Jul 31, 2009

Roadtripping to TN!

Ok, so here comes my last big trip of the summer before I have to go back to school... (I think this calls for a :'-( face). My BFF and I are doing a road trip to Tennessee!! We're hitting up Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, all in a week. I can't freaking wait to leave, I feel like I've been waiting for this trip for foreverrrrrr. We were supposed to go this past week, but with my grandpa and all, we postponed it a week. Surprisingly we canceled all of our hotel reservations and changed the dates without a hitch! No fees, no trouble at all-- somehow it all worked out perfectly. So I'm heading over to her house in a few hours, and tomorrow morning we'll be on the open road!!

So far with all of the hotels (for a week!) we only had to spend $155 per person. As far as the rest of the trip goes, I'm estimating about $120 per person for gas, parking, cabs, etc. and then $325 for food and entertainment. That gives me a $600 budget for the whole trip. I'm not really worried about going over budget. Last year when we went to Florida, I didn't spend nearly what I thought I would. Plus I'm thinking things in Tennessee will probably be cheaper than tourist-laden Florida. So let's hope for a repeat performance!

Everyone enjoy your weekends, I'll see you in a week!

Jul 30, 2009

The Funeral

The funeral was today. It was pretty rough at times, especially since I just felt so overstressed and anxious, not to mention I had to hold my mom up for half of it. But it turned out nice overall, as far as funerals go. There were tons of people there, the flowers were nice, and I didn't get scared by the open casket like I thought I would. It was just so strange to see so many people there-- his other family, the people he worked with, etc.-- who knew him better than I ever did or ever will. It's depressing that I don't really have any memories with him. But the one nice thing was to see my cousins though at the luncheon afterwards, and enjoy the craziness and inappropriateness that is my family. Even though we met at a funeral, that part was nice.

Jul 29, 2009

My first time with Craig (slist)

Although I've bought some furniture for my new apartment from Craigslist in the past few months, I've never sold anything on there. But I posted my first sale item on Monday... I'm selling my old dorm fridge from college. I used it for all four years of my undergrad career, and now I think it's time to part with it. Plus now is probably a great time because people are going back to college, or going for the first time! I posted it and asked for $35, and I've already gotten an email asking about it! I'm not sure if they will buy it or not yet, since they were just asking for more information. It would be great if it went through though! Keeping my fingers crossed...

Jul 25, 2009

RIP Pop-Pop

My grandfather died today. He had a heart attack yesterday, and didn't make it through surgery this morning. I feel so bad for my mom, because everything is on her. His second wife doesn't know anything and is pretty helpless, so the entire family is deferring to my mom. And the truly disgusting thing is that people are already calling her and asking her about his money...

My family is bugging me to get a new car

This year, our family vacation turned into the "Why doesn't Ashley buy a sports car and date a football player?" conversation that my uncle seems to favor so much. He was ragging on me all week, and even got my parents in on it! They all want me to buy a new car with this new Clunker program. Now don't get me wrong, when I first found out about the program, I was just about jumping for joy. You see, my car is worth next to nothing as a trade-in, and I would basically be making $4,000 for free.

The only problem is, you have to buy new. Now you guys already know I've been toying around with the idea of buying a new car ever since mine started giving me all kinds of problems and making me nervous to drive. So far I have $1,460 saved towards a new car, and technically, I could afford a car payment of $200 or less, but it makes me super nervous. There would be absolutely no breathing room, and I don't want to be stretched too thin. I feel like it just wouldn't make sense to take on even more debt at this point. But my whole family is telling me I'm a fool if I don't take advantage of the program! Argh, it's so frustrating. Have any of you guys been in this situation? What do you think (even I think I already know what you think...)?

Jul 18, 2009

Beach :-)

Hey everyone, I'm going down the shore for a week with my family (= all expenses paid woot), so I won't be back until next Saturday. Hope everyone has a great week!

Jul 17, 2009

What did I do with the Scholarship?

Ok, so I finally figured out what to do with my scholarship money. This is the final breakdown:
$340 = Car Insurance Payment (for the next 6 months)
$200 = IRA (I haven't funded my IRA AT ALL this year... sad)
$500 = to Student Loan
$500 = to New Car Fund
$260 = spending for July & Aug (just gas and any fun things)
$2,300 = to EF

I still just threw the majority of the money into my EF, like I had talked about last time. Some of it is for books for the upcoming semester, but the rest I'll just keep. So now my EF can hover around $2,500 instead of just $2,000.

Oh and PS- I still haven't completely ruled out the tattoo. ;-)

PF Mad Lib!

Decided to try this Mad Lib from Punch Debt in the Face, since it looked kind of fun. I used to love these as a kid!

