Friday, September 30, 2011

The attack of good deals

In the past two weeks I have found a significant amount of discounts for things I would typically buy or had always wanted to. It all started with Broadway Week.
 My co-worker and I got tickets to Chicago for $60 each. It was a great show and Kara Dioguardi from American Idol was the lead role.

I found a Living Social deal for Hatsuhana Sushi, which was near the play so we went there for dinner beforehand. We got $80 worth of sushi for $40, split between 2 people is only $20. We had more than enough with $80 and it was absolutely delicious!

The next day I got an e-mail for 80% off at Restaurant.com. That meant that when I would normally pay $10 for a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant was 80% off so it was only $2. Great way to try new restaurants around town and save a few dollars since NYC can really get expensive. I decided on 1363 Stir and I'm looking forward to trying it out soon.

When I got the confirmation e-mail from Restaurant.com, it said my offer came with 20% off at ProFlowers. One of my bffs was having a terrible day and I thought it might be nice to use that promotion to send her some flowers. What I thought would be inexpensive with the promotion turned out to be much more than I expected with shipping and handling fees. The voice mail, text messages and a very happy friend were well worth the few extra dollars.

Don't you hate it when the picture online turns out to look nothing like the flowers delivered? The pic above is what I ordered and the picture to the right is what she got....hmmm.
Then last Friday, when I was reading my daily e-mail from The Frugal Girls when I saw "Get a free pair of glasses!" My insurance will pay for either contacts or glasses, not both. When I can get a good deal on glasses out of pocket and have insurance pay for contacts, why not? I desperately needed to update my prescription so I got an appointment and went to CoastalContacts.com to get my free pair! It turns out the most basic level of glasses are free but if you need to get a different lens for your prescription, it might cost more. Of course, mine did. I ended up getting a pair for $60 but that's still definitely a lot better than a full-priced pair.
These will be at my door in a week!
Now here's a confession: With all of these great deals combined with not paying close attention to my budgeted spreadsheet and having to drop $80 on a new computer charger, I've spent much more than I should have these past two weeks. Little things add up, even if they are great deals. I'm pretty disappointed to announce that it is September 30th and my Express card will not be 100% paid off this month. I will be able to make a decent payment towards the bill but not enough to completely pay it off. I will keep trying and I will knock it out soon but just not today.                                                   

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Conquering the carbs

This post is in honor of Cam's total diet breakdown last night on Modern Family.



Carbs are cheap. A box of mac and cheese is $1.75 (anywhere other than New York can be as low as $.89!). A loaf of bread is roughly the same price.

When you're trying to save money on food, it's hard to avoid those carbs that pack on the pounds. I've been known to make a big heap of spaghetti to bring for my lunches, or eat a whole box of Kraft Mac & Cheese but I want to find other options that are still easy and much more nutritional. Carbs make me feel worn out just thinking about the gym, which is not helping my goal of using my gym membership.
Vegetables and salads are tasty but I need more to feel full and I'm hungry again an hour later. Hungry Katie doesn't lead to good things for my wallet. I get cranky and ultimately justify going down the street and spending $14.50 at Chipotle.
M suggested I try vegetable stir-fry. There are ways to do this for cheap and it's definitely delicious. Depending on your grocery store, you can typically find a frozen stir-fry kit where you just add chicken, beef, etc (which you should buy and stock up on it when it's on a sale). If kits aren't available, you can make it from scratch. A $3 bottle of stir-fry sauce last for 2 or 3 meals and a bag of mixed frozen veggies can be as cheap as $1 (if money isn't an issue, fresh veggies are obviously the best option). Add in some inexpensive poultry and voila. If you don't want to cut carbs all together, you can eat it with brown rice. The only negative is that the vegetables can get soggy after a while so I suggest cooking half on Sunday night and the second half on Wednesday.
Another option is salad in a bag (ceaser is good but the ones with mixed veggies are better) with deli meat. Salads are $4 but sometimes you can find them on sale for $2. Add some deli meat and dressing of choice (whatever is on sale that week) and it's pretty decent. I have tried making one bag last for 2 meals but it was not filling enough so I'll only purchase the bags when they are on sale.

I'm still trying to explore more options but for now it's a start. It's difficult finding healthy, inexpensive options but when it comes to nutrition and health, the research is worth it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch is hilarious. Simple as that.

