<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Travel
 

Viewing the 'Travel' Category

Dec 20

December 20th, 2016 at 05:35 pm

So for the very first time in a long time I have no editing to be done! Just finished up my last wedding of the year and a portrait session from last week, so there are no outstanding tasks for my business. Feels good to zero out Smile

So right now all tasks now are mostly related to getting ready for the holiday - baking cookies, getting cards written, presents wrapped, etc. Need to have all of it done by tomorrow afternoon. Then I go to work, and Thursday morning we leave for Ohio. It's going to be a very busy week, but I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends. And I'll be getting a lot of time with my SIL, who also happens to be my bestie. So I'm thrilled.

***

Had a busy but productive day yesterday, also with a little break to go see Rogue One Big Grin I thought that by going at 10:45am that we would get some sort of matinee pricing, but it still ended up being over $10/ticket. And we did splurge on a medium popcorn and drink. For me, the popcorn is half the reason I go, and I absolutely adore going to the movies. I just wish it were cheaper. Friends ended up inviting me to see La La Land in the evening, but I had to pass. The sting was enough the first time around. DH wanted to go do bar trivia last night, but I suggested we just play our Xbox Jeopardy game and have a couple of beers at home. So that's what we did.

Hit Target yesterday to grab a few things for treat bags and printer ink. Had to send out a gift card to a client in time for xmas. Shot out all of my mailed xmas cards today along with that.

***

Moved some $ around today, because I got two client checks in the mail. I'm all paid up for the year now as well. Things are falling into place Smile My income this month is going to exceed my goal by quite a bit, and I'm pretty excited about that. Not all of it was generated from new business, but still.

***

Took a look at the budget this morning, and we're actually looking really good. There are a few areas that have went over - but also several that are leaving us with excess, so I'm interested to see what the final totals for the month will look like. With the trip back home coming up, our spending will definitely see a spike. But we're at least keeping an eye on it.

That's it for now! Hope you all have a great holiday!

Back from the Honeymoon!

March 28th, 2016 at 07:08 pm

I can't believe how long it's been since I've updated, but leaving the country meant wrapping things up and lots of prep before the trip, and we've been back for about a week now. So there was quite a bit of catching up as well Smile

When we were on vacation we definitely were a bit liberal with the spending. Thankfully, Peru is rather inexpensive to begin with and we really didn't do much going out in NYC at all. All of the touristy things we did were free, and I think we ate at Shake Shack twice. haha.

All that being said, we had an AMAZING honeymoon. It was by no means a relaxing vacation - it was constant go and a lot of really early wakeups, but we saw so much and it was such a great experience. I can't wait to finish editing the photos so we can post them. For now, here's one Smile



Machu Picchu has been on my bucket list for a long time, and it's one I'm now able to say I've done.

Happy to get back into the swing of things. More financially-oriented updates to come!

Getting Ready for our Trip

February 17th, 2016 at 05:02 pm

So we finally booked our flights to NYC, which were necessary to get us to Peru (our Groupon deal flew out of NY). And we booked our hotel room for the additional 3 nights we'll be staying in the city at the tail end of our trip.

Our honeymoon is going to be quite amazing, but we're definitely racking it up. So far:

$3,998 - Groupon Deal to Peru (including flights + hotel)
$280 - Optional Tours that we added
$528 - Our flights to NYC
$746 - Hotel stay for 3 nights in NYC
$216 - Hiking shoes for both of us, daypack, mosquito repellant, rain jacket (used $125 Amazon GC for part of this)

Total: $5,768

That's for two people, 11 nights, international and domestic flights, and an amazing experience. All things considered, I think we did pretty well - and our honeymoon donations (wedding gifts) cover above and beyond that. Also, we're getting quite a bit of swagbucks out of it - the $125 in GCs I mentioned happened because we went through Swagbucks to purchase the Groupon deal. When DH and I went to Micronesia back in 2010 to visit his sister, we spent about $4k in flight tickets alone.

We will obviously do a bit more spending once we're on the trip. Thankfully, it seems all transportation has been arranged to/from the airport and any tours included in our itinerary. Breakfast is provided the whole time we're in Peru, as well as a few other meals. We'll want to pick up some souvenirs.

In NYC we'll obviously be on our own. We have a handful of tourist stops we want to make - though several of them will be free: Statue of Liberty (just see it, not go up in it), the Highline, Times Square, etc. I've already done the Empire State Building, so we're opting out of that. I'm sure we'll do one nice dinner while we're there, and we also want to catch the NY Red Bulls match going on that weekend (DH is crazy about soccer, and we've tried to attend a match almost every trip we've taken. haha).

I think we've purchased most everything we want/need for the trip. We may both grab one other outfit for hiking, but we'll see. I'm just making sure everything we're purchasing can/will actually be used after the trip. I also need to get a feel for how NYC's weather is going to be at the time. It's hard to tell right now.

All I know is that I'm absolutely pumped for it to be here!! We drug our feet quite a bit planning the honeymoon, but now that everything is booked it's not so stressful... just something really exciting to look forward to!

***

In other news, because we just dropped so much money, we're definitely looking to spend a bit less. I'm heading to Aldi today to do a bit of grocery shopping - made my stop at Target last night to get a few other things they don't offer. A friend wanted to go out to dinner tonight, but I convinced her to come over for dinner instead, so that was a good financial choice.

Spent some time in Quickbooks today documenting payments and depositing checks. Had a shoot last night that went really well, so that was great. I've also been doing a lot of soul searching these past few weeks re: my business, and I'm starting to feel really good about turning it around, rather than giving up on it (which was where it was headed not too long ago). It's just not been terribly fulfilling for me lately. A really heavy wedding season burnt me out entirely, and to be honest... I don't love shooting them to begin with. There's a reason we charge the big bucks for them. Weddings are an exhausting line of work, and it's not for everyone. I think I'm one of those people. I can do it well, but it pretty much sucks the life out of me. So if I have to get a part time job to boost my income while I focus my business on portraiture and actually be happy with it, that's something I'm more than happy to do. Then, maybe, I'll get to a point where I CAN support the family on my photography. Who knows.

So that's that. All of my updates, for the most part. I hope you all are having a great week!

Feb 12

February 12th, 2016 at 04:12 pm

So I finally went and did my shopping yesterday. I was able to return my stuff to AE, and they put the total value of the reimbursement on my card, which was nice - given that I had paid for $50 in gift cards. Still waiting for that to hit the account. They had very little in swim in the store, so I ended up going to Victoria's Secret and found a suit I loved. A bit more expensive, but it'll last for a few years. So that saga is over.

Also did a little shopping for warm weather wear. I found two tops at a good price. I don't usually shop at Banana Republic because it's so expensive, but I got a skirt and a top for under $30. Great date night or work outfit, and now I finally own a skirt. That's been on my radar for some time now. The other top is a comfy solid black shirt that can be dressed up or down. Everything followed my palette, and I'll be getting rid of another top that I never wear, so I'm keeping things pared down.

