April Budget

Rent: $1050 / 1050
Cells: $0 / 120
Food: $198 / 200 (as of 4/10)
Drugstore: $20 / 20
Debt: $1139 / 1139
Gas: $30 / 40
Total = $2384 / 2569

Currently in Checking: $389 (already put May's rent in joint checking & gave bf May payment --$1750)

I have $132 left in expenses this month, and $1750 in expenses next month before I get my summer financial aid. That means I'll need $1882. So I'll have a buffer of $257.

I'm also going to put some stuff up for sale on ebay next week, so I should have some extra money from that as well. :)
Outside Budget Purchase Tracking:
Week 1 Total (ending 4/9) = $211 (already subtracted from checking total)
Week 2 Total (ending 4/14) = $250 (already subtracted from checking total)
I can spend no more than $250 from 4/15-5/29.
$25 MPRE Book -- returning, they sent me wrong edition
$60 Credit card payment (I put my MPRE registration on there)
$40 Toaster oven baking set + toaster oven mat
$8 Manga
$50 MPRE book

April Goals

Spring Break Goals, 4/4-4/12 (I can't wait for my week off!!! But... the school cut down our reading period (making it, oh, 3 days :p), so this basically is the only solid block of time I'll get to study for finals. Classes end 4/23, and my first final is 4/29. SIGH -_-)

  • Finish memo
  • Get completely caught up on W&T reading
  • Read E&E for Marital Property
  • Read MPRE Review to prepare for EL exam
  • Go to the gym or yoga every day
  • Put things up for sale on ebay
  • Scrub the bathroom and kitchen
  • Apply to any semi-desirable jobs
Goals for the rest of April
  • Devote one full day to studying every week (M, F, or weekend).
  • Feel like I'm on top of the material for all my classes by the end of the month.
  • Go to yoga (at least) 1x/week
  • Go to the gym (at least) 2x/week
  • Do some type of exercise for 30 mins daily - Wii Fit, DDR, exercise bike, biking, running
  • Continue to only spend $200 on food.
  • Continue to check job postings 1x/week.
  • Continue following skin and teeth regimen.
  • Go to the gynecologist... once I find one I like.

Review of March Goals

  1. Devote one full day to studying every week (M, F, or weekend).
  2. Devote several hours every Friday to reviewing my notes.
  3. Study for and take MPRE.DONE
  4. Prepare for and complete interview portion of Ethical Lawyering (25% of grade).
  5. DONE
  6. Feel like I'm on top of the material for all my classes by the end of the month.
  1. Go to yoga (at least) 1x/week
  2. Go to the gym (at least) 2x/week
  3. Do some type of exercise for 30 mins daily - Wii Fit, DDR, exercise bike, biking, running
  4. Start tracking my exercise/eating habits in my fitness blog again.
  1. Call and/or write Macy's and Capital One re: removing negative marks from credit reports. DONE
  2. Sell a few purses on Ebay.
  3. Only spend $200 on food! DONE
  4. Check job postings 1x/week. DONE
  1. Go to Lenscrafters and get an eye exam (I have a free coupon!). DONE
  2. Buy new contacts. DONE
  3. Continue following skin and teeth regimen. DONE
  4. Go to the gynecologist... once I find one I like.
I still need to get on top of things with school, and I HAVE to start exercising... but otherwise I feel like I got a lot accomplished this month. And spring break is next week, so I have time to get the rest of this stuff finished. :)

We Want to Buy a House

That's the reason I haven't yet paid off the car. I've wondering if the money is better served going back to our down payment account. Paying off the car won't help my credit score; it'll just save me money in interest.

M and I have talked about this extensively, and I've done my research (Miss M's posts on first time homebuyers have also been really helpful :)).

My thought is that I shouldn't be on the mortgage, unless circumstances change. As it is, I will maybe have a good credit score (when the credit reporting agencies take into account that my cards have been paid off, and when Macy's/Capital One removes the negative marks-- but that's a long shot), but my income is pathetic (8k/yr). I've read that unmarried couples' applications are treated differently than married couples, in that each application is run separately. I'm pretty sure my lack of income will drag us down. On his own, M can qualify for a 600k mortgage. I'm sure that, later down the line, I can be added to the title.