I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard at the 40-year-old Virgin when she sang the Guatemalan love song. It actually translates to "Whenever they clean my room, I can't find anything/Where are you going with such haste?/To a football game."
 Then I was thrilled to see her as Sue Sylvester on Glee. I was a little bit of a choir nerd in high school so I definitely dig that show.
Sue: All I want is just one day a year when I'm not visually assaulted by uglies and fatties.

Most recently, I have been streaming Party Down on Netflix. It was recommended to me by a few friends and for good reason: It is hysterical. Jane's character is one of the funniest and I'm a little bit sad that Glee stole her away from this show.


So you can imagine I was thrilled when M could snag a copy of Jane's memoir (my favorite genre of book). 
Here's the back cover:
"If I could go back in time and talk to my twenty-year-old self, the first thing I would say is: "Lose the perm." Secondly I would say: "Relax. Really. Just relax. Don't sweat it."
I can't remember a time when I wasn't anxious and fearful that the parade would pass me by. And I was sure there was someone or something outside of myself with all the answers. I had a driving, anxiety-filled ambition. I wanted to be a working actor so badly. I wanted to belong and feel like I was valued and seen. Well, now I am a working actor, and I guarantee you it's not because I suffered or worried over it.
As I look back, the road to where I am today has been a series of happy accidents I was either smart or stupid enough to take advantage of. I thought I had to have a plan, a strategy. Turns out I just had to be ready and willing to take chances, look at what's right in front of me, and put my heart into everything I do. All that anxiety and fear didn't help, nor did it fuel anything useful. My final piece of advice to twenty-year-old me: Be easy on your sweet self. And don't drink Miller Lite tall boys in the morning."
Since she has always stayed out of the lime light and typically remains drama free in the public eye, I was curious to hear her story. I love reading about peoples' lives, and when they're funny people it's even better. Not many stars become famous in their 40's and 50's these days but it worked for Jane. Her story is interesting and mostly comical, although I think she's a better comedian than writer and it showed in her book. The writing and format was a bit choppy but I might just be picky since I was a print journalism major with a focus on editing.

Overall, I would definitely pick up a copy and enjoy a pretty leisurely read. I would give it a 4/5.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just my luck

I babysat like a crazy person this past week and it has really paid off. I had plenty of money to go out with friends this weekend, put some aside for savings, and ultimately pay off my Express card (the payment has yet to be made but it will by Monday). I was feeling really good financially. And then...

When I got home from babysitting last night, I discovered my computer charger was not working and/or my computer was not taking a charge. Crap. I tried everything to no avail. My co-worker also has a mac and she brought in her charger today to let me test it out. My computer will work with her charger! Whew! Fortunately it's not a serious problem with the computer that will cost me $300. Unfortunately, I have to pick up a new charger today for $80.

I will still pay off my credit card but I'm really disappointed that once again my savings will be depleted even after all my hard work this weekend. It's hard to maintain momentum when roadblocks happen but at least October will start a clean slate with one debt completely eliminated. I will babysit my heart out and just keep chuggin along.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Motivational Mondays - Get your butt to the gym!

Too many people sign up for a gym membership with great intentions and then throw their money out the window while they sit on the couch. I will not be one of them anymore. 

I pay $20 a month for a gym membership. I paid $50 to get started and they charge $50 once a year. For NYC, that's a pretty great price for a gym with classes, showers and open 24 hours. That's still $290 a year that could be going to pay off my debt but being healthy is important. I have spent most of my life out of shape and this needs to be the year I change that. I was doing well about going to the gym regularly (even a little too much some days) when I first got the membership but I have slacked off big time in recent months so I'm wasting my $20.

That's about to change with this week's goal. I have been in very popular demand for babysitting since I started on SitterCity so most evenings and weekends are booked right after work for most of the evening. Since my gym is much closer to my day job than my apartment, I never make the hike back to the gym once I've gone up to my neighborhood.

If my evenings are booked, it really only leaves the mornings to work on my fitness. I am not a morning person but I'm going to try. I have to make it a priority now or I never will. So here's the plan:

Monday and Wednesday I go to work early so I can leave early to babysit. I'm being realistic to know that I won't get up even earlier on those days to run, especially on a Monday. Tuesdays and Thursdays however, I can wake up by 6, out the door by 6:15 and get in a half hour with the treadmill before I shower and go to work. I don't babysit every Tuesday and Thursday night but this schedule leaves me free if I get asked. When it works to go to the gym after work, I am available to do that too.

