Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's what I'm incredibly thankful for this year, all year...

Family: They are so amazing! My parents are incredibly supportive and helpful. My Mom is my best friend and we talk every day. They send me awesome care packages, they pay for some of my flights home and they like to give me monetary gifts every once in a while...oh and I'm still on their cell phone plan! I'm good to break the umbilical cord, but apparently they aren't ;)

Friends: I have fantastic friends. Most of those closest to me unfortunately live in other states, but even if weeks/months go by without talking... it doesn't matter because we can always pick up right where we left off! I put a lot of effort into my friendships and those that reciprocate are my true friends. There might not be many of them, but they are completely worth it. :)

Health: I love going to the gym. As a petite with a high metabolism, I know I don't need to - but it makes me feel good and it's fun! I also eat well as often as I can, including a few all-vegetarian meals a few times a week. I go for health screenings every year to make sure that my levels of calcium, iron, etc are all where they should be and adjust accordingly. I go for annual doctor visits as well as two dentist appointments to make sure everything is good!

Job & Health Insurance: This is basically self-explanatory, especially in this economy. Even though I've done some complaining before, I still actually have a job and I have really good (cheap!) health insurance. Also... I inquired again about a raise this past Monday (thanks to some encouragement by new boy who is himself a manager) and my boss told me that it's most likely that everyone will be getting small salary increases in April and that I should expect a bit on top of that due to the extra work I've taken on and my skill level, plus the fact that I've been at the low end of my pay scale and not had a raise in over two years! I am so excited to know that my hard work is paying off and that they recognize that I deserve an increase. Finally.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

[image via]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekly Money Check Up

I try to participate the Weekly Money Check Up by My Pretty Pennies. Sometimes I forget, but here's this week's!

[image via MPP]

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on gifts! I bought a present for a friend's bridal shower and fabric to make a no-sew blanket for the new boy I'm dating... it's his birthday soon! Total spent: $52.82.

2. Today I feel good towards money. Everything is still on autopilot and I received a lot extra income this month!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was go to a 1st Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner! My amazing friends threw this on Sunday and while I did spend about $15 on some cheese, crackers & wine, the 5 hours of conversation, laughter and games was completely worth it. I can't wait for next year! :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I get home to Seattle in one piece! The weather has been crazy up there, as in record-low-temps... my body is acclimated to SoCal weather so this will be interesting. Also, I'm crossing my fingers for safe travels for everyone during Thanksgiving!

5. My favorite food at Thanksgiving is green bean casserole! Yummy! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dating a New Boy

If you follow me on Twitter, you would know that I've been dating a new boy. Yes, he comes from eHarmony, which I signed up for a few months ago. Things are progressing slowly but very well. He's cute, fun and might talk more than I do! (Even though he's the texter and I'm the caller, haha.)

We've been on six dates and have had some impromptu hang outs apart from those. Our first two dates were prior to my 10 day vacation and they were great! Both times he took me to really nice restaurants and both times we talked for ~4 hours, usually the last ones left, barely even noticing that the places were empty! The waitstaff simply left us alone to chat. He's cooked for me once and I've cooked for him, we've gone out to a movie and more recently, we had an awesome Friday night date which included mini golf. :)

As someone who knows that dating can be expensive, especially from a guy's perspective as they tend to pay for the first few dates, I always offer to pay on the third date. Most guys will let me pay for part of the date after I've insisted. New boy has only let me pay for the movie on our fourth date (after much grumbling by him and insistence by me!) as well as the ingredients when I cooked for him, since he had no control over that. (Oh, but he did offer to pick up anything I might need.) When we did three different activities on our most recent date, I offered to pay at each part and he turned me down every single time!

The thing is, I know he has a well-paying job, so he can definitely afford it. (I did notice he pays with his debit card all the time, so that's a good thing.) But it's the principle of the matter! As a PF blogger who is in tune with my own finances and tries to be mindful of others, it does bother me a bit... but then again, it feels really nice to find someone who is successful, so giving and such a gentleman who wants to take care of me. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Extra Income

I've received a lot of extra income this month and it's definitely needed due to the holidays!