Looked at the budget and I'm still going to be under once that reimbursement hits - so we're doing alright. One of my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks hit, waiting for the bigger one so I can snag my hiking shoes for vacation.

Today I need to get in touch with our travel agent to get flight details for Peru. We need to book our flights to and from NYC still, and decide if we want to do 1 or 2 nights in the city on our way back. As well as where we want to stay. Neither of us have really spent any time in NYC, so it's fun that we get to add that on to the end of the honeymoon - it'll be quite the contrast coming from Cusco!

Ended up going out with a friend last night. Spent $20 between the cover and drinks, but it was a hilarious comedy show and a really good time. Money well spent, I'd say.

DH also worked from home yesterday, so we hit the Indian lunch buffet (delicious). Had leftovers for dinner. Tonight I'll be making the poached eggs with asparagus and toast, which means I'm baking bread today as well. Don't have any plans for tonight, which hopefully means we'll be staying in - I've went out the last two nights, and I'm craving some quiet time in. I'm sure my budget will appreciate that as well!

Hope you all enjoy your Friday and have a fantastic weekend!

Feb 5

February 5th, 2016 at 01:24 pm

It's been a relatively low-spend week, though I feel like that is going to change soon :/

I'm at about $90 of my grocery budget. I'll need to reign that in, but we did a good amount of cooking this week. We did go out to dinner last night, and we'll likely eat leftovers tonight. Tomorrow is my mom's birthday party, so dinner will be taken care of, I believe (or at least some food will be there). We've got one meal left to cook. I'll probably go to the store on Sunday. Still trying to keep my grocery budget under $200.

In terms of upcoming spending...

My little elliptical machine broke Frown Had my engineer friend over the other day and we busted it open to try and fix it. It's a lost cause, unfortunately. It'll be about $80 to replace it. Which isn't terrible, all things considered (less than a gym membership for a year for sure), but it's annoying. I am, however, looking forward to having it back. My workouts have been suffering a bit.

We leave for Peru in about a month, and we're starting to look at what we will want/need to bring. I think we're both going to buy a pair of good hiking shoes. March is the tail end of rainy season there, and we're going to be doing a lot of hiking. Waterproof and sturdy is going to be key. Also, getting the hardcore mosquito repellent will be a necessity with all that Zika virus hullabaloo going on. We're not planning to get pregnant for a few years, and at this point it looks like Peru isn't seeing too much of the virus, thankfully - but my mother in law is freaking out a bit, and I'd of course rather be safe than sorry. Also might snag a lightweight hiking daypack with a waterproof cover. I'll have my camera with me, and I don't want it getting damaged. Lastly, I may pick up some odds and ends in the way of clothes. May want one more pair of good workout leggings for the trip, and maybe a lightweight long-sleeved shirt. Again, thinking of the mosquitoes. As far as "Nice" clothes go, I think I'm covered. I just want to make sure I'm comfortable and safe while we're out and about. Also, we're planning to do a lot of hiking once we move down south - so we'll get a lot of use out of anything we purchase. I may redeem some of my Swagbucks for giftcards to cover those purchases.

In savings:

Mom's birthday party is, as I mentioned, this weekend. We're going to regift a restaurant gift card we got at the wedding. We don't spend much time at Darden restaurants, but she loves Olive Garden. I'll write a nice card, and that will be that.

We don't do anything for Valentine's Day, thank goodness. Might make a nice dinner, but no gifts. No restaurants.

***

I can't believe how soon we'll be moving - and we're starting to think about how we're going to arrange all of it. We need to schedule a weekend to go down to Nashville and see apartments (and hopefully that weekend put in applications), as well as figure the logistics. DH wants to price movers, but in the end I think it's going to be MUCH cheaper if we just rent a U-HAUL and do it ourselves, probably even if we have a friend drive down with us and then fly them back... but we'll see.

Admittedly, I'm starting to get *really* antsy for moving time to be here. Makes me feel a bit guilty, because we should be focused on enjoying our time with our friends here - and we are, for sure. But I think I'm ready for a change. Big time.

I think that's it for me today! I hope you are all having a great week! Enjoy your weekend! a

NYE is Here!

December 31st, 2015 at 04:14 pm

I know I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE New Years. Not so much for the partying (though I don't hate that part. haha). It's just exciting to take a look back, learn from my experiences, and look ahead to the possibilities of the future.

2015 was a big year. My look back:

- I shot 16 weddings this year, which is 6 more than the previous. I learned that this volume is a bit too much for me, as I got incredibly burnt out. In 2016 I'll be limiting that number to 10 and focusing my work more on portraiture.
- This is the first year that I didn't work a part time job at all, and focused my time entirely on my business. Which is a huge (and wonderful) change. I'm hoping that I can maintain that in 2016, but we shall see.
- DH turned 30. This was kind of a fun milestone, and we had a really nice celebration.
- DH and I took a trip to Cincinnati to visit with friends and a trip to Nashville to scout out neighborhoods to move to.
- I alone took a trip to Denver to see my dad and visit friends, and then a trip to Montreal and Lake Placid to shoot a wedding, just a week before...
- We got married!

Financially, I can't say I ended the year *much* better than I started it. Because I worked solely at my business and because I wasn't great about putting aside money for taxes, I'm in saving mode to make sure I can cover them without having to dip into our joint account.

We're also now in my slow season, so my income levels wont quite be as high as usual. A lot of my focus in 2016 (after hitting my tax savings goal) will be on organizing my business finances better, so I don't run into this struggle at the end of the year.

One big victory that I made this year, though, is getting into the habit of regularly posting on this blog. I can't describe how much help it is. I keep myself in check much better that way. I’ve added to my morning routine checking my bank accounts (and mint) to see where I am on the budget.

Looking ahead…

2016 will also bring with it some big items:

- In March, we are taking our 10-day honeymoon to Peru
- In April, we are moving to Nashville!
- In May, we are very possibly taking a weekend, all-inclusive trip to Mexico for my 30TH BIRTHDAY!
- DH also wants to take a trip to Denver at some point to visit my dad
- I anticipate quite a few weekend trips after we move, given that we’ll be close to a lot of new cities
- This will also be the first full year that we are married, and handling our finances together (though we still haven’t really jumped in all the way. We need to do that.)

As I mentioned in my previous post, my theme for the year is “Making Space.” I wont have concrete financial goals put together until DH and I sit down and work through them, but I think every month I’m going to have mini goals/challenges of sorts to help me save/earn more. Some examples:

- No Spend Month (outside of essentials)
- Grocery Challenges (cook all dinners under $3/meal)
- Snowflakes (more surveys, Swagbucks, etc.) and being more creative with them (using my Amazon GCs for grocery products, etc.)
- Restaurant Challenge (don’t eat at restaurants at all, only x number of times)
- Make all beauty/cleaning products myself

In January for sure I am going to attempt the no-spend month. This is the time of year that I NEED to be saving as much as possible, and honestly, I just want to learn to make do with what I have. I live in complete abundance. There’s really no reason I need more clothes, books, house stuff, beauty products, etc. The only thing I’m going to rush to pay for before midnight is the acting class that I really want to take in February. It’s only $120, and isn’t “stuff.” I’ve been trying hard to reconnect with my creativity, and DH is entirely supportive. So it’s coming out of our joint account. I’m incredibly excited!!

