Friday, December 31, 2010

No Spend January...Sort of

Last year I did "No Spend January" as an experiment to see how little I could spend in one month. Let me just tell you, I still spent a lot. I did, however, only use money I brought in separate from my regular paycheck to do that, so I considered it a success.

This January, I am moving. I am using some of my Emergency Fund money to cover the deposit and pro-rated rent on my new place, since I still had to pay my rent at my current apartment. I'm also paying for National Boards next month, so January is looking pretty expensive.

In light of that, I have decided to try to do another No Spend January. This time the rules are a little different...

-No clothes shopping (duh.) I don't think this will be very hard. I'll be really busy, plus I've pretty much broken my habit of impulse clothes shopping, so I know I can do it. I haven't clothes shopped since October actually.

-Shop for apartment necessities at thrift stores, Craigslist, and Freecycle. I will try not to buy anything brand new for my apartment during January. If after I look for a full month and can't find something used, I'll buy it new in February. Anything that can wait, will wait until I have a fully-funded emergency fund again.

-I will use gift cards from Christmas (Panera, CPK, and Yard House) for any socializing I want to do. And that's it! No cheating. If people want to hang out with me, I can invite them over to my new place, meet up at the gym, or use my gift cards sparingly.

-This is the big difference...I would normally say no eating out for convenience, but with a move, I know I'm going to have to grab something since I'm planning on eating all of the food I can from my old place before the move. I will try to grocery shop quickly and prepare food at home, but realistically, I'm going to have to eat out during the move. And I'll probably buy lunch from my school cafeteria on some days when I haven't cooked yet or am out of food at my old place. So, I am hoping to keep this amount to $75 for the month.

-Only free entertainment, like Netflix, a walk, playing Wii, etc. Again, not too worried about this part.

If I can do this, I should have at least $150 to put back in my e-fund at the end of the month. That will mean when my apartment deposit and my tax returns come back, I will have a fully funded e-fund, with money to spare that I can put toward my car payment or other needs for my new place.

Also, rather than update everyday, I am going to do end of the week updates on my progress on these goals. Last year's posts got incredibly tedious. I don't think anyone enjoyed that.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Started Next Year's Christmas Shopping!

Yes, you read correctly. I was at Target today picking up some odds and ends (champagne for dinner and games for New Year's Eve with the bf, toothpaste, etc.). I also wandered into the Christmas sale section and made two purchases. First, I needed new stocking hangers, since the ones in our apartment belong to the roommate. The set of four I chose were originally $20 but I got them for $5. Score!
I got this set, but in green. They were out of red :(

I also got my roommate her Christmas present. Every year we exchange ornaments, and I saw a really fun one there that I knew she would like. So yes, I have started my Christmas shopping 360 days early. Anyone beat me?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Found an Apartment...and Tapped into my E-fund

The good news...I found an apartment. YAY! It's super cute, in a neighborhood I like, pretty big, and has a washer and dryer inside the unit (oh happy day!) I'm really happy with my choice. I'll post pictures of the empty apartment soon.

The not so good news? I had to tap into my Emergency Fund to pay the deposit. They are only asking $500 for the security deposit, instead of a full month's rent, which is great actually. So, today I went to the bank and got a money order for that amount. I also transferred over what I needed to cover the auto maintenance I had done in December.

*Side note: I needed to come up with an extra $170 for the payment, but thanks to underspending and selling on Amazon, I only had to take $70 from my savings to pay for it. I think that's pretty good, actually.

Anyway, I'm most likely going to have to use more E-fund money in January because my fees for National Boards are due, plus the pro-rated rent for the new apartment (plus my rent at my current place, of course.) I don't like spending my Emergency Fund money, but I will say it definitely feels nice to have it. And once my tax returns come back, I'll refill my E-fund again.

I remember the last time I moved, I paid the deposit and first month's rent and then lived entirely on my credit cards that month. Like, completely. It was ugly and I am so so so glad I'm not in that position again! Also, since my last post I've had family offer me a dining room set and a vacuum that they're not using. Score! It pays to not be an anonymous blogger!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trying to Cut Down on Moving Costs

Well, the great move is upon me. I really started looking this week, and have already applied for one apartment. I am still going to look at a few more today, though I seriously fell in LOVE with the first place I saw. It's going to be hard for another apartment to stack up. I'll post more about the apartment when I know which one I'm moving to. But, the roommate and I decided that we're going to be out of here by February 1st.

