Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!
In my 2008 Year in Review, I already revealed how I failed at my yearly goals (which weren't set until late May) but how I wasn't too upset about it. I've been trying to compile my goals for 2009 but since my job status is so in flux right now I haven't really gotten around to it.
I'm sure I'll look back at 2008 and miss it - it is the first calendar year I've spent with Boyfriend - but right now I'm a little anxious about 2009. Here's what I hope will happen next year:
1. I will get a new job.
2. I will move in with Boyfriend finally.
3. I will travel (more on this later).
4. I will save up an Emergency Fund.
5. I will continue to contribute to my retirement fund.
6. I will get my wisdom teeth extracted.
Those are not goals, per se, but things that are 99% set in motion already that I hope will go over smoothly in 2009. Once the dust settles and I know which out two or three different job possibilities pan out, I will be able to write some tangible goals.
In the meantime, Boyfriend and I are cooking our Big Ass Turkey for a celebration tonight!
Happy New Year!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Waiting for the Call...
Or will I toil away at my once very fulfilling but now completely bogus appointment job that is only guaranteed for the next 92 days?
Friday, December 26, 2008
Starting Balance = 1160 (a little higher than usual since my Hobby Check hasn't cleared yet)
Hobby - 35
Rent - 725
Water - 50
Utilities - 112 (40 towards Payment Agreement)
School Loan - 40
Sprint - 64
Xmas Present - 25
Groceries - 60
Misc. - 49
I may be getting some Christmas cash from the Rents but nothing is certain yet. I had a very nice Christmas with my family, despite that every time my mom gave me a sweater she said it was for my "new job," never mind the fact that 1) I don't have the job yet and 2) the job in question requires me to wear suits every day. Oh family! But hey, new sweaters!
Won't be back to regular blogging until Sunday but until then Happy Holidays all!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Where It Went 12/10 - 12/23
So here's why my money went unless something crazy happens before my paycheck gets direct deposited tomorrow morning:
I got $258 unexpectedly. I spent it. In fact I spent $281 in miscellaneous unbudgeted items including a new suit, a hair cut and Christmas presents which means I am lucky that my Hobby Check always takes weeks to clear and I didn't get an overdraft fee for being $9 over budget. Total Fail.
But c'est le vie. Christmas is finally here and as stressed as I am right now about a lot of things I'm looking forward to spending some time celebrating with my family. Happy Holidays to you all!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I Got The Second Interview!
Boyfriend and I had already started our Friday celebration early in light of the huge snowstorm so I missed a call on my cell phone. But guess what the happy message left for me said? I have been called in to a second interview on Tuesday with the Big Big Boss. I think (cross fingers) this means I am the final candidate for the position. I should have known my new power suit would bring me luck. Back to celebrating my good fortune!
I Spent Money on Myself!
I pay for the insurance every month so I hoped it wouldn't cause a financial nightmare to get it fixed but it did require me to go to the mall. Here's how I did:
Bus to/from the mall - $2
Cost to fix cell phone - $0 (nice!)
Cost to eat dinner at the mall - $7 (boo)
Brand new black pants suit - $57 (yay!)
Present for myself - $20
The pants suit is really nice and there was such a huge sale that I really can't say I regret getting it. I really needed a nice suit to wear for my interview and my only other pants suit is too tight now. I consider the suit an investment in myself (one that I hope paid off today on my interview!).
The present for myself? Well it's something I've been meaning to get for a long time and I took advantage of the holiday sales to snag a great deal. By the way, being in the mall was kind of surreal. The stores are begging people to come in, I swear. I usually hate the mall but people were so friendly on this visit it made me wish I had more money to spend! Well I guess I did my small part for the economy.
Yesterday at lunch I browsed the holiday fair they have set up at work and found three great presents - one for Boyfriend ($18), my BFF ($20), and my Sister and BIL ($15). Yes, technically these weren't things I was planning on buying without the windfall but it's Christmas and I love giving presents.
Then I decided I should get my hair cut for my interview. It looks great and came to be $40 including tip. After the hair cut I went to the bar and had a gin and tonic ($7) and then stopped by the liquor store and got a bottle of Pinot Grigio ($10). Today, after my interview I went to the grocery store and spent $21 on materials to make Spinach Artichoke dip for a party tonight.
In essence, I have spent that entire windfall in three days. But hopefully I'll be getting a better job any day now. The interview went very well I think. The job is unfortunately not in walking distance to where I live but the bus only took 15 minutes so it's a lot more convenient than the other job I traveled by bus to interview for.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Not Laid Off...Yet
I got an interview for a better job! And
I got an email saying my office is extending all of our employment papers until March 31st!