Of course, if I go back to working full-time in the next couple months, then things can be different. And that is the goal (or at least a well-paid part-time position). I think I've recovered from my burn-out and am ready to tackle full-time work/school again. But if we find something too good to pass up before then, we'll go for it.

We're looking in the 400-550k range. I know that seems like a lot, but it's very much on the low side around here. It's a very nice area (well, for LA :p), and within walking distance of M's job. 400k would be ideal, because the mortgage (including property tax) would be $100 less per month then what we're paying now.

M's job is very stable (untouchable even; and he has another job offer waiting on the table, one that will remain open for the next year) and he has a large amount of money already saved up (and he's going to continue saving over the next 6 months, which is when we're going to kick the search into high gear). I'm going to focus on saving for the closing costs (at least half - 3k-6k). He's going to supply the down payment (20%), and I will eventually give him back half of that. (But in the meantime, I'll draw up paperwork stating that he owns more of the house -- I use the term "house" loosely; we can't get more than a condo for the price we want to pay)

I have a friend who bought a place a few years ago, and she's given me the name of her mortgage broker and realtor. I'm not sure whether we'll go through a traditional realtor or Redfin; I have to read up on Redfin a bit more.

I think I've covered all the bases there... I feel a bit weird using the term "we" when it's really M who's supplying all the up-front money. I will of course be paying half of the mortgage every month. And I only have a little over a year left until graduation; I'm looking to get my money's worth out of the J.D. (And yes, a year and 8 months until I start paying back my loans. But since all my consumer debt will be paid off by then, I can handle it)

Our lease expires in June, so we're thinking about looking for a 6 month lease. If that fails, a year; either way, the cheapest we can get (to help with the savings). Maybe we can negotiate a sublease provision. What are other ways to safely, quickly, and cheaply get out of a lease (in the event we find a house before the lease is up)?

Update on Debt Progress, Take 2

As you can see from my sidebar, my credit card debt is now ZERO, and I've added the new loan from my bf. Update: I went ahead and paid off the car loan. Since our house buying is looking to be many months away, we decided it was worth it. :)

Braces: $2005

  • Payment - $439/mo
  • Done 7/1/09
Loan from Bf #1: $10000
  • Payment - Now nothing; will increase to $1439/mo starting 8/1/10
  • Done 1/1/11
Loan from Bf #2: $17015
  • Payment - Now $700/mo; will increase to $1439/mo starting 8/1/09
  • Done 6/1/10
Student Loans: ~$177758
  • Payment - Now nothing; will increase to ~$1400/mo starting 11/10
  • Done... ???

Book Giveaway - Final Reminder

You ladies have until 11 a.m. PST tomorrow (Friday, March 27th) to send me your addresses! My e-mail is debtchronicles@hotmail.com. (Or if you don't want the book (Captain Freedom) anymore, let me know!)

If I don't hear from you by then, I'll have to pick two new winners (I have one back-up person who already e-mailed me). So if anyone else out there is interested in being a back-up, go ahead and e-mail me too! :)

Credit Limit Reduced!

I didn't think Bank of America would do it to me, but I was wrong. My oldest credit card that, up until yesterday, had an $8500 limit, now has a $5000 limit!! I have been using the card every month (to keep it active), but I also pay off the balance within 20 days... I guess they didn't like the fact they weren't making any interest off of me. I wonder how much of a hit my credit score will take as a result?

I also wonder if when I pay off my Visa they'll slash the limit there too?

Tax Refund - Woo-hoo!

What with all of California's budget issues, and all the talk of IOUs coming in the mail rather than refunds, I kind of wasn't counting on getting my state refund for a long, long time.

But I was wrong - it popped up in my account today! :) That should make up for my budget deficit. Yay!

Book Giveaway Winners Reminder!

Could you ladies please e-mail me at debtchronicles@hotmail.com? :) Then I can get your copies of Captain Freedom sent out. Please get back to me by Friday, March 27th! Thanks!

Goals for this week, 3/23 - 3/29

I took care of most of my goals last week... except for the ones that had to do with school or exercise. :p I'm going to really focus on those goals this week!
: Mail out letters & go to bank DONE; Study for W&T (1p-4p); Prepare for EL Interview, begin memo (4:30p-6p); Go to class (6p-7:30p); Prepare for EL Interview with partner OR continue studying for W&T (7:30p-9:30p); Go to grocery store (10p-10:30p); Exercise (10:50-11:35); Continue studying for W&T (11:35p-1a)

Tues: Exercise for 1 hr; Continue working on EL memo (10:30p-12:30p)

Wed: Pick up dry cleaning; Continue working on EL memo OR studying for W&T (8p-12p)

Thurs: Exercise for 1 hr

Fri: Exercise for 1 hr; Continue working on EL memo OR studying for W&T (12p-10p)

Sat: ?

