January Spending Recap

another month down, quite successfully.  check it out:


january 2
+$111 went to the otb with my parents.  our horse raced, came in 2nd.  i placed some successful bets!

january 3
-$10 apartment cleaning.  handy had an awesome new year's deal, $19 for 2 hours of cleaning, tax and tip included.  so my roommate and i split it.  worth every penny, particularly after we had people over during both christmas and new years.  you can use this referral link for $25 off your first handy cleaning.  it's available in most major cities and i highly recommend it.
-$31 groceries

january 6
+$25 paypal from swagbucks


january 9
-$50 take out.  john got lasik done today.  i ended up getting a coffee and snack for myself (he was in there around lunch time) and then ordered us food for dinner to make the day easier.

january 14
+$25 paypal from swagbucks
+$11 blog income (ad sales)

january 15
-$36 target. makeup and household supplies.  the household stuff was necessary, the makeup was not.  target will always get you.

january 19
-$10 dinner with betsy
+$100 blog income (clever girls)

january 22
-$9 walgreens, for sinus meds. damn headaches.

january 23
+$7 blog income (sidebar ads)

january 24
+$11 thredup (you sell them clothes)
-$55 boxed.  it's a wholesale place, but online.  so easy.  2 months of breakfasts for 20 cents a day, and 2 months of snacks for 27 cents a day.  the rest was household stuff (toilet paper and swiffer refills.)  you can use the invite code 0CRXH for $10 off your first order, plus it ships free.  i recommend the sale section.

january 26
+$25 paypal from swagbucks

january 30
+$25 paypal from swagbucks

ta-da! the end.  wait, what?  really?  yep!  i tell ya, january might be my favorite month.  at least when it comes to the peace and quiet, simplicity, and ease on my budget.

totals: -$201, +$340 = +$139

money saving moves:
1. the chicago bar association had free healthy lunch in their cafeteria literally every day this month for going to committee meetings.  i went, almost every day.  what's up, aviation law committee?  free food, guys.  whatever, i pay my dues each year.  i'm just cashing in on that $70 i just paid in december.  and i could like aviation law, you don't know my life.
2. i likewise used the cba for my continuing legal education.  you have to have 30 hours of class time to be reported every two years.  i have to report in june.  each class is worth maybe .75 hours and are an hour long, so it takes awhile.  normally, you also have to pay to go to them in person.  instead, i watched all 30 hours online (you have to click things to prove you watched) using the cba's 'free cle' webcast database, mostly over christmas/new years time off.  if i do nothing else all year, i think i've gotten my $70 worth.


now the test will be keeping the momentum going through february.  steph is doing a spending freeze this month, and i think i will join her.  this whole project is one i refer to as a 'frost,' since i don't completely cut out all spending (see january 9, 15, 24...) so much as i severely limit it.  but i think i can totally freeze it in february, by using gift cards for valentine's day and the 2 birthdays i'll be celebrating.  with the boxed order and a gift card from christmas, i'll definitely be set on groceries.

even though i already know i'll be buying plane tickets for vegas.  but that's for april, so i'm pretending it doesn't count.
20

I Need A Vacation and Other Confessions

i really wasn't planning on posting this week, as i'm totally swamped at work.  but, it's confession day and i felt like that was a good time to leave you with all the tidbits i've been thinking about, without figuring out how to turn each one into a post of it's own.

so, i confess ...
... when you get super defensive about something, i figure it's because whatever someone said about you has a kernel of truth and you don't want to admit it/it's something you don't like that about yourself.  otherwise, why ya so mad?  i don't get mad when someone calls me a bitch, or spoiled, or mean, or bossy, etc etc because all those things are true.  whatever.

... i'm already planning vegas.  83 days away.  we settled on caesars palace to stay at, by the way.  april 22nd.  i know people feel weird about posting that online in case someone wants to rob your house but i have a roommate and my landlord works from home so, good luck.  also, check my complete home inventory.  i have nothing worth stealing.

... i think taylor swift songs are really annoying, and i think it's just me.  i liked her first album, but after that - i hate everything.  a lot of people do but also say they find 'shake it off' catchy.  i just don't.  that song grates on my ears and it might actually be my 2nd most hated, after 'umbrella' because seriously, rhianna, um-ba-rella is not a word.