I'm very excited that no matter what I will have a job in 2009, even more excited at the prospect of it being a better job. Now I officially have three irons on the fire and I'm feeling good as we go into the holidays.
The interview is on Friday so I'll report back with details. In the meantime, my co-workers, many who have absolutely NO backup plan, are very excited.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
More Good News!
This is my highest interest debt and if I don't get laid off I hope to have it knocked out by next February. Now my goal is even closer in sight!
A $258 Christmas Miracle!!!
I also realized that it costs about $30 to take the bus back home for Christmas if I intent to leave Tuesday like I planned. And where is that money going to come from? I suppose I could charge it since I just paid extra to my credit card but that wasn't my first choice option. Or I could wait to take the bus until I get paid on Wednesday, a.k.a. Christmas Eve, but that wasn't my first choice option either. Believe me, the bus is already crowded enough on a regular day.
Alas it seems that Santa Claus has solved my problems for me because I checked my mail today and received a $258 check! Now this is where the story gets a little hairy - exactly two Christmases ago I got a call from a telemarketer asking me if I wanted a free vacation. She said I had a week to cancel the "vacation club membership" but that the vacation coupons were mine to keep! Long story really short, I got ripped off. I took my complaint to the BBB, my bank, the Florida Attorney General, you name it. And now I finally get my money back! [Word to the wise: don't be an idiot and give your bank account number over the phone.]
Now, I can't go all crazy with this check since a) I don't know how long it will take to clear my account and b) I still have the following un-budgeted items to pay for:
- Hobby Christmas party BYO and optional grab bag item ($10 + cost of beer)
- Ghetto Christmas Office Pizza Party ($5)
- Boyfriend's Condo Party Optional Gab Bag ($10?)
- Bus home for Christmas $30
- My share of joint gifts with Boyfriend ($60)
- Professional Association annual dues ($50)
- Might as well pay the dentist finally ($25)
Friday, December 12, 2008
2008 in Review
- Create an Emergency Fund of $700.
- Increase salary to $55,000.
- Start Health Savings Account.
- Make regular contributions to Roth IRA.
Which brings me to my Emergency Fund. This is a major fail but it's still a goal I'm very committed to and will carry over to 2009. Since I started paying my Student Loans and contributing to my retirement fund this year I have been really unable to find a regular amount every pay period to put in my Emergency Fund. I've started a fund but it's pretty much empty right now. With the potential job insecurity looming I have realized that even $700 in an Emergency Fund would be woefully inadequate since I would have to make up a deficit between my anticipated Unemployment Benefits and my current fixed expenses.
Instead of an Emergency Fund thus far I've created an Emergency Plan which is to dump my apartment once and for all. Even though it's right down the block from Boyfriend's condo and is beautifully decorated to my taste, I spend less than two hours a week there to the tune of $865 a month (rent + overdue water + utilities + overdue utilities). Yikes! If I don't get laid off I still plan on dumping the apartment within the next six months. Bye bye hot pink bedroom. I will miss you!
And for regular OMG-I'm-Stuck-On-The-Side-Of-The-Road-With-No-Money emergencies - which would be rare I hope since I don't even have a car - Boyfriend has recently made me an Authorized User on one of his credit cards which is kinda cool since I'm working on paying off my credit card right now and my $30 available credit wouldn't really cover any true emergency. It may even improve my credit score through a concept called piggy-backing.
As for a Health Savings Account, this is no longer my goal because I was confused and thought I needed one when I, in fact, needed to open an Flex Spending Account. Unfortunately I intentionally missed the enrollment deadline for 2009 since there's a pretty good chance I won't be at my office for much of 2009. I guess this will turn out to be a 2010 goal. Doh! Luckily my health insurance is pretty rad and I have very low out-of-pocket costs. And my pharmacist just told me I can save $10 a month by switching to a generic prescription! [BTW: talk to pharmacists, they're not just cashiers who give you meds, they're really smart and helpful!]
Finally, I did not contribute one dime all year to my Roth I.R.A. Last time I looked at it I had about $12 in it. Instead I started contributing 7% of my salary in a 457 Retirement Plan. Despite the fact that I made this decision a month before The Downturn I have accumulated $998 in this account since July. Sweet! My friends think I'm stupid to put money in my 457 instead of a Roth I.R.A. because of the tax advantages but the first rule of investing is Know Thyself and I know that in December of 2007 I dumped my entire $600 in Roth funds to pay for (gasp) Christmas presents. As much as I'd like to think I've grown in 2008, making my retirement funds inacecssible is the best option for me right now.