Sun: Yoga; Continue working on EL memo OR studying for W&T OR studying for MP (11a-10p)

Debt... Evolved

I really wasn't sure what to call this post. Debt transformed? I thought about "Debt, no more!" but that's not accurate (I wish!).

It's really a wonderful thing, but makes me feel a bit queasy at the same time. I'll try to explain...

While we were walking to the grocery store this afternoon, M casually mentioned that he should just pay off my credit card debt and car loan, and then I could just make payments to him. No more interest charges, and a boost in credit score. My immediate reaction was "no, no, no" and we stopped talking about it.

A few hours later, as I was looking at my debt repayment plan, I started thinking how much better I'd feel if the debt was wiped away from the creditors, and the payments were going to M. I did a bit of number crunching, figured out how much I'd save on the interest, and then typed up an e-mail to him with what I'd come up with (while he was in the other room playing games online with his friends).

We talked about the e-mail this evening, discussed the pros and cons, and we ended with him writing me a check - for the entire amount of my consumer debt.

I looked into the legal implications of him giving me the money. He was very "whatever" about the whole thing, but I wanted to give him something in writing. I stated that it was a "demand loan" (he can demand the whole thing at anytime), that I was solvent at the time he made the loan, and that my net investment income is less than $1000 (all true). Hopefully, this will protect him from having to pay any kind of tax. (Please correct me if I'm wrong!)

So, like I said, it's wonderful. He's generous and wonderful. And I feel queasy and a bit like I want to cry. I already owe him (a lot) of money. Yes, we've been together a long time, we live together, we have a joint account. Yes, there is no doubt in my mind that this loan will be paid back within a year. No, he's not going to make me his indentured servant. Yes, this will be somewhat helpful to us both (my credit score will no longer be a hindrance in getting a new apartment). No, this doesn't hurt him financially.

Having said all that, I still feel like... I don't know... a bad person. Wretched. Unequal. I want to be the one writing out the checks, helping him get out of debt. But he has zero debt (and likely never will... other than a mortgage, somewhere down the line), and I'm like a poor, sad sack with debt up to my ears.

I should be happy, and I am happy, in a way, and I'll be happier tomorrow... but right now, I just feel kind of sorry for myself.

Anyway... I'll be depositing the check on Monday. I'm not sure when it'll go through, but whenever it does, I'll be making my payments the same day, and then updating all my sidebars.

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts... if you think the whole thing is a bad idea (legally, for him), I would really appreciate the input.

Eye Expenses & Lasik

I had to bite the bullet today and order a 6 month supply of contact lenses. My eyes are really sensitive (just like my skin - thanks for the great genes, dad!), and with all the contacts I've tried, I've routinely suffered from dryness, itchiness, redness... you name it. But I think I've found a brand that will help - Acuvue Oasys. I've been wearing them for a week and so far they've felt comfortable (and I can remove them at the end of the day without hassle - it's really unpleasant when the contacts stick to your eyeballs!). Unfortunately, they're pretty expensive.

The total came out to $283 (with free shipping and two discounts). That's $566 per year... 4 years of that would be the price of Lasik. (I also have to update my glasses prescription every 2 years, so there's another $300ish)

I have briefly considered doing Lasik... but I'm really not sure. I have to do more research... it's possible my eyes are too bad to fully correct. Also, I kind of like being able to switch between glasses/no glasses. I can change up my look a bit.

If I was going to do it, it would have to be between now and next May. Are there any cons to Lasik that any of you are aware of?

Free Kindle Books

I got an e-mail from Amazon today advertising a promotion from Random House... 5 free e-books! I'm hoping this happens often, because it'll save me a ton of money. And I'll get to read books I normally wouldn't have picked up!

These are the free books:

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Red Mars by Stanley Robinson

More reasons to buy a kindle! :)

Update: Little Miss Moneybags told me that you can download these books (and many more) for free (in PDF format) at this site.

