Mar 30, 2009

Budget Success in Pittsburgh :-)

Pittsburgh was a lot of fun, AND I came in under budget! I wanted to spend under $175 for the whole trip, and I spent $135! We were lucky because we stumbled across an information kiosk and the lady there gave us a book of coupons for all the museums. So when we combined the buy one get one free coupons with the student discounts, we got some amazing deals. The totals were:
$45/person for the hotel (one girl canceled on us)
$10/person for gas
$62 for food and drinks
$19 for museums and attractions

We did a lot of cool things like the Carnegie Museums, the Incline, the Nationality Rooms @ UPitt, and the Warhol museum. The Nationality Rooms and the Incline were my favorites, but the coolest part of the trip by far was when we went out for dinner on Saturday night. We went to this brewery that is in a church (which is the coolest idea ever invented, btw)-- it was weird to see stained glass mixed with big tanks of beer. The food was amazingly good, plus we got this cool cherry beer and red velvet cupcakes for dessert!

The only problem is that I paid for a lot of things for our group since it's easiest just to pay back one person. Each of the girls owes me $90 and I am a bit nervous that they will keep forgetting to pay me back. I really don't want to pester them for the money. But it's only our first day back, so we'll see how it goes.

Mar 27, 2009


Tomorrow some of the girls from the department and I are taking a trip to Pittsburgh for the weekend! :-) I am so excited, I've been wanting to check out Pittsburgh for awhile. Considering it's Pennsylvania's OTHER city, apparently with a totally different vibe than mine. Plus it'll be nice to be in a real city again, instead of a tiny college town.

Personally, I'm going to try to do this whole trip under a $175 budget. So far we found a nice hotel a little way from downtown for only $35 a person for Sat night with a free shuttle to downtown and free breakfast (yay!). Gas won't be too bad either, since it's less than 3 hours away-- I'm guessing less than $10 a person, even in my big Jeep. Then that leaves me about $130 for food, going out, and any museums or sights we want to see/do. I think I'll be able to do it!

(Oh and special thanks goes out to my linguistics professor for canceling class on Monday-- without her, none of this would be possible!)

Mar 25, 2009

This morning I signed my lease for my apartment for next year! I handed in my application, signed the lease, and paid my security deposit. The security deposit was $365, a fairly big chunk of change, but hopefully I can get it all back when I move out. But now it's all completely set, and I have a really sweet place to live next year!

Mar 22, 2009

A post of randomness

After a year of doing surveys for, I FINALLY have enough points to get a $10 check... woo-hoo? I must not qualify for any of the good surveys, since I only do about one or two a month and other people blog about getting checks from them much more often than once a year... I'm still grateful to get the ten bucks though.

Also, have I mentioned that I have my student loan balance under $16,000 now?! I'm making tiny steps, but I'm still super proud. :-)

On Wednesday I sign the lease for the new apartment! I'm completely excited, except for the fact that I have to pay $360 as a security deposit. Not sure how, but I kind of forgot about that part of signing leases. But it reminds me that I'll hopefully get $100 back in May from my current apartment!

I might do a cheap weekend in Pittsburgh next weekend, since my Monday class got canceled and I'll have a homework free weekend for once in my life.

I joined twitter today. I'm still not sure how that's going to work out, but so far it's still in the "yay new toy" stage. (and my blogging style today is influenced by it, apparently)

Mar 10, 2009

I love Tax Returns!

Today I got both of my tax returns in the mail! I got $118 back from local and $563 back from federal, for a grand total of $681! Sadly, I went to the mall and got a lot of new summer clothes the other day. They were needed, and I got a lot of new (and really awesome) things, but I spent about $120. So that leaves me $561 to save, and I decided to put it all into my "New Car Fund." Both of my ING savings accounts (for travel and for a new car) took a hit when I had to buy my new laptop a few months ago. But since I have a lot less saved in the car fund, I'm going to use this tax return to try and bump up the total. Sometimes I love tax season! ;-)

Mar 3, 2009

One less thing on my to-do list

So in addition to finding an apartment to live in next year, I also finally have a roommate. It’s a bit of a weird situation, since a) it’s a guy and b) I’ve never met him. He’s in the German department too, but he’s in Austria this year for an exchange. We’re friends on facebook and we’ve talked online once or twice, but I really don’t know much about him. He seems cool, though, and the other girls in the department all love him, so I think that’s a good sign. I’m excited to meet him, but at the same time I’m a little weirded out by having to share a bathroom with a guy... I hope he’s clean!