Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

This week has been pretty good to me financially. I finally got my Excel spreadsheet of my budget all written up so it is much easier to keep track of my money and all of the funds I have to save for. So far things are looking good and I have been able to limit myself to stay within each fund amount so I can put as much as possible into savings.

In fact, I just put almost half of my last part-time paycheck into savings. As it stands, I can afford to pay all bills, have some money for food/fun and if I absolutely don't find a second job before my 1st month's rent is due, I have enough in savings to cover it. It wouldn't be ideal but I can do it. It's a comforting feeling.

Anyway... 

It's the freakin weekend baby, Imma 'bout to have me some fun! I'm off to Philly for the weekend with some of my best girlfriends! SO EXCITED! I've set aside money for this and I'm bringing cash so it will be easier to stick to my budget. Hopefully it's do-able.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sperry

If you know me, you know I love love love shoes. I really enjoy buying them no matter how uncomfortable, regardless of the fact that I live on comfort only and refuse to wear shoes that hurt too much. Maybe one day I'll learn.

Anyway, when I lived in South Carolina, people kept referring to things called "Sperry's". Huh? What are those? Apparently they're shoes. I thought huh, maybe it's another southern thing and I just kept calling them loafers and who wants to run around in old man shoes? But now I'm seeing them pop up more and more in states all over the US (I not only live somewhere else now, I read other people's blogs and live vicariously through them!) and they're actually comfortable.

Now, the only pairs of closed-toe shoes I have are heels or my tennis shoes or my winter boots. With all the walking I'm doing to and from the train and all around NYC, it'd be nice to have a pair of casual, comfortable shoes that aren't flip flops (don't get me wrong, I loooove me some flip flops but I don't want to have filthy feet everyday and man, NYC will give you just that! but if I really wanted a pair...Sperry's has them on clearance!) especially when it's still pretty chilly out.

 Anyway, since this is a great outlet for me to post my wants instead of act on them, here I go:
It would go with nearly anything and won't show the dirt!








Although imagine them in "Tan Suede" 


I have a pair like the ones directly above but in the tan color from Target for $10. I've worn out a pair already and am about to wear out my current pair because let's face it, they're $10 and I tried to wear them everywhere. I get rocks in my shoes from the holes and it's a pain in the bum. But I did wear them everywhere and wish I still had them to wear this season.

I feel so much better when I write about it instead of act on it.

Of course...

Directly after my post last night, I woke up to an e-mail from Barnes & Noble that Tina Fey's new book is 30% off. Must. Resist. Temptation! 

Why is it that Nook books don't go on sale like normal books do? It's probably for the best because if the $13 e-book version were to go on sale, I don't know if I could resist.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wants Vs. Needs

Growing up, my dad always emphasized that there is a major difference between wants and needs. You need water, food, a bed, a job etc. You wanted candy, brand name clothing, books (although I argue that one) etc. With my strong love of shopping, it's so easy for me to justify buying things that I want because of a need I feel I have. Instead of acting on those impulses because I'm kicking this habit big time and making no justifications for things I don't need. These are all wants.

Bossypants -- Tina Fey
Her new book comes out tomorrow and it's received great reviews. I've always admired her success and talent and I know it would be a funny read. I'm fighting every urge to not click two buttons and download it onto my Nook.

These awesome running shoes
I really want them in purple but they don't have my size and green would be kinda cool. I've always been a fan of shocks and I've been working out more and more these days so cute shoes would be great motivation, I like to think. I'm even training to finally be able to run a 5K. I can only dream.

With my newly in-shape legs (at least they will be come summer after all these gym workouts), these shorts from Express
I have never been able to pull off short shorts but I hate "mom" jean shorts and I think these are the perfect solution. I have a dark denim pair and wore them all the time last summer. 

While we're at it...
An apartment in NYC
That's what I'm actually saving up for but it probably won't look like this. The one I rent will be half this size I'm sure. I want that big bookshelf too!

And of course...
My student loans GONE!
This was actually a Google Image, people share my pain


Now if these were gone, just about everything else would be manageable. I absolutely cannot wait for the day I turn 40 and these bad boys are out of my life forever! Or I wish I could stumble upon thousands of dollars so they'd be gone well before I was 40 so I could actually save for something better, like vacations or my kids college fund.

What kinds of things are on your want list?

Weekend Update

This weekend was absolutely great. I thought about doing a "High/Low" post to avoid from rambling but there are more bullets for each category than just one. Bare with me.

Highs
  • Cousin bonding time over a movie (Life As We Know It) Friday night. I surprisingly enjoyed the movie and loved cousin time over popcorn :) Inexpensive, relaxing night. 
  • The Amos Lee concert was awesome! He is fantastic in concert and we made friends with other fans which lead to a marathon night of barhopping fun. 
  • Brunch in NYC is one of my favorite things.
  • So is walking around Central Park on Sunday mornings, while laughing at how hilariously fun the night before was. 
Lows:
  • Completely forgetting about finances and spending more money than I should have Sat. night. I was living in the moment and realized this morning that I now have zero money left for fun or restaurants until the next paycheck (although I am going to Philly this weekend and have separate money set aside for that...thank goodness). Oops. I need to start bringing a limited amount of cash out with me, instead of my debit card because those tab minimums get me every time. Lesson learned.
  • Being a little too tired this morning and shutting my alarm off and waking up 15 min after I normally leave. Luckily I leave much earlier than I need to so I wasn't really late. But I rushed around so much that I didn't grab my workout clothes for the gym, did my makeup on the train and didn't bring coffee/breakfast/lunch.
The lows were worth it because I didn't go completely overboard and didn't have to take too much away from my savings deposit. I'm still saving over $350 from my paycheck I got on Friday so it all works out. Overall, great weekend. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

15 Things Friday

I was going to break this up into a few posts since I have lots of money stuff to talk about...but then I was inspired by Running off the Reeses who does a hilarious 15 Things Friday so I can keep it to one post. It's a long one so grab a cub of hot cocoa (or iced coffee if you're lucky enough to have warm temps and not this cold rain) and enjoy!

