Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The End of the Month

I finished my spreadsheet for the month of April and I must admit that I didn't really stick to my budget that well. Here are the totals:

Prescriptions: 87.50/50.00
Groceries: 162.97/200.00
Eating out: 161.74/100.00
Misc. 128.36/70.50
Gas: 138.45/160.00

I also spent 39.18 on a new bathing suit and 40.95 on a birthday gift for my mother. I was only able to put an additional $10 on my cc debt beyond the $566 and I had to take $160.00 out of my travel fund for my Passport application.

Overall an expensive month. Not to mention that I supremely failed Krystal's April Challenge of sticking to a $100 eating out budget.


I accepted a job!

Although I will not make as much money for the first six months as I would like, I think that I will be happiest with Job Offer #3. I will definitely be in serious budget mode. And I must add a new category - taxes. The employer is not withholding taxes. Thus, I will need to start paying the quarterly. Does anyone know a simple formula to figure out how much I should pay each quarter?

Now, the hard part. . . calling the other offers back. Any suggestions as to what to say. "I sincerely appreciate the offer, but I have decided to go with another firm."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Job Offers are ROLLING in

The time has come. . . possible future employers have made their decisions and I officially have three job offers! Now it is time to weigh my options and trust my instinct.

Job Offer #1: This position is on the Coast, with a BIGLAW firm, making mega money ($38,000 more than I make now) and having little to no time off (even weekends).

Job Offer #2: This position is with the State, great benefits, 8-5, but pays $4000 more than I make now with little chance to earn much more than cost of living increases.

Job Offer #3: This position is in Jackson, 8-5, exactly what I make now, but in six months I will be promoted and have the opportunity to make as much as I would make with Job Offer #1 with the flexibility of less hours.

Job Offer #3 is the one that I am leaning towards. What really is six more months at the same salary? Not that long. Plus, I will gain great experience and have the opportunity to make as much or as little as I would like seeing as I will get paid 40% of my billable hour. So, the more hours I bill, the more money I will make. It is completely dependent on the amount of work I am willing to put in to it.

I will let everyone know what I have decided, when I decide. Such major life decisions . . . I need time to pray and sleep on them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Travel Fund

I have applied for a passport at a grand total of $160.00.

Krystal's April Challenge

A while back I signed up for Krystal's April Challenge at Give Me Back My Five Bucks. Well, today I officially failed. I challenged myself to a $100 dining out budget. And have surpassed my budget by $4.27. I had forgotten that today was Administrative Professionals Day and we had to take our Administrative Professional out to lunch. While it was well worth it because she does so much to keep our office running, I should have planned better in advance. Now, my challenge is to try to limit myself for the rest of the month by not spending any more money on eating out. This is going to particularly hard since I will be in Destin for the weekend. Maybe the bf will pick up the tab. (just joking I never mind splitting anything with him because he does so much for me)


At lunch today I am going to apply for a passport. It is going to be rather expensive since I will have to have it expediated before our trip, but oh so worth it.

I updated my sidebar for my digital camera. Only $26.41 left to go! This is going to be a great buy before our trip. I am so glad that I was able to find things to sell on Ebay.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Yesterday, the bf came home with some extremely exciting news - his parents want to take us to the Bahamas. Nassau in particular. I have never been to the Bahamas, so this sounds absolutely wonderful to me! I guess some of that "fun in the sun" money is actually going to come into use this summer. There are several things that I need to figure out:
1. Do you need a passport to go to the Bahamas or just a birth certificate? I currently do not have a passport, but need to apply for one as soon as possible if I need one.
2. When we are actually going so I can make sure I have the vacation time put in.
3. How much a plane ticket will be. (I am sure that his parents will pay for mine, but I think this is the least that I can do).
4. And what to pack. (Ha!)

Have any of you ever been to the Bahamas? I would love any tidbits that you might know.

I have decided I am not going to adjust my debt repayment. I am still going to put $566 towards cc debt reduction every month and $334 into my "fun in the sun account." I know that this means that I will probably not meet my goal of $6000 into my ING account this year, but it will definitely be worth it. And you never know, I might come up with some more cash somewhere. Plus, once I get the cc's paid off I can snowflake the remaining money until I reach the $6000 mark then start putting extra on my student loans.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day 1 of the Lemon Detox Diet

Against the suggestions, I decided that I would start the lemon detox diet today. Well, I have made it approximately 19 hours without eating anything. . . and yes, I am starving. I think that it is a mind game though. I feel more hungry today than ever because I cannot eat. Many, many things are running through my head

--should I just quite this nonsense and try to eat healthier or in smaller portions (this won't really get me ready to go to the beach in 4 days)

--should I try a detox diet with just fruit or vegatables so at least I am consuming something.

--should I stick with it just to prove to myself that I can do it.

