Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Savings Itch

All of you peeps may (or may not) have noticed that I increased the number of “savings bars” on the right side of the page. Well, I have the savings itch and I just can’t help it! Watching your savings grow is sooo delicious – it’s like eating a warm Krispy Kreme right off the conveyor belt (trust me, it’s awesome). There is just so much to save for!! I really want to have my own little house one day, and I am missing Europe SO MUCH right now – I can’t believe that it’s been nearly four years since I was over there.


Now…you may also notice that several of the bars are at 0%, and that is for two reasons:

1. M and I are doing really well on our budget this month…but as we all know, you pay for last month’s bills when you put everything on a credit card. SO, we won’t be able to start our savings binge until April.

2. I have no clue what savings account(s) to open. The house and travel funds will start with minor funding and eventually be emptied out, so it needs to be an account without a balance requirement. AND I want both accounts to be those loverly “high-interest online savings accounts.”

Does anyone know what is the best online account to open? One of my co-workers has one with e*trade, but that’s because she already has an e*trade account.
Well-Heeled and some other PF bloggers seem to like ING, but I’ve also heard good things about HSBC. Anyone have a suggestion? M and my dad really haven’t looked into these kinds of accounts, so I’m on my own figuring it all out – which is fine, I just want to be pointed in the right direction! So, advice welcome.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Last night I went over to a friend’s place for “craft night” – we watched Enchanted and knitted, painted and quilted. Amazing! I love those feel-good (and cheap) nights with friends. So much fun. Tomorrow M gets paid, and I’ll see how well I planned out the end/beginning-of-the-month finances. Hopefully it’ll go off without a snag. We’re going to carry a little bit of my credit card’s balance over, just so we have a cushion. Not my favorite thing to do, but oh well. Like I said, we’re doing much better this month.

So, if anyone has any advice or experience with online savings accounts, please leave a comment! Thanks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


All things considered, today was a pretty normal Tuesday. I woke up feeling tired, since M and I stayed up watching The Hills last night (I hate hate HATE that show but M wanted to watch it. Don't ask.). I quickly showered and did nothing with my hair, which resulted in a very bad hair day. I couldn't find anything I wanted to wear and I ended up getting to work late. Again.

Work was S-L-O-W and I was bored for most of the day. Thankfully, my coworkers are hilarious and entertained me during lunch...and then some coworkers and I got coffee during the afternoon. So that was fun. However, Tuesdays mean Anatomy class - which usually isn't so bad, but I just wasn't feeling it tonight.

I get to class and we get our last test back - 109 out of 109. This cheers me up significantly, but I'm still feeling grumpy. I tell the girl who sits next to me that I'm tired, and she says, "Oh, I know - I'm going on 48 right now..." I have to clarify...because
surely she doesn't mean 48 hours without sleep. Right? Well, it turns out that is exactly what she means. With two jobs, four classes and a two-year-old, she's beyond burning the candle at both ends.

Suddenly I feel sheepish. I've been whining all day (to myself, but still) about getting up, bad hair, going to class, having to study, etc. - and she hasn't SLEPT in two days. Later on in class we're talking about her classes and she asks if I'm only taking this class. When I respond with a "yes," she goes on to say "well it's no wonder you get A's!" Once again, the sheepishness. I've been really proud of my high grades in this class, but it's true - I'm working full-time, but this is my only commitment. I don't have a child or a million things going on in my life. I'm worried about money and class and getting into nursing school - but I'm so LUCKY. I have an amazing husband, a great work environment, a pretty kitty and loving family. I'm healthy and we are on track to get out of debt.

Sometimes, you need perspective to smack you in the face so you can just chill and be grateful.

So that's what I'm doing tonight.

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Madness

Happy Monday everyone!!! That was for K. I personally do not approve of Mondays…but since they keep coming, I guess I should be somewhat nice to them.

I live in ACC country (and attended an ACC school), so am fully vested in the NCAA tournament. I was planning on only filling out a free bracket online with my old roommate’s family, but then I got roped into the office pool. Now, I know $5 is not a lot of money – but it’s a day’s lunch, or a skein of yarn (or two) or a pair of shoes from Rack Room Outlet! I mean…I’m just being practical here. Although I was unwilling to put my $5 in the pot, I must admit it makes work much more interesting when your boss shouts down the hall that she’s in the lead! Soooo I guess it’s ok.

March Madness doesn’t only refer to the crazy and unpredictable action of the NCAA tournament (DAVIDSON?? Seriously peeps, I’m proud of you and everything, but you seriously messed up my bracket.) – it also refers to the fact that M and I are trying really hard to get on track with our budget. We are sooooo close – and as I shared in an earlier post, I obsessively checked online and I think we’ll be OK this month.

However, there are some interesting things that came to light this weekend. M and I were at my parent’s house for the holiday weekend, and somehow I got on the subject of planning a trip to Europe. Don’t roll your eyes! I know we are in debt and have very lofty financial goals…but I thought that if we just put a bit of money aside every month, in a few years we would be able to go abroad. Well, that turned into Mike telling me that he would like to own a house by then (as in, within four years). The whole idea sounds very normal – I mean, he would be over 30 at that point – but it just seems very scary…and very unattainable. I’ve read some other PF blogs about people taking that leap, and it scares me for them!! It’s just a really adult thing to do.

