Sunday, April 29, 2007
Therefore, incase summer school falls through, I need to find a job that will
a. Pay me a decent wage
b. Allow me flexible scheduling
c. Not make me want to compulsively yawn
d. Not offer fabulous things I will want to buy with my employee discount
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Tonight for dinner - free Moe's via my used up punch card that I've been caring around for two months. Delicious, free burrito.
Tonight for entertainment - free Gilmore Girls via the paperclip on the back of my TV.
Tonight for blogging - free wireless from neighbor.
I love free stuff.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I swear, I was only going to go in for a minute to return something! But then...I saw it. The devious Buy One Get One Free sale. I could not resist. Temptation took over. I tried so hard to focus on the righteous thing to do - avoid spending money at all cost and run home to blog instead - but, I am weak. I left the store with a bag of merchandise, minus forty dollars in my bank account, some super cute jewelery, cough, I mean, a total sense of failure and embarassment.
So, in order to combat such instances that may arise in the future...I have written:
The Ten Commandments...Working Girl Style
1. The Lord: You shall have no other gods before me, nor idols, nor shall you make yourself an idol.
WG: (SHIT! Already broke rule number one by writing own set of commandments. Hmm...well, since I've made myself a god, I grant myself total forgiveness.) You shall not worship any sales, clearance racks, or amazingly spectacular once in a lifetime deals. Unless they offer 100% off and are completely free. Then you must worship in a ridiculous fashion.
2. The Lord: You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord.
WG: You shall not make wrongful use of your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Bank Account, Savings Account, or money for the mortgage.
3. The Lord: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
WG: Remember payday and keep it holy. (Note to self: 'keep it holy' does not mean finding a mall in which to worship!)
4. The Lord: Honor your parents.
WG: Honor parents by practicing safe sex and not having unexpected, unplanned, costly pregnancy and small but fabulous daughter to support for eighteen years.5. The Lord: You shall not murder.
WG: Do not kill the person you finally get to speak with after holding for two hours with your credit card company. They probably do not deserve to die. Killing them is not okay, but hoping they get a flat tire, or cancer, is okay.
6. The Lord: Do not commit adultery.
WG: Try to find nice unmarried man to date. (Also: Once a month, must go on a date with a machismo guy, who will no doubt be intimidated by my beauty and intelligence, and will insist on paying to boost his manly ego. This equals free food.)
7. The Lord: You shall not steal.
WG: Don't steal...from stores. No one in the office will really miss that box of paper clips, right? Or that roll of toilet paper? And who in the office really reads the daily newspaper? Or uses those Splenda packets besides me?? Yeah, don't steal from stores.
8. The Lord: You shall not bear false witness.
WG: What the hell does that mean? Oh well. FREEBIE!
9. The Lord: You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
WG: Don't become a lesbian. Chicks are expensive. Got it.
10. The Lord: You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
WG: You are not a reality tv show that can redecorate a house on a $1000 budget...mainly because you do not have a thousand dollars! Must not spend the mortgage money on new throw pillows!!
Do you think my new commandments will help?
Pray for me!!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I miss creativity. I want to create things.
Yet, I wonder:
Do I have time for it? Can I make money doing it?
Being a grown up is sad.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I'm just curious - why does my Google ad read "Are you gay? Click here to find out!"
These ads are supposed to be based on the content of your blog. So I guess reading Jane magazine and getting pedicures raised the big red lesbian flag on me.
But sex is related to money. Take it from the girl who had an orgasm when she realized payday was, in fact, today, and not next week. Now there's something to talk about around the water cooler.
Until (the next) payday,
ps - Hmm...I wonder what my Google ads will look like tomorrow after using the words sex, money, orgasm, and big red lesbian. Definitely something worth clicking on!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
No one ever tells you to sit down and consider whether or not you can afford yourself. I have found myself considering whether or not I can afford to stay as hott as I currently am. (And I added the extra 't' so you wouldn't think that I turned off the AC or something.)
Let's examine my beauty from a financial standpoint:
- Hair - Terri, my stylist, is great but not cheap. Though she does cut me somewhat of a deal on my highlights, we're not talking SuperCuts here. I pay about $120 every two months. Also, add in my shampoo and conditioner to maintain the expensive highlights - make that about $150 every two months.
