On Aspiring To Be An Effortlessly Cool Woman With $400 Shoes

About five years ago I wanted a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs flats that had a mouse face on them and little ears. I talked myself out of them because they were expensive (maybe around $250) and weren't a grown-up woman with a real career type of shoe and I have regretted it ever since. 33 year-old me is much more comfortable in her desire for silly cute things than 28 year-old me was. But I probably couldn't have afforded them then anyway and I just finished paying off twenty-something me's credit card debt.

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm 0

On We're Not Gonna Pay Rent ... By Check

My landlord requires a cashier’s check or money order. Every month I stop at the bank on my way home, get my money order (and pay a $5 fee for it) and drop it in the mail box at his office. I just realized I have paid $300 in money order fees in the five years I’ve lived there. I asked about setting him up to pay through my online bill pay (he wouldn’t be able to debit the account directly, I’d still have to initiate) and he just looked at me blankly and said he didn’t think that would work. He did recently start texting so that’s nice and he is good about maintaining the property.

Posted on September 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

I didn't estimate on Friday since I didn't really have any plans. I lazed around the house Friday night and Saturday, took the dogs for a walk and caught up on some reading. Sunday my mom and I took my Grandma out for a fancy hamburger. Grandma hardly ever eats meat and didn't want to waste the meal on a subpar burger. Some other family members joined us and my uncle ended up covering Grandma's meal. I ordered a Kobe burger and split some fancy fries (sweet potato and zucchini) with my mom. My share was $30.46. I took my laundry and dogs over to my parents house and hung out there for a few hours. I bought a Kindle book for $1.07 and preordered a Star Trek DVD set for $36.81. Sunday night I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription $0 copay and bought a giant rice crispy treat for$1.50. $69.84 for the weekend.

Posted on September 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm 0

On 40-Hour Workweek My Aunt Fanny

I have never been part of a union. My current job is salary and I am expected to log a minimum of 2300 hours a year. That would work out to just over 44 hours a week but we can only take PTO and holiday time in 8 hour blocks. So my week off a few months ago put me five hours behind and I was an hour behind as soon as I came in today. In practice I probably log 50 hours a week during regular weeks and more during quarter-end processing time.

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm 0

On Tuesday Check-in

The weekend went mostly as planned but I spent a lot more at Target then I estimated. I had planned to spend about $50 on household stuff and if I had stuck to my list it would have been $56. But instead it was $180.28. I bought some new bath towels, which I needed, new curtains, which I didn’t, and a bunch of cute gardening stuff from the clearance rack. A few days ago I was thinking it might be nice to have a little herb garden so the 50% section seemed like a sign. Other than the actual discount sign on the shelf. I’ll probably bundle everything up as a birthday present for my mother since she actually gardens. I also spent $10 on some all natural baby shampoo because a lifestyle blogger said it is good for washing delicates. It does smell nice. Dinner was $13.29 at Five Guys plus a couple of dollars for the tip jar and a Game Stop giftcard for my brother-in-law was $25. I didn’t spend anything on Saturday and took leftovers home from my parents so I was able to avoid the grocery store for another weekend. I will probably have to go tonight or tomorrow. Sunday I went to see The 100 Foot Journey and spent $15.50 on my ticket and snacks. We went to Humble Pie for lunch afterward and shared three small pizzas. My share was $25.82. I also bought a new book for my Kindle to add to the many books I haven’t read yet – $9.93. Total for the weekend was $244.82, I estimated $130. I didn’t get as much done around the house as I had planned/hoped but I think I somehow set the reset button on myself with all my lazing around. I have been dealing with some health stuff and pretty much felt like crap for the last few months. Yesterday I felt more like myself than I have in a long time and today I feel normal so far. Or at least what I remember normal to be.

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm 1

On Friday Estimate

I am leaving work a little early and baby-sitting my nephew and niece tonight so my sister and her husband can go out for his birthday. I'll probably stop at Target on my way home to pick up some household stuff and new slippers. I’ll also grab some take out for dinner. Hopefully I’ll keep it under $50 at Target and about $15 for dinner. Saturday I am hanging out around the house most of the day and heading over to my parents in the evening. My mom is having a family pizza party for my brother-in-law. I need to get him a gift card for somewhere video game related, I’ll pick that up on my way, probably $25. Sunday I am going to reorganize my bedroom closet and assemble the console table I bought for the living room a while back. I’ll probably make a coffee run at some point, $5. Monday I am either going to be lazy and spend the day with Netflix or I might meet some friends for a movie and lunch. If I go out then it would be $15 for the movie, $20 for lunch. I also need to get gas, pay my rent, and pick up some groceries but I am not including them since they are accounted for in my regular budget. The total outside of the budgeted stuff should be about $130.

