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Netbooks, Underarm Hair, and Office Supplies

6 Aug

Recap of what’s been going down in my life since we last spoke:

  • Operation New Blog : Remember how I told you that I was planning on creating some new, grand Website to take over this little blog?  Well, good news folks – Operation New Blog is officially underway!  And hear this: website creating is no joke.  It’s confusing, it’s time-consuming, and it’s hella-addicting.  I’m pretty sure my brain has exploded 2-3 times over the past couple days.  There is good news though:  I love love LOVE the new bloggy and I am SO excited to share it with you!  Hopefully I can get this thing all wrapped up and ready to go in the next month or so.  Good things to come, peeps!
  • Post-Vacation Depression: Going on vacation is like getting a new family pet.  You’re so so SO excited when it first arrives that you can hardly contain yourself.  But when it’s gone … it’s extremely depressing.  Okay, so maybe not as depressing as losing your family pet (that’s way worse, I’ve been there), but it’s still really depressing.  That first day back at work is the worst.  Especially when you realize that at this exact time two days ago, you were splashing around in clear, blue, ocean waves and now you’ve got 500 stressful, over-dramatic work e-mails staring you in the face that you must reply to in a pleasant tone.  It was about that time that I started wondering whether I could make a living as one of those cute cocktail waitresses that peddled drinks at the resort we stayed at in Boca. 
  • Netbook + Me = It’s Happening: I will have a bit of freelance income this year.  Woot!  Now that I’m somewhat self-employed, I need to offset that income with some business expenses.  Since I’m not studying for the CPA over lunch at work anymore, it’s time to start writing.  Exciting life I lead, I know.  Anyways, that’s where the netbook comes in.  So I can write in all sorts of places.
  • Desk + Chair = Also Happening: The desk and chair set that I have at home is embarrassing to say the least.  My friends gave me the desk for free because I needed something to get me through the CPA exam.  It’s pretty clear why they wanted to unload it (read: it’s a piece of sh!t), but it served it’s purpose for the last year or so.  Oh, yeah, and my desk chair?  It’s forest green, rock hard plastic, and came from my parent’s groovy ’70s furniture collection.  Okay, after reading that description, I will admit, it sounds pretty awesome.  But, trust me, it’s definitely not.  In fact, it looks exactly the one below, only disgusting green.  Not exactly easy on the toosh after a couple of minutes, let alone a couple of hours.  Now I’m in the  market for a swiveling, squishy, sophisticated executive chair to go with my new, fancy desk.  Hey, I’m running a business here, okay?
  • Groupon and my underarms:  Do you guys get Groupon?  I totally get Groupon.  Not because I use it or anything, but because, with it, I know I’ll get at least one e-mail everyday.  Plus, it’s just fun reading about the daily deals.  Today is an epic day, because Groupon is offering up an epic deal.  For a mere $125, I can get my underarm hair lasered away in just 6 quick treatments!  YES, PLEASE!  I’ve always wanted to get my legs and underarms lasered.  I absolutely despise shaving (and don’t tell me to try Nair or waxing because I’ve taken detours into both methods and I’m not a fan of either).  So, I think I’m gonna go for it.  If any of you readers have any experience with laser hair removal, let me know!  I’d love to know if it really works before I pull the trigger and give in to Groupon.

That’s about all I have for today.  Have a great weekend!

(source)

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Excuse The Mess…

7 Jul

I’m doing some clean-up on the ‘ole blog here and somehow, someway, my very first blog post ever written in my entire life managed to find its way over to your feedreaders.  I’m going to go hide in a corner somewhere now.

Sorry for the confusion!!  And don’t judge the post.  I was young and dumb….oh wait, I wrote that like a year ago.

The Key To Fruitful Study Sessions…

17 May

….is to change the scenery.

I just re-positioned the recliner in my bedroom (yeah, there’s a recliner in my bedroom) to have it awkwardly facing my open window.  My feet are propped up on the sill, the breeze is cooling my cheeks, and I’m hammering out government accounting rules like they’re the most interesting thing since, well, the most interesting man in the world.

