Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Student Loan Payment - $856.00.
- My actual payment has now decreased to $716.00. When I first started paying back my student loans in 2006 the payment was $809.00. However, with the help of extra payment along the way, my payment is now $716.00. That being said, I am intending on paying $856.00 a month until I have paid $10,000 in student loan payments for the year (around October). Then I am going to take the extra $135.00 a month and put it into either my new sidebar Home Down Payment Fund or start a new sidebar for a Car Fund.
Rent - $425.00
- Currently my half of the rent is $425.00. That is fairly cheap for where I live. However, my lease runs up in April and I was thinking about moving closer to work. The prices closer to work for something comparable are about twice as much; thus, I am starting a Home Down Payment Fund to purchase my first home. So, I am not quite sure whether I will move closer to work or continue to pump money into my Home Down Payment Fund and make the commute.
Utilities - $100.00
- This includes Electricity, Gas, Water, Sewer, and Trash Pickup.
Nexflix - $18.18
Groceries - $160.00
Eating Out - $120.00
Entertainment - $200.00
Shopping - $200.00
Gas - $130.00
Prescriptions - $20.00
Savings - $800.00
- Gift Fund - $40.00
- Travel Fund - $100.00
- Home Down Payment Fund - $460.00
- Taxes - $200.00
Total Budget - $3,000.00
I will try to compare my monthly budget at the end of every month to determine how I did for that month.
Anyone that has any comments on whether applying extra payments to my student loan vs. saving for a house is a better option. At the moment, I am trying to accomplish both. Should I throw all my extra money at the down payment and just continue to pay the minimum on my student loans? It just really upsets me that they are for 25 years and I will be over 50 and still paying student loans. AGHHH.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday night I drove over to Birmingham to meet up with the best friend. We went to the Alabama Theatre to see a concert. The concert was great, as is the theatre. The only downfall was that they stop serving drinks before the end of the first set, which meant we had two more hours with nothing to drink...not even water. I understand running out of beer, well not really, but to run out of everything to drink....come on. I ended up buying a t-shirt for $25.00. A little expensive, but I am glad that I got it.
Saturday, we woke up and drove to best friend's home town. Her and her finance just remodeled their condo and we went to cook out for the Alabama/LSU game and let me see the new place. We had a fabulous time!!!!
Sunday, after much lounging around, I drove home and arrived back around 9:00.
Overall not much money was spent (less than $100).
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
With that being said, I am missing out on Jamaica. That is where we were supposed to be celebrating her 30th birthday, but we have decided to change locations. I am very excited!!!! Although, it is going to really hurt my pocketbook right before the Holidays.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This upcoming weekend, I am going with a couple of friends to New Orleans for Halloween. YAY. This trip is going to be a little costly, but totally worth it. I have been looking forward to meeting up with my friends for several weeks now and cannot wait.
I am still contemplating JAMAICA......What do I do. I do have enough money saved up to go, but I am kinda nervous leaving the country basically by myself because I would have to the meet the people down there because they decided to take the trip a long time ago. I just cannot make up my mind.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I have completed another goal - I now have saved $500.00 in a gift fund for Christmas gifts. This is going to help out tremendously when the holiday arrives. I have also made the executive decision to now start saving all of my savings in my travel fund until that goal is accomplished. I am really wanting to go to Jamaica in December, but I am not sure if that is possible. I will need approximately $2000. I should be able to save that amount of money, I am just not sure it is logical in this economy to spend it. But I really really really want to go! I must make a decision soon so that I can purchase a plane ticket.
I am sure most of you pfbloggers would say not go, but I want to hear the pros and cons so give it to me straight!
Saturday I woke at 7:00 and got ready to run a 5K at 8:00. I am proud to announce that I have completed my first 5 k and it took me approximately 34 mins. Not too bad as there were a lot of very steep hills and I had to walk 5 mins to get warmed up. After running I headed to get my nails and toes polished for the wedding. The bright red color really popped with my black dress. I then got cleaned up, headed back to Vicksburg and made it in time to help the bride get ready and take pictures at 2:00. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and the reception was just as great. She did a really great job picking out flowers and decorations and she looked amazing. After the reception, the bride and groom had rented out a bar in downtown Vicksburg for everyone to hang out. We stayed a couple of hours before heading back to Jackson and going out on the town. I finally made it home around 2:30 and crashed.
Sunday, my mom, roommate and I went to eat lunch and then headed to the zoo. The zoo was pretty interesting and the weather couldn't have been any better. After the zoo, my mom and I went to church and then came home, cooked dinner and watched a movie. After a long and wonderful weekend, I am ready for the work week.
Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend and stayed out of trouble!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So off to Memphis I go.....
Monday, October 13, 2008
Gas - $28.50
Hair Cut and Colored - $85.00
Walmart - $18.42
Devines - $8.00
Dinner - $20 (went to a bachelorette party and didn't realize that tip was already included, so I added a $3.00 tip. Kinda makes me mad...)
Express - $118.78
Dillards - $218.88
Belks - $22.00
Needless to say, I am broke...No more needless spending for the month of October....However, I feel that I can justify the shopping. My old roommate's wedding is this weekend and I just found out the ex is going to be attending; thus, I need to look HOTT...Enough said.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Food - $17.00
Admission - $5.00
Wristband for unlimited rides - $25.00
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Food - $334.00 on eating out; $127 in groceries for a total food expense of $461.00. That means that I am $161.oo over my alloted $300.00 food budget.
