I Work Hard for the Money-- Part 1: Getting started

Jan 21, 2013
I'm a spender. Meaning, I have to work harder at saving money and not just spending it.  It's not Confessions of a Shopaholic or anything, but I have quite a few splurges.  I am getting better at saving, but there is always room for improvement.  

I came across an article in January 13th's edition of Parade magazine that shared some really good tips to shave some spending and put more in the bank.

Let's start at the very beginning (which I hear is a very good place to start):

Start small.  Work in to your schedule 15 minutes a day for a week to get organized.  Get some file folders, one of those accordion file things or something else to be a central location for all your bills and documents.  Sort them out in a system that makes sense to you (alphabetical, when they are due each month, lower to higher balances, etc..) . 

What are you dealing with? After you have everything organized, spend that 15 minutes assessing where you are.  Check your credit score, balances, review retirement and savings accounts.  Make a list of all your debt and the time frame those bills will be paid off if you continue paying what you're currently paying.  I see debt as anything that doesn't have a 0 balance every month. Credit cards with larger balances, mortgage, loans...that sort of thing.

Think ahead. Now that you are organized and you see what you are dealing with, make some goals for the future. Start small.  Where do you want to be financially 1-2 years from now? Do you want to move? Change careers? Pursue a higher education? Go on a dream vacation?

Now how are you going to make those goals happen?  What are you going to change to get there? 

One thing I did was set up an automatic transfer from my checking to my savings account every paycheck.  I looked at my expenses and figured out what I have to spend each month on my current bills, then decided an amount I can live without each paycheck.  I now have over $1,000 in my savings and haven't missed it.  I found that using SmartyPig has really helped me, because I can set up different goals, the date I want to reach that goal and it will calculate how much I need to deposit each time (month, weekly, bi-weekly).

Saving doesn't have to be this annoying, restraining  monster.  I still go to movies, go out to eat, buy myself little prizes. I just play with a little less now, so I can play with a little more later. 

So what are you waiting for?  Start today! And soon you'll be reaching those goals.

This is the first post in the series.  The next post will be tips to cut your current grocery costs.

Oh great! It's Mr. Collins. -- Love lessons from Pride and Prejudice

Jan 10, 2013
Last night I popped in Pride and Prejudice to pass some time while I needed to complete some tedious tasks.  As I was fluttering about the house, finishing the dishes, making my dinner, and so on, I stopped mid-flutter and just stared at the TV with disbelief on my face. 

Mr. Collins had just proposed to Lizzie.  And there was poor Lizzie having to turn him down, because let's face it, he's Mr. Collins.  And even though she tried to be nice about it, it was no good.  She just lays it all out for him and leaves.  Sure he has a job and can provide a comfortable living, but he is basically just looking to get married and doesn't care all too much to who.

I have watched this movie at least a dozen times, so it was no shock to me what was taking place in the Bennet family room.  But when Mr. Collins managed to trap Lizzie alone so he could propose, I couldn't help but think that I knew exactly how she was feeling.

I am lucky enough to be dealing with my own "Mr. Collins" of late.  *Sigh.  He has a job and seems a respectable sort of person, but from what I have seen he's really just looking for a girl to marry.  Maybe I'm being a little too harsh, but I don't think I'm wrong.  

And like Lizzie, the subtle hints that this isn't going to work out, just aren't doing the trick.  It's to the point where I get to flat out tell him that he needs to move on.  


Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to this.....at all.  I believe in being honest with people, but being honest can be so uncomfortable sometimes.  Yuck.

 The moral of the story....
You have to go through Mr. Collins to find your Mr. Darcy.

So until my Mr. Darcy comes along, I guess I get to deal with my very own {hopefully not too many} Mr. Collins.

There was a little Chronicles of Narnia when I moved

Jan 3, 2013
Moving is one of those times you go through all of your random stuff that you have collected over the years and do a little purging, organizing and even a little rediscovering.

You might find your favorite toy from your childhood or a favorite game...

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
"Mall Madness it's Mall Madness!"  Remember that song? The batteries corroded and exploded so mine no longer works.  It was a sad day.
Then there are the random things one {that'd be me} might own...
CAM00398, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App 
I bought this sweet trunk at a friend's store Pleasantries.  She finds some awesome pieces. Any who.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
This is now my kitchen.  All these tin signs are mine, and this is probably only half.  I bought a majority of the these at a Dick's 5 and dime. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
This little beaut is about a foot and a half tall and reminds me of that cute little lamp that comes out for the Pixar logo. Bouncing into our hearts. So cute.


Now you might be thinking "I wish I was this cool."  I know.  It just comes natural being so awesome.

Ok you probably weren't thinking that, but maybe you were thinking "I thought she said something about Chronicles of Narnia?"

I did indeed. 

The moment you have been waiting for....
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
It's the lamp in the wardrobe!!!  How awesome is that!  It's my favorite random thing. 

Those are the most random things I own.  At least random to me. 

Do you have random things?