Other changes of scenery I’ve been trying out lately:

  • sitting on floor between coffee table/couch
  • sitting on couch pillow on floor between coffee table/couch
  • laying on stomach on floor in living room
  • laying on stomach on bed facing the aforementioned window (and being momentarily distracted by the little girl on the balcony directly across from me pointing to a puppy walking by and repeatedly shouting “poopy! poopy!”)
  • library study rooms
  • sitting on table in library study rooms (totally works)
  • glaring at noisy kids from library study rooms through the little glass window in the door
  • deck chairs (until nasty pigeons took over and left “poopy” everywhere)
  • in my car driving to work….whoopsies.  (only at red lights, promise)
  • conference rooms at work are excellent for hi-jacking over lunch and on breaks and after work

Is anyone still awake out theretheretherethere?

(Funny how my writing is flowing like an oil spill after giving up twitter and really focusing on my studies.  Perhaps studying hardcore really gets those creative juices flowing?)

RIP Little Guy

6 Apr

I saw a dog get hit by a car on the highway on Easter night.

I was driving home from Easter dinner at a relative’s house.  Lloyd was in a different car and had stopped to get gas, so he wasn’t anywhere around me.

It was about 7:30 p.m. and it was still completely light outside (I guess Daylight Savings Time isn’t so bad after all…).

As I was driving down the highway, I saw a bevy of break lights in front of me.  I may have dropped a few four-letter words directed towards the cars in front of me for their pointless breaking.  What can I say, I’m jaded by the bad drivers who trot along at 60 MPH in the fast lane.

But, before I knew it, I came up on the little animal that was causing all the break lights.  The poor doggie look confused and was running back and forth trying to get out of the way.  All I could think to do was lay on my horn in hopes that it would run the dog towards the edge of the highway.

Luckily, I didn’t hit the dog, but I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the little guy in my rear-view mirror.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am probably one of the most hopeful people ever.  I tell Lloyd that Kansas will win the National Title every year (I think we have a good shot next year).  I go to bed every night thinking the weathermen will be wrong and that it will be a fabulous 70 degrees and sunny the next day.  I never think anything bad will happen – I always think the best outcome will happen.  Naive? Maybe.  But I like to think of it as my wine glass being half full.

So when a car behind me hit the dog, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I shouted and immediately pulled over.  Never mind the fact that I was hauling down the highway at 70 MPH.  All I could think about was saving the dog.

The people that hit the dog had pulled over, too.  The guy that got out was sporting suspenders and the height of what I estimated to be an 80 year old man.  He was no help and mostly just rude to me.  He told me the dog made the wrong decision.  Obviously, debating over the decision-making skills of the dog wasn’t high on my priority list.

I wanted to search in the brush along the highway for the dog.  But, I was alone and in shorts and a tank top and didn’t want some weirdo to pull over and offer to “help” me.

I wanted to find the dog, see if it was injured and take it to the vet.  I didn’t want the dog to suffer.  Or if the dog was already dead, I wanted to check for a collar so I could call the owners because they’re no doubt devastated that their dog had run away on Easter day.

After I conversed with the old dude (who really didn’t seem like he should be on the road in the first place), I sort of realized my surroundings.  I was barely off the edge of the highway and there were cars zooming past me at 80 MPH.  My hair and clothes were flying around me in the wake of the cars.  I walked back to my car, called Lloyd, and starting bawling.  I was hoping he could come and stop with me and we could look for the dog.  He told me it wasn’t safe to be on the edge of the highway and that I should start driving away.

It sucked.

I keep playing the situation over in my head.  What if I could have pulled over immediately and called the dog to the side of the highway?  Doesn’t that seem ridiculous?  It does, but I wish I could have done something.  It poured rain the next day and all I could think about was the dog laying there next to the highway.   I was so delirious that I don’t even really remember where the dog was hit on the highway.  I just keep wishing that Lloyd and I would have been together so that we could have stopped together and found the dog.

