Under Construction!

Put on a hard hat, we are doing some construction! My Pretty Pennies as you know it will no longer exist.

(pause for reaction)

A bit dramatic, but it’s slightly true—I will be moving to a self-hosted site which means any link to this one (wordpress.com) will have to be transferred. Sounds like a big headache, no? It will be and that’s why I’ve got some help from Mrs. Micah. In the meantime, thanks for the patience as weird things are happening!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention–HAPPY FRIDAY! This weekend I plan to catch up with busy friends and drug-up on allergy medicine so I can enjoy the gorgeous outdoors. Hope you have a great one!

um, is this not the cutest thing ever?

It’s April, which means the first quarter of the year is over. Let’s take a little looksie at the 2010 goals and see how the progress is coming, shall we? Click here for a more detailed description of each goal.


  • Become Debt-Free Done! Woohooo!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)
  • Continue to give 10% of my income
    Ackkk. I could use some improvement in this area. I’m tending to give about 5% of my monthly income as opposed to 10%.
  • Earn $5000 in extra income
    Last year I got about $1,700 in taxes as opposed to the $600 I am getting this year, so I am not sure if I will meet my $5,000 goal mark this year or not. But I’m still making some progress! I’ve earned $1,503 which is 30%.
  • Figure out Retirement Goals once I’m debt-free Done!
  • Reach $20,000 in net worth
    I started the year off with $5,383 and have
    $9,240 now. In the next nine months I need to increase it by $10,760 to reach this goal, which is $1,119 per month.


  • Workout 3 times a week or 156 times the year
    I’ve worked out a total of 26 days this year which is just plain pathetic. January: 15 days; February: 3 days; March: 8 days.
    If I am to reach this goal, I need to workout four times a week for the rest of the year.
  • Cook one new recipe per month & blog about it
    I’m cooking new recipes but I am not blogging about it! That’s because I like pretty pictures and my camera slash photo-taking skills are just not up to par.
  • Get to 115-120 lbs
    I weigh between 125 and 128 pounds right now, which is fine. I think that if I can stay between 120-125 then I’ll feel healthy.


  • Start a Me Fund & buy something at Tiffany’s
    The Tiffany’s Fund has started!

  • Get a raise or promotion at work Done!
  • Switch the blog to self-hosted with unique URL
    I’m doing that this weekend!
  • Read 12 books
    So far I’ve read two books: New Moon (I was stuck on the cruise!) and Angels and Demons. I have four library books checked out right now and a long list (thanks to you guys!) of books I hope to read this year.
  • Live in the same town as J
    It’s in the works. That’s all I will say right now. ;)

Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction Factors:
  • Culture — work environment, office space, coworkers, company values
  • Salary — amount, paycheck every week/bi-weekly/monthly, direct deposit
  • Benefits — flex spending accounts, health, dental, vision, vacation days, reimbursements, perks
  • Location — commutes, cost-of-living, distance to/from home or friends
  • Position — title, daily work, career goals, status
The perfect job would have all five things tailored to your preferences, but in the real world, you usually have to sacrifice one for another. For example, an individual may have a large salary with excellent benefits, but stationed far away from family and friends. Or a large salary but little vacation days and an oppressive management. Or a small salary with little benefits in a fun, friendly environment doing rewarding work. Or decent salary and work environment in a field that may not give passion. The possibilities are endless.

I’m no psychologist or human resources professional, but it’s only logical that if a person looks for another job, one or more job factors in their current position aren’t met. I think there’s a natural evolution with this because the things you felt when you first started a job may no longer be the same after time and experience.

Anyway, all this to say, I’m really curious to hear what others think regarding this topic:
  • Has anyone ever taken a pay decrease through changing jobs?
    If yes, what did the lower-paying job have that the other one didn’t?
  • Of the five “job satisfaction factors” which are most important to your current position? If you were to switch jobs right now, what factor would you look for in a new job?
  • Is your salary worth the amount or is it higher/lower based on other job factors?
I sound like an interviewer or something. :) I’ll share a little more of my personal experience later, but would really appreciate any insight from others!!

Liquid Assets: $4,406.58
Checking Account: $24.01

Emergency Savings: $4,076.41
Car Repair Fund: $89.66
Gift Fund: $165.47
Me Fund: $25
Future Fund: $26.03

Long-term Assets: $4,962.18
401(k): $3,648.27
Roth IRA: $1,275.33
Stocks: $38.58

Debts: $126.78
Credit Card: $126.78

Net Worth = $9,241.98

My cash was down $354 because I had to pay for the car repairs. I’m so upset that I had to use my credit card the first month I become debt-free! Oh well, I need to move on. There’s always an ebb and flow to finances and I’m pretty optimistic about April’s results.

Beginning Balance: $339.67

Gasoline: $27.04
*Groceries: $12.08
Panera: $5.72
Subway: $3.62
Potbelly’s: $2.85
**Bike pump: $15.89

Blogging: +$130 — sent this money to the Car Repair fund

Ending Balance: $272.47

*Note on Groceries:
In an effort to Eat my Entire Kitchen this month, I needed to buy a few things. I bought lettuce, orange juice, milk, turkey, and sandwich bags. Of the $100 groceries budget, I have $87.92 left for April.

**Bike Pump:
Back in January I bought the cutest bike from my friend, but haven’t ridden it much since it  needed air in the tires. This glorious spring weekend I finally bought a bike pump and it’s sooo fun to ride my bike everywhere! I only used my car once–I love it!

Have a sunny weekend!

