Cash

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I despise my brother in law

Published July 12, 2015 by Amplio Recorrido

Here’s the thing, I try to get along with everyone and that’s not always possible but for the most part, I’m a loving person until you cross the line. Allow me to explain. (This blog was written 8 months ago and never published until now)

My brother in law is the type of person who manages to upset most anyone who gets to know him. Originally I thought, maybe he’s just not a likable person because he’s not controlling his tongue but now, I’m starting to believe that he intentionally does things to make people angry. In the first place, he’s always getting into our business and trying to run things. He’s always been very controlling with anyone who crosses his path and he loses most everyone in his life because of it. There are some people that I truly believe hate their self so much, they take it out on the world and hate them too. Who am I to pass judgment? That doesn’t really apply here considering he goes out of his way to make mine and my husband’s life hell. He’s always running to the remainder of the family and telling them lies about us and spreading rumors that have no backing. We have tried to stay away from him as much as possible but, the lies and rumors continue. I wrote a previous blog concerning my mother in law and she’s bad for considering her “baby” perfect and she always finds fault in her oldest son (my husband). She’s always telling my brother in law our business and they constantly sit and talk about us.

Normally, I would be ignoring this kind of behavior but, our lives have been affected by this so badly that we cannot breathe without being condemned. He even goes as far as to tell us how to take care of our child yet, he does not take care of his and never has. My husband once made the mistake of helping him out with a credit card, he ran up thousands of dollars and still to this day has not paid it back and doesn’t care that my husband’s credit is now ruined. Family or not, that’s someone that you cannot trust and want nothing to do with. This is someone who has never been mature, who refuses to pay his bills or hold down a job. Instead, he spends all of his money on movies, eating out, video games and going in debt for electronics. Really? When you owe someone a lot of money, the least you could do is make an effort to pay them back. I have told my husband multiple times that I’m completely done with his family and he has the choice to either stand by them or walk away but, I feel like that my son should not be in their lives because they are horrible influences and sleezy people.

UPDATE 7-12-2015 – We are no longer associating with my brother in law other than the occasional phone call. He no longer lives near us and we haven’t seen him in many months. It’s honestly better for all of us but, he still hasn’t forked over any of the money he owes us. 

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Paying Bills and Living Frugal

Published June 20, 2015 by Amplio Recorrido

Ah the bill, the one thing people dread getting in the mail especially, if you’re stuck in overdue nightmare. Many people will say they hate paying bills and so many have nothing left, it sucks the rest of any fun there might have been out. 

Until November 2014, I wasn’t having to pay any bills except my cell phone. It felt good to have money to do whatever I wanted with it. I lived with in-laws and rent/utilities were never required. The problem with that was, you never heard the end of it anytime an argument started. Then everything changed, my husband, son and I moved into our first home that we own. We had put all of our money toward buying a house straight cash. No mortgages for us, we knew that’s an expense we couldn’t afford. 

When we moved into our new home, we were thrilled with it. Finally a place of our own! A place that we were free to roam, turn the TV as loud as we want, play the radio, hang out, eat on the couch, stay up till whenever and just enjoying the space without anyone bitching. That freedom came with bills and boy are there plenty. Though we don’t have a mortgage, we do have cell phones, power bill, trash pickup, water, security system, internet, our son’s life insurance and car insurance. We do not subscribe to TV. We have Netflix and YouTube and that’s all we’ll need. We cannot see paying more than $60/month for TV service. It couldn’t be more difficult considering as of this moment, we’re bringing in less than $700 a month total. So here’s what we started out doing

For the first 5 months, we paid our bills as soon as they came in and we realized we had nothing left to get through the rest of the month. Well that obviously doesn’t work but, we also didn’t want to get behind on bills. So what do you do? Well, we just realized that we have to make it through the month and that these companies are not going to shut off your power, water and so on if you’re trying to make the payments. So the next month, we found out who is willing to let us pay half of the bill and that’s what we have been doing every since. It works out great, it gets us through the month or at least most of the way and we still have money for those unexpected expenses and of course all of the expenses associated with kids.

