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Monday, February 3, 2014

How To Spot A Fake

Do you carry cash on you regularly?  If you are anything like me then the answer is no.  It is very rare that I actually have cash.  Unless I know that I will need to have cash for specific purpose then I will have it but otherwise I am a tried and true (and occasionally frivolous) debit card user.  Since I started dating my boyfriend, I tend to do laundry when I am staying with him (which has been just about every night for the last couple months).

If I use the washer and dryer at his apartment, it will take me a few hours to do a couple loads because it takes like 45 minutes to an hour to wash and about that long to dry...and then you have to run it through another dry cycle because the clothes are still pretty damp.

Instead I go to one of the many local laundry mats.  For about $6 (give or take a quarter in the dryer) I can do all of my laundry in one load, wash, dry and folded in about an hour.

What does doing laundry have to do with carrying cash?  Well laundry mats require coins or cards with money preloaded.  Last week I got halfway to the laundry mat when I realized I left my roll of quarters at the apartment in my backpack.  I stopped at a gas station, pulled a $20 out of the ATM and bought an energy drink.  The cashier gave me my money and I stuffed it into my wallet.

After a couple of days I stopped at a fast food joint for dinner.  Not the greatest idea but it was late, and I was hungry and had not eaten in about seven hours.  I had the girl at the window my cash.  It included a $10 that I received as change from the gas station.  She walks away and after a couple of minutes a manager comes to the drive thru window and tells me that the $10 bill that I gave them was counterfeit, a fake.

I was completely dumbfounded and shocked.  What the hell did she just say?

"I'm sorry...it's what?"

"It's a fake.  It's not real."

At this point I became thoroughly embarrassed because I know that it is illegal to produce and/or use fake currency.  These people in the fast food place are taking their sweet time and I am thinking holy shit they called the cops.  The girl that I originally gave the money to, opens the window and I try to hand her my debit card.  She looks at me like what am I supposed to do with that?  I told her to give me my $5 bill back and to charge my debit card.

"What?  I don't understand."

I told her that I gave her $15 to cover my total cost.  Apparently the $10 bill was a fake so unless the $5 is too, give it back and use my debit card.  She took my card and gave me my $5 back.  I got my food and then she finally ran my card and then tried to stiff me on my drink.

I don't know if I am more embarrassed by the fact that I tried to use a fake bill, the fact that I didn't know it was fake or pissed off that the lady at the gas station who handles cash all the time gave me a fake and now I'm out $10!?!  When you're broke, $10 is a lot of money.

I guess we live and we learn.  What I learned from this is that I will now be taking a careful look at all of my bills.  Even my ones!  I found this website that gives a few steps on how to recognize a fake.  You best believe that the next time I carry cash, I will be checking them thoroughly.  I think I might even start getting my cash from the bank and if it is not a large amount that I need, it will be all ones...people don't tend to counterfeit coins much anymore...or do they?

Until next time!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

ReVerb13 - Challenges

What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?

One of my biggest challenges for 2014 is to remain active and STAY injury free!  I have only been really healthy for about four months this year.  Between my knee healing and then having the slipped disk and pinched nerve in my back has made it just about impossible to be active at all this year.  I taught Zumba maybe once and just "ran" my first 5K since August 2012.  I have all the tools and know how to stay injury free and I definitely plan to use them.

This year I want to eliminate my credit card debt and use my credit card the way I originally used it.  Gas for my car, maybe some groceries, some music on iTunes, etc.  Then pay it off when it posts to my bill.  With my GI Bill covering my classes AND putting a little extra in my pocket, I am able to continue to put $200 - $300 towards my balance from my paychecks AND an additional $400 - $500 with my GI Bill.  That is coming close to $1000 a month.  I already payed $500 this month and once my bills for the second half of this month process then it will possibly be another $400!  That means I will finally owe less than $3000!  I have not seen my balance that low in a couple years.

I have already made it over six months without smoking so I guess it is safe to say that I have officially quit so there is something off my New Year's Resolution list that I can finally scrub out forever.  I might have to take a look at that list from last year to see what I still need to address!  I have crossed out what I have accomplished!

  • Make my lunch to take to work
  • Quit smoking for good
  • Run in five 5K runs with my mom (I will save the Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon for a year that I do not have horrible knee pain)
  • Complete the Zumbatomic training
  • Eliminate half of my credit card debt (it would be nice to eliminate all but I will settle with half)
  • Move out on my own
  • Re-enroll in school and take at least three classes
  • Continue to find myself and better myself to make me happy (this one is an ongoing)
  • Share my feelings more and not shut people out so much

From that list, this is what I still want to accomplish:
  • Make my lunch to take to work
  • Run in THREE 5K runs (it would be nice to do them with my mom but if I can do them with a friend of BF then I am happy!)
  • Participate in a ZJ session, Pro Skills or a "Boost"
  • Complete Zumba Kids & Kids Jr (formerly known as Zumbatomic) or Zumba Step
  • Eliminate my credit card debt
  • Get a raise and two days off per week
Until next time!

Reverb 13 - Shifting Gears

Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013?
How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014?

I found that I was stuck in a rut.  I was living each day waking up, going to work, going home, sleeping and repeating.  It was no way to live.  When I started dating BF, I got my social life back.  It was something that I had seriously been lacking and that I desperately needed!

I have taken on a lot of new tasks and responsibility at work that I believe will earn me a significant pay increase and if it doesn't then it might be time to start looking for something else.  I can't live with my mother forever and it is driving me nuts that I have no idea what I own anymore because it is all boxed up and in storage.

I have become pro-active.  I have gone back to school.  I have completed two courses (one not so successfully) but I have kind of gotten out of my mundane routine.  I start teaching Zumba again in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait!  I have signed up for one 5K and will be signing up for another one shortly.  I want to make my life better and I think I am on the right track!


Until next time!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reverb13 - Time For Inspiration

Who inspired you in 2013? And why?
What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2014?

It is hard for me to think of who inspired me.  The only one I can honestly think of (and I know it is gonna sound cheesy) is my BF.  He came into my life at a time when I needed someone.  He has done nothing but support me and encourage me.  Because of him I looked into getting back into school and have started pursuing my degree.  I am slated to graduate November 2015!  I can't believe that I am 20 classes away from graduating with my BA in Behavioral Science.

I am kind of at a lose for what to write here so I am gonna leave it at that and I will probably come back to it at some point and add to it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reverb13 - No One Likes A Quitter

What went right in 2013?  Maybe you didn't quit smoking or lose those pounds or go to Paris, but something did work, did happen, and/or was realized. What was it?

Besides my awesome BF (whom I have mentioned in several of my last posts), I actually DID quit smoking.  It has been almost seven months since I smoked my last cigarette and I have not given in once.  I am super proud of myself.  The only other thing that could be as equally as awesome is if I can get a raise before the end of the year.