- Feet - It is summer (I live in FL, it is actually summer nine months a year) and flip flops are back. So are my cute feet. My last two pedicures were a month apart - about $25 each.
- Face - Oh jeez. There's the face wash regimen at $60 every two months. In addition to makeup (which I don't buy a lot of, we'll say maybe $10 a month). I also just went to the Dr and got a whole slew of prescriptions, no telling how much that will be. Also add in $10 a month for eyebrow waxing (something I cannot live without).
- HOT BODY - Well, this is where I might save some money - I no longer pay to go to weight watchers (which I highly recommend by the way) and I don't belong to a gym. However, I like to eat healthy and we know that's not cheap.
- Attire - I, literally, cannot even tell you how much money I spend on clothes. Let's just say it is a lot. I'd wager $200 a month is a low estimate.
Total that up and it comes to...$340 a month!
Obviously, the clothes are out.
And no, that does not mean that naked is in.
Any ideas on how to cut corners and still look stunning? Please - no "beauty comes from within" crap. It may come from within but it sure as hell doesn't come cheap. I'll post about my therapy and self-help book bills some other time.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Then...whilst online shopping for things I am not allowed to buy, I found this nugget of inspiriation from Jane magazine, which has always held a special place in my heart.
"The only real way to get out of debt is to throw wads and wads of cash at it in order to pay it down faster. However, there are things you can do to reach your goal without feeling like a total pauper. Here are four ideas:Cut back on your expenses. Share Wi-Fi with your neighbor (with or without their consent), limit your lattes and pack your damn lunch already.Put found money, like tax refunds, toward your bills. But allow yourself occasional splurges, like high-quality handmade chocolates.Carry cash. You'll be less likely to spend $80 at the bar if you don't have a tab.Make more money. Uh, hello, why do you think we tirelessly provide you with creative and fun side hustles each month? That's right, because we care."
(You should go read the side hustles, they are pretty intriguing ideas...I wish I still lived near UF so I could explore the pretend-patient gig!)
Last night, looking at all the bills, I was so discouraged! But seeing that I already made some of the right steps (paying off bills with income tax returns, "share" wireless with my neighbor) has motivated me! And if JANE says I'm on the right track...who needs all those high-profile websites with their supposed experts??
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Okay. I am going to tell the world.
No, I'm not.
Forget it. The blog is off.
But, if I do this, I will be even more motivated to meet my goal.
Nope, can't do it.
I think there is only one way out of this.
I did the math.
It will take paying .... approximately....$792.18 over the next eleven months to pay if all off.
(Dejected) Working Girl
Hijole is Spanish for "wow".
I went to the grocery store today.
Yes, I know eating can be expensive - but I never realized how much of my paycheck goes right into my stomach. Today I spent $72.17 on food (for myself and the pets) that will probably only last one and a half weeks.
Grocery shopping is hard for me. I love fresh produce, but I can't eat it all before it goes bad. I refuse to eat cheap, processed foods (boxed mac and cheese, ramen noodles, etc) because they are so unhealthy. I also don't mind paying the extra 68 cents for cage-free eggs, and other more organic, green wise options.
Since I live alone, cooking is also a bit annoying. If I make a lot of something, I am forced to eat the leftovers for days. If I don't make enough...I have to go back to the store the next day. I don't clip coupons because I'm not organized enough and they always expire before I use them.
Also, living alone leads to eating out a lot. It's a social activity for me, and sometimes a convenience. Sometimes its an accident - like today when I forgot my lunch and did not have time to go home and get it. Hello, drivethru and six dollars down the drain.
Perhaps I should put myself on an "eating out" budget - or limit the number of times a week I do it. That, however, means I'll be spending more at the grocery store to eat in.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Here's the scoop:
I woke up early to go to my CPA's office. I know, I know - I've had months to file for my tax return, but you see, I had a plan. I purposefully waited as long as possible, in order to delay my return. It is important that I get the money closer to summer and not be tempted to spend it. I will not have my normal biweekly income this summer, and having this extra chunk in the bank will be a huge help. (Feel free to exude multiple "bullshit" coughs as you continue to read.) So, of course, I waited until the last possible minute to file my tax return!!
Well, the truth is, I forgot.