In the next couple of days I will come up with new financial goals for 2009 that are hopefully more informed and easily attainable.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Taking the Day Off
A Trip To The Grocery Store
2 cans tomato Sauce @ $1 each
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Budget 12/10 - 12/23
Where It Went 11/26-12/09
Water - 50/50
Credit Card - 20/0
Sprint - 65/64
Utilities - 105/105
Monday, December 8, 2008
Christmas Club Account - What I Should Have Done
Friday, December 5, 2008
Twilight - Worth the $7?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
What Does It Mean to Be 'Rich'?
But first, what if you decided my parents were filthy, old money, Bart Bass on Gossip Girls, rich? What would that mean for me? I have about $100 in my bank account right now to last me until next Wednesday. Hardly enough money to buy a drink at The Plaza. And sure I get a couple of handouts once in a while, but if you are interested in trading a father who gives you a hundred dollars a month versus one who lets you make your own relationship decisions, then give me your address and I'll gladly trade with you.
Yet, I live in a low cost of living area so my salary of $43,600 is well above the median household income for my city - $33,000. But I never feel rich because I am paying off so much debt. If and when I move in officially with Boyfriend, our household income will be over $130,000 and we will be statistically speaking quite rich. We probably won't feel rich then either because we will both be saving and paying off debt.
MSN Money did an article today on how to tell if you are rich. Because of the reaction to my post I tried to see if my parents could officially be categorized as "rich." The closest city listed on the chart was New York City, where the average household income is $240,000. My parents live in a suburb of New York City and I don't know how much their income is. My Dad is self-employed and therefore his income varies greatly from year to year. My Mom's salary is public information, as is mine, and it is about $100,000. They also pay about $25,000 a year in property tax. Rental income brings in about $20,000-$30,000. Hypothetically, let's say they make a combined $350,000 a year. This would only make them "rich" in NYC if they had no kids. Yet they have two living at home.
In short, my parents are well off but not crazy OMG rich. You may think differently if you spend time with them. They like nice things and were delighted to throw my sister a 200 person wedding. They belong to a private club and have hired help clean the house, landscape and do home improvement tasks. Growing up I had nannies, yes nannies, but in my Mother's defense, she was getting her Master's Degree at the time.
Yet I worry about my parent's finances. They have taken a huge hit in their retirement accounts with only five years to go before retirement. My little sister is expected to start college in a year and a half and we never qualify for financial aid. Most of my parents' wealth is tied up in real estate that is declining in value and they have expressed no desire to ever leave our mammoth house behind.
Bottom line, no matter how much money my parents have, I'm just as poor as a church mouse and though my Dad is paying $303 a month now towards one of my student loans, there's no chance I will get a $50,000 windfall like Her over at Make Love Not Debt towards paying back my loans. But stick with me and I will pay back my student loans (largely) by myself. Probably then I'll have to start a new blog about how "rich" I am.
What about you guys? Anyone else rich on paper but not in reality?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Free Christmas Cards!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Thanksgiving in a Recession: The Redux
Confession: my parents are pretty rich. Not in a "everyone that lives in America is richer than most of the world" rich but "holy crap, that's your house?" rich. For those of you that have been reading this blog for a while you may have already guessed that. Why else would my Dad constantly give me small sums of money so that he could continue to pass judgment on my life? How did I get so awful with money in the first place and end up in this mess? I don't think growing up I ever felt "rich," however, since I was surrounded by equally if not richer folk.
So with that important piece of background information, I bring you my Thanksgiving holiday redux. Boyfriend and I spent our first Thanksgiving together (last year we were dating but he was out of the country). Miles were driven, cats were traumatized, a ten year high school reunion was attended, and the George Washington Bridge was crossed three times in as many days.
This Thanksgiving was the first time I didn't spend the entire holiday with my own family and therefore the first time I realized just how different the holiday can be with other families. As embarrassing as it sounds, I grew incredibly homesick when I realized that there were no mini-quiches, linen napkins, chandeliers and mulled cider. Instead I was treated to folding chairs and homemade pie. Boyfriend and I even went out for dinner on Wednesday with his parents and they made him split the bill! That sort of thing would never happen in my family.
After visiting Boyfriend's parents we visited my family and learned that talking about money is now apparently allowed despite its previous ban in polite conversation. Here is what I learned:
- My mom claims to have lost "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in her retirement accounts. I asked her if she was exaggerating but she insisted she wasn't.