She also stated that the Kindle can't handle PDFs, which is not true... at least for the Kindle 2. However, the functionality is still at the "experimental" stage... the PDFs are converted, and they may not all format correctly. I haven't tried this out yet; I'll update my review once I have.

Here's the info straight from Amazon:
Kindle makes it easy to take your personal documents with you, eliminating the need to print. Each Kindle has a unique and customizable e-mail address. You can set your unique email address on your Manage Your Kindle page. This allows you and your approved contacts to e-mail Word, PDF documents, and pictures wirelessly to your Kindle for a small per document fee--currently only 10¢ per document. Kindle supports wireless delivery of unprotected Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files.

You can email your PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files may not format correctly on your Kindle.

If you are not in a wireless area or would like to avoid the fee, you can send attachments to "name"@free.kindle.com to be converted and e-mailed to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account login. You can then transfer the document to your Kindle using your USB connection. For example, if your Kindle email address is Jay@Kindle.com, send your attachments to Jay@free.kindle.com.

Book Giveaway Reminder - Winners!

I still have two copies of Captain Freedom left to give away, so please leave a comment if you'd like one! :)

They're all gone! :)

Congrats to:

Could you e-mail me at debtchronicles (at) hotmail.com with your address?

Goals for this week, 3/16 - 3/22

I didn't get as much done as I wanted this past weekend, so I'm going to lay down specific goals for this week and next weekend in order to (hopefully) get everything finished up...

Mon: Study for W&T... get completely caught up on past reading; Exercise for 1 hour Failed! :( Hopefully I can get this finished on Friday/Sat.

Tues: Do assignment for EL

Wed: Do assignment for EL DONE Exercise for 1 hour Failed :(

Thurs: Exercise for 1 hour in the morning Failed :( No exercise so far this week!!

Fri: Go to follow-up eye exam DONE; Call dentist & reschedule filling DONE; Order contacts DONE; Go to drycleaners DONE & get pants & shirt repaired (ready to pick-up next week); Read for class & review notes; Put items up for sale on ebay; Make a Gyno appointment

Sat: Study for MP (9-2)

Sun: Start research for EL memo (9-1:30); Go to yoga (2-4)

Meal Plan

Last week's meal plan went pretty well... up until the end of the week, where it fell apart. (We didn't feel like cooking on Friday, M went to a party on Saturday, and I went to visit my mom yesterday)

I'm going to make a renewed effort this week! :) Kicking things off with stuffed peppers...


  • Asparagus and tofu stir fry
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Tilapia with bok choy
  • Stir fried chicken and asparagus
Red Meat
  • Take-out

Kindle Review

As of today, I've owned the Kindle for 2 weeks. I've finished reading one book on it. I've downloaded 2 books, and M has downloaded 1.

I think I've spent enough time with it now to give a more accurate review. I'm including the pros and cons I posted in my cursory review, and adding more to it. I bolded the features I thought were really useful.


  • E-ink - just like reading a real book (you can read it out in broad daylight too)
  • Free (and fast) wi-fi lets you download books on the go
  • Wide selection of books, newpapers, magazines, and some blogs
  • Amazing battery life (I've only charged it once since the initial start-up charge)
  • Light and thin (about the weight of a small-ish paperback) - it's easier to hold than a real book, because you don't have to turn the pages.
  • fits in your purse
  • basic internet browsing for free
  • plays MP3s (I haven't used this function yet -and probably never will, since I have my iphone- so I can't say too much about it...)
  • No more need for bookshelves; don't need to pack huge boxes of books when you move!
  • You have to pay for (almost) everything. (to make up for the wi-fi being free, I assume) You even have to pay for blogs.
  • White is the only color (this is a really minor con... and I assume they made it white so it would stand out? makes it easy to find in my purse, at least) - easily smudged... I somehow already got mine a little dirty!
  • Restricts your ability to share books with others
  • Does this weird "flash" when you turn the page - apparently it's the e-ink loading and it helps prolong battery life? It's a little distracting. - I got used to it.
It seems that Kindle books, on average, are $2 less than whatever the Amazon price is for the normal book. I noticed a few promotions where the e-book was much cheaper than its real counterpart (I saw one book for 50 cents, and another one for free), but I don't know how often that happens.

I'm really happy with it so far. I just wish I didn't have so many real books in the cupboard left to read.

