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.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wedding and Moving

The wedding last weekend was good. It was nice to get away. The best part of traveling with family who insist on paying for things means spending very little money. I feel bad when they pay for everything, but at times they were hostile if you refused to let them.

Tomorrow is moving day!!! I am hoping my internet is up an working again very soon at the new place. I am still working on packing right now. It always takes longer than you think. Being out of town the past two weekends has not helped my progress either.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weekend Spending

One advantage of going home is that I usually don't end up spending much money. All meals are at my parent's house. We tend to grill a lot when I am there which I love. Since I don't see them very often we spend time visiting which is also free.

My brother liked his graduation gift which was great. I came in right on budget for that. I gave my dad his Father's Day present early since it was the only relaxing weekend I would be seeing him. I will see him for about an hour this weekend while traveling for my cousin's wedding. Next weekend he is helping me move. I decided neither of those were the best weekends to give him his present.

I have bee trying to spend as little as possible with the expenses of traveling for the wedding this weekend and moving next weekend. I hope to spend under $200 total this weekend. My hotel and airplane ticket are already taken care of. I put a deposit down for the move, but I am not totally sure how much additional I will have to pay. They bill by the quarter hour after the first two hours. I am hoping it's three hours at the most. I am about 75% packed.

I started training in the new department this week. It's a big change from what I have been doing. I think it will be a good change though. I should see my pay increase in my check in two weeks. I sure hope it's there! We are having a goodbye lunch in my current department tomorrow. It's going to be sad to leave them all, but this is a good choice for my career.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Miscellaneous Updates

What a week! I am exhausted and it's only Wednesday! I have managed to pack up a lot of my apartment. Most of what I have left is stuff that's harder to pack. Books, movies, pillows, etc. are all easy to pack. I wish I had more of those things. I am getting anxious to just move and get settled in my new place. I have been throwing and donating as much as I can. I gave a bag of clothes to someone I work with. I am going to see if my brother wants some kitchen items I don't use anymore. It feels good to get rid of things. I just wish I could part with more!

I have been putting a lot of time in at work this week. I am heading home for a long weekend, so I need to be caught up prior to that. I am starting to train people on my work in anticipation for switching departments in a little under two weeks. I am ready for a change!

I have been trying not to spend money, but it's hard sometimes. I went to a baseball game last weekend. We sat in the cheap section though. I am traveling with a friend this weekend, so we will be able to split the gas costs for going home. That helps since I have to travel for a wedding next weekend and moving the next. I am trying out I am not sure what I think yet. I would like to simplify my budgeting an money management, but I can't seem to find a way to do that yet. Maybe once July comes and I have more time to devote to things like this I will be able to figure something out.

I am trying to fit working out and studying in, but it's so hard right now. I am thinking about pushing my test date out a week or two.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Preparing to Move

I have a lot going on in the next month. I got boxes this weekend so I can start packing. I am hoping to go through most of my things prior to moving. It's hard to get rid of things, but I know there are some items which I should part with now instead of moving them. Until recently I have never felt like I have too much, but I have always thought I have had enough. Then things changed. In looking at how many things I have to move, I started wondering why I have so much.

I sold one piece of furniture this past week to a couple in my building. They were very happy to find something to use for a couch in their living room and I was glad to get rid of my futon. I was sad to see it go, but I think it's for the best. I don't have room for it in the new apartment. As I helped carry the futon down to their apartment, I realized they only had a TV and a TV stand in their living room. They didn't have a dining room table or any other furniture. It really made me think about things. I am very grateful to have the furniture I do. There are many people who live with a lot less than I do, but there are also people with a lot more. I think I have more than enough for me.

I also need to get cable and internet setup. The rest of my time will be spent preparing for a wedding I am going to, studying, and transitioning to new job. All in addition to packing and moving. I am trying to limit my spending as much as I can. I stayed in this weekend to accomplish things but also to save money.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Limit Spending

I am working hard to limit my spending lately. I have wanted to go shopping, but so far I have not let myself. My friends keep talking about how I will have more money to spend once I move since my rent will be decreasing significantly due to having a roommate again. I however, do not intend to spend more money just because my rent will be reduced. I am hoping to save this money. My gas costs will go up a little bit due to having a further drive to work each day. I also plan to give myself a little more for my food budget so I can purchase more fruits and veggies as those are what seem to hurt my budget each month. I am planning to put the rest in savings.

