Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coffee & Finance

"Coffee & Finance" was the original name of this blog. I tweaked it later because I wanted a more dynamic name.  I noticed how apropos this name is to my blog (Also I'm excited to use the word "apropos" organically in a sentence).
Lately I have been a ball of anxiety. One of the classes I'm taking is really challenging me on the school front and my boyfriend are seriously considering the next step. So instead of really doing anything last night after work, I comforted myself at looking at my account, drinking some coffee, then some red wine, and doing my taxes. I wish I could of completed my taxes, but I'm waiting on two tax forms. I find my center when I can sip on a drink and do personal finance. I like looking at the past and how far I've come (starting with 2500 in consumer debt and 20,000 in student loans, now a net worth above 5000), and making future savings goals and trying to game plan. I also looked for new coffee shops to explore on yelp.
Although I didn't get much of anything done that I should of, I did finish the night with a shiny sink, even I cheated by using the dishwasher, instead of the normal hand-washing method. I'll take it as a win.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Possibilities for the coming Year

Questions by Jenny Blake,

  • What is one new skill that you would like to develop this year?
    • I will learn how to hula hoop going beyond the basic, then add fire to the mix. It seems like it will be a fairly frugal new skill to learn to bring back to the playa.
  • What is one hobby you want to practice? 
    • I want to practice more yoga, I look at it as a hobby more than exercise.
  • Where is one exciting destination you would like to travel to in 2013?
    • I would like to go to Istanbul.
  • What is one creative project or idea you would like to undertake?
    • I would like to finish my picture frame earring holder and wine cork trivets. This year is more about the follow through, not just seeing and recognizing but actually doing.
  • What one career move would make the biggest impact on your overall happiness and success this year?
    • I will find an accounting internship. It will break up the monotony of my barista job. Also landing an internship will build my confidence in finding employment after Starbucks.
  • What one money move would make the biggest impact on your overall financial picture this year?
    • I will learn about investing beyond just contributing to my 401k and open a brokerage account after my emergency fund is back to being fully funded.
  • Who is one person you would like to meet or reach out to this year? For example, either someone new (and maybe aspirational) or a re-kindling of an old friendship or relationship.
    • I would like to reconnect with my favorite old roommate, when I go back to Seattle. I've seen so many changes happen in her life via facebook since I moved away.
  • What area of your physical space can you clean, purge or re-organize this year?
    • Like most women, I want to tackle my closet again, especially the floor. I still have bags that I haven't emptied from my vacation in September. I look at it and it just is energy sucking.
  • What is one adventure you would like have in 2013? Choose something fun, risky, different, or otherwise soul-stirring! 
    • I want to go on some more road trips. The first one that comes to mind is to Memphis.
  • What is one health or fitness milestone you would like to hit?
    • I want to run a half marathon this year. It's one of those goals on my bucket list. I'already have one run on the books for this year the Color Run in April.
  • What is one new system you can put in place, or an area of your life that you can streamline or organize this year?
    • I want to get more on board with following FlyLady rountines.
  • What is one thing you would like to ask for help with this year? Big goals often take a village, and sometimes we get shy or afraid to ask for the help we need. What would you love to have some support around, even if you're not quite sure who to ask? 
    • I need help with procrastination. It is so horrible, yet I can't break the cycle. I don't know how to fix it.
  • What is THE biggest, hairiest, most meaningful thing that you would like to happen this year? 
    •  I would like to get a full-time job in accounting. I am ready for a "big kid" job. I want to contribute more to the shared household instead of Cappy paying for majority of things.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Retail Therapy

So I didn't go home this Christmas, instead I worked. Mine is one of the few Starbucks open 365 days a year, it's in a rich Jewish area. So I didn't have to buy presents for my family this year, that's normally 12 presents at 10 to 25 dollars, so I saved a i little over 200 bucks. So instead I bought 150 dollar boots and Cappy some nice presents. I also bought heels, also a phone. I feel like I've spent a lot of money lately, but it's not that much in the scheme of things, but I've just spent a lot of time shopping and it makes me feel guilty. I miss my family, so I've been filling my time with shopping. Oh retail therapy, the roller coaster of emotions.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Procrastination: Gratification in the Delay

