Jun 30, 2008

June Goals in Review

So now that June is apparently over already, we can see how many of my goals I actually accomplished.

-Walk to work at least 10 times NO
I was off to a great start, but between rainy days and days so hot I was drenched by the time I got to work, I stopped. I just don’t enjoy becoming a grease slick/sweating pig before I even get to work.

-Save as much money as possible on my car insurance YES
I got a great quote from Geico, that will save me $200 every six months. I still have to call again to restart it, but they said they will save my quote and info until then.

-Stick to my budget for my Florida trip YES
Granted, I only came in about $20 under budget, but it was still under!! And seriously, it was soooo completely worth the money.

-June Dining Out Challenge YES
I came in just under, at $72 out of $75. I wasn't sure if I would do it, but it worked out just fine.

I'd say June was a pretty good month!

Jun 27, 2008

Real Life can be a Drag

So I’ve been shopping around for car insurance lately, and I found that I can get a great premium with Geico—two hundred dollars less than what I pay now! I called to set up service and all, but then cancelled because I still have a month left on my current insurance and they wanted to start it now. They told me I can just call up when I’m ready and they will save my policy info.

So I come back from vacation and I have a letter from PennDot telling me that since I am now “uninsured,” they will withdraw my registration if I don’t show proof of insurance in three weeks time! I still have insurance! I’m pretty peeved since Geico went and tattled on me for no reason. My insurance hasn’t lapsed, I’m still covered with my current company (which is the whole reason I cancelled with Geico in the first place), and now I have to go through this whole big long process for nothing. Ugh I hate when things are complicated that don't even need to be.

Jun 26, 2008

I Love Florida <3

Well, I'm officially back from vacation. The best vacation ever, I might add. We had the best time- beautiful beaches, fun bars, amazing restaurants, and crazy wildlife. I fell in love with St. Petersburg during this trip- someday I want to live there. Seriously- after grad school, I'm so there. It is a great city with a town-like atmosphere, wonderful weather, crazy fun people, and tons of things to do!

As far as the budget goes, I did better than I thought. Not spectacular, but at least under budget!
Hotels: $142
Gas: $150
Food/Entertainment/Souvenirs: $263
Clothes: $33
Total: $588

Ok, I know I shouldn't have bought clothes, but I really didn't anticipate how many times a day I would have to change due to humidity, freak rainstorms, etc. I only bought two tops and a pair of underwear though, so it's all good.

So basically I'm really proud of myself because I got a whole week's vacation in Florida for under $600! Plus we even threw in a few extra activities that weren't expected, like a visit to the Dali Museum and a mini-trip to Savannah on the way back home. And I got the best souvenir- a crape myrtle tree that is now living in my back yard. :)

Jun 15, 2008

Florida, here I come!

In just 2 days (!!!), I will be going on a road trip to Florida with my best friend from college. I'm so excited! We’ve been planning this trip for awhile, and I figured I will just use my reimbursement check from the government to pay for it, plus a little from my travel fund. The good thing is that we will be spending part of the time with her brother who lives there, so we can save some money on the hotel. Plus, he'll show us around to the best bars and restaurants that aren't expensive tourist traps.

This is the budget I have laid out for the trip:

-Hotel in SC (one night driving down, one night driving home): $100/2= $50
-Hotel in FL (3 nights): $180/2 = $90
-Gas and tolls: $170
-Food and Entertainment: $300

All of that added up is about $610 for the week. I hope that we don’t get carried away and spend too much over that. I think that we can do it though, since neither of us are too keen on spending lots of money right now. I know I just have to remember to think, instead of just spending like crazy and worrying about it later. That's what I tend to do when I travel- the whole “experience is worth the price” idea. Which is partly true, but that doesn’t mean I can forget everything and go around dropping big bucks on things just because I’m not at home.

See you when I get back!

Jun 9, 2008

30 Days

Yesterday, in order to beat the heat and not spend money, I watched the whole first season of 30 Days. It's a documentary-style tv show by Morgan Spurlock that takes ordinary people and puts them inside of someone else's life for 30 days. At first I thought it might be boring, but boy was I wrong! It's one of the most interesting tv shows I've seen in a while, and it actually has substance to boot.

One of the most interesting episodes was where Morgan and his fiance had to live working minimum wage jobs for a month. They were pretty bad off, especially considering neither of them were used to watching their cash flow. They had to work hard jobs with lots of physical labor, they lived in an apartment where a crack house used to be, they didn't have furniture, and they ended up about $1,000 in the hole by the end of the month. It really put things in perspective for me- I may whine about not having and/or making as much money as I want to, but I really don't have it bad at all! I mean, the types of jobs they had to take were ones that most people did in high school, but some people never get to move on- that's their life. I feel lucky to have a college degree and the opportunity for grad school. I'll have so many more options to support myself- I won't be cornered into working a minimum wage job.

Jun 8, 2008

Car Insurance is Frustrating

So it's that time of year again- the time to pay my car insurance premiums for the next six months. Right now I have car insurance through Progressive, since last summer when I was shopping around for my own policy, it was the cheapest by far. It's still not that cheap though, and since I am going away to school and money is going to be extremely tight, I’m looking around again.

I researched a little and got two quotes from Geico and Allstate that are only $450 for 6 months! Plus, I have a letter with some code that lets me get 20% off of Liberty Mutual premiums since I'm an alumni of my college. That would be amazing to get either one of these deals, but I have a feeling that a) I messed up somewhere on the online quotes or b) the coupon might be a scam or only for a year or something. It seems too good to be true, to have a quote about $200 less than what I pay now.

So I guess for now I think I will stick with Progressive until they give me my bill to see if it goes down. My dad said his went down $100 last year, so hopefully mine will go down a little too. If not though, I’m going to call around and see if the cheaper insurance offers will really work out.

Jun 4, 2008

June Goals

So June is off to a good start so far! I know it's only been four days, but still... I'm excited about doing well this month. Plus I have some fun things planned! Anyway, since it seems that the secret to success sometimes lies in baby steps, here are some baby goals that I can hopefully achieve in June.

-Walk to work at least 10 times
(I will be off for a week for my vacation and will only work 15 days this month)
-Save as much money as possible on my car insurance (My 6-month premium is due this month- I'll have to shop around some and see what deals I can find, because I think I pay too much)
-Stick to my budget for my Florida trip ($550)
-June Dining Out Challenge ($75)

So far, so good... I've already walked to work twice (today it rained) and barely chipped into my dining out money. Hopefully I can keep up the good work! :)

Jun 1, 2008


So it’s the first day of a new month, and already I have spent money! Gah. It was well worth it though- I went out to see Sex and the City with my girls. The movie was awesome, but really heavy and sad at parts. We all spent about half of the movie either crying or trying not to cry, no lie. But on the money front it was good- I suggested to go to the matinee so that we wouldn’t have to pay an outrageous price. Plus we went to Wawa first to stock up on snacks and snuck them into the theater. So overall, I spent $6.75 on the ticket, $2.20 on some toasted ravs from Wawa, and had a blast of an afternoon.