Friday, August 29, 2008
Answer: I don't know, but I'm hoping.
I'm a music fan and have been to many great shows over the years but this is the first time I've ever camped overnight at a festival. I'm excited and slightly nervous about the whole experience. I am hoping it doesn't rain because I really don't want to become a Mud Person.
Anyhow, my budget for this event is $100, $33 of which I have spent on a t-shirt, fake Crocs, a case of Rockstar energy drink and three magazines. Seems slightly frivolous I realize but I get really really bored without Internet so magazines are pretty much essential to my survival.
Boyfriend purchased the tickets for the festival a while back at $115 a pop each. I am grateful for this fact but then again, I bought him concert tickets back in March also so it's not completely one-sided.
We are taking his car and bringing a friend. At 135 miles away, we are looking at spending $40 in gas. Split three ways that comes out to be $12 each. I also want to purchase half of the beer that we are bringing (about a case). I should budget about $15 for that.
So I hope to have about $50 to spend on food and beer the remainder of the festival with $10 budgeted for a souvenir of some sort.
I've never been to one of these events so I don't exactly know how it's gonna go down, but hopefully I stay on track!
BTW: I'm already on my way now and this will be my first scheduled post. I hope it works!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I even survived an almost half an hour wait at the busstop yesterday - smoking used to be the only way I didn't feel insecure standing around on a street corner by myself waiting for a bus, a ride, etc. I'm learning you just have to relearn doing those things - dealing with stress, impatience, etc., without a cigarette. What did I do yesterday, for example? Well I called the toll free number of the bus company to find out what the delay was! Hey, I bet you thought I'd say you have to start doing yoga or anything, right? Nah, just do anything else except smoking!
And why was I waiting for the bus when I usually just walk to/from work? Well, I had an appointment at the local university's pyschology lab. An appointment wherein I got paid $25 for 20 minutes of work!
A while back, a co-worker told me the university was having a Stop Smoking research study and they were looking for participants. I signed up and for a whlie was receiving $2 a day for answering a daily telephone interview and $20 a week for showing up in person for a brief computer survey. All told I probably made $200 participating in this survey! And though, it wasn't the ultimate factor in my decision to quit (quite honestly I was just in it for the cash) it definitely got me thinking about it.
Yesterday was my six month follow up appointment, for which I got paid $25! And I was happy to report to the researcher that I have, in fact, quit smoking. In another six months, I am confident that a full seven months will have gone by since my last cigarette.
And are you curious how much money I am saving as a result? So am I! That's why I found this nifty little tracker which I have added to my blog to track how much money I would have spent on smokes!
Over $100 bucks, nice! And in case you are on the fence about quitting and don't think you can use another $100 a month, here's some other facts I found on the web about the costs of smoking:
Life Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of dieing at a younger age than non smokers and this risk is reflected in higher life insurance premium payments.
Health Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of medical problems than non smokers and this risk is reflected in their medical insurance premium payments.
Health Care: Since smokers frequently have more medical problems than non smokers, they must pay more to take care of these problems.
Medications: More medical problems for smokers usually results more prescription medicine taken by smokers than non smokers.
Home Owner's Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of burning down their house than non smokers and this risk is reflected in higher home owner's insurance premium payments.
Value of the House: Smoking leaves a bad smell in a house thus decreasing the value to potential buyers.
Value of Your Possessions: Just as with the house, smoking leaves a bad smell to many of the items in your house thus decreasing their value.
Car Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of getting into a car accident than non smokers and this risk is reflected in their car insurance premium payments.
Car Resale Value: Smoking leaves a bad smell in a car thus decreasing the value to potential buyers or when traded-in for another car.
Earn Less Money: Studies have found that smokers earn between 4% to 11% less money than their non smoking counterparts.
Less Social Security / Pension Benefits: Since smokers earn less than non smokers, they receive less overall social security and pensions benefits than non smokers.
Cost of Cleaning: Whether its the inside of their home, the inside of their car or their clothes, smokers have to spend more to keep things clean.
Dental Care: Smokers spend more on dental care and special dental products than non smokers.
Lost Interest: All the extra money that smokers must spend means that money can't be saved resulting in lost interest.
So I hope some of the readers out there I've communicated with (and those I haven't) will take this information in mind in their own struggles to quit. Heck, if I can do it, you can do it!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sprint - 83/83
Capital One - 20/20
Beauty - 60/230
Travel - 40/40
Wedding Weekend Money - 50/230
Old Roommate Wedding Shower Gift - 50/103
Utilities - 0/102
There were SO many papers to sign but luckily we had seen most of them prior to the closing. We were lucky to get all the seller concessions because the whole purchase cost Boyfriend less than $6,000, which includes:
$5,260.03 - downpayment plus tax escrow and some other assorted fees.
