Small Victories: Speak Up For Your Money!

I have two small victories to report–and one of them is from a reader–which makes me oh-so-excited.



Remember my post about the financial benefits of calling Executive Relations?  Well, a few days after I posted it, I got the most wonderful email from dear Kara at The Daily Whisk.  Here it is:

Hey Chela,
After reading your post about executive relations teams and your experience with your Mom’s airline tickets, I had a light bulb moment. We bought a new dishwasher just over a year ago and it completely died in July. They quoted us $362 to fix it / warranty it for another 3 years, and we were dragging our feet and washing our own dishes for the last two months because we didn’t want to spend the money, but figured we’d eventually have to!
After reading your post I decided to email the CEO of Frigidaire (I was polite, but honest in my disappointment). Anyway, they called me today – they are fixing our dishwasher for free!
I never would have thought to email them if it wasn’t for your post. Thank so you so much for sharing!!!

This totally and completely made my day!  Thank you for sharing, Kara!



Okay, I know.  $18 is nothing compared to the massive savings Kara described above, but, I’m really proud of myself for the way this came about.

I moved into a new apartment at the beginning of September, and had no furniture (more on this later).  Last week, I finally decided to buy a bed.  I think because I had been browsing the Home section of Target’s website a lot, they started sending me 10% off coupons almost every day.  I finally bit the bullet and ordered the bed online.  I got the 10% off, and used my Red Card to also get another 5% off and free shipping.

Well, don’t you know, as soon as I ordered that sucker, I got an email for 25% off Home goods.  I couldn’t believe it!  Damn marketing algorithms!  I was thinking, worst case scenario, when it comes in, I’ll return it and re-buy it with the new coupon.  This thing ain’t cheap!

But before doing that, I emailed Target’s normal customer service folks, explained the situation, and before you know it, they replied that they were refunding $18 to my card!  It’s not much, but it’s something.

If you don’t speak up for your money, no one else will!

When’s the last time you spoke up for your money?

Small Victories: Paying for Tuition with Real Money

So I´ve been living in Houston for 11 days now.  Let me tell you, I am not used to things yet.  I don´t feel like I´m in a routine yet, I´m not sure about my job yet, and I don´t feel like I really live here yet.  I think part of me wants to hold on to this feeling–this feeling of everything being new and my separation from my husband being only temporary.  Part of me doesn´t want to feel like life here is “normal.”

Let me explain:

I´m staying with my brother-in-law (Michael´s brother) C, his wife M, and my two beautiful nephews, M (age 2) and E (6 mos).  They have an enormous house in the suburbs of Houston and I very much have a wing of the upstairs to myself.  I couldn´t be more grateful to them for letting me stay here, yet, I still feel like I´m walking on eggshells all the time.  I very much don´t want to disturb or interfere with their family time so I keep to myself as much as possible.  Having said that, our schedules keep me from seeing them much, anyway.  In the mornings as I´m heading out, they´re getting the kids dressed for school.  I might see them for a second.  After work I head straight to the gym and get home around 730-8p.  They´re usually in the process of putting the kids to bed around this time, during which I pop my dinner (Lean Cuisine) in the microwave and eat.  By the time I´m done eating, the kids are in bed, and they´re going to sleep, too.  And so I head up to shower and tuck in.  Every day has been the same.  I guess that does qualify as a routine.  It´s just so different from what I was used to before, cooking every evening and spending time with Michael.  I´m not sad, I just feel… out of place. Continue reading

Small Victories: Paying Off My First Credit Card

I had a really lovely day yesterday.  After the long Black Friday hours, I was exhausted and maybe starting to feel sick.  It was my day off but it was the last day of the month.  I really felt like I should go in to work, but ultimately I decided to instead stay home and let my body recuperate.  Kirsten recently wrote about finding work-life balance during the holidays, and I feel like I´m starting to find my own balance between really hustling at work, and being happy with the time I have at home.

The cookies we baked

The cookies we baked

I was torn about what to do but what sealed the deal was when Saturday night Michael took my hands in his and told me to sit down, we needed to have a serious conversation.  I figured he was joking–but who doesn´t get nervous when their partner says that?! Continue reading

Small Victories: Paying for Travels with Real Money

Thankful to get to spend time with my sweet niece

Thankful to get to spend time with my sweet niece

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! We normally run the Turkey Day Race in New Orleans’ City Park, but at 7am we decided it was too cold to go out, and well, we do it for fun, not to be miserable–so we stayed in. In the afternoon the sun came out, and it ended up being a lovely day. We had lunch at Michael’s aunt’s house, and it was nice to see his mom’s side of the family.

At work, Black Friday was a blast. It always is! We’re super busy all day, customers are buying and everyone is having fun. Also, we always do a potluck on Black Friday, and everyone shows off and brings their best dish. Continue reading

Small Victories: Quitting Smoking

I have an announcement to make… It’s been an official two months since my husband quit smoking! I know it’s a process, and maybe I won’t fully believe he’s quit for good once it’s been like a year maybe, but for now I’m just really happy.



I met my husband twelve years ago, when we were only sixteen. We were only babies in my mind, but he was already a smoker. Through the years he always said he could quit if he wanted to, but that he didn’t yet want to. (Uh huh.)
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Small Victories: 401k Increase




wpid-parksandrec3.pngThis past week, I increased 401k contribution from 6% to 10%. For the first three years I was working at my current job, I had very few expenses and no debt and so my 401k contribution was 20%. I definitely chose that number out of thin air on my first day of new hire orientation.
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Small Victories: No Credit Cards and Bacon

I’m happy to have a new month upon us. I’ve successfully completed two months credit card free and come out alive on the other side. I’m starting out on my debt repayment path and I’m definitely feeling some good momentum rolling. Small victories.



Also, this might sound extremely silly, but I withstood the temptation to renew my bacon of the month subscription!

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