Book Giveaway!

HarperCollins has graciously offered to send out a copy of the book "Captain Freedom" to 5 of my lucky readers.

Please leave a comment by Friday, March 20th at 11 a.m. PST. The first five people to respond will get a book.

What happens when…

Superman hits a flock of geese?

Batman loses the raspiness in his voice?

Spider-man gets caught in his own web?

Chances are you’ll run into them on Skid Row with Captain Freedom, protagonist in G. Xavier Robillard’s new novel, CAPTAIN FREEDOM (Harper; Trade Paperback; On Sale: February 3, 2009; $13.99), a satire about a disgraced superhero’s search for a new career, his true archenemy... and a girlfriend, by the award-winning writer of the hilarious blog, All Day Coffee.

Tzadik Freidman (alias: Captain Freedom) has had it rough: first a fall from grace on the world stage, only to be followed up a disastrous dinner party and a fruitless goose chase for a sidekick to his help boost flagging comic book sales. Things start to hit the proverbial fan after Freedom does a stint in rehab and runs for political office. Robillard’s wild ride of satire riffs on celebrity, politics, Hollywood, the fashion world, upper management, current events and much more, including the beloved world of comic books.


Click here if you want to browse inside the book. It sounds like a lot of fun! I'm going to see if I can get it on the Kindle. :) Speaking of the Kindle, I'm going to do a review tomorrow!

Update on Debt Progress

Braces: $2005

  • Payment - $439/mo
  • Done 7/1/09
Capital One: $849
  • Payment - Now $30/mo; Will increase to $200/mo on 8/1
  • 0% interest ends next month
  • Done 10/1/09
Visa: $7798
  • Payment - Now $300/mo; Will increase to $669/mo on 8/1
  • $66/mo interest charges
  • Done 8/1/10
Car: $8368
  • Payment - Now $370/mo; If we move into a cheaper apt, will increase to $570/mo on 7/1
  • Done ~7/1/10
If the above works out, I'll be consumer debt free by the time I graduate. Then I can focus on (finally) paying M back, and then tackle my depressingly massive student loans (after my six month grace period). I really REALLY hope the economy is doing better by then...
Loan from Bf: $10000
  • Payment - Now nothing; will increase to $1439/mo starting 8/1/10
  • Done 1/1/11
Student Loans: ~$177758
  • Payment - Now nothing; will increase to ~$1400/mo starting 11/10
  • Done... ???

Budget Review

Included in Budget Skeleton
Rent: $1050 / 1050
Cells: $120 / 120
Food: $40 / 200
Drugstore: $0 / 20
Debt: $1139 / 1139
Gas: $22 / 40
Health Insurance: $0 / 99
Total = $2371 / 2668

Not Included in Budget Skeleton
Kindle Books: $25
Dry cleaners: $40
Household: $14
Cook Book: $16
Movie Tickets: $33
Parking: $3
Total = $131

I have $5067 left in my checking, and $344 in my long-term expenses account.
I have 2 months and 1 week left before I get another loan payment. If I stick to the above budget skeleton, I'll need $6386 to make it through. Including my paycheck, I'll have about $6200, so I am going to fall a little short... Hopefully I can sell a few things on ebay this month and make up the deficit.

Calculation as of 3/23/09:
Money on-hand:
Money to be earned from job (now-4/24): $560
Total: $6379
For April/May will need - $5336, plus rent for June 1st = $6386

--> I'm about $20 short, but that should be fine. Might receive 4k last week of May.

Update on March Goals

Since it's already almost mid-March, I thought I would take a look at how I'm progressing on my goals, and make a plan on how to tackle them over the rest of the month. :)