{this photo is what my street looks like}

Happy Friday! Anyone have lovely Easter Weekend plans? My weekend consist of cherry blossoms, spring cleaning, afternoon bike rides, reading pages from a novel on the National Mall, attending church service, hunting Easter eggs at a Sunday brunch, and soaking up as much Vitamin D as I can get. It’s my keep-busy plan for not spending Easter with my family.

This week’s spending was pretty standard for the beginning of the month, meaning there was money going in all kinds of directions! I have updated my Kitchen Inventory list. I think I’ll just cross off/add to my original list instead of creating a whole new list each week. But I have yet to spend any money this month on groceries! Scoooore.

Meals this week:
-Monday: rice & chicken
-Tuesday: stirfry & rice
-Wednesday: babysat
-Thursday: out to eat with a friend

Here are some other “Eat Your Entire Kitchen” participants. Anyone else want to participate with us in April?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Beginning Balance: $44.05

end of march expenses:
Gasoline: $77.55
Gifts: $51.83 (sister’s birthday & get well gift for J’s dad)
Groceries: $7.26
Dining: $74.07 (I ate with a large group & put it on my credit card. I got reimbursed for this, but it was added in another spending report’s cash).

end of march income:
Saving Transfers: +$88
Return: +$21.19

april expenses:
Roth IRA: $100
Rent: $660
Cell/Internet: $84.67
Cable: $49.18
Electric: $39.40
Charity: $75
Car Insurance: $32
Gym Fee: $30

credit card paybacks:
Banana Republic: $68.99
Plane Ticket: $114.90 (April 16-18 I’m traveling for a bachlorette weekend)

april savings:
Car Repair Fund: $375 ($100 of this is for me to save until the end of the month’s bills)
Emergency Fund: $650
Me Fund: $25
Gift Fund: $50

april income:
Paycheck: +$2,465
Babysitting: +$50 (to CRFund)
Blogging Income: +$200 (to CRFund)

Ending Balance: $339.67

Whew! I think I’m finally in a good spot with my money after paying my bills, credit cards (for shame!) and transferring savings for the month. The $340 left in my checking account is the rest of the money I have for April. It doesn’t seem like that much, but I plan to live very frugal this month and all of my big expenses (aka: PLANE TICKET!) have been taken care of. Saving progress bars are updated to the side… yay! The Emergency Fund is well on it’s way!

Bye March; Hi April!

Ahhh… a new month is upon us. That means new paycheck, new goals, a fresh start. I love it. :)

March Goals:

  • Become debt free!!!!!!!
  • Go to the gym 12 times
  • Cook something new
  • Figure out new budget
  • Update blogroll

Of course not going to the gym would be the one goal I fail at this month. Everything else was pretty standard, although I’m seriously disappointed with my March budget. But more on that in a later post.

April Goals:

  • Reach $10,000 in net worth (dare I try?!)
  • Go to the gym 12 times
  • Only spend $100 in groceries
  • Don’t use credit card or savings for any living expenses. (Sadly it happened in March)
  • Attend the Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Have a fabulous time at my friend’s bachlorette weekend.

Here’s to a happy and productive April!

Kitchen Inventory

{photo above is not my pantry… but isn’t it pretty?}

As I mentioned in yesterday’s miscellaneous ramble, I’m not going to buy any groceries until I finish off my freezer/refrigerator/pantry. Well, I am giving myself $100 for groceries, but only if I buy something to pair with an item listed below. I spent waaaaaaaay too much on food in March, so this is my attempt to make up for it.

Originally posted 3/30/10
List updated 4/7/10
April Grocery Budget: $87.92 left


  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Chicken
  • Vegetable stir fry mix
  • French fries
  • Bacon
  • Fruit popsicles
  • Italian Ice
  • Turkey


  • Cacciatore sauce
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Blue cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Hummus
  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Milk
  • Orange Juice
  • Lettuce


  • Peanut butter
  • Cliff bar
  • 2 cans of chicken soup
  • Can of black beans
  • Can of chili beans
  • Can of corn
  • Pop tart
  • Bag of rice
  • Hot chocolate packets
  • Salsa
  • Chips
  • Baking mix
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Pizza sauce
  • Wheat thins

There’s a few other little items I didn’t add like mustard, flour, dressings, etc., but that’s standard stuff I try to always have on hand. I’ll update on my meal plans and how this list stands in the weeks to come.

Anyone else want to join me in finishing off their kitchen inventory this April?

Monday Miscellaneous


  • This past weekend I went home for my friend’s bridal shower and it made me want to be engaged so I can register for pretty home things. Over coffee this morning, I found myself at the Pottery Barn website… you know, just to look around.
  • Every Monday for the last three weeks we’ve had very Mondayesque weather: drizzly, misty, chilly. However, we are suppose to have 80-degree weather this weekend. Is it sad I’m wishing away today, tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday already?
  • I’m very happy that Duke University made it to the Final Four. :)
  • Last week I bought a dress at Target that I wore for Saturday’s bridal shower. My sisters told me it looked like I was wearing an apron, so I returned it today. I feel slightly dishonest, but not enough because I only wore it once and am very thankful to have $21.19 back in my account.
  • On that note, I saw The Blind Side this weekend (loved it) and learned that if you if don’t love it in the store, you’ll never wear it. Good advice, Sandra Bullock.
  • I mailed in my state taxes over a month ago and have been impatiently waiting for my owed $158. Last Wednesday I received a letter from them saying I forgot to include my W2 form. How does one forget to put their W2 slip in there?!
  • I’m not going to buy any groceries this week–or month, depending on how long it takes me to eat all of the food in my fridge, freezer and pantry.
  • I am itching for a good novel to read. Does anyone have a book recommendation that includes the following:
    –little violence, crudity, sadness;
    –lots of subtle humor, everyday simplicity, happy ending?