I truly believe that I can complete the next four days, but let's face it. . . the weight is going to come right back as soon as I can eat something. I am basically do it for a weekend at the beach. Pretty stupid. Or that is what I would tell someone other than myself. Instant gratification seems to have urged me into even thinking about this.

I guess until I make up my mind, I will keep drinking the "lemon-aid"

And Another One

Another sale on Ebay for $50 has brought my camera fund up to $187.59. I am now 75% closer to buying my camera. Maybe I will get it before my birthday after all. I have one more auction that should end tomorrow. Hopefully, that one will bring in the remainder of the money needed. Reaching a goal is so exciting!

In other news, I transferred $566 out of my ING account and once it is officially in my checking account I am going to pay my cc bill. It has been really hard to leave the money in ING instead of paying the bill as soon as I received it, but now that I have made it this far I am glad I waited.

This past weekend was really fun with friends and I managed only to spend $47.15. However, I don't think that bf was that lucky. As these were all of his college friends, he forked over a lot of money on my behalf.

We have another out-of-town weekend this next weekend so we need to be as frugal as possible this week. We have already gone to the grocery store and bought the food the bf was going to eat this week. . . and my crazy diet food (lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper) so we should be good in that aspect. This upcoming weekend is going to be hard on our gas budget and food budget for the weekend. Thankfully the month ends on Wednesday!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bikini Time

The bf's parents own a condo in Destin, FL which is about a 5 hour drive for us. It is absolutely amazing. Not only can we go to the beach regularly during the summer (at least until we feel the strain in our pocketbook because of the gas prices), but we have a FREE place to stay. And with going to the beach comes "the bathing suit". I just purchased a new bathing suit with a VS gift card for $25.00. I searched online and found a coupon for $5.00 off, a free beach bag, and free shipping. Hey, you cannot beat that. I cannot even believe that VS has $25 bathing suits. Cute ones at that. My purchase is displayed above! (Hooray for me figuring out one function of this blog).
Needless to say, the bathing suit purchase was the easy part. Now, for the body that goes into that bathing suit. A much bigger dilemma. Don't get me wrong readers, I am not FAT. I don't refer to myself as FAT. I just have a few extra non-toned areas from winter that need to be taken care of since we are planning on going next weekend. So, my short term solution is the Lemon Detox Diet. Have any of you heard about it? Beyonce did it before filming the movie DreamGirls. She lost 20 pounds in two weeks. While I am only hoping to lose 5 pounds in a weeks worth of time, I am going to give it a try. Basically, you eliminate food entirely and drink a concoction consisting of:
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon. Do not use concentrate or a drink mix, as these contain preservatives.
2 tablespoons of Organic or natural maple syrup. Again, no maple flavored syrups, for reasons above.
1/10th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, more or less to taste.
Mix above ingredients in 8 oz. of fresh spring water, hot or cold. Enjoy!
I definitely think this is going to a challenge. Especially, since the bf will be eating regularly and I will probably be making his meals. I have willpower and know I can pull this one off. I will post results afterwards.

Let me know if any of you have actually tried this diet, and if it works or if you know someone who has tried this diet. Am I crazy for basically starving myself? Because that is what it seems like I will be doing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April Update

We are a little over halfway through April and I have decided to see how well I have been with my budget thus far. I am actually doing pretty well in every category except for misc. Too many things come up in which I don't have a specific category for and I place it in misc. Here is the breakdown:

Groceries: $86.43/$200
Eating Out: $62.36/$100 (I really need to watch this category. I am participating in Krystal's April Challenge and really want to stay within my $100, but there are plenty more days in April in which I could blow it. I am pushing it rather closely.)
Misc: $149.31/$70.50 (I am in the negative $78.81.)
Gas: $92.25/$160 (This category looks good so far, but I know that I will have to fill up at least two more times this month. And at $40 a pop I could easily lose this race.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's absoultely killing me

I decided last month that starting this month I would put $900 a month into my ING account and then on the 20th of the month I would withdrawl $566 and apply that amount to my cc debt reduction. This is completely different that what I am used to doing. Usually, I placed $500 into my ING account of the 1st of the month and then paid $400 towards cc debt reduction on the 6th of every month. However, I decided to get the most out of my money that it should all go into the ING account until the last possible date that the cc's need to be paid which is the 26th of every month. Plus, I am going to start paying $566 towards debt reduction instead of only $400. The problem is that I want to pay the cc's so badly so that I can update my side bar. I updated my side bar for my ING account, but only by $334 instead of the $900 so I don't feel like I have more money than I really do. Does anyone else just really like to pay their bills as soon as you get the statement instead of waiting until the due date?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spoke Too Soon

A few minutes after writing the below post, the possible future employer telephones me. He says that he still has not come up with a proposal, but he has another possible canidiate that can start immediately; whereas, I cannot start until August. He said he hasn't made a decision yet, but would get back to me.