The key is to not let yourself go broke. These companies can wait! The only companies that aren’t that flexible are car insurance and cell phones (particularly prepaid cell phones) If you don’t pay that bill the day it’s due, you won’t have it. Though we barely have anything to get us through the month, I very much enjoy paying bills. I enjoy feeling like the adult I am, knowing that everything is getting paid and no one is helping us do it. It’s great because, you don’t have anyone running behind you, throwing it up in your face constantly about them paying your bills.

Now, I know this might sound strange to all of you but, it’s like this, for far too long I was in a situation where paying any kind of bill other than personal expenses was the norm and though it’s great and everything, it makes you just less of an adult and more co-dependent. The key is also determining what can you live without and what would you rather have instead. For us, we can’t see paying a lot of money for cell phone service. So my husband and I found the cheapest option available. We both have unlimited text, data and calls for $35/month (each). We managed to save up enough (while we were living with relatives) to purchase Samsung Galaxy S3’s and that’s what we have stuck with for the past 2 years. There’s no reason to get the newest and latest phones, it’s an added expense that many people can’t really afford.

When it comes to TV subscription, why are you paying satellite companies so much money every month? Some people are paying up to $200/month. Why? Just to catch a favorite show? Everything and I mean everything will end up on YouTube (sometimes daily) and Netflix covers all of your favorite shows and yes, you’ll have to wait a short time before they’re available but, it’s $7.99 a month. Imagine what you can do with the remainder of the money. Want to watch the latest sports game? Go to any bar or restaurant with a TV and watch it for FREE! Some even stream live from home if you look for the right websites on Google. I mean seriously, save yourself some money! These days people are going broke believing they must have the newest of everything or be the first to watch or do something.

When it comes to clothes, buy second hand. Don’t go wasting a bunch of money buying at over priced stores like the mall. You can get very nice clothing that sometimes still has the tags on it from Goodwill (ewww? NO it’s gently used clothing that can be washed). If you insist on buying from a store, many of the same items you would buy at 3 times the price at Macy’s or some store in the mall, can be found at Walmart, Target and TJ Maxx. Why overspend?

Ladies, your shoes, hair and nail expenses. Seriously? You don’t have to pay high prices. I know you’re going to snub at this but, have you seen the beautiful manicure design kits that you can do yourself? Did you know that they sell them at the dollar stores? Did you know that they are often made by the same companies that you pay twice the price for? Yes, dollar stores especially Dollar Tree, they sell name brand products too like Revlon. The same goes for many other items you might use such as notepads, pens, decorations for parties, all holiday and events cards are 50 cents each and they look just as nice. They also have shampoo’s, conditioners, hair brushes and many other self care need products. They even sell quality medicines like Ibuprofen, Heat/Cold patches for pain, arthritis cream, band aids, razors etc… They sell Betty Crocker cookware, beautiful glass drinking glasses, porcelain plates that are beautifully decorated, all your kitchen stuff such as aluminum foil, plastic bags, trash bags, sponges, toilet plungers, even cleaning products and much much more! Don’t overspend on things you can buy at the dollar stores that are seriously the same quality as the higher priced stores! It’s not all plastic junk like you think it is!

At some point, you have to decide that you’re tired of being broke. That you’re tired of not being able to afford that vacation that you always wanted to go to. That you need emergency money for those unexpected life surprises such as, an expensive car part for that car that just broke down. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you’ll take my advice on living frugal.

Nigerian Scams

Published February 6, 2015 by Amplio Recorrido
PHOTO CREDIT: GIFSec.com

PHOTO CREDIT: GIFSec.com

I decided to write about this because there are obviously some people who are still falling for these email scams. There’s a couple of things that people need to know about the scams from Nigeria and cat-fishers in general.