- My sister and her new husband are leaving NYC to live in the suburbs in an apartment owned by my parents for next to nothing. This is quite possibly the only financially responsible move my sister has ever made.
- A friend (age 30) was laid off from her job in the financial sector.
- Another friend (age 31) was laid off from her dot com job, despite spending $35k to get pregnant (it worked!) and now is forced to put her apartment on the market.
- A friend's mother who works for the financial industry has stored $10,000 under her mattress in case of emergencies. This is no joke. She's the richest woman I know and if she's this scared then holy crap!
- My brother works retail and unfortunately they are cutting his hours.
That was my Thanksgiving. My parents warned it would be a "lean Christmas" but I don't believe them. I don't need any presents but I can't imagine my mom not buying tons of things anyway. Sigh.
Help Forest on Finance Propose!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Budget 11/26 - 12/09
Where It Went 11/12-11/25
Monday, November 24, 2008
My Job Interview Was Weird
The interview - if you can call it that - went well. Essentially since I had the guts to ask my current big big boss to set it up for me, it was really just a formality. With this man recommending me I basically just had to show up as a live human being capable of doing the job. So ::cross fingers:: if my potential future boss is able to get me on the payroll then I will be transferring to this office in the beginning of the year.
It's a good job and could possibly be a better match for my future career aspirations than my current one. I could keep my excellent State benefits and laughingly short commute. It actually pays slightly more than what I currently earn. The downside is that I would be subject to some late nights and have to trade off having my own office for a cube.
I'm a little ambivalent about it for several reasons. The first is that I really hate change and being comfortable in my job is important to me. The second is while I'm definitely qualified for the work, it makes me a little uneasy to be handed a position not based on my own merits. Then again, anyone can look good on paper but a recommendation from a current employer who can actually attest to my work product speaks wonders about my ability, right?
I may have an update later in the week. In the meantime, I'm battling a nasty cold. I'm optimistic it will work out and I'm pretty relieved to have found my own port in a storm.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Making the Most Out of My Dental Benefits
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I Have An Interview - Sorta
I talked to my mother yesterday and told her how concerned I was and she told me not to worry and that her and my father would help me out. When I replied that there are no jobs in my city she said I could always move home. Move home? At 28?! Not bloody likely and completely disregarding my relationship with Boyfriend.
What bothers me most is that I would have definitely saved some emergency expenses had they not forced me to renew my lease in the first place as I already live with Boyfriend in all but the legal sense. I reached out to my Sister and expressed my desire to break my lease and got a judgmental email back so I know that no one will support me if I ultimately make this decision.
Anyhow, I have an interview today. Not a real one but a "let's meet and if the clouds part and there's room in the budget maybe I can hire you" session. With much trepidation, I asked my current Big Big Boss to put in a good word for me and he thankfully obliged. It's a good position - maybe with even a little more money - but the man I'm meeting with already told me on the phone that he would like to hire me to help Big Big Boss out but I should pursue other options as well. How's that for depressing?
Wish me luck and here's a lolcat to cheer me up:
Monday, November 17, 2008
Six Months of Blogging!
On May 16, I revealed that I was lousy with money, needed to do something about it and own up to the $167,000,000 in student loans I had. Did you catch that decimal error? I didn't at first but luckily one of you did. Sometimes it feels like I have millions of dollars in student loans but in reality it's only about $136,000.
I set out some goals for myself that day and here they are:
1. Survive the next 8 days on $157.
Ha! I regularly budget myself way less than that much pocket money to last an entire 14 day period.
2. Pay off "short-term" debt - two payday loans totaling about $400; loans from friends and family totaling $460 ; pay overdue bills - utilities around $400, cable around $200.
On June 30, I finally paid off the last of my payday loans - yikes. Not something I ever ever want to have to turn to again. I also paid back Friend A, to whom I owed $200. I've paid back Boyfriend most of the money I borrowed from him and am working on paying the rest back. I worked out a Payment Agreement with my utility company. As for cable, I'm not sure if I owe them anything but it's not a bad idea to find out.
3. Develop a working budget.
I make a budget for every payday. Technically it's more of a Spending Plan then a Budget but I call it a Budget and it's working for me so far.
4. Start paying as much of my student loans as possible.
I'm working on it. I currently pay $666 in student loans a month. Yes you read that right. It's going to go up to $706 soon. My Dad pays $305 on my behalf. That's about all I can bear right now. I wasn't paying them at all prior to starting this blog so that's been a huge change.
