Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SHIPTED part 1

Today I'm going to tell you about another hobby I took up after we got married. But first, some background.

One Friday during our first married Christmas, I received a pretty generous bonus check at work. I instantly had visions of grandeur of how I was going to spend it. I mean, I was ready to stop at the mall that day on my way home. I didn't hesitate to share my exciting news with Matthew, but once he started to understand I was legitimately serious about my plans to blow this money on myself, he started to protest a little.

Now, in hindsight I don't blame him, or else this story would have a very different outcome. Because, as I eventually admitted, if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same thing. But at the time, I was really miffed. Adding insult to injury, he was a few days away from getting paid for some freelance video editing he had done in his spare time. After a few glasses of red wine, I agreed that the work bonus was "family money" and that I wouldn't spend it on myself, BUT I did get to be the one who decides what we WOULD spend it on*. Then I bitterly (jealously?) told him I was going to get a second job so that I could start to save some money to keep up with his video editing.

See, in our new family budget, we combine incomes. There wasn't (and still isn't) any yours, mine, his, hers EXCEPT for what we set aside as "blow money:" money for each of us to spend/blow however we want. Someone usually chooses to blow his money at Orvis. Someone else usually chooses to blow it all on eating lunch at the Mexican restaurant next door to her work pedicures. So me whining to Matthew about not having any money is kind of an exaggeration, but at the same time I felt I didn't have the means to save anything based on our monthly allotment. And this was mostly on my mind because around that same time, our trip to Italy was starting to come together and I knew I wanted to bring home something nice.

So there we were, a few glasses in and I'm threatening to get a second job. He tells me to go for it. And I did. That night, I signed up to deliver groceries for Shipt. Within a couple of weeks, I had passed the interviews and quizzes and received my starter kit in the mail. I put it our spare bedroom and didn't think about it for a while.

Then one warm Sunday in March, Matthew announced he wanted to go fishing. I decided that would be the day I'd dip my toe in the Shipt waters. I got an order within a few minutes of hopping on the schedule, so I put on my bright green T-shirt, grabbed my authorized debit card and headed out the door.

I got hooked pretty quickly. First of all, and perhaps most importantly, I don't mind grocery shopping. I know people that loathe it but I actually enjoy it. Secondly, we had two Publixes within a one mile radius from our house, so it wasn't like I was having to go out of my way. Third, this was EASY. Sure, any job can be stressful at times, but the threshold on stress for this job was limited to however long it took you to shop and drop the order off, so it wasn't like a normal job where you are worrying about the same project for days or weeks.

The following weekend was Easter and I had Good Friday off at my day job. I decided to pick up some orders and since Easter Sunday is one of the few days out of the year that Publix is closed, the Friday and Saturday beforehand were NUTS. I couldn't have known how insanely busy I would be. I made $200 in two days and I could tell by dinnertime on Saturday, when Matthew was patiently waiting for me to come back home, that I needed to set some boundaries for myself or my new marriage would pay the price. I remember sitting on our porch feeling guilty for ditching my husband all day, but also pained by how many great orders (and great money) I was missing out on. So, I calculated how many weekends we had until we left for Italy, how much money I wanted to be able to spend, and came up with the amount I needed to make each weekend. Additionally I was setting aside one-third of what I made because Shipt doesn't take taxes out of your paycheck. It was only fair that I was on the hook for that when we filed our taxes in the spring.

Fast forward many months later and we took off for Italy. I had researched the HECK out of what I wanted to bring home and contrary to the size of this enormous bag, no, it wasn't a Fiat:


So that is the story of how I became a Shipt shopper. In my next post I'll tell you more about what it was actually like.

*We finally spent it last month on some new furniture for our living room, two full years later. Thanks to YNAB, I had it sitting there waiting on me!

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