So I suffer from procrastination. I've learned to work around in school by trapping myself at the library or cafe until I got whatever assignment done. I knew I was ready to graduate when I researched and wrote a 20-page paper in 24 hours that we were originally given two weeks to write. I am proud of what it has forced me to accomplished. Also it has been a great money saver, in that I will procrastinate and pine over an item until it is no longer for sale. Lately it has manifested in applying to jobs, I know I'm burnt out on my job and probably not the best co-worker due to that fact and I don't want to be promoted, but I can't pull the trigger to actually apply for other jobs. I live in the future. I might go on a trip next month, I'll want the flexibility of my current job. Or this job looks perfectly I can totally see myself doing it. I'm the perfect fit for them. They totally would hire me if I applied. I basically have my next job. Oh wait it disappeared. How do I stop this procrastination and actually do things and not fall back into it? It's so warm and cozy and I'm happy when I escape into tv shows or movies in the midst of procrastination. Sometimes I take the bull by the horns but get sidestepped so easily. But this procrastination is also why I'm a saver not a spender, Double-edged sword?

This post was inspired by reading Simply Superkim's Post, "If You're Not Happy Change!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Start of Class, A New Beginning

My community college class started on Monday and I loved it. Its an accounting class on how to use Excel. Man, it was so lovely, because I was learning something new and making mistakes and learning from those. I could also directly see how this is a marketable skill that I can put on my resume. It is just so tangible. It gives me hope. I think now I can see the future with a real grown-up job. I think I was a little down before due to using half of my emergency fund to pay off the remainder of my student loans. It added to my feeling trapped. Also I chatted with my boss and she is willing to really work with me, by giving more hours and off the days I ask for. I also discovered that I could get the trial version of the Microsoft Suite free for 60 days, which is longer than the duration of my class. So I'll be able to make a more educated decision on whether to buy the software and which version, also education prices are nice. It's coming up roses.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Accomplished Big Goal, Why Ho-Hum

So I sent in my last payment towards my student loans last week. This is momentous, except I feel fairly ambivalent. It's good I don't have any debt. I'm no longer a wage slave. I'm doing better than a good majority of my peers. I have a job and no debt, other than my credit card that lasts for two week intervals to earn rewards. (Although I might stop using the credit card except for one monthly expense, I feel a little allergic to debt now. It makes me itchy and uncomfortable.) However I thought I would be in a different place literally and figuratively. I'm feeling the burnout of Starbucks due to management and other things. I expected to be in a career using my degree by the time I finished paying for it. I'm enrolled in community college for this upcoming quarter, which I'll pay for up front. Or I thought I would be traveling in some exotic European city and doing some awesome random job to help me to continue to travel. I just thought it would feel different, like I would take more pride in it. Also most of the last payment came from the money I left in an account that I saved to pay the minimum on my loans while I was going to be traveling, and had her check last month to see how much was left and ended up being three times the amount I thought (Happy surprise, I guess).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why Couchsurfing is frugal...

So CouchSurfing was been making the rounds in the media lately. I thought I would put in my two cents about my experience of CouchSurfing (CS). I have been a member for about 5 years now. I don't surf much I've done it only a handful of times in the US. Nevertheless, I have used as a social outlet after college to meet like minded people in that we like to travel. Since these people like to travel, they have the desire to save money, while having a good time. Last week, Cappy and I hosted this 7 person Aussie gypsy punk band for two days. They stayed on our couches, futon, and floor, but they were just happy to have hot water and washing machine (although they didn't use the dryer, instead they line dried their clothes). We got to check them out at the infamous Stag Night in St. Louis for free. Also that same weekend, we went with a CS friend who had old study abroad friends in town ziplining and since we had a group of 10 we got the group discount. Also the local CS group has a monthly happy hour that moves around the city and so not only do we get to try new bars, but sometimes we can get the happy hour specials extended to our group due to our size. So I get to save money by hanging out with these crazy traveler types while we are working our regular jobs and feel special showing my version of St. Louis.