I will also see an increase in my income around the same time as the move, so as of right now I don't know exactly how much more I will be making each month after taxes. I am planning to increase my 401k contributions when my new salary starts.

My hope is to save as much as possible so I can pay my car off early next year. I also want to save to move elsewhere at some point. I am still not set on staying in this area, but I am also not completely sure where I want to move to. I have some ideas, but I don't want to do anything until the economy turns around. It's too big of a risk to take. I am hoping to visit a few more places I am interested in in the next year or two. Moving to a new area would be scary and a challenge, but I don't feel like this area is the ideal place for me. You never know what will happen in the next few years though.

I will post an updated budget once I have a better idea of how much I will be making and what my utility costs will be at the new apartment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Planning to Move

Even though we found a place to live a few weeks ago, there are still a lot of other things to do prior to moving. I decided on a moving company and put a deposit down to hold my day and time. I am just having them move the large items. I will be moving small items and boxes myself. I hate spending the money on this, but it's just something I have to do. I will recover this cost in less than one month due to having a roommate once I move, so it's not too bad.

We also need to decide on cable. I would like to get that appointment scheduled because I need to have internet as soon as I move in so I can study for my exam. I scheduled an appointment to sign the lease and pick up the keys when we are moving in. It's nice to have some of this done, but what really scares me is thinking about packing. I don't feel like I have that much, but I have more than enough to move. I am hoping to get rid of some things prior to moving.

I have a lot I want to get done over the next few weeks since things will get very busy soon. I will be starting my new job, moving, and studying a ton in the next month. It will be interesting to see how it all goes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Switching Positions

I accepted the new position today at work!! I am very excited about this. When they called, I said that I would not accept as I wanted them to see if the could do better. They did. They went up 5% more than the original offer. I was shocked. I am very happy with this though. I might be able to keep my flex time, so that would be great. I am very nervous as this position has a lot more exposure to higher level management than I currently have. I hope it all goes well. It's a complete 180 from what I am doing now.

I also scheduled my next exam part. I am currently in the review course which ends later in May. I was very torn on when to take the exam due to the trip for my cousin's wedding and moving. I am taking the exam June12th, so I have just under two months to get ready.

So much going on right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I need advice from everyone. I received an email today from the hiring manager that I was selected for the position I applied for and HR would be calling soon with the offer. I am currently paid a decent amount less than others with the same position levels in my company and outside of the company. My current department is working to put through my equity increase in the next two months. My current boss informed me of what it would be today since he knows I applied for this position. Based on what I have heard from others who have moved around within the company, I am expecting an offer 2-3% higher than my currently salary. I am looking for something higher than that due to knowing where others are and the equity increase being put through in my current department.

So, my question to everyone is . . . How do I negotiate if I am not happy with the offer? Do I respond with exactly where I want to be? Do I go a bit higher knowing they will come down some? Do I mention the equity adjustment? Any thoughts/opinions would help me greatly. Thanks so much!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Apartment & Job Update

We found an apartment!! We really like the main living space. There is a lot of room. One bedroom has a bigger closet and one a bigger room, so there was no problem deciding who gets which room. I am very excited to have this decided. One less thing to worry about. Now I just have to move all of my stuff. I can't wait to start saving some money.

I applied for a new position at the company I work for. I am very nervous about this, but we'll see what happens. I am not sure when I will hear anything.

I bought groceries today since things will be closed on Sunday. I came in $10 under budget. I also got gas and a car wash. I came in $2 under budget for those things. I have also been trying to get a lot of studying in. I have so much to get through. I don't want to get behind. I would have liked to go home to visit my family this weekend, but I decided against it. I have plans with a friend tomorrow night instead. It's finally nice out here, so I am hoping for a good weekend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Long Weekend

I had today off from work, so I am hoping to accomplish a lot this weekend. I cleaned my apartment last night. I picked up a few groceries today as well as worked out. I will finish up laundry over the rest of the weekend.

I also need to spend a lot of time studying this weekend. My first review class for my exam was on Tuesday night. I enjoyed the class, but now I have a lot to get done prior to next week's class. I hope to get some studying in tonight and then a lot on Saturday and Sunday.

