Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Trends are Expensive.

I'm pretty sure it was Christmas circa 1998 that I asked for Jack Purcell's (the white ones with the extra thick know the ones), London Undergrounds (the black ones with the white stitching), Doc Martens and the black platform Steve Madden's. That's $250.00 in SHOES for a 7th grader. (Were we in 7th grade in 1998? Again, no good at math.)

You know why I asked for all of those shoes? Because all the other girls either had them or were asking for them. God knows I probably also asked for tweezers for my already too thin and mishapen eyebrows and razors for my legs that I was convinced needed shaving (I was hairless THEN..late bloomer over here). Did anyone else have moms who didn't want you shaving until you were in high school?

Moving on.

My precious mama bought me those damn shoes and to this day I feel bad for guilting her into it. My mom sacrificed everything to make sure she had kids who had it all. (God bless ya.) I've never met two harder working parents who provided for their kids rather than splurge on themselves. What a pain in the ass we were.

You know what the last year of trends has done for us? We all live in a god damned prison cell with our black and white curtains, rugs, towels, pillows, etc. It's really getting out of hand here, folks. Although I have to say, I really love my black and white blanket from Ikea. It was $25.00. I am ALMOST certain I paid for it on a credit card. At this point I've probably spent $70.00 on that blanket.

Trends are expensive. What's in is constantly changing. Tile countertop to granite countertop to chopping block countertop to cement countertop (which, by the way, if you changed from granite, good job - hear that shit is radioactive). JK, but seriously. From LEI's to Hudson's to Gap jeans to Sevens to J Brand. From the iPhone six months ago to whatever hell the new iPhone is (and the new charger because the old ones isn't adaptable). It's crazy. And we all, okay, not all, but a lot of us play into it. The bigger TV, the larger cable package, blah blah blah. I could go on...and I will, because I've had wine.

Even if we can pay for these things, why are we? Isn't our money better spent elsewhere? Three things I would splurge on other than new fancy stuffs: healthy food, traveling and saving.

If you weren't buying a new black and white rug (the $300.00 one from Ikea...yeah, I've been drooling over it for a year), what would you spend your money on?

This year, because my two absolute favorite pairs of jeans (and the only jeans I own) have holes IN THE CROTCH, (No, I don't know how they got there...I don't ride bikes or do anything weird in my jeans, folks. I've had plenty of inquiries about this.) I asked for a new pair of J Brands for Christmas. My favorite pair of J Brands are $187.00. THAT IS ONE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT. Yes, I just yelled at you. And me. SO, my mama being the smart lady she is took me down to TJ Maxx for two pairs of jeans for $17.00. Mama didn't want me walkin' round like a hussy in jeans without a crotch, 'pparently.) Thanks, Mom - always lookin' out.

One day whenI can AFFORD those lovely jeans, I'll indulge, but until then...I'll be the non trendy Maxxinista. (Yeah, I just went there.)

That's all I got.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya turkeys.

Take some tupperware with you tomorrow. Don't let that stuffin' go to waste.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turns out, I'm rich!

I'm on day 23 of the spending freeze, folks! And guess what!? I'm rich! When I don't spend much money all month, but the end of the month I see a bigger number in my checking account (and savings!) than I've seen before. It's a wonderful feeling. Today I am celebrating with a peppermint mocha (my first coffee of the month!) while I blog. And yes, I'm justifying the coffee purchase, because tonight I am babysitting, so - as planned, I am still not spending my paycheck on frivolous things. 

Oh! Yesterday I got free tequila! This was probably the most exciting thing that happened all week. (I know, right?) After a particularly shitty week (and let me insert a little note here by saying that my "shitty" week really wasn't that shitty at all - I understand that my bad days are not actually bad days. It's all relative), anyhow, some tequila with my soul sister, Tina (new/fabulous colleague whom I love and adore) went for a little tequila shootin' and whatdayaknow! The gentleman next to us picked up the tab. That's what happens when you look desperate for somethin' to soothe your soul on Friday at 5:02pm. 

I don't know where I'm going with this blog post. 

Okay, so for the spending confession of the week: yesterday I spent $7.19 on eyeliner. Why is that so expensive? I could use a damn permanent marker from work for crying out loud. 

One of the most difficult things about the spending freeze is not being able to purchase gifts (Chel, if you're reading this, I know what you're thinking). Let's be real, people, I'm a TERRIBLE gift giver. (Thanks, Mom.) Last night me and some of my lovely lady friends celebrated one of our favorites, Brianne, and I gave her a used gift. Yes, this happened. I did call Chel to ask her the level of tacky-ness. It was relatively low, BECAUSE the gift was a cute little jewelry case (kind of looked like a trapper keeper as Chelsea so kindly pointed out) and I put three of my Stella & Dot pieces that reminded me of B inside. I wouldn't typically gift used things, but this was different, because the pieces really hadn't actually been worn. Plus, B is a jewelry/accessories lover so I knew she'd enjoy them. 

For Christmas gifts I am planning ahead and purchasing inexpensive gifts from Etsy. And when I say planning ahead, let me clarify that I'll start purchasing gifts the first week of December. 