$230 - title insurance
I also think I did a pretty good job representing him. It's a little intimidating because you're sitting there with the bank's lawyers and the seller's lawyers (the sellers were not there) and the mortgage broker and all they want you to do is sign sign sign because they do this all the time. But I made sure that Boyfriend understood every piece of paper put before him and that he was free to slow down and take his time. All told, it took about an hour and a half.
The one thing we didn't know was when the first mortgage payment was due. It being August 26th already and we have very fun and exciting weekend plans coming up we didn't know if we were expected to shell out $1,000 right away. Also, Boyfriend still has to deal with the cost of moving and is paying rent at his current apartment (half the month of September). As luck would have it, Boyfriend's first mortgage payment is not due until October 1st. We both breathed an audible sigh of relief when that paper was slid across the table.
Last night we celebrated with wine and Chinese food at the new place. We are both pretty excited for him to move and will be picking out paint today. We know that it's tempting to spend a lot of money when you first move into a new place and have decided just to paint and tear up carpet and nothing else for now. His old furniture is going with him and will be replaced eventually.
All in all, it's been quite an exciting August!
Monday, August 25, 2008
I promised Boyfriend I would buy him a new shirt and tie since he was traveling before the wedding (and I wanted to get something I liked anyway). Went to a discount store and only spent $30. He looked great though!
Here's the real Budget Buster: the day of the wedding, all the bridesmaids and my sister get their makeup done. I told my Mom not to worry and that I would pay for mine. Little did I know it was $75 each!!! Add in my $20 tip and I spent $95 for makeup to be applied to my face by a professional! Never ever again will I be so ripped off. Boys and girls, forget college, become a beautician and make bank!
Total Wedding Weekend Expenses =about $500 all told. I am officially broke. I called my Landlord this morning and told him I could not pay the rent until September 3rd. which is embarrassing of course but it's only technically one day late and I've been a good tenant for almost 5 years now.
I also paid my utility bill to the tune of $102 (including $40 towards the Payment Agreement) so that I have one less thing to worry about in the next Pay Period.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Defaulted Student Loan - 260/260
Utilities - 85/83.95
Sister's Wedding Present - 150/152
Boyfriend Debt - 50/0
Mailing Stuff - 5/2 (still have one more thing to mail)
Food + Beer - 55/70
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
First, Everyday Finance hosted the Carnival on Personal Finance and included my post, "Do I Need to Get Married to Get a Food Mixer?" I also was happy to read another article included in the carnival by Not The Jetset - how they were able to buy an HDTV by selling unwanted items in their house.
Also out there today is an article about a married couple younger than me who are on their way to being "Millionaires in the Making." La de da, good for them - they seem really boring and financially foolish if you ask me (but who am I to judge?).
And finally, another look at an elusive kitchen stand mixer I will never own as a single female:
Friday, August 15, 2008
We were sad and frustrated because we had locked in at a good rate and the rates had since climbed a quarter of a point. Also, we were worried that a second bank would also be turned off by this itty bitty tax issue.
2. My Debt Blog - Jim and his wife have just as much student loan debt on top of a mortgage and credit card debt, yikes! He's smart and motivated about dealing with their mountain of debt and offers some advice to others.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 5 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.- Don't forget this step. This is great free advertising!
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
For months now, I was planning on purchasing this item from my sister's registry:
A $150 crystal butter dish. I selected it because I wanted to get her the most ostentatious useless thing on the whole registry as a silent protest against her selfish ways. It was still available for purchase early last week, but to my dismay, this close to the wedding, some other relative snapped it up.
And I know how this may look - that I'm jealous. And yeah I am. But mostly out of indignation. Why should she get all this fancy unnecessary stuff when 1) she doesn't even know how to cook and 2) has no room for them in her tiny studio apartment? I guess she envisions a future for herself and her betrothed that features dinners with crystal-covered butter. I just think that it's dumb that people spend all this money on stuff for other people simply because they are getting married.
But in the end, I went with a fancy lasagna pan because recently I cooked lasagna and was upset that my pan was the wrong size (which resulted to there being no noodles on top of the lasagna at all so it was more like a messy cheese/meat/noodle casserole. I could probably really use one of these pans - but alas, I cannot afford one.