Gas - This category I actually did okay. I spent $224.00 out of $240.00.
Shopping - $179.00/$100.00
Entertainment - This category really got me. I spent $239.00/$100.00. No excuses, I was enjoying myself.
Hopefully, by admitting to my September mistakes in writing, I will do better in October. However, I feel that this is also going to be a costly month. So far, I have almost every weekend planned -
Oct 3-5: Going to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama/Kentucky game and visiting my best friend from law school.
Oct 10-12: Bachelorette Party/Lingerie Shower
Oct17-19: Old Roommate's wedding
Oct 24-26: No plans as of yet
Oct 31-2: New Orleans for a concert
With the weekends being full, I am going to have to take it easy during the week!
Monday, September 29, 2008
In other news, I had a fantastic weekend! Of course, it was expensive, but it was fantastic nonetheless. My roommate and I had friends over to cook dinner on Friday night. I ended up spending a total of $36.05 at the grocery store. Then we headed out to a local bar where I spent $8.00. On Saturday, I drove 45 mins with a friend to meet my brother and mother for dinner. We went to the casino and those buffet's are expensive. $26.00 spent. And believe me there is no way that I ate $26.00 worth of food. What a rip off, but it was to see family so I am very happy that I made the trip. I had to put gas in my car for $40.00 and then went to lunch after church on Sunday for $12.00. As if this wasn't an expensive enough weekend, I had to go shopping for a black dress for old roommate's wedding. While I didn't find a black dress I found two shirts at Banana Republic if $118.34. Ouch....
Grand total for the weekend -$240.39. Good thing payday is Wednesday!!!!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Has anyone run a half-marathon. What do I need to do to adequately train? Did you start off without ever really being a runner before? I am a little nervous now that I have committed myself, but I will feel so accomplished to complete it before 30.
Monday, September 22, 2008
As far as my other two goals:
My travel fund is standing at $301.24 and my Gift Fund is at $426.04. My gift fund should be close to $700.00 by Christmas time, but I hope not to have to use that much. Of course, I have two weddings to attend before then.
Friday, September 19, 2008
As for the financial aspect of this weekend...I am bring $180.00 and hoping that is all that I am going to need.
Hotel Room - Comped by the Aunt (thank you dearly, without you it would be a much more expensive weekend)
Gas - $30.00
Vet to kennel my dog - $25.00
Entertainment money - $125.00 - This will be for all food, gambling, drinks, bar covers, etc. We are basically planning on going out all night and sleeping in late and relaxing by the pool all day if not too cold or raining.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In no particular order. . . .
1. Go skydiving: My cousin recently did this and absolutely loved it. She is the cousin that could convenience me to do anything and we would have fun at it. She actually called and asked me if I wanted to go with her on my 26th Birthday, but I already had plans and she lives 6 hours away. Now, I wish that I would have gone. But, it is never too late to give it a shot.
2. Travel abroad: Another regret that I have is never going international during my college studies. I was signed up to go, then September 11 happened and my parents did not want me to leave the Country. While understandable, I definitely want to take a European vacation by the time that I am 30. Additionally, my aunt and uncle live in Korea. My father and step-mother are planning to go visit them sometime in the year 2009 and I would love to go with them.
3. Scuba Diving: The past June I went to the Bahamas for the first time. I looked into getting scuba certified and going scuba diving with the "ex", but we didn't have enough time. I would like to get scuba certified in the States within the next couple of years and take another trip to a beautiful location and go scuba diving.
4. Reduce student loan debt under $80,000. I know that $80,000 is still a lot of money. And if I thought that I could possibly reduce my student loan debt within the next 3 1/2 years to less than $80,000 I would definitely strive for that goal. I just don't see how it is possible with all the other ambitions that I have and want to accomplish.
5. Own a house and put at least 20% down. With the amount of student loan debt that I currently have, it is impractical to own my own house. I would be spreading myself financially too thin. But I hope that I can save at least 20% for a down payment and own a house by 30.
6. Be bar certified in D.C. I am qualified to be bar certified in Washington D.C. I just have yet to take the required time and get all my application paperwork and money in to the commission. Not to mention, that it requires traveling to D.C. to get certified. I have never been to D.C. and cannot wait to go.
7. Go white water rafting.
8. Open a Roth IRA. I know, I know. Many of you are probably reading this and cannot believe that I do not already have one. But, I plan on opening one this year and contributing $5,000/or the maximum for every consecutive year.
9. Buy a new car. My car is currently 7 years old and has $88,000 miles on it. It is still in good working condition, but I want a new one.
10. Own a piece of furniture not previously owned before me. What girl doesn't want something that she has picked out solely for herself.
What are some of the goals that you want to accomplish for yourself??? You never know, I may add to my list based on your suggestions.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Mission for the week: get the bags to goodwill and keep track of my tax credit.
Side note: I am well aware that I could probably sell the majority of the clothes on Ebay. Especially, the ones with the price tags. However, I do not have the time or energy to list all of the clothes, package them up, and ship them out. Call me lazy, but I would rather just donate them.
Monday - Banana Foster French Toast (it is left over from brunch yesterday).