... i already bought a christmas present for my best friend's kid who isn't going to be born until april.  but it was a sparkly blue adjustable christmas tutu which sounds ridiculous to sane people, i agree, but if you knew my friend, you'd know it's perfect.  it was on super sale on etsy.

... i updated my about page.  i like it.  for now; it can always be improved. 

... i have a lot of post ideas lately, but no time to write.  it's good and bad - good when work is busy, good that it keeps my mind off the fact that john hasn't been home in 3 weeks (wah), bad that i'm tired, and bad that it's when this sinus headache stuff just won't quit.  i need a vacation, so vegas can't come soon enough.

... i'm pretty sure the last time i went anywhere was haley's wedding.  and yes, that post is almost 2 years old.  and i only went for the day, because we were too busy with being team spice girls the day before.  a classic must read post, if you haven't been around since 2 years ago.  as is this one.  enjoy.  i'll be back next week.
Making Melissa
34

10 Best // Ways to Avoid People

this week has been long.  very long.  i've had the worst sinus headaches since sunday night and they just will not quit.  i am very much over it.  i'm hopeful that i can still make it to natalie's on saturday - i promised to teach her law things in exchange for coffee. spending freeze, yo.  and also to hang out before she gives birth the first week of february and then can't see me again for 8 years, or however long it takes to train children to be silent and potty trained.  and not sticky any more, because luke danes was 100% right - kids always have jam hands.


anyway, 10 awesome things you can do this weekend instead of going outside and spending time with people:

netflix: seven is finally on netflix, so absolutely watch it if you've never seen it.  i love it, and i'm not even a huge fan of horror movies or brad pitt.  it's not exactly a horror movie though... thriller, maybe?  whatever, just watch it.  john's never seen it, i'm making him watch it when he's finally (fingers crossed) home for 1 day next weekend.  i did start watching friends, since i've never seen it, but i still can't say i like it.  oh well.

shop: love valentine's day?  hate valentine's day?  either is an acceptable reason for a new purse.

travel: vicariously through kiki's photos.  (perfect if you're travel-phobic like me.)  she's been everywhere, i'm pretty sure.  and she lives in iceland now, so if you haven't seen all those photos, you need to.  it's beautiful.

make: the easiest juice ever.  get your fruits and veggies, even in winter.  it's grapefruit season here, which pleases me, but after that... i'm really bad about being healthy.  because, nachos.

organize: anything and everything, of course.  my home inventory spreadsheet is totally done.  well, in my apartment at least.  there's 1 last box of things to get to in my parents attic, and then it'll be totally done.  i'll get to that box in february when i watch their dogs while they go to florida for 10 days.  i also plan on sketching out my year this weekend.

read: helene's birth-day story.  i think it's pretty neat!

cook: parmesan chicken bites.  i mean, how easy is that?

save money: by shopping wholesale.  except, online.  (of course.)  no membership fee, no crowds.  no costco gas prices either but hey, i don't have a car so what do i care?  boxed ships straight to your door, and tells you how much you're saving.  definitely keep an eye on the sale section.  first order ships free, use the code 0CRXH for $10 off.

help: allison pick shoes.  i just want to see what your answers are because it'll help me for vegas.  for real, if you have a magical pain-free pump suggestion, stop being greedy and share with the group.

and speaking of las vegas, we are officially going, april 15-19.  eek!  (it coincides with our anniversary, aw.)  like i've mentioned, i hate flying and john's almost as bad, so it'll be interesting with his poor brother trying to babysit us while we get drunk before boarding. so,

tell me: all your favorite things in vegas.  where to stay, what to eat, what to do.  i've been more times than i can count, but as a kid.  since turning 21, i've been just twice (i'm pretty sure.)  i stayed at cesar's and the palms and on both occasions was there for another person's event and thus at the mercy of their schedule.  this time, my schedule is wide open.  my favorite is fremont street and the casinos there.  it's the dive bar version of vegas, and we all know i prefer dive bars.  other than 1 night spent there, i have no idea what else to add to my 'must do' list.  any tips?
24

Things That Have Annoyed the Crap Out of Me Lately

in no particular order and with no real system going on here:

there is no 's' at the end of my last name.  there's just not.  there never has been.

you do not turn right from the left lane.  and vice versa.  you just don't.

the pressure of thinking this post needs a photo.  it doesn't.  so there isn't one.  ta da!

