Things That Make me Pull My Hair Out

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the worst feeling in the world

Mrs. Frugal Rules seems to have taken over the blog this week! Please enjoy her random musings…

I liked Mr. Frugal Rules’ “Things that Make me Scratch my Head” post so much that I asked him if I could write a post with a spin of my own on things that make me want to pull my hair out. Now, I do have to say that these things don’t actually make me angry, more so just random, senseless, sometimes frustrating and sometimes funny (at least to me) situations I’ve encountered in my life.

People complaining about “rush hour traffic” in Omaha, Nebraska. I was born and raised in San Diego and lived in Los Angeles for a time. I’ve endured true rush hour traffic – you know, the kind where it takes you 2.5 hours to travel 20 miles. I used to leave my office at DreamWorks in Universal City at 5 p.m. and make it home for dinner in Santa Monica at 8:30 p.m. I miss many things about Southern California, but NOT THAT.

Homeless stories. One of my favorites was from a man who swore he ran a narcs-trafficking ring for the President of the Unites States.

The crime scene at the top of my stairs. I really must blame myself. What was I thinking by acquiescing my toddler’s request to carry the not-yet-frozen cherry Flavor-Ice up the stairs to the kitchen? Now there’s a morbid-looking red splat at the top of my stairs.

The checker at Costco who asks me every week why I don’t yet have the executive membership.

Companies that FNMAOE (feel the need to make an acronym out of everything).

Watching my kids turn my laundry basket into a train and “ride it” through the house….right on top of my clean clothes 🙂

Lotion bottles. Seriously. They can’t come up with a design that doesn’t force you to waste the last two ounces?

Good TV shows that, despite weekly cliffhangers and smart dialogue, cancel after one season because of low ratings.

Not finding the disposable baking pans at WalMart because they’ve moved them, again.

It’s mid-April and it’s still snowing in Nebraska.

Sticky, peanut-butter covered fingers all over my shirt sleeve, two minutes before I have to leave for a meeting.

Changing my youngest’s diaper ten minutes too early.

Strategy games like Risk, especially when I’m getting wonked by my Dad and husband. (Editor’s note – but it’s so fun dear!)

Chlorine. Literally. There’s too much of it in the pool at my gym and it’s making my hair come out in clumps. I miss the ocean.

Getting all dressed up in a fancy outfit and then spilling coffee right down the front of it.

My forgetfulness. Mr. Frugal Rules has a steal trap of a mind. I can’t remember where I left my smartphone.

People without a filter; like strangers who exclaim “Oh my gosh, you’re huge!” when you’re nine months pregnant. Thanks, unlike you, I live in a world without mirrors.

Tweezers with teeth. Specifically, when I had to use them to dislodge a piece of carrot from my toddler’s nose. Be glad we don’t remember that stage of life 🙂

The fact that, at only 35 years of age, my hair is turning straight from dark brown to silver/white.


There, I feel better. Now, what makes you want to pull your hair out?


Photo courtesy of: Ramon Garcia

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Margaret Polino Nicholas says:

    I understand. When I was working it was CRAZY! Keep blogging and get it out of you. Try to have a great day!

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks, Margaret. It’s funny, I wrote this awhile ago and today I am having a fantastic day. Re-reading the post makes me smile, so that’s a good thing too, I suppose πŸ™‚

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    What makes me want to pull my hair out is when people commute very far to get to an office and then sit in their cubicles when all the work can be done from home! Drives me crazy that management doesn’t change with the times (and technology)!

    • Nicole says:

      OH! I can SOOOOO agree with you there, DC. I wish more employers would see that giving your trusted, capable and highly skilled employees autonomy and freedom will make them more, not less, productive. I worked full time from home for my former employer for three-ish years and on my busiest day taking care of two little ones, I STILL accomplished more than I did on a day in the office because office days were jam packed with back to back meetings, most of which did not require my presence. I hope you’re not in that situation but judging by it, I am guessing that you may be.

  • Greg@ClubThrifty says:

    Well played. Now that you put me on the spot, I can’t think of anything that makes me want to pull my hair out…oh probably my toddler screaming for 15 minutes every day when we walk through the door until we serve dinner. That drives me nutso.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Nebraska and MN are getting their tails kicked in terms of snow – what’s up with that?? We had 5-6 more inches last night! That’s my biggest PITA right now. Makes everything else seem absolutely lovely!

