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How THIS Penguin Budgets for Happiness

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Okay, penguins–quit your waddling and gather ’round the Community Igloo.  Today, I want to talk to you about money.

“BUT BETH!” your eager beaks are bound to interrupt.  “We’re penguins!  How can we talk money when we don’t even have POCKETS?!

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To which I have two things to say.  First:  it’s 2016!  You can put pockets on literally EVERYTHING.  You could sew fabric flaps to your palms, call them pockets, and carry your collection of mate-catching pebbles around in them…and nobody would ever think twice.  And second:  I don’t JUST want to talk money.  I want to talk budgeting.

This post was inspired by

7 Ways to Budget for Happiness

from:

Earnest

Their mission:

Data-driven insights, real-world experience, expert advice, access to your peers.

“We believe these are some of the essential elements in building a solid foundation for your life, whether that’s your money, career, or relationships. With Earnest news and content, our aim is to provide you with the right information so you can create exactly the life you want.”

***please note: all comments and opinions featured in this blog post are from the heart and mind of your friendly neighborhood Princess Penguin.  Yes, that means ME!***

Budgeting for Happiness

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In my neck of the internet, this basically boils down to one big question:  How the HECKLES do I pay all the bills and eat and keep myself alive?!?!?!  Because, you know, staying alive is the first and most important factor in continuing to budget for my happiness.

Recently, I fell into a fair amount of trouble with money.  The problem:  hospital bills from YEARS ago…and rabid debt collectors.  For about a week, my life was filled with panic attacks, crying, and my overactive imaginative trying very hard to convince itself I was bound to end up destitute.

Now, I’m a very lucky penguin–I was able to ask for, and receive, help from my family.  In fact, I was given SO much help, I don’t have to panic about footing the debt bills again until March of 2017.  Thank you, Grandma Penguin, for loving me so much!

So what’s the point of this story?  Well, it helps lead me into my focus story.

How *I* Budget

(please keep in mind, this does not and/or will not work for EVERYBODY.  this is just how I, personally, go about keeping my finances straight)

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Every week, I step into my brain office, tidy the desk, and dance the two-step with my bank account.  The order goes something like this:

1–Peek at my bank account/balance (I bank online, which makes this super easy)

2–Subtract from my balance what money is left for DEBT RELIEF BILLS OF DOOM.  What’s left is *my* personal money.

3–Do I have any bills coming up?  Are there any bills that haven’t been taken out yet, but will very soon be?  Subtract any and all from my total.

4–Do I need insulin/diabetic supplies/other medications/to see the doctor/etc and so forth and so on?  Subtract these amounts from my total.

5–Do I need food?  Go shopping.  Subtract this from my total.

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I’ve set it up so a certain amount comes out of each paycheck for specific bills–YAY for automatic payment schedules!  The remaining costs–for food, medical supplies, laundry change, etc–are split between the two pay periods a month.

Usually, this means I have between $100 and $300 to spare.

So…how do I budget for happiness?!

Let’s take a look…

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Pay the Bills

I start by making sure all my bills are paid!  Why?  Well, happiness in my world depends upon:

–running lights (so I can read, and blog, and stalk all of you weirdos on social media…)
–hot showers (I mean… tuna fish reeks, so I try to wash myself and save the planet)
–staying warm (totally goes against penguin-ing here, but so what?!)
–being able to afford my life-saving medications (the grave is NOT a penguin’s friend)
–barring the wolves from my door (because I like to be the hunter, not the hunted)

All of which is MUCH more easily managed when the bills are paid, and paid on time.

If you have loans from college, Earnest could be a good option to refinance those loans because they allow you to skip or change the amount you can pay on a monthly basis to fit your budget.

Feed my Belly

Because HELLO?!  A hungry penguin is NOT a happy penguin.  Have you SEEN me when I’m hungry?  It’s not a pretty sight.  Food is good, folks!  And good food is even better!

Keep Emergency Funds

I’ve learned you should always expect the unexpected.  Having a  little money set aside helps keep me from panicking when the unexpected eventually happens…and it ALWAYS, eventually, happens.

