Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Closing Time...

Maybe.

I'm thinking about quitting the blog. I have literally run out of things to say. And more than that I have run out of time to find to make up things to say.

Perhaps it's just this rough stretch of insanely busy months I've been having, but the blog has gone form a place to get excited and have discourse to another thing on my perpetually long to-do list.

For other bloggers out there that work at 9-5. How/when do you find the time to blog? Any suggestions for me before I hang it up?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Lose Weight in 48 hours:

Get sick.

UGH!!!!

I hate being sick. Pray for me, y'all.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vegas Survival Guide

Do.

10. Ask your concierge to put you on the guest list for the club. Makes like so much easier

9. Pack flip flops and bring a purse big enough to carry them.

8. Go to Denny's, IHOP a buffet or something. The very best time we had was watching (and participating) in ratchetry after a fun night.

7. Plank. There are so many great places to do it at

6. Get a cabana at your hotel's pool. It's SO much better than just chillin' and surprisingly affordable.

5. Sleep a lot. Forget what you heard, vacations are supposed to be relaxing. I partied all night, slept all day. AND because I was with my mom (an early riser) everytime I woke up there was breakfast in the room for me already. #WINNING!!!

4. Entertain foolishness. We ended up stepping (Chicago stepping) with these extra random dudes on the patio of Caesar's Palace (by Serendipity 3) at God knows what time at night. If we had ignored their "hey girls" we wouldn't have met such nice (and hilarious) people from the crib.

3. Go to Serendipity 3, get a Frrozen hot chocolate, watch your life change. LOL!

2. Give Vegas another chance. We stayed at the Vdara, partied at the Aria and people watched at the Cosmopolitan. 5 years ago I would have said Vegas was extra cheesy, but staying on the "new" side of the strip, I feel like it's more upscale. I may be plannin another trip there soon.

Don't

1. Forget your sunblock. It's BLAZING hot in the summertime. I was outside baking like a damn peanut butter cookie. I'd be peeling if it weren't for that healthy application of SPF 55.

Anyway, these are the Vegas cliff notes. So much more to tell you all. Lots of which, you'll have to hear from me in person. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vacation Week

Hey folks,

I didn't have time to write any blog posts for the week and I'm going to Vegas on Wednesday, so I'm taking a physical and a virtual break. I hope to have some fun posts up for you next week, BUT... it might be two weeks depending on my schedule.

Don't quit me and have a great week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hit Dem 40s

I put this on Twitter, but it bears repeating. You know how when people go to jail they say:

"I only serve two days. The day I go in and the day I go out."

Well, I feel like there are only two days every month. The day I get paid and the day I get paid. Today is one of those days. **hits dem 40s**

LMAO! Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Inspiration

Got this note from my gym today [read: the day I wrote this post]

T,

Your commitment toward your health makes us proud. You are inspiring others.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Peer Pressure Can Keep You Healthy
A new study has found that healthy friends could be the best way to keep fit. A study of 3,610 Australian women, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, found that physical activity and healthy eating behavior were both strongly affected by social contacts. In other words, if your friends are doing it, you are more likely to be doing it.

Researchers from Deakin University surveyed women between the ages of 18 and 46 for the study. They said the importance of social environmental influences on health-promoting behaviors such as exercise and healthy eating has been increasingly recognized. Their new study is one of the first to illustrate the link between social support and a health-focused lifestyle.

Those women who moved in healthier circles were in turn more likely to eat well and get more exercise. The researchers suggest that healthy behavior may be contagious.
Source: sciencedaily.com


So hit the gym today. Just by doing so, you're inspiring others. I love that!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time a very tired diva missed her flight and encountered a gate agent who wasn't particularly helpful in getting her on the next available flight. Given the amount of money that said diva spends on flights and the amount of time she's wasted in airports (as of late) due to unhelpful gate agents the diva had what mental health hospitals would describe as just a touch, just a touch... of a nervous breakdown at the airport ticket counter.

**omits details**

After the police left and the diva got on the flight she'd originally requested to be on, the diva decided she would never fly that unhelpful airline (who unnecessarily called the police on her) ever again. The diva "collected herself" got a refund of the money that unhelpful gate agent "MISTAKENLY" charged her and donated ALL of her frequent flyer miles from said airline to CARE an organization committed to rebuilding Haiti.

Haiti got rebuilt, the diva prospered, the airline went bankrupt and she lived fabulously ever after.

The end.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taxes & Such

I've been doing taxes since I was 15 and except for one random year, I've ALWAYS gotten a return. It's generally a fat return too. I'm afraid that's not going to happen this year.

What I need to know from you - my smart, well-accomplished, in-the-know blog readers - is what steps can I take now to make sure I don't owe the government big bucks come April 15th, 2011. (Really it's more like February 3rd for me because I file electronically and I've never waited until the deadline because there's usually money coming back to me).

So what are your tax tips? Or what resources do you suggest I read?

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

I have a dirty little money secret and it's filthy y'all. I overdraft my bank account... regularly. *gasp*

I do it almost once a quarter. I generally just call and ask them to put it back as a courtesy, but now you can only do that twice in a 12 month timeframe and I just barely made it 11 months. Oh, the horror, the absolute shame. I make more money than I've ever made before and still, I trick it off.

