Friday, January 29, 2010

10 Minute Pilates


(If you're viewing this in reader you've probably already seen this. My bad, I got some dates mixed up this week. Womp.)

I might as well keep this workout topic going. I also do 10-minute solutions pilates. I got this DVD from Wal-mart. I'm sure it was affordable.

This is a bit of a misnomer because it includes 5 10-minute sessions. If you turn the thing on, you're probably going to do at least 2 or 3 sessions, but I guess, if you want, you could do 10 minutes and stop.

In other news: I hate this broad. Her breath is always so even and controlled and she gets to contorting into all kinds of movements that send my blood pressure sky high (down dog plank anyone?) AND she smiles the whole time. I never - no matter how in shape I am - get throug the full body blast. About 6 minutes into it, I just watch her do the movements.

I love the DVD though. It keeps me on point when it's too cold or wet to go to the gym or when I just don't feel like putting on clothes and being around other people. (Don't act like I'm the only one). They have a whole set of 10-minute solution DVDs, so check those out too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best State of the Union Quotes

So my President was going in during the State of the Union Address. Straight treating Republicans AND Democrats. Calling people out like he's BEEN doing. I feel like he's on the campaign trail.

FIRED UP! READY TO GO!

Here are my top 10 favorite quotes (in random order)

10. The war is over. All of our troops are coming home.

9. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions

8. Let's put aside our schoolyard taunts about who's tough

7. We are strong, we are resilient, we are American

6. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change (insert sideeye)

5. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.

4. We Don't Quit. I don't Quit.

3. Let's Try Common Sense

2. "No one should go broke because they decided to go 2 college"

1. God bless you. And God bless America.

8 minute abs

When I was in college I threw a pool party for my birthday one year, so I had to be uber fly. I was already in decent shape because I made good use of the free gym membership that comes with tuition fees (I guess it wasn't really free then, huh?)

Well I decided I needed to tighten up my stomach and 8-minute abs was like a lifesaver. It hurts like hell, but I did it twice a day and my best friend and roommate told me I looked like a model @ the pool party. (She wasn't just gasing me up either, my abs were on point).

So anyway in this new day in age I'd found 8-minute abs on youtube. Oh boy! I happen to have 8 free minutes every day to get this done and I'll be in Miami in days (for work, of course). I will be checking e-mail poolside though and thanks to my old newfound love, I'll be tight in the midsection while doing so.

Look at those old workout clothes. Hilarious!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Sexy

After I wrote this list and I kept coming up with random sexy stuff I like, so here's more stuff that I find sexy in men.

5. Good Sportmanship - After Jay Cutler lost the Bears game by throwing an interception with 40-something seconds to go, Donavan had a long talk with him in front of the cameras. That I'm going to impart knowlegde on you whether you're my opponent or not spirit is capital S, SEXY!!! Not to be confused with the capital S in saltiness displayed by Lebron James.

4. Men who dress like Andre 3000. I mean clean cut and fresh ta def (not zoot suits).


3. Sports fans - It's just so very manly to be damn near ignoring me when Sportscenter is on. It just seems right. LOL! I seriously stopped talking to a dude because he called me during a Bulls playoff game. Sir, shouldn't you be watching the game too. (Side note: I know you may think I'm fickle, but there were other things wrong with him. This was sort of the last draw AND there are plenty of good men out there who aren't sports fanatics... they just aren't really the guy for me).

2. Music Fans - I'm not the biggest music fan. Yes, I love good music, but I'm not a Connoisseur. I like men who are passionate about a genre of music (or all genres of music). I think it adds layers. I don't know why, but I dig it.

1. Men Who Read for fun - Oh yes, exercise your mind, boo. LOL!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Are You Looking Forward To?

Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my day is the promise of a fun evening activity or the only thing that gets me through my week is the promise of payday (When payday is a Friday). LOL!

So, I'll answer this in the comments at some point of the day today, but what are you looking forward to?

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Fine

Ok, I had a little moment yesterday. Thank God I'm human and have feelings and emotions and not some superhero PR diva robot.

Anywho, I went to yoga last night. I found my center again. Happy T is back. Happy Weekend to you all!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can't See Em Coming Down My Eyes

I want to cry. I want to cry a big ugly, heaving I-hope-nobody-sees-me cry. I want to have an emotional manifestation of being overwhelmed besides anger, but the tears will not drop. My mind knows that I can handle being overwhelmed, my emotions are not so sure.

