27 September 2013

& Onto Baby Step 2

As you know, I am doing Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps to get myself out of debt.


I had a modified version:

STEP 1: $500 in an emergency fund

STEP 1.5: Save up for and buy a mattress (since I'm sleeping on an air mattress)

then continued as Mr. Ramsey has it.

I'm glad to say that the first two steps of my plan are DONE, thanks to a generous gift from a couple friends of mine and hard work at saving extraneous cash from my income. It took about a month, when I had projected it would take 6 weeks.

I got my mattress today and it is fabulous. It's a memory foam so I'll sleep amazingly on it. Thank you so much guys!

The past week I've been petsitting for two adorable dogs (Cody and Charlie) and an elusive kitty (JoJo), walked my favorite pit bull, Bodhi, and I have two more jobs in the first half of October.

Being on track on my financial plan and getting started on Baby Step 2 a whole two weeks early feels amazing. I can't even begin to express the appreciation I have for my friends who simply want me to have a good night's rest. 

Now I can focus on my debt snowball.

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22 September 2013

On friendship

This may make me sound like a sullen teenager, but I know I'm not the only one who has thought about who truly cares. If I were to get in an accident tomorrow who would come visit me at the hospital?

One of life's ongoing lessons is learning who your true friends are. As you grow in and out of phases of your life, some friends phase out as well. I've now learned that sometimes friends are there for only a short time, to get you through that part of your life, and are meant to leave. But it's always hard to know who's always going to be there.

When I was a freshman in college, I asked a new friend if she thought we'd be friends forever. She said she did, and we have been ever since. (Love you Steph)

When I walked into my high school sophomore German class, I had no idea the impact Charlie would make on my life. He's been an amazing friend for 8 years.

Caty has helped me tremendously by selflessly getting me on the right track with my finances, even though she has a husband, a toddler, and a baby ninja on the way.

As adults, we need to stand on our own, and when life knocks us off our asses, that's when we'll find out who will lay down with you in the grass and bitch about men (Brittany, Little), distract you with humor (Riley, Zairy & Eric), hold you while you cry like a toddler (more people than I can count...) or who will give you a hard dose of reality that you need to hear (Scott, Nathan).

I could go on and on and on with people who have impacted my life, especially over the last 6 months, so please don't be offended if you're not on this list. If I listed everyone I love, this post would be so long and probably still incomplete.

But my point is, your friends aren't there to support you all the time. The truest friends aren't always the ones you talk to everyday, but they're the ones that you can pick up the phone and it'll be like no time has passed.

"Don't chase people; BE YOU. Do your own thing and work hard. The right people who belong in your life will come to you, and stay." - Unknown

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19 September 2013

Budget: 20 September

Recap of the 5 September payperiod:

Click to zoom

I pretty much outlined everything in this post here but there were some adjustments after everything posted. You'll notice I did make budget, even with my miscellaneous expenses, which is the goal. Had some nice tips for petsitting as well. And check out that E-Fund balance!

20 September payperiod:

Click to Zoom

I am so ready to be done with this damage deposit and get started attacking my debt with snowballs.


Thanks to Past Zoe, I only have $74.64 to pay for the deposit for rent.

I did add a "cleaning supplies" temporary budget I may or may not use because I really need a broom, vacuum, and a swiffer. We had a dust storm and I wasn't home to close my windows. With that and just basic living, my floors are icky.

Everything else is pretty standard and falling into a routine. Hooray!


With multiple petsitting jobs supplementing my income, this recently tight payperiod is going to have a pretty decent cash flow. My holiday pay for Labor Day will be on this check as well. Make it rain!!


I'm ALMOST THERE with my Emergency Fund. I'll project what my EF balance should be after I get paid. It makes it easier and is less of a headache. Mattress fund probably won't get any love until the 5 October check.


It's the Loan Payperiod, so standard minimum payments across the board.

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18 September 2013

Slowly but surely

Patience is a virtue that I do not possess. I'm surprise myself daily on how patient I can be. For example, I just waited two hours at Starbucks (before moving to the library) to download iOS7. I was reading during that time and just got bored and wanted to blog, but me sitting still is as easy as keeping a toddler still. It doesn't happen often.

So this whole new life has been kind of a Patient Project for me. I play it like a game of willpower. I'm competitive, so it works. Plus the competition is me rather than someone else. I was always best at individual sports.

I could go thrift shopping, blow my budget, and buy every piece of furniture or DIY supply that I need for my apartment. But if I do that, I won't be able to get the furniture I really want. I won't be able to have the satisfaction of seeing my debt balance decrease for that month. Opportunity cost seriously keeps me in check.

My patience has been rewarded greatly, though. I've gotten three new petsitting clients and 3 stays booked for the month of October. Profits from those will come in handy for my Emergency Fund and partially for my upcoming trip to Seattle in November.

There's so many things I want to do right now. I guess that's what happens when you have a fresh start in life. So many possibilities and opportunities. Just gotta take it one step at a time. Pinterest helps too. It's almost like doing it in real life, right??

