Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Sun...

My goodness!!! It is a beautiful day in Chicago!!! My BFF called me and asked me out to lunch and we walked over to Macy's. I didn't even think about ducking into any buildings or taking the underground pedway. It was just gorgeous outside and I didn't want to come back. Spring is around the corner and I couldn't be happier. =)

On the purchase list soon is a new pair of running shoes so that I can hit the outdoor trails. I have a goal of running a 5k soon and perhaps a half marathon in September but training begins next month.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Playing Attorney...

I got to kind of play attorney today. What do I mean by play when I AM a lawyer?!?!...Well, I got to sit in a room to negotiate a deal with my client, 4 of his attorneys, and 3 on my side. Fun! Not only was I the only female in the room, I was the only black person, the other side didn't know I am an attorney and get this...I held ALL the cards...even more FUN!!! lol

Anyway, the firm I hired on the deal is a firm I would very much like to join one day so as always, I made sure I looked professional and even got several compliments. I held all the cards and I got compliments....Fun, Fun Fun!!! =) was a good day in the office and since I have to stop by my parent's house to sign off on my taxes, my Mom is cooking me dinner. Yeah Baby!!!

((Chitown is doing the cabbage patch dance at her desk!!!))


Well I am halfway through March and my first month of knowing what my monthly income will be for 2011 and budgeting. I will say, I am almost over budget already for the month. Actually, I will be for sure today when I pay the fee for my taxes.

My observations are that I need to increase a few budget categories and cut my food & dining budget. I just have to bring my lunch 2-3 times a week. My budget just won't allow for me to eat out that much...period. I hoped that my increase would net a $300 monthly increase but it was just ~$180. With the monthly accruals I set up, I will just have to bite the bullet.

Also, I should have realized that this monthly pay period had 5 instead of 4 weeks. Since I only get paid once a month, I should have changed the weekly challenge to $160/week instead of $200/week. Last but not least, I had to max out my prescription deductible, go to the doctor and go to the dentist this month. I am still waiting to be reimbursed from the insurance company for my teeth cleaning and exam. This is precisely why I like to keep a little extra cash in my bill account.

I went to bed around 11:00 last night and woke up this morning around 5:00. Since I was up, I took the opportunity to straighten my hair which I haven't done since December. hair is long and I can tell it could use a trim which my hair dresser suggested every 8-12 weeks. I am right at ~ 10 weeks now since my last appointment. Maybe I will go the first week in April.

My Mom started talking to me last night about working out which probably means my cheeks are a little too puffy. I really need to get back to working out but I don't feel like doing anything it seems these days. I had to drag my butt off the couch this weekend just to finally fold the clean clothes I let build up in baskets from the past 2 weeks. Spring needs to come quick so I can get outside and run.

Last note...Did anyone watch the Bachelor last night? I did not follow all season but I was over visiting my parents and my Dad does watch the show. So, I got sucked into the final show and finale and felt kind of bad for Brad. You can tell he's not perfect but he looked like he loved Emily a lot so I hope they can pull together. The lesson that I got from last night and it's one we can all learn is that we cannot worry about what other people think of us. What matters is what we think of ourselves.

Have a great day!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

$200 Weekly Challenge...

First off....I am sending prayers to the people in Japan!!! Please do the same.

Today is Friday and a new $200/week challenge begins.

Here is last week's recap....Total Spent: $176.76!!!

I didn't cook or do much of anything this week. I was in a funk and just making it day by day. I'm not sure what it was but it may have something to do with Chicago's gloomy weather. It's been rainy and dark and I cannot wait for Spring to arrive.

I also think I am just plain tired. Every weekend for the past three weeks, I had plans to celebrate birthdays -- My Dad, Nephew and Mother. I love them so much so of course I enjoyed myself but having plans every weekend when you want and need to relax is tough. I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and cleaning up my condo.

I transferred the remaining money for the week into my personal savings account. If ever the account is over $100, then I will snowball the extra on to debt. Today, it's just shy of $100 at $93.

I also think I am going to start posting some other things on the blog other than finance stuff...just day to day stuff to keep myself interested and hopefully you too. (wink) Have a great and safe weekend. =)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Birthday Survival...

The mass birthday celebrations at the beginning of the year are almost over. We celebrated my Mom's 62nd Birthday on Saturday, yesterday was my Assistant's birthday and housewarming and my Best Friend's birthday is on March 25th. Then I am DONE for a while!

I am passing up on a baby shower on March 26th and I don't want to be invited to another birthday, baby, wedding, house, whatever celebration for a while. lol My gift fund is depleted!

I am feeling a bit anxious about attacking Group D and at the same time, I am feeling uneasy about giving away any more cash. I am toying with the idea of trying to devote $25 of my $200 weekly allowance towards debt repayment. That would mean an additional $100/month towards repayment of Group D.

Friday, March 04, 2011

$200 Weekly Challenge...

Today is Friday and a new $200/week challenge begins.

Here is last week's recap....Total Spent: $254.10!!!

I knew I was going slightly over the $200 threshold but then I needed to get a prescription filled and that took me way over the $200 mark. After this month, I should have hit the $100 prescription deductible so my prescriptions should be $10 for the rest of the year.

I use Bank of America's keep the change program with my personal checking and savings account. I started with about $100 in the savings account and it fluctuates depending on the week. The $100 somewhat acts as an overdraft. Today it's at $68. Every time I use my debit card, the amount is rounded to the nearest dollar and deposited into savings.

I got some good news at the doctor today. I don't need surgery right now or more meds!!! That made my day and I needed some good news. =)

I am going to workout tonight and that will make 3 workouts for the week. I admit that I didn't eat so great this week but hopefully next week is better. One thing is for sure, I didn't eat any worse than any other week and I added in some exercise so that is a step in the right direction.

BTW...I went to see the movie Hall Pass on Tuesday night. Hilarious!!! Have a great weekend. =)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

February 2011 Recap...

Well, I am two months into the year and I am still doing well. This was my annual bonus month so I was able to pay off a few debts and put a small amount of cash to the side. It was a good month overall.

There were 4 - $200/week challenges in the month and I blew it one month after wandering in the grocery store. Won't happen again. I also bought some much needed toiletry items and put away a little cash so that I can pay for some upcoming expenses. I have annual doctor and dentist appointments coming up which require co-pays and upfront payment. My insurance company will then reimburse me at the "reasonable rate" for services. What that means is that I don't get all of my money back. I also have to pay the fee for my taxes. That's about it for now.

It was a good month. My net worth is moving in the right direction and I expect it to move in a positive direction every month from here on out. I am also going to begin putting any excess cash from the $200/week challenge towards debt so Group D's balance should start going down.