My body is convinced quite otherwise and my face. My face feels like the weight of the worlds is sitting on the creases of my mouth and not even the biggest body builder could curl my frown into a smile.

I feel like I'm dry heaving, but with tears. I wish I could just vomit, er, um I mean cry already. Somehow I've convinced myself that big girls don't cry [in the workplace], let alone a grown woman showing emotion.

But I am showing emotion. I'm showing pure disgust and unadulterated hatred for anyone who adds to my monumental list of tasks. I'm showing gross resentment for the 14-hour workdays, never-ending travel and extreme lack of gratitude for my time and service.

Yes, I am showing emotion that I'd rather not feel let alone show. I really just wish I could fucking cry in my office and get it over with, so I could release this overwhelmed feeling and fucking get back to work.

Maybe this post will help.

Book of The Week: Las Sucias



Ok, hopefully, I'll get some energy to write a review on this book before this post posts. I don't have it right now though, so if I don't get back to this post in time, just read it because I said so. LOL!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Disney Volunteer Campaign

Have you all seen the new Disney volunteer campaign? For a day of service, they'll give you a free day at the park. I think that's pretty cool. I didn't have time (or patience) to scan the inserts that I saw in magazines, but here's a youtube clip of the commercials.



I love that volunteerism is so big now. I remember being in high school and my cousin's mom talkin' about "you should volunteer, so you can put it on your college aps and me looking at her like she had three eyes." LOL! I definitely stepped my service up in college though and I'm doing a decent amount of service now. (Of course, I always think I could be doing more).

Anywho, I'm proud of Disney and proud of the world we live in where people know and understand the value of service. I'm also proud of My President and First Lady. They are big on service and it's showing.

Have you seen any good volunteer campaigns lately?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spring's Almost Here!!!

We're 60 days away from the first day of spring. (All the Chicagoans giving me the sideeye right now, knowing Chicago weather doesn't care what season it is. It'll always just be cold).

I'm sending a reminder to readers nationwide to help the homeless this winter because it's the right thing to do AND because I'm giving away $100 to the person who (in my opinion) gave the most this winter.

Click here for more details on Tea's Spread the Warmth Challenge.

So far I've given away about 5 cups of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I'm going to try to double that before the season is over. How are you all doing with the challenge?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Put On...

I love using hood slang on Twitter (and depending on who I'm talking to... in real life). I got to thinking about everything you could put something on

10. On the real
9. On the real, Joe
8. On my unborn child (I think b was just playin', but whatev it's on the list)
7. On my mama
6. On the force
5. On everything
4. On everything I love
3. On my grandmother's grave
2. On Larry Hoover
1. On the boss

Thanks to everyone who commented to help me fill in 8-10?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Drink & Be Wary

Got this from RedEye the author is Hearst Newspapers. If the first couple of weeks of your year were anything like mine (BUSY!), you might need to head out for a drink this weekend. Here are some tips they had for NYE that I think are pretty timeless. I'm getting too old to be the obnoxiously drunk girl title, so I'll try to incorporate these tips into my drinking - if I haven't alreay. (Side note: I'm still fine with the drunk girl who can hold her liquor well title. That's perfectly ok.)

Do
- Have a designated driver (or take a cab)
- Bear in mind that drinking whisky can result in a worse hangover than drinking vodka.
- Or water. Alternating alcoholic drinks with glasses of water makes sense on several levels. You'll stay hydrated, important because alcohol tends to dehydrate you and creates a hangover; you'll satisfy the desire to have a beverage without loading up on alcohol.
- Avoid topping off your drinks. Get a refill only when you've finished so you can keep track of how much you're drinking, something that's easy to forget in the hustle & bustle of a party.

Don't
- Don't drink and drive.
- Don't "do" shots. Spirits are not for "doing." They are for slow enjoying. The only reasons to do shots is to get drunk. (I know, I know, I'm just re-writing what the article says)
- Don't assume mixed cocktails are much less potent than straight whiskeys, rums or vodkas. Many mixers have a significant alcohol content on their own, so drinking too many cocktails made with them still lets the effect mount.
- Don't be fooled by how easy a drink goes down. Fruit juices and liqueurs add color and flavor, but they also temporarily mask how much alcohol you're ingesting.
- Don't use diet sodas as mixers. You need sugar in cocktails since it helps metabolize alcohol

*all parenthetical emphasis is mine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayers for Haiti


Shockingly I didn't have a post scheduled for today. It's 1:55 a.m. as I'm writing this. I'm up from my nap to pack for New York and Dallas (back-to-back) trips for work. Just wanted to take a moment to say my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and when I get paid on the 15th my money will be with them as well.