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11 September 2013

Budget: 5 September

It's been a BUSY BUSY couple of weeks for me. Petsitting has been booming and I haven't had any energy to even breathe, much less blog. Hopefully I can get these posts out before and after the payperiod begins so it'll be more consistent, instead of in the middle like it is now.

Here's a quick recap of the 20 August payperiod:

Click to zoom
As you may remember, this month was pretty tight with that damage deposit eating away my Emergency Fund savings money. I did make a choice to spend the $108.70 profit on that damage deposit so I'll only need to pay $74.64 (saved from the 5 Sept paycheck, see below) for the last installment. I still made off with an $11 profit, due to a petsitting tip and extra dollar left over, so in the E-Fund account it went.

The motorcycle permit renewal was budgeted, but I was misinformed when I called and it cost me an extra $12.

5 September payperiod:

Click to zoom


I would've been screwed had I not cut a few breaks (YAY) on my utilities and phone bills.

Food/household I went over just a LITTLE bit with my grocery shopping. Damn it. It could've been much, much worse. I had priced out a trash can and pillows (necessities) for around $46. Walmart is about 12 miles away, so I went to the local Bi-Mart to check if they had the same for equal or cheaper prices. There was a trashcan I wanted that was the exact same I had found at Walmart and SCORE: it was 46 cents CHEAPER and came with a smaller trash can I can use for my guest room when it gets established. But when I went to the register, it was $10 more...they had forgotten to take the sign off. I did get the sale price, though. Always check your receipts folks!

I FINALLY had some money to play around with. Hooray! I got two of these awesome bike lights because I keep almost getting hit at this one intersection on my route home from work. No way will they not see me with these bad boys.

I also got some knives for my kitchen, because cutting a tomato with a butter knife is messy and NOT FUN.

One way to save money on your method of transportation (for me, it's my scooter and bicycle, for others, it may be a car) is to maintain it...so when I looked at my mileage today and realized I haven't changed the oil on my scooter since it was 1500 miles (now sitting at about 4500....), I need to change the oil this week. So $4.66 went to a pan at Ace Hardware.

Another savings tip: learn to change your own oil. It takes just as long (if not shorter) than taking it in. And it's way cheaper. Have a handy friend show you.


The fun part. Getting paid! Only -- as you can see -- my paycheck was a little smaller than expected. Not to worry, I had plenty of petsitting jobs I knew I'd break even, if not have some profit. With tips and an extra, surprise job, I raked in an extra $35. SWEET.


Since all my bills haven't posted just yet, I can't determine exactly how much I'll be putting into savings, BUT it will be a significant amount, which is GOOD because I need $500 in the E-Fund before I can start the debt snowball.

My Mattress Fund got started, so progress is slowly being made there.


Click to zoom
Doing the debt snowball means paying from lowest balance to highest, so I switched the names of Dentist 1 and Dentist 2 due to the change in balance.

I haven't been able to call Dentist 2 to get a final total after the insurance drop, but it's estimated around $1200. Way better than the $3000 I thought I was facing just for that bill!!

I did start making minimum payments this month, with the exception of Simba, who is patiently waiting for October because he rocks (thanks, Sim).

Even though it's only $25 a month for each, it's exciting to see it go down even by that much! My debt free (aside from loans) projected date just by minimum payments is 1 July, 2014. But since it's a "snowball", you throw all your extra income at the debt you're working on at the time. So I'll be free around February, which isn't all that bad.

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(P.S. Yes, the budget is color coded. Makes it more fun to look at, don't you think?)

02 September 2013


I'm always asked where I get my strength. Thank god it's inherited.

Te amo mucho mama. Ser fuerte.

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01 September 2013

Chin up, buttercup

One thing I learned pretty quickly in my adult life was the importance of attitude. Whether you choose to have a positive attitude or negative attitude can seriously affect your life circumstances. Guess what...listen really closely....

(The only thing constant in life is change.)

Change isn't always easy right away...and it certainly can suck in the moment. I'm not particularly religious, but I do believe there is a reason for everything. Life is one big adventurous lesson waiting to unfold the moment we're born. Those lessons get harder as we get older. Especially when we reach teenage and early adulthood.

I've been going through a ton of change in the last month; pretty much in every way imaginable. But even with the bad, I'm glad to be learning these particular lessons now while I'm young and I only need to take care of myself, rather than having dependents and my decisions affect more than just me.

Either you can make the change or life can throw you a curveball and make change happen. How you deal with it is really the key to being happy when the world seems to be crashing down around you (again).

I could sit and gripe about how unfair my life is, but I don't think it is that unfair. Terrible things have happened to me, yes, and sometimes it gets the best of me, but for the most part, I'm pretty fortunate.

The bad times lead to some really good times, just like these "bad" times (they're not THAT bad...) are leading to some great times. Why? Because I say so.

make life happen

So while I may not have furniture, internet, extra money, fancy things, or whatever, at least I have an apartment (of my own, with no roommates), a good job I like, food in my fridge (most days), amazing friends and family who love me, and a plan.

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