It's crazy to think about moving because not only have we lived in this apartment for two and a half years, but we've lived together for five and a half years. That's a long time when you're in your twenties. I'm really going to miss her, but I am looking forward to having the experience of living on my own. I know I'll get bored sometimes, but I'm a very social person and the bf is moving to Long Beach to be with me, so that will help for sure.

Anyway, since I've had a roommate for so long, there are certain items that I am going to have to procure for myself. I made a list. Here it is:
*toaster or toaster oven
*knife set
*large stock pot
*dining room set
*George Foreman Grill
*digital receiver/bunny ears? (I can't remember who bought these, so I may end up with them)

I have already posted one wanted ad on Freecycle, for the toaster. Though I tried to post three of them and found out you can only post one wanted ad per week...unfortunately the cheapest item was my first one. Oh well! I'm also planning on searching Craigslist for any free items and if that doesn't work hitting up some thrift stores to try to score some deals. I'm sure there are other things I'm going to need as the roommate and I split things up, but those are the ones I am sure of.

In years past I would have used my credit card to buy whatever I needed for the apartment and just pay for it later. But now I am willing to search and wait on some things until I can find a good deal or afford them with cash. Unfortunately, I am going to have to tap into my emergency fund to pay the deposit on my new place, but I should get my current deposit back, so that will replenish my E-fund.

Any other tips for saving money while moving? I'm not hiring movers, but I know it still gets expensive. I'd love some advice!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My friends are craftier than your friends...

...they're craftier than me too though, so don't feel bad.

I got many great Christmas gifts, but two of my favorites are gifts that were made for me! I thought I'd share them in case any of you crafty types feel inspired to try them out for yourself.

Crafty item number one was made by my lovely sister. I needed a new clock for my kitchen, since the one I bought eight years ago from Big Lots for $4 finally broke a few months ago. (Which is an awesome frugal thing in and of itself). I mentioned this to my sister, so she decided to make me a new clock. She went somewhere economical (since my Big Lots clock lasted eight years, I'm glad to have another from there) and then went to work. She took the clock apart and decoupaged magazine pictures of various foods to the face. Since that covered the numbers, she traced numbers onto white paper and glued them to the glass (or in this case plastic) on the front of the clock. Voila! My own personalized kitchen clock, which I adore!
Be jealous. Be very jealous.

My second crafty friend is Becca, who made me a set of coasters for Christmas. This one I am actually going to try out soon, so we'll see if mine come out even half as well. She took plain white tile, glued felt to the bottom and then used decoupage to put different scrapbook paper on the tops of the coasters. I LOVE this idea! I have a bunch of old scrapbook paper laying around and this seems like a great use for it. If I am successful, I plan on making them as gifts for various people this year. I love the ones Becca made me, so hopefully other people will like them too!

So fun and functional :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Spending Recap

I didn't want to post this until after Christmas, since I am certainly not anonymous. I'm not going to break down the prices for each item for that same reason...awkward. Thankfully, my people are cool with keeping gifts reasonable, so no one feels obligated to go crazy. Here's what I bought for Christmas gifts:

Mom-Calendar (she likes to big kind with lots of room to write)
Sister-Amy Sedaris' new craft book and a photo collage from Walgreens (free with coupon)
Aunt-Snapfish calendar with pretty pictures of my travels and stocking stuffers, since I drew her name this year. :)
Grandma-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (she loves mysteries), and a fancy loofah that she wanted
Boy-Best of the Moth Podcast CD set, Married with Children t-shirt (his favorite show)
Work gift exchange-The Hangover on DVD, blanket, popcorn (movie night kit!)
Student TA-$20 gift card to Zoomies...which I had never heard of, because I'm old now, apparently
BFF gifts-got them each a DVD since we decided to do a $10 limit
Roommate-Christmas ornament from Peet's Coffee (we do ornaments every year)
Students-Got them each a book from Scholastic, got yearbook class Christmas pencils (since I figure they get enough candy)
Partner Teacher-Stationary set for her desk...super cute, I actually wanted to keep it!
White Elephant Party-Apples to Apples, The Jewish Edition

I also bought and mailed out Christmas cards that I got from Snapfish, which was part of my Christmas budget.