Consider supporting the red cross or do some research to find out what other orgs already support Haiti. The people deserve as much as we spent on Katrina and the Tsunami. (When I say we, I mean out of our own pockets. We know the government gets to half-stepping when it comes to disasters with black people or poor people involved - of which Haiti is both).


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who You Callin' A Bitch?

Have you been to the bookstore lately? On the shelves a buzz word I've seen like crazy is "Bitch." It's sort of like putting SEX in big red lights to talk about something that has absolutely nothing to do with sex. I work in marketing, i KNOW it's an attention grabber, but that doesn't make it ok.

I saw:
- the Skinny Bitch Series (oh yes a series of at least 7 books with bitch in the title, probably with more to come)
- Why Men Love Bitches (highly recommended by some co-workers)
- Bitches on a budget (which the latest issue of Shape magazine suggested I buy)
- Cathy Griffin: She'll cut a bitch

Oh, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the new black Sex & The City-like reality series coming out called Bitch is the New Black. (Not a book, but worth noting)

When did it become ok to call yourself a bitch? Was it the same year that it became ok for blacks to call each other the n-word? Where was I? Who sent the memo? The FCC lets people say bitch on TV (starting in 1998 or so), so now it's ok to call me a bitch?

A friend came over my house and was admiring my bookcase and the first book she noticed had the word bitch in it. (Or maybe she noticed others, but she MENTIONED said bitch book). I had to explain to her that it was just a catchy marketing title, but I felt silly even having to do that and it sort of put it in perspective for me.

I haven't even read the book. Couldn't get past the first chapter because it lacked substance and I seriously pondered leaving it off the bookshelf for that exact reason. You are what you read. Now I'm dying to get it out of my library and I won't be buying anymore books with "Bitch" in the title.

Nope, if the book's content can't hold it's own in a review, but rather has to be marketed in this gimmicky fashion, then I'm not interested in the content.

People can say what they want about how times have changed and things were SO bad growing up in the 80s & 90s, but I distinctly remember Queen Latifah telling me (almost 20 years ago) not to let anyone call me a bitch, male, female, black or otherwise and I'll be damned if I spend my hard-earned money to be disrespected.

Authors, please don't let anyone cheapen your product by putting "bitch" in the title AND most importantly *Martin Payne voice* Respect ME! *patting hand on chest* RE-SPEEEEEEEEEECT!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Things That Cook My Grits Lately

I wasn't angsty all last week. How rude of me. Here you go! (I do this for you all!!!)

Things that cook my grits (lately):

1. Places of business not opening and/or closing when they say they are. (If you open at 9 a.m., have your tail there at 8:45. It's YOUR business, so if you know you're always late put 9:15 on the door, but don't SAY you open at 9 and don't open at 9.)

2. Sickness: Sickness irritates me to NO end. If people come to work sick, I hate it. If people call in sick to work, I HATE it. Where does sickness come from. I. HATE. IT. It kills (Cancer), it divides (AIDS), it makes you give people sideyes (Whooping Cough). It just sucks and I just hate it. I don't hate people who ARE sick, but sickness, oh how I hate you.

3. Retro pay. I really just want my money now.

4. The non-playoff-making it to, our-players-excel-only-after-we-trade-them*, we-win-when-it-doesn't-matter, Chicago Bears.

*(Bernard Berrian, Cedric Benson, Thomas Jones, KYLE ORTON, UGH!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Credit Cards & Such

On Tuesday, I asked what was wrong with my budget. The resounding thing I heard was I don't know (we can't all be money experts, now can we?). Almost everyone who offered advice (via email, in the comments, on gchat, or over the phone) included advice on credit cards. Here's some of my [random] feedback on everyone's advice.

1. Stop Using Credit Cards: Natalie mentioned that I should stop using the credit cards, which is awesome advice. Thanks Nat! This is true, but I wanted to note, that I don't [think I] abuse my CC now. The balances are high due to old debt (College, jobless, working for pennies, etc, etc). So, despite only using CC sparingly in 2009, my balances are still high and I need to stop cold turkey and not use them AT ALL, no excuses, no exceptions.

