Sunday, October 5, 2008


This summer I spent so much time in Shopping Mode, and I had quite a wish list going. I'd been checking things constantly to see if they went on sale or clearance. I bought a new handbag and a new carryon, both on superclearancesale, and I'm really happy with the quality of both purchases. I also got a supercute pair of leopard print flats off the internets, but took one look at them when they arrived and knew they'd be ruined in their first rainshower and sent them back. This weekend I discovered that two big items on my wish list are gone for good- a fancy 3.1 Philip Lim sweater dress and a beautiful 1960's desk with tons of storage. Both were on sale but WAY outta my budget and both sold to other owners this weekend. I hope they appreciate them as much as I would have.

I do have champagne tastes, but I also have a beer budget. I'm counting down the days until the Target launch of the Anya Hindmarch bags and Sigerson Morrison shoes. They will be mine! See you October 12, waiting outside the doors in the early morning, saying "let me in..."!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh noes.

I tried not to, but I broke down and checked my retirement account. As you might guess, it was not good. How not good?

Personal Rate of Return from 01/01/2008 to 10/02/2008 is -26.8%

I cancelled my weekend plans and I'm trying to see how many hours I can get this weekend at the 2nd job. Irrationally panic-y? Probably. But how else will I sleep at night?

Monday, September 29, 2008

The sky? Falling?

Ugh, the economy. My goodness. It just keeps getting worse and worse. I wonder how old I'll be before they straighten this out. It's only just begun and I'm sick of it already. And sick of hearing the candidates try to BS how they'll fix it. They don't know.

I'm happy every day that I have my job in the humanities, and, more and more, happy I have a per diem job in health care.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Does bar soap go bad? I got 8 bars of Dial for $2.50, but I'm only one person. This could take awhile...

It might never end...

I started ignoring this blog because my summer spending was OUT OF CONTROL. I spent over $8,000 on travel and weddings. Probably over $9,000. It all just spiraled out of control, and although I tried to work more to keep up (I think I hit a peak of 98 hours one week), my total debt is currently $7,677, about $700 more than my April debt.

All I can think when I look at the numbers is how I could have not spent any money this summer and completely gotten rid of credit card debt. But I know that I'll cherish the memories and that life doesn't stop when you try to get yourself out of debt. I just feel so defeated. And I have plane tickets to Chicago next month and plans to visit friends in NYC and I hate to disappoint them but it's stressing me out to not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But I will try, and hopefully prevail.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I know I shouldn't, but I would...

I'm a hardcore celtics fan, and I'm pretty psyched about our playoff chances against the Lakers. If any of you watched game 1, you probably saw Paul Pierce crumple with a knee "sprain" and get carried off only to emerge a few minutes later and hit 2 three pointers. A co-worker of mine just went on a rant about how it's terrible that he's playing again tonight and he'll probably limp for the rest of his life, and compared him to the horse that broke both front legs at the Kentucky Derby. I think that's going way too far, and honestly, when I think about it, I think I might not mind (the chance of) a limp for the glory of a championship and $15 million a year. Does that make me crazy?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates. Not much to report. I'm trying hard not to spend any money. (although I did try very hard to get tickets to the celtics/pistons game!) I get paid on Friday, so I'll be cracking at the debt then. The new interest rate is soooo delightful...

Also, this is amazing-

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A good day, I think...

I just got off the phone with Bank of America, the lovely holders of three of my credit cards and my checking account. They moved some credit around on the cards, so within the next few days I should be able to transfer my $7,000-ish balance from one card to another with a new interest rate of 1.99%. This should save me at least $100 a month in interest until I pay the card off. I have until January 2009 to pay off the balance or it defaults to 22.99% APR. I don't see this being a problem at all, and even if it was, my interest rate was worse than that anyways. I'm happy about this, because my interest rate really ticked me off, and I hated seeing my payment being eaten up by interest.