Tuesday - Pork Chops with dirty rice (my old roommate is coming over to hang out)
Wednesday - Leftover pork chops and dirty rice
Thursday - Noodles and Tomato Juice
Friday and Saturday - going out of town with three girl friends. Eating out (coming out of my travel fund).
Sunday - Noodles and Tomato Juice
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Gas before the hurricane: $40.00
Wine for dinner: $14.50
Dinner: $63.00 (One of the best 5 course meals that I have ever had and completely worth it).
Drinks after dinner: $17.00
Grocery run: $45.23
Total weekend spending: $214.73. Ouch.....Not to mention there are two more weekends left in September. I have got to get myself in control. This week I am going to try and do dinner and lunch at home until Friday and then me and three girl friends are heading to the Coast to the casino. I doubt that we do a lot of gambling. Just plan on laying out by the pool and checking out the bars at night. I am really looking forward to a weekend away. I am thinking that this next weekend will have to come out of the travel fund. That's why I say for travel, right? What did everyone else do that was fun for the weekend?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Anyways, I am now stuck with the decision on whether I want to move out now or sign a new 12 month lease. While me moving makes the most sense - the "ex" owns his house, he actually bought his house first, and I took a job that now requires me to commute 20 mins each way - the rent is very reasonable, it is not an apartment, a can have my dog, and it really helps to have a roommate to split all the bills with me. I LOVE the place that I am living in at this point in my life. I just hate the fact that I cannot get over the "ex" because he is right there. I am terrified of the day that I notice a girl at his house.
I am just really not in the mood to make life altering decisions right now. I need time to process all the things that are happening in my life and make a sound decision on what I WANT. That is way I would prefer to sign a six month lease. I have tried negotiating with the real estate agency. They are supposed to cal me back to let me know if they agree with my terms. I refused to sign the new 12 month lease yesterday while I was at the office because I am not sure that is the best decision for me.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday was pretty busy. I slept until almost eleven, which is unheard of for me. I then headed to meet three girlfriends for a day out. We went shopping and all ended up buying nothing. Afterwards we went for snow cones. Fun times. When I got home, I wasn't really in the mood for going out. Therefore, the roommate and I decided to go rent movies. If you haven't seen Charlie Bartlett, it is a must. The funniest movie I have seen in awhile.
On Sunday, I went to church, had lunch with the roommate, played tennis, and then watch another movie - all before 5:00. Afterwards, I was bored silly. I am not used to having free time and it is really hard on me. I don't like being idle because my brain works overtime and I need to stay busy. This was by far the hardest day for me since the "ex" and I broke up.
All in all, it was a relaxing weekend. Although, I cannot believe that I am going to say this - I was actually looking forward to coming back to work on Monday. This weekend I am going to try and stay extra busy.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I also went to the grocery store and spent $36.09. Hopefully I have enough groceries for lunch and dinner to last until next Wednesday.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I am not sure what I have planned for tonight, but I am going to lunch with a friend. Then tomorrow, I am treating myself to a mani and pedi. I plan on hitting the town this weekend and need to look HOT. So, as of now, my blog is going to be about the cost of being single and discovering myself. Don't worry, I won't forget about savings and retirement, but they will just be on the back burner for a few weeks.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
On Saturday morning I drove home in just enough time to get ready and head to the La Tech/Miss State football game. If you can believe it, La Tech beat Miss State 22 - 14. It was a close game that had the stadium packed until the very last hike of the football. Afterwards, it was late so I headed back to my mother's house to visit.
On Sunday, the family drove over to Shreveport to go boating and cook out for the Labor Day holiday. I attempted to wake board and got up on the very first time. This is something new for me because until this weekend I would have never attempted to wake board. I was too much of a chicken and afraid of failure. But I DID IT!
Monday morning, I got up early and headed back home. I wanted to leave Louisiana before the hurricane affected the northern area where I am from. Good thing I did too because my parents have been stuck without electricity, and I am at work. Once home, I had four friends come over for drinks and to play games. It was another welcomed distraction. I cannot allow myself idle time right now. I need to put myself out there and hope for the best. Thanks for all the support lately from my great readers......Even though I don't know any of you personally, your words work incredible miracles. They soothe my heart and let me know that I am not alone in my feelings.
Friday, August 29, 2008
I know these posts are really negative and if you don't like reading these things I completely understand, but it feels so much better to put it in writing. I am having so many feelings. However, I am going to put one foot in front of the other and take it day by day. That is all that I can do.
On a better note, the old roommate, the new roommate and I all went out to dinner last night. We had a great time, consumed a lot of beer and then consumed a lot of vodka, and I didn't cry one bit. I love it when your friends really step up and know how to be there for you. I am so grateful to have these friends. So, I have a decision to make - (1) do I go out with old roommate again tonight to hang out with some of her work friends that I don't know so that I can meet some more great friends or (2) do I go home and visit my family? I am definitely going home to visit family, I just don't know if I should go tonight or in the morning. I just don't know how fun I will be at meeting new people when I am heart broken. I don't want to be make everyone miserable. And I doubt that I am a whole lot of fun to be around right now. Any advice?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am very disappointed in him and the situation. I think that he is selfish. I think that he is selfish by not taking a leap of faith in himself, in me, in our relationship. I think he is selfish for making this decision by himself and not talking with me about it. I think that he is selfish in the fact that he doesn't want to get married because that requires a lot of sacrifices that he obviously is not ready to make.