2. Pay Credit Cards Down: At least 4 people, including Well Heeled said to close my credit cards. They just said close 'em as if it's some easy thing I can just do. Like close a door or close a relationship. Yes, in my opinion it's easier to completely cut someone off with whom you used to be close, than to close a credit card. (Bright Idea: I shall start to think of my credit cards as ex-boyfriends. That means I'm done with them unless there's a life or death emergency.)

I digress. Paying credit cards off is difficult because as my salary increases I WANT to do more fun stuff with my money (and keep paying the minimum balances) vs. use my increase to pay off old debt. BUT I set a goal for what I NEED to do: pay down to 1-20% of total available balance and I'm going to do it!

3. Close Credit Cards - Your credit score looks at your available debt to used debt ratio. If I close a credit card it decreases the amount of available debt I have and thereby lowers my credit score. People have told me "Well I never had a credit card and my credit score is fine." OR "I only have one card and my credit score is fine" OR "I only have two cards and my credit score is fine." I'm happy for those people who didn't make the mistake of opening a gang of credit cards in college and shopping at the mall like clothes were going extinct, but I did and so I have to take different steps to obtain and maintain a high credit score.

Each time I opened a credit card, the available balance was added to my total available balance and now, no matter how many anecdotal and personal stories I hear to the contrary, my credit score WILL drop if close them.

Card #1 has the most history (can't close that) and #3 has the best interest rate (4.90% what what!) and the highest credit limit (can't close that). I could, maybe, possibly, consider closing Card #2 but unless I get a windfall of money or the credit orgs change HOW they calculate credit, iaintgonebeabletodoit.

Nope, what I need is a dose of act right (i.e. self-control) and a bag full of nos. No, I can't go on a trip. No, I can't come to your birthday party, baby shower, wedding, bbq or other function. No, I can't buy Cambodian breast milk at the grocery store or Miss Jessies products online, no I can't go shopping at DSW or Nordstrom or anywhere really. No, no, no, no, no.

*Sigh* This concludes: Get Tea's Money Right Week. Stay tuned for check-ins on how it's going.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What He Said

The advice I'm about to share is from my favorite ATL-born-&-bred-get-the-party-jumpin' Morehouse man. I'm trying to figure out why no one has snatched him up yet. He's fun, he's attractive, he's smart and he works for one my clients (so you know he's paid). LOL! I think he's probably hiding his honeydip, but that's neither here nor there.

Here's the clarification he asked for before making a recommendation: The "short term savings" that I have in this post will be saved for 6-12 months, then I'll pay off all the cards in one swoop. *POW* The small percentages shown for paying of CC 1, 2 & 3 are just minimum balances. This keeps my money liquid for the year, so that if I do have an emergency I won't HAVE to use CCs to cover it.

Here's his advice:

"First, figure out how much DI* you can live off of for a given pay period. This would include eating out, clubbin, movies, etc. This would also include trips you want to take, so if you know one is coming up, then you save a little DI from the last pay period to pay for the trip.

Now to your earlier point of not having long term savings, I think that's alright in the short term ONLY when you're using the money you would be saving to pay down debt. In the economical sense, this is still increasing your savings and improving your net worth.

Once you have paid down the balances on the cards, you can immediately cypher that same 20-30% to savings and keep living off the DI you've already been setting aside. And I would go all cash, at least for the next year while you are forming your base. So bring a CC for emergencies, just don't use it. This trains you to keep to the money you actually have, and not overspend."

*(daily income, disposable income, discretionary income, whatever you want to call it)

His advice is so super important because it speaks to what I think my problem is. I think I "over-budget." When I make a budget, every single one of my dollars has a home. So if someone wants to do brunch or Hooters spontaneously, then I have to take it out of short term savings OR use a credit card (OR get a cash advance on a CC. ICK!). This also usually sets off a mini-anxiety attack. Millions of people stress about money daily. I know I'm not alone.

Scott's proposal helps me be more realistic (I'm going to party, eat out and go on trips AND there's nothing wrong with that). Setting aside a DI gives me a big emotional break. Instead of feeling like I failed at keeping some unrealistic budget, I can feel like I set aside a "reasonable" amount of money to do everything I need AND want to do, while still paying a significant amount of debt down. At the same time I STILL have to sacrifice to meet my goal. If something I want isn't within that budget, I can't do it or buy it. Period.