  1. Emails claiming to be from someone in need of help, lottery winnings or receiving inheritances are ALWAYS scams

  2. These scams almost always generate from Nigeria

  3. If you don’t accept the scam they send you by email, you’ll find them trying to pretend to be someone who wants to be in a relationship with you.

  4. No matter what the story, you’ll never receive any money from the scammers.

Scams like these have been going on for many years. I can remember seeing the 1st email back in 2001. Even then, I always deleted it or put it in the spam folder as most people would because, some of us are just smart enough to know that emails like that can’t be true. There are other types of scams where you might meet someone on a dating website, who happens to be from Nigeria but steals pictures from an American girl’s website and uses fake information. They will then have you sending money via Western Union and will give you a phone number to call them on, but they are likely never home. Here’s some questions you may want to ask yourself before sending money.

  1. Why would I be getting an inheritance from someone in Nigeria when, I don’t know anyone who’s ever lived there?

  2. How would someone like this get my email address?

  3. Why would I need to send them money in order to receive a large sum of money?

  4. Why would I help someone who’s in a sticky situation that I don’t know?

  5. Why would I send a woman money who will only talk to me on the internet?

  6. Shouldn’t I research the names they are giving me before sending money?

Those are all very important and especially researching names that they give you or pictures that they show you of their self. Seriously, you can find everything you need on Google. You don’t need to research the inheritance part because you already know it’s a scam, it’s always a scam and you won’t be an exception. The story about “I’m stuck in Nigeria and I need help”, that’s a scam! I hope this helps so many people because you need to know before, sending your hard earned money to scumbags.

Homelessness

Published July 24, 2014 by Amplio Recorrido

America's Homeless

We have all seen homeless people at one point or another. Many people refer to them as “Trash”, “Druggies” and “Lazy”. However, what do we really know about these people who appear to be useless trash littering the streets? Well let’s start out with a few facts

  1. NOT all homeless people use drugs

  2. NOT all homeless people are lazy

  3. NOT all homeless people have bad intentions

You might be thinking that I’m an advocate for the homeless and in a way I am. You see, there have been many times where I have given money to select homeless people and I’m not talking about your average coins. I’m fairly good at determining who will use the money for things they really need and who won’t. None of us who help the homeless know where our money goes after we hand it off.

America is supposed to be a land of opportunity but, we have found fairly fast that our current President (like many previous president’s) misuses a lot of the money printed. We’re all aware of the trillions of dollars being spent on useless wars, lavish trips for the President and his family and even state of the art rehab facilities for Sex Offenders. It’s no secret that money is not being spent on using abandoned buildings to create large shelters for the homeless in any state.

Though money would be well spent if the President had his head on straight and chose to help the citizens of the United States first, this will be very unlikely to happen in the near or far future. This is due to each new President trying to follow the lead of the previous president. As you all know, the last 3 president’s have spent countless American dollars on things that do not benefit America.

So, who will care for the homeless? Many people go about their daily life and ignore the homeless and some even make petitions to have them removed from their make shift homes. After all, no one wants to look at eye sores right? What we all fail to realize is, any one of us could become homeless at any time. No one is guaranteed their jobs will last and many people will have been laid off in order for those jobs to be transferred overseas or people will simply be replaced by new, fast technology like Robots and Drones.

When talking about what are the options of the homeless, you must keep an open mind. In the first place, many homeless people have lost their jobs, their homes, their families and have very little left over. Finding a new job becomes harder when you have limited experience, you have no address or phone number to list on your application, you cannot arrive to an interview dirty, you have no resume to go along with your application, etc. It’s hard enough for people who are not homeless and who have degrees to get a job. At this point, most all jobs are impossible to get.

Another myth about the homeless is that they are all drug users or alcoholic’s. This is a poor assumption as some homeless, have never been addicted to either and even if they are, you must realize that being on the streets is the hardest thing you can imagine. It’s no life for anyone and those people suffer badly every single day.