    • Nicole says:

      I hear you Lori. But you guys are actually getting it much worse than we are. Mr. Frugal Rules showed me the pic you tweeted last night. Yikes! Where’s spring? I’m thinking we’re going to go straight from winter to summer. I guess it does make you appreciate the temperate days. However, it also only increases my desire to go visit my parents in San Diego πŸ™‚

  • Alan@escapingmydebt says:

    John you need to let her win from time to time in strategy games. I agree about the lotion bottles. I usually will twist off the top and bang it against my hand until those last two ounces are used up.

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you, Alan. You are my new favorite blogger πŸ™‚ I hope Mr. Frugal Rules listens to you πŸ™‚ As for the lotion bottles, it was a bit sketch I’ll admit but once Mr. Frugal Rules cut off the top two thirds of the lotion bottle with a knife so we could use up the remaining lotion at the bottom of the bottle. As someone who works with people who design product packaging from time to time, I always try to tell them I care more about using everything I pay for rather than thinking that I’m getting MORE than I’m paying for with a bigger bottle.

  • Leslie Beslie says:

    Disposable baking pans?! What!! Who buys these?????

    • Nicole says:

      Hey Leslie – I use disposable baking pans sometimes for pot lucks when I don’t want to have to worry about trying to track my pan down and get it back. I was just throwing that out there as an example of what really drives me nuts, which is the fact that my local WalMart is constantly moving inventory around the store so one week I go looking for the ketchup and am told that it’s been moved to lawn and garden πŸ™‚ I wish they would organize things logically or at least just pick a spot and keep it there.

      • Mrs. 1500 says:

        Pick up a few regular pans at the thrift store, especially when they are having half off days. It doesn’t matter if you get it back, because it was only a few dollars, but if you do get it back, it lives to bake another casserole.

        • Nicole says:

          Good point. I hadn’t thought about that. However, my larger point is still really not meant to be about baking pans, just how WalMart moves their inventory around all the time πŸ™‚

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor says:

    Television “news”!

    • Nicole says:

      Oh, Kurt! I could write an entire series of blog posts about TV “news.” The fourth estate has fallen into shambles with ginormous corporations running nightly newscasts (more like 24 hour news cycles) aimed at selling ad space and driving up viewership. There are great journalists out there but your TV newscasts for the most part are just violence, drama and a blend of reality shows/soap operas. I want to know what’s going on in the world! Arrgghh! There’s an HBO series called “The Newsroom” that is phenomenal that gets close to painting a picture for what TV news could be. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. It’s worth watching.

  • Jake Erickson says:

    These are great. I totally agree with you on the snow in mid-April. Like The Frugal Farmer said, Minnesota got smacked with another half of a foot of snow last night. Hopefully the winter will finally end this weekend.

    As for things that make me pull my hair out. I really dislike people who don’t know how to properly merge on the roads. I also really hate people at work who don’t pull their own weight for the team.

    • Nicole says:

      Good additions Jake. Unfortunately, I have also encountered people who merge too fast or way too slow and people at work who let everyone else do the work. I was just thinking about that exact thing the other day and wondering how those people sometimes end up getting promoted over the people that work their tails off….

  • Mrs.B @ Money Bulldog says:

    I completely agree with you..I worked for a FNMAOE kind of company once and it drove me crazy. Also my youngest has perfected the art of filling a nice fresh nappy, oh the joys…

    • Nicole says:

      Ha ha ha. I am away from the house today so maybe Mr. Frugal Rules will get the joy of the latter today πŸ™‚

  • Mackenzie says:

    Oh my gosh, yes the traffic! I live in SoCal and yes you are right, the traffic is awful! πŸ™‚

    • Nicole says:

      Yes, Mackenzie. It’s wretched, isn’t it?!?!? They need some sort of public transport solution that will transport lots of people where they need to be quickly, safely and cleanly. Of course, that will require a ton of money, which we all know Cali doesn’t have right now, unfortunately.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    Good list. I always want to pull my hair out because I always pick the wrong line at the grocery when I’m in a hurry. You know how it goes down. There are two lanes open with an equal number of people with equal amounts of items. I always pick the one who needs a price check or is buying for an organization that is tax exempt and has to fill out a paper or my worst one is getting behind someone on food stamps and WIC who has to pay in three different transactions for whatever each program covers, then in cash for the cigarettes and soda. I think I choose the wrong line about 90% of the time!

