-up. I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen any day now. Well, I’ve been “pretty sure” for about twelve years, but this time, I feel like it’s right around the corner. For real. Okay, maybe not FOR REAL for real, but isn’t that how probability and chance work: the longer you’re in it, the more likely you are to win it? I think I just made that slogan up. If it sounds original to you, don’t steal it, but if it sounds like something you saw on a billboard in Kentucky for the Mega Millions, then just know that I totally didn’t plagiarize, because I’ve never been to Kentucky. You and your goddamn accusatory ways.

I can’t speak from personal experience because I’ve never even come close to acting or thinking like a real adult, but word on the street is that these types of individuals possess a certain knowledge about their own skills and strengths. They know what they’re good at because they’ve pinpointed an interest and then cultivated and refined it until it’s become a usable and value-adding skill. They may have even obtained some sort of degree.

I don’t have a degree. I mean, yes, I did once have a dream that I sent a check for $47.99 plus $8.99 to cover shipping and handling for an honorary diploma with one of those fancy gold seals from Thugs R Us University, which I then framed using a “50% off all custom frame orders” Michael’s coupon I got from the Sunday newspaper, but in reality, all I have is a high school diploma and confusion about what I’m really good at in life.

This has been on my mind since I helped a friend put together her resume recently. In solidarity, I did one myself. So far, the Skill Section includes:

  • Know a lot of swear words
  • Know a lot of slang
  • Almost have my anger issues under control

This may seem like the kind of well-rounded assets that any employer would be thrilled to see, but since I have such high standards, it still didn’t seem good enough. Sometimes, I think I’m too tough on myself and my impossibly high standards make life unnecessarily difficult.

I’m digging down deep this week to think about my own skills and strengths. The ones that will serve me well when I finally do become a grown-up. After some careful consideration this morning, I’ve also added this to my Skill Section:

  • Unusually gifted envelope licker

I put that because, once, I had to lick 250 wedding invitation envelopes and I didn’t get a single paper cut. My tongue didn’t even dry out. It’s like a veritable sponge. In the interest of full disclosure, I want to add here that I don’t really know what “veritable” means, but I hear it a lot on serious television shows, so I’m betting it’s a good thing.

When did you first feel like an adult? How did you discover your skills, strengths, and talents? What are they?

P.S. I’m so excited about this, I don’t even know what to do with myself, but…
I AM ON HUFFINGTON POST, Y’ALL.  I always try to be an open book about my life, but the topic I wrote about is so near and dear to my heart, I haven’t talked about it very much before.

P.P.S. I announced the HuffPo news as soon as it hit on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. “Like” the page to get the latest updates…and also some stupid shit you could probably do without.
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