I was thinking of adding an unlimited Zumba package to that (I went with my SIL last night, and loved it), but for a month I can either just do them online or drive over to where my SIL lives… her classes are free ☺ That is a want, not a need. And I save $30 for the month.

So that’s the idea for January!

***

Tonight we’ll be hosting a NYE party – of like 10 people, so nothing crazy. But I am cooking, and DH is making some fancy cocktails. We spent a little more than I would have liked on stuff for the party, but I still thought it was better than going out and spending a ton on a big dinner or party, and I don’t enjoy crowds. All in all, it was still less than I thought it would be. We’ll have a really great time tonight, our last NYE in town for a while! I’m going to enjoy the not so healthy food today. After midnight, I need to focus on my dietbet and ridding myself of those 7 lbs.

Speaking of unhealthy food – I also gave up fast food in 2015! Today I’ll be heading to McDonald’s for a Big Mac and fries, and then it’s no fast food again until the end of 2016. I’ve gotta say, I’m more than a little excited for that burger.

Hope you all have a lovely NYE!!!

Honeymoon Progress! And Swagbucks.

December 20th, 2015 at 01:37 pm

So though DH and I got married in September, we still haven't gone on (or planned) our honeymoon. I think all of the planning for the wedding burnt us out, and we didn't want to deal with it. Our plan has been to go to Argentina.

Months ago, we found a Groupon deal that hit both Argentina and Brazil, but DH wanted to wait it out for a trip that hit exactly what he wanted to see (including Patagonia), and they stopped offering it after a while.

So yesterday I started poking around, and found a few vacation packages that sounded fantastic. None of them were in Argentina, unfortunately. When I looked for trips there it was either incredibly expensive, or just flights/hotels, and we didn't really want to have to plan much - so we focused on the pre-planned packages with tours and such.

It was up in the air between going to Peru or Japan, and Peru won out - they were both around $2k/person (including flights), and Peru was 2 days longer. Also, I get to cross Machu Picchu off my bucket list! I purchased the Groupon yesterday, and we'll be booking the trip first thing Monday when I can get a hold of the travel agency. If everything goes according to plan, we'll be taking our honeymoon for 10 days in March!

I'm so excited Smile

Even better - I have the Swagbucks button on my browser, so when I went to purchase I clicked the thing to enable my Groupon purchase to add up the points and add it to my account. At 7 SB per dollar spent, I'm earning 27,986 SB. Which seems so hilarious to me for whatever reason. I'll be able to redeem that for at least two $100 gift cards. So even better!

So good news. $2k/person seems so insanely cheap to me - we paid almost that for just our flights to Europe last year. It'll end up being slightly more, because we have to get to JFK to fly out first, but still... for everything included, it seems like a fantastic way to travel.

At any rate, on my way to mom's to bake cookies! Hope you all have a great day Smile

Groceries and Sweet Potato Recipe Link

November 17th, 2015 at 01:43 pm

Went to Aldi and Target yesterday to finish up my grocery shopping for the week. My grand total was $65.60 - and included a $10 sweater for one of the cats. We're going to be doing a very silly Christmas card this year, given it'll be our first year we send them out. We still have to send out thank you cards from the wedding... is it rude to just stuff the both of them together? lol. Also, is it rude to wait 3 months to send them? haha. Tomorrow will be our 2-month anniversary, so we need to get those out soon for sure. Also, plan our honeymoon, which is supposed to be next month.

We LOVE traveling, and I'm really excited to go to South America, but for whatever reason neither of us has been motivated to actually do the planning or booking. I think we're just worn out on planning in general. I honestly wish we could just wait until February, but DH doesn't want to use up all of his PTO days for 2016 with the move coming up in April.

***

Some of you asked for the sweet potato casserole recipe I'm using for our Friendsgiving Celebrations. I've used this one in the past and it's delicious:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweet-potato-praline-swirl

This is the one my mother loves and I'll be bringing it to her house, but it's a bit on the sweet side for me. So I'm going to try this one for this weekend:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/praline-sweet-potato-bake

It's got a crunchier top. We'll see which one turns out best!

***

Should be a no-spend over here. Have a shoot this afternoon at a law firm - headshots for the whole office, so that should be fun. I'll be eating leftovers for lunch and we're making perogies (frozen, from the last time I made them) and roasting carrots from the garden.

I transferred money from my business account, so I'll be moving some of that around. I'll transfer $500 to our joint account (I had to deposit one of our wedding checks to my personal account for name reasons), and I'll be transferring $1,500 to my savings account to add to my tax savings.

Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!!


Moving Money Around

October 6th, 2015 at 01:28 pm

So things are going well this week - we actually cooked all of the meals we intended to over the last week, finishing up last night with delicious omelettes and bacon. Tomorrow I go grocery shopping, so I'll be making my list tonight.

I hopped on Mint and checked my budget for the month. So far so good. Last week I *did* buy a shirt while I was at Target getting the rest of my groceries after Aldi... but that's not going to happen again this month. Frivolous spending ban.

I moved some money from my business to personal account, and then sent a $1,000 payment to DH for last year's taxes. I'm way behind on paying him back. A couple of people seemed surprised when they found out I was still planning to pay him back even after we're married now. But yes. I hold up my end of the bargain. That's money he can keep in his personal account and do with it what he likes. He'll end up indirectly spending it on me when I'm super broke this winter, anyway Wink haha. But really, let's hope not.

Tonight, DH is at a work dinner, and I'll be eating random stuff from the cupboards - or a lean cuisine, which sounds delightful. It's always kind of nice when he's away for dinner. It makes me feel like I'm a weird, single girl living on my own again (aka, I don't have to cook).

***

I'm in the process of planning a trip down to Nashville later this month - I need to start doing some serious networking. I've got one event I'm hitting, and then 2 BNI meetings. I'm already in a chapter here in Ohio, but I think it'll be a great way to start meeting people once I'm down there. My goal is to schedule one shoot while I'm in the area as well - I've reached out to a musical group who was looking for a photographer on Craigslist, so hopefully that will work out. I'll also be scheduling meetings with wedding vendors, so I'm going to make as much out of the few days I have.

I haven't figured out where I'm staying yet, but it's looking like it will probably be AirBnB, to keep costs down. Thankfully, all of the expenses will at least be write-offs, and I'll get quite a bit of mileage. I just need to get the prep done. I need to print new business cards, samples, and probably some kind of flyer or promotional piece. I'll be trying to keep my expenses down for all of that as much as I can, but they're important - so I'm going to bite the bullet.