This month I put almost $1,200.00 toward debt! Aaaand $20.00 in savings. Poco a poco. 

Also, I've lost like 6 lbs. Please note, I'll be brining A LOT of tupperware to Thanksgiving this year. 

More updates to come, but it's nap time for me and the babies (also known as kitties who I think are human babies, apparently). 

P.S. Naps are freeeeee! So is working out, but that's just silly. 

Happy Saturday, folks! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stupid Things I Paid for this Week

Hi there.

So, you guessed it.

This post is about dumb shit I was forced to pay for this week.

1. $48 for a dress that I dropped off to have hemmed and cleaned in APRIL. Yes, April. The very nice woman called me and told me in her voicemail that it's a "very nice dress" four times. And then, the day I wore it to work, 3 people said "that's a very nice dress." And it took everything in me to say "I KNOW IT'S A NICE DRESS AND IT WAS $48.00 THANKYOUVERYMUCH." But I didn't. I thanked them and then cried in the bathroom as I admired my very nice dress.

2. A damn parking ticket. Okay, I haven't actually paid it yet, because I got it yesterday. Is it just me or are the signs in NW VERY confusing? It is $39.00 so now, because it's the rule - I have to sell something for $40.00. Who wants to buy my Jack Lulane Juicer for $40? I don't know how to spell that guys name, but he's dead, so he'll never know. (Do you like how I just assumed that if he were alive, he'd read my blog?)

3. Wine, cheese and crackers. I sold $22.00 worth of clothes at the second hand store yesterday and then I bought these "essentials" as I like to call them to take with me to Cannon Beach. Because one cannot truly enjoy the view of Haystack Rock from Stephanie Inn without wine, cheese and crackers. It was one of the most relaxing evenings/mornings I've had in a very long time. That's a lie, by the way. You need nothing, but to breathe in order to enjoy the Stephanie Inn. Go there now if you have not been. Go alone or take a man whom you'd like to make out with. Either way, it's a good spot.

4. Oh! Okay, I couldn't remember if there was anything else - technically I haven't paid for this just yet. So, I own 6 pairs of shoes. Two of those are black heels for work. You know when your heels get so worn down you sound like a god damn jack hammer when you're walking on cement or any flooring other than carpet? Yeah, that happened. The old Jamie would just go buy a new pair. The new (and not-so-improved) Jamie went to the shoe repair man for new heel things and a shine! Fancy! It's only $12 a pair. I have to pick them up on December 11. I put a reminder on my calendar, but don't let me forget.

So - I'm still in the positive, I haven't over-drafted my account and I haven't used a credit card this month. Winning!

What are some stupid things you spent money on this week?

Happy Sunday, folks! My goal tomorrow is to wake up 30 minutes before I have to leave for work.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Taquitos. It's what's for dinner.

Ten days ago I decided I wouldn't grocery shop until I consumed everything edible in my apartment.

Tonight I ate four frozen taquitos that I found hidden in the back of my freezer. After consuming them I decided that labeling them "edible" is actually debatable. I don't know how they got there, because I certainly did not purchase them. I ate about four bites of each (because I thought the others would be better..??) and then tossed em. I felt bad wasting them, but not that bad, because if I donated them I'd be concerned for the health of others. Can you get botulism poisoning from freezer burn? Because in my head that's a thing.

Enough about my sort of dinner.

Not spending money is really hard. The most difficult part is my social life. If it were an option, I'd stay inside and just not talk to anyone for a month to avoid the awkward "I'm not spending money" thing. I'd also stay inside for a month because I'm a hermit....a fake extrovert if you will. For all of you who think I love socializing...I don't. I hate it. You're welcome. I'm a one-on-one person. Big groups make me sweaty and now that I'm not buying deodorant, I'm really f*cked. (Disclaimer: I love the F word. I know it's not lady like, but I truly feel that it helps with emphasis. My mom hates it. I think most moms do. Maybe when I'm a mom I'll hate it, too. Until then, I'll carry on as I am.)

Speaking of disclaimer(s), the deodorant thing is a joke. I never buy or wear deodorant. I feel like all the chemicals in it will cause armpit cancer. Which is funny, because if someone gives me enough Budweiser and then a cigarette, I'll probably smoke it.

It's taken me a long time to get to the confession/point of this blog post:


Things I spent money on: drugs (at the pharmacy - totally legit...also debatable like the taquitos being edible), toilet paper, cat food, cat litter, dish soap, laundry detergent and toothpaste. Oh! Also, gas. Today I spent $5 on 4 tacos with a friend and he bought beers - it was a prrrretty good trade, I'd say.

BUT here's the good news! I sold some stuff on Craigslist for $40.00 and now I've made about $78.00 this month from selling I like to think that I haven't actually spent any of my paycheck. I've spent hard earned money that I've made wheelin and dealin.

In general I have been happier and less anxious this month. I think it's because I have no worries about finances, because I now have plenty of money to put toward debt and savings!

For fun I've gone to some of my favorite stores without my wallet. It's almost just as fun as actually buying things. (Lies.) Today I went to fun thriftshops in St. Johns, but didn't actually buy anything.

