Archive | September, 2009

Let’s Take A Closer Look At The Male HDTV Obsession

30 Sep

Ladies, we’ve all seen it.  You stop by Best Buy with your guy to pick up the latest version of Quicken and before you know it, you look over and find him in a trance.  His eyes are glazed over and he’s gazing at something across the store.  There’s a faint hint of a smile on his face and just the tiniest bit of drool making its way down his bottom lip.

“Lloyd!  Hello?  Anybody in there?” I say loudly.  Nothing.

He doesn’t hear me.  As if pulled by some magnetic force he seems to glide effortlessly to another section of the store.

That’s when I see it.

He’s fixated upon the bevy of LCDs and plasmas plastered up on the back wall.  They seem to be shouting colorful, crisp, sweet-nothings to Lloyd.  Do they speak in some sort of secret dialogue to males that females can’t understand?

Truth be told, he may be close to perfect, but Lloyd does really have an innate infatuation with HDTV flat screens – or any flat screen for that matter (we have two very large old-school tube TVs in our apartment).  Every time he lays his eyes on those flat screens, he becomes more delirious than every girl in the world was the day that the Sex & The City movie premiered.

I, on the other hand, watched TV on this 13-inch gem for a good 20 years and was more than confused when my parents bought me a new (tube) TV for Christmas a couple years ago:


You served me well, RCA.

In my female mind, it displays any show you could ever dream of watching just as well as those fancy 40 inch LCD screens up on the wall at Best Buy.

If it were up to me, we’d watch TV on our perfectly functional tube TVs until they day they stopped powering on.  To me, they work just fine.  To a guy though, this tube TV we have in our apartment is pure blasphemy.

Further proof of the male HDTV obsession?  Just check out the comment that Lloyd left on my post back in June titled “Do you have HGTV Envy?“.


The good news is that Lloyd has an abnormal amount of self-control (he must if we don’t already have a 50-incher on our living room wall) and we’ve made a little bit of a compromise as far as his dream television goes.  We’ve decided that what’s much more important now is to save for a house in the future and once we’ve bought said house, we each get to splurge on a big item for all of our hard work and dedication to saving.

What will our splurges be you ask?  If you haven’t guessed his, it will be a HDTV flat screen (the exact size has yet to be determined).  For me, it will be the biggest, firmest, most extravagant KING BED I can find.

What would your splurges be?

Reason #99 Why I HATE Cooking

28 Sep

First pot-roast of the year…$9.10

Baby carrots…$1.99

1 red onion…$0.79

Chicken Broth…$1.49

Miscellaneous Spices…~$8.00

Coming home and realizing you forgot to turn on the slow cooker and realizing your dinner is now ruined…waste of money and time.

Dinner was a bust.  Did I mention I hate cooking?

The Night I Left A 155% Tip

26 Sep

I’m think I’m like most people when it comes to tipping, in that, I generally always tip right around 20%.  If I receive truly poor service or rude service, I will definitely lower my tip.  Normal service generally constitutes the 20%.  If I’m having a good day, I might slip a 21% or 22% tip.

Last night, Lloyd and I had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  In fact, we go there so often, that one waitress in the bar recognizes us and even knows what I like to order.

When she came to greet us last night, her eyes were puffy and red and she looked a little sheepish compared to her usually vibrant self.  She apologized for our wait (which was pretty much non-existent) and then apologized again because she was “having a moment”.  I didn’t really grasp what she was saying because she asked us what she could get for us so quickly after that.

After she left, I realized she was having a bad night.  Whether it was an asshole customer, a bad bout of PMS, or a jerk boss, I’ll never know.  But what I do know is that I’m a girl and there is absolutely nothing worse than having a “girl moment” at work.

I’m no stranger to those once-a-month spells when I’m on the verge of tears whenever someone doesn’t smile back at me or when I get a dumb e-mail forward of a dog that adopted a little orphan piglet.  (Did you guys SEE that e-mail?  Geez, get me a tissue.)

I was so impressed that our teary-eyed waitress even tried to make small talk when she checked on us.  Our water glasses were never even half empty before she would come top them off again.  She was having a bad night and her service or attitude didn’t show it at all.  That’s pretty much nearly impossible to pull off when you just bawled your eyes out.

Lloyd and I normally go dutch, so my bill was a paltry $6.48.  She must have really tugged on my heart-strings because I left her a $10.00 tip.  That’s right, I left a 155% tip.

I may live my life on a budget and life below my means, but sometimes it’s better to make someone else’s day than your own.  Turns out, it ends up making your day anyway.  When I left the restaurant I was filled with just a small glimmer of excitement that my little gift of generosity may have made that girl’s night and ended whatever moment she may have been having.

CPA Update: I Passed AUD!

25 Sep

2 down, 2 to go!


P.S.  Passing Score is 75.

Aw, Shucks

21 Sep

Check out this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance at Credit Cards Blogs.

My article was chosen as one of the Editor’s Picks!  Right below Get Rich Slowly!  The personal finance geek in me is outrageously proud right now.  He he. 🙂

Happy Monday!

UPDATE:  Wow!  Double Whammy!  I was picked as the editor’s pick in another carnival, too!  Please go check out the Carnival of Money Stories over at M is for Money.  Thanks!