All in all, though, I'm excited to get down there and start making connections. Moving my business to a whole new city where I know absolutely nobody is a bit intimidating, but I love a challenge. And hopefully I'll schedule a couple of shoots down there in the winter. I need to start getting Nashville imagery on my site, and hopefully some musical artists - that's such a big market for me to break into. I'm thinking I might just go to an open mic night or something and try and connect with people there as well. Who knows! I might even bring my guitar and join in also Wink

At any rate, I hope you are all having a lovely Tuesday!

Back (Again)

October 5th, 2015 at 09:10 pm

Here we are again... another one of those times that I disappear from this site for months and come back in desperate need of getting my s#!t together...

So a lot has happened since May. I turned 29 (woo!). Wedding season began, and with it my busiest time of year. Also, I got married just last month (double woo!). And now finally things are calming down. Well, now I'm playing catchup following all of that craziness... but soon! Soon things will be very calm. And now they are calm enough now for me to look around and freak out a bit. Because things are a bit rough, at least financially.

In the midst of the wedding craziness, I was spending much more than I should - on the wedding itself, and then on restaurant meals (because we hardly cooked from August through September), and also on two different trips I took over the summer. One, granted, was for work - so I have some write-offs there at least... but still. Not cheap.

But mostly I'm freaking out a little because things ARE going to be calm here soon, and while that's great for my sanity... it's not as great for my bank account. And I have bills (and taxes!) to pay.

I've started looking things over, getting a feel for where I'm actually at right now, what I need to make up, and brainstorming ways to get more bookings through the winter so I'm not set up for failure. I've also put myself on a very serious spending ban.

And that's just to get me up to speed. Soon, we'll get our marriage license back, open a joint account, and start figuring out what our finances are going to look like as a married couple. Which we talked about prior to actually getting married - we just have to actually put it all into practice and hammer out the details.

And on top of that, we're moving out of state in just 7 short months. And there's a lot of prep that needs to go into that so... things will remain quite interesting!

Given all of these details, I really need to make my budget a priority. And getting on SA regularly to record my updates is a great way of doing that. I just have to hold myself accountable. So here I am. Ready to get this party started!

Update + Travel + Wedding Planning

January 18th, 2015 at 05:09 pm

So yesterday was a NSD - first for a while, I believe. Today, not so much. I finally transferred money over to the BF's account for rent (he pays it, and I thankfully have some flexibility if need be to pay it late). After receiving a few checks from clients, I decided to sit down today and round out my January payments.

- Transferred $500 to my savings account for taxes
- Paid the internet bill
- Transferred $200 to my Ally account for travel
- Transferred money from Paypal (book sales) to my checking account
- Transferred money from Amazon Seller Account (camera lenses) to my checking account

I'll be heading to the grocery store today, and I'm making a list to keep things on track. I've been really good this last week about not spending when I don't have to, and saying no to purchases that aren't priorities. I keep trying to put things in perspective: Would I rather buy ______ or take a trip somewhere awesome? Usually the traveling wins out.

***

Speaking of travel, BF and I sat down today to plan out when we're going where. We are planning to move May 2016 to another city here in the states, and are going to take trips throughout this year to visit our potential cities and see which one we might like to live in. On the list: Nashville, Charleston, Kansas City, and Raleigh-Durham. On top of that, we both are planning on going out of town for our bachelor/bachelorette parties, and are taking a honeymoon likely to South America. So travel spending is going to be pretty intense this year. Hopefully our honeymoon will be funded through wedding gifts (we're asking people to donate to our honeymoon fund instead of buying us anything. We don't need any more stuff).

***

In terms of wedding planning, we're going to visit what we think will be our venue tomorrow morning. Assuming everything looks great, we'll be signing the paperwork after seeing it. I'm really excited to have that task crossed off my list. Everything is really going to fall into place after that, I know. It'll be our biggest expense for the wedding for sure, but it gives me a frame for budgeting the rest of the wedding. We're shooting to fund the entire wedding for under $10k. I think we'll hit that mark because we're having a smaller wedding (around 75 people).

We're also allowed to bring in our own alcohol - which is huge. A friend of mine gave us the idea of having a "stock the bar" party instead of a traditional bridal shower. Every guest is asked to bring a bottle of liquor to the party, which stocks the bar and ensures everyone brings something they like. For 75 people, I'm sure that will more than cover what we need to purchase. We're hoping to only have to spend a max of $500 on booze. All of the other venues we looked at had alcohol packages closer to $2k. So that's a huge savings.

Oh weddings...

But seriously, I'm so excited! The cost is a bit of an ouch for any wedding, but thankfully I'm a serious DIY-er. Everything outside of the venue/food should be relatively inexpensive to pull off. I just have to find a photographer now. haha. 3 of my clients have now offered - including the ones who got married last night. They're hilarious Wink

***

Okay, that's enough for now. Apologies for the novel! Hope you all have a fantastic Sunday!

October Recap and November Goals

November 3rd, 2014 at 04:00 pm

How in the world is it November already? I know I said that in my last post, but really...

Spent the morning catching up on work, paying bills, and getting organized for the month. I use Mint (which is a brilliant piece of software) to look everything over and make sure all of my business expenses are put into my handy dandy spreadsheet.

It was a good month for income. I actually made a thousand more than I anticipated. And I stayed almost within my budget. A few things popped up - registered for the bridal show I've done twice now. It's not until January, but I wanted to get the email out of my inbox so... I figured why not register now when I can deduct it from 2014 taxes. haha.

I did a little more non-planned spending than I would like. Trips to IKEA and the like add up. As does the gas!

I actually did a lot of traveling this past month - a trip to Pittsburgh to hit IKEA, a trip down to DC and Virginia beach (work AND play), as well as a trip down to Columbus (mostly work). It's nice that I have clients all around, and an excuse to travel (and write off some of my expenses).

I had an engagement shoot in the DC area, and it was a great time. Gorgeous location to do a shoot, and we had such beautiful weather. The BF and I went down a day early to do some sightseeing and hang out with friends of mine. All of the museums are free, so we did quite a bit for very little money. Then the shoot was the next day at the monuments. BF went and explored while I worked.

After DC, we drove to VA Beach to stay with friends. Again, pretty cheap entertainment!

***

This month will be a bit more low-key. Partially because I'm not expecting quite as much income. Things are winding down for me as wedding season is coming to a close. I have 2 more weddings, and then just a handful of portrait shoots (xmas cards and the like) until January. So unless I do some hardcore booking this month or next (unlikely), I'm going to be a bit tight on cash. I have some money in the savings account, but in reality it's for taxes. So I'd rather not dip into it. Still, nice to know I have a little buffer.