Anyway, by utilizing coupons, giftcards from Swagbucks/my birthday I spent a total of $174 for all of those items. That was within my planned budget, so I feel really good about this Christmas. I also got some lovely items from my generous friends and family. But most importantly, I got to spend time with my family and close friends over the past few days, and that (as cliche as this is) is the best gift of all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Goals Recap

Wow...I had certainly forgotten about some of these. But without further ado...

Goals for 2010

30 Coverage Days: Not sure. Probably not exactly, though I did teach summer school, which is lots of extra hours. I think it's close though.

100 No Drive Days: FAIL. I am currently at 54 and I am hoping for a few more by New Year's, but obviously there is no way I can get to 100 by then. It was an interesting experiment and did affect the way I think about driving my car.

No more than 60 days dining out: HAHAHAHAHA. I forgot all about this one and totally FAILED.

Only buy books, DVDs, and CDs using Amazon Mechanical Turk funds or Swagbucks gift cards. CHECK! I used Swagbucks gift cards a ton and actually bought very few items for myself this year anyway. 

Make $100 selling items on Amazon and Ebay: CHECK! I actually made $328.62 this year selling stuff on Amazon and Ebay. $122.65 was from December alone, which was awesome! I know I have less stuff next year, so I don't expect as high of a number for next year, but I do want to keep selling stuff online.
Completely pay off credit cards and save $3,000 in down payment fund by the end of the year. Goal Change! I did completely pay off my credit card in September, and I have paid lots of extra on my car instead of starting the down payment fund. But I am pleased with that choice.

So, that's that. Maybe I should pay better attention to my goals for 2011 so I know what I'm trying to accomplish. ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Decisions, decisions

As I mentioned before, I unfortunately did not achieve National Board Certification this year...and I have one more year to retake before I'm done. I am only 6 points away, so I believe I can do it! I have decided to redo two portfolio entries (lots of writing and one with a video of my actually teaching a lesson), as well as one of the assessment center exercises. I wasn't go to do the assessment center, since it's worth less points, but I figured since this is my last shot, I need to really go for it and make sure I pass.

Total price tag? $1,050. The payoff is a 15% raise though, so (assuming I actually pass the damn thing this time) it will be well worth it over the course of my career.

How am I paying for it? I joined a cohort group which offers a $600 scholarship. That should be posted to my account any day now, so I am waiting to pay until that happens. I am also looking into other scholarships, but I'm not depending on that. That leaves $450 for me to pay next month. I know I have some Christmas money coming from my grandma, and while that's not a super exciting way to spend it, I think I'm going to use whatever I get from her towards that balance. I should be able to make up the rest in my January budget if I'm a careful spender again, though that doesn't leave much room to save for moving or pay extra on my car.

It's annoying that I keep getting slowed down on my financial goals. The things I've spent on are valid (classes, gym membership, National Boards, car maintenance) but I also really want to put a dent in my car loan! I've actually made pretty good money selling items on Amazon and Ebay this month, which may save me from breaking into my E-fund, but I don't have too much left that I'm willing to sell, so that's going to slow down in the next few months.

But it's a new year, which means taxes. I can't wait to do my taxes! (seriously)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekly Money Check Up

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on my car maintenance. $375 for the 60,000 mile work. Boring.
2. Today I feel tight with money. I'm still in my budget and have managed to find most of what I need for my car maintenance by cutting down within other categories, but the result of that means it's going to be difficult to stay in budget for the rest of the month. Here's to finding some cheap things to do!
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was make tamales with a friend's mom. I learned how to make them and got to take home about 20 of them, half of which I am freezing to take to work for lunch when I go back to work. :)
4. I will consider this week a success if I get to the gym three times, go to church on Sunday (it's been a long while), and clean out my closet/bookshelves/etc. and take anything I can't sell to Goodwill.
5. My favorite holiday movie is hard to pick. I love A Christmas Story (it twas....soap! poisening!), but my new modern favorite is Elf (I like to whisper too!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

20 Financial Milestones for your Twenties

A few people posted this recently, but I saw it first from Me in Millions. I decided to participate, even though 1) I have not completed many of these things, and 2) I'm not done with my twenties. But I wanted to fill this out to see what goals I want to work on for the next year and a half.

