Apr 29, 2009

Menu Plan (ish)

Since I am moving out of my apartment next week, it's time for the mad use-up-all-my-food scramble to begin! I don't have a whole lot, especially when compared to how much food my roommates buy, but I still have a lot of things that need eating. It's almost like an experiment to see how I can incorporate what I have with minimal waste and also minimal additional purchases. So this is what I came up with--

Lunches: salad with hard boiled eggs, corn, and tomatoes, and I'm going to try to make a balsamic vinagarette dressing to use up some of the balsamic vinegar I have. When that runs out, I can some egg-salad sandwiches to use up bread. I also have a lot of fruit sitting around- kiwis, oranges, and blackberries.
Dinners: taco rice to use up the cans of beans and the extra rice I have. It should last me the whole week, since I have a lot. Also, some frozen broccoli as a side.

The BEST part of this menu plan is that I won't have to buy any new food during May (except maybe a bottle of juice), so I can use that money for something else! My idea is that I'll put it towards my student loan, sending them $250 this month. Yessss.

Apr 27, 2009

The end is near

I'm in a really great mood lately. I'm not sure how this is possible since it's the end of the semester, but I am keeping on the positive side. I refuse to be crushed by all of the end-of-semester crap. I think it helps that the weather is absolutely wonderful lately. I took my students outside for class today, since we were just doing some partner work to review before their final. It was funny, they were all prepared to fight for it, and when I simply said yes they were so excited.

Other reasons why I am happy: a) Thursday is payday, b) my May rent is only half of what I usually pay, c) I gave a rockin' presentation today in class, and d) I have 7 out of 20 pages of my last term paper started (the other two papers are already finished)!!!

Apr 21, 2009


Although I seem to have trouble staying within my monthly budget, I have noticed that many of the other grad students are able to drop big bucks whenever they want (daily lunch dates, expensive clothes, flat screen tvs, new cars, etc.). And as much as I hate to admit it, it’s very frustrating to see all of the new things they buy all the time, when I have to dip into savings for any extra purchases at all. My poor brain is screaming: How is this possible on a grad student’s budget?! I know my situation is a bit different because I pay entirely too much in rent, but still, we only make about $1,000 a month.

But lately, through random cube conversation, I learned that at least two girls take handouts from their parents. The one girl’s parents give her money each month, and the other’s parents are paying for her new car. I find this so hard to believe. Sure, my parents paid for my rent when I was an undergrad, but we are not only much older now (the one girl is 29!), but we also are receiving an income. There's no reason for that anymore! What do you guys think? Is this normal?

Apr 18, 2009

Only one monthly payment of 99.99!!

I have decided that getting paid only once a month is lame. In what world does this make sense? Why would they do this to us? Yeah sure, at the beginning of the month you're rolling in it. The “just-got-paid” feeling lasts for weeks. Then, suddenly the glow wears off. You wake up one morning and you realize you have 12 days left in the month… and only $58 left in your bank account. And the worst part is that somehow, you have not learned anything from this, and are doomed to repeat the cycle month after month after month…

Apr 16, 2009

New Look for Spring

I tinkered with my blog layout for awhile tonight, and I'm pretty happy with the result! Hope you guys like it too!

PS- I realize that the "contact me" tab still doesn't do anything, but that's because I'm not sure yet if I'll change that one.

Apr 13, 2009


My sister has vetoed the car idea, so I think maybe I'll just be keeping my regular car for now. She wants her own car, not something handed down to her, so if my parents can find her something cheap and reliable, she won't be getting mine.

I'm slightly bummed since it would be really great to have a new car, but it's also more practical to keep the Jeep. It gets really snowy here in the winters, and it's also handy to have a lot of room to carry my junk around in. I always seem to be switching apartments and moving back and forth between school and home.

Apr 10, 2009

Maybe buying a new car? Need advice!

The other day, my dad offered to buy my car back for $2,500 so he can give it to my sister (she has to commute to school next year). This is such a tempting offer, since it’s a) more than it’s even worth and b) more than I bought it for. I would be making a profit on a depreciating asset... sweet deal!

I really want to go for it, since I've been wanting a new car for awhile. But I don’t have quite enough money saved yet to buy myself anything decent. Altogether I’d have roughly $5,000 to put towards a new car. I could maybe afford a car payment since my rent will be about $200-300 cheaper next year, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. What do you guys think? Take the sweet deal or just keep saving until I can buy a nicer car?

Apr 9, 2009

Change of Plans

Alright, just when I thought everything was all set up for next year as far as my living situation goes, there’s been a change of plans. Apparently the girl whose apartment I’ll be living in is not allowed to go to Germany anymore (stupid department drama I’ll not get into), and she doesn’t need us to take over her apartment anymore. Thankfully, my name is on the lease so I’ll get to stay as her roommate, but the other guy is going to have to find another place to stay. I feel bad for him, since he is in another country right now and is going to have to scramble for a place to live. But the other part of me is glad that at least I still have a nice apartment to live in...

The downside is that I was really excited to use her big bedroom with the queen bed, but now I have to take the tiny side room, which has no furniture in it. I have a dresser from my old place, but I’ll need a bed and a desk. I refuse to spend money on a twin bed though — if I'm going to buy a bed, it’s going to be a big, “grown-up” one. So we’ll see what I find.

Apr 5, 2009

Birthday Weekend Damage

Today is my birthday and I am now officially old (not that I wasn't old to begin with, but ... ugh). I had a bunch of friends come to visit for the weekend, which was really really fun. We went out to a bunch of cool bars and out to dinner (at possibly the coolest restaurant in State College- a place called the Green Bowl). Although I spent a considerable amount of money (most of it on alcohol--ugh), the damage isn't as bad as I thought. Here's a rough breakdown:
$30 bar covers & drinks
$5 late night pizza runs
$15 Green Bowl dinner
$10 breakfast this morning

Not so bad-- I've definitely spent much more than that in one weekend when friends came to visit before. It's tough having people for an entire weekend because you want to take them out and show them a good time, but not go out to eat for every meal and blow all your money. This weekend was good though, and I'm having a good bday so far too!