***

My goals are coming along slowly, but surely. I may not be able to pay off the CC totals by the end of the month, but I'll put a dent in them. Just waiting for money to move around, and a few more checks to come in. Did put an extra payment on the student loan today, so I've got that, I guess. I'll have more updates here in a week or so.

My real November goal: Stay within my budget. Entirely. I did tweak the figures so they are a bit more realistic. But I need to start putting my foot down on the spending.

***

I did get my phone situation worked out - decided to stay with Verizon. Got my new iPhone 5s. I LOVE the camera on it compared to the 4. Almost feels like I'm using my Canon. haha. Okay, maybe not... but it's fantastic. And my new bill dropped from $85 to $60/month. So I'm pretty pumped about that.

***

So here is the end of my long-winded update. I hope everyone else had a successful October, and I hope you all have an even more successful November!

End of Election and November Update!

November 6th, 2013 at 07:24 pm

Yesterday marked the end of the election, which is a huge sigh of relief for me. Our campaign won and the levy I was working to get passed did in fact do so- at 65% of the vote, which is pretty remarkable. Today I'm trying to catch up on some non-work related stuff (like paying bills!) and am struggling to stay awake. I haven't got much sleep in the last few days...

All that aside, I'm feeling really good. I have a trip to Seattle tomorrow with a girlfriend that I'm very excited about. Visiting one of my best friends I haven't seen in months, since he moved out there. The three of us were inseparable in grad school, and we'd looking forward to taking on the streets of that city in full force Smile

I'll be using my time in the airport to do some photo editing. I have two sets to complete in the next week. The business is going well. I had another engagement shoot last weekend, two more sessions booked, and 4 in the works. Not bad for only posting to Craigslist...

I have a job interview next week that I'm pretty excited about, so hopefully that will go over well and I'll have full time employment (wouldn't that be nice?).

November is really the month of adventure for me, though. On top of traveling to Seattle this weekend, I'm going to Frankfurt, Germany in just a couple of weeks! I found this gig through a friend for a logistics company that pays people to fly around and transport bone marrow donations to people who need it. They're covering my flights, hotels, and giving me $75/day to cover food and whatnot. I get to stay in Germany for 2 days and then head to New Jersey to drop off. It seemed too good to be true, but when my friend told me she did it without a hitch, I figured it was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up.

Consequently, I'm learning as much German as I can in the next two weeks and just reeling with excitement because I finally get to visit Europe. Adventure! I'll be doing some work while I'm traveling there as well. That's the nice thing about doing freelance work from home! I can take my work pretty much anywhere...

So while I'm a little worried about finding a full time job, I'm enjoying the flexibility of my current arrangement and am so very thankful that I'm in a financial situation that gives me that flexibility. I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever been able to say that. Saving has been pretty much nonexistent for me up to this point... and I know it is a luxury to feel comfortable in a state of uncertainty.

---

As for my financial update: I paid all my bills for November, save the one that doesn't get sent to me until later in the month. My minimum payments for my student loans are now under $400 every month, which is very exciting. It's always uplifting when you visibly see your hard work paying off. It also relieves a lot of pressure when your debt payments are less than your rent :/

I transferred $1,000 to my savings account, so I'm 1/3 of the way toward my savings goal for 2013 taxes. Woo!

I'm clearly not going to be in a position to make my goal to hit $6,000 for my focus loan account, but it could be close depending on what my work situation is next month. I've got it under $10k, which I'm incredibly happy about.

I've been pretty good about not purchasing food at restaurants. Tonight I'll be cooking dinner. The rest of the week I'll be traveling, but thankfully my two friends are just as cheap as I am- so while I'm sure we'll get dinner out one of the nights, we'll be doing some cooking at his place as well.

I have a doctor's appointment next week, and I'm not sure what I'll end up spending, but I'm budgeting at least a couple hundred dollars. We shall see how this insurance works out.

I think that's about it for now. Sorry for the novel! Hope you all are doing well!

Payday and Goal Update

October 5th, 2013 at 04:38 pm

So I got paid yesterday and deposited my check. This morning, then, I moved some money around.

I paid $1,750 to Sallie Mae. Happy to report that my target loan account is at $10,297! If I could drop it under $10k this month, I would be really excited about that.

I've been thinking about my goals, and cutting that loan down is supposed to be my main focus... but I'm getting anxious about still not having a job as of mid-next month. So I put another $1,000 in my EF, just in case. Hopefully once I find something I'll be able to just apply that to the loan.

I have some big purchases coming up-- about $400 on a plane ticket to Seattle to visit a friend. I'm thinking I wont have to spend more than $200 once I'm out there. I'm hoping it'll be even less than that.

BF is buying me a ticket to Europe for my graduation gift, but I have to handle all of my expenses once we get there. We're still not exactly sure what our route is going to be once we get there, but he really wants to visit London... and I know it's supposed to be incredibly expensive. I wanted to visit Paris, but I know it's the same story. Germany is the one place we know we're visiting-- and we'll have a free place to stay there, thankfully. We're still working out the kinks otherwise, but I've budgeted $1,000 for the trip. I would hope it's not going to be more than that for two weeks split between us (hotel-wise).

I know that spending money on traveling might seem counterintuitive to saving... but it's a really big priority in my life, I miss my friend terribly, and I've never been to Europe. Besides, it's kind of hard to pass up a free plane ticket. I just feel blessed that I'm in a position to be able to make these trips and cover my bills. I can honestly say that this is the first time I've ever been able to do that.

Because I'm a contracted worker, I have to budget in taxes prior to April. I'm shooting to save at least $3,000 for that, as I know I'll get a deduction for my student loan interest payments-- which cap at $2,500, but I've paid in far more than that this year, so I'll get at least that much. So $2k for federal, and I'm guessing roughly $1,000 between state and local.

I'm also really hoping that by the time my birthday rolls around in May that I'll be able to buy a new car. What I get will largely depend on what kind of money I'm making at my next job... we'll see.

All that being said, in order to cut that loan in half by the end of the year, I need to pay off $4,297 on it. That will be do-able if I find a good paying job (or any job) as of next month- so let's hope I do find something. I'll be scraping by until then.

I hope all of you are chugging along on your goals and finding some progress! Have a great weekend!

Vacation Official: Plane Ticket Purchased :)

September 9th, 2010 at 03:24 am

So BF and I purchased our plane tickets to Micronesia for December. Though my bank account is now $1858 lighter, I feel so great about it. I've been trying to leave the country to see new places since high school. It only took 6 years... So exciting!

The better news is that I'm not completely broke, even after making such a large purchase. I'm certainly not rolling in the dough, but things are good. Really good.

I picked up an assignment for a website I wrote for previously, and they want me to cover a couple articles for them-- at $100/pop. Woo! Guess I don't feel too silly for giving them the last one for free. That'll be a nice push in the income for October, and they have a couple more coming up in November and December that they'll throw at me. Yay Smile

The writing has been fabulous this week, and I'm feeling rather productive. Not really spending a whole lot. Did have to take Baby to get his shots at the vet this morning. That ran $32. I bought another Groupon... these things are pretty sweet. Restaurants and bars I would go to anyway, and it'll cut the cost down in half.