I feel so guilty.  I know it’s not my fault, but dogs hold a special place in my heart.  Dogs are the sweetest creatures.  They love you even when you’re mad or sad.  They give you kisses even if you have morning breath. 😉

I would have spent money to help the dog live or at least have a painless death.  That’s the kind of thing that you can’t budget for, but I wouldn’t even have had a second thought when I handed over my credit card for that innocent little guy.

Anyways, I just hope that he had a painless death or is some sort of super dog and managed to walk away unscathed.  If not, RIP little guy.

I’d Rather Be At “The Fat Pelican”

2 Apr

TGIF!  Humor me while I ramble on about life….

I’ve been tossing around ideas for Lloyd and I’s summer vacay this year.  We usually go somewhere once a year (last year we broke even in Vegas and the year before that we spent a week in a strange little beach town in North Carolina where we discovered our favorite little hole-in-the-wall bar, quaintly named “The Fat Pelican”…but I digress).

fat-pelican

I’m tossing around the ideas of Miami, Mexico, or Los Angeles.  I’ve got a little obsession with celebrity gossip (who I’m I kidding, Perez Hilton is my homepage) and would love to see if I could spot Lauren Conrad in a tiff with Franken-Heidi Heidi Montag on the streets of L.A.  However, the beaches of Miami and Mexico are calling my name as well.  Stick a cool beverage in my hand on a sunny beach and I’ll be happy for a week.

So…I ask you readers, where would you go for summer vacation this year if you were me?

—————-

My finances?  The finances are doing good.  I’ve recently started experiencing some good ole Catholic guilt (as Lloyd calls it) with my tithing amounts.  I’d love to tithe 10%, but what exactly is 10%?  10% before or after taxes?  Or 10% after all necessary expenses?  I’m going to start donating more to the church until I feel a light stretch.  Maybe then I’ll know how much is right?

I also started a Roth IRA, but some weird part of me feels sad that the money isn’t going directly into my 401K account anymore.  I guess I liked having my office do all the work for me. 😉  Better work on automating that IRA contribution.

—————-

The CPA?  Still taking over my life.  My study schedule is….going.  I am having trouble motivating myself to study every night when the weather is so glorious outside, but I know I just have to do it.  My plan is to take the last test the day before the next Sex & The City movie comes out (May 28, 2010 if you guys are wondering….these kinds of dates are what I plan my life around).  Anyways, I’m like 1/5 of the way through the book – Woot!  Only 4/5 more to go….!

—————–

Lloyd and I are looking forward to Easter this weekend.  It’s gonna be a great weekend with all of our church friends and family and hopefully on Monday morn I’ll feel pretty darn holy. 😉  Any of you hitting up church this weekend?

—————–

Oh – since my last post, I’ve been hitting up the gym like I used to!  My bod is thanking me and I’m thanking myself because my, er, work pants were starting to feel a little snug.  They feel much better now.  Me + sweat, we make a good team.

—————–

So, I know my posting has been rather lack-luster lately.  When I get the time to write after everything else, I find myself just wanting to sit around and watch that crazy Kardashian show relax instead.  I could start posting less about finance and more about life type things until the CPA is over with and I have more time to focus on drumming out outrageously fabulous personal finance articles (exaggeration…sort of).

Are you guys wanting more life postings or are you okay with the (mostly) dead air until the CPA is over with?  Lemme know!

And…I’m out!

Have a great Easter weekend, readers!

You Love Me, You Really Love Me?

24 Feb

 

Plutus Awards 2009 Finalist

Things are looking up this week – I was shocked to find out I was nominated for a Plutus Award!

What’s that you ask?  Basically an award to honor people throughout the Personal Finance community.

I was nominated for Best Kept Secret Personal Finance Blog!