I am looking at apartments this weekend. I gave my notice on Monday. I will be moving in with a friend. I should be able to save a lot money by doing this. I hate moving though. I decided that buying a house right now wasn't the best option for me. I don't want that commitment right now. I will post more about my new budget once we figure out where we are going to live so I know the exact costs. I do think I won't see a savings until July due to moving costs.

I am also hoping to figure out some more food options this weekend. I really struggle with what to eat because of my food allergies. I eat the same things throughout the week and it gets old!! I need some variety. I also want to eat healthier than I have been. I haven't been eating that bad, but I do eat some sugary foods here and there. I hate myself afterwards because when my blood sugar drops I don't feel so great.

We might get more snow this weekend. I just want spring to come!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I feel like my life is just crazy right now. Things have been very busy still. I am getting over being sick. I ended up having to go to the doctor. I really didn't want to. My copay was $20 for the office visit. I also had to spend $14 for two medications. I guess it was worth it though. I just hate spending money on doctor visits. I am trying to get back into working out. The doctor said to take a week off. I didn't listen. I have worked out twice, but they have been awful workouts. I am still exhausted and tire easily.

I have also been researching where to live. I have to give notice to my apartment management office by the end of the month. It started with me thinking about moving in with one or two friends. Their lease is up the month after mine. So, the debate was should I give notice for the end of May or pay one month extra (my rent goes up $190!!!) and have my lease end at the same time as theirs. Then we started looking at renting a house instead of an apartment. It has now turned into me getting a pre-approval for a mortgage and looking at houses!!!! I am very torn on what to do. I would love to buy something, but it scares me. I would have to use a little over half my savings to purchase a home. Part of my issue comes from living in a large metro area. I am finding homes I like further from my work place than I would like. I need to decide how far I am willing to drive to and from work each day. Any thoughts on this!?!

I have also been very busy at work still. It slowed down a little, but not too much. I am curious to see what happens over the next few months. Part of why I am worried about purchasing a home is because of the stability of the job market. I guess you just never know though.

I have still been searching for clothes which fit. It's a process for me. I am also trying to find good deals and not just buy the first thing I see. I am hoping to get a few more things in April. Discover has 5% cash back from April through June for department stores and clothing stores. So, I think I will look in April once I can get some extra cash back on my credit card.

I decided to sign up for a review course for the next part of my exam. It was a lot of money, but I will get reimbursed by my work as soon as the course is over. I just have to drive downtown once a week for 8 weeks and pay for parking. That will be a change for me. This is the part which freaks me out the most, so I think this will be a good thing. It will also force me to complete sections by a certain time. I am hoping to put some time in studying this weekend to get a head start before the first class this next week.

I would love to hear thoughts on purchasing a home. If anyone is in the Minneapolis area, I would also like to hear thoughts on locations. Thanks so much!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Weekend

What a weekend it has been! I spent more than I intended, but it was well worth it. I had a great time with my family. It was nice to see them again. I got sick towards the end of the week, so I slept in for awhile on Saturday before my family got here. Even with the extra sleep, I still wasn't feeling that great. I am a little better today, but I think it might be a hard start to the week. I don't like being sick. The sore throat and coughing get old quick. I have no appetite, so I haven't had to spend much on groceries!!

My parents bought me some shoes and groceries this weekend. I am very appreciative of the purchases. I was able to stock up on a few things from Trader Joe's, so I won't have to worry about going there for the next few weeks. And I love the shoes I got. They are very cute tennis shoes.

I bought myself a track jacket which was on sale. Even though I need new clothes due to very few of mine fitting, I have a lot of tanks and tees that fit. I thought a track jacket would be nice for something to throw over them when it's a little cool out.

I have a lot going on this week. I will be spending some money, but that's okay. I am trying to find a balance between doing some activities which I enjoy and saving. It's hard. I think it will take some time.

I also need to figure out if I want to take a class to study for the next part of my exam and what to do with my apartment lease by Tuesday. I am very torn on what to do.

I want to take the class because it would force me to complete things by a certain time. The discussions would also be nice. It is expensive though. I would get reimbursed afterwards by work. I worry about the economy though and what if I were to get laid off before the class is over. My savings interest rates have dropped so low that it doesn't seem like it would really matter if I took the money out for the class. (I am very disappointed by my rates currently.)