I've got drill this weekend, so the spending should be way down. Still haven't spent a red cent on campus for meals. Yay for being a packer Smile

Alright, it's really time for me to get to sleep now. I think I'm getting delirious. lol. Just wanted to share in my celebration (there have been so many of them as of late)!

Night everyone!

Busy as usual

August 18th, 2010 at 01:27 pm

Well, I'm busy finishing up a few writing assignments this morning, then need to finish straightening up the apartment before BF's parents get here. Today is the day we get all dressed up and BF gives his presentation for his internship. Fabulous. We'll probably go out afterward for a little while. I'm hoping we dont spend too much.

Haven't really spent a whole lot this week. Picked up a few things at the grocery store-- milk, eggs, etc. The last two nights we spent in, one we practiced (well, I learned he practiced) some German language, then started putting together a puzzle we bought at the store for $2.50. Last night we watched a movie we got through Netflix.

Tomorrow we leave for vacation, and I am totally stoked. But I'm also a bit rushed to get all of these articles done. I have one more for the first assignment, so that will be done in the next hour. The next assignment is two shorter articles, which should be relatively easy to write. That frees up the remainder of my assignments for after vacation (as some of them will be written about Amish Country).

I'm happy with the low level of spending, and hopefully this three day hiatus wont send me overboard or anything. I have high expectations for my frugality, but I also want to enjoy myself and relax. It's going to be a good time.

So... I'm back to work. These articles aren't going to write themselves! ha...

And the job is... done. Woo!

August 16th, 2010 at 12:12 am

So... my summer job has ended and it is in fact time to get down to business. My finances have suffered over the last few months. Haven't had any time to write, and didn't make nearly enough money. Now that I'm free to do some writing, however, I feel the tides turning. I've already picked up a few assignments, and I'm ready to start making some cash.

This is incredibly fortunate, considering I'm quite broke and have a LOT to pay for at the moment. Ordered my books today-- using Chegg.com, a book rental place. It about cut my costs in half, which is awesome. I'm sad, obviously, that I wont be able to keep any of them, but when I think of how many times I've actually opened one of my old textbooks I realize it's more important for me to save the money now. I usually dont make more than half of what I buy them for when I sell them anyway.

I also have a small vacation this week Big Grin Much needed... just a few days at a small Bed and Breakfast in Amish Country. We'll be chilling in the room (read: jacuzzi), doing some horseback riding, hiking, wine tasting, and a whole lot of eating. Very happy about it. Class starts next week.

Classes are all paid for.

WOOOoooOOOooOOOooOOOooOOoo!!!!!!!!

That's right, all went off without a hitch. My balance at the university is a big fat ZERO. Actually, I got quite a bit of grant money from the government, so I should also be receiving more money in the mail. Glory day, it's a miracle.

Still no bonus money Frown Working on it...

I'm pretty much not spending any money outside of vacation for the rest of the month. I'm incredibly broke, especially considering I'll be buying my plane ticket to Micronesia in the next few weeks. I'll have to charge some of it, and pay back when I get some of this money the military owes me. Let's hope it's soon.

All moved in to the new place. Everything is set, my projects are all for the most part finished. Pictures to come soon.

Things with BF are great, fantastic compared to the challenges we met this summer. I'm quite happy with things at the moment.

Alright, that's enough for now. I'll be updating MUCH more frequently from now on Smile Later, kids!

Vacation, and More Articles!

March 9th, 2010 at 03:27 pm



Well, vacation came and went. I very much wish it would have been longer, but it's back to the real world now...

Great news about vacation (other than it being warm and very fun): I budgeted $75, and only spent $23 Smile The family totally spoiled me. But that means $52 more towards savings. I'll be adding that as soon as I deposit the cash I've got on hand.

Three more of my articles got accepted:

*Dr. Seuss gives us hope for racial equality: The Sneetches
*Surviving Bootcamp: What to Expect
*Top 10 Restaurants in Akron, Ohio

So all together it added up to be $9.65. Hopefully I'll get a decent number of page views! Regardless, every little bit helps. I need to keep writing, though!

I'm supposed to get my tax return friday. Let's cross our fingers! Then the tuition will be paid off. All bills except that one are paid for this month. Woot.

As for today's plans, I'm working, and I'll probably run for a bit on lunch. I need to start getting in shape again. Then after work I'm gonna walk down to the bank and make that deposit. Do homework, then class tonight. Busy busy. I cant believe it's already tuesday. I love 4-day weeks!

In other good news, the SUN IS SHINING. So happy to come home to warmer weather Smile Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Vacation and Money stuffs :)

March 6th, 2010 at 02:49 pm

Well, I made it to Florida and I'm enjoying my vacation thus far Smile

Dad gave me the money for the ticket-- more than I thought, actually. So this month is gonna be an even better month than I thought. I'm actually not spending a whole lot of money here at all. How fantastic Smile

Today I'm going with my photographer cousin to do a photo shoot-- promo photos for my music! Good stuff. And for no cost. What a great weekend.

Paid $200 on my CC today, and put $200 in my savings. More to come. I have almost every bill paid for the month now. So from here on out it's really just groceries, entertainment spending, and anything else that isn't a fixed expense.

After I get my fed tax return next week, I'll pay the tuition off. Then the rest of my extra income goes to my savings account for my security deposit/moving costs. Then the CC will be paid off quicker.

Alright. Time to get on the move. So much to do today! Smile

Writing writing writing...

March 3rd, 2010 at 06:05 pm

Alrighty, wrote another article today,which brings me up to 4 this month SmileThat goal is moving along nicely. At this rate, I'll have it covered in 3 weeks! Good stuff... though they did decline one of my articles I wrote last week. It was too specific, wouldn't get enough traffic. I have, however, been reading up on SEO a little more. Both for my article writing and for work (that's what I do at work as well, it's just more specialized and the sites I submit to don't pay). So either way, it's good research to do.

Oh! Here's a link to the article that they accepted earlier this week:

"Be Yourself": Sometimes the Oldest Relationship Advice is t...

As for today, going over to my boss' house to clean. So that'll be a little extra income... even though I'm going to have to cut my workday short :/ I wish he would have had the water turned on Sunday when I went over there... would have avoided this mess. Ah well.

Time constraints as is, I'm going to have to work quickly-- as I have a meeting to complete my intercollege transfer at 5:30, then class. Busy busy busy as usual.

I'm so excited for vacation this weekend. It's so close! I cant wait for the sunshine Smile

Okay. Off to do more work. Everyone have a great night!

Feb Breakdown and March Goals

February 28th, 2010 at 08:12 pm

[x] Dont use my CC
[x] Pay off $200 on CC
[x] Keep track of finances all month
[ ] Write at least 3 articles per week ll
[x] Minimal entertainment spending.
[x] $50 max spending per week when BF and I are together.