    • Nicole says:

      LOL! Kim, that is such a good addition to the list. I could have also added this about WalMart – why do you build 40 checkout lanes if you only plan on keeping 10 open at any given time? It just frustrates us shoppers! I noticed that our WM installed a self checkout area and does the same thing there! They have about 8 self checkout portals and at least 3 of them are closed at any given time. Why not just build 5 if that’s all you plan to use!!!!

      • Mrs. 1500 says:

        I like when I have a cart full of things, and I let the person behind me go ahead – they only have 1 or 2 items. Then they whip out the checkbook, the senior discount card, etc.

        I have all but stopped letting people through.

  • Mr 1500 says:

    Risk; Get Australia! That is the key to it all.

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you Mr 1500. If I ever summon up the gumption to play RISK again, I will remember that Australia is the key πŸ™‚ If anyone else out there is going to Fincon maybe we can get a team together to help teach me how to beat Mr. Frugal Rules at RISK. πŸ™‚

      • Mr. 1500 says:

        OMG! We will be at FINCON and I’d love a Risk game!!!!!!!!!!

        Seriously though, if you get Australia and don’t win, there is something wrong with you.

  • pauline says:

    I hear you about the traffic! When I lived in small town, UK, 15 minutes was a big commute. In Paris it is not even the time it takes to get in the underground.
    I want to pull my hair out when i am trying to book a ticket, agree on the price, fill out a big list of fields up to step 128 just to see “sorry, that price is not available, it is now $1,000,000 more than you thought”.

    • Nicole says:

      Ahhh…It’s depressing to see that inefficiency and traffic is a global problem. I am betting that Paris makes L.A. traffic seem like child’s play πŸ™‚

  • My Financial Independence Journey says:

    If it makes you feel better, the whether is lousy here as well. It’s still cold and kind of rainy. It’s not even nice enough to open the windows more than a crack. I want my money back for this spring season. So far it’s been sucking.

    • Nicole says:

      Oh, I’m sorry your weather is lousy too. I spent the first 25 years of my life in San Diego 15 minutes from the ocean which has virtually perfect weather. Having been in Omaha for 10 years, I am not tired of the snow and thunderstorms yet but I am beginning to hate the humidity in the summer πŸ™‚ I guess it makes us grateful for the good days.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    LOL! Rush hour traffic in Omaha! Love it! There are many things I love about living in SoCal (like not getting snow in April) but the traffic is definitely a huge pain. There is nothing worse than going 3 miles in one hour!! Thankfully, these days I no longer have a commute and I definitely don’t miss it. I’m with Kim – it always seems like I end up in the slow lane – checkout or car – when I need to get somewhere fast. πŸ™‚

    • Nicole says:

      Shannon – I love that you live in So Cal and don’t have a commute. That is awesome! If we could find a home in San Diego for what we’re paying now for our mortgage, I think we’d definitely be tempted to move back. Problem is, I’d want to live right on the ocean and I KNOW we can’t afford that. I guess I’ll have to save that for my retirement dreams πŸ™‚

  • anna says:

    Agreed about traffic – I live in SD and what takes me 10 minutes before work since I go to the gym first, ends up being triple this time after work. It’s madness! I loved the acronym, and list altogether. πŸ™‚

    • Nicole says:

      Thank, Anna. I’m envious of you living in SD. πŸ™‚ Say “hi” to the ocean for me today πŸ™‚ It’s funny, sometimes I miss it so much, I’ll try to live vicariously through anyone we know that’s taking a vacation there. I give them a list of things to see and do while they’re there that I did growing up and then I always want to invite them over for dinner when they get back to tell me all about it πŸ™‚

  • KC @ genxfinance says:

    Was disappointed when I heard they cancelled Futurama. πŸ™

    • Nicole says:

      Hmmm…never saw or heard of that one. Some recents that I thought the networks should’ve given a second chance were The Event and Alcatraz.

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    Nice ones. I agree with Kurt that TV “news” irritates me to no end. It is not even news anymore. I also get irritated by changing the little ones diaper too early and just end up wasting another diaper.

    • Nicole says:

      I know, Grayson. I am greatly annoyed by CNN’s constant turning of everything into “breaking news” or an “event.” It’s like they’re the department of homeland defense and they’re stuck on threat level red.