On the weekends, I will run outside or make the hike to the gym.


Your goal may not be running but whatever it is you do, or want to do, to get or stay in shape, how do you motivate yourself to do it? How do you workout inexpensively?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A cheap fix

So my iPod shuffle wasn't working and I didn't know why.
Typically I would take that to mean it was time to get a new one but not this time. I noticed that the charger was slightly bent (not surprising after all the moving I've done!) I have the 1st Generation shuffle, which they no longer make. Chargers run roughly $30 at the Apple store, which is still more than I wanted to spend. Then I hopped on Amazon and found a similar 2nd Generation charger for $3.94 including shipping. That's what I'm talkin' about! Now it works and everyone is happy!

Just in case the different generation charger didn't work, I also found an arm band for my larger iPod so I could run with that if I needed to. It was only $4.95 with shipping. Not bad at all!

Now I can skip the gym on the weekends and run around the reservoir instead. Good timing, too, because I'm going to run my first 5K in October and I have some serious training to do!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday- Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Week 2 of WIRW brings you Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
Here's what Good Reads had to say
"This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there ..."
The Washington Post review said
"'Little Bee' deserves a warning label: "Do not judge this book by its cover. Contents under pressure." Despite the cutesy title (the book was more sensibly published in Britain as "The Other Hand") and the coy book-flap description ("It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it"), "Little Bee" will blow you away."
So you can imagine my expectations. My aunt also recommended this book to me and I've been looking forward to reading it for a while. I was in suspense the entire time because the book-flap made me think something absurd and intense would happen. I enjoyed the story but nothing shocked me. I got to the last 10 pages and my heart started to race. What could happen in the last 10 pages that would cause such a vague book-flap, vague plot summaries on Amazon and Good Reads and for such a glowing review in the Post?

Nothing. Nothing happened! The plot and storyline are intense and full of gut-wrenching social issues but then it just ended! I'm still not quite sure what happens to the characters. Maybe it's just that I've spent too much time watching Dora the Explorer when I babysit or that my high school English class analyzing skills have worn off but I am left without answers and I am left disappointed.

You should still give it a try because it brings up social issues that aren't typically discussed (at least not in a lot of the books I read) and maybe you will get more out of it that I did.

I give it a 4/5. It would have been a 5/5 if the ending was a little better or more conclusive.

Next up: Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sick Day

I used to get sick all the time. All.The.Time. Between colds and asthma attacks and headaches and the flu, it was terrible. When I started my job, my uncle suggested I start taking a multivitamin to prevent taking sick days. He was right. 

Multivitamins are worth the money. Go buy some. I take these:
and they have done wonders for my immune system. However, there is caffeine in them to the equivalent of 1 cup of coffee so I have to time it correctly or I will feel sick. I can't do it right away in the morning because I already have coffee and I've made that mistake and though I might be sick at work. Then I thought about taking them before I leave work but if you take them on a fairly empty stomach you might also feel sick. And the pills are rather large so sometimes I don't swallow it correctly and it gets stuck. So I got lazy and haven't taken one for a while.

Surprise, surprise, now I'm sick. What I thought was allergies turned into a full blown cold/flu. I am miserable. Fortunately since this is my first time being sick at this job, they're understanding and it's ok that I'm out. Unfortunately, my boss has not had a sick day since the 1970's and I will not be sharing that badge of honor anytime soon.

My bosses got me a Jamba Juice gift card for my birthday and I have been saving it for when I would need my favorite drink "the cold buster". It's a lot of orange juicy goodness with lots of immunity boosts etc. If I can drag myself out of bed, I'll get that and some soup and rest up.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Uh oh!

I just learned how to blog on the go from my phone! Get ready for more posts...as long as I stop losing my phone.

In other news, my allergies are out of control! Can't wait to finish babysitting (as much as I love it) so I can get an allergy pill!

Motivational Monday - The Snowball Effect

Each Monday I will bring you a financial tip that corresponds with a challenge I'm working on. It will provide motivation to start the week off on a good note and one step closer to better financial standings.

To kick off this feature, we will start with an oldie but a goodie. Dave Ramsey's Snowball Effect.