So I accomplished every one of my Feb goals except writing at least 3 articles per week. That's one I can work on more in March. As for being under budget... I didn't have a formal Feb budget set out, but my spending was as follows:

Entertainment: $123.77 (but that includes both my mom's b-day and valentine's day)
Misc: $170.28 (It is only this high because I ended up paying $130 to replace the lens in my glasses)
Groceries: $126.30
Food On Campus: $6.80
Gas: $28.43

All the rest are fixed amounts. Not really too bad. I went through my accounts to see if there is anything I regretted spending the money on, and I came up with nothing. I guess breaking my glasses was incredibly dumb, but aside from that I have no regrets whatsoever.

I hope that March goes as well (actually, better) than Feb did. My goals for this month are as follows:

*Stay under budget
*Don’t spend any money on clothes
*Pay off laptop
*Pay off tuition
*Don’t use CC at all
*Write at least 3 articles per week
*$50 max spending w/ BF per week
*Keep track of finances all month
*Put at least $500 in savings

and my budget is as follows:

Rent $200.00
Car Insurance $0.00
Phone $55.00
Meds (3 months worth) $36.00
Groceries $150.00
Clothes $0.00
Transportation $30.00
Car Repairs $0.00
Entertainment $100.00
School Exp $0.00
Florida Trip $75.00
FOC $0.00
Yoga $10.00
Misc $20.00
CC Payments $200.00

I'll have quite a few sources of additional income this month, so I should in effect not only be able to put $500 in my savings account, but also make a hefty payment on my CC. I know this is a REALLY strict budget, but I think if I stick to my guns I'll be able to manage it alright. I just have to utilize the willpower. lol.

This weekend I didn't spend *too* much. Mostly food... which I guess could have been avoided, but oh well. Stopped at the grocery store to buy the remainder of the ingredients needed for my sweet potato soup, and that ran me about $6, but I also have leftovers... that I'm eating for dinner tonight Smile

Talked to BF today a little bit about money, and he made the comment that he thinks I care about money more than he does.. but also acknowledged that I have a bit more to worry about as well.

It's kind of sad, really. I dont want to care this much about money because I'm not terribly materialistic, and I dont worry about money so much because I want to lead an extravagant life... really, my debt is the only thing that really makes me worry about it so much. The sad thing is that 97% of my debt is due to schooling costs... Not to say that I couldn't have made some smarter choices, but I have a lot of debt that is due to just wanting to go to school and living a pretty low key life.

I explained what really stresses me out is that the possibility of us getting married in the next 5 years or so is pretty high, and I certainly dont want to bring a boatload of debt into the equation, especially considering he really has none. So it's definitely something I think and worry about. I'm just happy that I've gotten to a point where I feel a bit more optimistic about things. I know that my goals for this year will be achieved, and that makes me feel really secure.

At any rate, it's time for me to get some homework done. No more spending today! And I think it's going to be minimal this week. Of course, friday I leave for FLORIDA Smile I budgeted $75 for the weekend. I'm hoping dad is going to cover most of my expenses while I'm there, but I'd much rather over-prepare than under-prepare.

Either way, I'm off. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

So much to look forward to :D

March 21st, 2008 at 02:41 pm

Well, tomorrow BF comes home from his training hooplah! I haven't seen him in 2 weeks. Though the last few days have gone by at what seems to be light speed, I cant say the rest of the wait was that pleasant. So I'm so very excited Big Grin

As for today, grocery shopping and laundry. Groceries are going to be more than usual, as I have to get a few things that I only buy every few weeks (almonds, string cheese, etc) and BF is going to be in PA tuesday, wednesday, thursday, and friday nights, so I'm going to be cooking for us at least a few times. We talked about being broke, thus we're going to attempt to not dine out as much as possible. Besides, I tend to eat waaaay more in calories when I go to restaurants.

I'm only going to do one load of laundry today (I broke down and did 2 last week), so it should only be $2.50.

Last night I went out with my professor and a few other students working on research for a presentation we're doing at the APA division 32 conference in August. I'm so very excited. It's a big deal, and will look great on my resume. Not to mention, I've never been to Boston! We're trying to get the university to pay our travel and hotel costs. Cross your fingers for us!

Other than that, I'm slowly but surely going to have to go through my things and start packing. Only a month and a week til moving time! And my beach vacation!!!

It seems like I have just so much to look forward to Big Grin

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Finally a little "umph."

March 11th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

The last few days have been real downers. I'm not sure if it's just being burnt out at school or BF being away with so very little contact, but it's been rough regardless.

Today started the same way, though I had a little break last night (I made popcorn and watched "The Big Lebowski"-- which I got from the library, for free, as a side note!). I was tired, grumpy, etc. I decided before my psych club meeting to get some chunky monkey to cheer me up-- you gotta love $5 pints of icecream :/ I felt it necessary to get *something* special. And thankfully, it worked! lol. I dont think it was only that (by the way, I only ate about 1/4 the pint... I donated the rest to a friend!). I also talked to my mama, and it happened to be both daylight AND sunny when I caught the bus for home. That most certainly brightened my day Smile

So not a no-spend day, but a low-spend day nonetheless. Tonight a friend is coming over to work out with me. I figured that with less than 2 months before my beach vacation getting in shape isn't going to hurt... then we're going to spend the rest of the night studying... something I need to do. I have a big test on thursday. Seems like it's going to be a good night!

I've been sticking to my meal plan as well. So that freezer is slowly but surely getting a dent! And at this rate, the grocery bill is going to be relatively low for the next couple weeks. woo!

The only other financial news I have is that the ticket eating machine on the bus today was broken, so I got my ride home for free Smile I guess port authority came through for me once afterall! Night guys!

Home at last.

July 7th, 2007 at 09:04 pm

So I am home after a very long 16-day vacation. I am also broke. Quite. haha. I can honestly say it was entirely worth it, but I am broke. I guess it's back to reality Smile

Here is my vacation summary:

Pennsylvania to Missouri, to Denver, to Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, to San Diego, to Phoenix, Arizona, to the Grand Canyon, back to Missouri, then Columbus, Ohio, back to Pittsburgh. Whoo!

Tara has taken on the whole country! Hoo buddy!

We only stayed in a hotel one night, which wasn't a necessity but sounded fun. All the other nights we slept at a friends' or in the car. Gas total was a little under $600. Not too shabby... The bulk of the money was spent on food and such. We ate at some really fantastic restaurants and did some pretty cool things. I didn't buy too many souvenirs, just a couple things from the zoo and some postcards. It was so much fun.

Upon arrival, I recieved my tuition statement and priced my books. Yikes. Books can be much cheaper, but tuition increased yet again (big surprise). Not to mention, I have a plane ticket to buy for my trip to Florida next month. Ack!

Luckily for me, mom is paying for books this semester. Woo! Mom and I have been on great terms for the last few months, and I really appreciate the fact that she's helping me out.