I'm a third of the way through my intense spending freeze and I am looking forward to the next 13 months of spending less. I figure 1 small chapter of my life spent being a cheap skate will be worth it when I can spend the rest of my life not being tied down by debt.

And, just to be clear:

Now, go pack your lunch and save yourself some money. Also, stop giving into the red cups. They're the devil. Okay, no they're not...they're the best thing ever and every time I see a happy girl walk by me with a red cup I secretly want to punch her in the face and steal her coffee. Also, her purse. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mmm beer.

So, I went through my bank statement for the month of October to see how much money I spent at coffee shops, restaurants and bars in 1 month. This does not include money spent at grocery stores.


What the? 

Other things I could have spent that money on: 
  • Tickets to see best friends out of town 
  • Pay off debt 
  • Buying a pair of jeans that don't have holes in the crotch 
  • Savings 

How much do YOU spend? 
See the poll on the right side. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Less is More

Since starting my spending freeze three days ago I have not spent a dime. I did make $37.00 by taking a bag of clothes to Crossroads. I took the money straight to the bank. Normally, I would use the money to buy clothes or coffee. (Okay - I have an update here: I spent $1.29 at Trader Joe's on wheat tortillas. I bought them in change so I feel like that doesn't count...?)

 I haven't quite ironed out all the kinks, but for this month I know I'm not spending any money (with the exception of bills and rent). And those damn tortillas.

Last month I cancelled cable and Internet after talking with my upstairs neighbors and agreeing we would split their Internet. For some reason Comcast will INCREASE your bill if you try to drop cable and only pay for Internet. Comcast, your bundling thing sucks.  And to show you how much I hate you I'm cheating the system by splitting Internet with my neighbor. Some may call this unethical. I call it sweet, sweet revenge. I am now paying $15.00 per month instead of a whopping $87.00.

This month I changed my car insurance from full coverage to liability. This is probably one of my dumber life decisions (and there have been A LOT). For those of you who know me, you and I both know I'll get in an accident...tomorrow-ish. My car is paid off and has been for about a year, but I have had a few tickets in the past couple of years and my car insurance was $120.00. Paying for liability only is $77.00. Also, I don't drive often, because I walk to work (on days that I don't wake up 10 minutes before I need to be there) so I feel like the risk is relatively low. I plan to be on liability for six months or so - until I get my one of my two credit cards paid off. I'm paying the one with the highest interest first (per Dave Ramsey's suggestion, of course...also known as simple math and common sense). That sounded like I hate Dave. I don't. I love him.

As of three months ago I don't pay for texting. My AT&T bill was about $120.00. That's crazy. I do have unlimited data so I don't want to change companies, because I really love my data plan. I realized that I mostly text iPhone users and we can iMessage for free. I canceled my texting and now my bill is $87.00. If you message mostly iPhone users, I recommend this. For those who I cannot text, I Facebook them, email them, or pick up the damn phone and call them. Oh, and I have a 15% discount through work.

Eventually I'll go into the dirty details of just how much debt I have (credit card and student loans) and what my actual income is so you'll realize what I'm working with here. But for now, because all of those numbers make me sweaty, we'll just focus on the changes I'm making this month to get above water.

 USE LESS. Of everything.

Eat less. I'm making smaller portions of food, being very careful to make only what I think I'll eat or making enough to have leftovers for later that day or the next. I'm not letting any food go to waste. Before I started my spending freeze, I did not go to the store and stock up. I decided that I will spend the month eating ONLY what is in my apartment. That means grilled cheese sandwiches on english muffins, Annie's Mac N Cheese and soup. I am very fortunate to have a job that provides lunch for everyone in a cafeteria.

Drink water. I'm only drinking H2O. (With the exception of the wine my sister and brother in law bought last night for a Halloween party.) I have almond milk from last month that I'm using for cereal, but other than that it's just water. I'm not buying wine, beer, soda, juice or sparkling water (my favorite). I don't typically buy or drink too much soda or juice, but my alcohol spending is easily my biggest "fun" expense. This is not a confession, this is a simple fact. I love me some Oregon Pinot. (Update! Found lots of peppermint tea in the cupboard tonight!)

Drive less. Easy to do in this city.

Use less toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toilet paper, etc. Laugh if you will, but if I use half the portions that I'd normally use, I'll get to use it twice as long. Orr I think that's how math works. Also, sometimes I steal my roommate's. I tell her I feel like stealing my roommate's toiletries is slightly less unethical then the Comcast scam.

Turn everything off. Every light is off in my apartment right now. That's not normal. But it's also because my head hurts from the wine provided by bro and sis last night. Cat Woman got a little crazy with the two buck chuck. By the way, that is NOT $2 and I don't know where that nick name came from. Liars.

So, the goal this month is to not spend any money and to not lose friends. Instead of going out to eat, I'll have friends over or I'll go to their place for dinner and bring whatever I have to offer. It's a fun game and if you have friends and family who really love you or like you a little then they'll understand or they'll at least lie to you and say they do.

More to come. For a post about less, that was very wordy.

Friday, November 1, 2013