5. Save up an Emergency Fund of $1000.
I'm working on it. Saving money is kinda hard when you are on a tight budget. I created an Emergency Fund but I linked it to my Checking Account because the emergency I'm most hoping to avoid is getting hit with overdraft fees, something that I know all too well about.
6. Contribute to my Roth IRA.
Fail. Well I changed my mind on this one and decided to contribute instead to my 457 Retirement Plan. I'm putting 7% of my pre-tax income in there (so far I've contributed about $1000) and currently have about $769 remaining. It's not much compared to the amount the average 28 year old has saved for retirement but you gotta start somewhere.
Over the past six months of budgeting and blogging I've learned a lot about personal finance and also my relationship with money. I've also reached some personal milestones in large part due to this new knowledge:
- I quit smoking!!! You need a heck of a lot less pocket money when you are not spending $7 a day on something that will kill you. I am unbelievably proud of this accomplishment as are all my friends and family (and many readers too!).
- I quit the gym. Okay so I know this isn't something I should be proud of since I think working out is really important but it just represents the fact that you should stop paying for things you don't need, aka if you never go to the gym, stop paying $46 a month for it!
- I reduced my cell phone bill by about $30!
- I settled an old debt with a collection agency. Another 15 months of paying $125 a month and I will finally have that friggen old credit card out of my life forever!
- I stopped taking regular handouts from my parents! This is a huge step on my road to independence.
So it's taken a while and I admit I'm still behind the curve of most fiscally fit 28 year olds but no one ever said it would be easy paying for all my money mistakes. Hopefully the next six months will produce some results as well, most notably keeping my job and building up an Emergency Fund.
As far as the blog goes, it's no masterpiece and there are lots of design bugs I haven't taken the time to fix. I need to update my blogroll and find new ways to attract revenue but I have made $60 in ads which is pretty cool. I have 54 subscribers (thanks!) and average about 100 readers per day (wow!). I know I should be participating in more carnivals but alas I never remember to sign up. I have lots of ideas for future content (recipes and book reviews to name a few) so if you've enjoyed the past six months then stay tuned.
Friday, November 14, 2008
My Vision Plan Sucks! And Here's Why
Rip Off Doc: You are scheduled to come in tomorrow and use Crappy Vision Coverage, is that correct?
Sallie's Niece: Yes that's right.
Rip Off Doc: Well our records show that you were here in January of 2007 and you are only eligible for an appointment once every two years.
Sallie's Niece: Well I really need some new contact lenses, can I place an order for them?
Rip Off Doc: No, I'm afraid your prescription is only valid for one year.
Sallie's Niece: Alright well I need to come in for an exam then. How much is it gonna cost?
Rip Off Doc: It's $90 for just the exam.
Sallie's Niece: See ya next year!
I did a little digging and here's what I discovered.
The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act was passed by Congress in 2004 to broaden the consumer's access to contact lenses. It requires prescribers of contact lenses to give patients give patients a copy of their contact lens prescriptions at the end of a contact lens fitting, even if the patient doesn’t ask for it. You can then take that prescription around to another seller, including online sellers like 1-800-CONTACTS.
During the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee meeting, Robert L. Hubbard, Director of the Litigation Bureau at the New York (my home state) Department of Law, also a chairman of several task forces related to the legislation testified:
Unlike most physicians, eye care practitioners sell what they prescribe.
Thus, individual ECPs derive substantial revenue from the sale of
replacement contact lenses and have an economic incentive to
withhold prescriptions from customers to prevent consumers from
shopping for replacement lenses elsewhere.
In light of that incentive and the power of ECPs over prescriptions, the bill helps
give consumers what they need to make their own choices about
where to buy replacement contact lenses.
Congress was heavily lobbied by optometrists during its consideration of the
measure, and those able to read the fine print will discover that in 42 states,
optometrists can refuse to pass along a prescription if it is more than a year
old. The limit is two years in the other eight states.
Thus, while optometrists may have lost their grip on the sale of contact lenses, they have gained an annuity that will keep patients coming back once a year to renew their prescriptions. There are 36 million contact lens wearers in the U.S. At about $100 per exam, that's $3.6 billion in guaranteed revenue for the
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Budget 11/12 - 11/25
Last year they told me I also qualified for free glasses since I cannot work without something - glasses or lenses. But after picking out glasses for over an hour I walked out of there paying about $140 somehow. I think this was because the glasses I ultimately selected were pricey ones not included in my plan. Anyway, I don't want new glasses! I only wear my glasses for about ten minutes a day when I am brushing my teeth. I know you aren't supposed to wear contacts all the time but I can't stand seeing through glasses. I will not let the doctor's office talk me into getting "free" glasses this year!