And finally…

Splurge a Little

Obviously, I don’t allow myself to go out every paycheck to BUY ALL TEH THINGS!  That would be silly, and does not a happily budgeted wallet make!

But sometimes, it’s okay to take stock of your savings and buy yourself something nice–even if “something nice” means one large caviar with seasalt Starbucks, or that tub of expensive tuna fish ice cream you’ve been eyeballing in the store.

“Splurging” doesn’t have to mean “going all out,” after all!

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And there you have it–budgeting for happiness, the penguin way!  Of course, there’s nothing a little sunshine, a good book, and a soft pillow can’t change…but that’s a different happiness budget entirely!

Did you find this post helpful?  Have something you’d like to share or ask? How do YOU budget for happiness?  Feel free to leave your thoughts below, and go check out

Earnest

for more budgeting and financing tips!

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Princess Penguin, OUT.

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Dear How-To Penguin… (#1)

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Dear How-To Penguin:

I just moved into a new apartment with a new friend, and I’m SO confused!

Every morning, she comes home and locks herself in her room.  Her clothes are always smeared with grime, her makeup is always smudged halfway down her face, and she’s usually bleeding from at least one new wound!  Every evening just after the sun sets, she locks her room and leaves the apartment.

She swears she’s going “clubbing,” but I’m worried!  Is she a creature of the night?  Should I invest in garlic and metal collars?!  Please, help me–how do I proceed?

Sincerely,

Is My Roommate a Vampire?!

Dear Searching for Fangs–

Relax!  There’s no need to panic yet.  There are many reasons your roommate is acting shady, so let’s consider these first.

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Maybe your new friend really IS going clubbing!  After all, break dancers and perpetual klutzes alike spend a majority of their time on dirty floors.  This could explain the grunge and grime–dust and sweat make for a messy end to the evening!  And hey, don’t worry that she’s spending all night out on the town–those disco balls are hell on a person’s internal clock!

Or perhaps she’s caught in a modern day, star-crossed love affair!  Forbidden trysts almost always happen at night–there’s less chance the family and enemies will see them meeting up!  Keep an eye out for weird colored liquids and strangely shaped daggers; be ESPECIALLY wary if she begins talking in iambic pentameter!

Or she MIGHT be the hero, instead of a villain!  Does she sneak out with a cape and a big glittery letter hidden under her clothes?  Does she often pop into telephone booths only to disappear into thin air?  Has she taken on a freelance job at the local newspaper office and turned in some awesome up-close captures of the local do-gooder?  Take note, if so.

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Still concerned?

Here are some questions for you.  If you say “no” to all of these, your roommate is probably not a vampire.

Does her tongue unfold into a mosquito needle stinger snake creature of horror?  (see The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, or the Dark Sky series, by Amy Braun)

Does she turn into a bat and fly off into the darkness of night? (see Dracula, by Bram Stoker)

Do flowers and plants wither and die when she’s around? (see the Dark series, by Christine Feehan)

Is her humanity switch flipped off?  (see The Vampire Diaries)

Do you live in Forks, WA?  Are you best friends with a wolf-shifter?  Are you pregnant with a half-demon child?!  (see The Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer)

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Are you STILL feeling wary?  Pick a number between 1 and 5…and then do as instructed.

–1 Set off the fire alarm–the brighter the sun is, the better!  Even the most novice vampire can’t handle more than a few minutes in sunlight.  If she turns to dust, problem solved!  Just sweep her up and tell nooooobody what happened.

–2 Cut yourself, leave a blood trail all over the apartment, and knock on her door!  I mean, she might eat you, but at least you’ll have your answer.

–3 Break into her room and stake her.  She’ll be dead!  And…nothing can hurt you in prison, even if she’s human.  Right?!…

–4 Yank out all of her teeth.  I’d recommend heavily drugging her first, just in case.  Also, invest in some of those rubber fake teeth.  If she’s human…apologize profusely and then knock her out until she heals.  If she’s vampire…well, no one’s ever been gummed to death!

–5 Shrug it off.  After all, she hasn’t bitten you yet!  If she IS a vampire, she’s either finding her meals outside the apartment or she’s on a hunger strike.  Don’t push your luck!

Happy Hunting!

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