I know that it sounds like I don't love him and that he is not the right guy for me (and maybe he isn't), but you cannot help who you love. And even though he is all of these things, I still love him. And I still think that it can work, but I don't want to be in a relationship when someone is not giving it their all. I don't want someone to love me because they feel like they have too. Plus, this is my pitty party, I can say all the mean things I like.
The hardest thing is that I wasn't prepared for this AT ALL. I had no idea that things weren't happening as we had been talking about. I am completely shocked. I am an emotional wreck. I am pissed off. And I am sad. I know that marriage is a BIG step, but I am ready to get married and start a family.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
That is where the sales pitch comes in because it wasn't exactly free. I had to pay taxes and shipping. The shipping wouldn't have been so bad, but the taxes on $380 are a bit steep. All in all, I spent $93.60. This money is definitely coming out of next month's shopping budget as I have depleted all of this month's budget. So, I put it on a credit card. OUCH... At least I will get rewards from my credit card and can pay it back before interest kicks in.
On the bright side, I got 17 pieces of jewelry for $93.60. I am excited to add this jewelry to my wardrobe as I hardly have any jewelry at all.
Monday, August 25, 2008
So, I am crossing my fingers and hoping that my friends come to the party and buy jewelry. If I can get at least 12-15 girls to come, I will be happy.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Afterwards, on my way back to the office, I decided to stop by my last office that I left three weeks ago. It seems that I got out just in the nick of time. There was been drama, drama, and more drama, since I left. And let me tell you, I do not particularly like drama. I tend to prefer, peace and harmony. Ha.
Let me not kid myself though, I have not had peace and harmony at my new job either. Well, I take that back, in the office it has been very peaceful and harmonious, but the clients always call in an uproar and want to curse you out. What can I expect...they hired me because they were in a bind in the first place. Ha. However, it has been very interesting and full of experiences since I have arrived and I thank God everyday for making this an easy choice for me. I am super glad that I picked this firm over the others to come work for even if I lost out on potentially ($15K extra a year). Money isn't everything, right? My happiness has to count for something.
I hope everyone has a great weekend! My 3 year old niece is coming to stay the weekend so I am sure it will be interesting and exhausting.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Gas prices are killing my budget. Food prices are killing my budget. Needless to say, my budget has been eliminated this month. Anyone with advice on how to better prepare starting next month, please send it my way.
Right now, I don't even want to think of my financial well-being because I am barely staying above water without charging on my credit card.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday - Mozzarella Chicken with Spanish Rice
Tuesday - Chicken Piccata over Angel Hair Pasta
Wednesday - Pork Tenderloin with Veggies
Thursday - Tacos with chips and Salsa
Friday - Pizza
This weekend is up in the air.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
For those of you who were going to participate in this challenge, how many no-spend days have you had thus far?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Now for the Bachelorette Party:
Hotel Room - $38
Dinner at Rendezvous - $30
Two lunches - $27.00
Gas - $25
Drinks (mostly bought by guys out on Beale Street) - $15.00
Total Spending - $135.
Monday, August 11, 2008
The worst part is that I am in limbo as far as insurance goes. I am covered but with starting a new job I don't have all the paperwork processed or any insurance cards. I am not sure if I am going to have to pay out-of-pocket and then try to get the insurance company to reimburse me or what.
Friday, August 8, 2008
For instance, Wednesday night I had two different girls call and RSVP for the shower. And while that is wonderful for the bride, it is trouble for me. I only booked one hotel suite (three queen beds) for six girls, well with two more coming that is eight girls in ONE room. I tried to call and get another room, but apparently it is the start of Elvis week in Memphis and every room is taken. Where are these people's manners? Who lacked in the etiquette department about RSVPing? It wouldn't be so bad, except we ARE GOING OUT OF TOWN. Where did you think that you were going to sleep? Both girls said they wouldn't mind sleeping on the floor (which is exactly where they are going to be), but come on girls, we are 26+ years old. We all have jobs and can afford a room without splitting one room between 8, count them 8, girls. And sleeping on the floor is the only solution. So girls - bring your blankets and pillows because it is going to be a long night.
In better news, I have so much fun stuff for the weekend. I have bling rings (thanks Sallie's Niece for the great idea), I have white boas because we are all wearing black dresses, I have candy necklaces, I have glow in the dark bracelets, I have a game of "truth or dare", I have the bride a "suck for a buck" t-shirt, and a fabulous veil.
Also, this is exactly what I need after a very stressful, fun, relatively easy-going, first week of work. It has been hard to plan all of this, but it will be well-worth it if the bride has a great time. She is truly one of the most thoughtful, considerate, nice, fun girls in my life.
And don't forget the budget, I am hoping to come out of this weekend spending less than $150.00. I will let you know if that is possible at the beginning of next week. So far, so good.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I LOVE the people in the office. They are helpful, understanding, courteous, and fun to be around. We laugh, joke, and are serious when something is urgent and needs to be done. I have been given my very first client of my own and actually had to call them today. But I was ready. I am ready to gain experience and begin the start of my career. And I am so glad to have family and friends that support that decision.