At any rate, I better get going. I have work soon. I'll post some pictures up later! Everyone have a good night!

More vacation!

June 22nd, 2007 at 03:27 pm

We went out to a japanese steakhouse for dinner... it was my friend's birthday. We also spent some time in the mall and BF bought a fun hat... enjoy!


Hot Pocket wasn't actually angry, he was in the middle of a yawn... but still cuddling with my mouse.


hehe.


hahahahahaha. BF is so silly.


All of us at the Japanese Steakhouse


Awww.

Today we have a pool party, and then on to Branson for Malts... woo!

Day 1 of my vacation

June 21st, 2007 at 06:58 pm

So we took on the journey, and made it to Springfield, Missouri. Our travels went without a hitch. We managed to pick up a tree on our way (a bonsai tree) that we're now carting to California and back... haha. We couldn't resist, he was just the happiest, giggliest little Japanese man in all of Springfield, Ohio... Smile Here are a few pics, including the pretty Missouri sky...


Ki-Chan, our Bonsai tree.


hehe.


No free candy? heh.






Our friend's cat, Hot Pocket, playing with my yarn.


I crocheted this mouse for Hot Pocket.


...and he LIKES it!!

hehehe.

One last post before my Vacation!!!

June 20th, 2007 at 04:12 am

This will be my last post until I'm on vacation. We leave tomorrow, bright and early! I'm so excited! By this time tomorrow, I'll be in Springfield Missouri visiting friends! The first stop of our roadtrip!!! yay! I ended up saving $617 to get me through vacation. I mailed my bills today and I'm finishing up the packing as we speak. Have to pack lunch and dinner for tomorrow, then hit the road after a good night's sleep. I'm going to be doing my best as far as keeping track of my expenses goes. I'm sure I'll make many posts (most likely with pictures!) throughout the next 2 weeks. Later everyone!!!

Re-sorting my work schedule.

June 19th, 2007 at 01:07 pm

Last night at work we were expecting a rather large party of 25 people. Usually on mondays we only have 2 servers in and one of my coworkers takes the hosting position so my boss can have the day off. Because of this party, my boss came in and all 3 of us worked as servers. They called in and said they wouldn't be coming (I think it was more of a misunderstanding than a calling-off, but that's a different story). Thus, we were over-staffed.

My boss said he would go home, and we could resume our usual posts, but then my coworker that was going to host took another table! This kind of sucks for me and my other coworker (read: his girlfriend), considering we were supposed to take all the other tables (the host gets paid more than the usual $2.85 or whatever it is us servers get paid hourly). As you can imagine, my other coworker, this guy's girlfriend (a really great girl, I love her to death) was a bit upset. It seems her BF is kind of a jerk when it comes to money-making and the like and gets angry with her anytime she makes more money than him. I'd kick the guy to the curb, but thier relationship is really none of my business, though I know the interest points in the relationship and they're pretty dim (ladies, if you stay with a guy 'cause you think he's gonna get you a green card, you need to re-evaluate the situation).

At any rate, my boss wanted me to work this morning, anticipating a busy lunch shift, so I told him I'd come in if I could go home early last night. It was very slow in the restaurant, and I needed to pack and clean and whatnot. Besides, it worked out better for my coworkers because the one wouldn't be a sly cheat (my boss would stay and they would both remain servers for tne night).

It really bothers me how dishonest our one server is. He has a bad habit of taking tables he knows tip good because they are "his regular customers." Dont get me wrong, this kid has worked at the restaurant for 5 or so years, he's gonna have people requesting him. He does, however, take tables when people dont even ask, which is not cool on his part. It messes the schedule up and he does it for his own monetary gain. He's also withheld cash in our tip-out, which goes to the bus people and chefs. There are times I've thought about it (particularly when the bus boys stand around and do nothing), but I never once have. I just dont find it morally right to break the restaurant's rules and cheat other people out of money. Ugh. They would never fire this guy though, because he's been at the restaurant for so long and does his job so well.

I guess the man at the table is a bit better than the man behind the scenes.

On a happy note, however, I'm leeeeeeaving!!! Tomorrow!!! hehehe.

I got everything on my to-do list done yesterday, save getting stamps. I'll be getting a couple from my boss today, though, and mailing my bills. Oh, and I had wonderful luck at Macy's returning my gifts. The jewelry Gram bought for me ended up being much pricier than I had thought, so I exchanged it for another necklace I liked a bit better, earrings that had a little more pizzaz, and a really cute wallet that holds checkbook and all.

I looked at shoes for nearly an hour and they either had nothing in my size, or I didn't like it. My sandals are about to bite the dust, and I'm looking for something a bit more casual, but still cute. No luck whatsoever. We went to KMart to find me a duffle bag, and it seemed the shoe-fairy was shining down on me. I found 2 pairs there that were very cute and comfy. Slight heel to both, but comfy enough to where I think I can live with it. Oh, and they were buy one get one half off! woo!

Aaaaallllmost reeeaaaaady!!!! One more day of work! Wish me luck!

To Do List... Vacation's almost here!!!

June 18th, 2007 at 02:15 pm

1. Go to Macy's and exchange the gifts Gram bought me (She gave me very serious permission in case I dont care for the jewelry she bought).

2. Make up a shopping list for vacation (about done).

3. Pick up perscription.

4. Buy stamps and mail bills.

5. Go to the bank (this is a biggie!)

6. Go to KMart/Walmart for a duffle bag and/or picnic basket.

7. Go to the grocery store.

8. Clean out fridge.

9. Clean the apartment.

I'm going to save taking the trash out for tomorrow, in case something sneaks its way in. So much to do!!! I cant believe we're leaving on wednesday! Well, better get crackin!

Hefty electric bill... :(

June 18th, 2007 at 03:32 am

So with all of this talk of lowering my electric bill... it came out even higher this month. Of course this pro-active behavior came about pretty late in the billing month, but still. It was $97.81 Frown

I was surprised, to say the least. Granted, it's been hotter than it was last month, and the AC was on for a good portion of the month. It will NOT, however, be on for the majority of this month. Of course, we'll be gone for 2 weeks as well, and that should help it a bit.

Regardless, I'm limiting my computer time, trying to shut all lights off when possible, and leaving that AC off!

It was another slow night at work, despite it being Father's day. I'm trying to finish all things on my to-do list before we leave on wednesday. It seems being gone for 2 weeks takes a lot of preparation! Tomorrow brings a run to the bank, the paying of all bills, a bit of grocery shopping and picking up my perscription. Also a trip to KMart to look for a duffle bag. BF wants to buy a fan in lieu of our not using the air conditioning. I'm not sure if it's entirely necessary, though. I'll decide when I see the pricetag...

At any rate, I should get going. I need to turn this computer off! hehe. So much electricity... If only I could turn the fridge off when I wasn't looking through it... hehe.


<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>