oh here's how to totally piss me off in one goddamn fell swoop: expect other people to do your work for you because you've been too lazy to do it your fucking self.  i get procrastinating, i love it myself.  i never procrastinate to the point though where i need another person to help me finish in time.  certainly i've never left it for someone else to do completely.  do your work, even if it sucks and you don't want to.  it's called being an adult and that's why we're allowed to buy alcohol.

comprehensive list of reasons it's acceptable to call me before 6:30 a.m.: you're dying.

if you want to write a post, write it.  if you want to say something, say it.  if you preface everything that comes out of your mouth with some sort of disclaimer, i'm just going to assume you're weak.  not everybody has to like you and the choices you make all the time.  particularly when your choices are dumb.  who cares?  you do not have to defend your decisions to anyone but yourself and occasionally a police officer.  (probably avoid that 2nd path though...)

if you hate your husband so much, why did you marry him?  if you don't hate your husband that much, stop talking about him like you do.  you look bad, not him.

yahoo mail.  i don't know why i bother.

the lack of a mute button on instagram.  i don't want to mute people entirely, i just want to mute anything that's not pictures of pets, is that so wrong?  maybe also drinks.  and food.  and pretty makeup.  but i definitely want to mute baby pictures.

taxes.  tax season.  anything related to getting my financial papers all ready, including the check for the inevitable amount i'm going to owe.  damn taxes.

why do you come to work when you're contagious?!  that's just disgusting.  stay home.

myself - stop clicking on articles about mama june, stephanie.  you're just making yourself crazy.
59

10 Best // Life Lately

1. happy new year!  john and i went to the bar around the corner from my apartment (aptly named, corner bar.  they're so creative.) to celebrate.  no cover, $7 pitchers, $4.50 top shelf drinks, free party favors and snack bar.  my kind of place!  we probably drank too much, but it was such a fun (and cheap!) night.  we might host a nye party next year at our new house, but whatever we do, i'm always happy to spend the night watching news anchor mark giangreco getting shit faced on tv while drinking cheap champagne with this handsome man.  it tastes like peaches, ok?  the champagne, not the man.


2. i bought something not spending freeze approved pretty much the first day of january, but it was only $9 and worth every penny - an apartment cleaning.  handy had an awesome new year's deal, $19 for 2 hours of cleaning, tax and tip included.  so my roommate and i split it.  worth every penny, particularly after we had people over during both christmas and new years.  you can use this referral link for $25 off your first handy cleaning.  it's available in most major cities and i highly recommend it.  who knew a $9 purchase and a clean floor could make me so pleased?

3. other than that, january has been going exceedingly well on the spending freeze front.  you'll see in the post at the end of the month, but spending has been non-existent.  i think i currently have 2 other things on there besides the cleaning, and one is groceries.

4. had a lovely post-christmas get together with my 3 best friends from law school, since one of them was in town from canada.  eleni hosted and this was her spread for only 7 people.  i think it's because she's greek.  but really, it was a fantastic party, she's such a good hostess!

5. the little gifts i made for my friends for christmas.  i used swagbucks money of course, but the bath and body works mini candles were on sale for $2 from $4.50 and i got the mini body butters for $3 from $6 using groupon.  the nail polishes i got for free (otherwise $8.50) by using my cvs extra bucks throughout the past few months.  cute little gifts for $5 instead of $19.  win.


6. this one is best and worst - remember john's job moved him two hours away?  it still sucks, but now they put him on 7-12s.  7 days a week, 12 hour days.  (they only have to give him a day off every 21 days or something ridiculous like that.)  which means no more coming home on saturday nights.  it's horrible.  but, it makes the list because (a) they'll be done with the job faster this way and he can permanently come home sooner and (b) it's a lot of money, because it's time and a half and double time over time pay.  which means bigger house down payment come august!  hawkeye is mad though, she does not understand facetime at all.  she's all 'get john out of the box!  you're ruining my life!'

7. finally got the heat fixed in the apartment!  it was working, but was maxing out between 60 and 63.  fine by me (the cold lover) but my roommate and her cat were not happy.  the landlord saved the day and replaced it super fast, but now i'm sad the cat doesn't want to hang out any more.  i had the heated blanket so it made him cuddle up with me on the couch to binge watch things on netflix.  now he's all 'pssh. busy. enjoy your dog.'  but 2 days to totally replace the furnace is incredible compared to the shit show steph has been dealing with.

