Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Recap

May Budget Recap:

Ummm so May basically killed me. This is what happened in my variable spending:

Restaurant/Dining: 283.61 BUDGET: 150
Gas: 410.24 BUDGET: 250
Groceries: 432.09 BUDGET: 200
Non-budget spending: 997.40

Total E-Fund: $140

What happened this month:
  • Brother got sick so I helped him with buying his medication: $150
  • Drove out of state, that had something to do with the $410 in gas and $76 in tolls.
  • Got an oil change/tire rotation after driving so far: $106
  • Had to start paying down the debt on my dog's surgery: $153

June Goals:
  • Stick to groceries + restaurant budget
  • Have 15 no spend days!
  • Buy BF present for graduation gift
  • Buy flight to see BF for graduation in the end of the month
  • Get rid of Capital One debt *fingers crossed*
  • Bring E-Fund to $400
From next week on I will be doing a weekly budget update! So I'm excited about that. Every Sunday, so I can track my weeks and hopefully stay more on track to prevent disasters such as May.


It's hard for me, or most people I would imagine, to have face to face time with a friend to discuss finances for about an hour a day. No one really wants to sit that and do it with you, unless I guess you pay for a financial counselor.

Well, one of my favorite resources for "discussing" personal finance, even though you do all the listening, is through podcasts! Every one has their own mentors and favorite personal finance celebs and here are mine:

 Dave Ramsey - even though I'm not a fan of his political or spiritual views I do like his no nonsense ways of dealing with personal finances. I listened to his "Total Money Makeover" audio book twice and I admit there are some very basic things he talks about that sometimes you need to be reminded of.

Suze Orman - I learned about her through Oprah's "O" magazine. I LOVE her Saturday night tv show however I rarely get to watch seeing as I do not have cable! I have rented nearly all of her DVDs through Netflix though and I own one of her books. I love the way she empowers women.

Gail Vaz-Oxlade - I lover her Till Debt Due Us Part show, which comes on right after Suze's show. I have lurked the web so so many times looking for her "Princess" show that is only available in Canada!

I know these are the basic people for personal finance, but it's whom I follow mostly and learned the most from. I would happily read and look into any other PF gurus that are recommended!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Accepting Responsibility

Small steps towards accepting you need a financial make over:

1. You need to realize no one can spend your money other than you.
2. You need to stop, sit and think about what you envision your future to be like.
3. You need to realize you are responsible for your future.
4. You need to accept responsibility for your well-being.

Yes, these seem very basic. But in February 2010 when I started my financial make over I had to sit and meditate on all of these things. I did not realize back then all of the affects my spending habits had on my very life. I know this may sound very naive but for some of us who were teenagers during the economy boom years it was very hard to understand how everything changed after the markets crashed in 2008. That was when I was just entering the workforce and controlling money was a new foreign concept.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making Up with Make Up

For the past few months I really cut back on my frivolous spending. A few years back I found a passion in make up, I love love lipstick and blushes. In my early twenties I went nuts buying expensive MAC items. I go through times of serious "cleansing" and these expensive make up items were victims of these times.

This past Friday though I was aching for a new pop of color so I went to my local CVS and I browsed for a really long time and I found these NYC .99 cent lipsticks. Now here is something I do not feel guilty buying! So I bought 3 colors.

316 Blossom: waste of money - this is a very cheap looking color, kind of a gross loud pink.
305 Ruby: Eh okay.
308 Retro Red: Worth the $2 other dollars I spent on the other 3 colors. This red is beautiful!!! I am so glad I discovered such a cheap nice red, it is so creamy and wonderful and not cheap feeling at all.

If you are in the mood for a nice beautiful pop of red for barely any money I would suggest this lipstick.

Tracking My Spending

Tracking my spending has been very difficult. I have tried different methods and nothing seems to stick. I think now I have found the solution.

Mint did not work for me. I had a love/hate relationship with Mint. I started using it and I loved it, until I started to get paranoid about having all of my accounts linked and all of this personal info given to this website. I mean my entire financial life was on this thing. Another thing that started to get to me was the fact that it would not update very often or accurately enough, I don't know why it had a hard time linking up to my bank. So I gave it up, then after a few months I got back on it and then I gave it up again about 2 months ago.

EBBA is the envelop system, except for it's a website and an app. I paid $5 for this service! I was convinced it was going to work for me, until I didn't. I just had a hard time tracking my spending and I was not able to get used to jotting down everything I spent on my phone after every purchase. I don't know why. Plus it did not automatically connect to my bank account, which mind you was the reason why I got it. It was very difficult for me at least, I really like the concept though.

Now I have 2 checking accounts, I have all of my bills coming out of an account I call "Fixed Expenses" and  I have a debit card for and account I call "Variable Expenses". I just started this early this month, but so far this seems to be working for me! I like not having the stress of having all of my money into one account and then not knowing if I'm spending my bills money.

What tracking methods have worked for you?

The Dog

My Dog. In another installment of the perils or owning a perro... I have a stupid financial debt because of my dog, I dog I do not live with. My boyfriend and I share a dog, a chihuahua. It was his dog originally and when I agreed to care for her while he was away (he lives somewhere where he cannot own a pet) she was a beautiful happy thing when I started caring for her in March of 2011. However that summer Candy (not her real name) got very ill and had to get surgery. So, I decided it was time for me to get her doggy insurance. I got Candy the top notch monthly insurance, which costs me $45/month. I had to sign an agreement for a year. Her surgery cost around $700 that the insurance helped pay for, without it it would've cost easily double that. Last fall I had to travel for a series of weeks for work, so I let Candy stay with my boyfriend's mother in a town about 4 hours away. During that time in mine and BF's relationship we were going through some tough times, so I never got Candy back. Now I have to pay her $700 in monthly installments and her insurance. Thankfully I will be done paying these soon. Why did the BF not help you may ask? Well he did, a lot, and that money is long gone to due to my irresponsible spending. Hopefully I will be done with this and have this Candy debt off my back soon. I love you Candy.

Majorly Stupid Financial Decisions

On this Tuesday confession I will admit something I did in my twenties that I hate. Something I regret and I will have to wait 7 years to get it cleared from. I did not make a single payment on a credit card bill I had for 90 days. Yes, I know, cringe worthy. I did not pay my Capital One credit card from November 2009 until January 2010. I've read around the web that not paying a bill for 90 days is the equivalent of a bankrupcy on your credit report. While I hope that this is over stated, I do see the incredible toll this takes on my score. Now I have to wait until 2017 to have this cleared. Why did I not pay this bill you may ask? Simply because I did not care about it. Yes, you read it right, I did not care. My balance was around $50 at the time, it was simple stupidity and lack of understanding of what that was actually doing to my credit score. I did not have parents that sat me down and thought me about finances, I am not using that as an excuse, just a means to say that yes some of my lessons were learned the hard way. This blog will keep me accountable, I have found a passion for personal finances and with writing this I know I will be able to stay on track and no longer make any more incredibly stupid mistakes such as this one in my future.