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Archive for May, 2014

May Budget & Anticipated Earnings

May 8th, 2014 at 08:18 pm

Sooo I finally did my May budget today! I also like to have an anticipated earnings spread so I can see if I'm making money or breaking even, so to speak. This is probably more detail than anyone needs to know, but posting it online makes me feel like you guys are keeping me accountable xD

Paying my loan interest is last on my list of priorities--sadly, it's not going anywhere. $750 of the debt is my portion of our last month's rent, which was effectively the deposit on our department. My dad paid for it because I'm currently lacking a checkbook, so once mine comes in I'm taking the $750 from where it's been sitting in my savings account. It does mean only about $390 of my budget is out-of-pocket this month.

The transport category is blech and I am the least happy about it. I calculated it based on how many times I have to go in and out of the city for my internship and on-campus job (18 times overall). Each time I go in or out, the easiest, fastest way is to take the train ($6) and then the subway ($2). That's $16 roundtrip. Ick, ick, ick. I've been exploring other options--there is a bus & subway combo for $2.50, but it more than doubles the commute time, which means I would have to leave at about 6:30 am. We shall see >.<

I'm expecting around $521 this month in earnings between my various pay days, ideally selling items as I declutter, gifts, and PayPal money from Swagbucks. I'm working two (very) part-time jobs in May, a tour guide at school and a retail job. As unpleasant as it is, I'm going to try and pick up as many hours as possible...I grabbed an extra hour today at my tour guide job and I'm going into the store an hour early tomorrow.

I love doing my budget...until I go and look at the numbers. Does anyone else have that issue?

New Apartment Stuff & Organization

May 3rd, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Today was a good day--spent time with family and friends, it was Free Comic Book Day, and my cat is sleeping on my feet right now. I've had the last few days off, after coming home from school Thursday night. Tomorrow I need to organize my life before it gets crazy again on Monday. (I'm working two jobs in May--the part-time retail I've had since high school and the tour guide position I got this year--before camp starts in mid-June.)

Organization. It's one of those things I aspire to but often fail at...this blog is case in point. I'm great at organizing books, filling out my agenda, and getting my work done on time. Everything else I fail at, even though clutter stresses me out. I get very attached to things and it often feels bad to let material things go...it's something I'm working on. But besides actually doing a budget for the rest of May and mapping out the next few weeks and writing some late birthday thank yous, I want to tackle at least one shelf or drawer tomorrow!

One of the things I've been a little obsessed with lately is the apartment for next year. I'm sad to be done with dorms but excited to be moving on. It's also been a bit stressful, both while we were searching (with four girls, there were a lot of differing criteria) and now that we've signed (I won't go into them, because I'm hoping those issues can be worked out soon). My room, which we drew straws for, is the second smallest at 11x9, with a small closet...it's still bigger than my room at home and I'm kind of excited for the organization challenge!

Currently, my rent is $750 a month (that may be changing a little given one of the issues we're having...we'll see.) I'm responsible for my food, transportation, school expenses, and any entertainment or other personal expenses. My parents said they would pay up to $1000 a month for rent and utilities, but I'm hoping to cover utilities if I can, and if I have any surplus money I hope to pay for a month or two. (I paid $750 for last month's rent already...we lucked out and didn't have a security deposit or other fees.)

I'm a little torn between splurging on nice, uniform furniture items that I can use in a future apartment, or mixing and matching what I can find and dealing with the fact that it might not look so nice. Currently, I'm leaning toward the latter.

One of the most expensive things was promising to be the bed. I didn't want to take my mattress from home because I do plan on coming back a few times a month (my laundry is more expensive than on-campus and I often miss my cat) as well as a few weeks at Christmas so I can work. My parents have an old-ish full-size futon that is in the den, and they said I could have it if it was comfortable enough. Last night I put it to the test. With my twin-size egg crate and mattress topper it's actually not too bad, and my twin xl comforter surprisingly fits perfectly. My parents said I can borrow two or three of their queen-size sheet sets.

I was a little apprehensive and I'm going to give it a few more nights, but I think this will work! Dad said he'd help me design and make a bed frame that can fit storage underneath, and I figure if I end up feeling uncomfortable I can buy a new mattress pad (I found one with good reviews on Overstock for about $60) or get a camping pad or something. And my cat seems to like it...he's been sleeping on it all day!

Does anyone have advice for college apartment living? Sleeping on a futon? Clever storage ideas? I'd love to hear them!