  1. Devote one full day to studying every week (M, F, or weekend). -- I'll study most of the day tomorrow.
  2. Devote several hours every Friday to reviewing my notes. -- I'll do this tomorrow. I didn't do this last Friday b/c I was studying for the MPRE.
  3. Study for and take MPRE.
  4. Prepare for and complete interview portion of Ethical Lawyering (50% of grade). -- I can't start this until Mon night (when we get our assignment).
  5. Feel like I'm on top of the material for all my classes by the end of the month. -- Working on it!
  1. Go to yoga (at least) 1x/week -- I will go this Sunday, and every Sunday after that.
  2. Go to the gym (at least) 2x/week -- I'll go tomorrow morning and Saturday morning. And then starting next week, I'll try to go MWThF mornings.
  3. Do some type of exercise for 30 mins daily -- I've been doing a lot of exercise at work (moving boxes, running back and forth), so I guess that counts?
  4. Start tracking my exercise/eating habits in my fitness blog again. -- I was doing this, but I got bored of it again. Not sure if I'll continue.
  1. Call and/or write Macy's and Capital One re: removing negative marks from credit reports. -- I'll do this on Saturday or Sunday.
  2. Sell a few purses on Ebay. -- I'll do this either tomorrow or over the weekend.
  3. Only spend $200 on food! -- So far I'm good!
  4. Check job postings 1x/week. -- I've given up on checking for now because they're so dismal...
  1. Go to Lenscrafters and get an eye exam (I have a free coupon!). -- Scheduled for Saturday.
  2. Buy new contacts. -- Will do this after my eye exam.
  3. Continue following skin and teeth regimen. -- Good so far!
  4. Go to the gynecologist... once I find one I like. -- I'll pick one this weekend and call them on Monday.

Healthy Eating

I think it's really time for me to learn how to cook. M's work has been leaving him exhausted, disinterested in cooking dinner, and yearning for fast food (or expensive "gourmet" delivery aka Cheesecake Factory), which is bad, because I want to lose weight and I want to save money. So I've spent the past 2 hours compiling a list of healthy, easy, and fast recipes (I should be studying, but I've been having so much fun checking out allrecipes.com! ;))...

M doesn't like food plans (he thinks they're restrictive), so I'm going to make this flexible. I'm also going to earmark two days for fast food/delivery/dining out. Also, although last week I had time to do the dishes every day (had a few days off), I usually only have the time/energy to do it once during the week. So it'll be nice to have a couple days of no mess!

I'm aiming for 2 vegetarian meals, 1-2 fish meals, 1 chicken meal, and 1 red meat dinners per week. This is what I'm thinking about for this week (3/8-3/14):
--btw, these are all supposed to take only 15 mins prep AND cook time!!--


  • Greek garbanzo bean salad (can eat for a few days)
  • Asparagus and tofu stir fry
  • Steamed halibut with bok choy
  • Stir fried chicken and asparagus
Red Meat
  • Take-out


I have the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam aka legal ethics test) tomorrow, so I'm going to buckle down for a bit and study far away from the computer (because there are a million other things I want to do than study for this exam).

I was told this exam is "harder than the bar" - but I think that's just because no one studies much for it, so whether you pass or not is a crapshoot!

I can take it an unlimited number of times, but it's $60 (and $10 for parking - what a rip!) every time I do, so... I'm really hoping to pass!! Wish me luck. ;)

Update: It went... ok? My friend put it this way - "either we failed, or we passed!" Complete uncertainty walking out of that test. We'll see in 5 weeks (I can't believe it takes that long to score a scantron!)

Week 1 Spending

This week is almost over, so I thought I would take a look at my spending.

Included in Budget Skeleton
Rent: $1050 / 1050
Cells: $120 / 120
Food: $40 / 200 (edited on 3/7)
Drugstore: $0 / 20
Debt: $570 / 1139
Gas: $22 / 40
Health Insurance: $0 / 99
Total = $1762 / 2668

Not Included in Budget Skeleton
Kindle Books: $25
Dry cleaners: $40
Household: $14
Cook Book: $16 (added on 3/7)
Total = $95

Left to spend: $866 - 95 = $771

I'm going to take the $95 out of my food budget... not sure if I can only spend $65 on food for the rest of the month, but I'm sure gonna try.

Food Expenses

I've been bringing my lunch to work/school pretty much every day for the last month, and I've settled on a few foods that I now bring with me consistently. I noticed on someone's blog that they were trying to keep their daily cost down to $4/day. I thought it'd be interesting to calculate how much I'm spending every week.

My lunch (Tu-Th) consists of:

  1. Naked Juice or Odwalla (whatever's on sale) - $2.50-3.50
  2. Arrowhead bottled water - $.16 (3.99 for 24)
  3. Croissant - $1.16 (3.50 for 3)
  4. Slice of Ham - $.25? (4.50 for ? slices)
  5. Slice of Cheese - $.60? (5.00 for ? slices)
  6. 2 100 cal snack packs - $1.16 (2.50-3.50 for pack of 6)
Monday and Friday (the days I stay at home) I cut out the juice (I drink whatever's in the fridge) and substitute the croissant for a peanut butter sandwich. (I have two jars of peanut butter in the cupboard that have lasted me for months)

So that means I spend $6.83 three days out of the week, and $3.33 two days, for a total of $27.15/wk, or $108.60/mo.

At all other times, I'm either eating with M or friends and then it gets trickier to calculate. But $108 seems pretty reasonable, right? I could cut out the juice, maybe find a cheaper alternative? I'll have to think about it. I enjoy drinking it... makes me feel healthy. ;)


Have any of you been getting pressure from relatives to buy property? I have my dad in one ear telling me it's the time to buy, and M's dad in the other ear saying the same thing.

I understand why they're doing it; partially because it IS a good time to buy (for those with the money), and partially because, I think, they wished they had bought something when they were my and M's age. Oh, and also because neither of them know the extent of my credit card debt. :p

I know that I am absolutely not financially ready to buy. M probably is, actually... but I think it would be smarter to wait until we're both ready. I don't think we need to be in as much of a hurry as the 'rents are suggesting... prices are still dropping! And hopefully the trend will continue for the next year. At that point, I won't be the poor student anymore and we can figure out for sure where we want to live for the next 5 years.

...Having said that, I will still obsessively stalk Redfin.com for pretty houses! Just looking, no touching. ;)

My Ideal Apartment

I've been thinking about apartments a lot lately, partially because we're moving in a few months and partially because I keep seeing "for rent" signs all over the place. (hopefully it'll be the same when we're actually looking!)

I came up with a list of things that my ideal apartment would have:

  • at least 2 bedrooms, 2 baths (one in the living room/entrance area for guests; we have this... and a bathroom in the 2nd bedroom, which is useless)
  • on the 2 streets w/bike paths, 1-2 miles west (I won't mention street names for anonymity's sake ;)); if I can't get that, it has to be no farther east than our street, or 3 miles max west of here
  • not less than 1200 sq. ft. (we're in a 1400 sq. ft apt right now)
  • new kitchen (I'm so tired of old appliances!)
  • kitchen faucet with removable head
  • hardwood floors in the living room, carpet in bedrooms (we have carpet everywhere now)
  • mirrored closets (we have this)
  • walk-in closet in 1 bedroom
  • nice countertop in bathroom; new shower
  • dual sinks in master bathroom (this isn't a deal breaker, but it'd be useful)
  • washer/dryer in unit (this IS a deal breaker; we have this now, and I don't want to go back to lugging my stuff over to a laundry room)
  • nice lobby
  • 2 side-by-side parking spaces (we have tandem right now and it's a pain)
  • pool for the building
  • pleasant landlord! or professional management company
  • no more than $1800
Unfortunately, for the location I want, that price is virtually impossible. But maybe I'll get lucky... prices do seem to be dropping. I think?

Fun Weekend

I had a lot of fun this weekend, but unfortunately it was a little expensive... and will be more expensive when I pay my friend back what I owe her.

Friday, I went to a friend's brother's surprise birthday party at a bar/restaurant that's known for their beers and burgers (he's a big fan of both). I like burgers, but am definitely not a fan of beer. I did find some apple cider beer that I really liked though. My friend bought me a drink and we shared a basket of fries, and then I turned around and bought her dinner (and another drink for myself). That was $22. Then I had the burger along with the rest of the table. I chipped in $20 to the bill. So I ended up spending $42. My wallet wasn't happy. :( My stomach wasn't happy with me either... Later that night, I had major stomach cramps. I rarely drink, so maybe it was that. Though both the burger (very pink) and pork belly (friend's dinner - I had a bite) were suspect. Regardless, I had a great time! Shared a lot of laughs. :)

Saturday, I saw Rent for the first time... my friend bought the tickets (and wouldn't let me pay her back! but I know I will eventually... whether covertly stuffing money into her bag, or taking her out to eat ;)), and my friend's brother paid for dinner (pizza) and parking. He felt bad that I had come early the night before to help my friend save a table, and bad that I had seen him "drunk" (he really wasn't! but the sentiment was cute).

So that was my last February weekend. I'm really going to watch myself this month... especially when it comes to spending and eating.

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