So my rejiggered budget is calling "discretionary funds" daily income. DI has increased from 5.0% to 8.1%. And my short term savings (also known as my make it rain on these punk ass CC companies in 2010) is decreasing from 29.7 to 27.3%.

Building an Emergency Fund will be 2011's goal and like Scott suggested I'll cypher the 27.3% savings into my EF, hopefully without skipping a beat.

I crunched the numbers and I CAN still meet my goal of getting the CC to 1-20% by year's end with this budget. It's going to be tight, but I'm going to try. Now, if anyone has a baby or gets married this year, you're getting a handmade gift. #ImJustSayin

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Q&A With Well-Heeled

Welcome to "Wait Til I Get My Money Right" week. I know it's Wednesday, but I just decided it was money week, so I'm now welcoming you. :)

Well-Heeled is a 20-something woman who blogs on personal finance and happens to have an affinity for fly shoes, hence the double entendre of "Well Heeled" as the name of her blog. When I first started reading, I was most impressed that she has $30K saved (I mentioned she was 20-something right). Family, I don't have ANY money saved. I thought it was mainly because of my age, but she proved me wrong.

I asked her to take a look at my budget and unlike most of you, she doesn't know very much about me, so she asked a lot of questions when she sent her thoughts back to me. I'm going to attempt to answer most of the questions below. Enjoy:

"So from the looks of it, all your percentages seem very reasonable. Which means there might not be an obvious area of "fat" to cut. Which means that you might have to either 1. buckle down if you want to pay off the debt asap, or 2. make a realistic budget and have the debt for longer instead. Neither one is right or wrong - just what will work better for you."

Emphasis on realistic is mine. Realistic is my word of the week.

"I think rolling the balance of one CC over and then canceling it might be a good idea. In my personal experience, I only use 1 CC (and 1 for backup in my home in case the first is stolen). This way I know what my credit limit is, I know when to pay, I know the rewards - just simpler and less temptation all around."

I'll speak to this on Friday when I address the other CC advice I got.

Specific line-items:
"Tithe - is this a non-negotiable item?"
It is indeed, non-negotiable. 2009 was the first year that I gave my tithe consistently. I'm very proud of that and grateful for the opportunity to be able to give. It's a commitment I intend to keep and hopefully be able to give even more.

"Can you cancel Cable and Netflix? That might be an extra $30 or $40 a month that you can divert to eating out (so you won't have to take out that $$ from the Short term savings)."
iaintgonebeabletodoit. Cable: long story short, I've done it before & it's a hassle. I always get it back for football season, so all the re-activation fees end up having me break even. Netflix: I watch movies while I'm twisting my hair. Doing my own hair saves me a grip of money, so I'm keeping that too.

"Also, I don't see a line item for saving for Emergency Fund.. do you have one? Ever since I lost my job I've been thanking goodness that I have an EF."
*le sigh* Nope, I'm bad Tea. No EF. I might sock away a little bit of money every paycheck thanks to K to the's reco, but I haven't committed to this yet. I'm open to horror stories or some suggestions to light a fire under my tail to at least START an EF.

"How is your gym membership? Do you use it enough for it to be worth it? Can you trade down to a cheaper gym or go without a gym for a while (assuming you can still get exercise)?"
My gym is A.MA.Zing and I go enough to make it worth the expense. It's actually an "athletic club." LOL! It's biggest draw is proximity to my house and convenient classes. Also, my job subsidizes my gym membership and puts the money right into my check. So if I lose my gym membership, I'd lose some income... if that makes sense.

"Rent - do you live with roommates? If not, can you stomach that for a year while you pay off CCs?" Hell to the naw, Bobby. I live alone. I just started decorating my place and I must say I love my little studio now. It's actually a great deal and I enjoy the niceties of living solo. Y'all should see what I have on right now...

"Student loans - many loan companies would lower your interest rate by 0.25%-1% if you do an automatic debit. Check with your providers to see if this is the case."
I AM ABSOLUTELY LOOKING INTO THIS. That would be AWESOME!

"Also, do you have good health insurance with low premiums & copays?"
I do indeed. Also, if I lose my job, they're required to offer the same health insurance to me, but I'd just have to pay out of pocket, which I'm ok with. I can hear y'all know. How you gone pay out of pocket Tea and you don't have an Emergency Fund...

Um... more on the emergency fund tomorrow.


Many thanks to Well Heeled for answering my questions. She's like a 20-something Suze Orman who actually responds to my e-mails. Please check out her blog: http://www.wellheeledblog.com/

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What's Wrong with My Budget?