This stinks. I really, really want this job and I wish that I could start tomorrow so there wouldn't be a problem. I understand that he needs someone immediately, but I was really hoping that he would be able to wait on me. I know he hasn't decided, so I should not get down about it... but, let's face it - my odds don't look great.

Looks like I may be back to square one.

Too pushy?

It has been exactly one week since I called a future employer and tried to negotiate the salary package. The conversation ended by him stating that he would crunch some numbers and get back to me. Well, a week has come and gone and I haven't heard anything back yet. Is it too soon to call him back and just touch base with him? Or should I be a little more patient and wait to see if he is going to call me back? I really want this job. And, in fact, would take it even if he doesn't agree to my proposal, but I am biting my nails waiting for his response. How would you handle this situation?

Take Me Out To The Ballpark

The bf and I are going to watch a baseball game tonight. Mind you, it is absolutely freezing outside (the bf says that is the fun part). So we are using some of our fun money which is usually reserved for the weekends. It is the major's cup (Ole Miss v. Miss State) and the bf went to Ole Miss so he is super excited about tonight's event. The tickets (with the annoying service fees) were approximately $20 a piece. So, with $40 already spent we are going to try and limit ourselves while at the park to $20. Spending $60 on a random Tuesday night really puts a strain on the budget, but it is going to be oh so worth it. I love baseball (just not cold weather) and big juicy hotdogs. Yummy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Accomplished a goal

In a previous post, I set a goal to try and sell $100 worth of stuff on ebay/half/craigslist etc. And today, I accomplished that goal. I have currently sold $137.59. All of these funds are going to purchase a new digital camera (since I have lost mine) and I am extremely happy that I am 55% of the way to fulfill that purchase. With any luck, I will have a new camera by my birthday in May. Yippee!

Ebay Madness

I have been purchasing things on Ebay for several years now. I do my research on the internet, go to stores and see if I really want/need the product, and know what I am willing to pay for it before bidding. I think of myself of a savy shopper on Ebay. I always leave postive feedback unless the seller has been misleading. All of that to say, I bought a tennis bag on Ebay a few weeks ago. The seller listed the tennis bag as BRAND NEW. However, when I received the bag one of the front pockets had a huge hole in it that allowed everything placed in that pocket to fall into the larger part of the tennis bag AND there were candy wrappers left in the bag. I don't know about you, but I would not call that BRAND NEW. I preface with all of that to say, she received negative feedback from me. THEN, she left me negative feedback. Now how can that be? I paid for the item immediately after winning the auction and upheld my end of the bargain. I understand that she possibly mad because I left her negative feedback, but come-on you lied. If you don't want to receive negative feedback from your buyers be truthful. This transaction just rubs me the wrong way this morning. TGIF.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chicken Pox

On a side note, I have the chicken pox. And for those of your wondering - yes, I had them as a child. I also had the vaccine as a child, but low and behold here I am again with them. And they are miserable. Not only do they itch, but I have a total lost of appetite (I guess that is not too bad) and my stomach aches. It doesn't hurt, but aches.

To make matters worse, I am swamped at work and there is no way that I can take off right now. So, I am secluded in my office trying to get my work done and not coming into contact with anyone. I am sure that most people are immune, but hey, I thought that I was too. I guess it is a good thing that I have a prescription budget of $50, but my monthly prescription only cost my $13. Walgreens here I come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Brand Loyalty

Since a lot of pfboggers out there are discussing their brand loyalty, I decided I will give it a shot and see how I rank up there. Like many of you, I am not very brand loyal. Or at least, not to many things. I would rather go for the bargain. Here is the rather small list of things that I can think of that I am brand loyal to.

1. All - washing detergent. I once heard that you buy the washing detergent that your mother used. Well, in my case, I am just another statistic because that is exactly what I do. My mother always used All and so do I.
2. Clinique foundation and pressed powder - I don't have to use any other Clinique product, but I must have their foundation and pressed powder.
3. Oil of Olay moisturizer - has SPF and feels great on your skin.
4. Excedrin Migraine - this works miracles. I have always had migraines and nothing seems to work as well as Excedrin least nothing over the counter.