My father sent me flowers on my first day of work, and what a difference that made. To know that I have his support and that he knew this was going to be a stressful day for me. My mind has been running non-stop. I cannot seem to get a good night's rest because all the things that I have to do the next day are running though my head. Can you tell that I am excited? This is what I have been waiting for!!!!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
As for any updates...I was able to stay within my budget for the Dave Matthews show this past weekend and hope to not spend more than $150 this upcoming weekend for my old roommates bachelorette party in Memphis. I have actually had several people help towards the cost which makes the whole experience better.
Food prices are drastically increasing. I have almost decreased my food budget for as far I as can without cutting out meat. That may be my next option if prices don't stop rising.
As soon as I can get the numbers crunched, I will post how I fared last month in my budget.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I have the long weekend off to enjoy myself, and I am going to take the time to mentally prepare myself for this next chapter.
Anyone been through a similar experience lately that can lend some advice?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- I made my 8th no spend day for this month yesterday!
The only bad part is that I am sure that I will make up for it this weekend in Memphis. A girl can only save so much, right?
- I spoke with my future boss yesterday.
My first day is Monday, so I am supposed to go by this afternoon and tell him how I want my office furniture to be placed. I am really excited. I have been working for the State for two years now, and we do not have such perks here. In fact, your furniture stays how "they" place it. I am also thrilled to meet everyone that I will be working with at my new office. I have only had the opportunity to meet some of the people, but today I will get a chance to meet EVERYONE. I hear only good things about the people that work in the office, so that is a good sign.
- My jewelry came in yesterday.
I can finally mail my step-mother her birthday gift! (Her birthday was July 17th). Better late than never.
Otherwise, I don't really have too much going on in my world. I am super busy at work trying to wrap up all of my projects since tomorrow is my last day. I am driving home tomorrow after work to get my hair done Friday morning and then driving directly back to head to Memphis for the weekend. August is looking to be just as expensive as July. I am going to be broke....
Monday, July 28, 2008
Monday night one of the bf's best friend's from high school and her husband are in from San Diego and we are supposed to be going to dinner with them.
Tuesday - Spaghetti with toast. (This has been on the menu for weeks, but we have yet to eat it.)
Wednesday - Totinos - Cheap and easy. I have gone way over budget this month in food.
Thursday - The bf has another set of friends coming into town from Charlotte, NC. He is supposed to be having dinner with them. I am unable to make it because I am driving home Thursday night to get my hair cut on Friday morning and then heading straight back for our weekend in Memphis.
Friday - Rendezvous in Memphis.
Saturday - Unsure - we are heading to the Dave Matthews Concert.
Friday night - wine for dinner - $14.42.
Saturday - 2 books at border's. One for Bachelorette Party and one for myself - $29.19.
- Dinner - $50 gift certificate
Sunday - No Spend.
Grand total: $43.61.
Of course, it did help that my mother was in town and bought most of the meals. My bf bought our lunch on Saturday and I contributed a bottle of wine for Friday's dinner and $50 in a gift card on Saturday night, but other than that, Mom picked up the tab.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Well, yesterday I found out that ALL three other girls that volunteered to host her party have backed out and are not coming. Only one girl, her sister, is actually sending money to help defray the cost. This is frustrating because I do not have the money to cover all her expenses and I don't feel appropriate speaking with her about it. She has been a very dear and great friend to me and I know that if the situations were reversed she would plan my bachelorette party without any help. The help is not really the problem though because I can plan the party by myself, it is a money issue. The only solution that I can come up with, is after finding out who all is attending the events to send them an email asking for volunteers to bring appetizers to her Lingerie Shower. I expect whomever is staying in her hotel room is expecting to split her cost and at dinner/bars her friends are just going to have to pony up. Any other suggestions?
*The second weekend in August was inconvenient for me because I start my new job that week and am not sure what time I will get off for a party that starts at 7 at MY HOUSE.
Something really suck in my head at last week's jewelry party. The hostess stated that her two favorite prices were "free" and "half off." She's not the only one!
I am finding that this jewelry party is really a great idea. Not only am I getting to make new friends, but I am connecting with old friends. I cannot wait to have all the girls over.
I MADE MY GOAL OF 5 NO-SPEND DAYS YESTERDAY. AS I AM EXTREMELY OVER BUDGET THIS MONTH, IT WASN'T AS HARD AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE TO NOT SPEND A PENNY. I AM GOING TO CONTINUE ON MY STREAK AND HOPE TO GET MORE NO SPEND DAYS FOR THIS MONTH. THAT MEANS, NEXT MONTH'S GOAL INCREASES TO 8 NO SPEND DAYS! ANYONE ELSE WANT TO ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE? WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ticket plus misc at concert - $100.00
Gas - $25 (we are riding up there with another couple)
Meals - $80 (one expensive dinner with drinks on Friday night and then Saturday and Sunday's lunch and dinner)
Vet - $30 (have to board my babies)
Birthday gift - $30 (t-shirt at concert. However, this will come out of my gift fund)
Total - $265
This money will come from various places including travel fund, gift fund, and groceries/dining out.
The following weekend I will be hosting my old roommate's bachelorette/lingerie party. We are again heading to Memphis. Expected cost for the weekend:
Food for Lingerie Shower - $100.00
Lingerie Gift - $30.00
Gas to Memphis -$35.00
Room - $75.00 (my share plus part of the bachelorette's)
Dinner - $50.00 (my share plus part of the bachelorette's)
Beale St. - $100.00 (my share plus part of the bachelorette's.)
