Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day Weekend!

Today was a half-day at work for me - I only had to work 4 hours and the other 4 are paid. Hooray! (This is because I work at a financial firm so whenever the stock market has an early closure, so do we - and then some since we are on the west coast!)

I have lots of shopping plans for this weekend. My Mom is coming into town tomorrow until Tuesday, so we will do what we do best - shop and eat! We already have plans for dinner at our favorite (expensive) restaurant near where I live, plus we will take a break for lunch at Nordstrom Cafe while we are shopping and whatever else suits our fancy. Mmm...

Onto the personal finance aspect of this weekend. My Mom is amazing and always generous when she sees me, so I am sure she will be covering all my meals/drinks/coffee for the 3 days she is here. A lot of the actual shopping will be covered by me. However, I have been planning for this! I have 2 Nordstrom's gift cards amounting to about $100 and I have $100 budgeted from July and August for shopping which I have not used. What do I need? New (better) make-up and more work clothing, especially a pair of pants - preferably grey. And some items for the apartment such as standing lamps for my bedroom and the living room. What do I want? A new pair of pointed high heels and a new purse!

August goals wrap-up and September goals will be posted about later this weekend. I hope you all enjoy the holiday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Every Little Bit Helps

I just redeemed my first check from taking surveys! I will be getting $15 in the near future. I also am getting closer to two more cash-outs of $5 each from other survey sites.

And an online shopping site that I used to spend a bit of time on is letting me redeem points on there for a $50 gift card to Cost Plus World Market! There is one down the road from me, so I am going to use the money to purchase some more kitchen supplies, such as glassware and barware or perhaps some cooking items.

I can't wait until these small items come in! Hopefully they will become more frequent in the future. I still haven't decided what to do with the survey money - I am thinking my Travel Fund. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Weekend Gone By!

It's Sunday night and I am going through what I spent. I went out to a fun dinner downtown on Friday, saw seals at a local cove today (free!) and did a bunch of chores/errands. How much did I spend?

Dinner & a drink @ Hard Rock Cafe on Friday, $23
Groceries to last me through the next week, $27.97
Movie, $9.50

Total: $60.47

My weekend was fairly low-key except Friday night when I went out to dinner. I watched some TV, did some budgeting, set up online bill pay, hung out with roommates/friends and washed a LOT of dishes by hand. (We are still waiting for a replacement dishwasher from our landlord since the current one was broken upon move-in... it's 20 years old!) I am really looking forward to next weekend - it's Labor Day weekend which means a 3.5 days off AND my Mom is coming into town to visit! :) How was your weekend?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's in my Wallet?

(Sorry for the lack of posts recently - we're FINALLY all moved in to the new place, with internet/cable/utilities set up and *almost* completely settled.)

I've seen this on a few other blogs, and I think it's a really cute idea!

My wallet is my most recent large purchase, and one my first purchases on my credit card. It is a Michael Kors, and I absolutely love it! I use it a lot just by itself when I'm going out. So, what's inside of it?

The front compartment has 2 slots to it and 1 zippered area for change. The front slot is for all my bills (currently $10) and the back slot holds my receipts and a few checks. I am a receipt horder, but I have been getting into the habit of cleaning it out once a week, keeping the important ones in my mini filing cabinet.

The back compartment contains all my cards. My license is the blacked-out portion and it's still from my home state... I really should update it soon since then I can make use of the near-by library! My most-used card is my WaMu Gold Debit Card. It comes with PayPass, which I have only used once at a local 7-11 but it's pretty neat and the card gives me $0.03 back per purchase, up to $250 per year. (After doing some calculations, that means I would have to use it 23 times per day to receive the maximum return, lol.) My other cards are:

  • CapitalOne Platinum Credit Card
  • Health Insurance HMO Card
  • Costco Membership Card
  • AAA Membership Card
  • Starbucks Card x2 (one might be empty... shows how much I use them!)
  • AMC MovieWatcher Card (still says I am a student, love the discount!)
  • Nordstrom Gift Card x2 (from returns I've made recently)
  • Coach Gift Card (Christmas present)
  • Victoria's Secret Gift Card (maybe $1 and some cents left on it)
The flaps in the same card-holder area continue a few business cards of acquaintances and friends, my old student I.D. card, my old debit card and my Sephora rewards card. What's in your wallet? :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Apartment!!

Yesterday was the big day for moving into the new apartment! I spent the entire day moving and transporting and packing/unpacking from my old apartment to my new apartment within the city.

