Archive | July, 2009

Got Weekend Plans?

31 Jul

Here’s what’s on tap for me this weekend:

  • Co-worker’s Dinner Party: We hope to at least stop by and make a grand appearance tonight.
  • Lloyd’s Old Roomie’s 30th Birthday Party: Man, his friends are getting old!  He he…
  • CPA Studying Goals: Friday, 1 hour; Saturday 3-5 hours; Sunday 1-2 hours.  Fun!
  • Pool: At least once.  Gotta get my tan on!
  • Gym:My cardio has been suffering because of my cursed knee…so I’m hoping to be able to pick it up a couple times this weekend.
  • The Shining: Lloyd and I are planning to watch The Shining this weekend!

I’m getting The Shining from the library and everything else should be free, too!  Gotta love those inexpensive weekends. 😉

Anyone have anything exciting planned?  Have a great weekend!


Check out this Carnival of Personal Finance that I recently participated in!  (I’m so bad about linking back.  Note to self:  remember to link back!)

Always, Sometimes, Never

27 Jul

I always…

  • work out.  It’s like my happy pill, seriously.
  • clean my apartment.  If it’s cluttered, I’m pissy.  Weird?  Yes.
  • pay off my credit card.  I haven’t paid interest in many years.
  • pack my lunch.  Health and savings – what could be better?
  • speed when I’m driving.  I really need to stop.
  • have a drink on the weekends.
  • daydream about the future.  I find it hard to live in the moment.

I sometimes…

  • use the telephone.  I’m more of an e-mail kinda gal.
  • don’t tip at Starbucks.  So shoot me.
  • read full blog posts.  I admit – I’m a skimmer.
  • go on shopping sprees at Target.  I love that place.
  • want to reach in the TV and slap the dumb right out of Lindsay Lohan.  Come on!

I never…

  • spend too much on clothes.
  • enjoy cold weather.  It sucks.
  • want to be old and frumpy.  Here’s to hot moms and cougars!
  • will be in debt ever again (exception: mortgage).
  • want to live with less.  I want to live with more while spending less.
  • do things to please others.  I do things to please myself.

Taking A Walk Down Dream Lane…

20 Jul

Lately, Lloyd and I have been spending our evenings taking walks and drives through our dream neighborhoods in Kansas City.

We’re still a good 2 years off from buying a house (we still have to get engaged, married, and all that jazz before we can buy a house) but one of our favorite pastimes is daydreaming about our perfect house.

We have the vicinity pretty much narrowed down, but here are some other things that we want in our perfect house:

  • Basement: We want a basement for a couple reasons.  First, houses with basements have better resale values in the Midwest than those without basements (hi there, welcome to Tornado Alley).  Second, we want to make a home gym in our house.  We are both very passionate about fitness and would probably go crazy if we couldn’t work out.  We’ve both always really wanted our own home gym and plan to go for it when we buy our own place.
  • Pool: In the neighborhood, not the backyard.  I love the pool, I love the sun, I love the summer.  I wanna pool!
  • Updated Kitchen: No more crappy apartment kitchens! Like this…



  • Spanish Tile: Oh Spanish Tile, how you taunt me.  I love, love, loooove the look of Spanish Tile.  So mysterious, drug dealer-ish, and southwestern-looking.  Not that I want people to think I’m a drug dealer or anything…I just love the whole look that is exudes.  However, that shiz is expensive.   It might have to wait until our second or third house.  But just for grins, here is a fantasy picture of a house that I love:
    Picture 015-1
  • 2 (maybe 3) Car Garage: I despise walking out into the snow during the winter.  Actually, I despise the winter all together.
  • Close to the Interstate: I have road rage.  It’s worse on the city streets.
  • Trees!: Which means, a little older neighborhood.  Also, must have two trees sort of close together so I can put up a hammock.  I’ve dreamt of a hammock all my life and I want one when I finally have a house!
  • Concrete Patio: So I don’t burn the place down!  Which brings me to my next requirement…
  • Big Backyard: We’re both big time dog lovers and can’t wait until we can get a little pooch to run around our backyard.
  • Fattie Whirlpool Bathtub: I haven’t taken a luxurious bubble bath in years.  Apartment tubs kinda gross me out.  I’m hoping my new home’s tub is super clean and luxurious so I can take some darn baths!  (Editor’s Note:  I DO take showers.)
  • Attic Fan: Is this just a Midwest thing?  If you don’t know what an attic fan is, you are missing out!   Check out the details here.  I love attic fans and they seriously cool the heck out of your house without having the air conditioning on.  Unfortunately, I think they are becoming extinct.  Sad face.