I have 6 lines of credit out, all of which have become forms of debt. If I look at the total amount of debt I have (roughly $70,000!!) it gets really overwhelming and I don't know where to begin. If I don't have a plan, I will keep making minimum payments and never get anywhere. Fortunately, I stumbled upon the Snowball Effect and it's a very motivating policy.

Now most people think you should tackle the debt with the largest interest rate first. It sounds smart but it's not very rewarding. People need little victories to keep themselves on track. If you pay the minimums on all debts and then put all your extra money towards the smallest debt, you will be able to check that off faster.

Once that debt is paid off, you can take that minimum payment and any extra money and apply it to the next debt, in addition to the minimum payment you were already paying. Your payments are increasing and you are building momentum on becoming debt free. The cycle continues until you are out of debt completely!! This works for any and all debts (student loans, credit cards, car loans etc.)

So I've been working on getting my snowball started for some time now, starting with my Express card. My goal is to get that card down to $0 by September 30th so starting in October I can start on my credit card debt. With my last check from the restaurant, my extra babysitting money and the check from my parents, it will be down to $0 by the end of the month, as long as I'm smart about it. I need to stick to my 25% debt, 50% savings and 25% to me plan and then it will work.

I used Dave's "Snowball Effect Tool" to help me keep track of my payments in one spot and see how quickly it will take to pay off my debts depending on how much I extra I can afford to pay each month. Including paying off my Express card by the end of the month, I'll still be in debt until May 2032! That's in 21 years and I'll be 44! Yikes! Talk about motivation to keep working at it! How cool would it be to be debt free by the time I'm 35 or even 30 instead?!

I think I can, I think I can.

I'd love to hear what your goals are for the week and how you plan to tackle them, financial or not!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pick your battles

I have a big weakness for traveling. It doesn't help that the majority of my best friends are long distance so I love to take opportunities to see my favorite people.

In the past I have made some poor financial decisions in order to squeeze in fun trips. I have diminished my savings multiple times and I visit Expedia nearly as often as Facebook...ok maybe not THAT much but it's close.

Recently, a few trips have been thought of and I would LOVE to go. I got a text on Wednesday from a southern friend asking if I was interested in meeting our crew in Florida for a cruise in December.

Umm duh! I would love to! The fare is really inexpensive for a cruise and flights aren't impossible. SO tempting. But I have to say no and put my money towards smarter things.

Additionally, the Vikings play the Panthers in Charlotte the weekend of Halloween. How fun would it be to fly down there and spend a weekend with my favorite southerners and finally catch a Vikings game?
I miss you too AP.
Don't lie, McNabb. Nothing can make your worn-out self better. Just go home already.

Again, flights aren't unreasonable and there are some decent tickets available for the game. Still, it's money I should be smarter about and I was just there in July. I'm sorry boys, you'll just have to suck it up without me. I think your multi-million dollar contract should suffice.

I wish I had more friends that had the travel bug so I could save some money on trips and host friends in my town for a weekend or two sometime. It's not like I live in a boring Podunk town or anything...

Anyway, it's all about picking your battles. I do still want to go down to Dallas in March and visit a bff from high school and also meet up with my nanny bff to run a half marathon. I don't think that is frivolous because it knocks out 4 birds with one stone but I also have to buy a plane ticket home for Christmas soon. Guess I have to start saving!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This blog is about to get a few new features and a content makeover. There will be more regular posting and more pictures in each post. Get excited! I'm still taking feature ideas so if there is a theme post that you would like me to write about weekly or monthly, shout 'em out! I'm all ears!

To kick off the new additions, I will have a What I'm Reading Wednesday.
Reading is a big and inexpensive hobby of mine and people are frequently asking me for good suggestions so here you go! I'm a slow reader so when I don't have a new book, M has volunteered to talk about her recent reads. We both work in publishing so you're bound to have a good suggestion.

For my first WIRW, I will start with the book I most recently finished.

Here's what Amazon had to say:
Douglas Kennedy’s riveting new novel bears his trademark genius for writing serious popular fiction.

Hannah Buchan leads an orderly life in a small town in Maine — a schoolteacher, married to a doctor, with two grown up children. However, her past conceals a dark secret. Thirty years ago she had a brief, dangerous fling with Tobias Judson, a high profile student activist, which she had reconciled to that internal, off-limits attic room marked “Ancient History.” But when Tobias suddenly pops up out of nowhere with a book about his radical years, her life goes into free-fall. And before she knows it, Hannah discovers that a long-ago transgression is never really forgotten.