  • Old Car Insurance Dividend Reimbursement: $98
  • New Car Insurance Refund (due to bundling of services): $63
  • E-Bates (my FIRST payout! Referral link here): $27
This has helped with extra dinners out with friends, renewal of my 24 Hour Fitness membership (through Costco!) and a plethora of gifts...including two birthdays and a bridal shower. I almost never get any extra income, funny how it all arrives at the same time. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegas & NYC Recap

I've finally gotten around to figuring out my vacation spending! I pulled $750 from my Travel Fund to cover 3 days in Vegas and 7 days in NYC. I also used $250 from my 3rd paycheck in October for a grand total of $1,000.

$400 cash ($80 hotel, $40 class, $62 Thunder Down Under ticket, remainder on food & drinks)
$18.08 snacks/fast food for the road trip
$25 gas

$110 cash (taxis, dinners, drinks, pre-Halloween party supplies, $45 open bar on Halloween)
$32.81 food (Trader Joe's/Dunkin Donuts/airport meal)
$10.75 transportation
$4.75 atm fees
$9.78 Duane Reade (makeup for my Halloween costume)
$270.11 shopping (I'll recap in a separate post)

Total: $882.84

Vegas was so fun and everything a Bachelorette party should be! 6 of us girls stayed in one room at the Mandalay Bay. The rooms there are huge and the bathroom easily accommodated most of us :) We went out to The Palms on Friday and partied until the early hours of the morning. On Saturday we went to brunch at the Paris buffet, took a private pole dance/lap dance class which was super fun, and saw the Thunder Down Under show in the evening. The show was a ton of fun and the Aussies are hot and hilarious! Be wary - they try to get your group to take a picture with them at the end and charge $20 per person! We opted not to get a picture. Also, don't pay the extra $10 or so to get "VIP" seating. The venue is very small and the men run all around it so you never have a bad view, plus our table wasn't even at the very front! After the show, we ran into a ton of club promoters wandering around the hotel and somehow managed to land free bottle service at one of the smaller clubs! We each pitched in $20 for tip at the end of another fun night of dancing :) The best part of the trip was making new girlfriends!

And now for New York. The city is my one true love! I can never get enough of it and it's my dream to live there soon. My dad was there on business and my mom tagged along, so I spent the first few days with them... well, mostly shopping all over SoHo with mom, hence all the shopping! She is such an enabler, but then again I got some awesome pieces and I feel like my wardrobe gets pumped up a notch whenever I go there to shop. :) We went out to some awesome dinners so the foodie in me was beyond elated and also saw "Billy Eliot" which was great! I spent time with friends who live in the city and had another friend visit from the neighboring states. Halloween was fun, even though one of the clubs wouldn't accept my CA driver's license as a valid form of ID (grr, bouncers!) so we ended up at a party where it was $45 open bar all night, sort of a rave but minus the glowsticks, no checking of anyone's IDs and no drugs - at least that I could see! There were some awesome costumes and the best part was that I didn't see a single Snooki all night. Oh, and you would think getting a cab at 3am on Halloween would be way. It took us an hour and we had to pay $20 for a $10 cab ride after we begged an off-duty cab to take us back to my friend's place! That should have been prime fare time for them, but apparently not. I ate lots of bagels and got my fill of vanilla chai at Dunkin Donuts all week. Introduced my friends to the wonders of Trader Joe's (the new one in the UWS) where I was ecstatic to find out that the prices are EXACTLY the same as here in SoCal! That's the only place where anything has ever price-matched in that expensive city. Also, I swear I walked by Sarah Jessica Parker near Union Square! She had a hat and sunglasses, but that petite frame and her facial structure is recognizable to all SATC fans! :) Cannot wait to return to my favorite place in the world again soon.

Note to self: never again do back-to-back trips! I had an amazing time in both places but getting home at 9pm from Vegas, crashing and having to wake up/pack at 4am to make my 6:30am flight to NYC was exhausting...

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP