looking forward.

31 12 2009

ok, now that i’ve acknowledged that last year wasn’t a complete bust, it’s time to start thinking about my plans for the future. i read this really level headed article on cnn.com about how to make attainable resolutions. i think they’re on to something.

i’m actually a huge fan of every day resolutions. why wait for january 1st to decide what you want to do to make your life better? the website 43 things was a huge motivator for me this year. it’s basically a place for you to list 43 (or fewer) goals that you have. they could be daily goals, or life goals- it doesn’t matter. and instead of just giving you a list to check off when things are done, it gives you the ability to write entries about the goals on your list as you are working toward them, and once you’ve completed a task, the ability to share your experience with others. it also allows you to give up if you change your mind (how forgiving!), tells you how many other people have the same goals, and lets you to cheer each other on. anyway, it’s pretty cool.

i haven’t updated it in a while (because maybe i’ve been paying attention to something else), but it’s still nice to revisit every now and again an remind myself of what i’m working toward. some small goals for 2010 (as seen on my 43 things):

1. pay my bills on time: i don’t ever pay them later than a week or two (and i always pay my credit card bills on time), but i am making a commitment this year to pay my bills on the 15th when i get paid- before i have the chance to spend the money on something else and need to wait for my next paycheck!

2. stick to my budget: i have an extremely reasonable budget set up, but i can never seem to stick to it  completely. i have this idea that if i dole myself out $100 in cash on monday (instead of just throwing that card out at random all week), it will help me think through my spending a little bit better. if nothing else, i’d like to see what it feels like to stay within my budget for 1 month at least. i’ve got a 1 out of 12 chance of success!

3. save! i put $100 a month into my savings account right now, but i’d like to make an effort to start putting all my SCR checks and any other ebay, craigslist, and surprise money in there as well.

4. establish a clothing allowance! i think i’ve decided that $20 a week is fair, and i plan to do a lot of thrifting this year. i’m not quite ready for the self flagellation that is wardrobe refashion yet (i do want new things sometimes), but i will be making a very strong effort to bargain shop the hell out of everything- and display my findings here in my soon to be established “hi style lo budget” (it’s cute because i spelled it wrong- right?) feature.

5. volunteer! i’ve dabbled in volunteer-work a bit more this year than i ever have, but in 2010  i would like to be able to find a consistent (weekly?) opportunity. as pollyanna as it sounds, i may not always have money to give- but i can always give time. the world needs more volunteers, and i need to get off my ass and do what i know is right.

when i was in college and i had my first really messy “i thought were were going to be together forever” break up, i posted a little note on the inside of my front door that said “keep going”. that’s what i really want this year. it is nice to have an organized list to remind myself of  specific goals, but if i rolled all those 43 things (well, 39) into a big katamari ball… it would all equal out to something like this: give up the quest for perfection, but never stop trying to be a little better every day.

time burglar

23 11 2009

you might have noticed that i took the weekend off from posting… once again, drowning in burlesque! haven’t slept in days just trying to pull things together for fittings (at my house, all weekend, arg!). anyway, this week i’ve been a lot more focused on my lack of time than my lack of money- although as i roll it around in my brain the two are most definitely linked.

i’m a chronic overscheduler. always trying to pack in friends, and functions, and a 40 hour a week job, and a boyfriend, and a blog… and now this huge costume project. every time i run out of time to do things the way i would like to  (or the cheapest possible way), my solution is always to just make the problem go away by throwing money at it. case and point- instead of making tops for the reed flutes strip number (after the volunteer who was supposed to make them crapped out), i ended up buying them at forever 21. granted $5 a piece is a really good deal, but with my $150 budget busted about $500 ago… this project is eating me alive with no sign of stopping. i’m constantly paying shipping for things online- so i won’t have to waste the time to go out into the world and get them. i’ve been buying lunch and dinner even though my pantry is busting with food so i don’t have to waste the time to make it…

philosophically, i do think i believe that time is more valuable than money (i’d rather have more years than more dollars), but there has to be a balance! i’m killing myself and my budget! help!

p.s. that hamburglar is a creepy bastard. and i don’t trust anybody who hangs out all day with a clown.

the beauty of wordpress…

19 11 2009

is that i get to see what web searches are conducted that result in people winding up at my blog. thank you whoever out there in cyberland searched for “yanking tights up”, you made my day. i know, i’m a weirdo.


2 11 2009

sexy-sponge-bobwhile the majority of the masses were out this weekend celebrating slut-o-ween, i decided to celebrate glut-o-ween instead. the gluttony however was not merely food related (although don’t doubt that i ate an entire bag of cheese popcorn and all the tiny 100 grand bars that our 1 trick-or-treater didn’t take). more than anything though, money was consumed in mass quantities this weekend- and the true horror was had last night when i balanced my checkbook and realized that i had “accidentally” spent $100 more than i had budgeted for the week. um, surprise! the main culprits:

1. last minute impulse buys! went to buy candy and ended up with $18 worth of cheese popcorn and tom collins making supplies.

2. poor planning! somehow forgot to buy pizza sauce for “make your own pizza night”, and ended up spending $4.50 on a bottle of prego at the neighborhood convenience store. ouch.