Total - $390.00. WOW, things really add up.
I am hoping some of these costs will be defrayed by other friends willing to help. I may dish out some of the food responsibilities and others should help with her drinks and room. Needless to say, once the $390 is gone, that is all I have.
That is $655 in just two weekends. Look's like the other two will be low key.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday - Spaghetti w/ toast or Meatloaf with oven roasted potatoes. (Haven't decided which one we will be having. We have turkey meat that needs to be eaten tonight. )
Tuesday - Blackened Chicken with Fettuccine
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Baked BBQ Chicken, green beans, and rice
Friday - Tacos (I swear the bf loves Tacos and requests them every week.)
Saturday - Chicken Fajitas
My mother arrived Thursday afternoon just in time for my 6:00 tennis match. It was fun to have my mother there to watch me play because she is a very talented tennis player so she had a lot of pointers at dinner later that night. I just started playing tennis this year and have been taking lessons. Of course, I make very common mistakes for beginners, but it was interesting to hear how to fix the mishaps.
Friday morning we got up and took the dogs for a walk. I usually take the dogs for about a thirty minute walk. However, my mom and I decided to go an hour. Well, after about 45 minutes, my little baby (he weigh 6.4 pounds) decides that he has had enough and sits down refusing to get up. I ended up having to pick him up and carry him the remainder of the way. It was too cute. He was protesting the walk. Afterwards we went to lunch, and then had a lovely girls day out getting our nails and toes done (mom's treat). Friday night was pretty uneventful. I cooked dinner and then read a book until I feel asleep.
Saturday morning I had my first private tennis lesson (I have been taking group lessons once a week). Then after a little yard work, the bf, my mother and I went to the lake. That made for a very relaxing Saturday afternoon. We cruised the lake on the boat for about 5 hours at which time we were all starving and decided to cook steaks, asparagus, corn and baked potatoes. It was delicious!
Sunday we did it all over again at the lake except this time I got burned. The sacrifices we make to have fun. :)
My mom leaves today after lunch. I hate to see her go. We have such a great time every time she comes to visit. It would be nice if we lived in the same town.
FYI - I had my third no spend day on Sunday!!! Only two more to go to reach this month's challenge of 5 no-spend days. I think next month I may increase the number to 8. I will have to see it I hit my goal this month. Otherwise, it will stay at 5 until I can achieve it.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
So far the damage is:
Groceries - $301.26/$300
Shopping - $418.46/$150.00
Gas/Auto Maintenance - $247.36/$160
(Keep in mind that there are still two weeks left in July. I filled up my car yesterday with gas so maybe (highly unlikely) I will be able to wait until August before filling up again. But, I know that I will need to buy more food before the month is complete.)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I got one bracelet by signing up to host a party in August. And guess what - I get 30% of my sales to use towards FREE jewelry. And if my guest spend over $450, I get 50% of my sales. Sounds great to me because there was a lot of very cute, affordable, jewelry that I would love to add to my collection for my new job.
In addition, by signing up to host a party I got my step-mother's gift for $10. I only had to purchase one item. (This is how I got suckered into buying the second bracelet that I got). If I didn't buy one item I had to pay full price for my step-mother's bracelet which cost $49.00. So, in the end, I won by getting both bracelets for $48.69.
I got the scarf for free also!
Although I have attended several of these parties, I have never actually hosted one. I think it is time my friends re-pay the favor and come over to shop!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday - Lasagna, bread and salad
Tuesday - Hot dogs with chips
Wednesday - Dirty Rice
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Spaghetti with Marinara Bread sticks
Saturday - I have yet to decide what we are having. We invited the neighbors that live across the street from the bf to come over and have dinner. So, we have to make something yummy.
Sunday - Leftovers
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I finally, I mean FINALLY, got my oil changed. Along with the oil change, I needed new windshield wipers and an air filter. Grand total at the shop - $75.16.
Then lunch on Saturday at a bbq restaurant for the bf and I - $12.60. A friend from high school of the bf's just opened this bbq restaurant and we told him that we would check it out.
Dinner Saturday night: $49.32. This included rib eye steak, baked potatoes, salad, and apple pie with ice cream for 3. It was delicious. We were cooking out at a friend's house.
Then the bf and I went on our weekly run to the grocery store (Walmart). We spent a lot. I hope that it is going to last us through most of the month because my grocery budget is minimal. For $126.35 (the bf and I split this, so my part wasn't this much) we got:
8 x 8 baking pan,
Fudge Ice Cream Pops,
3 lbs ground turkey,
2 cans of Tomato Sauce,
6 Smart Ones,
Pepper Jack Chicken Dinner,
Hot Dog Buns,
3 Bell Peppers,
2 boxes of Corn Bread Mix,
Taco Dinner Kit,
Onion Soup Mix,
5 lbs hamburger meat,
24 pack diet coke,
Grand Total for the Weekend - $207.43
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
First, my commute is increasing from about 4 miles round-trip to 30 miles round-trip. That means, either my gas budget will have to increase or I will have to move closer to work. I am not sure which option is better. Currently, I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a friend. Living with a roommate keeps my cost of living low. I split rent and all bills. If I move, I will have to rent a place on my own for an extra $300, plus pay all bills alone. I don't think that I will be spending an extra $400 in gas every month for the longer commute. But gas prices are not the only consideration. I will have the wear and tear on my already 7 year old car. I won't be able to go home for lunch to let the dog out. And I will have to wake up at least an hour earlier (30 min commute and have to be at work 30 mins earlier). However, the bf will still be in the same location which is close to my current residence. Logically, we would split our time between our two places, but then we are both spending money on gas. Another solution may be to buy a new car that gets far better gas mileage. I will start a car fund soon and snowflake my ending balance each month into that account. Additionally, I can probably get about $7,000 for the car I currently own.
