Friday, November 13, 2009

Spending Watch

Now that my car is paid off and my savings account is the lowest it has been in awhile, I am really trying to watch my spending. Some days are easier than others. I am only buying what I really need. I am not going out to the bar with friends. I am looking for great deals on Christmas presents for my family. I am half done Christmas shopping and have gotten some great deals. I know what I am buying for the other half, but I am waiting for a good deal to come along. No reason to pay full price!

I have been slacking at working out due to the stress of studying for my final CMA exam and work. I have to get back to that this weekend. I also need to really watch what I eat. It's easy to grab take out food when you're busy, but it's expensive and not healthy. I have to work on that one!!

Goal for the weekend: Little spending, lots of studying and working out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I keep disappearing. I want to write more, but I just haven't had time. I am studying in an attempt to take the last part of my certification in December. It's not going very well, so I am a little stressed.

On the financial side . . . I decided to take a decent chunk out of my savings account and pay off my car loan today!!! This was my 24th payment. I am very proud of myself. My savings account only has about 3.7 months of emergency funds in it. This will increase quickly now though because I have not been contributing to it for the past few months since I have been putting it all on my car loan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Sorry I disappeared for awhile. Life has been very busy lately. I haven't been feeling all that great after a very busy summer. I was on vacation a week ago. It was nice to get away, but it's hard to get back on track. I was doing really well with not spending too much and working out every day prior to being gone. I got sick towards the end of vacation. I haven't been able to shake it since we got back. I even went to the doctor and he couldn't really find anything out.

I sent in a large payment towards my car last week. I paid an extra $1,225!! I really hope to get this paid off by January. This assumes no large, unexpected expenses come up. I am planning to take some out of savings next month to pay even more extra. I just want this done! I will be able to build back up my savings account quickly after it's paid off. I currently have $15,200 in savings. My goal is to have $15,000 in savings in May 2010 even after paying off my car. I think this is possible. I will have paid off my car in 2 years if I can do this.

I have only bought on sale items over the past two months. There are such good sales out there right now, that I don't think I should have to pay full price for anything. I got a few items for summer on clearance with an extra 20% off the clearance price. I did spend money on the vacation, but it was well worth it. I just needed to get away for awhile. It was about $400 for 5 days away.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Passed!!

I passed another part of my certification exam!! Yay!! Three down, one to go. I now need to decide when to take the final part. It's only offered three times per year. I am debating between August and December. I would like to take it in August since part of the exam covers the same material as the other parts. I would have to spend less time reviewing that material since I just took one part. It would be nice to have it over with. The downside is that I would have to spend most of the summer studying. That doesn't sound like much fun. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel I think.

I can now submit my reimbursement paperwork for this last part at work. I will use that money to pay for the next part. I did have it in my budget to retake the part I just passed. This was a longer and harder part than the previous too, so I added it in my budget just in case. This was reallocated to my monthly other category over a few months and to a trip to NYC next fall. That was a nice feeling.

I am going to relax tomorrow and try to decide on Monday about when to take the final exam part.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Out of Control Spending

I have been spending way too much money lately. I feel like summer is more expensive than winter due to living in an area where it's cold in the winter. Now is my chance to get outside and not freeze. I spent close to $200 last weekend alone. Not good!

I bought a season pass to the amusement park in the area. Some of my good friends have them as well, so this should get lots of use on the weekends. We had a blast there this last weekend. If I got twice, it's paid for itself. I also bought a new swimsuit and bra (both on great sales). I went to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. I stocked up on a few grocery items. I needed gas (which has been creeping up in price around here).

I need to really watch my spending for the rest of the month. I really want to stay under budget. The only issue I might have with this are clothes. I am searching for some cute summer tops. So far no luck, but if I find something I am definitely buying it since I have been searching for awhile.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Paycheck

I now know my new paycheck amount after all of the changes recently. It was about what I expected. Based on this new amount, I should be able to save about $800 per month. I am very excited about this. The majority of this savings will be going towards paying off my car. I am still hoping to pay it off in January unless something changes. I currently have about $14k in total in my savings account. I will not be adding a lot to this each month. Instead I plan to just pay extra on my car each month.

I am hoping that having a roommate will not increase my spending too much. So far we've both been too busy to do anything together. I just need to be upfront that I can't do a lot of things that cost too much just like in the past. My main focus over the next few years is working hard in my career and saving money. I still am not sure where I want to end up, but I am also not set on staying where I am now. I would love to live in Charlotte, Denver, or San Diego. I think San Diego is out due to the high cost of living though. In order to reach my goal of moving, I need to save as much as I can so I am comfortable moving elsewhere and can afford to.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Moved

I am all moved into the new place. It's different being here. There are pros and cons just like with anything in life. I love that I am saving a ton of money on rent. I plan to save a large portion of this each month. I increased my 401k contributions from 8% to 10%. I just reached $10,000 in my 401k. I am very excited about this. Including my employer match I now have 15% going into my 401k. I did increase my food budget slightly to allow for more fruits and veggies. Once I get a better feeling for where expenses will be every month, I will post my new budget.

It's weird to have a roommate again. It's nice at times and not so great at other times. I like having someone around to talk to and split the bills with. I don't like that I have to make sure to put my food and items which I want for myself in certain cupboards so she knows they are just for me. I also have to share everything. I just have to think about all of the money I am saving if I get frustrated.

My new salary for the new job should be on my paycheck this week. That is also very exciting. This money will also be going to savings. I am still hoping to pay my car off in January. I would like to pay a good chunk in September in order to cut down on interest costs. I love the new job so far. The department has a great group of people.

The moving went okay. My family and friends were great. The movers did the large furniture items. They made good time and came in a little under what I had budgeted, but they damaged two items. I am not impressed with that. I filed claims for the items and am currently waiting to hear back from them. They better call soon!

My plans for the next few weeks are to finish getting settled into the new apt, study lots, catch up on sleep, and spend as little as possible. I have to pay off moving and my trip the weekend before.