Monthly Archives: October 2013

Boo-llions for the 31st

Ambitioussoul

Would your father approve of your Halloween spending habits?

I’m a bit nervous to broadcast what I’m about to say in fear that I will get endless amounts of hate mail, but it looks like I’ve already started down the path, so here I go: Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Yup, I said it. And it’s true. I’m not sure if it’s because my mom dressed me up as a picnic table in 4th grade (ants, empty chip bags and all) or that my stomach turns upside down with the smallest splatter of fake blood, but my excitement for October 31st has definitely dwindled exponentially as each year passes.

But adding to my true apathy was the statistics of how much Americans spend on Halloween. Are you ready to be totally spooked?

Adults spend $1.2 billion dollars annually on their costumes. WHAT?! Now, I’m usually the first one to comment on a super creative costume or one that’s just totally off the wall, but let’s visit the Dollar Tree, a discount craft store, or better yet, our basements to create a masterpiece that’s sure to get heads turning at any party.

As far as the kiddies, of course their parents are shelling out the dough for their “dream” costumes. Whether your little girl wants to be Sofia the First or your son wants to be a Mutant Ninja Turtle (Donatello to be exact since he was my favorite,) it’s going to cost you. 

Now, let’s get ready for this stat: $1 billion is spent each year on… PETS’ costumes! That is so crazy to me. Sure, I’ve seen some great pet costumes, like my friend’s chihuahua turned shark. But this is just insanity.

It’s frustrating to know there are so many people hurting out there financially, yet this frivolous spending is happening on every leaf-covered, jack-o-lantern lit street in the nation. It’s most likely too late for you to curtail your purchase of those $50 glittery heels you HAD to have for this Halloween. But maybe next year, we can work on it. Here are some tips:

1) Before you decide what you want to be, come up with a budget. This will help you narrow down your costume choice. How much can you REALLY afford to spend? How much SHOULD you spend?

2) Once you have the dollar amount set in stone, start thinking about your options. Could you rent your costume? Make it? Buy all the elements at the local thrift store? Be sure to investigate all your options—and buying your costume at the closest party supply store probably isn’t your best option.

3) If you’re purchasing your costume, make a list of all the things you’ll need. Be sure to take inventory of what may be collecting dust in your closet or basement, and prepare that pair of shoes or crazy hat for its revival!

I know people LOVE Halloween. I mean, let’s face it, the numbers don’t lie. 

But being in debt and spending money you don’t have is a lot scarier than the creepiest costume you can find!

– Ambitioussoul

Quitters Never Say Die

Jon Acuff

It’s as simple as STARTing!

Huh? What? I know, I know. You’re thinking to yourself, “Quitters ALWAYS say die– This title definitely seems a bit oxy moronic. And I totally see where you’re coming from. But let me explain.

For those of you who are familiar with Jon Acuff, you know he’s the author of two best-selling career books, “Quitter” and “Start!” For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jon (and yes we’re on a first-name basis,) he was a self-proclaimed “quitter” who finally got what he called his “dream job” at The Lampo Group, Dave Ramsey’s company. Here is where he not only wrote his two books but also became one of Dave’s most well-known personalities, traveling around the country speaking with people stuck in their careers in desperate need to revive their dreams by just taking one step in any direction and simply starting.

Shockingly, a week after his excitedly organized and wildly publicized START! conference, I went to a site called No More Voices, a platform where Jon encouraged everyone to share their fears and gain a sense of community in knowing you’re not the ONLY one with self doubt or ridicule. You’re not the ONLY one who takes 20 minutes to talk yourself into something and then 2 seconds to talk yourself out of it. But when I arrived where the site used to be, a fear rushed over me that I had never even dreamed of: the site was gone.

A site that the Lampo Group hosted, it simply stated Jon had abruptly resigned, and the site was no longer available. I’m pretty sure I sat there for about 10 minutes in complete shock. My first thought was, “How could Jon leave his dream job? How could he leave ME?” Okay, that sounds a bit obsessive, but that thought truly entered my psyche, albeit a short stay.

I did what any normal human who has heard of the internet (or as my grandma calls it the world-wide web,) would do, and I immediately googled his resignation to try to get answers. Of course I only got extreme speculation. After marinating in the news for several days I thought to myself, “Isn’t Jon doing exactly what he talks about in his books? He’s literally living out the words he wrote in his books.” But this seems to be a double-edged sword. Because now that Jon’s words of having a “dream job” are etched in stone (or just printed on paperback, but details, details,) people are suddenly all over him about leaving Dave’s organization.

I am the first one to think Jon would be crazy to leave there, but who knows. Who knows what outside influences caused him to make the decision. Who knows what his head and heart were leading him to do.

My mom always says FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” And I’m sure Jon anticipated the speculation and judgement that would come with his decision. But he recognized the false evidence of all the rumors and decided to appear as real as he could, and do what was right for his family, his career and himself. And for that, I applaud you, Jon Acuff.

– Ambitioussoul

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