  • Midlife Finance says:

    Sorry about your hair. A lot of that is due to stress you know. My hair was turning grey in college, but it turned back to black once I started working. I guess living with no money didn’t agree with me.

    • Nicole says:

      Ha ha. I thought maybe it was stress too. I blame my first worst boss πŸ™‚ I actually talked to my mom and she had the same thing happen to her but I never realized it because she has always colored her hair. I don’t want to do that yet. Too much money and hassle for me πŸ™‚

  • krantcents says:

    Although I won’t pull my hair out, complainers bother me. I cannot stand them complaining and doing nothing about it. Take action or forget it!

    • Nicole says:

      I’m with you krantcents. Complaining is awful and talk is cheap. Like Yoda says, “Do or do not do. There is no ‘try.'” πŸ™‚

  • writing2reality says:

    Bahahaha! Fantastic list! One question though… do you really need to pull your hair out, or will swiming a few more times a week take care of that for you? πŸ™‚

    • Nicole says:

      I know….little disclosure here, these things don’t actually make me want to pull my hair out πŸ™‚ I’m actually a pretty laid back person. It takes a lot to get me truly stressed or upset. Mr. Frugal Rules would probably say I am an eternal optimist. I was more so trying to frame the list in an attention-getting way but now I think I see that I may have given off the impression that I’m a stress monkey πŸ™‚

  • Michelle says:

    Haha love this! And I complain about traffic all the time. It might take me 30 minutes to get to work and I HATE that, but then I think about the days where it might take me 2 or 3 hours just because there are the tiniest snowflakes and St. Louis people can’t handle that.

    • Nicole says:

      Ever seen it rain in Los Angeles Michelle? It’s hilarious. It’s the same way πŸ™‚ It’s like people forget how to drive.

  • Jacob@CashCowCouple says:

    Lotion bottles that are wasteful drive me nuts, as do the good TV shows getting canceled, as does likely snow tonight in Missouri.

    Other weird pet peeves include anything that results in excessive waste, like many food bottles and the lotion mentioned above. Also, Starbucks coffee drinkers…

    • Nicole says:

      Hmmm…Starbucks coffee drinkers? I’d love to hear why. I used to be one πŸ™‚ Got too expensive and I don’t like their coffee (no matter what form I had it in – coffee, latte, mocha, etc.) started tasting bitter all the time. Now, I just make my own coffee drinks at home.

  • Matt Becker says:

    Haha! My wife’s family is from panhandle Florida. I’m from Boston. It cracks me up every time they talk about traffic. They have a bridge by their house and they’re always warning us about “bridge traffic”. My wife and I have started joking around whenever there are just a few cars on the road back in Boston that we’re “stuck in bridge traffic”.

    Also, being from Florida, my wife can commiserate on the snowing in April thing now that she lives up in Boston.

    • Nicole says:

      That is hilarious Matt. “Bridge Traffic” I just may have to hijack that term and use it out here too. “Oh, no, there’s the mid-morning on ramp traffic. Better pack a sack lunch and bring the portable DVD player.” πŸ™‚

  • femmefrugality says:

    Love it! I can never find anything at WalMart…they’re always moving stuff! Our rush hour here isn’t that bad either, really. I’ve found such nice routes to dodge it, too. Except if I’m headed south….


    • Nicole says:

      Thanks! You’re in Pittsburgh, right? I’m surprised there’s no rush hour there. But regardless I’m glad you’ve found a way to avoid it! πŸ™‚

  • Nick @ says:

    I can totally relate to changing a diaper 10 minutes too early. Nothing is more annoying than that!

    • Nicole says:

      Nick, I think Mr. Frugal Rules will utter a hearty “Amen1” when he reads your comment. Our youngest seems particularly taken with doing that to him when I leave for a client appointment.

  • Marissa @ Thirtysixmonths says:

    People without a filter; like strangers who exclaim β€œOh my gosh, you’re huge!” hHAHAHAHAHAH

    • Nicole says:

      It’s funny, I know. Except not when it happens. When it happens it’s annoying but afterwards (like when you’re not pregnant anymore, you can look back and laugh).

      • Mrs. 1500 says:

        I was 9 months pregnant with my first, and a woman at work, who I was not particular close with, looks at me one day and exclaims “There is no way that is just one baby.” Wow, thanks.