I am honored to be nominated with other bloggers like My Next Buck, Eliminate The Muda, Frugal Zeitgiest, and Out Of Your Rut!

I would really appreciate anyone who took the time to go HERE and vote for me!  You can vote for as many people as you like, but my category is about a third down the page.

Thanks so much & I heart all you readers who voted for me.  It really made my week. 🙂

More Fabulous Q&As!

23 Feb

Here are a few more fabulous questions from my “Ask Me Anything” account over at Formspring.

What do you refuse to pay a lot of money for? [assuming it’s not an emergency situation]

Everything!
food
clothing
decorations
entertainment
electronics
household products & cleaners
utilities
cell phone plan
insurance
I normally get the cheapest option of all of the above. 🙂 This is a small list, too. ha ha.

In your previous answers, you mentioned you had debt.. what kind of debt? Student loans, credit cards, car? What motivated you to pay it off?

I had credit card, car loan, and a small amount of student loan debt. What motivated me? Hmmm…being “owned” by other people. Not living paycheck to paycheck. Not having a savings account. I hated my financial situation and wanted control of my money. I worked hard for my money and wanted to keep it. So, I stopped spending money and got my butt in gear.

Will you and Lloyd be footing most of the bill for your wedding?

I have no idea. I don’t think so. I think my parents will help as much as they can, but I certainly won’t ask for much. If they need us to help, we most certainly will. In fact, if my parents’ can’t pay for a wedding, Lloyd and I will pay for everything…and if that’s the case, it probably won’t be quite as big as I was thinking.

What are some items you’re willing to splurge on, every time?

Bras. That’s really about it! Sometimes makeup and skincare because I have outrageously super sensitive skin. But usually I can find skincare products that are gentle and affordable. Bras, however, you just can’t go cheap on those bad boys. 😉

Are you and Lloyd talking about marriage yet? Do you have plans for the future?

Yes, we’ve been talking about it for awhile now. Yes, we have plans to get married in the future.

When (or if) you have children, would you teach them at a young age how to manage money? Did your parents teach you anything about money?

Yes – I will definitely be teaching my kids the arts of saving. I will also teach them that credit cards and debt are not necessities for life. I think that is really important to teach kids. Going into college, I knew credit cards were bad, but I always thought “I’ll never have a problem with them.” Yeah right!
My mom is super super frugal. She definitely taught me how to be a bargain shopper! Looking back, now I realize just how much though she put into our groceries and all our other expenses. Back then, my parents didn’t make much, so they had to make every dollar stretch. My mom did such a good job of manages the small family finances and also taught us a bit about how to be frugal.

How long were you and Lloyd together before you started discussing the details of your finances?

Wow – great question! I’ve never even thought about this.
Lloyd got into finances before I did. He put himself on a budget after we had been dating for about 6 months or so. I remember thinking “Ughh!! A budget? That’s no fun!”
I didn’t know it, but he had just become determined to pay off his student loans.
I was annoyed at his budget for a couple more months before I got serious about my debt. In May 2007 – about 8 months into our relationship – we really started discussing our finances. I was just getting pumped up about paying off my debt and he was in full-force “budget mode”.
We talked about our debt situations seperately for about another year or year and a half. I’d say somewhere around the 2 year mark is where we starting talking about “our” future finances and how we’d like to live our life by way of finances in the future.
Now, we discusses our finances quite often. Our finances are not merged, and won’t be until we get married. Now that we’re both debt-free, talking about finances is way more exciting!
We still have little disagreements about money though – his tipping is OUT OF CONTROL. He tips 30% almost always! This drives me crazy! But if that’s the biggest of our problems, I’m not too worried. 🙂

How many years has it been since you graduated from college?

About 5 years.

Will you and Lloyd join accounts/assets fully? Before, or after marriage?

We will join everything together and we’ll do it after we’re married. We have about the same amount of cash in the bank, so it’s not like one will be bringing much more than the other into the relationship. And even if that was the case, it wouldn’t be a problem.