How are you doing?
# 1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash 
Nope. I've gone on a few dream vacations, but unfortunately they were in my debt days. I'd love to take a trip to Europe and hit up a bunch of the smaller countries I haven't visited...though that might not happen before 30.
# 2 – Pay off your student loans 
Nope. I have over $12,000 left, though that is a good chunk of the way there. I'm planning on upping my student loan payments after my car is paid off, so I should start to see some legitimate progress there this year.
# 3 – Automate paying your credit card bill in full 
Check! I am out of credit card debt, and I maintain only one credit card for emergencies. 
# 4 – Get rid of all bad debt 
This will be done this year, because I don't see student loans as "bad debt."
# 5 – Build an adequate emergency fund 
I have a $1,000 emergency fund for now, though I do need to work on increasing that after my car is paid off. I'm going to say checkish on that one.
# 6 – Make your first, and last, investment mistake 
I totally overpaid on my car, so I could count that. I also made the mistake of not starting to invest or save for retirement until this year, but I'm on the right track now. So, check!
# 7 – Develop a statement of cash flows 
Check! I keep track of my spending, and finally created an excel spreadsheet for the task starting next month. More on that in another post.
# 8 & 9 Max out a Roth & Contribute to your 401(k) 
Nope. I opened a 403(b) this year, but I am not maxing it out yet. Don't have an IRA yet either.
# 10 – Get a degree or certification that increases your earning power 
Check! I have a Master's Degree that I got at 24, and I am working on National Boards, which would greatly increase my earning power (more than my Masters actually)
# 11 – Take a career risk 
This year I am going to apply for a new school...we'll see what happens, but I might take that risk.
# 12 – Negotiate something 
Check! I negotiated a kick ass deal on my school's yearbook contract a few years ago, which still benefits us. I wish it were something for myself, but it was good practice.
# 13 – Earn your first side grand 
Check? I have taught Summer School a few times, which earns a few extra grand...does it count as side if it's affiliated with my regular job? 
# 14 – Start a sub-savings account for an upcoming financial goal 
Nope. That's a good one. I want to start a travel fund after I pay off my car...though it seems I have a LOT of goals for that, so we'll see what I can accomplish.
# 15 – Set a target retirement date 
Hmmm. I should be able to retire at 62 and a half, but I also hope to take a few years off when I have we'll see. Lots of hypotheticals there.
# 16 – Monitor your credit 
Nope. I don't really do this, and I should. Any tips on that?
# 17 – Say no to a financial salesman 
Does this mean someone trying to get me to make investments or just a regular salesman?
# 18 – Give just enough to make it hurt 
I could do better on this. I support a child through World Vision, but that's a relatively small amount each month. 2 Milestones for the Over Achiever 
# 19 – Invest $1 for every $1 you spend 
Honestly, not going to happen. But that's a lovely thought.
# 20 – Start a 529 College Savings Plan 
I don't have kids and I'm done with not right now. 

How about you?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

That's Why I have an Emergency Fund

So I had budgeted about thirty bucks to get my oil changed this month. But, when I took my car in, it turns out that I am almost 10,000 overdue for my 60,000 mile maintenance. Which is one of the big ones. I'd list what they do, but does anyone really care? I doubt it. The cost of this maintenance (including all services, a car wash, and a complimentary loaner car for the day) is $370. Ouch.

Yes, I should have planned for this better, but no, I did not. I do have an Unexpected Expenses category in my budget for events like this, so I slid that over into the car budget. I also added $16 that I didn't spend from my Christmas money, as well as about $14 from my most recent Amazon sales. I'll also add my unused money from my gas budget (which always has some extra in it), whatever I make on a few items I have on Ebay, and any other extras throughout the rest of the month. But, it looks like I'll be taking about $100 out of my E-fund to cover these costs. It's not a big deal, because I have an automatic deposit to my savings of $100 each paycheck, so I'll be back to fully-funded by January 5th. (Though I'd like to start bulking up my savings for a move that is coming in the next six months).