8. speaking of steph, we picked out some topics to continue the choose your own adventure challenge.  we decided to keep the link-up going through may, and then break for summer.  please join us!  this month is 'complete', and you still have plenty of time to join in.  february is 'create,' march is 'relationships,' (any, so don't fret if you aren't married - i plan on working on my relationship with my dog!), april is 'finances' in time for tax season, and may is 'read' which steph will dominate in and i will fail.  hopefully not.  we hope you join us for any or all of them.

9. john got his lasik done last weekend, which went very successfully.  we were in and out of the hospital in 45 minutes!  he loves it, although he still has to put drops in hourly, for like 2 months.  i wanted lasik, and the surgery didn't seem bad at all, but the aftercare... i'm not sure i can handle that.  it's a lot of steps and i'm not responsible enough for all that.

10. hawkeye.  i've been trying to get more pictures of her on instagram, after finding out that last year there were only 42.  but she just sleeps all day!  little lazy bum.  she's still cute though.

24

10 Ways to Get Started Organizing This Year

is one of your goals to get more organized this year?  either overall or in a certain area?  i think plenty of people start the new year with the goal of keeping on top of things, like organized receipts or closets.  it was the #2 goal of 2014.  i wonder how many people picked it for this year.

but it's not one of my goals.  'what?! shocking!' you say.  well, not really - i don't think i have anything left to organize.  getting my mom's house done is a 'rest of my damn life' goal, but for me?  what else is there, really?  i have some more decluttering to do in my closet and kitchen, but even those areas are consistently beautifully arranged.  i can't be more organized, i can only maintain.

i can, however, continue to share my best organizing tips and secrets.  they'll work even if your brain isn't wired that way.  all you need to do right now is get started.  easier said than done, but here's where to start when you think you have no idea where to start:


1. first of all, read this great post on why so many new year's resolutions and goals fail.  you're trying to re-wire your brain, so take the steps necessary to be successful.

2. decide you're doing it for you.  and why you want to.  in an extreme example - hoarders are happy to live with their hoard for decades and they're pretty crabby when someone forces them to clean.  and many go right back to hoarding if they never really got on board with the declutter process.  no one is forcing you to organize, and if you aren't doing it because you want to, it'll never happen.  i assume you're reading this because you want to clean up.  if you have especially tough areas that you've procrastinated for awhile, make a mental list of why you want it clean and remember that every time you want to quit.

3. first, take it all in.  make a list of the areas you want to organize.  make it detailed.  and make it on paper, because nothing is more satisfying than crossing it out with a giant black sharpie when you're done.

4. declutter.  the process has to start with lots and lots of decluttering.  if all you're doing is organizing clutter, everything will fall apart again.  really let things leave your possession.  be ruthless.  whatever area you decide to work on, bring a garbage bag.  don't go out and buy bins to containerize this garbage.  the giant plastic bag is your container. 

5. start with a small project.  if you come home from work on a tuesday night and decide you're doing your entire closet, you'll be sleeping on a pile of clothes a few hours later, totally burnt out.  a normal sized closet is a weekend project.  if you don't have a full weekend, just do small portions at a time.  one dresser drawer.  just shoes.  the top shelf.  do it for 15, 30, however many minutes you have, then come back the next day.

6. start with an area you already know you don't want a lot of the things in.  like a junk drawer.  if you know you'll be throwing out or otherwise permanently removing the items there, it's a huge boost in motivation because you can visibly see the change.  when you move to your next area, you're more likely to continue the pattern of really letting things go.  for good.

7. begin inside your storage areas.  like closets, drawers, bins.  because once you begin the process, where's everything supposed to go?  particularly if you're trying to have less on display or out in the open, like keeping kitchen counters clear.  that means having room in the kitchen cabinets to store things, so clean those out first.  if you plan on storing things in the attic, garage, or other closet, make sure those spaces are ready for your stuff.

8. start with the area that annoys you the most - you'll get the biggest enjoyment from getting it under control.  but still, start small.  if your entryway makes you crazy every time you walk in, start there.  control the shoe situation.  the next day, come back and figure out the mail sorting.  once you're able to relish in the victory, you're more likely to have success in the areas that don't bug you as much, but still need to be organized.

