Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Visitor + Moving Weekend!

I'm SO excited for this weekend! My Mom is flying to spend Thursday through Tuesday with me and to help me move. She's awesome at packing and organizing - but she happens to be amazing at interior decorating! We're going to have a blast getting my new room all set up. :)

I have boxes ready to pack, some friends ready to help and I can't wait. I'm really excited for new roommates and possible friends! Plus mother/daughter time, of course. This is going to be a great change, even if I am only moving 5 miles away from my current location. It's good to shake things up and I definitely need it right now.

In terms of spending, I have $300 saved to help with any expenses. However, whenever any of my family visits... they spoil me. So we'll see how much of that I'll actually end up spending! I'm also waiting to receive the majority of my security deposit back from my current place. At most, I think I'll lose $100 of it for cleaning, but possibly even less since there are three of us in the current place. I also still have to pay my rent and security deposit at my new place, so I'll have to pull some money from my E-fund to help with it while I wait for my old security deposit.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Never Know!

This morning I had my monthly meeting with my boss. We go over what I've been working on, what I'm going to be working on and just chat about life.

After two years at my company and 1.5 years in my current position/department, I'm getting antsy... for more money.

I started at a base salary of $33K and when I got my promotion, I didn't even get a big enough raise to hit the $35K mark (I'm technically $200 below that, and I'm not including annual bonuses)... I know I'm worth way more than that, but unfortunately my company is also known to be stingy when employees just start out. And I was okay with the low salary at first, because I work for an awesome company (no layoffs! great benefits!) but after two years I feel like I deserve more.

Also, we're on salary freezes. But you know what? I wanted it to be known that I feel underpaid.

So, I did it. I asked my boss for a salary increase... despite the fact that we're on salary freezes. And despite the fact that I was uber-nervous as I've never asked for a raise before! But, if you don't ask... you'll never know! Right? :)

And you know what? She said I brought up a very valid point, but she did reiterate that we are on salary freezes and my low pay is not due to my lack of skills, competence and performance as well as my incredible learning curve. Which I already knew, but it's always great to hear it! ;) So, I basically got a "maybe" as an answer. She said she would look into it, that it is unlikely but that I make a good point by bringing it up. Sounds like she'll be talking to some higher-ups in the company, which I don't think will do much, but it's a starting point and now I've put it out in the universe that I'd like more money. Either way, I'll be hearing something about it in a month when I have my next meeting with her.

MAYBE. It's not a no, and it's not a yes. It's something!

Sold the LoveSac!

I finally sold my LoveSac! I started it at the average price of what similar ones in my area were selling for on Craigslist, and then dropped it every few days. Apparently $175 was the magic number because I received three inquiries about it today!

I work on a first-contact-it's-yours policy, instead of a first-come-first-serve like some people. The young woman who contacted me first kept in touch with me throughout the day and came by this evening with a friend to pick it up. Perfect!

When she pulled out money to pay me, I just let her have it for $160 since she was sweet. :) I was going to put that money towards my move, but I already have $300 saved up for potential costs... so the extra income will go towards a recent mini shopping spree I did!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Free Samples

I've been getting quite a few free samples in the mail recently! It's really easy to sign up for them and I've received some good things. So far, no spam snail mail but I do get spam e-mail... so I use an old e-mail address when I register. Here are some of my recent freebies:

  • Burt's Bees Natural Toothpaste
  • Canned tuna + canned tuna chickpea salad
  • Mini Thai Cashew Chicken from Panda Express
  • PowerBar Energy Gel Blasts (still available here)
  • Starbucks VIA
  • Always Sanitary Pads (+ coupon for a FREE 18-pack!)
  • SouthBeach Living FiberFit Bar
Here's what I'm still waiting for in the mail:
  • Organic samples (various? the site wasn't specific...)
  • Nexxus Shampoo & Conditioner sample (this is a brand I use and love!)
  • Kraft Sandwich Ship Mayo sample
  • Other things I can't remember right now! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Moving to a New Apartment

[via; not my actual place]

As of this morning, I've officially got a room at a new apartment!!

I am so excited about this place! It's a 3bed/3bath, 2-story unit with a month-to-month lease. It's in a quiet area of an awesome residential neighborhood with plenty of street parking, plus a 1-car garage that I can use whenever I want. The neighborhood is also very centrally located to everything in San Diego as opposed to my current location. My new roommates are two male late-20s lawyers, very laid-back and they seem outgoing, fun and clean. We talked for almost an hour while they showed me the place on Sunday afternoon. :)

I can move-in anytime since the room's available but I'm planning on waiting until August 1. (Current lease is up August 9th.) My room is a good size and it's separate from the main living area. Plus I have my OWN (tiny) bathroom in my room, which I'm really excited about. And my closet space is doubling. A girl can't complain about that! All the usual is included... dishwasher, washer/dryer, gas range (yay! I love cooking with gas) and decent storage place. There's also a small balcony and a BBQ!

It's 11 miles from work (I currently live 6 miles) so even though my rent/utilities are decreasing, I'll be paying a bit more in gas each month and I'll end up breaking even on my budget. A few stores and restaurants are a few blocks away and an awesome park is less than a mile away. I'll also be a mere 1.5 miles from the beach! Perhaps I'll buy a beach cruiser if I can sell my LoveSac?!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Selling Furniture

Since I'm moving next month, I realized I should get rid of some furniture I own! I'm keeping all my bedroom items (bed, dresser, bookcase, desk, lamps & shoe rack) but I need to sell some of my living room pieces.