However, it didn't come without a price. I'm going to get charged a transfer fee of "up to $75" and they also closed my oldest card. The card only went back to April 2001, and I have another card that is still open from June 2001, so I'm hoping this won't affect my credit score that much.

This is good, right?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

yay! stimulus!

Woohoo! I got my $600 dollars! I didn't even notice, because it came in yesterday at the same time my bills processed.

I was going to use $500 for debt and $100 for me-money, but right now I'm feeling pretty frugal. I babysat on Saturday night, and used the money to buy some new sneakers and go see a chick flick with the gals. It was a really nice splurge and it's really curbed any desire to spend. I transferred $150 to the Credit Card this morning, and I'll wait until payday Friday to transfer more.

Friday, May 2, 2008

wedding madness

I'm a bridesmaid in a wedding at the end of summer, and even though we have four months to go, the drama is already extreme.

The bride and maid of honor are not getting along lately. The bride's life is 24/7 wedding. The MoH lives several states away, in a less affluent region. The MoH just lost her job, so she thinks about jobs/mortgages/money 24/7. This is bad. Every time they chat, it's either:

Bride: "Guess what ridiculously expensive wedding thing I got?"
Maid of Honor: ::groan::


Maid of Honor: "Holy F*&%, I'm poor! I'm never going to find a job!"
Bride: ::groan::

I honestly think they both need to take a step back and remember their listening skills, but what do I know?

The latest? The bride called to talk about the rings she picked out, but couldn't get a word in edgewise because the MoH was going on and on about her economic situation. So the bride hung up and cried. Really, MoH, the world does not revolve around you. And, seriously, bride, why are you crying over not being able to talk about rings.

Is there any nice way to clue these two in before they call the whole thing off?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Well, today is the first day of the May Grocery Challenge. So, what did I do? I went shopping! I was going to go yesterday, but I thought that would be cheating. I spent $18.88 on....

brown sugar
ranch dressing
peanut butter
skim milk

I hope this (along with alllll the other food in my lil kitchen) will get me through a week at least. I also made a big batch of penne marinara with parmesan! Yum!

Not entirely finance related but...

I lost five pounds!

I broke down and bought a scale about a month ago. As soon as I bought it, I thought "What a waste of money! You're not going to use it and you're not going to lose any weight. You should have used the money for your debt." It was the first step in my VERY slow effort to eat better and exercise more. It seems to be working! When I got it I was at 173 and now I'm at 168. My doctor wants me to get down to 156, so I have a ways to go, but I'm doing well!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Joined the May Challenge.

I finally signed up for the May Grocery Challenge over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks. My grocery cost vary widely, but I'm hoping to keep it under $125.

I might have mentioned that work provides for my lunch every week day, so I don't have to worry about that. The problem is that I have a bad habit of buying groceries and then getting too busy to make breakfast, and hitting a patch of eating out and the produce goes bad. I'm a horrible cook with no motivation. But I am determined to change!

Here's the plan- I'll eat my way through the pantry. I have quite a bit of food in there that needs to be eaten. Let's take a look-

3 Boxes of Cereal
1 can of oats
4 Microwave soups
4 cans of soups
4 jars tomato sauce
4 cans of veggies
3 boxes of rice
7 boxes of pasta
3 bags of beans/lentils
3 jars of nuts
20 cubes vegetable boullion
2 packets of ramen noodles

and a whole lot of miscellany.

I'll be updating each week on what I've spend and what I've consumed. You know what that means- the tough broad has some cooking to do...


Is anyone else checking their online banking every morning to see if the stimulus rebate has been deposited? Or is it just me?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rolo Turtle Prezels

Wow, these Rolo Turtle Prezels look Delicious!

If they're are at all as easy as they seem, they will soon be a dinner party staple!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Do you count calories (or pennies) when you're sick?

I have a cold.

A bad one. I haven't been sick in so long, and it's ruined my whole weekend.

I was talking with a skinny friend about my recovery methods- soup, candy, smoothies, and orange juice, and she was taken aback by the calorie content! Who counts calories when you're sick? It's never even occurred to me. Then again, I don't count calories when I'm well, so...

But it got me thinking, and I realized that my thrifty-ness goes out the window when I'm sick, too. I buy the fluffiest tissues and get my juice at the convenient store on the corner instead of the supermarket where it is much, much cheaper. When I had my cable box, I would splurge on a pay-per-view movie or two.

So, dear readers, do you count calories and pennies when you're sick? Or are you a princess like me?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Stimulus and Sweating!

According to CNN, I'm getting my stimulus check by May 9th!

I went to the gym 3 times this week, and I'm going to try to go twice over the weekend. Honestly, I really don't like the gym. I have back problems so I don't usually feel any better when I'm done. But I know I need to be healthy, and I should use it since I pay for it, so I went.

Now I have stinky gym clothes and need to do laundry.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I bit the bullet and transferred $459 to the credit card which brings my debt under $7,000! Woohoo!

It's so weird to think that I'm really only halfway there (or not even, if you count the student loans). I just feel so much better about the state of my finances. I have a plan, and I know that it's working, and I only have one monthly payment instead of FIVE. This time last year, my cards were all within $100 of their credit limits, and today I feel like the burden of debt is gone. All I have to do is keeping living like I have been for the past year, and it will be paid off. It's amazing!

Thank you guys so much for your support and for keeping me on track!

Things I DONT buy!

The Suburban Wife has a great new post about all the stuff she doesn't buy. I thought I'd list a few things myself.

1. Coffee - I never liked the stuff.

2. Tobacco - My mom was a heavy smoker when I was growing up, so I never touched cigarettes.

3. Meat - I'm a vegetarian going on 8 years now. There are lots of reasons to avoid the meat, but I do it for health reasons.

4. Cars - I pay $30 a month for a subway pass and I do just fine.

5. Technology toys - I have the free cell phone that comes with the plan, a laptop, TV and DVD player that were a birthday/xmas gifts from my college days, and a stereo that's a 10-year-old hand-me down. I did buy an IPod, but it was at a discount for a charity event. Gadgets don't get me excited.

6. Pets - I have thought alot about getting a dog, a cat, or even some fish, but I'm not sure I have the time or the disposable income to take care of them. Right now I just spend alot of time with my friends' pets!

7. Lottery tickets, casinos, raffles, ect. - It's just not my thing. I tried playing Bingo earlier this year and almost fell asleep!

8. Waxing/bleaching my upper lip - Many of the women in my family get this done, and I just don't get it. I'm sure for many women, it is a problem and they feel better taking care of it, but our coloring isn't "bad" enough to justify it, in my opinion. Earlier this year, I got my eyebrows waxed and the waxer suggested it, and I polietly declined, but in my head I was like, "Yeah, you just want another fifteen bucks to spend thirty seconds smearing hot wax on an inch of my face that is perfectly fine already. Um, no."

What don't you spend money on?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Surprise!

I logged into my bank account worried that I'm might be dangerously low as I wait for the direct deposits from the second job (tomorrow) and the full time job (Friday). To my surprise, my tax returns were there! What a happy number! I only got $480 back. I think that's great though, since I changed my deductions early last year so I could pay off the debt and not "loan" it to the govenment until April. I just transferred $350 to pay off credit cards, which means:

1.) I'm up to $900 of the $1200 I promised to put toward cc debt this month.
3.) My New Credit Card Debt is $7,456.75! I've paid off $6,812.25 in less than a year.

I really wanted to pay off my credit card debt by August, and right now that means I'd have to pay about $1850 a month for the next four months. I'm not sure that's possible, but maybe with the stimulus check, three paydates in August, and a lot more hours at the second job, I'll get pretty close...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting Rid of Clutter!