Hi my name is Ashley. I currently have sixty dollars in my wallet. When I started managing my finances I was worth -$7,800, and now have a net worth of -$4,100 (that's mildly depressing). I currently work as a TA in grad school and have been doing it for one year. I make roughly $17,000 per year. I want to have enough to live comfortably (so my children won't have to support me) waiting for me when it comes time to retire. Aside from learning about finances, I really enjoy traveling and reading. I think the world would be a better place if violence and the fight for power (will never happen... I know) didn't exist. I had some weird egg and spinach pizza that I made on naan for dinner last night and it was surprisingly amazing! I have had 3 significant others over the course of my lifetime (counting awkward middle school relationships). One thing that makes me different is my sense of humor doesn't always match up with other peoples'. Now that I'm done with this mad lib, I think I'm going to go eat breakfast and watch a movie.

Jul 15, 2009

First Swagbucks Prize!

This morning I finally earned enough Swagbucks to cash them in for my first prize! I got the $5 Amazon.com gift card. Since I love reading so much, I have a bunch of books I'm interested in buying. I hope to use Swagbucks enough that I can get a bunch of these gift cards and then go on a nice little book shopping spree! The first book that I really really want to get is I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit. His blog was one of the first PF blogs I ever started reading, and started my years-long obsession. He has tons of useful information on the website, and I think the book will be just as good!

Hey, if any of you have been playing around with the idea of signing up for Swagbucks, please use my referral link! :)

Jul 13, 2009

This morning I woke up $4,100 richer

Yup, you read that right! Our summer scholarship/stipend was awarded last week, and it finally came through into my bank account this morning! It was a huge (and wonderful!) surprise considering they told us this year it would be less than usual because of the economy and blah blah blah. But in reality, it was way more! This is such a lifesaver. It's really tempting to go out and do a little spending though, I'm not gonna lie. Especially since it was so much more than I expected. I really want to be irresponsible and get a new tattoo... but so far I'm resisting. I'm saving most of the money for now until I can figure out the best way to use it. I put the majority into my EF, flushing it back out to about $3,000. I also put $500 more into my New Car Fund, and am going to send about $500 to my student loan. Then maybe a tattoo?? haha...

Jul 8, 2009

How low can it go?

As far as car insurance goes, I’ve been with Geico for a year now, after I switched from Progressive last summer. I was shocked to find their rates were about $400 a year less than what Progressive was charging me, and thought it was a mistake at first. But I went with it, and now my rates have gone down even more! When I first signed up I was paying around $450 every six months, and now they are only charging me $340!! That is a pretty sweet deal, and a really pleasant surprise. It evens out to only about $57 a month that I’ll have to save! Oh, and might I point out that next year I'll be turning 25 (ick) and rumor has it, insurance drops a lot then... things are good.

Jul 6, 2009

Free Fourth of July

Hey everybody, I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! Mine was pretty good overall. Could have been better if I was in an emotionally better place (on a side note, I'm not going to Montreal anymore... a long story I don't really feel like telling), but Saturday was really nice. My dad took me fishing, which I haven't done in years. I used my old kiddie rod with the push-button reel, for pete's sake. But I still managed to catch four fish, and my dad caught four as well. We didn't keep any because they were so small, but after that we had a BBQ and ate outside on our deck. My friend came over around 7, we smoked some hookah, played chess and then went to the community fireworks. So basically, I had a whole day full of awesomeness for free!

Jul 3, 2009

New Discover Card

You know all those pre-approved credit card offers they send in the mail? Well, I fell for one. I’ve been wanting to get a cash-back card for awhile, and Discover sent me an offer I just couldn’t refuse! I get up to $200 in bonus cash back, basically just for using the card during the first year I buy it. I have to spend $500 in the first three months and make at least one purchase a month for the next 10 months. This will be absolutely no problem because of all the trips I’ll be taking this summer. It’s money I’ll be spending anyway, and I’ll get some cash back for it! It’s pretty much the perfect time for me to take the plunge. My new card came in the mail today, and it's activated and ready to go! Do any of you have a Discover cash back card? Are you happy with it?

Jul 1, 2009

"No Clothes June" was a Success!

My June goal to not buy any clothing or accessories in June was successful!! I made it the whole month without buying anything unnecessary. And the cool thing was, since I made it an official goal for myself instead of just thinking “oh I should stop buying so many clothes,” it wasn’t so hard! I mean, I’m not gonna lie, I was seriously tempted when delia’s sent me their clearance catalog full of cute discounted things, but I managed to make it through the month without much difficulty. I will have to try this again sometime in the future!