Too much to ask?  I hope not.  You may have noticed that I don’t really have a preference on size.  I’d prefer a smaller house even – cheaper utilities and less space to clean. 😉

Now…on to that whole saving $40,000 thing…


Going To The Lake Of The E.Coli…Er, Ozarks

16 Jul

I know the bad economy does crazy things to people, but endangering the health of the entire population of the state just to keep tourism coming in?  Not cool, Missouri.

Apparently, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources failed to release a report that the great Lake of the Ozarks (a place that thousands of Midwesterners frequent each summer) was a breeding ground for “unhealthy levels” of E.Coli.


“All the reasons DNR gave for not releasing the report have to do with the economy,” said Ken Midkiff, who writes and advocates for water quality in Missouri. “The Department of Natural Resources is supposed to protect water quality and the environment.”

Lovely!  I just can’t wait to go to the lake in a couple weeks and come back with a raging E.Coli infection.  Luckily, they said the levels in the lake are back to “safe” levels – but how I can I believe them now?

Damn economy.  You can read the entire article here.

So Not Happy With Beauty Brands Right Now

15 Jul

Is anyone else irritated about the new prices at Beauty Brands annual liter sale?

$11.98?  Really!?

Last year, it was $9.98!  Boo!

I don’t care what anyone says – good shampoo is one of my weaknesses!  And YES, it DOES make my hair look better!  I could not live with my Brocato Cloud 9!


15 Jul

Want free giftcards to Starbucks, Amazon, Target, Apple or even cash through PayPal just by using an online search engine?

Then, Swagbucks is for you!

I’ve been using it for about a month and I’ve already gotten lots of Swagbucks just by searching online!  I can use these Swagbucks to redeem prizes like gift cards to my favorite places!

All you do is use it like you would any search engine – Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. – and you’ll randomly get awarded Swagbucks.  It’s that easy!

You do have to sign up – but it’s pretty simple.  Remember to use my referral link to sign up!  Carrie’s Referral Link

Enjoy!  Happy Swagbucks-ing!

Have Trouble Getting Out Of Bed In The Mornings?

12 Jul

Best $120 I’ve ever spent:

dawn simulatorI give you: the Dawn Simulator.

I bought this little gem for Lloyd about a year and a half ago.  We kind of forgot about it during the move a couple months ago.  After breaking it out about three weeks ago, I realized again just how amazing it is.

In my short 25 years of life, almost every day has been a struggle to get out of bed.  I just love the nice warm cocoon I’m in and I feel like I ALWAYS get my best sleep in the morning.

But, with the dawn simulator, I wake up to a nice bask of light around my bed and honestly feel ready to get out of bed.  Plus, anything is better than that nasty screeching my regular alarm clock makes.

It IS expensive, but it is TOTALLY worth it for someone like me.

I SWEAR this isn’t a sponsored post, but I’ve just fallen in love with this thing over the past couple weeks and felt like I had to share.  It seems like a silly thing to splurge on, but trust me, it’s definitely worth it!

Confession: I’m Not Debt-Free

8 Jul

It’s true.  I’m in debt…at the library.

I’ve been $2.80 in debt with them for about 6 months.  I somehow find it impossible to return a book within the 3 week timeframe allotted to me.

I’ve tried to pay off my debt, too!

The first time, I scrounged around in my huge black satchel (it’s ridiculous, I’ve literally lost Lloyd in there before) and came up with a $0.56 down payment.  They rejected it!  They said to wait “until I had the entire amount of the debt all at once”.  Talk about debt forgiveness.

The next time I was there, I got frustrated with those cute little librarians staring over the rims of their glasses at me and asking if I “knew that I had a balance?”

Of course I know!  Here’s my credit card!

They wouldn’t take that either!  Something about how they can’t charge anything less than ten dollars or some crazy talk like that (pleeeease, I’ve charged 95 cents at Quik Trip before).

So, yep, it’s true.  I’m not technically debt-free.  I would really like to be though!  If only they would put me on a Generation-Y payment plan – they know we hardly ever have cash on us!

