My favorite thing about Aldi's: no music! So quiet and peaceful.
$300 for cut and color at a reputable, but not swanky salon in Atlanta. I can only afford color about twice a year, but it's totally worth it (just the cut is $100 with tip - I get a few of those in between color). My stylist lived in New York about 10 years ago, and he charged $250 for cut, and color started at $400. He had lots of clients and did really well - the rich are different, I guess.
I made goal a month early! Emergency fund - Goal $15,000 October: $13,614 November: $15,025 In September and October, I deferred three charitable contributions and put them in the e-fund. My plan was to take them out of the e-fund at the end of the year if I couldn't make them up out of my Christmas bonus. Bonuses haven't been paid yet, and in fact, I wasn't sure that we would get any. But I helped bring in a pretty big payment due, so I'm optimistic that we will get at least a little something. So if e-fund is funded, what next? I like the advice that I got from a financial planner to save 30% of gross income, so that won't change. While I was building the e-fund, I contributed 10% to retirement, 5% to my sinking funds (annual or big expenses like car insurance), and the rest to the efund. I'll boost my retirement contribution to 15%. I think it's wise to keep saving at least some case, so I'm going to keep putting 2% into the e-fund. That leaves 8% - I could save for a house, I guess, although I'm not really interested in buying. I could open a taxable investment account, but I'm not sure I'm ready for taxable risk! Hm. May be time to make another appointment with the financial planner...
I don't buy books very often - library, friends, and family are my main sources. And Little Free Libraries! (http://littlefreelibrary.org/) But I do shop a lot on Amazon. I use subscribe and save for toiletries and housewares (15% off and free shipping). I really don't like going to the store, and I'm terribly forgetful, so dropping stuff onto my amazon shopping list when I think of it is much more convenient than driving to the store and forgetting that one thing I needed and having to go back, etc.
@Katze I never had any problems applying the payment to principal, but my servicer would move my next payment, so that my payoff date was the same. I had to select the option to keep paying the minimum every month. Also, since I had more than one loan through the servicer, I had to direct the payment to the particular loan that I was focusing on. Otherwise, the payment was split pro rata between the loans.
@bgprincipessa Check out garage sales and thrift stores - there's usually a slow cooker in good shape for $5 or less (I got mine at a garage sale for $2; it was totally clean and works like a charm).
I had a first date with a guy that I didn't know well at all. I asked him what he did, and he responded with "Oh, so we're going to play first-date 20 Questions." It was a first and only date.
I replaced my 3GS with the 5S. The 3GS still works - it's now my ipod for the gym - but it's definitely slow, and the battery is unpredictable at best. Oh, and the SIM card is held in place with tape (my fault though).
@Lyesmith If it were me, I'd go for it. Last year, I had about 18,000 left on my loans (6.8% interest rate) and about 11K in savings. I put 10K toward the student loan, and then was very aggressive in paying off the loan in about 3 months. That meant that I had about 1,000 in savings (sometimes even less!) for a little while, which was scary. But....there is so much of the nitty gritty in personal finance that is personal. So while it might make mathematical sense to pay off the loan, you may need the peace of mind of having cash.
Still working on my emergency fund: Goal: $15,000 September: $11,248 October: $13,605 When I paid off my student and car loans last year, I decided to ramp up my giving, which had been sporadic and piddly. Giving is such a weird thing to talk about...my guideline is to give enough to feel a little pinch, but not enough to suffer. This year has been an experiment in how to find that balance. I decided to go with 10 percent of net income and see how that worked, and I had been doing monthly giving based on that. As I get toward the end of the year, I decided to hold off on giving during October and November and wait for Christmas bonuses to come around. At that point, I'll check my annual income and my annual giving, and probably make the donation out of the Christmas bonus. In the meantime, the giving is being deposited into the emergency fund. A long way of saying that the balance is up, but it could go down a bit at the end of the year to make gifts.