And yes, I know about the idea of figuring out how much I'll spend on my car and other annual expenses throughout the year, dividing it by twelve, and taking that amount out of my check each month. Yes, you are all more organized than me. Enjoy it. But don't gloat. It's not becoming. :P

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Money Check Up

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on Basketball tickets as a gift. But when the person I bought the gift for turned out to be a bad person who not only does not deserve presents but does not deserve to be in my life, Ticketmaster issued a full refund. Rarely do I have anything good to say about Ticketmaster, but they were pretty awesome...even refunded the fees they charged in the first place. 
2. Today I feel organized about money–I have everything updated and though things are going to be tight because of some car maintenance I could have planned better for, it's nothing I can't handle.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was made dinner at home with my sister and watched Beezus and Ramona from Netflix. We grew up with those books, so it was fun to watch the movie. And invent a new game, "What Part Should be Played by Steve Zahn in this Movie?"
4. I will consider this week a success if I don't totally blow my budget on eating out and socializing. I have stuff going on every night this week, which is fun, but can also add up fast.
5. My favorite holiday treat is sugar cookies that I decorate myself. I think I like the decorating more than the eating, if that's possible.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Selling on Amazon

When I first started selling books, CDs, and movies on Amazon, there were a few things I wish I had known. There are a few other articles on this topic floating around, but here are the top five things I wish I had known when I started trying to make money by selling my stuff on Amazon.

1. Utilize media mail. Media mail is designed for books, DVDs, and CDs. It's great for heavier books that would normally cost more to ship, which can result in losing money. I made this mistake once before I figured it out. Now, when I ship I make sure to say, "Media mail or whatever's cheapest," because on lighter items sometimes First Class is cheaper.

2. Make sure you charge enough. Yes, there are books on there for a penny. I don't know who these crazy people are, but you will not make any money that way. I wouldn't price a book below three bucks, and no CDs or DVDs for less than two. 

3. Keep your packaging costs down-I use brown grocery bags to wrap most of my items, which makes sure I'm not cutting into my profits buying envelopes. 

4. Update your prices daily. You'll sell much more when yours are the cheapest on the site. So, check each day and lower your price to a penny below the current lowest price. I check mine at least once a day, and have been able to sell most items by consistently updating.

5. Search your shelves every few months. I noticed that initially I wanted to hold on to more things, but every time I thought, "Maybe I'll read/watch/listen to that" and still hadn't a few months later, I was willing to sell more.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekend This and That

Here are some updates, none of which seem big enough for their own post:

National Boards: I went to a cohort meeting this morning, where the reality of having to do this process again really hit me. Blerg. I may or may not have cried in a room full of people. BUT, I did face what I need to do and made a plan. I am going to redo two of the portfolio entries, since those are worth more and I want to get more bang for my buck. The assessment center exercises are worth less, but cost the same amount. Also, by joining this cohort and agreeing to attend and participate, I get a $600 scholarship, which means my costs out of pocket for the retake will be $100. 

Dairy: I mentioned in passing that I am trying not to eat dairy this week. It's going fairly well, though there have been a few lapses. My biggest victory is that when the bf offered to pick up pizza on his way down last night, I got my half sans cheese. Which does not taste nearly as good as pizza with cheese, but I have noticed that my digestion is much better when I avoid dairy. So I'm trying to stick to the dairy free path for another week to try to figure out the long-term effects.

Amazon: I've been making sales all week. Might write another post with tips for selling on Amazon, because I wish I had known a few things when I first started. I'm also helping my sister sell some of her stuff, so the post office employees may become my new best friends. But I made another small payment on my car last night, so it's worth it to me! I'm going for 80% on that status bar by the end of the month.

Advice: I may need to move in the next few months. I'll be staying in the same city, and I think I can get away without renting a moving van or anything. Though I will need some new items, since I've had a roommate who provided some of our stuff. I'll need a knife set, some new pots and pans, a fridge, and a toaster, off the top of my head. Any suggestions on how much I should save for moving expenses? 

And that, my friends, is what's on my mind this weekend. Talk Blog to you Monday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Six Years Later...

...I finally started a retirement account. Yes, I should have done this years ago, when I first started teaching, but the important thing is that I got on it now.

I have a pension because I am a for many years I figured I didn't need to save much for retirement. But, I'm realizing that my thought was simply not true. I want to make sure I have enough to cover costs for inflation, travel, caring for family and myself in my later years. So, I am starting now, even though I'd sort of rather wait until my car is paid off.

I met with a financial adviser and set up a 403(b) account. I will be putting in 5% of my gross income, which after the tax break, will feel like $160 per month from my check. I can definitely afford this, though it does slow down my car payment plan a little more. But, I've put this off for too long, so I decided to go for it.

