Archive for the ‘rambles’ Category

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?

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Sunny Day Rambles


We’ve had five straight days of rain in Washington, DC. Not just rain, but a foggy, gray mist that is little enough to make you look silly holding an umbrella, but still manages to turn your hair into a frizzy mess. Or maybe that’s just my hair? If it’s going to rain, I think it should be a downpour… don’t linger around for five days. Just sayin’.

However today is the first day the sun has come out and I am so happy. I love daylight savings, even though you do lose an hour. There’s just something about driving home after work with the sun still up that lifts a girl’s spirits. And there’s just something about springtime that brings hopeful thoughts of things that are to come.

This is a personal-finance blog, so I’d like to give you a heads’ up that I may be writing more about the personal than the finance part. (Exhibit A: Cake! I saw your comments… recipes to come.) Don’t worry, I don’t need a spending intervention or anything. All is well and I’ll still update you on my money, but I also want to explore a little more creativity with this blog. Hope that’s okay.

That’s all I’ve got today. Happy Tuesday! :)

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Greetings Friends!

My sincerest apologies for being a little MIA lately. Work has been especially busy and my evenings are also filled with great things, but unfortunately keep me away from my lovely apartment.

Anyone else eager for February?! I sure am. February 1st (aka: payday) cannot come too soon! For one thing, el dinero is running out, but I’m also eager to calculate a new budget after the raise.

Lately I’ve been feeling… complacent? Discontent? Impatient? Hm, I’m not sure what the right word is, I think I’m just ready for a change. I’m ready to be debt-free and have all my money go to savings. I’m ready for spring to arrive along with many fun, exciting plans. I’m also ready for something to happen with J. We’ve been long distance for 19 months now and I’m tired of it. Last week there were some exciting opportunities that fizzled out. :-/ Some days I just wish he would move up here, even if he was simply my stay-at-home-BF. But alas, I must be practical and patient.

In other news, I had a lovely weekend! It was very social but also allowed for some much-needed rest.

Beginning Balance = $127.82

+$5.90 sold a book on Amazon
+$50 babysitting

-$35.66 gasoline
-$33.19 electric bill
-$2.50 groceries
-$20 dinner
-$25 to Car Repair fund

Ending Balance = $67.37

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It’s only Day Seven and already the optimism of a new year has quickly been replaced with the Winter Blues. Ugh. Anyone else feel a little down in January? Cold weather is really only useful in November and December when you have a cozy decorated den to relax and snack on Christmas cookies. But now that holiday parties are over, the new year brings strong convictions against sweets and laziness, so I’m over this cold weather.

I’m sad my lovely holiday is over. On Monday we received the days off we’ll have this year and I’m very sorry to announce I have zero paid holidays until Memorial Day. That’s five cold months from now.

Oh yes, and then there’s the fact that I spent six wonderful days with J. My friends, that is the longest amount of time we have spent with each other in our one and a half years of dating. Isn’t that a little depressing? It was so wonderful to be together, but it so impatient to begin our life in the same town. I understand the circumstances and am thankful he’s finally graduated; but I wish the economy was better or we had stronger job contacts or that I could just blink and he’d be up here working at a fantastic company.

Does anyone else get the Winter Blues? How do you deal with them?


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November Net Worth: +$812

Readers: Do you know your net worth? Yeah yeah, I know about you PF bloggers… but what about you other readers (if there are any): Do you know what you are worth?

I remember when I first heard in the finance world to “calculate your net worth” I thought it would be a long, complicated process. Well, it turned out to be super short and simple because I had so little money to calculate. Ever since then, knowing my net worth has really helped me in keeping my eye “on the prize.” (The prize, of course, being financially secure. That’s what this blog is all about, right?).

On my PF spreadsheet, my net worth sheet is named “HOPE” because it always makes me feel hopeful to see my progress since I began tracking.¬† Sure there were months it didn’t increase a lot, but slowly and steadily I’m getting closer to becoming financially secure.

If you’ve never calculated your net worth, I highly encouraged it. It may not be a fun experience or a pretty picture, but if you stick to it, you just may be surprising how hopeful it becomes.

Here’s how you calculate:

Assets  РLiabilities = Net Worth

Assets = Anything you own: bank accounts, savings, retirement, cars, etc.
Liabilities = Anything you owe: debts, credit cards, mortgage, etc.

Now here’s mine for November:

A few notes on my November Net Worth:

  • My cash is lower because I paid the rest of the Cruise balance of $225 and also used cash to pay for Christmas presents.
  • Saved $125 in the Car Repair Fund.
  • I don’t include my car because I don’t plan on ever selling it, but it’s worth about $1500.
  • Retirement was pretty standard.
  • I pay my credit card each month so that balance was pending payment on Nov. 30th.
  • Paid $700 towards my debt. Holla!
  • Right now I’m worth $3,713!

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Today’s Rambles


Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about 2010. I think about my goals, my budget, my job, my apartment, my relationships. I want to accomplish so much this next year! You’ll see when I finally update my 2010 goals.

It’s great to make plans and dream, but sometimes it’s not the healthiest for me to do. Too often I romanticize about the past and the future and disregard where I am.

Just last night I was having dinner with a group of friends and we were talking about fun times last year as if we were all moving away and will never do anything awesome again. And of course with J graduating, I have been thinking nonstop about the posibilities of living in the same town and anxious to get on with that season of our lives. I think about how nice it would be to visit each other after work, go to free festivals together, make meals together, and even do mundane things like laundry together.