Second, I will have the cost of business cards, and possibly the cost of having to be admitted to more courts to practice law. This is NOT cheap people.
Basically, too many things are running through my head about starting my new job. Needless to say, I am starting to become stressed.
How have you coped in the past to starting a new job? Should I move closer to work or stay put? Do you think buying a new car with better gas mileage is a better option? The $400 I would spend to rent a new place each month could go towards a car payment and insurance.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
How many days in a month do you usually not spend a dime?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
6 to 8 chicken breast halves, boneless, no skin (I used chicken strips. They are easier to cook and tend to brown better.)
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika, or to taste
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 to 8 thin slices of lemon
3 tablespoons capers (optional)
Put chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap; pound to flatten to about 1/4-inch.
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika; dredge chicken breasts to coat well.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté chicken breasts in batches, about 3 minutes on each side.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Stir in chicken broth, scraping to loosen browned bits. Add lemon juice and heat through. Return chicken to the skillet with the lemon slices; heat until sauce thickens. Add capers, if using. Serve with your favorite pasta (I love angel hair pasta).
Monday, July 7, 2008
Monday - Chicken Piccata. I have had this on my menu every week for the past three weeks and have yet to make it. That means, I have all the necessary ingredients. So, I will definitely be eating this tonight.
Tuesday - Lemon Basil Pasta with Shrimp
Wednesday - Tacos with Salsa and Chips
Thursday - Baked Chicken, Rice, and Veggies
Friday - Spaghetti
I am unsure of what I have in the house to make for Saturday and Sunday. I know that I have a couple more packages of chicken and maybe one more package of hamburger meat. I will let you know what I have once it has been decided. I am pretty happy with this week's menu and hope that it saves me some money. I sure need it to. I don't know whether it is because it is summer time and I have more time after work to shop, but I have been spending money as fast as I make it. Not good :(
Gas for the trip - $76.37
Ice for the boat - $6.14
Drinks for the boat - $20.82
Drinks at the bar Friday - $15
Drinks at the bar Saturday - $33.00
Grand total for the 4th of July weekend - $151.33. That means that I only went $1.33 over budget for the long weekend. Not to shabby.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Besides tonight, this weekend is also going to be pretty expensive. We are leaving tomorrow after work to head to the beach until Sunday for the 4th of July. It is a tradition for the bf and I to go to the beach, spend all day out in the boat, and then watch the fireworks. I am pretty excited! However, we tend to eat out every meal except for breakfast. So, I am budgeting $100.00 for food and $50 for my share of the gas.
Other expenses for the month include:
a $200 registration fee for a convention which I am attending July 15-20.
gas and food while at the convention.
two birthday gifts.
several happy hours to celebrate friends birthdays.
The good news. . . I have two free weekends when I will be in town and don't have any plans. Hopefully during those two weekends I will be able to recoup the money that I am spending.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I paid off my credit card debt!
Prescriptions: 175.55/50. I went way over budget this month in prescriptions. I combine my personal prescriptions for the month along with my pet's frontline/interceptor. This month I decided to buy a six month supply on frontline which cost me $55.00. I also had my dog's annual vet visit where he got several shots/vaccinations.
Utilities: 47.73/100.00. I am not sure if this is a true estimate of my monthly utilities because it is the first month the my new roommate has been there. So, there may be some utilities that were paid previously when old roommate had transferred the utilities that were in her name to her new house. I should get a better estimate next month.
Groceries: 153.60/200. There was a week when I didn't have to buy groceries because I was in the Bahamas. Otherwise this number would have been really close to over-budget.
Eating out: 41.67/100. I did rather well with eating lunches and dinner at home.
Misc: 217.15/130.50. This category always gets me. If I don't have another category to place my purchase I add it to the misc category. I tend to go over-budget every month in this area. Need to work on that.
Gas: 91.99/160. I didn't have a chance yesterday to fill up otherwise I would have because my gas tank is pretty low. If I added another $60 on this amount which is probably about what it takes to fill up my measly 14 gallon tank I would have been pretty close to budget.
That is how I did this month, how about everyone else?
Monday, June 30, 2008
$723 towards student loan repayment. (I have traditionally been paying $807 each month to student loan debt; however, with the feds dropping the rates and having private, unconsolidated loans, my monthly payment went down at least for now. So my goal is to eliminate all private, unconsolidated loans FIRST.)
$715 towards my emergency fund
$100 towards my travel fund
$85 towards my gift/Christmas fund. (I actually have a couple of gifts to buy this month. It is my niece's 3rd birthday and my step-mother's birthday. I am hoping to work the gifts in my budget for the month without taking any money out of my gift fund. I am not sure it is possible though.)