As far as my living situation goes, I am very torn on this as well. I would like to save money on rent, but that means having roommates. I have been living alone for about 2.5 years. It's been nice, but at times it would also be nice to have someone around. I live very close to work currently and end up having to drive further to work each day. I am not used to driving in rush hour traffic, so this kind of scares me. It would be nice to not have to drive so far to spend time with my friends though. We have been looking at what's out there. I am not sure if there would be two or three of us. That's part of the problem currently. Three people is hard to get all of the things we want (being a garage spot for each of us). Two people is much easier, but I wouldn't save as much as with three.

Any suggestions are welcome!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Life Currently

I am completely exhausted right now. I have been working 12 hour days and then coming home and working a few more hours before going to bed. I have also been working at least one day each weekend. I can't wait for this time of the year to be over with. I want to get back to my normal life. I have been managing to work out at least 4 days a week still. I am making this a priority no matter what I have going on. I think work should quiet down a little bit after this week.

My family is coming to visit me this weekend. I have plans on Friday night with a friend. I think it should be a good weekend overall. I am hoping to do some shopping. I want to find some deals for items which are on my list of clothes I want to buy. I am slowly working at buying the items on my list as I find them on sale and that fit. I struggle to find clothes that fit me right.

I have started running at the gym. I am hoping to sign up for a 5k in a few months if all goes well. This will be a huge accomplishment for me. I really enjoy working out. I feel great lately. The cost is well worth it to me.

Due to working so much, I haven't spent much money lately. I have spent a little more on groceries than I probably should be but that's okay. I haven't spent it on other items, so that's a plus. I am still under budget.

I really want to start highlighting my hair again, but I am worried about the cost. I know I probably shouldn't, but I love my hair when it's highlighted. It has so much more body and it's thicker.

The boy . . . we haven't had time to do anything this past week. We are both very busy with work and other things right now. I am hoping after this weekend we can spend a little more time together and see what happens. I really enjoy spending time with him, so I hope it works out. You just never know though.

I will post after this weekend once I know how much I spent. I hope to stay within my budget!

Monday, March 2, 2009


I have met a few guys over the past two months. The first one ended up not working out. The second one I didn't click with. And now the third one. I am hoping we can do something again sometime soon. The problem is that I am not sure what to suggest we do. I haven't dated since college, so I feel out of touch. I usually just go out with my friends. I invited him over last night and we watched a movie. We also talked a lot, so it was a good night. I am not sure what to suggest if I call him again or if he would call. Due to my food allergies, it's hard to go out to dinner. I thought about suggesting that I cook something. I hate to suggest another movie. Any ideas!? I need dating help!d

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I have been awful at keeping up my blog lately. Sometimes I wish there was more time in the day. I am swamped at work right now. In addition to work I have been spending time with some of my best friends, working out, randomly dating, and working some more. I am also trying to fit in studying and some me time. I have stayed within my budget.

I have also started the process of rebuilding my wardrobe after cleaning out my closet and giving away all of my clothes which no longer fit. I was able to get some good deals last week. I made a list of everything I want/need clothing wise and how much I can spend on each item. Everything I bought last weekend was on my list and under budget. You can't beat that since I have a pretty big list.

I know a lot of the blogs I read have been mentioning date lately. I have not dated since college. This is for a variety of reasons. I am just feeling better overall now that I am working out 4-5 times a week, so I have been more social. I met a guy who was cute, but he ended up keeping some things about his personal life from me. So, I am not planning to see him again. And then there is a friend of a friend. Not such a great idea either. And now there is one other one. We'll see how this goes.

I have been considering moving in with some friends when my lease is up in order to save some time/money. I spend a lot of time driving to meet up with them (disadvantages of living in a bigger metro area). I am just concerned about going from living alone to having roommates again. I did live with one of them a few years ago and it worked out just fine.

We got more snow this today. I am not impressed. I really wanted spring to come. I have been itching to go on vacation. Somewhere with a beach, no shoes, and a book sounds amazing right now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Weekend . . . And Upcoming Weeks

This is the busiest time of the year for me. I am heading to work for awhile today. I hope for only a few hours to get some things done so I am caught up for Monday. I have plans later with a friend for a movie and shopping. (Neither of us have boyfriends to go out with for Valentine's Day.) I also hope to go to Trader Joe's and pick up around my apartment this weekend. I want to be ready for the next few weeks.