The nice weather is here, and I'm welcoming it by packing up the sweaters. I have so many clothes that don't fit right or that I just don't care for anymore, so I'm packing them up and getting rid of them this week.

I'm also trying to go through drawers and boxes and throw out the junk I don't need. I'm the classic pack rat who loves to save every birthday card and ticket stub, so whenever I'm in the mood to trash stuff, I do it before the urge passes!

I signed up for Netflix, and was supremely disappointed until I saw all the fitness videos on demand. I've been checking them all out (especially now that I getting rid of clothes because they're too small!), and it's a really nice feature.

I also got to watch "Maxed Out". I already knew most of what it was about, but it was particularly heartbreaking to see family members who had lost loved ones to suicide. I can't imagine killing myself because of my debt, but I've definitely had hard months when I couldn't make those minimum payments. I'm glad to have family that didn't think twice or ask questions when I've needed a loan. I'm also lucky that I've always been offered more paying work than I could physically do.

I'm glad that except for a few stumbles, I've remained committed to living a frugal life and paying off my debt.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ok, I got tagged by bouncing back. Here is my six word memoir!

There are no victims- only volunteers.

The rules of the meme are:
1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post
4. Tag at least 3 more blogs (I cut the number down not everyone likes to "play")
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play

I'm tagging-

My Money Story
Dump the Debt

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Budget update!

I put $200 toward the debt last week, and another $350 toward it this week. That puts me under $8,000 in credit card debt! I know that may not sound that great, but after seeing that dreaded number go UP, I'm really excited to see it hit a new low.

I might not be able to put anything toward the debt next week, but the week after should take care of Credit Card #4, leaving just one more to go (with a balance over $7K, but I'll take whatever I can get).

To do next week: Work, work, work at the second job.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I joined Krystal's April Budget Challenge!

I'm going to try to put half my income towards the credit card debt this month, which is about $1200, a couple hundred more than usual.

I'm a little bit sad about the state of my debt reduction. I really wanted to be free of the Credit Card monster by the end of Summer. As it stands right now, I owe $8220, so I'd have to put $1644 a month towards it, and that just isn't realistic. Trying for $1200 is a stretch next month is even a stretch, so I'm worried. Plus I'm still paying off $1500 of the $2K in unexpected expenses, and my sister is getting married this summer, which I know is going to cost me over a thousand dollars.

Bottom line: no vacation for me for a very long time. Also, I need to call the second job and start signing up for some extra hours.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Today is payday! I transferred $750 over to Credit Card #4, so I'm on track to pay it off next month! I've worked 12 hours at the second job this week and I think I'll put in another 4 tonight. If I keep up the hours at the second job, I should be able to use my regular paychecks just for fixed expenses and debt reduction.

I also cancelled a little weekend trip on the basis that I don't feel well, my house is a mess, and I have a ton of people coming in from out of town soon. Visitors = eating out, shopping, entertainment, drinking, and having to stock my fridge with real food and beverages (not just ramen and rice milk).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Taking care of business...

I'm doing a bit of organizing this weekend, and it's been very good for my bottom line. I started by doing my taxes, and between state and federal, I'll be getting a little over $500 bucks. Hopefully filing will also put me on the tax relief list and I'll get that check as well. I've heard it's going to be $600 for us single folks, but haven't been able to find anything concrete about it.

Next I went through my pantry and found a whole lot of breakfast food! I'm notorious for buying cereal but not making the time to actually eat it. I think I'll save some money by having a few breakfast-for-dinners.

I worked about 10 extra hours at the second job this week, and I think I'll work around 18 next weekend.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm so proud of myself!