But I need to remember that today is pretty awesome too. I know I will look back on these days–this day–and miss this time of my life. I’ll miss funny moments with my roommate and the projects I’m working on with clients and late-night phone conversations and spontaneous visits home that have become so so special to me.

I’m sorry for the rambling post, but every now and then I need the reminder that it’s okay not to plan everything down to the detail and the dollar. Sometimes I just need to live and take each day as it comes. :)

{photo credit}

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Car Headaches & Rambles

In September I got four new tires and was informed that I needed a lot more work on my dear old Honda. I finally took it in today. The guy said the only thing that needs attention are my front drive axles. It will cost me about $400 to get two replaced plus an oil change.

I could probably shop around for a better price (maybe? I don’t know if that’s good or not), but the convenience of getting it over with is better than trying to find a cheaper price. Perhaps that’s a bad rationale but I’ve been putting it off since my birthday and it’s always a headache to find someone to take me and pick me up.

Today I’m in one of those moods where I feel so behind!

I need to save for a new car. I know I could get at least two more years on mine if I continue to take care of it, but I’ll have at least $500 per year in repairs. And I refuse to finance a new one.

I want to save for a wedding. I’m not getting married anytime soon, nor will I be engaged at all in the next year, but I want to pay for it all so I need to start saving soon.

I want to have a fully funded emergency fund. I am thankful for what I’ve saved so far. It’s a great when you feel at peace hearing a $400 bill because I know I have money saved for that. The security of having three months’ living expenses would be incredible.

I know, I’m having a little pity party here.

There are SO many things to be thankful for: I saved $600 for car repairs for days like today. I got a raise recently. I pay as much debt down as possible. I save any extra income I get. I am healthy and my expenses are minimal.

But I cannot help once in a while feeling a little discouraged and behind. It’s okay to feel that way once in a while, right?

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I’m back!

What a lovely little vacation I had! I had guests come to visit for the Fourth of July and then traveled for a lovely weekend for my best friend’s wedding. I’m torn between being really sad it’s all over and slightly relieved to be back in my routine and allow for some much-needed R&R. Even though I was on “vacation,” I can’t say I did a lot of relaxing.

One huge challenge of hosting guests and traveling are the unexpected costs that creep up. I need to finish crunching the numbers, but I think considering all that I did, there wasn’t anything I went over on–except for maybe gas. The only thing truly unexpected was to get my car inspected, which I completely forgot about until my dad kindly reminded me. That only cost me $13 though. Cheap!

Right now in my bank account I have $260 left for the rest of this month. I’ve paid all of my bills except for two that come at the end of the month–approximately $70 total which my roommate will split with me. I also have to purchase a birthday present for my mom, travel home the last weekend, mail some packages, and may also sign up for an 8k run to help with my training. I have only one babysitting job and should get about $60 for that.

I feel like this Monday is the first day of a brand new six months. I plan to review my goals, make some new ones, and figure out how exactly to meet them. Time to get to work… literally. ;)

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Farewell May

The last few days of this month I’ll be up here for the weekend and taking it easy. Surprise surprise. :)

I’m very behind on my blog reads. Sorry friends. I think catching up sounds like a lovely Saturday morning task. After I run four miles. And ride my bike to the farmer’s market. And hit up some yard sales to look for a dresser. And make a delicious strawberry-banana smoothie. And scrub (I mean SCRUB) the entire apartment. Ok, so maybe it will be a Saturday afternoon task.

I have $10 in cash and am babysitting tonight, so I plan not to use my debit/credit card. If I do spend it on anything, it will probably be eating out. I rarely feel like cooking on the weekends.

I am thankful that I have to wait until Monday to get my paycheck. I have high hopes for June. Yes sir-ee. High hopes. I’m taking a weekend trip with A (last one before she gets hitched), a weekend trip with DC friends, beginning my hard-core half-marathon training, and saving money like it’s my daytime job.

It’s going to be awesome. :)

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Reorganizing Priorities

I’ve decided to get intense and reorganize my finances. I blame May. This month has been nothing short of disastrous, and to make up for May’s slacking ass-ets, the future months will just have to pay.

Here are some changes:

During lunch yesterday I opened the fund that will eventually help me survive when I am old and gray! I finally just gave in and opened a Roth IRA. I will begin to contribute $100 towards this monthly. I’d love to work up to the $5k minimum, but I’ll start small and work up to it. Time is on my side and contributing this year may make a huge difference in the long run.

I’ve decided to pause my Wedding Fund. Seriously, I’m not getting married or engaged any time soon and just seeing “wedding savings” right here makes me 1) anxious that I have so little and 2) a little excited about possibly being married–two emotions I don’t need to feel right now. I doubt I will be engaged in 2009 or 2010. And I’m okay with that. I will add money to it only when I feel like it. :)

I’ve reorganized my budget and hope to keep un-bill related expenses at $400. My budget will show more on this, but basically anything that is not a bill or automatically taken from my account (like gym fee), I want it to be under $400. This includes food, groceries, clothes, household items, etc. Yipes!

Whenever I reorganize, I feel like I’m abandoning some of the goals or objectives I’ve set for myself… but reorganizing does not mean failing. Those goals are still very much apart of my financial focus, but just reworked a bit. I’ll have my June budget updated soon.

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