Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekend Adventure!

I'm going skiing on Saturday! I haven't been in six years... a very long time, especially since I started skiing at age two! I have all of my winter clothing and my ski boots, so I will just have to rent skis and poles. I'm going with a group of friends and I know it'll be a lot of fun, even though I'm sure I'll just be on the green runs doing the pizza stance... until I get back into being a tree-skier! ;) Below is my breakdown of expected costs:

Ski Rental: $23
Lift Ticket: $66
Lunch: $15
Gas (my share) : $15

Total: $119

I forgot how expensive skiing is! I do own skis, but they're at my parents' house. (I was never really interested in skiing down in California during college, plus I keep forgetting to bring them back here with me when I go home.) I know I could save some money by bringing my own lunch... but there's something to be said for an awesome, hot meal at the lodge during a day of skiing! :)

Do you have any exciting weekend plans? Are you a skier/snowboarder, and how long have you been doing it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quarter-Life Want

Even though I recently turned 24... I'm already thinking about turning 25! I always treat myself to something on my birthday, and for my 25th I want it to be something big. Something really meaningful to me. Because, you know, 25 is some kind of milestone! ;)

I know what I want. And that I need to save $615 for it... Hence why I'm starting to save today!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Happy Friday! Here's why I'm excited about today and this weekend:

1) It's PAYDAY!
2) I'm going on a dinner date tonight with a guy I met last weekend. (My first date in 3.5 months!)
3) Volunteering on Saturday afternoon. So much fun!
4) Friend's birthday party on Saturday night! (Dinner downtown + dancing. Budgeting $30 for this.)

What are your weekend plans? I hope it's a fun one! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I'm Doing for Lent

I was raised Catholic. I truly enjoy Lent and the idea of giving up a vice, giving back to the community or doing something to better yourself.

After much deliberation over the last 24 hours, the idea came to me out of the blue while at work today: For Lent, I am going to do a 15-minute daily meditation.

I've done occasional meditation before, but never for a prolonged period of time... in this case, for 40 consecutive days! It will be nice to take that time out of each day to quiet my mind, relax my body and reflect.

Are you doing anything for Lent, whether you're Catholic or not? Do you meditate?

How Much Do You Spend on Groceries?

As you (might or might not) know, I love food! With my love of food comes my love of grocery shopping! :) I keep track of my monthly grocery expenses, since it's one of my higher-spending categories, but recently I've started wondering how much other people spend on groceries.

So, I've decided to ask my readers! I'm looking to compile a small sample of information on how much you spend on groceries by providing the following information:

Location: City or State or general location
$ Grocery Amount:
Per Week/Bi-Weekly/Monthly:
For: 1 person, 2 people, etc
Other: Are you vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/other dietary restrictions? Do you use coupons? Do you buy in bulk? Do you avoid certain cheap/expensive items? Do you splurge on anything?

I'm looking forward to your responses! And I'll let you know about my grocery habits when I do a follow-up post soon. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you are all having a love-filled day... whether you are taken or single! :)

Today I'm doing some some volunteer work that's also a singles mixer. I'm really excited because it's something I've never done before but also seems like a lot of fun with the Valentine's Day twist they've added to it. Also, my Mom mailed me a fantastic Valentine's Day package! She's the best!

Ferrero Rocher is my favorite chocolate! And I love anything cinnamon flavored, the lollipops look sooo good. The stuffed dog is supposed to be a replica of our family dog who lives with my parents, so this little guy is going to hang out in my cubicle now :) Hmm... I've been considering a new camera, maybe the 4GB SD card will help me consider it more seriously? (My current digital camera is over 4 years old and doesn't take the best pictures, lol.)

I'm so thankful for all the amazing love in my life of my friends and my family... and every day should be one where we show love!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vesting Schedule

I received my 2009 statements for my 401k and my profit sharing plan from work this week.

Unfortunately, my company match and my profit sharing investment has a long vesting schedule. In June, on my 2 year anniversary with my company, I will be 20% vested. Each year will add another 20% until, in 5 years, I'll be completely vested!

I definitely hope to stay with my company for that long. Besides, that'll be a nice chunk of change in my retirement accounts! As of 12/31/2009, my match was at $1,495.72 and my profit sharing was $9,998.40. :)

Does your company have a vesting schedule for your 401k match?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

SuperBowl Sunday!

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

My roommates and I are having a mini party at our apartment. We spent the morning cleaning up and now we're skipping lunch to make a bunch of food and get organized for approximately 15 friends. My share of our supplies is $29.32, which isn't too bad considering we bought a bunch of beer, smoked salmon, chips and ingredients for two appetizers I'm making for the game! Here's what I'm making:
  • Taco Dip in my crockpot
  • Homemade Fries: Baked red potato wedges seasoned with olive oil + curry powder + salt/pepper
By the way, I've never been a sports fan but this year my roommates have gotten me into baseball and are still slowly working on football. If my fantasy playoff football team does decent after the game, maybe I'll finally be a convert! ;) Have a great day!

Do you have any Superbowl traditions? How about recipes?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

January Networth

I updated my networth for January. Thanks to my bonus (and saving 75% of it!), my retirement and savings accounts increased quite a bit! It still surprises me that my networth is over $30K thanks to diligent savings efforts and a lot of help from all the amazing personal finance blogs I read! :) In total, my networth increased by 11.31%.

I also updated my sidebars to reflect the recent cash inflow. I am definitely well on my way to my $15K E-fund goal and perhaps I might even surpass that! It's awesome when an unexpected windfall can help. :)

Roth IRA, Year Two!

Hooray! I sent my final $200 to my Roth IRA so it's now fully funded for 2009! So glad that I surpassed my 2009 goal of contributing $3K. :)

This is the second year in a row that I've maxed out my Roth IRA and it makes me really excited... gotta love being a PF nerd! My retirement accounts are growing, slowly but steadily.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tax Return

I filed my taxes on Sunday night while doing laundry and watching the Grammys. I used TaxACT and did a free Federal E-file and paid $14.95 to file my CA state taxes...because I'm lazy. My taxes are so easy: it's just my wages, some interest income from my savings accounts and a little bit of miscellaneous income from surveys I do throughout the year.

Like most PF bloggers, I try to break-even on my taxes but at the end of the day I would rather get a small refund as opposed to owing the government some money. I'm receiving a total of $525 back on my taxes this year, most of which will go towards savings.

Side note: I was able to sign-up for free e-mail/text message notifications from TaxAct about my tax return, so the morning after I did my taxes I was told that they had been received by the federal and state agencies. How neat!

What are you going do to with your tax return money this year, if you get a refund?

Monday, February 1, 2010

What a Weekend!

It's Sunday night and I'm winding down from the weekend! I was really busy, I had a blast but I also spent some money.

On Friday, after receiving my bonus, I went to happy hour with some friends, $13. After that, we went to a nearby bar and played pool for a few hours where I bought the first round of drinks, $25.

On Saturday, I had more volunteer training in the morning and then ran some errands... bought a new golf glove for $3 after using a gift card and ordered new contacts which came to $6 after insurance.

On Sunday a friend and I went to the televised golf tournament and had an awesome time! It was really neat to walk around the famous course, follow our favorite players and try to get on TV! I paid for the day passes ($34) and my friend paid for our parking and lunch.

All that spending definitely made me go over on my $75 monthly Entertainment budget... but hey, I don't mind doing that every once in a while! ;)

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