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 11:55 am 0

On Plus-Size Shops Vs Plus-Size Shoppers

I have been plus size my entire life and while I don't have a problem spending money on good clothes I'm not going to take an expensive risk on some one I have no familiarity with. Ralph Lauren has a great line of high quality professional dresses, Micheal Kors makes trendy but work appropriate tops, and Nordstrom's house brand has great pencil skirts in not quite as many varieties as their standard sizes. That's where my money goes when I need something. I have cash to spend on clothes, I don't have cash to throw away on a trendy low-quality line that you can only order online.

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

I had high hopes of getting things done this weekend and only partially succeeded. On Saturday I lazed around in the morning instead of taking my car for its oil change. I'm off on Thursday so I will take it then. I dropped off a couple of things at the dry cleaner (8.25), missing the same day cutoff by about two hours. I met my mom, sister, and niece at the mall photo studio just in time to entertain the child while mom and my sister ordered pictures. Then we went to Costco and grabbed some lunch (1.50) for a hot dog and soda, $55 for my share of the Costco loot, including what I think is a years supply of tp. I need to rearrang the hall closet to make room for it. I went to my parents house to do my laundry and picked up Five Guys for dinner on the way home ($13). Sunday I overslept and did not mow the front lawn. I took the dogs to their grooming appointment at 10, picked up iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich for $6, and came home to de-fur the house. I guess the groomer was short staffed because it's never taken more than two hours for their appointment before. I called after three thinking someone must have forgotten to call me and was told it would be another half an hour. At hour four I called to cancel my hair appointment since there was no way I could pick up the dogs and make it to the salon in time. I rescheduled for Tuesday after work. The groomer called a few minutes later and the dogs look great (they smell pretty good, too). Total with tip was $103. I didn't make it to the grocery store. Total was about $187 but I pushed a lot of things back to get done this week.

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 10:02 am 0

On Friday Estimate

This weekend has the potential to be spendier than I would like. I am going out of town next weekend and I want to take the dogs to the groomer, get my hair cut, and get my brows and nails done before I go. If I can get appointments for all these things then it will about $250. Otherwise I am going to try and schedule stuff for after work next week. I also need to get the oil changed and the tires checked on the car tomorrow ($30), take a blazer to the drycleaners ($3-15 if I find anything else that needs to go in), and am meeting my mom and sister for my niece’s birthday pictures and a Costco run ($50ish?). I should also pick up some groceries ($30) so I don’t end up eating out every day next week. In non-spending stuff, I need to flush my dog’s ears (allergy induced ear infections), take my laundry to my parents, mow the lawn, clean the living room, and clear some stuff off my phone so I have room to take pictures next weekend. $125 for regular stuff, $250 for all the stuff I have been putting off = $375 total

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm 0

On Everything I Needed to Know About Money I Did Not Learn in Kindergarten

My parents were not consistent in the money lessons they taught us. We always had the newest toy – my dad waited in lines overnight to get us Cabbage Patch kids when they came out – but sometimes we were on the free lunch program at school or my mom would go to the food bank instead of the grocery store and tell me not to tell my sister since she was too young to understand not to tell my grandmother. My dad worked in the feast or famine industries of commercial construction and long-haul trucking so paycheck to paycheck was just the way things were. They bought their house through a rent-to-own program and my mom got her first credit card about five years ago. Every once in a while we would get an allowance but it would fizzle after a few weeks even if it was tied to chores. By the time we were in middle school we were punished for not doing chores but not rewarded for doing them. They also tried paying us for good grades but never kept it up for more than two report cards in a row. Looking back I suspect there just wasn’t enough money to cover what they had said they would give us but they never told us that so we were always complaining about how unfair everything was. We probably would have still complained if we knew there just wasn’t enough money. My sister got a piggy bank for her kids; they were sharing one but quickly realized they would each need their own. My nephew understands that if he saves his money he can get a toy later. He knows which toy he is saving for and whenever he gets money he has his dad help his count it and tell him how much more he needs. The kid is four and a half so I think that level of patience and understanding it pretty good. The toy in question is $100; my sister said if he saves half they are going to pay for the rest as a reward for saving. My niece just turned three- she hasn’t figured out you can spend money yet but she does know that if she asks the grandparents she will always get a handful of change for her bank. We’re all in trouble when she learns about paper money.

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm 0