Staying Fit: 5 Things To Splurge On

6 Jul

After my great knee fail of 2009, I’ve learned a few things about what NOT to skimp on when it comes to working out…

PROTECTION:  No matter if it’s midmorning or midnight, I always carry pepper spray when I go for a run or bike outside.  I’ve heard too many horror stories of poor girls getting attacked while they’re outside working on their fitness.  Invest in an $8 bottle of pepper spray at the local hardware store and put yourself at ease when you’re outdoors.  It also just helps to know your surroundings and avoid listening to music when you’re in a secluded area.  Another good thing to have is at least one sturdy knee – a swift knee-to-the-groin will hopefully send even the craziest weirdos running in the opposite direction.

SHOES:  After buying “cheaper” shoes that didn’t fit and subsequently injuring my knee, I’ll be benched for who knows how long.  Choose shoes that feel comfy and fit you well.  Too big is always better than too small as your feet tend to expand during workouts.  Since your feet are absorbing the impact for most cardio exercises and a lot of weight-bearing exercises, you’ve gotta have something to support that smokin’ hot bod of yours.

SOCKS:  Seriously, socks are important.  I don’t know how many times my cheap-self has tried to forgo buying new socks for a couple more weeks only to walk out of the gym with blisters bigger than I ever thought could exist.  I’m not saying you need to go out and get super-special socks or anything.  Just try to avoid the holy socks that are so worn down they’re basically 5 white threads barely weaved together.  If you can’t muster up the $2.99 for an entire new pack, you can always wear 2 pairs of socks.  That should do the trick.  (Lord knows I’ve donned 2 or even 3 pairs back in my college days.)

SPORTS BRA:  Ladies! *shakes head*  Even if you’ve got small ones, they’re prone to bouncing a full 180 degrees when you’re huffing and puffing in Step class.  Stop the madness!  Get yourself a smasher, a compressor, a harness, WHATEVER it takes to lock those bad boys down.  No one wants to see that except for the perve in the back of the class – and trust me, you don’t want to give him any more material than he’s already got.  Ew.  On a more serious note:  a good sports bra will save your back and keep the girls in tip-top condition.  An extra $20 is worth it to prevent the pancake effect of your elder years.

SUNGLASSES:  No need for the $100 Oakley’s that people who are bad with their money usually wear.  Most of my sunglasses are in the $10 range from Target.  Make sure you get a wrap-around pair as the whole point of the sunglasses is to save the skin around your eyes.  (Don’t forget sunscreen!)  Did you know that the sun can hurt your eyeballs, too?  Call me crazy, but I’d say my eyeballs are worth at least a $10 pair of shades.

What do you splurge on to keep your work outs going strong?

[Photo Source]

The Cost Of A Broken Knee

4 Jul

As I mentioned in my last post, my knee has been bothering me for a couple weeks.  It has been getting worse and worse everyday – it feels quite “inflamed” and really achy.

Seeing that exercise is my favorite outlet, it has been really hard for me to not be able to run or do any type of cardio.  I have been able to do some weight lifting which is helping to keep me sane.

But, I’m starting to get quite worried about the costs that could be associated with my knee.  You see, I have what I like to refer to as “risky health insurance”.  It’s a health “fund” insurance (you can read more about it in another post, here) that allows me to avoid co-pays and prescription costs as long as I keep my health expenses pretty low throughout the year.

This has worked wonderfully until now.  Normally, my only health costs are monthly prescriptions and annual dentist/eye appointments.  However, now that my knee is acting up, I forsee X-rays, MRIs, and maybe even surgery.

All of those thing most definitely do NOT fall under the $1,250 in health “funds” that I am allotted each year.

I have an appointment for my knee in about 10 days and I’m praying that they just tell me it’s a simple case of tendonitis and to rest it for awhile.

If they tell me it’s more serious, I’ll probably have to wait until the first of next year when I can switch to a more reasonable insurance.  Well, either that or fork over tons of money so they can fix up my knee now and I can regain my sanity with exercise.

In just over a week, I’ll have to choose between my two loves: money and staying fit.  Which would you choose?


UPDATE:  I had my Orthopedic appointment about a week ago.  They took X-rays and my bones are just fine.  *jumps for joy*  However, after some further testing, the doctor said that my IT Band is inflammed (common in active people).  My remedy is rest, anti-inflammatories, and stretching.  The stretching seems to be helping quite a bit!  I also got a “knee sleeve” for it for when I work out, which basically prevents inflammation.  Conclusion:  I don’t have to empty my savings for surgery, but I do need to take better care of my knee to prevent having to do that in the future!