Monday - Leftover Pork Tenderloin, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Spaghetti Squash
Tuesday - Spaghetti, Marinara Bread sticks
Wednesday - Baked Chicken, Rice, Veggies
As you can tell over the past several Monday's post, we eat a lot of the same meals and always either have hamburger meat, chicken, or shrimp. I am looking to expand my recipe collection and try some new things. What are some easy recipes that you all cook?
Last night, the bf and I grilled out at the house. We had pork tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, and spaghetti squash. It was fabulous and the best part is there are plenty of leftovers to get us through the beginning of the week. We are headed to the beach on Thursday evening, so I only have to meal plan through Wednesday night.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
However, the engagement party requires cocktail attire, and I have nothing to wear. I may be able to put something together out of my closet, but I just don't want to. I am going to have to resist the urge this week to go shopping.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Monday - Hot dogs and french fries
Tuesday - Chicken Piccata
Wednesday - Tilipia with garlic butter sauce, rice and veggies
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Chicken Fajitas
Saturday we are going to an engagement party out of town.
It looks like we will only need a few items to make our meals complete. We need hamburger buns for bbq sandwiches for lunch along with chips, sour cream for the tacos, and tortilla shells for the fajitas. Other than those few items, we have everything else.
bottle of wine - $14.96
Belk - $40.93
Bath & Body Works - $20.29
I actually caught a great sale. I got 4 body washes, and 4 lotions at $2.37 each, regularly $9.50. So I got 8 items for the price of 2.
Borders - 19.52
Pet Smart - $12.08
Raising Canes - $13.61 - Lunch for the bf and I.
Nagoya - $17.06 - Dinner with the roommate.
Total for the supposedly no-spend weekend: $138.45
My sidebars have been updated. Not only was I able to pay off my credit card debt, but I still have $826.40 in my emergency fund, $100 in my travel fund, and $85 in my gift fund. I am going to work really hard over the next couple of months and try to rebuild my emergency fund back to $3000 while still contributing $100 a month to travel and $85 a month to gifts. I am going to need the gift money for Christmas shopping and the bf and I love to travel, so I am sure that money will come in handy.
I am shouting at the top of my lungs "I AM CREDIT CARD DEBT FREE."
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The net worth is up and running and will continue to be red until I reach a positive net worth. With a negative net worth of $92,063, I think that it box will be red for quite awhile. Those dang student loans. I digress.
green onions - 50 cents a bunch
strawberries - $2.50
grapes - $1.29 a pound
chicken - $1.79 a pound
Ragu - 3/$5
frozen french fries
grated Parmesan cheese - $4.99 (a little more expensive than I would have liked)
light cream cheese spread
premium beef hot dogs - 2/$5
wheat hot dog buns - $1.89
4 cheese rolls - $3.49
chicken broth - .69 cents
Tilipia - $6.99 a pound
lemon juice - $1
That gives us enough chicken for six meals, tilipia, and hot dogs. We bought enough hamburger meat last week to make five meals. So the next few trips to the grocery store should be even less than the $50/$25 a person we have been trying to stay under. So far, so good, for this month. Too bad it isn't always this easy.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
1 Tbsp. oil
2 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 small)
1/2 lb. frozen large shrimp, thawed
1 cup (about 1/2 of 14-1/2-oz. can) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing
1/2 cup ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 cup uncooked instant white rice, prepared as directed on package
HEAT oil in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add zucchini; cook 1 min. Add shrimp; cook until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally.
STIR in tomatoes with their liquid and the dressing. Cook on low heat until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese.
SPOON over cooked rice. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
I left out the parsley and used Gorgonzola cheese instead of feta cheese because that it what I had at the house. I will definitely cook this recipe again!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Monday - Easy Shrimp Dinner
Tuesday - Spaghetti with 4 cheese Texas toast
Wednesday - Hot dogs and french fries
Thursday - Fettuccine Alfredo
Friday - Southern Shrimp and Grits
Saturday - Going over to old roommates new house for dinner
I am really trying to plan out my weekly meals and go to the grocery store once a week. I am hoping this helps my budget. My usual routine was to just go to the grocery store and try to put together enough stuff to last at least two weeks if not the whole month. Not only did I waste a lot of food this way, but I tended to buy things that I still have yet to used in an actual meal. And I had to make several trips to the grocery store every week to pick up items that I had forgotten. My new plan is to make a weekly menu and only buy what is necessary for that menu. This plan has worked much better over the past few weeks. I am actually eating everything in my fridge and not over-spending.
Friday night dinner - free. The bf's father treated us all (the bf, this mother, my father, my step-mother, and me) to dinner on Friday night.
$25.00 on concert ticket. My father paid for the tickets for him and my step-mother. That meant that I was only responsible for mine. Well, my roommate's boss gave her tickets for the weekend and she decided not to go on Saturday so that meant that the bf and I each had free tickets for Saturday and only had to buy Friday night's tickets at $25.
Saturday morning breakfast - father treated.
Saturday night dinner - father treated.
$5 on a slice of pizza at festival. Since we ate an early dinner to have time to make it to the festival, I was hungry by late evening and had to get a slice of pizza out there.
That means out of the $200+ that I had budgeted for the weekend, I only spent $30.00. I have to say a pretty nice surprise!