9. invite someone to help you.  (if you live in chicago, i'll do it!)  don't reschedule.  having someone else there ensures you won't throw out 3 pens and then go watch 5 episodes of gilmore girls.  even if they don't help that much in the actual sorting of items, just their presence will spur you into action.  don't confuse this with inviting someone over for coffee and tossing all your crap into a closet and slamming the door 3 minutes before their arrival.  ask them for help with the intention of doing nothing but actually organizing.  offer to return the favor.  friends help friends have pretty homes.  i actually boss my friends into having pretty homes, but that's just semantics.

10. clean every item and every area thoroughly before you keep anything.  remind yourself that if you didn't own it, you wouldn't have to clean it, and then ask yourself again whether you really want it that badly.  i don't own things i have to dust.

once you get started, i'm confident you'll be on a roll.  happy organizing!
23

Declutter Update (Update #5)

the last in the declutter project, at least in my own apartment.  i have 2 large boxes to go through still in my parents' attic, which i plan on getting to in february.  but for my apartment, the project is complete!  at least, round one.  i'm guessing i forgot some things or that i could be more ruthless in another round, so i might have another go at each area.


bedroom side table

kept:
1 2015 planner
1 notebook
1 picture frame
1 laptop
1 iphone
1 set of photobooth picture strips
1 pair of glasses
1 pen cup
1 pair of scissors
1 set of pens
1 extension cord
1 jewelry tray

decluttered:
1 2014 planner
1 set of personalized labels
1 set of pens
1 lamp
1 notepad

kept: 12
decluttered: 5
29%

bookcase

kept:
snowy
stuffed puppy from john
1 curling iron
1 straightener
1 crimper
1 hair dryer
1 hair brush
1 makeup storage container
1 travel toiletries bag
1 toolbox
1 scale
5 lb weights
1 book (total money makeover)
2 dvds (empire records, brink)
passport
label maker
laptop bag
tape
pop-up notes
batteries
1 external hard drive
1 plastic box

decluttered:
1 curling iron
1 hair brush
4 headbands
1 jump rope
2 specialty photos (the fancy ones they print for you, one from discovery cove and one from six flags)
3 books
2 plastic boxes
2 and 3 lb weights
saw pieces (i don't even have the handsaw any more, so wtf?)
post-it notes
batteries
1 address book
1 sim card

kept: 23
decluttered: 21
48%

not bad!  my room isn't huge, so it was good to get a lot of stuff out.  i do need to get the bookcase better organized, but for now i feel great about how much less stuff there is.

although, now that i consider it, i do have a small part to finish - things belonging to princess hawkeye.  i have to declutter her toys when she's not watching...

edited to add: i'm making this all into a home inventory spreadsheet in google docs.  you can see it here if you're interested.  it's a work in progress, i'm completing it as i make a second pass through each area!
20

Create Your Own Adventure {Link Up}

how did december go for you?  it's always strange to look back on december when you're focused on getting things together in the new year.  but i'm excited to see how everyone's 'simplify' challenge went.  link up below.

as for me, december was still wild but not nearly as much as it could have been and for that i am thankful.  like i planned, i did not decorate my own apartment.  i suppose it's cheating but - my roommate did.  not fully, no tree or lights; she put out table decor and festive towels, things like that, since she had a small party on christmas eve.  it was all her own decor though and hers to take down!  i'm glad i went the no decor route this year.  i wouldn't have been home to enjoy it, plus i went around my area and the area by my parents with john to look at christmas lights on other houses.  got to appreciate those more and decide how we're going to decorate our house next year.

the other goal was not adding anything to my calendar, which was also successful.  i was pretty good at refusing anything anyone tried to add and even though i went over in my spending, i still felt like i reined in the calendar and the finances as best i could.  okay, maybe not best.  but i didn't feel overwhelmed by the month, and that was the point of simplify.

for january, the theme is complete.  the point is to just check something off your to do list or goals list, just feel the sense of accomplishment of getting something completely done.  particularly something you might have been putting off for awhile.  finishing a scrapbook, knitting a hat, painting a room, cleaning out the deep freezer.  it can be anything on your list as long as you aim to just get it done.

for my complete project?  i want to finish my declutter project in my own apartment.  i have two boxes of things in my mom's attic that i know i won't get to this month, but i want to have my own apartment totally done.  i'm not too far off, but i keep procrastinating the bookcase in my room!  it's not huge, but it houses the small things so it's more time consuming.

what are you planning?
general guidelines:
1) if you want, follow your hosts not entirely perfect, life according to steph, and keeping up with ashley and cody.  (i like twitter, that way i can follow you back and tweet you encouragement throughout the challenge.)
2) link up your post about your results below for the month - we want to hear all about what you did, how you fared, what resources you used, what you'd recommend to others, etc.
3) please link to your actual post about your results.  links not having to do with the challenge will be deleted.
4) feel free to use this button, created by the lovely sarah at venus trapped in mars.