That is about all that I can think of right now. I don't think that four items is excessive. And the few extra dollars spent on those four items are definitely worth the money to me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Working for the Weekend

As the last three weekends of April are going to be very busy, the bf and I are traveling every weekend with rising gas prices, we decided to take it easy this weekend. We were relatively successful. Over the weekend I spent roughly $78.82. And all has been accounted for in my budget. Here is a breakdown of what I spent:
Lunch with two girlfriends - $11.62
Interceptor and frontline for my puppy - $36
Groceries - $17.13
My prescriptions - $14.07

Overall no frivolous spending. We have enough meals planned throughout the week. Hopefully, we will not have to make a single trip to the store. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Tax Giveaway

Thanks to wellheeled over at I am the lucky winner of the key code for one TaxCut Online Premium + State + efile (a $59.95 value). Thanks for the giveaway and if you haven't already checked her PFblog out you should definitely head over that way. Wellheeled gives a ton of advice on personal finances.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Blackberry Part II

My blackberry curve arrived in the mail yesterday and I went directly to AT&T to have it activated. To no surprise it took approximately two hours to get everything set up. Afterwards, I headed home to set up my emails accounts and low and behold my hotmail account will not upload onto my blackberry. Has anyone else had this problem? So looks like I am back to AT&T today to get the little problem taken care of.

Otherwise, I have had a blast trying out all the new functions. It is amazing how fast technology progresses.


Some really hard decisions are coming up, and money is a HUGE factor!

I heard back from the BIGlaw firm on the Coast. Once they get approval from the main office (it is a regional firm), they are going to make me an offer. It is not a down deal yet, but there should not be any problem getting it approved. That starts decision #1. The bf has major concerns with me moving to the Coast without him. He is concerned that he may not want to move down there for another 2 years and we will be apart that time. But, the opportunity is incredible. I will get major experience, get paid double what I am making now which will go a long way in debt repayment, and I will be where we discussed moving.

Next, I went on an interview yesterday in Jackson (where the bf wants to stay for now) with a very small firm. The offer was quite interesting. He wants to hire someone and pay them 40% of their billable hour. Basically, I would not have a base salary. I would be an hourly employee. This scenerio could work for or against my benefit. For example, if I billed at a rate of $150/hour and worked 40 hours a week - I would take make 2400 a week. However, if I wanted to take time off or a vacation - I would be paid absolutely NOTHING. Otherwise, in I get a lot of experience and be in Jackson with the bf.

I also went on an interview in Jackson last week, but still waiting to hear back from them.

Now, I don't know what to do. Do I keep sending out resumes and going on interviews to find that perfect job in Jackson, do I move to the Coast and risk my entire relationship with the love of my life while working my *ss off but being greatly compensated, or do I take a job making hourly pay? HELP!!!! We are taking about a MAJOR life decision. And I am going to have a meltdown.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another Interview

I know this blog is supposed to be about money and finances, but I just cannot help but talk about my luck in getting interviews lately. I am starting to feel the decision to go to law school and spend two years clerking was the "right" decision, even with the market decline. I have not "officially" had on offer yet, but atleast I am being given the opportunity to prove myself.

That being said, I have an interview this Thursday! It is a very small firm (in fact only one other attorney). I am finding that pretty exciting. I will get a lot of first hand experience because it will only be the two of us to do the work and . . . maybe, just maybe, one day the practice can be bought out by me when this attorney is ready to retire.

The drawback - I don't know how much a sole practitioner can actually pay me. I am confident that my skills are worth more than I am being paid now. I can not afford to take a paycut with a student loan minimum payment of $807 due every month. Not if I ever want to pay it off, buy a "new to me" car, or purchase a house...all of which I want in the somewhat near future.

Nonetheless, I have the interview and I am excited about it. I put all my faith in God that one of the many opportunities that are presenting themselves to me is going to turn out to be the right decision for me. Prayer works miracles!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Blackberry Curve 8310

Well, I broke down yesterday and bought a blackberry Curve 8310. Actually, the bf bought it for me for my birthday. (Technically, I paid for it because I had to in order to purchase it through AT&T and when my birthday comes around next month, the bf is going to give me the money for it). I am super excited about it, even though I don't physicially have it in my little paws yet. The whole ordeal was a huge mess.

I went to AT&T yesterday, and they were unable to get me the blackberry curve. My only other option was to get it online for $99. Yesterday was the last day for the sale and today the price went back up to $247. Needless to say, I needed to buy it yesterday. Well, I tried to log-in to my account, but it was blocked for some reason. It instructed me to try again in an hour. I was impatient so I called AT&T to try and order the phone over the phone. BIG MISTAKE. I must have gotten a customer service rep that was on his first day on the job. I spent over an hour on the phone with him before he attempted to transfer me to someone who could actually help and actually transfered me back to the beginning. I was so mad. I hung up, and low and behold, my online account worked and I was able to purchase the phone in seconds. I cannot wait for it to come in.

While there are SO MANY benefits to having the new phone, there is one drawback - the data plan. My monthly bill is increasing $30 a month. I am not sure where the extra money is going to come from, but is definitely coming from somewhere. I may have to cut back on my savings every month by $30. For those of you who already have a blackberry or similar PDA, do you have the data plan? Do you use the internet enough to justify the data plan? What are your thoughts?