Anyway, there's my rant, here's my budget for the next two weeks:
Starting Balance = $1140
Aunt Sallie Mae - 406
Defaulted Student Loan - 260
Nice Collection Agency - 125
Boyfriend - 50
Hobby - 35
Trip - 55
Groceries - 80
Some of the remaining money (around $120) I will be using to buy Boyfriend's Anniversary Gift finally ($12), one small Christmas gift ($25) and some new clothes for the holidays (around $50). Any remaining funds will be transferred to my Emergency Fund which sits at an embarrassingly low $5.
I am going out of town the weekend after next. The hotel is already paid for courtesy of Boyfriend's hotel points but I need to pay a fee of $55 to attend an event relating to my hobby. It should be a fun time!
Where it Went 10/29-11/11
Friday, November 7, 2008
Not Laid Off....Yet
- I have a degree and lots of experience.
- I'm willing to work for low pay.
- I have lots of friends.
Having friends is crucial for employment leads and gaining access to networking and other career opportunities. And I'm not just talking other low-level employees fresh out of school like myself but people with experience and contacts. I am friends with these people too.
So not much news to report on LayoffWatch 2008 so far but I will keep you updated in the days and weeks to come.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Planning My Vaction = Full Time Job
Present Idea: Get A Clear Head For $15
What do you think of my design ideas - tacky or trendy?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Oh Crap: Can I Survive Unemployment?!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Dreaming of Reno
Friday, October 31, 2008
Let Them Eat (Wedding) Cake Part Two
Ok so here is it and appropriate to the date, it's pretty scary!!!
As of my last post I was still on Friday and had spent $70 of my own money (see previous post for details).
Saturday I wake up hungover as all hell. I remember a hot tub. I remember the World Series being on really late. I remember deciding I was bored of beer and that it was a good time to switch to liquor. Hanging out with college friends must have made me think I could still drink like I was in college. Sadly friends, that is no longer true.
The Atkins girls had supplied a heartiful sausage breakfast. Eww gross thought hungover Sallie's Niece. When someone volunteered a supermarket run I jumped in to come. I immediately purchased a Starbucks Iced Mocha with whipped cream (a yummy $4), then proceeded to get a roast beef wrapped sandwich, a 12-pack of beer (my contribution to the house), flip flops for dancing (I forgot mine), a nail file (I forgot mine) and a toothbrush (yup forgot that too). All told I spent $35 at the supermarket (including Starbucks).
Back at the house I deposited a crisp $50 bill into my wedding card as a gift to my friend. Then we went to the wedding. Yay it was awesome. So happy for her. The band was great! We danced and partied in a limo. Pretty much your typical expensive best-day-of-your-life kind of thing. Going to a wedding stag sucks though and I'm one of the most independent women I know. I danced awkwardly next to other couples and finally snagged the cousin of the groom as my dancing partner. He was adorably southern and had hair that draped over one eye just so....but I digress.
The day after the wedding was a real Budget Buster. I thought I had secured people to come with me (and drive me) to the touristy things I wanted to do before my flight. I thought wrong. College Friend left for her honeymoon and I was alone in an oceanfront mansion. And bored. I called about ten dolphin tour boat companies and half of them were not operating because it was Sunday. The other half refused to take on just one passenger. Curse you!
I finally found a boat but it wasn't departing for several hours. So I took a cab to requisite touristy resturant ($20). Had lunch and drinks ($25). Bought souvenirs including one Christmas gift ($47). Took another cab to boat tour ($12). Went on boat tour ($15). Sat at a bar in the harbor until it was time for my flight ($10). Took yet another cab to airport ($15). Bought random snacks and magazines ($12).
So yes, I spent almost all of the $200 my Dad gave me plus about $150 of my own dollars. It was the most expensive weekend ever!
I had fun and I'm glad I got to be a part of my friend's wedding and everything. Looking back I should really have rented a car even if it was only for one day because though I was told it was a very small town the cabs were so slow and painfully expensive. I also really should have found a way to get Boyfriend to come with me because being on my own really really sucked.I don't want to come off as anti-wedding and I know I definitely didn't need to spend as much as I did but the next time I get invited to a Destination Wedding it best be someplace really fun and affordable to get to. Hopefully there will be no more weddings for a while now.