Set amid two wildly contrasting periods of recent American life — the militant 60s and 70s, and the new-found conservatism of today — State of the Union is a remarkable portrait of one woman’s attempts to find her own way in the shifting political currents of her time. But it is also an intriguing portrait of the complexities of a long marriage, the ongoing guilt of parenthood, the perpetual tension between familial responsibility and personal freedom, and the divisive debate between liberal and conservative values that so engulfs the United States today.
I received this book for my birthday from my Aunt who has great taste in books. I was not disappointed. I laughed, I cried, and I completely related to Hannah. Since I often find myself at a cross roads at this age where I can bounce around more or I can settle down a little, it was interesting to see how her story panned out based on the choices she made.  There were a lot of perspectives covered in the 608 pages and I never once got bored.

This book would be great for most women but I specifically recommend it for ladies in their young 20's.

I would give it a 5/5.

Up next: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nanny Diaries (kinda)

Babysitting in New York City is no joke. People are willing to pay obscene amounts of money for childcare, which shouldn't be surprising considering as New Yorkers, we pay obscene amounts of money for nearly everything, but it still shocks the crap outta me.

A family interviewed me last week and asked how much I charge to watch their two boys, ages 4 & 5. This question always makes me nervous because if I charge too little, I'm stuck at that rate for a while and if I charge too much they might not hire me. I did some research and found this helpful site that helps calculate babysitting rates based on area, experience and number of kids. BTW, the information this link shows you does not reflect my zip code, sorry stalkers! Anyway, the information I typed in resulted in a rate of $18/hour! That's more than I make at my full-time job BEFORE taxes! And the crazy thing is, when I told her my rate she didn't bat an eye! Her response? "Great, I have a long list of dates for you!" No.Freaking.Way!

I watched these boys, C and S, on Saturday morning from 10-2 and we had a great time. We set up a baseball diamond in Central Park and people that passed us stopped to play. It was so much fun to see the camaraderie of the park, especially in a city that can be so self absorbed and difficult. We had some lunch and took a nap and by the time 2pm rolled around, I was $72 richer! Wow. Their mom e-mailed me a handful of dates for the upcoming week so my schedule already full for next week between the two babysitting families!

And the best part about a second job (ok, the second best part, the money of course takes the cake) is that when I'm working, I'm not spending. When I work on a Friday or Saturday night for Date Night, I get to relax at their home once the kids go to bed and enjoy cable tv and still consider it "work" so I'm not out on the town myself. 

I am meeting one more family this week and now I'm starting to have to turn people down because I simply can't work that much. I can't believe my luck to have found this goldmine! I am very excited to increase my savings and decrease my debt faster with all this extra work, especially now that my moving expenses are taken care of and I can settle in a little more.

Stay tuned to start seeing some serious debt tackling. There WILL be a post soon to celebrate my reducing my first credit card debt to $0 and to kick off the snowball effect. 



Friday, September 9, 2011

It's time...15 Things Friday

1. Last Wednesday, the day before I moved, I was walking through the subway station lookin good, feelin confident. That came to a screeching halt when a woman tapped me on my shoulder and told me I had a big rip in my pants...right on my butt. Wow. I ended up having to go shopping for new pants over my lunch break. I decided to try the Gap and there was a big sale on jeans. Fortunately, flare leg jeans are back in style because it's much more flattering for my figure so I swiped a pair (or two). Definitely money I didn't want to spend when I knew moving would cost a bunch.
I got these for 40% off
2. I decided to rent a car for my move. We have a company discount with Avis so I chose that one, especially since the location was right across the street from my new apartment. Since I'm not 25, I was only allowed to get a smaller car and there's a $35 fee for being "under age". It was supposed to cost me $150 total but fortunately they didn't charge me the under age fee...apparently they dont take it too seriously around here.

3. No one helped me. I moved out of a place that had 3 roommates and all of them were home the day I moved. They sat on their butts in the living room and watched me and never once offered to help. They even had an elevator so a single trip would not have been much effort at all and would have saved me a lot of time. Needless to say, I was glad to leave that place.

