Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How Clean Does It Need to Be...

This past weekend my mom stopped in for a quick visit which was really quite wonderful. But in a way very nerve wracking. Now having to be an adult and call myself one means that I have to make sure she doesn't see me and the house we live in as an expansive teenage room.

With that I dug in a bit deeper as to what was causing so much anxiety.

1. I've been working non-stop lately along with another outside responsibility that was taking up hours of my day. All the hours of all the days. It almost feels like I come home to fall asleep and that's about it.

2. We do not communicate as to what has been done as much as we should. Sometimes we will even expect the other person to get a hint and help out or compliment on a job well done. Sometimes I'll notice it weeks later and wonder about how it got done and whether any little elves were involved.

3. Three pets does not lend to a clean house. End of story.

So my question was how clean does the house need to be before your family comes over? My mom stated that everything looked pleasant. Highly doubt she was lying, and I know the candle right when you walked in the door cleverly hid some of the pet smells.

Perhaps living in the house and knowing each and every nook and cranny that hasn't been cleaned leads me to have vivid nightmares of all the dust bunnies that share our abode. Yet, they don't seem that troublesome at all yet.

Cleaning worries to get off your chest? I've finally finished my outside commitment which has allowed me to gain a better balance in my life. There was a cleaning fest one morning and all fears were calmed. 

Monday, November 2, 2015


Getting something out has been tough the past week. There are countless drafts, a few revisions here and there and it feels as though nothing is still coming together.

Why is that?

I'm not searching for perfection but nothing that I write or tinker with really projects what I've been thinking or doing lately. And it's nothing that exciting at all.

A lot of it has been packing my lunches on a day to day basis. Making sure that the laundry is done and dishes are clean or put away. There are some basic chores that fall to the wayside every now and then, but nothing that a good moping every now and then cannot remedy.

And for some reason those are the most important moments of simple living. Getting the small stuff that many disregard. Those small actions day after day are the ones that save the most. Wearing slippers and turning the thermostat down during the winter months. Cutting out the coupons for household items that are needed despite trying to go without them. It can seem tedious at some points, but in reality it isn't. Being able to find joy in them has made me appear complacent from the outside, but inside a lot more satisfied with the ebbs and flows.

As to money matters, I'm hoping with steady paychecks for the foreseeable future, I'll be able to make getting out of debt a priority and not just an afterthought. It seems that budgeting after the money is gone is what has been happening lately, which is a habit that needs to end here and now. Making a small hole for car repairs and savings will really save me in the long run.

As for the simplicity route, a lot of activities have been building up, which might be good, but can also lead to too booked of a schedule. My mornings have been filled with errands that can be done quickly and efficiently due to the lack of crowds. Grocery shopping is no longer on my most hated list. One thing I would like to transition to is enjoying the quiet aspects of a winter morning, cup of coffee in hand and pen in the other. Whether it be journaling or studying, less movement would probably be best for the season.

And of course the holidays! Perhaps a few more decorations this year will liven up the atmosphere? But more to put up means more to take down. We will see about that...

With the fall winding down and winter approaching, what is it that is still on your to do list for the year? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spending Week? Let's Just Start Again...

What is the biggest disruption of a planned spending budget? The unplanned changes that go on in life. Last week was full of those, from starting a new job, to having to pay for parking, to being only a one car household for a few days. Yeah, it was crazy for both of us. But for me, there were quite a few changes that kept on poking me in the side.

Parking: Never realized how much parking fees could add up on a day to day basis. It never seemed to be a lot that day, but by the end of the week, my credit card didn't think it that fun at all...

Food: ??? A lot of little snacks were bought this week, stemming from poor planning, to just realizing that all the food that was brought for lunch didnt' last until 1pm, it was just a bit of a hunger fest. So, snacks galore! 

Other: Car deductible. OH life! You keep on making me spend money on things I don't want to...

So, here's to the start of a new week and to positive energy! 