Not on shoes, clothes, caking, trips, bottles, waxes, mani/pedis or high-end hair color or other acceptable trick-offery. No... on bank fees. I have no excuse. I'm just ashamed.

Nevermind that $34 is usually like 2000% of what I've overdrawn.

I'm not even going to affirm that I will definitely do better. My don't-give-a-damnness won't let me care THAT much. I did, however, add bank alerts on my phone, so hopefully this will be the last time. I'm writing it down (on the blog), so I can continue to be open and honest about money and things of that nature.

No use in bullshiiting myself.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Q2 2011: Stay Within Your Means Lesson

So when someone says live within your means I think about fixed costs: cars, house, bills, etc. I shouldn't be spending 40-50% of my salary on rent/mortgage. I've got that under control in my head and in my actual spending.


However, this year, I've been trying to pay back debt outside of my means. I told you all in this post that I was willing to not shop in order to pay down debt.



I've learned that my teaching/learning style is punishment rather than reward. I also told you that I received a financial blessing in June. My first thought was to put it ALL directly towards my credit card. And while that might be one responsible way to do it, it's not the only way. How content can I really be if I continue to deprive myself to pay for past debt/mistakes?



What's the big deal if I pay down my credit card debt on September 1st vs. September 30th (these are fake dates), if I've sacrificed every meal, frilly summer dress and vacation with friends to meet the goal.



So my "means" as they stand now SHOULD afford me a shopping allowance, a trip allowance, an eat-lunch-outside-of-the-office allowance. I already live in a studio box to continue spending below my means. I decided [the day I wrote this post] that I'm not going to keep cutting back to reach some arbitrary goal in my head. No ma'ams and sirs. I'm going to celebrate life and my accomplishments and my progress.



I'm learning that life is about progress, not perfection and I'll see those zero balances soon enough. Meet me at the mall. I'm about to do WONDERS for the economy!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Q2 2011: Automatic Savings Lessons

When I first started putting money into my ING Direct Savings automatically, it was for several reasons.


1. I didn't have the discipline to save it myself

2. I probably didn't make enough money to pay bills AND party, so I put the money in there quick before I partied with it.

3. ING locks up your money for at least 5 days, so I'd have to think long and hard about the fact that I was taking the money out.



Howsoever...



1. I'm more disciplined today than when I started this process. (The end is also near and I see the CC-debt-free light at the end of my tunnel.)

2. I got plenny monay!

3. Having the money that I'm going to use to pay off a credit card locked up for 5 days just pisses me off now.



So in May, I cancelled my automatic payments. Now on pay day when I pay bills I also make it thundersnow on credit cards and that's the best feeling ever.



Stayed tuned. If I can continue to say no to these trips, I'll have big news for you all in Q3. I WILL be credit-card-debt free in 2011. I need one person (just one) to agree to that with me in the name of Jesus, Amen!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Q2 2011: June Update

I received a financial blessing this month. Talking about pressed down, skaken together and running over. God is good. Tell a friend. Tell a stranger.

Sacrifices this month:

2) I didn't go to Miami with the boos. This will be the fourth trip [in life I think] where I had money to go and wanted to go, but skipped: PR and NYC were because of scheduling conflicts. #Allstar2011 in LA and this in Miami are because of a conscious decision to save money. I'm proud of me financially. I'm no less sad socially.

Unexpected Expenditures:
h) Ran down to Tally to see baby brother.
i) New phone (I stay losing/destroying phones)
j) Bridal Shower Gift

Credit Score Update: It's the same. Again, no news is good news.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Q2 2011: May Update

Ok, in May I continued the great April fall-off. Good news on deck for June though. Stay tuned.

Sacrifices this month:


...

Unexpected expenditures:
d) Happy Hour for my work fam
e) Mother's Day Flowers
f) Date night outfit (I really don't give three damns about breaking my budget for this. I was fly, tell a friend)

g) Dorian's baby shower. LAWD, I like to spend money. It was nice though. No regrets.

Credit Card Update: I went back and forth from paying credit card #5 off to running it back up this month. Old habits die hard.

Credit Score Update: It's the same as in March. No news is good news.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!!!

I hope you're out bbq-ing with friends and fam and actually catch up on my blog Tuesday, when you're back to work.

I'm not talking about political independence today. I think it's quite appropriate that Money Monday falls on the 4th of July. Especially because I'm in bondage to this damn debt (but not for long though, not for long).

I could have also titled this "the Great Fall-off", because that's exactly what I did in April. I found it especially hard to make sacrifices this month. Let's hope I do better in May.

Sacrifices this month:
1) Old school R&B Concert. Despite my other financial shortcomings below, I had to draw the line somewhere. LAWD, I love some Dru Hill and friends, but I had to decline.

Unexpected expenditures:
a) Paid cash a mother-daughter trip to Vegas in July (I didn't use CC or dip into my savings for this expense, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back to make me dip into my savings and/or use my CC for the rest).
b) Went to an Obama fundraiser
c) Spending cash/shopping for Jamaica

Credit Score Update: There's no way it could have gone up because I didn't pay anything down this month, so I didn't even check it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

So...

I did something crazy to my hair today. I'm not putting up a pic. You'll have to catch me in the streets (which shouldn't be hard to do this weekend.) Who wants to guess what I did?