Next weekend is the first of a few required work weekends for my group. It will be very busy. I can't wait for it to be a month from now so that things quiet down a bit. Work provides lunch for us on the weekends, so that's nice. It will be hard to fit much else in, so the more I get done this weekend, the better off I will be. I just need to make sure I keep up my workouts. They really help how I feel, especially during stressful times.

I spent a lot more than I planned on groceries this week. There were some great sales on things I use regularly though, so I stocked up. I also need to stock up at Trader Joe's this weekend since I won't have time to go in the next few weeks.

I am hoping to find some tops on sale today when I am at the mall. I also have coupons to use. I am planning to go to Barnes and Noble as well to pick up a book I really want. I have a $50 gift card and a coupon for there, so I don't feel so bad about buying a book.

Have a great Valentine's Day weekend!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lack of Updates

I know it's been awhile since I have updated. A lot has been going on. I have been reconnecting with some great friends, working a ton, working out, and just trying to survive. I feel very overwhelmed right now for some reason. I want to spend time with friends, do my best at work, study, and work out, but it gets to be a lot sometimes. I am working really hard at not spending too much money and keeping my apartment in order.

I cleaned out my closet last weekend and gave a bunch of pants that didn't fit to one of my friends. They fit her great. It was hard to part with the pants (and the money invested), but I was sick of looking at all these clothes in my closet which don't fit. I have lost weight this past year and really need to invest in new clothes. I have some money set aside in my budget, but I am having no luck finding anything that fits/can afford/I like. It's very frustrating. I just want clothes that fit well and I feel comfortable in but aren't too expensive. Clothes shopping is a very frustrating thing for me.

I am really struggling with food right now. The more time I spend with other people the harder it is to not eat foods that will make me sick. They all look so good. I just want real food which is healthy, tastes good, and is easy to prepare.

Sorry for the rant! I hope to get back to regular blogging this week.

On a side note, I had a date. This is not normal for me! Dating makes me nervous. I had a good time but found out later he still has a thing for his ex-girlfriend. I told him we would not be seeing each other again because I don't want the drama of all of that.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Plans

The sun is shining and it's above freezing here! What a nice start to the weekend. I have had a busy morning trying to get a lot of things done including paying bills that are due tomorrow. I hate writing out my rent check! I have my work holiday party tonight and then am going out with some friends. It's been awhile since I have been out with both of the girls I am going out with tonight. We usually have a lot of fun together. I am planning to stay the night at their place and then we have a Super Bowl party tomorrow. It should be a fun weekend. I will probably spend a lot more than I should this weekend. I usually don't spend much, so I think it's okay to do this weekend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What A Week!!

I know I need a weekly update still. I am planning to just do two weeks on Sunday. This has been a crazy week. I have been trying to catch up from traveling for work last week. Yesterday and today layoffs were announced at my company. My area is indirectly affected. It still is not good though. My family is putting off booking tickets for the wedding until we see where things go. My dad's company is also talking of layoffs. My mom's has already done some. I just wish things would start to show some signs of hope soon. I am planning to go out with some friends on Saturday night. I think I need a fun night out with my girls!!! I will update more on finances this weekend.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Late on My Posting

I am late on my weekly spending update. I hope to post it tomorrow. The end of last week and the weekend were crazy. My work trip went really well. I went out with some friends this weekend. I have had a lot of other things to do these past few days, so I haven't update my budget files yet. I really hope to tomorrow.

On a side note, I really don't like apartment life. Everytime I get frustrated living in an apartment, it makes me want to buy a house. I just don't feel like now is the right time for me though. I want to save more first.

Any suggestions on where to stay in Vegas? We found a good deal on flights, but are still deciding on a hotel. We want to stay on the strip, but we aren't sure where. I have only been there once. I stayed at TI. That is way out of our budget for this trip though.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Work Trip

I am traveling for working tomorrow and Friday. I have never traveled out of town for work before. I am kind of nervous but also excited. The flight is taken care of, so I just have to worry about hotel and food. I will pay for them and then submit a reimbursement form when I return. The hotel has free shuttle service and a reduced room rate. This should run me around $100. My work does not reimburse for lunch since they expect that you would eat either way. I am planning to bring some of my own food due to my food allergies. I don't want to have to worry about not having anything to eat. Supper should be the only other item which I will have to worry about. It's a good thing I have room on my credit cards for these expenses. It usually takes about two weeks to receive the reimbursement.