Let's play a game called what's wrong with my budget. Here's what it looks like. Tell me what you think is missing. What's too high? What's not high enough?

Note: the below percentages are for post-tax income. I put 6% of my pre-tax income into my 401K and I've been doing that since I was 21. *patting myself on the back for that one*

Tithes - 10.0%
Short Term Savings (for CC debt repayment) - 29.7%
Rent - 22.9%
Living Expenses - 6.6%*
Student Loan 1 - 8.2%
Student Loan 2 - 2.1%
CC Payment 1 - 4.8%
CC Payment 2 - 1.3%
CC Payment 3 - 1.3%
Laundry/Cleaners - 2.2%
Groceries - 3.4%
Gym Membership - 2.5%
Discretionary Funds - 5.0%

*Living expenses include: Cable, Internet, Netflix, Cell Phone & Electricity

Here's what I think:
Problem 1: I have no long term savings.
Problem 2: There is no budget for trips, gifts or dining out. (I know good and hell well I'm not going to stop taking trips, going to weddings and baby showers or eating out with friends. No matter how hard I try). That money will come out of short term savings and then I won't reach my CC debt repayment goals. As usual, I'm trying to do too much, but I can't really see it any other way. I always aim high and fall short, rather than being uber-realistic.

Most financial experts say pay yourself first (savings), but I have a very hard time putting money away when I owe money. It seems silly, but it's the honest truth.

So, who can talk some sense into me? Do any of you have budget templates/expert formulas that work well (or seem like they would work well)?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Money Saving Tips

It just occurred to me that I saved a great deal of money in 2009 (and by save I mean didn't spend unnecessarily, not put away for good use. More on that tomorrow).

Read the comments here for ideas on secondary income. & read the comments here on how to go for the cheap.

Below find some things I did to save in 2009.

10. Only went to the beauty shop twice (this could also be called learned to do my own hair, either way)

9. Cut out manis, pedis and Brazillian waxes except for vacations (and/or warm weather work trips)

8. Stopped paying full price for designer jeans. I still wear designer jeans, but instead of getting them at discount or even clearance prices, I get them at consignment shops (also called the low-low). My faves are Elliott's Consignment and the Brown Elephant (both in Lakeview, holla at me if you want to make a visit)

7. Stopped taking my designer jeans to the cleaners. I wash them in the washing machine like cheap jeans, it's really not that big a deal.

6. Stopped going to the cleaners once a week, instead more like once a month. I hardly noticed a difference.

5. Got my clothes cleaned at the $2.29 per garment cleaners. Despite the four-block walk from my house, it's worth it every time. (If I need to clean special occasion garments, those go to a full-price cleaners)

4. Paid my $30 fine and started using my local library. I'd had that fine for at least 2 years. If you decide to pay an old fine though, be smarter than me and find out when the Library's grace day is. They have one day a year that they'll excuse your fines (or you pay a penny or something like that).

3. Signed up for direct check with Peapod. I got $5 off the first time, then $1 off every order I use direct check. (I also use coupons, though I'm not committed to coupon-clipping. I didn't even know Peapod let you use coupons, but they do.)

2. Started checking my calendar. My network is large, so I get a lot of invites. I HAD to start saying no. No one invites me to fewer events because I couldn't make it to something they hosted. No one stops being my friend because I couldn't make it to something they hosted. EVERYONE living has a birthday. I CANNOT celebrate with everyone every year. Nope, can't do it.

Also, important to note (to myself): just because I'm invited to something doesn't mean I WANT to go. I have this bad. Making all kinds of plans to go to something with associates (not friends or family member, associates). Yeah, my calendar was definitely checked & revamped in 2009.

1. Noted luxuries as such. Coldstone Icecream, Starbucks Coffee, facials, massages, full-priced books, etc. Those things are treats, not necessities. And so I get them if I'm rewarding myself, not on a regular basis. Otherwise, foot scrub, a coat of polish and a library book will do. It just doesn't make sense to waste money like that.

Feel free to share your money saving tips in the comments too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!




Happy New Year everyone! If you're reading this in a reader, please head over to http://www.teaandsuch.blogspot.com/, so you can see these ignorant pics from last's night's debauchery. I was at a basement party on the south side. The crown royal bag tied around my superhero boots tells you everything you need to know.
Hope your celebration was fun and safe and let's get ready for another wild ride in 2010! Yessir!