4. I filled up my car with half of my crap and on my first trip to the new apartment I got a parking ticket. New York streets are crowded. Cars are parked on both sides of the street and there is room for two cars to drive through to the other side as long as they're small. Like so:

A few other cars were double parked (my first time learning this expression and actually using it!) so I figured, as long as a car can get through, I'm fine to double park here too. Wrong. So very wrong. Apparently we were all parked in a bike lane and we all got tickets for $115!!

5. The ticket said I was no where near my car to move it. Wanna know where I was? I had to chase my landlord around to find the key to my place! I called and he said "the keys are in the apartment." I ran up quickly to find the door locked. They weren't answering the phone so I had to run around the block to their office and get him to let me in. In the 10 minutes I was away from the car I got the ticket. Crap.

6. My apartment is in the middle of the block. To find legal parking, I had to park around the corner on the next street over. Just in case carrying my stuff up 4 flights of stairs wasnt enough, I now had to walk with it pretty far first.

7. When I was all said and done, M and I went to Target while we had a car available (the Target is far away and we had way too much to carry). Prior to our trip I made a list of what I needed: an air mattress, dressers, a night stand and a book shelf. I knew it was going to be expensive but I figured at least that was all I needed. Man, was I wrong once again. M moved to NY into an apartment that was already furnished with kitchen supplies and bathroom stuff etc. We had to get all of that stuff, plus my room didn't have any light fixtures or air conditioning so I needed a lamp or two and a fan. Oofta, it was a VERY expensive trip. To top it all off, they were completely out of air mattresses. The isle literally was empty except for one Buzz Lightyear twin mattress.
8. I researched a lot of beds online but with it being Labor Day weekend, none of them would arrive until the middle of this week. Fortunately I found an Aerobed at Bed Bath & Beyond that was relatively close to my house and I could get it right away. Unfortunately it was more than I wanted to spend but it's great quality and it will be my bed for a long while. There goes even more money.

9. I quit waitressing. The poor management was out of hand and I kept getting only one shift a week. They had been promising to increase my schedule once football started but they didn't. Everyone else got more and more shifts but I only got one and it was always the worst shifts. It was typically good money but so not worth it.

10. I started babysitting instead! I signed up for SitterCity last week and it has been great so far. I started working for a family with a two-year-old boy. I only work Monday and Wednesday evenings and it's enough to more than pay my loans each month. Any additional shifts I get (which it sounds like I'll get quite a few, not only from this family but from another family that just interviewed me yesterday!) I can put money towards loans, savings and extra spending money. I will do that 50% savings, 25% credit card payments and 25% spending deal again.

11. Restaurant.com is amazing. M and I have been talking about using more Groupons so we can take advantage of NYC better without breaking the bank. I got an e-mail yesterday from Restaurant.com with a promotion to get a $25 gift certificate for $2. No way, right? Way! I typed in our zip code and found a cool restaurant a few blocks away and we get to enjoy a whole meal for the two of us for practically nothing! Party on dude! Check it out in your area, you wont regret it!

12. Broadway week is coming up in about a week. You get 1/2 off tickets to a number of cool shows without having to wait in line at TKTS. My co-worker and I are going to see Chicago and M and I might see Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

13. My Express card will not be paid off next month. It's very frustrating but after all the extra expenses with moving, there's just no way I have money for bigger payments. Additionally, my savings will not be increased like I thought it would with that extra paycheck. I feel like a failure about it but at least with extra babysitting gigs, I might be able to get it back on track. My new goal is to get it down to $0 by December.

14. FOOTBALL IS BACK!! M and I went to a bar to watch the game last night and man did it feel good to scream "first down!" or "touchdown!" with everyone! We don't have cable so I will be forced to watch at a bar. I'm going to need to figure out how to not spend so much money every time I go though. Bar food and drinks can really add up. Sunday the Vikings play and I couldn't be more excited! I'm bringing my girlfriends to the Vikings Bar and I hope it's just as great as the one on How I Met Your Mother.

15. I finally started working out again. I'm very close to the Central Park Reservoir so M and I have been going on the weekends.
Who wouldn't want to run around that!?

Unfortunately my iPod shuffle stopped working and my bigger iPod is not meant to jiggle around on a run. Until I figure out my iPod problem I will be sticking to the treadmill. It's not easy getting into the swing of things again but I know it will help a lot, especially since my poor person's diet is not stellar for weight loss.