The reasons I have for being grateful this past week, including a trip to Charlotte, having my parents visit, and getting a new computer.Hello everyone! I know I’m always saying this, but I can’t believe it’s May, and sadly, a month somehow passed by since I’ve last updated. It feels like every week is flying past quicker than the last.

Not too many interesting things have happened. I’ve been busy working for the most part. Of course, I’m still grateful for the everyday things, and I guess in a way, I’m grateful that things have been rather uneventful. I have a feeling the next few months will more than make up for that.

What Have I Been Grateful For?

Well, that’s still the purpose of this post, so I’ll provide an update.

I had mentioned getting over splurging on a new computer last month, but in true Erin fashion, it took me about the entire month to finally bite the bullet.

I had wanted to buy things piece by piece as they came on sale, but since all the parts kind of need to go together, and I didn’t know what was compatible with what, I fell behind on that.

My computer started going slowly on start-up and that’s when I knew I had to give in. My dad ordered everything and had it shipped there. It came to around $750, so I still managed to stay within my budget.

My parents were nice enough to come up here this past week so my dad could get everything together. I’m so grateful. I know putting together a computer is fairly easy, and probably very doable with a video, but my dad is a pro at it, so I left it to him.

Of course, there were still hiccups along the way. It’s technology. I even managed to get a tiny virus within 5 minutes of being on my computer. Don’t ask me how.

All I can say is why didn’t I do this sooner?! My computer boots up before the Windows animation is even done with. It runs smoother than ever. I had at least 10 tabs in Firefox open earlier, along with 7 Photoshop files, and it was still running like a champ.

I’m so thankful and very much looking forward to working now. I can finally “multi-task” efficiently. I put quotes around that as I don’t really multi-task since I think focusing on one or two things is better, but you know. I need all those tabs open for research.

I don’t think I realized just how much my computer going slowly was stressing me out. There were many times something took me 10 minutes to complete because it decided to freeze up. Things that normally take maybe a minute or two. I don’t have a lot of patience, so it was taking a toll on me.

That probably sounds silly, I know – first world problems and all. But yesterday I seriously found myself being happy that my computer was running properly. It’s the little things.

Exploring Charlotte

When my parents came up to visit, I decided to make this the time they’d finally see the city of Charlotte.

My parents aren’t big city people. They lived on Long Island most of their lives, and I think I went into the city with them less than 7 times.

However, Charlotte is nothing like NYC, so I was able to convince them to walk around.

Parking was $7, though I had leftover dollar coins from the last time we parked there. The parking was actually good until the next morning, and I was a little upset there wasn’t a shorter option.

Anyway, we passed by a possible fight within 2 minutes of walking…thankfully nothing came of that.

A few more blocks and we were at a nice place to relax – a big fountain with tables surrounding it. It kind of felt like a pool in the middle of the city.

We wandered around trying to find a place that served coffee, but somehow, at 8-8:30pm, most places were closed. I had a similar experience in DC years ago. It struck me as odd that even chain stores were closed already!

In our quest to find coffee, we stumbled upon a few other fountains and mini-parks. And I also spotted this:

Westin Charlotte
Where FinCon is being held!

Is it too early for FinCon hype? Nope.

In Case You Missed It…

Since I’ve been sorely neglecting my own blog, but still writing for others, I figured I would do a little roundup for those who might miss my writing. Here are a few popular posts I wrote recently:

My Decision to Not Have Kids: If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember this super old (and poorly written) post about my thoughts on having children. Not much has changed, and I further reflect on that over at Frugal Rules. I was surprised the post was well-received, and it gives me hope that the stigma around not having kids is slowly fading.

How Getting Financially Real Empowered Me: I was so happy to be a part of the Financial Literacy Carnival put together by Shannon from The Heavy Purse. This one was for Frugal Rules as well, and I basically documented how getting real about money and paying off my student loans led me to where I am now.

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day on a Budget: I know it’s tomorrow, but you can really use these ideas to show just about anyone you appreciate them. This one was written for Wherewithal. Most of these ideas are free, they’re easy to do, and they’re still meaningful! I love getting creative with gifts.

What Does Financial Independence Look Like?: This is a popular topic among personal finance bloggers, and as you can tell from the comments, everyone has a different definition of financial independence. It doesn’t look the same for everyone. I explore the paths we can choose to take if we’re aiming for financial independence in this post for YAM.

