What is it about receiving money you weren’t expecting that fills us with glee? As a child it was like finding a treasure, because it literally WAS found money. Grandma called it “pennies from heaven.” Like a nickel on the sidewalk. Even as an adult though, now that found money comes in the form of a check or refund of some kind, or occasionally as a gift, I still feel that giddiness of surprise and delight. In a way it feels like getting away with something, like “I’d better go cash this check before I get caught.” Or superstitious, like “I’d better go cash this check for fear the universe sees me as ungrateful.”
Is that weird? Yeah, it’s weird. I’m okay with that.
Truthfully, there are probably a lot of little superstitions I have around money, most of them revolving around lacking gratitude. If I’m sweeping the floor and a penny dislodges from under the refrigerator, I must pick it out of the dust pile and save it. It isn’t because I’m a cheap miser that must have every last penny to build her wealth (though hey, maybe that SHOULD be my come-from.) It’s that if I don’t pick it up, I’m basically telling the universe that I have enough money, thankyouverymuch, I don’t need your measly pennies. Take THAT, providence!
What can I say? Baseball players wear dirty socks during a hitting streak, and I rescue wayward pennies.
So when $2000 lands in my lap that I wasn’t expecting, like today, it’s an almost orgasmic insta-karma kind of joy. Like “SAVING ALL THOSE NASTY-ASS PENNIES FINALLY PAID OFF!”
The $2000 easy money I made today was my damage deposit refund from the old house, and reimbursement for some home repair expenses I paid for out of pocket. Yes, all of it is rightfully mine, but I never count on getting my damage deposit back because some landlords are really puckered up about it. You just can’t clean the house enough for them. They will always find something to justify keeping the deposit.
Evil landlord: “This carpet looks like people have been walking on it for five years! I’m going to have to hire specialists clean it, you know. It might even need to be replaced.”
Me: “But there were people walking on it for five years.”
Evil landlord: “I KNEW IT!”
Luckily, this last landlord was all kinds of awesome, and she appreciated the cleaning effort. She expected the level of wear she found, we walked through the house together to check everything out, and she was happy with the condition we left it in. Not only that, she was happy that we were responsible enough tenants to pay for urgent home repairs out of pocket because it preserves the value of the house. Where has this landlord been all my life?!
You might now be asking yourself what designs I have on my newly gotten $2000. Very good question.
First, it will be enough to cover my $1200 tuition payment for this month. I think I’ve mentioned that I am in a year-long training program that may give me qualifications enough to start a decent side hustle and/or take my career in a new direction. My program will be fully paid in July, and my employer will reimburse me when I graduate. It’s a decent investment, and very low risk. So that is the first thing I will use the money for.
The remaining $800 will again be applied toward credit cards, which I’ve used to catch straggling expenses from wrapping up my previous living situation, plus some groceries, plus Junior’s birthday, plus those impulsive purchases for the new place. Yes, I needed an iron and an ironing board. Yes, I needed bathmats and a new comforter. No, I did not need new couch pillows or a decorative glass bottle from Pottery Barn. (I mean, WTF?) For what it’s worth, I did return the footed glasses and new flatware though.
Still pending are the final utility bills from the old house, and then they’re gone, baby, gone.
And that’s it! My pennies from heaven put to good use. Grandma would be proud.