Right now my risk level is "moderate-plus" which is just below aggressive. I know I'm young and have time to invest aggressively, but having NEVER invested in any way before, that freaks me out. Anyone want to talk me into taking bigger risks? Any other advice when it comes to a 403(b)? I'd love to hear it, as this is my biggest financial weakness.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Amazon Sales

So, in the interest of paying off my car debt with gazelle-like intensity, I decided to go through my books and DVDs again to see if there was anything else I was willing to part with. I am actually looking at having to move in the next 3-6 months (more on that in another post), so I asked myself, "Do I want this enough to schlep it to another apartment?" If the answer was no, I put it up for sale!

The result was listing eighteen more items on Sunday and the good news is that within the first twenty-four hours of having them up, I sold nine of the items! :) Awesome!

Some were definitely small profits, but after shipping I made $18.52. That's also after I had to deduct a couple of bucks for some more clear box tape, but I managed to avoid buying envelopes by wrapping most of the stuff in brown grocery bags that I cut apart. How's that for frugal!?

Anyway, I already made the payment on my car loan, in an effort to be more intentional with that money. I'm still at 79%, but my goal by the end of the month is to be at 80%....we'll see if I get there! I just looked after I got home from the post office and saw that two more items sold. Yes! I'm off to go through my CD's and see if there are any worth selling. It feels good to keep working toward my debt, even when I initially thought it would be a slow debt repayment month.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Money Check Up

From My Pretty Pennies

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was $300 for my two year gym membership. Followed by a close second at $295 for my National Boards units (which go toward my salary point raise). Both good investments, but ouch! It was an expensive week!
2. Today I feel pretty good about money. I made some more Amazon sales (details tomorrow), so I know I can make another small car payment. I am doing some long-term thinking about goals, but that's a topic for another post as well.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was made the boyfriend waffles and bacon on Sunday morning instead of going out to breakfast like we usually do. It was nice.
4. I will consider this week a success if I don't eat dairy for the rest of the week. I'm trying to see how it affects my system,  but it's sooo hard to avoid! Also, if I get my Christmas cards sent out!
5. My favorite holiday drink is caramel apple cider...yum!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

White Bean Soup

I just made this delicious white bean roomie found the recipe online and made it last week. It looked so good, I had to try it myself. It's pretty easy and doesn't have too many ingredients. Perfect for a wintery day! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sticking to the Budget

I sold another DVD and a book on Amazon this week, as well as some Clinique items on Ebay. After shipping, I made a profit of $30.51. Normally, I keep track of the amount and leave it in my budget for any extras during the month. Actually, I wrote a post about how I don't feel bad about that, and how it's okay to let myself enjoy some little extras.

But, because I was only able to make a small extra payment on my car this month, and since I always allow $200 in my budget for unforeseen expenses, I've decided to actually put the extra money toward my car as it comes along this month. I am really going to try to stick to my budget as it's written for December. I still have money available for Christmas (though I am done with my shopping), and it would be good for me to practice the discipline of sticking with my budget. And, any extra money in individual categories is going toward my car, no matter how small the amount. I am so eager to be done with that debt, and I'd love to get back on track to have it paid off by the end of this school year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Few Updates

I mentioned in a previous post about how I decided to spend $300 to get a gym membership for two years. I think this is a good decision, so I budgeted that for December.

I also am working on taking more classes so that I can get a raise by the end of the school year. I think that's a good decision, so I took all my extra November budget money ($142.01) that I would have put toward my car, plus another $513.99 to pay for classes that will get me nine units. That puts me VERY close to my raise, which is exciting.

All that means that I was only able to put and extra $69.29 toward my car payment this month. Which is good, all things considered. And I think I'm making good choices with my money this month. But it sucks to know that I will have to wait longer to be out of my car debt.

Oh well. Gym and classes, here I come!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weekly Money Check Up

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on getting my hair cut and colored for $100
2. Today I feel apprehensive money because I'm trying to figure out how I can pay for all of my classes and gym membership, while in the back of my mind I really want to pay extra on my car. 
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was go to my friend Felisa's Day After Day After Thanksgiving Party on Saturday. (DADAT for short). Everyone brings was fun.
4. I will consider this week a success if I feel better and can rally for my class Saturday. I'm sick, and since the class is free, if I still feel sick I'm not going.
5. My favorite holiday song is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I love the lyrics and singing it at church with a bunch of people is lovely.