Link Love: The Blog Envy Edition

18 Sep

I have made several new “friends” over the past couple months and I’ve been meaning to update my blogroll.  I say this is the blog envy edition, because when I stumbled upon a couple of these blogs, I had my first experience with “Blog Envy”.  I’m sure some of you bloggers have experienced this before, too! 😉

Please do me a favor and go check out these fabulous blogs this Friday!

If I missed you, I am really sorry!  I tried to get everyone that I’ve connected with over the last couple weeks!  If you don’t see yourself in this list, be sure and check my Blogroll – you might already be in there!  I am going to work on putting up a link exchange page, so look for that in the future!

These are bloggers that have reached out to me via twitter, commenting, or e-mail which I really appreciate!  I love getting to know all the other bloggers out there! So if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile and haven’t connected with me, drop me a line on twitter or e-mail me at carrieonthecheap [at] gmail [dot] com!

Have a great weekend!

New Record: Haven’t Eaten Out For Five Whole Days

16 Sep

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here before, but eating out is absolutely one of my most favorite activities.  Call it a luxury, call it lazy, call it expensive…either way, it’s practically a hobby for me.

Eating out IS expensive, so I try to keep it inexpensive by doing the following:

  • Happy Hour – Many times I can get out of a restaurant with a tab under $10 – including meal and a drink – during the happy hour.
  • Splitting with Lloyd – How absurd are restaurant portions? We can order a $12 plate and be completely full afterwards and we’re each only $6 in the hole.
  • – Lifesaver.  Not even kidding.  This website saves me a lot of money.
  • Signing Up Online – If you sign up to receive e-mails on the restaurant’s website, you’ll generally get a friendly helping of coupons.

So, to end my 5 day streak of not eating out, I’m going to celebrate with none other than a streak of eating out:

  • Thursday – happy hour with friends!
  • Friday – Lloyd and I like to go out to dinner just the two of us on Friday nights if we don’t already have plans.  The game plan for Friday is a coupon for an appetizer & splitting a plate.
  • Saturday – I offered to bring a pizza to a relative’s house for the evening.  Well, hello there $2.00 off Papa Murphy’s coupon.
  • Sunday –  Lloyd and I have already decided to order Chinese from our favorite Chinese restaurants and watch Mad Men to prepare for the work week.  I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t have a coupon.  BUT, in my defense, splitting Chinese is pretty cheap since they give you SO much food.  It will probably set me back $10 bucks.
  • Monday – (oh yes, I’m still going) I should get my score for my second CPA test on Monday (fingers crossed!) and I’m either going to celebrate or have an ugly cry in my beer. 😉

How do YOU save when eating out?


Personal Finance Fails That Drive Me Crazy

14 Sep

fail-whaleThe Twitter “Fail Whale”

Subscribing to every TV channel ever invented. Now don’t get me wrong, if TV is your passion, by all means go ahead and sign up for the Sports Channel Package, the Film Channel, or the Unlimited History Documentaries Bundle.  But it’s pretty widely accepted that TV is more of a luxury than a necessity – especially when you already have financial problems.  Side note:  I love me some TV.  I absolutely cannot live without certain TV shows.  BUT when I was paying off my debt, you better believe I did NOT have a cable bill.  And yes, it was torture.

Drowning in debt and thinking it’s okay.  We all know those people that rely on their credit cards to save them.  I used to be one of them.  It would be an understatement to say that being weighed down by credit card debt is uncomfortable.  It’s not fun living month to month wondering if you can pay your bill.  Thanks to my favorite guy, Dave Ramsey, most of us know that:  debt = bad, cash = good.

Buying a brand-new car every other year.  True story:  I had a early ’90s Honda all through high school and college.  Even after college when I started making the big bucks (ha ha), I didn’t buy a new car.  Even when my speedometer stopped working and I had no idea how fast I was going, I didn’t buy a new car (it’s pretty easy to just go with the flow of the rest of the cars).  When my poor little old Honda finally just stopped putting along (literally), then – and only then – did I buy a new car.  Which I plan to drive until the day the engine konks out on me.  I realize this is a little extreme, but let’s face it, cars are a horrible investment and only good for getting you from point A to point B.

Applying for the Bank of Your Best Friend Credit Card.  No.  I get a tiny ulcer everytime Lloyd’s friends go on a group outing.  Guess who always foots the bill and gets IOUs from all his friends?  That would be Lloyd.  Guess what?  In my experience, you very rarely get paid back in full from everyone without pestering them like a whiney kid every five minutes.  Either don’t let friends borrow from you or just expect to be nagging them until you get the cash.

Sporting a Coach bag on Target budget.  I’m not knocking those people that CAN afford a Coach bag, buy one as a reward for a big accomplishment, or get one as a gift.  I’m talking about the people that don’t pay their water bill so they can spend their paycheck on a handbag.  Priorities, people!

What personal finance fails annoy the crap out of you?  Do tell!  I’m sure I’ll have plenty more lists in the future… 😉

Picture from Twitter.  Follow me on Twitter, HERE!

My New Thing: The Word Of The Day

11 Sep

In an effort to better myself – both in my blogging career and my professional career – and to just sound like the smart girl, I’ve started receiving “Word Of The Day” e-mails from Merriam-Webster.

Since I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit lately (is that a tumbleweed?), I thought I’d write up a quick causerie of a post.  (Hey – first word of the day used!  No idea if I used it correctly… 😉 )

Here are a couple links if you’d like to start getting a word of the day in your inbox everyday!

Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Day’s Word Of The Day

The New York Times Word Of The Day

Ta-ta for now!