  1. As of June 1st, I will officially be a resident of NYC! I found a great furnished summer sublease with two roommates and I'm really excited to dive into New York life. I've already started the transition of setting up life in this new city but actually living here full time will be different I'm sure. Rent is sky high so if you ever want to make a donation to the "Katie Is Poor" fund, you're more then welcome!
  2. I hope your friends are as awesome as mine! My California Mama friend sent me this great care package yesterday of a Starbucks gift card and lots of edible goodies! Donations to my food fund are also more than welcome (see 1...I'm shameless apparently). THANK YOU!
  3. Lent started a while ago? Oops. Good thing I'm not Catholic because I just figured out what I'm giving up. And I'm also going to take out the religious meaning behind it and change the dates since the only thing about this idea is the "giving something up for a period of time" part. I'm giving up shopping for clothes until Memorial Day weekend. Not a single dime can buy a shirt, shorts, bathing suit, nada (and really this applies for anything not budgeted for)! Now really, I don't need anything so this should be a piece of cake. Really. I just have to avoid all temptation (that sounds religious!). Now, this is not to say come Memorial Day weekend I can go on a spending spree like a crazy person. I'm allowed to get one pair of shorts from Express that I've already been eying for weeks. That's it. And by then I should have better legs with all the workouts I plan to do. Super plan. I came up with it on Wednesday and so far, so good! 
  4. I lost my security card for work. I had it when I joined the gym and the next day it was gone. Crap. Those cost $10. 
  5. I also lost a pair of gloves. Good thing they were $1.50 on clearance for a 2-pack and I still have the other pair. I need to stop losing my shit though!
  6. Starbucks is the Devil. I REFUSE to purchase any more Starbucks with my own money. I will gladly get it when I have gift cards but I will no longer buy a $4.30 TALL coffee on my own dime. Nope. It hit me like a ton of bricks today and I couldn't stomach it. It wont always be easy since there is a Starbucks on every corner here but my bank account and stress level will thank me big time. 
  7. I got a surprise tax refund from North Carolina yesterday. When you have federal and 3 state taxes to take care of, it's easy to forget about one, especially when its this late. I will happily take an extra $207! Thanks!
  8. When I get an unexpected $207, I struggle with exactly how to allocate it. Savings is important but I also haven't had my hair highlighted in 6 months (sorry everyone, thanks for not commenting on how out of hand its become). I figured, hey, I'll put $100 in savings and $100 for highlights. In Minnesota, this would fly; in NYC, $100 is merely a down payment of a much more expensive salon visit.  Since I thought $100 was already a lot for hair (and that included a cut!), I just can't stomach the idea of being that vain. So I did some research. I found a blonde box dye that apparently doesn't suck according to many many sources with multiple reviews. It's only $10. I'm trying it tonight. EEK!
  9. I thought I would put the other $90 in savings but I quickly found alternative needs for it. I got a dr. bill from when I had a terrible sore throat. If the $50 co-pay wasn't enough, I now have to pay $18 for the throat culture. Sweet. I paid $5 to get a lock for my gym locker. I had to pay $10 for a new work security card. And I have to buy the boy I nannied a birthday present, which is $30. That leaves me with $24, that I will put in savings. Whoopie. 
  10. Save your coins! It is one of the best saving tips I know (not that my knowledge is really deep!). Whenever I pay cash, I save my coins. Always. I had a bag of coins that had carried over from when I lived in South Carolina but I hadn't found a bank that has a penny machine. I finally cashed them in today and I'm now $84 richer! I'm not sure what to do with the money yet so for now I've put it at the bottom of the empty piggy bank and I'll start saving all over again. Then on a rainy day or serious emergency, I'll have a little extra money. 
  11. I'm still not sick of ham sandwiches after 5 days straight. I am however happy to have a new meal next week. 
  12. Today is payday! My paycheck has not started taking out medical etc. since it hasnt kicked in yet but I'm excited to budget none the less.
  13. I finally have more in my savings account than my checking. That hasn't happened since at least May. I haven't even had a savings account since then so this is a great thing. 
  14. I have a groupon for the How I Met Your Mother bar that I bought months ago and I'm using it tomorrow night before the Amos Lee concert (tickets compliments of my awesome sister). It's going to be a great and inexpensive night!
  15. This blog post from SJT sums up cheap NYC living pretty well. She basically is living my future.
Off to the gym then attempting to not look like a freak with box hair day! Happy Friday everyone and I sure hope you don't hear Rebecca Black's song or in your head because then you're bound to have a crappy day. Right?