5 Experiences Worth Spending Money On: There’s a lot of evidence that suggests spending on experiences brings us greater happiness than spending on material things, and my experience has shown this to be true. I highlight 5 experiences you should think about spending on, and more people share their opinions in the comments! Also for YAM.

That’s all I have for today! I hope you mom’s out there get to enjoy Mother’s Day, and the rest of you enjoy your weekend!

What are you being grateful for right now? What have you all been up to?

 

18 Comments

  1. LeisureFreak Tommy May 9, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    I think we all should step back daily and think about everything we are grateful for. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 9, 2015 at 2:23 PM

      Thanks, Tommy! Glad my post served as a reminder for gratitude. =)

      Reply
  2. Jenna May 9, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    Erin — it’s great to see things are going well. I can’t wait to get back to that everyday routine with all the craziness of moving!

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 10, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      I hope things settle down for you soon! I know that feeling all too well from when we moved last year.

      Reply
  3. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank May 9, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    Erin, I read you post on not wanting to have kids. I still hope that you change your mind. Having kids is a great blessing! I used to have that mindset like yours. But, once I had my first child, it drastically changed my mind that I would have at least two kids. I am grateful that my wife is now 4-month pregnant.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 10, 2015 at 4:26 PM

      I’m glad you found happiness in being a parent, Jayson – and glad you and your wife are expecting another! I have no doubt that for the majority of people out there, children are little bundles of joy. But they don’t bring me that happiness. At least, not right now.

      Reply
  4. Done by Forty May 10, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    Kudos on the new computer! If it’s saving you stress and time, it’s a good buy. Nothing better than extra time. I wrote recently on gratitude and thought of your series here.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 10, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      Extra time is definitely always welcome! I just read your post – hope you have an amazing time! I am always grateful to hop on a plane back home. I’m never doing that drive again!

      Reply
  5. Untemplater May 10, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    That’s great you got a new computer! Electronics are one of the few things I get excited about shopping for.

    I loved your post about not having kids. I understand everything you talk about and can especially relate since I wrote a similar type of personal post about not knowing if I wanted kids. I had to look up the date of when I published it – it’s hard to believe I wrote it about 3.5 years ago already. Time really flies.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 10, 2015 at 9:03 PM

      I’ll take shopping for electronics over shopping for clothes any day! I just wish they weren’t so expensive, since I tend to wait on them. ;)

      Time seriously does fly – I hadn’t realized I made that post on my blog back in 2013. It felt much more recent! But that’s why I love blogs – it’s interesting to look back and see if and how my views have changed.

      Reply
  6. Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa May 10, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    Being grateful is a great thing, but I think being able to finding pleasure in the little things, like a computer running properly is the key to happiness. Thanks for this wonderful reminder.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 11, 2015 at 9:26 AM

      I like to think they go hand in hand. =) Being grateful has allowed me to realize I should be happy for the little things…especially where technology is concerned. I feel like many people lack the patience for technology since we’re so wired to get things instantaneously.

      Reply
  7. Tre May 10, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    It’s important to step back and see what you really have. it’s too easy to get caught up in the race for more and forget to appreciate what we already have. i am so grateful for my boys. even though they drive me bonkers sometimes :-)

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 10, 2015 at 9:36 PM

      Exactly, Tre! And when things do get crazy, if you’re already in the habit of practicing gratitude, it makes it a lot easier to gain perspective.

      Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

      Reply
  8. Melissa May 10, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    Woohoo, FinCon15!!! Hey, you’ve been super busy! That’s good news, amiga! And I totally agree with you about a faster computer… I’m probably going to buy a new laptop next month just because my old, slow (but tried and trusty!) computer is taking SO LONG to do almost everything. Very frustrating, plus time is money! Glad to see you’re happy with your purchase :)

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 10, 2015 at 11:08 PM

      I couldn’t resist – I had to point out the convention center even though no one else cared, haha.

      YES, time is money, and your sanity matters, too. I know some people think it’s frivolous to upgrade when technology is still working, but I can 100% say I don’t regret spending the money. I can open up programs left and right and it doesn’t tax my system at all. It’s so nice! (Which also puts me in a better frame of mind when working.)

      Reply
  9. Zee Hamdani May 12, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    This is a good reminder about how ungrateful we can be and how all that adds up to create mental as well as financial problems for us. If we learn to be grateful for all the little things in our lives, then the need for unnecessary spending will automatically decline and we would end up saving more than before.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. May 12, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the reminder, Zee. It is easier to complain than be grateful sometimes, and it does seep into our finances.

      Reply

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