On another note, I should get to meet with up a college roommate while on my trip. I am excited about this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week 3 Spending

I know I am a day late!! It's been a busy weekend. The company I work for changed their holiday schedule, so I now I have MLK Jr Day off. I took advantage of the long weekend and have been trying to get a ton done.

January 17th (Saturday)
- Groceries: $10.24
- Apt/PHP Items: $8.74
- Movie (Bride Wars): $5.00

January 18th (Sunday)
- Groceries: $34.50
- Gift: $2.60
- Gas: $18.56

Total Weekly Spending: $79.64

This weekend was higher than I wanted. It seems to be a trend. That's not good. I don't normally go to movies, but I decided to spend time with a friend since I had a long weekend. I enjoyed the movie. There were some good previews as well. I will probably wait until they come out on DVD. I stocked up on a few things from Super Walmart. It's a bit of a drive, so I should be good on groceries from there until at least the end of February. I finally got gas this weekend. It's been three weeks!! My mileage was awful though because of the cold. It finally warmed up here. I am very excited for that. It's entertaining that people get so excited when it's above zero.

Other things going on in life that are finance related . . . I need to get started studying hard core again. I have had a month off from studying, so I figure it's about time. The sooner I take the next part of my exam, the sooner I get reimbursed from work. I have been working out a lot lately. I am glad I am using my gym membership. I was worried I would join and then quit going after a week. I have been successful so far. My family is heading to Vegas Memorial Day weekend for a wedding. I am trying to decide if I will go or not. I feel like I should since it's my cousin getting married, and we have a small family. I am not sure if it's in my budget or not though. I am waiting to find out who's all going for sure before I decide. If I can keep the room costs down that would help. The flights are around $320 for a direct flight. That seems like a lot to me. It's an expensive weekend to head out there in my mind.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grocery Shopping & Nail Update

I went to a specialty store after work today to pick up a few gluten free/dairy free items which I can only get there. They were out of one of the things I wanted . . . AGAIN! Last time I went they were out as well. I even asked the stock people both times if they had any in the back. None. I am not very impressed right now. I can only get these items at this store, so I guess I am out of luck for now.

One of my goals for 2009 was to quit biting my nails. Well, it's been just over two weeks, and so far, so good. I have white showing on each nail which is a huge thing for me!! They need to be filed down a little this weekend. If I keep them pretty short the nails are actually very strong. I hate the sound of a nail clipper, so I only file my nails. I don't know what it is about that sound, but I just can't stand it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 2 Spending

Here is my spending for the past week.

January 5th (Monday)
- Groceries: $13.66

January 9th (Friday)
- Chipotle: $6.36

January 10th (Saturday)
- Groceries: $12.74
- Batteries : $3.00

January 11th (Sunday

- Groceries: $20.93

Total Weekly Spending: $56.69

I know this week looks bad for groceries. I went to the grocery store on Monday because I never went last weekend. I went on Saturday to the regular grocery store. I ended up going to Trader Joe's today to stock up for the next month on items I can only get there. I did not intend to go this weekend, but since the roads were good, I decided too. It's a bit of a drive, so I only like to go when the roads are dry in the winter. I should be good until close to the end of February on items from there. I ended up with more spend days than I would have liked due to this.

I did not get gas again this week. I might stop this week sometime depending on how much driving I do. I still have half a tank, but it's going to get very cold this week, so I don't want to let it get too low. I also went to Chipotle for lunch on Friday. I very rarely go out to eat, so I decided to go for lunch since it was one of my direct report's last day. I am also planning to go next month sometime with a friend who is currently on a long vacation. I want to meet up with her to hear about her trip and see all of the pictures.

I hope to spend a lot less this week!! I am planning to go to Super Target for my grocery shopping next weekend. They carry a few items I can't get at the grocery store closest to my house.