Yes, I forgot that the government owed me one-thousand twenty-three dollars and seventy-eight cents. I forgot until the last possible minute.
So, I found myself driving halfway downtown at 8:30 this morning with some more of my paperwork that I didn't know the CPA would need, and that I could not find until last night. Now do you believe I have a problem?
However, finding out my return would be a smooth grand was a nice surprise. Also, she cut me a very good deal for her services. Now, I realize that paying someone to do your taxes can decrease the amount you get in return, but paying her $100 to find the $400 I wouldn't have known about still puts me $300 ahead of the game. I have decided to apply the total of my tax return to my debt.
Mid-day, I did notice one trend at work that is slightly disturbing. Well, it depends on how you look at it, but for my "debt free in one year" plan, it just aint gonna work. It became apparent to me that several times throughout the day I considered spending money on my..."co-workers". (Sorry I can't be more descriptive - this is the internet). If they needed something that my "office" would not supply, I thought, "Oh, I'll just buy it myself." Today, one of my co-workers who has been out for five weeks returned, and I thought, "I bet she would love to have a pizza party during lunch to celebrate her coming back!" And just who was going to plan and pay for this party...me, of course! This has been a habit of mine since the first day I've been at this job. Granted, the "office" gives me a check at the beginning of the year and I do get to claim some of it on my taxes...but it doesn't begin to add up to the amount I spend on these "co-workers" of mine. Yikes!
The end of my day was full of monetary surprises, too, but in a much better way. Searching through my "junk drawer" I found the following:
- A rebate offer from cingular for $50 that I have yet to mail
- A check for $40 from my job for some extra work that I have yet to cash
- $8.14 in change, inside an actual piggy bank
- A receipt for the "decorative sphere" that I bought and then immediately regretted at Kohl's, which I have placed in the passenger seat of my car for a return tomorrow after work for an additional $5.99
which brings my grand total of money laying around the house to...$104.13! And according to Rule #4, I will apply this money to my credit card debt.
I hope I get this lucky tomorrow!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I work hard for my money. I am not a lazy person. I put myself through school. I love my job, although it is one of the most notoriously underpaid professions. But, like most Americans, I struggle to make ends meet. I don't struggle because of any difficulties or hardships, I struggle because I mismanage my money.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. So, here goes...
I am a retail therapy junkie.
I can't say no to a good sale.
I am in debt.
I HAVE A PROBLEM!
This is a new problem for me. As a child, I was great with money. I was always a great saver and never a big spender. If I loaned my sister a dollar, I would charge her ten cents interest a day until she paid me back. Somewhere along the line, I lost these qualities. It started when I began living on my own.
Living on my own is fabulous - except when it comes to paying the bills. Although I did just purchase my first home, which I know is a wonderful investment, it only added to the list of bills I already pay. Things I never thought about before - homeowners insurance, condo fees, exterminators...it all adds up.
My biggest headache when it comes to bills are the credit cards. Some of that debt can be attributed to college (tuition, books, food, gas, beer) and some of it can be attributed to the sweet seduction of entitlement. But how did I go from someone who hates to borrow five bucks from a friend to someone who owes over eight grand to credit card companies?
Thus began my idea to blog my way to financial freedom. I know many people get paid to blog, and there are ways to use your blog to generate revenue - I plan to explore all those options. But mainly, I know that if I put my personal business and goal out here on the Internet for everyone to read...I will be motivated more than ever to succeed!
So...this is my goal:
In one year, I will no longer have any debt attributed to credit cards!
These are my rules:
- I will put myself on a budget and stick to it.
- I will not buy anything using my credit cards. Emergencies include family members only, and shoe sales no longer qualify.
- I will find ways to save money in every aspect of my life. I will keep a running total of the money I have saved each month, and put that money towards paying off my debt.
- I will look for ways to make money in every aspect of my life. Extra money made at work, at home or at play will be used to pay off my credit cards.
- I will not limit myself on things that I love - especially travel. I will find a way to take at least one non-family/wedding related vacation this year, and I will not go further into debt by doing it nor will I let it stand in the way of accomplishing my goal.
A year seems like a long time, but hopefully, on April 15th 2008, I will be celebrating with a big bottle of champagne (paid for in cash, of course). I figured a day associated with money (tax day) is a great day to start.
Here is to my fresh financial start!