I FOUND MY THUMB DRIVE.
I have never been so happy in my life. I got it all updated and verified it against all my accounts today, and I'll be backing it up asap as well. Whew!
Of course, this would happen during a pretty busy transaction time, too--what with the giant school bill I have to pay this week. Annoyingly, my credit limit is only $2,500 so I can't actually put the whole charge on there--I paid $2,000 on Monday hoping it would post quickly enough that I could pay it off before Friday, but it doesn't look like that will happen, so the additional ~$800 will be coming directly out of my checking account. Boo--I'd wanted to get some crazy reward points. Although now that I think about it, I think my debit card has points as well, but they aren't as great.
Anyway, I'm transferring money all over the place and making crazy payments to my credit card to try to get everything cleared up before we go to visit my parents next week--we'll be renting a car and paying for gas and maybe other things that will require a credit card, so I want to have this all taken care of before then. Peanut has offered to help me out if I need it, which is wonderful. I don't think I'll have to take him up on it, but maybe we'll put all the gas on his card to let mine breathe for five minutes. :)
I got sucked into Apartment Therapy's Small Cool contest yesterday (which I'd been avoiding, because it makes me want to move AND spend money) and spent way too long looking at fabulous apartments. To give you an idea of my taste, these are a few of my favorites. Common themes: lots of books/innovative book storage, pops of bright colors, and tiny but very functional kitchens. It gives me some starting points to figure out what to do with my apartment or the apartment Peanut and I move into. I came up with a few ways to protect my feet from splinters (it's just mainly one area that causes them, but it's hard/weird to cover up) and a storage solution for the kitchen that won't cost any money and will allow me to keep one of my bookshelves.
Mostly what I took away by reading about the challenges the entrants faced was the fact that they had to make choices. They had to really edit down their stuff to what they love and have a hard rule that when something new comes in, something old goes out. I've been guilty of not handling this as well as I'd like, so I'm going to refocus and go through some stuff again this weekend. I've been weeding through my clothes on the basis of "do I wear this?" but I'm going to do it again asking "do I LOVE this?" Same with the many, many books I have (and I'm getting more all the time, since I'm slowly cleaning out my office in anticipation of getting laid off).
I started to do this at work as well--I cleaned out my desk this week, including a drawer that I'd apparently never, ever really looked into since I started working here two and a half years ago. Someone else's business cards! Forms that are completely outdated! What am I doing being surrounded by this stuff?!
So I threw it all away, or at least put things like extra pens and envelopes in the common storage area, rearranged the drawer to hold things so that it's easy to find anything and looks nice (or at least not like a junk drawer) and I've felt much more peaceful at work. My goal for the rest of the month is to spend 15 minutes at home and at work every day getting rid of or straightening things until I feel like I'm not surrounded by junk.
Well, I rambled on about that more than I intended. I do think it's related to finance--junk is weighing me down at work, distracting me from my job. It's taking up room in my apartment, taking up space which I'm paying for, going to waste or otherwise costing me money, taking room away from something I might love more. I'll donate a lot of things for a tax deduction and that's always nice. I'll probably talk a bit more about this as I keep doing it but I promise (I think) not to get all FlyLady on you.