Not Entirely Perfect

16

A Simple Way to Make $30 a Month on Swagbucks

anyone out there not like free money?  no?  okay, good.  you should already be on swagbucks then.  and the simplest way to earn $30 a month on swagbucks?  use the swagbucks mobile apps.  they've changed a bit since i last wrote about your options.  now, there are 4 apps that are on both iphone and android.


these are:
swagbucks tv - 36 points per day
lifestylz.tv - 18 points per day
sportly.tv - 18 points per day
entertainow - 18 points per day

for a total of 90 points per day.  90 points x 30 days = 2,700 points.  when you reach 90 each day, you'll hit your daily goal.  hitting the daily goal every day (you have to be consistent and hit at least the 1st goal, every day) will get you an extra 300 bonus points, paid out at the beginning of the next month.  and 3,000 points is worth $30!  (if you're a high earner like myself, your daily goal will be over 90.  mine is about 100 each day.  but if you're just starting out, it shouldn't be.)

tips:
- the first 3 apps listed run on wi-fi, just make sure you choose that in the settings.  don't want to eat up your data plan.  the 4th does not have a wi-fi option, but i do not find that it adds much data usage.
- find short videos (10 seconds) and save them to your favorites by swiping left when you're on the videos list.  then, only play through your favorites so you don't get caught on a 4 minute video.  this way, you can leave it running while you shower, cook, do laundry, etc.
- if you are paying attention, you can keep hitting 'next video' and 'done' to make them go by faster.  i do this particularly with the no wi-fi app.
- make sure you're someplace with reliable wi-fi and a place to plug in your phone!

i'll have another post coming soon about the easiest ways to bump that up to $40 or $50 a month.  if you'e not signed up yet, what are you waiting for?  start now and have a fully funded christmas this december.  the cheapskate in me will be so proud of you.
20

8 Resolutions You Won't See On This Blog

there are a lot of resolutions and goals to be reading about lately.  such is the nature of the new year.  i love it, personally, because i love seeing what everyone else plans to do - even if i'm not making any resolutions myself.  sure, there's lots of things i plan on doing in 2015.  stop writing 2014 on everything, for one.  but here's some things you definitely won't see me resolving to do this year:

to do anything inherently dangerous.  yes, walking around chicago is inherently dangerous, but i mean those typical thrill seeking adventures.  sky diving, bungee jumping, diving with sharks, shit like that.  i went on the ledge with tara a year ago and even two margaritas in i still almost peed my pants.  it was not a thrill, it was horrifying and i'm still reeling.  so, no thanks.  me and gravity, we have a deal.  it involves feet on the ground.

to run a _____ (5k, 10k, marathon, etc.)  hahaha.  no.  my mom always does these, but i've gotten real good at the 'wait at the finish line, take the photo, hold the lip gloss, pay for the parking' position.  i think i'll keep it.

to become a morning person.  6:30 a.m. is my current limit, and i plan on sticking with it.  i have no desire to wake up earlier and do things that i could just as easily do at 7 or 8 at night.  from the kid who never once got up early on christmas morning, this should be no surprise.

to switch to wordpress.  seems to be the thing to do in the new year.  but i'm holding steadfast to blogger.  i'm lazy, cheap, and i like the simplicity.  plus i already know what i'm doing.  if it ain't broke.

to travel more.  nothing about travel appeals to me.  particularly when it requires leaving the country, because i am the world's worst flyer.  barely nudging out john.  so nope, we're not going anywhere except maybe vegas, because it's not so bad to be that drunk on a plane to vegas.  i'm also slightly pathetically incapable of being separated from my dog.

to save for/buy pretty much anything besides a house.  spending freeze is in effect until september.  no big ticket items on my 'to purchase' list any time soon!  except a new toilet cleaning brush.  but that's a necessity.  and also not a big ticket item.  hashtag baller.