The first piece I'm selling is my beloved LoveSac! I bought it in my senior year of college and it's been awesome. Everyone loves it because it's so huge and comfy! It's so fun when we have lots of people over... but let me tell you, it is a hassle to move it! Since I'm petite and it literally takes two grown men to carry/lift it, it needs to go. Plus it screams "college" instead of "young professional." ;)

Since it's gently used and still in fantastic condition, I'm hoping to get $250 for it. That's what the other ones I've seen on Craigslist recently are also going for. If it doesn't sell within a week, I'll start dropping the price until I can sell it.

That would be a nice chunk of change to help me out when my own move comes around! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Apartment Hunting: Round 1

My apartment hunt is lackluster at best. So far, I've only seen two places. I'm hoping that more start becoming available since it's now July and I'm looking for an August 1 move-in date. I saw both places a few weeks ago, and I've written pros/cons lists for both.

One of the girls in my book club just moved to the same neighborhood and mentioned that she might know some people who are looking for a roommate! I e-mailed her about it, so perhaps I'll have some other options here soon. I also realized that my bi-weekly automated savings for my E-fund (which is now fully funded!) are still occurring, so I've decided to earmark the amounts from June and July for August's moving expenses. I'll have ~$300 available from that, plus I might be selling some pieces of furniture that I have and I'm hoping to get the majority of my security deposit back from the current place. Crossing my fingers on that last one!

Apartment #1
2 bed/2 bath; open room is the Master; 11.8 miles to work; $785/month for rent + utilities

  • PROS: Really nice roommate (she's from my home state!), clean, huge closet, water view from room, month-to-month lease, own bathroom, dishwasher, on-site pool, outside balcony/sitting area, lots of cabinet space, parking, very social/fun complex (all people in their 20s/early 30s), she has lived there for 2 years
  • CONS: 3rd floor walkup; tandem parking & street parking can be a hassle; $100 "roommate change fee" (what?!), older appliances, coin-op laundry in complex, awkward kitchen setup (most cabinets are REALLY high & I'm very short), small unit, she is currently unemployed (but on unemployment and said she has no issues paying rent)
Apartment #2
2 bed/2 bath; 1200 sq ft; 11.2 miles to work; $830/month for rent + utilities.
  • PROS: Nice roommate, clean, HUGE open floorplan, own bathroom, DVR, extra storage cabinets, shared backyard with neighbors including BBQ, mini balcony, 1 garage spot & spot behind it, ceiling fans, quiet area, hangs out with neighbors a lot (board games/dinner parties), ample street parking
  • CONS: 2nd floor walkup, no dishwasher, coin-op laundry in complex, no A/C, bathroom has only 1 outlet near light above the mirror (weird!), has only lived there for 6 months, unsure on lease (it was supposed to be 6 months then going month-to-month but no response from landlord yet)
Update: I actually wrote this post two weeks ago but forgot to set it to publish! I never heard back from either place even though I told both of them I was very interested, boo. :( Nothing else has really come up yet so I'm thinking of venturing into different neighborhoods than where I was originally looking... even though I didn't really want to, I need to expand my horizons a bit!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shopping Find: Crossbody Bag

I am completely in LOVE with my crossbody bag! I've been casually searching for one for about a year now and finally found one this weekend. My Mom gave me one last Christmas, but I wasn't in love with it so she returned it. Here are the specifications I was looking for in a bag:

  • Decent size to hold my wallet, sunglasses case & Blackberry - but not oversized since I'm petite!
  • Zippered top
  • At least one outside pocket - easily accessible & good for travel!
  • An adjustable strap
Lo-and-behold, when I decided on a whim to poke around Marshall's on Saturday afternoon for nothing in particular, I stumbled up on the PERFECT bag for only $16.30 after tax! It matched all my requirements exactly and came in a beautiful cream color. I've used it every day since then and can't get enough of it! :)

The brand is emilie m, which I had never heard of before. Some research after my purchase revealed to me that it's a private-label version of Modani that is ONLY sold at discount shops like Marshall's or T.J. Maxx. (So, uh, why does it say MSRP $45.00 on the tag? Marketing ploy?) It measures approximately 9"x9.5" and the style, according to the label, is chardonnay crossbody. Here's a picture of it:

Isn't it funny how you find things when you're LEAST expecting to? :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th Weekend (Expensive but Worth It!)

What I Did
Lunch with roommate after our half-days at work on Friday
Farmer's Market with my co-worker
Dave & Buster's on Saturday night
BBQ with friends & day drinking/games at a local park
Beach for amazing fireworks and a marshmallow fight after! :)
Lots of reading and relaxation

What I Spent
$16, Lunch w/ Roommate
$13.68, Trader Joe's (groceries)
$17.50, Farmer's Market (crepe for breakfast, gerber daisies, some produce)
$16.30, Marshall's (crossbody bag!)
$20, Dave & Buster's (I used a coupon to get $40 worth of games for half-price)
$5, Pizza (3 large pizzas split between friends)
$12.31, Walmart (pair of 3lb. free weights, some grocery items)
$5.84, Grocery store

Total Spent: $106.63

Saturday, July 3, 2010

June Networth & Budget Leftovers

Happy July! Can you believe that 2010 is half over?!

My June networth actually went UP by 1.49%! Probably because I spent two weekends out-of-town and only used a little bit of money from my Travel Fund... and my retirement accounts increased, even though the markets went down? Now that I like! :)

I also had $100 leftover from my June budget - hooray! I sent it over to my Roth IRA, which is now at 70% completion and the year is only half over. Yeah! I've updated my sidebars... my Gift Fund got used ruthlessly over the past few months and now it's looking really sad. But hey, that's what it's there for.

Have a very safe, fun and happy July 4th! :)

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