Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Money Check-Up

This week I'm participating in the Monday Money Check-Up hosted by My Pretty Pennies! :)

1. The most I've spent this last week was on a pedicure! $27 including tip which is more than I normally pay.

2. Today I feel good towards money. My budget is looking to come quite a bit under for the end of August, and it's a long weekend with fun plans plus payday!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was hang out with friends! Board game night on Friday and movie/wine on Saturday night. :)

4. I will consider this week a success if I go to a State Farm office and get renter's insurance. Seriously!

5. My favorite room in a house is the kitchen and living room. I find both very comforting, inviting and relaxing. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mid-Week Money Musings

Bullet point format!

  • I'm getting $871 back from my $1K security deposit at my last apartment. Since my security deposit at my current place was $700, I'll have $171 leftover.

  • I've decided to use that $171 to get renter's insurance! The cheapest online price quote I found was $152 for a year through State Farm for $20K in coverage. A bit more than I wanted to pay, but I do live in Southern California and my stuff is worth it to me!

  • The remaining $19 will probably end up being used for a dinner out with friends.

  • I recently took 4 pairs of high heels for repair. The place had good reviews on Yelp... but I was very disappointed! It was really expensive to get the heel tips replaced, and the shoe cobbler didn't even clean my shoes - what?! They are hardly any better than they were. Guess I know where I'm not going back to! Total cost: $64. Ouch! :(

  • My next 3 weekends are completely booked, just like last weekend - and I love it! However, lots of friend time also equates to spending money on going to restaurants, gas for driving around, random activities, etc...

  • Aug 29th: Volunteering + visiting a girlfriend who lives an hour away (sleepover!). We'll probably get sushi, frozen yogurt and go shopping, then stay in with wine and a Redbox movie :)

  • Sept 4th/Labor Day Weekend: College friend who moved away is visiting! She'll stay with me for a night or two. Maybe hit the driving range and go hang out in the park? But probably also go out to the bars!

  • Sept 10th: A friend I made in Denver is coming to visit. Hopefully I can get some free activities in like hiking and beach time to offset the green fees for golf and going out!

  • Of the $150 I had been putting into my E-fund every month, I've decided to split it. $75 into whatever savings fund I feel like that month and $75 into my budget for any extras... shopping, keeping my social life alive, etc. :) Spend half and save half is a good compromise!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend Spending Report

I had a very fun weekend! Mostly thanks to the Del Mar Races (lost the $8 I bet on various races), Weezer concert, coworker's baby shower (I won a game and got a teapot!) and awesome friends. :) Here's a breakdown of what I spent:

$14.29, bright blue floral beach dress/cover (for family trip to Jamaica at Christmas!)
$15.26, floppy sun hat from Macy's (on sale + a 10% discount because it was badly frayed)
$22.82, Target (new hair dryer, baby shower card/bag)
$16, Happy Hour!

$13.05, bright pink scarf to go around my hat
$3.25, CVS (snacks/water)
$24, Del Mar Races ($6 entry, $2 parking, $8 bets, $8 cocktail)

$8.49, CVS (Nexxus hair styling product w/ $3-off coupon)
$6.43, groceries
$10, pizza delivery

Total: $133.59

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Day at the Races

I am so excited for Saturday! A group of my friends plus my new roommates and I are all going to the famous Del Mar Racetrack. I've never been and neither have most of my friends. It's going to be an all-day excursion which are exactly the type of adventures I love... and oh, there will be tons of people-watching to be had! :) Entrance fee is $6 and we are going to bring our own folding chairs/blankets. (Getting a reserved seat in the stands is an additional $10.)

First, Beerfest starts at noon. I don't like beer, but I do enjoy a good cider... and since I've been told there are 75+ types, I figure there should be at least one cider for me! $15 for 5 samples.

Races start at 4pm. Bets are $2 each. I'm not a gambler, so I'll probably just bet the minimum per race. Two of my friends are AVID gamblers so it will be interesting to see how much they bet!

Finally, the main reason we are all going (sorry horses, we're not coming just for you!)... WEEZER in concert! The entrance fee includes admission to the concert which is great. However, since we'll be there almost all day, I'll pack some snacks but will mostly likely buy an overpriced hamburger or something for dinner, maybe $10?

For all of that and maybe a few dollars for parking, I'm budgeting $50. All of those items add up quickly - but it's cheaper than going to a regular concert and I'll be spending the entire day with friends! :)

Some Shopping

I did a bit of shopping recently but forgot to blog about it. A lot of it was done during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (yay!) in July and I also bought some things on Amazon.

Here were the items I bought at Nordys (spent $132.24 plus got 5% cashback from Ebates!):

  • 2 sweaters (in graphite & black)
  • 1 pair of heather grey workout/yoga pants
  • 1 North Face jacket (it was on backorder so I'm still waiting for it to ship!)
From Amazon (spent $12.53 after using a $15 giftcard):
Most items were splurges but some were definitely the laundry hamper!

Friday, August 13, 2010

October Vacations

I just booked 6 days of vacation for October! The trips are back to back at the end of the month and I can't wait. :)

Trip #1: Girlfriend's Bachelorette Party in Vegas!
(3 days/2 nights)

Trip #2: New York City, my favorite place in the world!
(7 days/6 nights, including Halloween!)

For Vegas, I'm going to be taking 1 vacation day and driving with the bride-to-be and two other girls. Road trip! 5 other girls are coming from other states, so they are all meeting us there on Friday night. We're staying at the Mandalay Bay (I've never stayed there before), which I know is on the end of the Strip but there is a shuttle and with a large group of girls, cabs are always great options. We'll be there for two nights and this is NOT going to be a cheap weekend but it is going to a blast!
Tentative Budget: $600 (plus a $50 Bachelorette gift, to come from my Gift Fund)

For NYC, I'm taking 5 vacation days. I used 25,000 miles to buy my flight but had to pay $32.50 for a "partner airline booking fee" and taxes... but it's still the cheapest cross-country flight I've ever paid for! :) My Dad is going to be in the city for a few days on business, so I'll be able to hang out with him for a few meals. I'm going to be staying with a girlfriend so I'll save on hotel costs, but I definitely plan to eat and shop my heart out! I'll be meeting up with some friends who live just outside the city and a few who live there, too.
Tentative Budget: $400

Currently, I have $715 in my Travel Fund so I need to add at least $350. So any extra money (budget leftovers) between now and the last week of October will be funneled to beef it up. Good thing October is a 3-paycheck month! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Weekend!


Have a fantastic weekend!
Here are my plans:
  • Happy hour with friends tonight! I'm going to walk the 1.5 miles to the bar for a nice after work stroll :)
  • Gym on Saturday morning
  • Movie/dinner with my book club on Saturday evening (The Girl Who Played With Fire)
  • Dexter marathon with old roommate
  • Coffee date with a girlfriend on Sunday afternoon
  • Errands: take heels for repair, buy a small cooking pot + blender
  • Organize my desk, closet + do laundry
  • Call various companies for renter's insurance quotes

Renter's Insurance

Much like My Pretty Pennies recently asked her readers about car insurance, I'm interested to know about your renter's insurance!

For the past two years, I didn't get renter's insurance. But moving to a new place has definitely made me think about it as a precaution! Unfortunately, I found out that I cannot bundle it with my car insurance due to the fact that I have "too many roommates" according to the company I use. So, that means I need to shop around for a good quote. I'm looking to get about $20,000 in coverage.

How much do you pay, what kind of coverage do you have and would you recommend your renter's insurance company?

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