to cut out coffee.  i don't smoke, i've never had pop in my life.  i've never tried any drugs either for that matter.  and i only have 1 cup of black coffee each morning.  leave me to my vice, damnit.  we're happy together.

to take less photos of hawkeye.  the camera loves her.  and you do too.

every single morning.  must be nice.

what about you?  what won't you be doing this year?
39

December Spending Recap

and we are officially in 2015!  crazy how fast that happened.  but before starting the new year on the right frugal foot, i had to take a look back at december.  oh december, you holiday filled money grubbing month.  not as kind on the budget or the spending frost as november was, i'll tell you that!


december 1
cyber monday, man.  did anyone resist?  i actually stopped myself on a lot of things (maurices, venus, the loft, etsy, express, ny and co, the limited.  i don't know why i test my willpower like that) but i obviously didn't get out totally unscathed.
-$73 at express, shirts for john and
-$92 at banana republic, shirts for john.  at his request, he was lacking in nice shirts to wear out.
-$84 at victoria's secret.  i wanted pjs and they just suck me in, those vs marketing bastards.  i'm powerless to resist.
-$35 at target for sweaters
-$31 at bath and body works.  candles.  i know, i know.  someone stop me!
-$20 at walgreens (toilet paper, dental floss, super fun things like that - not cyber monday related.)
+$25 paypal from swagbucks

december 2
-$8 at chipotle.  this is called emotional eating and spending.  remember this?
-$58 pet supplies

december 3
-$14 for pizza.  my roommate broke up with her boyfriend, so screw that zucchini and kale shit in fridge.  it's pizza, ice cream, and vodka night.  again with the emotional eating and spending.

december 4
-$12 for jimmy john's
-$28 for grubhub
i have no explanation for this day.  just, bad.

december 5
-$80 blog design by kailyn!  still loving it.
+$7 sidebar ad sales
+$118 sold my digital camera  ($118 is after all fees and shipping were paid.)

december 6
-$65 hawkeye to grooming.  she had to get a bath and a haircut.  since the weather is so dry, she got an oatmeal bath and a deep conditioning.  pampered little baby that one.

december 8
+$125 blog profits (clever girls)

december 10
+$25 paypal from swagbucks (the lack of swagbucks the rest of the month is because i went with amazon gift cards instead of paypal cash.)

december 12
+$27 sidebar ad sales

december 15
+$50 blog profits (blogher)

december 23
-$31 petsmart

december 24
-28 christmas treats (nuts, donuts)
-$40 cabs

december 30
-$7 lunch with katie for late christmas celebrating

december 31
-$50 new years eve

budget killers - i know, i know.  long post = not a good month.  yes, i am in a spending frost, but i can't totally eliminate spending.  and december is just one of those months.  so many holiday related shopping and outings.  i'm not in debt by any means, i budget for all of the things on this list and i still save towards all my goals.  i'd just like to get the discretionary spending closer to zero.  thank goodness the mid month saw more green than red.  because woof, those first 4 days.  very red.  i did still get $1,150 in towards savings goals this month, so i can't complain!
 
some things that helped this month - 
(1) john was gone for a lot of it, which sucks and i'd rather spend the money having him here.  helps the bottom line when we aren't eating out and getting beers during the week, but i miss him.
(2) no grocery shopping, you might notice.  my mom gave me a whole foods gift card back in october and that's what i used for all my grocery needs this month.
(3) digital christmas cards.  i opted not to get prints made this year, or spend the postage.  i still designed each card and entered everyone's name, so no two cards were alike.  it was kind of fun actually.  (john wants to do 'real' cards next year though.)
(4) frugal get togethers.  i got together with my law school friends at one of their houses, just brought some champagne and chocolates that my mom provided, because she's awesome.  and natalie and eleni took me out for a belated birthday dinner.  thank you ladies (they read, they both subscribed via email, that's an option you know, check the sidebar.)

january is going to get serious.  i don't make new year's resolutions, namely because i make goals all year round, but that's my resolution for january.  serious spending lock down to get back on the horse.  the only things planned are my mom's birthday (she asked for the new oprah book, and my dad will take us to dinner) and john getting lasik.  i'll get him takeout that day.  hopefully nothing else will get added to my calendar, but i'm confident that january is a frugal month for everyone.  wish me luck.
22
Back to Top