Therefore I spent $150 on something that will probably sit in a box in my parent's garage for the next decade. Awesome.
Will I feel differently about the whole gift-giving process if/when my "time" comes along? Who knows? I hope not. Though I really do want a stand mixer. But they cost like $300 and that's before you factor in any of the attachments! And sure, I could start saving for one or try to find a used one or something. But at the rate I'm going marriage seems like the best bet. Sigh.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Here's hoping something like this doesn't happen again!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So, as you can see, I couldn't afford to smoke even if I wanted to as I would only have $21 left after all is said and done and that now only buys 3 packs of cigarettes.
(And no compromise on Sister's Wedding Present as I already bought it earlier today - more on that later).
In the meantime, when life hands you lemons...I don't know, drink beer.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
- You are entitled to one credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- The official place to get them is at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- You can also obtain your credit report any time you have been denied for a loan, a job or an insurance policy based on your credit history.
In this economy people are more and more concerned with keeping up their credit and it seems like, of course, companies are looking for ways to profit from this. But if you know your rights you can avoid paying a monthly fee.
I love Carnivals because it introduces me to new blogs and bloggers. I've recently started using a Google Reader so now I can read posts more efficiently. Today I found a few more blogs to add to my reader! Here are some of my favorite posts from the Carnival:
- The Money Answer Guy is a college student who lives on just $600 a month. I liked this post because he budgets money every month to buy flowers for his financee. Aww.
- If you like controversial topics, then head over to Broke Grad Student who declares he never gives money to homeless people. That's just mean, but let him explain it to you. In my experience, I know what it's like to get jaded by seeing the same beggars time after time but generally if I have a buck to spare I give it away. When I lived in a bigger city I would buy a burger for one homeless man on my street. It is hard when you see so many needy people on a daily basis and know you can't help them all but I don't think I would ever draw a line in the sand like he has.
- Jennifer at Saving Advice writes What Atari Taught Me About Personal Finance. I'm a little too young for Atari but I do remember that our Nintendo NES games growing up were a special treat only to be given on birthdays and holidays and my siblings and I had to share them.
Reading new articles in a perfect way to usher in the work week. Enjoy!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Well, not so crazy as we've only been dating since last October and there wasn't a whole bunch of movies we wanted to see at the time. Also movies are EXPENSIVE and we don't mind waiting until they become available at the library or on cable. We occasionally will purchase a Pay-Per-View movie at his house but only in a fit of sheer boredom/bad weather etc.
But I HAD to see The Dark Knight. I love all the Batman movies and this one I could just tell I needed to see in a theatre. And it was great by the way. If you haven't seen it yet, run, don't walk to the theatre! It was a tad long I gotta admit, but the action kept me hooked to my seat. Heath Ledger was worth every bit of hype they are giving him in the news now and I was genuinely horrified every time he came on screen. (Note to parents though, don't bring kids. I think I would have wet my pants).
Anyway, what's a frugal couple to do that just has to go out and see a movie in the theatres? Here are my suggestions:
1. Go to a matinee. Make sure you pick a theatre that actually offers matinee prices. Estimated savings: $3.00 per person
2. Stock up on candy at a local drugstore. I bring a big purse and throw in sodas, Swedish fish and immitation Snow Caps. I get really hungry at movies and besides, these things are cheap at the drugstore. (If it's nighttime I go to the supermarket and grab a 22 ounce can of beer because beer is better than soda.) Estimated savings: $10 - 20
3. When your movie is over, sneak into another movie!! Oh come on, it's not that bad. I used to work at a movie theatre and honestly the theatre employers and owners really don't care about this activity as long as it's not opening weekend where the seats are likely to fill up. Estimated savings: $6 - 10 per person
4. Don't have time for a double feature? That's fine. Just wait until the movie is over and then ask to see the manager of the theatre. When he/she arrives make a complaint about something that happened during your movie experience. Common examples include noise of fellow moviegoers, sticky floors, sound of the movie being too loud/too soft, projection problems, etc. You don't need to get too upset but make it clear that your moviegoing experience was disrupted by this problem. They will ask you if you tried to remedy the problem when it occured (i.e. during the movie). All you have to say is "yes, I came out to the lobby and was unable to locate a manager") and you will get a free ticket for every person in your party!!! Make sure you keep your ticket stubs when attempting to do this. It works every time! Estimated savings: $6 - 10 per person for future visit.
You follow all that advice and a visit to the movies will be enjoyable AND affordable. Have a great weekend!