Also, talking about this “Four-Year Plan” brought up another thing. Babies. M and I have talked about kids in the general…as in “oh, that baby is cute! Oh, that baby has giant ears! Ooooooh, that baby is scary!!” We’ve also talked “timetable” – such as…not now. With me leaning towards nursing school…it will definitely be a few more years (we hope) until we hear the little pitter-patter of feet. But, we don’t talk about it so much…and that’s ok. However, I realized with all this time talk that I was thinking about a five-year plan when it came to kids. Holy crap! It seems like we have a LOT of financial planning to do!

So yeah – that was my nutty weekend! I also re-learned how to knit, and started a quilt! I have a ton on my plate right now, but that’s how I like it. AND, my boss just came around with our paychecks! Yippie!!!

How was everyone else’s weekend??

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cutting Cable = Joy!

When the boy and I lived at our old apartment, we got drastically reduced cable and internet - thanks to the fact that he worked for the company that was renting us the place. Well, when he changed jobs and we moved to our new and bigger apt., we couldn't get the deal anymore...which was tragic since the bill came to $130 a month. For just cable and internet!! Now to be honest, we had gotten digital cable and DVR at our old apartment, which is not only fantastic (PAUSING shows, SKIPPING commercials, RECORDING shows with the push of a button - OMG), but addicting as well. So, we had to overcome that addiction and say goodbye.

Also, as a side note, may I say that Time Warner Cable sucks??

So M went to the cable place and returned the digital receiver...and told them we wanted basic cable (like, the $11 per month kind with 14 channels) and a slower (and cheaper) internet. Lovely! At first, we didn't even notice the change in internet speed (it's slightly slower), and the cable company still has not gotten rid of all our channels (we still get HBO, Discovery, MTV, CNN, etc.). However, the new rate didn't kick in the first month (stupid TWC), but now we have a $60 credit! Woot!

Not paying the outrageous cable bill is really helping our budget. AND, not paying the bill at all this month (or next) really helps us out too! Not to mention that TV is a complete brain-drain. Seriously. There were multiple evenings when M and I would sit in front of the TV for a few hours and then comment how "I can't remember one thing that we watched tonight" on our way to bed. Yeah - awful.

So, cutting cable is an amazing thing. You don't need digital cable and DVR (although it is great to rewind LOST to catch those "easter eggs"), use your VCR! And, ummmm, as an English major I have to tote the complete awesomeness of BOOKS. And hey, you can read those at the library (or at your local bookstore - once I read the entire Third Summer of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants at Borders/Barnes and Noble - don't judge, it's a great book!) - for FREE.

Anyway, what it comes down to is simplifying and enriching your life, and cutting cable did both of those things! Less TV = Joy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Type A + Online Banking

So, I'm a first-born. That doesn't automatically make me a type-A personality, but I am one so whatever. Anyway. I'm sure the person that invented online banking thought it would be a swanky idea - Get all your bills in one place! Oh, the convenience! The problem is the gives us Type-A's something (else) to obsess over.

Example: This morning I was thinking about money (again) and wanted to check in on the checking account - BTW, it's my joint checking account, and I'll rant about that some other time - and so I went online. My innocent checking-in-on-the-finances turned into an obsessive play-by-play for the next few weeks. I wanted to see if we would be OK this month, even though BOTH our credit cards are ridiculously high. Thankfully, we will. I won't be able to put as much into savings as I wanted...but at least the cards won't carry a balance.

On a credit note, I am very proud of my spending this month - only $26 on the credit card so far! Granted, gas is unbelievably high and I'll have to fill up the car when we go home for Easter - but still. I'm excited!

::cough cough COUGH::

I still have that cold. No me gusta.

Anyway, I'm off - I have to go home and study study study for my test tomorrow. YAY cells, tissues, DNA & RNA!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Waiting's 5:15 p.m. on a Friday, and I am still at work. Yup. I'm waiting for a press proof to arrive so I can grab it and then hand-deliver said proof to my boss. Who left for the day.

I now know how my friend feels who works at an advertising firm...only she is there until the wee hours of the morning! Not cool.

Anyways...I am very excited about this whole blog thing, even though my friend K. says that "Blogs are so 2002" - I am not amused. My significant other was wondering if the Blog's name would be "Dani Dorko" - also not cool!!! Sheesh. Give a sistah a break here.


I HATE COLDS! Even when they get you out of work for a day ... and you get to stay home and wander around in a Sudafed delirium...wear your robe all day...and talk to the cat. I like my cat.

BUT, back to waiting. I do not like to wait. For anything. Patience is not a virtue I've mastered...which could be the reason why I got married at 23. I always want the next get over that next hurdle. On Monday, I always wish it was the end of the day, so I can get home to M and D. Actually, I just want it to be Friday!

Even though today is Friday, I'm thinking about Tuesday - I have a test in Anatomy class on Tuesday and I haven't started studying yet. Blech!

Yuppers...Still waiting for that proof...

Maybe I'll go play a puzzle until it comes...hopefully soon.

BTW, Happy Pi Day!!