Breakthrough, Money, Relationships, Uncategorized

Debt Free!


I went from $19,444 in credit card debt to $0 in ONE YEAR! 

As you may remember, things got hairy with my gf, Mona, two years ago when she realized how much debt I was in, I was unemployed and my savings was dwindling 
Yaddayaddayadda… I got a job and started seeing her therapist who “suggested” I put the bulk of my debt on 0% cards, get a second job and put myself on a budget. I did, did and did. 

So between my day job and my side job, I was able to put $1,000+ towards my debt every month. Throw in a bit from my savings and my entire tax return and BOOM…All gone. 

I’ve been moving so quickly, I need to stop and smell these roses. These are frickin SWEET. I have difficulty swelling with pride for myself. But yeah, it’s a proud moment. I’ve worked really hard,  excelling at my own job, kickong butt taking external pictures of real estate for my second job. I’m the cold. In the snow. In questionable neighborhoods. Living tight, turning down invitations because they’ll be expensive, requesting cheaper options, cooking more. 

And the work will keep on going. I need to stay responsible and goal focused. 

Of course, I saved zilch. Now I can start saving again. Combine that with my next big career move that I’m going to start working on and 2018 will be a most prosperous year. 


Food, Money, Random Cool Stuff

Blessed with a Free Bagel and Coffee

So I’m trying to watch what I spend and for breakfast I usually make oatmeal and my own coffee soI don’t spend $5-$7. However, this morning I was running late and had a sink filled with dirty dishes, pots and my coffee pot…

So off I went to the bagel place a block away for a bagel and a coffee. It was going to run $5, not the end of the world but not what I wanted to spend. 

I ordered my toasted Everything bagel with cream cheese. When the guy brought it to me and made me a coffee, he made a funny face as motioned away with his head. 

“He’s giving me free breakfast and doesn’t want to let the other customers know.” Now, I am there very often, they all know me.  I’m fairly talkative and sociable. But still, this was an unexpected blessing, helping me conserve money. 

The universe, spirit, angels, God, vibes, whoever is one my side.

I’ll take miracles. Small ones and big ones too.

Coincidences, Family, Food, fun

My Magic is Back! The Jeans/Genes Coincidence! 

Hi all,

I haven’t had a coincidence in a while. This one was crazy. 

  • Situation 1: I need two pairs of jeans and Mona and I are going to buy them on Black Friday
  • Situation 2: My cousin Connie is throwing Thanksgiving, which was decided last minute

Connie had already texted that she and her mom, Aunt Liz, already have a detailed menu planned, and I texted Connie that I was surprised that she and Liz put it together so quickly.

Simultaneously, I was on Facebook and a FB friend asked if anyone was going shopping on Black Friday. So I said:

 Then, not 3 seconds later, my cousin texted,  saying:

That… is INSANE. Jeans/Genes! Homonyms! My magic is back and stronger than ever!

(Deep breath) 


Food, Money

Welcome back, pasta (and store-bought sauce can be decent too)

So my grandparents were off the boat Italians. My parents’ first language was Italian. So me, I grew up in some old traditions. Most famously… pasta on Sundays, though back then we called it “macaroni.”

Over the years I’ve learned how to make my own sauce and even homemade pasta (I’ve blogged about it and from that blog, gave my recipe to a fellow blogger and she made my pasta… in Germany, no less.)

In recent years, of course, complex carbs in large amounts became persona non grata for anyone who wanted to stay slender. So I really haven’t made any pasta regularly in a long, long time. 

Buuuuuut, nowadays I’m trying to cook more at home to save money. I even blogged to get more ideas of what to make. But lately I got the urge to start making pasta again. 

Now let’s not go crazy. I’m not making  the homemade pasta quite yet, but I have no qualms about buying pasta.  The frozen kind can be awesome, but they’re usually expensive. My favorite non-frozens are the spirals: long spiral is fusilli, short spiral is rotelle.

But, truth be told, because I don’t have a whole lot of time these days… I’m committing the biggest cardinal sin: 

Using store bought sauce! (CUE DRAMATIC ORGAN MUSIC) They’ve gotten a lot better than when I was kid, but still. This week, I even used the Newman’s Own brand.

I know,  I know… DESGRAZIADO!

Hold on… I can’t just eat it like that, plus I need some protein. So I sautee some garlic, add fresh basil, salt, pepper and brown some ground turkey and make a meat sauce. (Way too much garlic, actually. My apartment reeks of it now, which is still kind of enjoyable, though.)

(Ok ok… My grandparents called it “gravy” and I think by definition it becomes “a gravy” when meat is added in one way or another. But yes, I know, when people think “gravy” they think of the liquid one puts over meat… So ok,  “meat sauce” it is.)

Then I make my fusilli nice and al dente and VOILA!

Ok, since I’ve started making pasta again  I’ve gone off the deep end. I make sauce in bulk so I have 4 meals out of it. In a week. And I’m in week 3 now. Now I can stand gaining a little weight if I save money, but don’t want to gain too much. I’m going to have to monitor closely.

But trust me… part of me is VEEEEEEEERRY happy : )


Building Self Esteem through Esteemable Acts: Flossing, making my own breakfast and kicking but at work

So I’ve been mentally up and down lately. I’ve always struggled self esteem-wise.  Maybe not always, but a lot. 

Now I’ve looked into “reprogramming my brain” by using the law of attraction, visualizing, meditation, affirmations… anything to get good thoughts/ vibes/ etc into my mind and build that new muscle. But you know what also works? 


A man I know likes saying that esteem comes from doing esteemable acts. Granted, I don’t have to save people from a burning building. I just have to not flake on the things I need to do and do them consistently. 


My teeth are ok. I mean I’ve had tons of fillings in my day but since they’ve been removed and replaced with porcelain fillings (is the white stuff porcelain?) They look great. But, I’ve never consistently flossed. Oh a month straight here, a few weeks off, a month there, a few months off,  etc. 

As now I’m back on a flossing kick. And being in action in a way that I want to feels good. 

I also have spent $5 a day for breakfast- bagel, coffee. However, when I cook oatmeal I save money and feel good about myself. 

And most importantly… at work. I took on an important project crunching my department’s numbers every month for the Monthly Business Review. I trained on how to do it, pull reports from Salesforce and paste and format into Excel. It’s not rocket science but very important and the timing is very important – needs to be done ASAP in the new month.

And my boss and his boss were concerned, not because of me but just because it’s timely. So I wanted to make sure to rock this project. 

And today I finished it a day early. BOOYAH!!!!!! That’s how Rex does it!

Yeah, I feel good about myself.

Money, Relationships, Uncategorized

Do you know how much money your spouse makes? 

So when dating Mona,  we talked money. We had to when it became known that I was not well off and was irresponsibly burning through savings. 

Very open as to what the other made.  Especially me. She has her own business with a part in cash so I now suspect the very even, rounded number that she gave is a lie. But me, I’m salaried. So $x=$x.

But I was talking to my cousin Paul about money. Not how much he makes, its none of my business, but if he knows how much his wife, Becky, makes and vice versa. I would think so…

HOWEVER… he said he does not and she does not. They are very financially separate, even in knowing the others incomes.

I realize that many married couples still keep separate books, but is that common among married couples to not even know how the other is doing, as long as they are covering the expenses they’re responsible for? I would think secrecy like that in a marriage would be detrimental, no?