I am discovering that working out is resulting in no "no drive" days. This is okay, but it will start making a difference in my gas costs once winter is over. I tend to do more when it's nicer out and not so cold. I am currently spending a lot more time inside. I love going to the gym though and I need to get back into shape, so it's worth it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Another Busy Week

This week has been very busy. We have a lot of changes going on at work. I am also still catching up from time off over the holidays. I am trying to get back into working out regularly. I also need to get some things done around my apartment. All of this has lead to 3 no spend days so far this week though! Yay!

I am not planning to spend much this weekend. I might go into work for awhile to get some things done while it's quiet there. It's supposed to get very cold here next week, so I need to go to the grocery store this weekend. I don't like running errands when it's extremely cold out.

I am traveling for work on January 22-23. I have never been on a work trip out of town before. It will be interesting! There are two other people from my department going. I am looking forward to meeting people in person that I talk to on the phone a lot. It will be good networking.

I decided that I am not going to a mall at all in January. I have a lot of things on my to do list, work is very busy, I am trying to save money, and I don't need anything right now. So, the best choice is to just resist temptation. Next month may be a different story though. I need to get into working out a lot more though before I can buy any clothes. Another motivation for working out more!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Other Notes

I just updated my sidebars. My overall savings increased, but none of the categories I list individually on here did.

I updated the blogs I read as well. This list is sure growing. If I forgot anyone, or anyone would like to be added, just let me know.

I keep forgetting to post my 12/31/08 net worth. It was $10,998. I am very pleased with this. I started tracking it in April 2008. It was negative then. I can't wait to see what happens in 2009.

Week 1 Spending

I think I am going to post my spending each Sunday for the previous week. I usually get groceries and gas on the weekends, so this should work out well for me. I am only starting with my spending from January 1st through today.

January 1st
-Rent: $1080.00
-Cable: $40.00
-Internet: $36.76
-Gym: $42.55

Total Weekly Spending: $1199.31

*I only spent money on the first. So, that's three no spend days so far this month already!

The week that includes the first of the month is usually where I spend the most money. I am hoping that January is a low spending month. I know some may look at my rent and think it's way too high for one person to pay each month. I do pay a lot, but I have some amenities which make it worth the money. It is also close to my work, so I don't spend a lot on gas each month.

I did not need gas this weekend. I did not go to the grocery store because I didn't feel like going out in the cold. I will stop sometime this week for at least a few things. I am not sure if I will spend the full $20 I had allocated for today or not though. I still need to look at the ad.

I am glad that there was no extra spending, just my normal monthly bills.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Goals

Here is my list of goals for 2009. I may add to or alter this list in the coming weeks, but here is what I have so far. Some will be hard for me and others are listed as a reminder to keep on track with what I am already doing.

Financial (12)
Pay off car by end of the year. (This is a stretch but is my ultimate goal.)
Limit clothes/shoes spending to $300. (I am planning to buy some clothes once I get in shape. I also want to buy black dress sandals.)
Only buy personal hygiene/apartment items when needed. (I have a lot under my bathroom and kitchen sinks!)
Limit other spending to only items that are needed.
At least 4 no spend days per week.
Do not buy pop at work.
Take lunch to work every day.
Look at tax withholding in July to determine if need to change W-4.
Check credit report three times.
Check credit score once.
Limit cash withdrawals from checking account to $20 per month.
Donate to a charity every other month.

Career/Education (4)
Finish CMA Exam by end of the year. (Part 2 by June and Part 4 by December)
Get equity increase approved by February.
Make a decision on grad school by end of the year.
Update resume every three months.

Health (4)
Continue gluten free/dairy free diet.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Workout at least three times per week.
Try new recipes and foods.

Personal (14)
Finish quilt for parents by March.
Complete afghan for myself by June.
Do dishes three or four times per week. (I hate doing dishes so they usually pile up.)
Floss and rinse each night.
Read one book per month.
Go through all tubs to determine what to keep, throw, and donate by the end of the year.
Play Wii more. (This is a stress reliever for me.)
Think more about where I want my life to go in the future and how to get there.
Decide where I want to live.
Blog at least twice a week.
List all spending on blog in order to maintain accountability.
Take more pictures of friends and family.
Visit an art museum.

Quit biting my nails. (This will be a hard one for me.)