Many homeless people become criminals over time as they become more desperate to survive and usually pocket change isn’t enough to sustain them. They also may commit crimes in order to have shelter and even though jail is hard, it’s still food and a place to sleep. This does not mean that all homeless people do these things but, who could blame them if they did?!

There are many abandoned buildings all across the United States and some have been recently closed. Some of these buildings such as old factories or even hospitals could be a great place for the homeless to live. In particular, a hospital that has been closed down would allow many homeless to occupy the floors and each one would have their own room and bathroom and sometimes even put two people to a room. Now, the funding part is a different story. When it comes to funding an operation like this, many people will need to pitch in and since we already pay taxes for things like overseas wars and lavish trips, the tax money would be better suited to pay for the homeless to survive in these already built buildings. It would also be possible if more people would chip in to help. It surprises me how many people complain about having to deal with the homeless but, won’t chip in for something that would get them off the streets and out of your hair.

I believe that if more people would take the time to actually talk with these people, you will realize fast that they are normal people who have been under bad circumstance for far too long. However, you cannot categorize all homeless people as belonging to one group like “Drug user” etc.. as a matter of fact, many of the homeless people I have talked to have stated that they were once married and had children but, they lost their jobs (due to no fault of their own) and they were unable to sustain their self or their families and ended up on the streets.

It has become a situation where, many of the homeless have no where to go at all. Some have families who abandoned them a long time ago and others cannot get into a shelter because, they are packed too full and no one else is allowed inside.  This is a terrible situation to be in and you must keep an open mind and decide what you would do in this position as it’s too easy for people to say “Get a job, bum”. Think about what you say before you say it. The fact is, you don’t know the person and you don’t know what they are going through and therefore, you cannot judge them. This is simply about having the respect for another human being who has been unable to get their head above water. They are no different than yourself other than, you’re privileged and they are not.

If everyone would take the time to pitch in by donating blankets to them, taking them old clothes you don’t need, make extra sandwiches and bring some water (feeding them), sitting down and talking with them, just being supportive can make all the difference for these folks. You don’t need a lot of money to help them, just sharing what you already have can go a long way. I want everyone to please consider what I have said and pass the message along. Thank you for reading my blog on homelessness.

Codependency

Published July 16, 2014 by Amplio Recorrido

recover-from-copedendency

As a person who has lived most of my adult life as a co-dependent, I must say that it’s one of the most difficult things a person can go through. For myself, being co-dependent can be frustrating because, there’s a constant need for having someone around even if you don’t need their help. 

Most co-dependent people are often seen as unable to do anything for their selves. However, this was not the case with me. In my life, I was co-dependent in a way that I felt the need to have bad friends and bad relationships. This is not because I enjoy negativity but, it’s more to do with wanting anyone in my life and around me so that I wasn’t alone but, I needed nothing from them. 

The second type of co-dependency is a person who truly cannot function without depending on someone else. This is not just financial but also mentally, physically, sexually and spiritually. There comes a point where the person cannot be alone, cannot preform tasks without someone there to tell them they are doing it right, they constantly feel the need to talk to someone about everything and their lives are diminished. 

Recently, I did something I have never done and that is to remove bad people from my life. The reason this was done is because I’m no longer needing to depend on someone else to make me happy. I’m in a good marriage and I have only 2 good friends and I’m okay with that. Letting go when you are co-dependent is extremely hard to do. For me, it took many years and I had to just do it. I know that sounds crazy to a co-dependent person but, sometimes “cold turkey” is the best way to go. 

If you’re in a co-dependent relationship, keep in mind that some partners play off of that and enjoy knowing that they can do anything and everything they want and you won’t leave because, you don’t want to be alone. This is very common in semi-abusive and full-abusive relationships. If you have a loving partner, you will find it harder to do much of anything when your partner is not around and thus will develop “Separation Anxiety Disorder” and yes I know what you’re thinking “Only kids and animals go through that”, that’s a myth, there are many adults who can also suffer from S.A.D. 

