Nov 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty good. The boy came to Philly to visit with my family for the first time, and I (successfully) attempted to make a Martha Stewart pie. Not something I think I'll make into a habit though... so complicated!

Today the boy and I went shopping for Black Friday, mostly just cuz we were bored. I only bought a necklace at Old Navy for 7 bucks, so no insane spending spree for me. Today was only the second time I've ever been out for Black Friday, and neither time seemed that crazy to me. Granted, I went in the afternoon, but I've never seen things as crazy as the stories you hear. Maybe I should go at like 4am next time, what do you think? Haha.

After shopping, we had lunch at Friendly's, one of my favorite restaurants that my family used to go to when we were kids. Have you guys ever been? The boy never heard of it before, apparently they don't have it in the Midwest? That's just craziness, is what that is.

Nov 23, 2010

The Eye Doctor Lies

Apparently the eye doctor I went to last year was out of network!! They were recommended to me by some people in the department-- last time I take recommendations from people with money to blow. I almost hyperventilated last year when I saw I needed to pay almost $500 for new glasses and a year’s supply of contacts. Now I know why it was so high— I was getting such tiny reimbursements compared to what I could have gotten in-network! Apparently when a place says "Sure, we take your insurance" that means they can take your insurance for one tiny part of the process and that's it!! It’s like a trick. Good thing I at least learned my lesson and checked it out better this year. It was mildly annoying to go to a new eye doctor, but it totally worked out in the end... a year's supply of contacts for 70 bucks, baby!

Nov 14, 2010

Gail's Recommendations

I'm bored right now, or just avoiding doing work... you know how it is. So anyway, I was playing around on Gail Vaz-Oxlade's website and I found the following recommends for where your income should go. I figured out how much I should be spending for each of the areas, and calculated how much I really am spending. I'm not that far off at all!

Income: $1,245
Housing: 35% $435.75
Debt: 15% $186.75
Life: 25% $311.25
Transportation, 15% $186.75
Savings 10% $124.50

And here's what I'm doing:
Income: $1,245
Housing: 32% $400
Debt: 22% 270
Life: 26% $325
Transportation, 8% $100
Savings 12% $150

The only really negative thing is that I have a bit too much debt for how much I make. But I make up for it by having really low transportation costs, so I think *maybe* it's alright. Good things are I save more than 10% and I'm right on target with the housing and "life" categories!! I think it's pretty cool that I never did one of these tests before making my budget, but I'm doing it right.

Nov 10, 2010

Let's take a second to define Impossible, please...

In our group meeting this morning with our supervisor, everyone was talking about how everyone has student loans in grad school. My supervisor was literally like “It’s impossible to live without them. There’s no way you can live off of a grad student’s salary.” And I’m sitting there thinking... um, I do? I mean, I’m not saying it doesn’t suck and it’s not hard and annoying, but it is possible. You can't just blow it off without even trying. It’s just funny to think, once again, how I come from a different place than these guys. They can't even imagine living off of what we get paid, so they think that no one can. Their lifestyles have always been more expensive. But you know what, I’m super proud that I’m not taking out a single loan to get through grad school. AND I still have money for a new car and to travel and all that awesome stuff. AND I will still have money for that later when they are paying off loans. And less stress to boot! :-P

Nov 4, 2010

I apparently missed the whole last month

I guess it's November already... although my brain doesn't know it. I saw commercials for a Veteran's Day thing on TV this morning and literally thought: "It's way early for that, we just started October!" Oy.
October was one of the first months that I made goals for in a long long time. Truth be told, I was hardly ever on this blog, so some of them I kinda forgot about. But I did alright anyway! :)

1) Save $100 towards my friend's CA wedding --- YES. Gotta love automatic deposits.
2) Limit eating out to no more than two times a week --- YES. I went out a lot less this month, in part because I've just been busier. I don't have time to go out and spend a few hours on dinner.
3) Do NOT go over budget --- MEH. I did a little bit on my groceries category, because I ran out of money and I really don't have any stockpiled food here. And hey, I need to eat.
4) Try out two new healthy budget recipes --- YES. I tried some kale soup and a sausage egg frittata with egg whites and turkey sausage. Neither of them were great, but it was worth a try at least.

So overall, a MUCH MUCH better month than September was. This month I just gotta work on not buying so many small snacks all the time, like cupcakes and candy bars and gatorades.