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.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Being a doer instead of a talker

This idea has been really present in my mind recently. I've grown up being told that you need to have a plan for your life. year, week, etc. and that maybe a back up plan or two would be good as well. With these lessons, I got good at being able to tell people what my next steps could possible. However I am horrible procrastinator. Thus I have all these plans and the best of intentions, but I get distracted by TV and movies and paralyzed by fear of failure and the what-ifs. This helped my finances as in I've automated my savings, so I have a good amount in there. I have a couple sets of plans for this money. But the what-ifs keeps the money in the savings account. However I have figured out one plan to use the money. I am getting a tattoo on my birthday in exactly a month. I'm excited and weird sense of calm about coming to the realization of where to get the tattoo and the ability to give artistic license to some one else. Its a step in the right direction to become a doer instead of a talker. For what is savings for, but for to experience life fully.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Minimalist Valentine's Day

I know I am little late in the game on this one. But let me just tell how I spent my Valentine's Day. First Cappy hand delivered a dozen roses that he arranged himself in a vase we already had with a tin of Ghiradelli chocolates. I appreciated this because part of getting flowers is sharing with people or showing off to people especially since it was right next to the register. I got him a nice rib eye steak. I like that we got each other consumables instead of stuff like dumb stuffed animals or even jewelery. For dinner, we used a groupon to a bar we could walk to from our house and saw a free screening of a local film while there. We did get a bottle of champagne, however it was only 8 bucks, which we drank out of mason jars. So no too spendy and very tailored to our personalities.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Unwanted gift cards

So I got these ugly pajama pants from my brother for Christmas. So instead of being polite and say I liked them and totally would wear them, I did the rude and honest thing and said good attempt, but I'm not that kind of girl. The next day I returned them. He got them from WalMart, even though I told him in the past how much I despise WalMart and don't want presents from there. So now I had a gift card that I didn't really want. I looked on line to see if I could sell it on one of those auction websites for gift cards, but since my card was for $17.98, I had hard time finding a site that would take it. The lowest amount most of them would take was $25. I did find one, ABC Gift Cards. It was a little more of around about way than the other ones. I had to send in a request to see if the would accept it and then they sent me an email like a week later. They sent me a form to mail in with the card, and at that point, I also accepted that it might be a scam and I wouldn't see the money or gift card at the end. However, in a couple weeks time, I got the PayPal email saying the funds were transferred into my account. So I really recommend these guys. So glad to have money in my bank account, instead of cheap crap from WalMart in my house.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Theoretical vs. Actual Savings

The No Spend Challenge has got me thinking about savings cause isn't the point of this exercise. I think it is a little silly how grocery stores and even Starbucks say how much you saved at the bottom of your receipts. I didn't save money, I just spent money. It didn't go into savings or towards paying down debt. I most likely would not have bought that thing if it cost that much more, my purchasing threshold was due to the actually price, not the savings, my mind does not work that way. However, Cappy is totally falls into that trap of theoretical savings and spends more because of the value and just saving so much on the one item he can then get those other things too. This is why it is amusing to see what he comes home from the grocery store. So I'm wondering if there is a way to bridge the gap between theoretical and actual savings or if it is necessary to. Again it seems dumb or too much effort to take those receipts and move the theoretical money saved from the checking account into my online savings account. I have the fear that I didn't budget for this and if move to much money I'll just have to dip back into the savings, which I worry will create a habit of it or if that money is moved to pay down debts that I will need to use a credit card, thus a vicious cycle is reignited.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Extraneous or Just Real Life

So I'm trying not to spend any extra money. However, I'm trying to hang out more one-on-one with friends to build stronger relationships. This has been leading to spending more money at coffee shops and restaurants. I'm sure how and if I want to stifle this spending, because it straddles that line of superfluous and necessary. Plus I'm always in the mood to try a new coffee shop as I am still learning about my new city. Also I have these craft projects I want to do, but again I don't want to spend extra money. I kind of have in my mind that if I use my tip money to pay for it doesn't count.

Clothing Swap Time

So as a part of the decluttering of the wardrobe, I given up on some of those cute clothes that are totally gorgeous, but so not me. It's time for a clothing swap party so those clothes can go to good homes and where most likely I'll see them in their full glory on one of my friends. I actually was talking to my old roommate about the first one I did 6 months ago after hearing about it at "And Then She Saved." Now that she has moved all of her stuff back to the parents. She realized she had 2 bursting wardrobes and a small childhood clothes to try and fit them into. So we decided hopefully at the end of the month, we will co-host another clothing swap. It will be fun finding new things that I like, while drinking wine and hanging out with the ladies. However, just because it's new clothing item, I have to love it before it can added to my life. Because the reason behind this is to get rid of clothes after all. I excited that I'll be able to this during the challenge month as well as being a frugal social activity to hang out with friends without having to go to bar or restaurant.

photo via And Then She Saved

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Declutter Challenge

So my starting number for my closet is 220 items. I did the full inventory a week or two ago when I looked at Leo Babatua's Clutterfat Challenge, but I ended up not liking the interface. Nevertheless, it has gotten me started in the right direction.  I would love to get down to 100, that is my ultimate goal. My intermediate goal is to get rid of all the clothes I don't like, don't fit, or needs to be fixed, cause at this juncture I am not going to get around to fix it, nor do I know how. So that's where I am starting out at.

February Challenge Goal/Reward

So it's February 1st. Let's set out the goal for the low (no) spend challenge. I want to direct all my excess monies to my emergency fund to achieve the goal of 2000 dollars. If I reach that by the end of the month as I am 389 dollars away at this point, the rest will go towards my student loans, which is around 8000 at this point. I am also going on vacation in March and April so I need to save for that. But I need to think more on that. Since Cappy gets paid more than me, he has no problem saying majority of it, but I do want to pull my own wait. So that's what I am starting with for this challenge. I am super excited.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

February Challenge

So I entered in the February Challenge. Let's do it! Here's the rules / original post

Monday, January 23, 2012

30-Day Rule

So I actually used the 30-day rule that I learned from Get Rich Slowly. I wanted to buy new work shoes with this technique. I ended up buying them online for cheaper than I saw at the store, since the 30-day rule gave me the time to research and decide if this was the right shoe to fit my needs. It also fits into my fledgling minimalism, does this new item actually add value to my life over the burden of more stuff. Will it replace something in my closet that is worn out or can that that worn thing still be used and delay the purchase and make do with what I got? I kind of feel like I've earned it, but I think it will make my life better too. I love my new shoes, but I'm unsure what to do with my old shoes. Also I did this with my new iPod Touch, but adapted. It was a reward after the holidays and being able to save up and pay with cash, also wait until my iPod was actually starting to break ( I could only get sound sent tone ear bud.). Man do I feel happy about my purchases.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012: The Connect

So I've been reading all about people's New Year's resolutions and it's got me thinking of my own. I will let you know I'm a big fan of writing up resolutions or at least the leg work of self-reflection it involves. Do they normally work out? Actually the ones that most often work out for me are the financial ones. My resolve has been strong when it comes to my finances since graduating college with 15 thousand dollars in student loans and 2,500 in consumer debt and a barista's salary. Tammy Strobel's post about having a theme for the next year instead of a bunch a resolutions really clicked with. The having one focus, your mind being pulled in one direction instead of 6. So my theme for this year is connection. I want to connect more with my friends and build deeper relationships on my own instead of just as a couple. I want to connect with my community, I want to connect back with education by helping Bosnian immigrants and using my language skills. I also hope through this to grow deeper into Saint Louis, my chosen home. And now just wait here until the next adventure begins and wasting my youth by waiting.