You may also find that in a co-dependent friendship that you’re giving more than you’re getting. It’s often the case that people often “over do it” when it comes to pleasing the other person and no I’m not talking about sexual. In this case, I’m referring to the acts like being a “Yes man” and saying yes to everything they want you to do because, you fear losing the friendship if you don’t. Keep in mind: A real friend will not abandon the friendship if you abandon the codependency.

RECOVERING FROM CODEPENDENCY 

  • Abstinence. Abstinence or sobriety is necessary to recover from codependency. The goal is to bring your attention back to yourself, to have an internal, rather than external, “locus of control.” This means that your actions are primarily motivated by your values, needs, and feelings, not someone else’s. You learn to meet those needs in healthy ways.Perfect abstinence or sobriety isn’t necessary for progress, and it’s impossible with respect to codependency with people. You need and depend upon others and therefore give and compromise in relationships. Instead of abstinence, you learn to detach and not control, people-please, or obsess about others. You become more self-directed and autonomous.

  • If you’re involved with an abuser or addict or grew up as the child of one, you may be afraid to displease your partner, and it can require great courage to break that pattern of conceding our power to someone else.

  • Awareness. It’s said that denial is the hallmark of addiction. This is true whether you’re an alcoholic or in love with one. Not only do codependents deny their own addiction – whether to a drug, activity, or person – they deny their feelings, and especially their needs, particularly emotional needs for nurturing and real intimacy.You may have grown up in a family where you weren’t nurtured, your opinions and feelings weren’t respected, and your emotional needs weren’t adequately met. Over time, rather than risk rejection or criticism, you learned to ignore your needs and feelings and believed that you were wrong. Some decided to become self-sufficient or find comfort in sex, food, drugs, or work.All this leads to low self-esteem. To reverse these destructive habits, you first must become aware of them. The most damaging obstacle to self-esteem is negative self-talk. Most people aren’t aware of their internal voices that push and criticize them — their “Pusher,” “Perfectionist,” and “Critic.”1

  • Acceptance.Healing essentially involves self-acceptance. This is not only a step, but a life-long journey. People come to therapy to change themselves, not realizing that the work is about accepting themselves. Ironically, before you can change, you have to accept the situation. As they say, “What you resist, persists.”In recovery, more about yourself is revealed that requires acceptance, and life itself presents limitations and losses to accept. This is maturity. Accepting reality opens the doors of possibility. Change then happens. New ideas and energy emerge that previously stagnated from self-blame and fighting reality. For example, when you feel sad, lonely, or guilty, instead of making yourself feel worse, you have self-compassion, soothe yourself, and take steps to feel better.Self-acceptance means that you don’t have to please everyone for fear that they won’t like you. You honor your needs and unpleasant feelings and are forgiving of yourself and others. This goodwill toward yourself allows you to be self-reflective without being self-critical. Your self-esteem and confidence grow, and consequently, you don’t allow others to abuse you or tell you what to do. Instead of manipulating, you become more authentic and assertive, and are capable of greater intimacy.

  • Action.Insight without action only gets you so far. In order to grow, self-awareness and self-acceptance must be accompanied by new behavior. This involves taking risks and venturing outside your comfort one. It may involve speaking up, trying something new, going somewhere alone, or setting a boundary. It also means setting internal boundaries by keeping commitments to yourself, or saying “no” to your Critic or other old habits you want to change. Instead of expecting others to meet all your needs and make you happy, you learn to take actions to meet them, and do things that give you fulfillment and satisfaction in your life.Each time you try out new behavior or take a risk, you learn something new about yourself and your feelings and needs. You’re creating a stronger sense of yourself, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem. This builds upon itself in a positive feedback loop vs. the downward spiral of codependency, which creates more fear, depression, and low self-esteem.Words are actions. They have power and reflect your self-esteem. Becoming assertive is a learning process and is perhaps the most powerful tool in recovery. Assertiveness requires that you know yourself and risk making that public. It entails setting limits. This is respecting and honoring yourself. You get to be the author of your life – what you’ll do and not do and how people will treat you.2