My plans for this week are three no spend days and the word for the next couple months is contentment. Why do I need that word in my life right now? It's because lately, almost everything seems too little, not enough, still lacking. Nothing is getting done or accomplished and the checklist is still growing. Making a list of my wants and needs, but mainly my needs will remind me that in life, I really do have everything. There's nothing more that going to a store or ordering online can provide me. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday Review 2...A Day Late

You know what's even worse than knowing your getting sick...being sick over the weekend, knowing that a long week is ahead of you...

Oh well, so is life, but at least I can take this Sunday to relax like I've needed to and catch up on a few projects around the house. I'm one of those type of people that NEEDS to be up and around even if they have a fever and are using a box of tissues every other hour.

So onto everyone's favorite part!

This past week in expenses

Wine: $15 Pretty good for two bottles for the week. I'm happy with this
Food Out: $50 Hmm, Thursday was a big non cook day as you can see...
Snacks: $15 Pretty good as well considering they closed down my favorite spot to get an after work drink... Perhaps this will help cut down this expense!
Meds: $10 To help along the healing process! They definitely helped me get through work Saturday morning!

Total: $90 Not too bad extraneous spending! Definitely better than last week!

This week I also got my car refinanced, which turned out to be a longer than expected process, but will end up saving me about $40 a month! Woohoo! More money for student loans! 

One thing I really need to get doing is instead of tracking what I bought is focus on making sure I stick to my budget. I'm usually under most categories but there are times I could honestly do better. Perhaps I need to go back to using cash only for the rest of the year...

Around the web:

Living On a Bus? Could you imagine that? Even begin to? It's something that I have always thought of and probably would like to do after having kids and entering retirement age. Just travel wherever and whenever. But this place is definitely not your bus from school days.  It makes my toes tingle and my imagination run wild.

Over at Rockstar Finance Mr.1500 talks about his 1M and how he go there. This is inspiring (at least for me who is still working on that route) about how hard work, being frugal and determination can bring whatever it is you want and right to your doorstep.

As for this coming week, it will be busy at work and that means a lot less energy, but hopefully a lot more money!!! I also got a few books from the library and will try to stick to reading on a set schedule instead of binging right before they are due.

What are you looking forward to this coming week? Any new things you want to try out before the end of summer?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Review 1

There is this feeling that Saturday morning is such a sacred time that I love looking at the week in review and seeing how everything has fallen into place.

Recap of the week: Unfortunately, this is the first blog post of the week, but there were a few more in the making that just never got finished. They will definitely get some fine tuning and make their debut next week though so stay tuned!

Things that got finished around the house include lots of cleaning and overall tidying. Things were thrown into the trash, donated or put into proper places. The house looks a lot more livable now. We are even discussing the possibilities of the big monstrosity in the family room. Woohoo for a non-smelly and walkable home!

With a lot less work this week, I've focused on slowing down and appreciating the summer for the beautiful but fleeting time it is up here in the Northeast part of the country. Which includes lots of walks and time outdoors despite the showers. What's a little rain but frizzy hair?

Weekly Spending:

Groceries: $55 Awesome! Even got some meat to stock up our fridge that had manager's discount coupons!
Outside Drinks: $16 Boo but not really...
Outside Food: $35 Most of it was having lunch with the Bf during a lunch break...so not too bad
Car: $72 Oh the money pit...
Makeup: $50 Replacing used up items that I've been really putting off for too long now.
Unexpected: Spent $40 on repairing the Bf's watch. But he really appreciated so I'm pretty happy with it.

Total: $268 of kind of random stuff. Let's be better next week.

Inspirations of the Week: Lots of awesome articles this week that needed to be shared!

At Minimal Millennial, offloading jewelry even with sentimental value is really sometimes the hardest thing to do. And what about all those one event pieces? Oh yeah, they are all there taking up space.

The 100 Dreams List over at Modern Mrs. Darcy REALLY inspired me this past week and something I will be giving lots of thought to as the weeks turn into fall and perhaps making my own.

