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Archive for August, 2007

Controlling One's Spending

August 22nd, 2007 at 02:59 am

I really try to keep my spending in check. And 98% of the time, I am able to pass up spending. It helps working a job that requires long hours and having my paycheck automatically deposited into my account.

My monthly expenses are small-music lessons ($120-150) and gas ($70) and because of that I'm able to save much of my paycheck. [Starting in September, I'm thinking of going to every other week for my music lessons so that would cost $60-90/month.]

For reference, this summer I've been making about $1,000/month post-taxes. [My upcoming paycheck (the one I will receive this Friday) should be much larger than normal. I worked two weddings on Saturday and I am expecting a large amount in tips (for banquets, the tips are given to the Events Coordinator who then splits it up among the people who the banquet based on how many hours they put in).] Once school begins I expect to be making between $300-500/month.

This means on average I saved about $800/month this summer, allowing myselfing only $200/month to spend on my necessities.

I haven't been giving myself a lot of free spending money because I thought if I didn't have a lot of money at my fingertips (i.e. in my checking account), I wouldn't have the urge to spend, spend, spend.

I was wrong.

Knowing that I have almost $12,000 in my savings got to me and transfered $300 into my checking to spend on clothes and whatnot for school. I was thinking that if I bought these things now, I wouldn't need to go shopping for awhile.

I'm betting that I'm wrong again.

So I ask you this: do you think it is healthier to go on a major ($300-500) shopping spree once a year or do you think it would be better (or easier to control) if you gave yourself $30/month to spend on anything you wanted?

Over Budget

August 16th, 2007 at 07:01 pm

My vacation to Philly and D.C. was a total blast. Best week of this year so far.

The only downside to my vacation was that I overspent my money (whoops!). I spent roughly $380, making me $30 overbudget. Not too bad, considering how much shopping we did (hehehe).

This trip to D.C. has made up my mind about wanting to move there after I finish school. So much to do and see and the buildings are sooo pretty (pretty much all I took pictures of were the buildings!). Plus, Tysons II was SO much fun! I am a purse fanatic and Tysons II had Chanel, Versace, Gucci, Dior, Prada, Marc Jacobs, etc. My Aunt said she was embrassed to take me to all the stores because I was cooing and petting the purses (but they were so pretty!).

I feel kind of bad about overspending so this month I plan on making it up by putting $150 into my IRA.

I don't regret going over my budget because I love everything I bought and I didn't go that much over budget. Next visit I'll know to bring more money. Big Grin

Changing Accounts

August 6th, 2007 at 11:22 pm

For awhile I've been contemplating opening an online savings account. I was leery of it for awhile- maybe it was my small fear of technology taking over the world.

But I doubled check the APR that my bank is offering and while it's higher than what many banks offer, it's still lower than what online banks offer.

So I applied for a Money Market Savings Account with GMAC. I'm opening the account with $500, the minimum required to avoid fees. After the account is opened, I will transfer the rest of what's in my savings to the online bank and close my regular savings.

On another note, I realized that it's been awhile since I've added my tips and whatnot into my Challenge money. I'll be leaving on Wednesday for D.C. for a week and decided to use my Challenge money for my trip. After rolling all the coins and counting up the loose bills, I came up $297. My goal was to bring $350, so I'll withdraw the remainding $53 from my checking. Any money left over from the trip I'll decide what to do with later.

Preparing for College

August 1st, 2007 at 05:33 am

What a shopping day!

Today I went down to the university to pick up my school ID and to find my classes. I went with friends which was a big mistake. I was able to find each of my classes, but I didn't find them in the order that I have the classes plus I also followed my friends to their classes. I'm going to take another trip down to the university in a few more days by myself.

I also got a list of books I need for my classes. 5 books are required with a 6th book being optional. I'll wait until the second or third week before I decide if I need the optional book.

I managed to buy all 5 required textbooks online today. It took me a couple hours, but I finally found the best prices for each book. 5 books for a total of $250 (including shipping). The most expensive one being my Calculus book at $78. The university sells it used for $110 (new is $150), so I saved quite a bit of money! Best of all, the same Calc book is used for the next Calc level. If I had bought my textbooks at the university it would have cost me between $361.42-501.72.

Not only did I buy my textbooks, I also bought a few basic supplies. I bought a 5 subject notebook (I'm taking 5 classes so it works out perfectly!), a large binder that has a pencil pouch and expandable file in it, a large tote bag, and some pens and pencils. The bag is huge-I'm fairly certain that I could fit in it. I spent about $40 on the supplies.

It was a fun day. I enjoyed the hours it took to find everything.