I got my new cable bill, and my promotional rate had run out so I called and cancelled it! I gave the box and remote back today. I'm sure most of you know that the cable company often neglects to block the basic channels. So I checked to see if I still get basic from the coaxial cable. I DO! I still have most of the channels I watch including Bravo (hurray for project runway and millionaire matchmaker!)but I won't be paying a dime! There's no telling when they might shut it off, but for right now, I'm very happy with my decision! I'm saving around $100 a month (I rationalized alot of PayPerView movies because I cancelled my Netflix). I hope that between this and the no-alcohol policy, I'll be back on track with the debt reduction soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Weight Loss Versus Free Food

Thanks for the recent kind words! They mean a lot to me!

I'm feeling better about money, but mostly trying not to think about it too much. My current problem is that I'm about 14 pounds above my healthy BMI, and I'd like to get it down. Well, to be perfectly honest, I don't really care, but my doctor does, so I have to. She's worried that if I'm at this weight now, it might continue to creep up on me, and start to pose a health risk. One of the ways I tend to keep food costs down is by taking advantage of free food, which there is an abundance of at work. I would say that at least every other day I am presented with a slew of unhealthy options such as "continental breakfast" (pastries) or "refreshments" (cookies) or a "reception" (cheese and crackers).

Some days I refrain from the goodies, but other days I give in to temptation. Usually I remind my self that it's not my eating that needs to change necessarily, but rather my lack of exercise. So I eat, but then don't exercise it off. Arg, why do I lack any semblance of self control?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Still a little shaky.

It's been a hard week for me, moneywise. I just found about about $2,000 in unexpected expenses, and I'm worried that it will further damage my schedule to get rid of the credit card debt. I'm already about two months behind.

I signed up for a ton of extra shifts at the second job, and hope my tax refund/relief check will also help.

I've been looking for other areas to cut spending, and since I really didn't want to get rid of my cable, I've decided to cut out alcohol entirely. I've been drinking alot lately, and I think it will be better to just quit all together for right now.

I got Suze Orman's "Women and Money" free from that Oprah show, so I've been reading alot of that lately, but so far it's nothing new.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Frugal Weekend

I had such a frugal weekend!

Friday my friend was having a concert, so I got a free ticket to that, and went to the reception after, which was also free. He even gave me a leftover bottle of wine!

Yesterday I stayed in and did some cleaning, and then I went to the store and got all the ingredients to make tasty valentines day treats for my friends.

I worked at the second job today, and then stopped by one of my old jobs to see my former boss's new baby (!) and make plans to meet for tea next week.

Tonight my friend is coming over to watch some reality television with me, and I think we'll split that bottle I acquired on Friday.

Horray for a cheap weekend!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fell off the wagon...

When I was a little girl, my mother would always know when I was up to trouble, because I would get unusually quiet. It seems this habit has followed me into adulthood. I fell off the wagon and stopped posting!

I started seeing a new man last month and my spending just went crazy. I bought new clothes, I got my hair cut, my nails done, and various areas waxed. I even bought a new rug and stocked my fridge with tasty treats. He lives a few hours away, so my travel costs went through the roof.

He's VERY well off, and he had been paying for all our activities, so a few weekends ago, I decided that I'd pick up the tab, and I ended up spending over $200 on just two meals! I'll never do that again. Sorry feminism, but I'm in debt!

Also, I signed myself up for a long weekend out of town this month!

Despite my best efforts to sabotage myself, February is a three paycheck month! And I've been picking up shifts at the second job, where I just got a raise. I'm back on the wagon!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year, everyone!

I feel pretty solid on the financial front. I threw $400 at Credit Card #3 before the new year, and hopefully another $1000 this month. All the other bills are up to date. I still haven't figured out how to solve the loan from my parents. I told my mom that I've been paying down my debt, and that the money was still on my list but that I was taking care of things with high interest rates right now. She seemed genuinely shocked to hear that I've paid off thousands this year.

So my plan for the new year is to get rid of the rest of the Credit Card debt, currently at $8228, and then find a way to convince my parents to take their money back.

I met someone new over the holidays, but he lives 4 hours away! I hope this doesn't mean my transportation costs are going to skyrocket.