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Archive for December, 2013

Early Birthday Gifts + Montreal Planning

December 29th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Had a decently productive day, both in terms of things to-do and money.

Ordered a $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks this morning, and am already back up to 128 swagbucks (and that's just with searching, encrave, SBTV mobile, daily tasks, and one code). I've only just realized how easy it is to rack up the swagbucks, especially when I can leave things running while I do chores/eat breakfast/read/work out. Dad also gave me his change because he only uses quarters...2 nickels, 1 dime, and 11 pennies, which will be added to my "coins to roll" bucket. And Mom paid me the $5 she owes me.

Dad and I went to REI to pick out hiking boots. I knew I was getting them for my birthday, but my birthday isn't until February and I didn't realize I would be GETTING them today. But my parents decided to give them to me now so I can wear them in Montreal Big Grin While we were there, I realized I need a hat (I have hats, but none are warm enough for Montreal in winter). I found an adorable faux-fur and "plumberry" plaid one with earflaps...for $34.50. I decided to just deal with the high price tag because it was the warmest "fashionable" hat there AND it's really cute. But when I went to go buy it--it rang up for $23.93 Smile

Now having dinner with the family and then off to a friend's for the evening!

Weekly Spending Week Ending 12/28

December 27th, 2013 at 09:09 pm

I've made quite a few purchases in the past few days, which I hate doing. At least most were necessary.

Sunday: Spent $13.57 at my work on Christmas gifts.

Monday: Stopped by CVS to get a gift card for my brother, and got two bags of candy on a deal and a 75% off lip gloss for my roommate...spent $20.84 with $15 of that being a giftcard! Spent $11.99 at my work on Christmas gifts. Had a 40% coupon off of a scarf, which was great Smile

Tuesday: Christmas Eve... Got taken out to lunch by grandparents. Paid mom $20 of what I owe her.

Wednesday: Christmas... my $5 charge on Graze went through (I really should cancel, but it's so cheap and so delicious!). Also made a purchase from Joann's for carbon paper, a tracing wheel, and pattern weights...should be getting 3% back from Ebates and 10% back from a Bank Americard deal.

Thursday: Bought a Christmas candle 50% off for next year because we're almost out of all of ours--still cost me $5.84. Bought fleece-lined leggings at work and got them for $10.39 with my discount--will be perfect for when I go to Montreal next month! Paid $17.59 in my loan interest today as well.

Friday: Went to the bank and deposited $478. The $8 is from rolled coins and will go into my Extra Money fund and the rest into my Apartment savings. My $50 went to mom because she spotted me for some Christmas shopping and I still owe her. But after we went to CVS we combined purchases so I could use the $4 off of $20 as well as my $2 ECB, and now she owes me $5. Spent $14.15 including her purchase, with Tide (for school), granola bars, a power bar, and nuts (for Montreal) for me. Also used my $0.15 on my Walgreens giftcard (which I got for a blog sponsorship) although I still spent $4.62 on bobby pins (which will be used for a belated Xmas gift I'm making tonight). We stopped by Starbucks, although the $4.01 I spent was already on the card (have $19.33 still on it). Mom got a free drink because they didn't have the size she wanted, and they gave me a size up by accident...so I guess we got great deals there Smile

Saturday: No spend day! Spent the day budgeting/packing/prepping for Canada, dealing with a scheduling issue at work, and then getting called into work for a four hour shift. Which is nice, actually, because I had to get a four hour shift covered on the 4th (since I'll be in Canada!).

I've been trying to prep for Montreal, and part of that is spending cash where possible, so I can use my credit card if there is any sort of emergency. It also includes not using any more of my phone's data plan!

Ordered a $25 paypal credit from Swagbucks on Friday, but knowing Swagbucks it won't come for several weeks. Bing is adding up quickly between the 15 points on my computer and 10 points on my mobile. Also completed a $0.50 survey on SurveySavvy (I hate doing surveys haha) so I should have $2 soon. And did some Amazon MTurk. Not a bad week since I'm usually super lazy about this sort of thing Smile

Besides Montreal, have some intense bills coming up in the next few weeks: a haircut and eye appointment on the same day. I need contacts as well >.<

And important question: should I cancel Graze?

Christmas Spoils!

December 26th, 2013 at 04:39 pm

I won't be telling you EVERYTHING I got. Some of it is irrelevant, just really nice gifts. But a decent amount is useful, or is actually money.

I got a drying rack. My roommate already has one, so it's going to the "apartment pile" in the attic, with the four wooden chairs (found in trash), silverware (grandparents' old set), iron and ironing board (from Christmas last year), and odds and ends.

Also got a travel mug (yay! I've been needing one of those); Illustrator, Indesign, and Photoshop (vital for my classes and if I want to freelance, but super expensive, so thank you mom and dad); tissues, toothpaste, chapstick, throat lozenges; new gloves; some of my rather expensive DevaCurl products. A super nice gift from my aunt was a pair of Facet sunglasses from Smith...so beautiful, and originally $119 but she gets 50% off Smith Big Grin (I must get some of my money-obsession from her!)

As for actual money, I received a $50 from one set of grandparents, my annual check for $250 from my other grandparents, and $10 from my aunt. All $310 will be added to my apartment fund. Once I get paid for the study I did (should be around $230) that will be added to the same bucked in my Capital One 360; expecting the check this week or next. Since I'm adding all this money in and my checking count is getting a little thin, I'm deleting my automatic monthly deposit of $50 to the apartment fund. Hopefully I can add it back in again soon!

Paid off my interest on my unsubsidized loans this morning. So that's $17.59 gone from the checking account but it drops my debt down slightly, to $13255.18.

The other day I cashed in my MyPoints--first time doing so--for a $10 Target card. I'm thinking I'll buy myself new boots once it arrives. (I'm also almost at enough for a $25 PayPal credit from Swagbucks, woohooo!) I'm also getting some surprise cash back on my Bank of America credit card (should be around $8-9, if all goes well), which is nice. Have some dollars that will be going into my Extra Money bucket at the end of the month as well Smile

That's it for now, I think!

Day After Christmas...and First Post!

December 26th, 2013 at 04:15 pm

I don't need a new blog. I really don't. I have a fairly successful lifestyle blog and a travel blog I am way behind on updating. But I've been following various blogs as well as the forums on SavingAdvice.com for a few months now. I need a place to keep myself accountable. I tried to do a budget and weekly spending on my lifestyle blog, but it was too much detail for that crowd. They want tips, not the data behind it.

So here I am. I'll start this blog by outlining my money situation:

I have a checking account, a savings account with Capital One 360, and three credit cards (but I only use the Bank of America Travel Rewards now).

I have a part-time job at home, and will be getting one when I go back to school (just need to be trained and start working).

I do lots of little money things: MyPoints, Swagbucks, Bing Rewards, Amazon Mechanical Turk, QMee, Ebates, and a few more. I participated in a study for money and will consider doing it again. I try to sell old things. I pick up any dime, nickel, or penny I find.

I do have debt. I am twenty years old, and I have $13,272.77 in student loans. I will definitely have more by the time I graduate in three semesters. I know it could be a lot worse, but I hate it.

I have quite a few expensive hobbies and interests: travel, historical costumes, photography, sewing, books, movies. It's a problem. I have a tendency to make a lot of money and then spend it all on a huge trip or purchase...not that I regret any of them, but it does deplete my savings.

That is me, specifically my money, in a nut shell. Smile