        Of course, that one baby weighed 10 pounds when she came out. She was practically two. But boy did I want to slap her when she said it.

  • Budget & the Beach says:

    Ugh that is so true about lotion! Or when the pump breaks and you have to always take out the pump to get to the lotion. One of my biggest pet peeves is my producer telling me he needs me to jump on a phone call for a meeting that I really don’t need to be in. WASTE. OF. TIME. Oh, and people in traffic who weave. They are the most dangerous people on the highway (I live in LA btw) πŸ™‚ I got from Glendale to El Segundo yesterday leaving a little after 6 in about 38 minutes. It was like a Christmas miracle!

    • Nicole says:

      LOL Tanya! You are so right about weavers … especially when they’re semis. πŸ™‚ That’s amazing that you covered that much ground in under 45 minutes. Oh, and I can relate to the phone calls. My favorite is when I listen in to an hour long conference call with 12+ people whom I’ve never met and whose voices I can’t distinguish from one another, listen raptly to every word, taking copious notes (because why else would they pay me to be on this call) and then afterwards I receive notes from the account exec on the call.

  • Justin says:

    Love this post.
    Watching my kids turn my laundry basket into a train and β€œride it” through the house….right on top of my clean clothes
    I don’t know why, but I picture John being the biggest kid and pushing the basket around the house.

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks, Justin. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. John is the biggest kid of them all and there’s nothing he loves more than spending time with his kids. Every now and then the practical side of him comes out – “you’re going to break the laundry basket”!

  • Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Absolutely agreed about bottle design! Something to consider, especially with our proximity to Earth Day.

    • Nicole says:

      Definitely Mike! Not only is it wasteful, it’s kind of irresponsible. When you add up all the plastic, saving it from going into landfills would help preserve our planet for future generations.

  • Mr. 1500 says:

    Yikes. I know people who think the government puts chemicals in jet contrails to mind control us or some bullsh*t. What is wrong with people?

  • Edward Antrobus says:

    I hear you about the snow. It has snowed on one out of every 4 days this month here in northern Colorado.

    • Nicole says:

      Yes, Edward, Colorado has gotten it bad this worse. I didn’t realize it was one out of every 4 days this month! Yikes! Hopefully that makes for good skiing πŸ™‚

      • Edward Antrobus says:

        Except you do ski east of the mountains, where I live! Actually, I don’t ski at all. Those lifts terrify me.

  • Mrs. 1500 says:

    When driving in the right lane, people who cut you off just to slow down and turn in front of you.

    Cleaning the house, and having a 3-year-old going right behind you, messing it up again.

    • Nicole says:

      Good additions Mrs. 1500. I have experienced both of those too many times to count. Now it seems that I follow one child cleaning up his mess while another comes along behind me re-messing up what I just cleaned. It’s madness, I tell you, madness. πŸ™‚

  • Mrs. 1500 says:

    And my neighbors who throw out perfectly good items that can be reused, rather than dropping them off at the thrift store that happens to be located in the middle of town. Very difficult to get anywhere in our town without passing one of 3 thrift stores, all of whom are very happy to take donations at any time.

    • Nicole says:

      It is hard to see people throw away things that can be easily used by someone else. But without people like your neighbors, who would dumpster divers take advantage of? πŸ™‚

  • Canadianbudgetbinder says:

    Ha, nice list Mrs. Frugal Rules!! I like the lotion bottles but it doesn’t end there for us it’s also the shampoo and condition and body wash. They seem to make these bottles with caps that you would have to pry off with pliers just to get to the last couple of uses. Why buy something if you can’t use the full amount of product, right? Cheers mate

  • BrokeMillennial says:

    Oh man, I LOVE a good rant post!

    On the commute tangent, I hate when people don’t know how to ride the subways in New York. It isn’t just tourists! Born and bred New Yorkers are often the biggest offenders. MOVE IN! UGH! After years of riding the incredibly efficient trains in Japan ,with riders who knew how to maximize space, it’s hard to tolerate mass transit else where in the world.

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses says:

    The getting dressed up and spilling coffee on yourself, yup that’s me. I’m so clumsy with food and drinks and that’s why I never wear white.

  • Jose says:

    How about not finding that item at Wal-Mart that you[ve been faithfully buying for years because some idiot buyer decided they didn’t need to carry it anymore? Lol, thanks for the post, I got a good chuckle out of it,

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