Living Off Peak Hours over at ThinkSaveRetire is all the way up my alley. Having one day off during the week allows me to get all my shopping and necessities done without the hassle of dealing with the crowds. I honestly would love to work for companies in my future that allows flexible schedules where I can take advantage of those unused weekdays.

Alrighty, that wraps it up for this Saturday! Hope you guys have an awesome weekend and don't get too caught up in the crowds!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Hardest Part...

The past few times I think about writing anything for the blog, I get so lost. So confused and frustrated. It seems that my time writing brings nothing to fruition. Well not nothing, just a lot of unfinished blog posts...

My usual roundabout way ends up being I wake up early to try and get some writing in and be distracted a little bit by outside forces. But I then look at my feed, see what new articles are up, get some ideas, then move onto Facebook and next Tumblr...

What is it that makes writing so hard? I'm not at the point of running out of topics, I'm only just beginning. The best part being that personal finance is so personal, I can always find something in my everyday life to talk about and hopefully inspire someone in the end. That there are a myriad of posts that I can write in my whole lifetime.

It's all about putting all those thoughts and ideas into words. Letting them flow from the depths of my brain onto the tips of my fingers. Make all those random words legitimate sentences that follow English grammar and are usually void of spelling eras.

It seems that on a daily basis, instead of spending a lot of time reading other blogs for various ideas and writing styles, my focus should be on actually typing away at my keys. It's easy to get sucked into a passive way to fix your shortcomings, but until it is really put into use, only then will everything start getting honed.

And perhaps, maybe even, I'm scared of failure. Of seeing myself never really make it as a blogger. Not that I have huge dreams of success, but I do have some goals I would like to see myself achieve with this small blog of mine. Perhaps getting a few gigs on the side or having others who will follow me with adamant support and fervor. Those who are willing to back me up and tell me when I'm crazy when needed.

So with all that said, here's to working just a tad bit harder at this writing thing. Being a bit more forgiving with it all and sometimes hitting publish even if it is not perfect.

What's the hardest part for you? 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Budget That Isn't Working...

As I sat down to make a new budget, I had my old budget in hand and considered it 80% there. No one is perfect, but it's not like I forgot to add in a new designer bag anywhere in there...

But then lots of questions and concerns started coming into play. I tend to be a frugal and conscious person. However, I love buying those small things that make life worth living, like flowers, and teas and cute pink things (no judging!!!).

And where did I have to start, with my debt. Being able to fully admit where I am and where I started is a great thing. It shows me how far I've come these past two years.

Total Debt: $29,670.44

This includes my student loans and my car loan.Yikes, that's quite a bit, but quite a bit of progress from 36k in student loans and 10k on the car.  With my car being half paid off and that key chain still on there, along with extra payments, we are making progress every day!

Each month there are a few priorities I want to take into account.

1. Paying off my debt sooner rather than later.
2. Enjoying life, including family and friends.
3. Being prepared!

Being able to take these things into consideration, categories start falling into place.

Based on 2200 an average take home pay...

Rent: 264 + 125 (part of home repairs that are underway)
Car Loan: 320 (extra 100 each month)
Student Loans: 500 (extra 311 and change each month)

Remaining: Not a lot...

Ballet: 100
Hair and Nails: 40
Taxes: 200

Remaining: Even less...

Hmm, and that got me thinking. There's a few categories that are missing here. Like savings and tithe and FOOD...

Church: 50
Groceries: maybe 100?
Gas: 100
Everything else:100

There is something that needs to be done. These past few days have been good to me, but that is the present and does not speak of the future. What happens when your budget does not balance? Do you start cutting your debt repayment to fit in food? Or perhaps putting the needs first, debt repayment second and then everything else third? Do you stop planning for those 'important to you' things? Take out the spontaneity from life? What is it that must be done to balance the budget?

That is the question that I'm still working on and will be for the next few months...

What do you think I should do? Do you think I should stop contributing to my Roth or perhaps lower my student loan payment? There's no wine budget...I NEED MY WINE...