3. the dam breaks! my purse has been a threadbare embarrassment for months now (seriously, even my boyfriend regularly mentions that it’s an eyesore), but i’ve been holding out for this– and refused to buy anything else. well, i don’t have $100 right now for a bag… yet somehow yesterday at the mall, i managed to find $44 to get a new bag (ok, but not amazing- a bigger version of this in gray)- because i just couldn’t take my current purse for one more second. it was kind of worth it, and it’s a nice bag ($89 marked down to $44) but i still wish i’d just bought the one i really want instead.

anyway, that’s $66 of the most offensive dollars i spent… although i know the rest were pissed away in an equally pointless fashion. i try so hard to keep my budget in line, and then i blow it all without even a second thought. maybe if i can lay off the candy, and lay off the spending, i can celebrate slut-o-ween next year instead (like god intended).

dear hannaford. shut your damn face.

27 10 2009

hannaforddear hannaford.  i never post about you. ok, one time i called you hannafuck, but seriuosly… your prices are mediocre, and you’ve got no deals to be had. your current feeble attempt to show some savings with your “buy and save” program is utterly laughable. for every 4 HANNAFORD PRODUCTS, you get ONE CRAPPY DOLLAR back to use on your next shopping trip. with a MAXIMUM OF $10. whatever. everyone knows that you can overall get better deals on name brand prodcuts than you can on generics anyway… and most of your qualifying products are over a couple of dollars (unless you want to buy 40 boxes of hannaford brand cream cheese). i get more savings up front from the in-ad coupons in my weekly shaw’s flyer… and i don’t have to eat your crappy cream cheese.

in conclusion hannaford, PLEASE TRY HARDER, or you’ll be going the way of stop and shop in no time at all (and no one will miss you).

the great wash out.

22 10 2009

DSCN2159oh. so that’s why they call it whole paycheck. i have a bad habit of letting my best laid plans disintegrate the moment i get tired or lazy (or sad, or angry, or grumpy…). planned for tonight- soy sausage jambalaya. after a long day at work chased with a pilates reformer session– i decide that i don’t feel like cooking and that a trip to the whole foods for dinner is the right thing to do. maybe right by my diet standards, but not so much for my wallet.

earlier this week, i sold a bosu balance trainer (that i had recieved as a gift and never taken out of the box because i will never exercise at home no matter how much i want to or think it’s a good idea) for $40 on craigslist. sweet. $40 up on my budgetary deficit for this month. except that i owed $20 to the street change jar from a prior time that i was busted and needed a loan. down to $20 which rested quietly in my purse all week…

and on to the fucking whole foods:

1 cup of corn chowder- $2.99
1 small green salad- $4.82
1 whole wheat roll- $.69
1 package paul newman peanut butter cups- $1.49

and then i get bored waiting for the boyfriend to pick a gelato… (and some sort of werewolf beer from lithuania) …. and i decide to pick up a few things that i always want but can’t get at the regular supermarket:

2 whole foods brand frozen tofu pad thais (best frozen meal i’ve ever had) @ $2.99/ea.

2 amy’s summer corn soups @ $2.34/ea. (it’s my very favorite flavor, and nobody carries it- and the coupons i scored for writing to amy’s and complaining about how they never have coupons are looong gooone).

total after tax: $21.32 (total profit remaining from craigslist sale- $0)

boo-urns! that is almost as much as i spent on groceries for the whole week! i did pocket a copy of “the whole deal“, which has a lot of great whole foods coupons that can be doubled up with other manufacturers coupons for reasonable deals (baton rouge mommy always has the most comprehensive whole foods round up). still, i’m really disappointed in myself. will i ever be good at this!?

lost in the mom-o-sphere

20 10 2009

coupon girlsEDITED

my friend jenna told me the other day that my blog header was ghetto. i was thinking bright and graphic, but i suppose ghetto is attention getting enough… i’m new to this blogging thing. i’ve been trying to figure out exactly how to make my place here, and assemble  something that people actually consider worth reading (so far it’s a very slow start). a big part of this is doing a lot of research, and trying to crack the code of blog success (FYI- googling “blog success” isn’t very helpful).  some things that i’ve learned:

1. there are a shit-ton of coupon blogs out there. a SHIT TON. i’ve noticed that most of them just post the deals, and not much else. the really good ones have a little banter and occasional full blown article on something they think is meaningful. am i talking too much?

2. i hate the word frugal. i don’t know why, but there’s something gross about it.

3. a good 70%+ of the coupon blogs out there have the words mom, mommy, mommies or mama(s) in the title. i know that this is a defining role, and a very important one, but is there anyone else out there? i worry a lot that my lack of mommy-ness (and unwillingness to post the latest huggies deal) will make me unreadable to the clipping masses. if i’m not a mommyblogger, then who the hell am i?

4. somebody is making an assload of money designing cute/sexy cartoon caricatures of moms holding shopping bags (or possibly money, coupons, babies, or any combination thereof). who is this guy, and does he need a freelancer? is this the first sign of blog legitimacy?

5. there’s a lot of christian clippers out there… i… just… can’t… coupons for jesus definitely isn’t for me. or home schooling… or extolling the virtues of being subordinate to the man of the house… or referring to my boyfriend as “the king”. i don’t know what it is about couponing that appeals to people living in a far more conservative dimension, but i can’t relate!

anyway… sorry for the rambling mess. i lost 2 of my 6 twitter followers today, and i don’t know what i’m doing wrong. i love the mommies i do, they taught me everything i know, but sometimes i just feel a little lost out here.