Everything went fairly smoothly. There were a few mishaps along the way like boxes breaking open, handles being pulled off items and boxsprings not being able to make it up to the bedrooms due to tight corners, but all-in-all it went very well. I still am living out of boxes and some of my larger items like my dresser, bookcase and desk are still in the living room waiting to be moved upstairs to my bedroom. And I completely forgot that my new bedroom has 2 large (about 8' high) full-length mirrored closet doors - and a full-length mirror is certainly something every girl needs! (I have a cheap one I bought at Target a few years ago for $10 but I think I will keep it for future places that might not have pre-installed full-length mirrors.)

How much did the move cost me?

Breakfast with new roommate & friends, $2.86
Went to Einstein Bros. Bagels... yum! (I had a large honey whole wheat with cream cheese)

7-11 to buy some VitaminWater for myself & friends, $5.57

U-haul Rental, $81.49
This was split with one of my roommates since the other moved from farther away and rented his own U-haul, so I paid $40.00 ($30/day + $0.99/mile @ 32 miles + $14 insurance + taxes) - this was by far the priciest part of the move and it wasn't expensive at all!

Dinner for a friend who helped us move, $10
Split with same roommate above, so I paid $15 total for my dinner out

Total Moving Costs: $63.25 (I can't believe the whole move cost me less than $100! I was $32.75 under my budget for moving costs!)

Now the big question is... how do I avoid going to the mall across the street all the time?! Oh Nordstrom, you are already calling my name! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I cannot find my watch or my wide-tooth comb anywhere. I purchased the wide-tooth comb this weekend, used it on Sunday after I took a shower and placed it back in the bathroom drawer. On Monday, it wasn't there! I took off my watch on Friday to go to the gym and then I didn't put it back on all weekend - which is rare, since I almost always wear my watch!

I searched in every drawer and cupboard of my bathroom for the comb and did not find it. I tore apart my bedroom for my watch and it's nowhere. Now, the comb I could care less about since it is very easily replaceable. But my Fossil watch was $75 and I bought it 3 years ago and I love it.

I'm hoping that the watch will turn up when I start packing up my room. I know it'll turn up when I stop actually looking for it - which is what always happens! I just don't want to shell out the money to purchase a new watch when I was/am content with my current one. :(

What do you do when you misplace expensive things?

Update: I found the watch. I literally just published this post and decided to dump out my purse to see if my watch was there - and of course it fell out! Hmm, I was looking for it, too. Haha. Now... where's that comb...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Workin' for the Weekend!

Here is my breakdown of my spending from last weekend which kicked off August!

Car Maintenance - $13.94 (I bought new windshield wipers for my car since the old ones were from at least three years ago!)
Groceries - $16.84 (Thus included some impulse purchases, lol.)
Dining out - $15.62 (Was NOT impressed with the "Chicken Tenders" I ordered at a local restaurant... they were super tough and had no flavor. $2.75 of that was for another of those yummy cupcakes, this time I got a Vanilla Chai one, mmm!)
Toiletries - $7.89

It's so much easier to spend money on the weekend when life isn't consumed by 8 hours of work. I know the rest of this week will not be too bad in terms of spending either, since I am just laying low and will be packing for the move on Saturday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August Goals

August means moving to a new apartment, having new roommates (still male, still 2 of them - yay!), my Mom coming to visit for Labor Day weekend and almost the end of my 90-day introductory period at work! Here are my goals:

1. Keep moving expenses under $100: Mostly for 1/2 of a U-haul rental (split with 1 of my roommates) since I have no friends with trucks; start-up cable/internet costs split between all 3 of us; dining out for a meal or two during the moving process - though I am hoping it will be a lot less! (This does not include the $220 pro-rated rent for the old apartment, the $250 for 1/4 of the new security deposit OR the $590 pro-rated rent for the new apartment. The total $1,000 security deposit is a gift from my parents! Thanks, Mom & Dad!)
2. Stay within August budget, not including moving expenses: I did very well in July, so hopefully this month will go fairly smoothly, too. I might actually post my budget next week! :)
3. Work out 3x per week: With a LOT more space in the new apartment, I should be able to d my workout DVDs without a problem. Or maybe find a good rate on a gym? Thanks to all your comments/suggestions on that topic!
4. Save $400 towards E-fund/Roth IRA fund/other sub-accounts. I saved $500 total last month, so let's see if I can do at least $400 this month with the move! Currently, I am allocating $100 to my E-fund, $200 to my Roth IRA savings fund, $50 to a travel fund and $25 each to a car maintenance and gift fund.
5. Spend more time with friends: I have been a bit of an introvert the past 2 months since starting my job, starting to earn money and figuring out how to save/budget/use it. Now that I am much more comfortable with my personal/financial/work situations, I want to start doing more things with my friends!

Aside: What are some of your favorite hobbies? I love to blog, read, travel, golf (need to get back to this!), play cards, cook (still learning) - I am thinking about learning to knit, too. I love suggestions!

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