Wednesday, July 23, 2014

want list/mid-week check up.

Recently 2 of my favorite bloggers Kayla and Fig posted about "want lists." After reading their lists I thought maybe I should put the pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?) and make a list of things that I want so that I can actually think about what's on it and consider if it's worthwhile or not.

So here are some of my wants....

  • Knobs for my desk- I have a pretty rad vintage desk that I got at a garage sale when I was in high school but over the years I've lost a couple of the knobs on the drawers. I am only missing 2 but I would want to replace all 5 so that they all match. I checked some out at Wal-Mart and I could get a package of 10 for $15... I don't need 10.
  • Strappy flat sandals- At the new job I can wear sandals (as long as they have some kind of strap around the back of my foot), I would really like to have some sandals that I could wear. I usually wear knee high boots (which get really hot) or my black flats depending on what pants I wear. I would like to be able to wear sandals like the other girls do. 
  • Make up- I have a pretty decent amount of foundation and stuff but the problem is that all of the sudden my every day make up is making my face break out. I also have some Bare Minerals make up that I like but it sometimes feels itchy on my face. 
  • A house- I want to buy a house. That's pretty much my dream right now, I've experienced some set backs lately with my job situation and stuff but I'll be back to saving as much as I can once I get back on track with getting paid. 
So as of right now 75% of my list is relatively cheap and I could budget it in but I also know it's not really stuff that I need. 

My goals for the week are going fine. Not great. Not terrible. I have failed at packing my lunch for the week.  I only packed my lunch on Monday and I've spent money on junk food the rest of the week so I need to get back on the wagon. I am doing pretty good at drinking more water. Could be doing better but hey at least I'm trying. I have had at least 2 of my 16 ounce cups of water each day. The thing that derails my water drinking is that I hate hate HATE having to get up and go pee so many times during the day. My co-workers know that I'm drinking a lot of water and it doesn't bother them that I take frequent breaks but it annoys me. I haven't had a chance to re-evaluate my budget yet, well I haven't had a chance to actually look at my spreadsheet and make changes but I have been thinking about different places where I can cut back. I think I have a plan for making my phone bill cheaper (maybe? more on that later) and I hope the plan works out. I'm also thinking about possible side hustles and trying to talk one of my friends into helping me have a garage sale so I can get some extra cash. 

How is everyone else's week going?

Monday, July 21, 2014

weekly plan #2

(I'm writing this post from my phone on my lunch break so please dont judge me too hard if there are words missing apostrophes and such!)

My weekly plan from last week wasnt a complete failure but I could've done better. I did manage to de-clutter my bathroom and I did a no spend week. My no spend week ended on Saturday when there were things I had to buy for the house but I was expecting that. As for my gym commitment. ... that didn't pan out. I wish I had a gym buddy or something so I could stay committed (I say that but I hate working out with someone else because they want to be chatty and I cant deal with that when I'm in the zone).

So my plans for this week:

1. Take lunch to work everyday- As I was driving down the street to my new branch I noticed all the fast food places over here: Taco Buneo, Arby's, Braums,  Whataburger. In my head I started thinking "just one crappy morning and I will blow my budget on lunch." So I'm determined to pack lunch everyday. (Today is left over mac and cheese, pineapple chunks, Ritz crackers, and a package of cookies)

2. Drink more water- Saving money while also being health concious. I drank one 16 ounce cup of water (with a crystal light packet) and I've seriously peed like 3 times in about an hour.

3. Re-evaluate my budget- I just want to look over my budget and make sure that everything is looking good and see if there is anywhere that I could cut back to save some money.

So there you have it, 3 goals for the week. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 18, 2014

friday faves #2

Here we are y'all, the second Friday in my faves series.... 
I've been so busy with my training class that I haven't really gotten to keep up with my favorite blogs.... Hopefully I can catch up tomorrow! 

Little update on my new job training: I took my test this morning, I got a 100%. Super exciting! I was done with training by 11:30 am so I got to go to my branch and "shadow" during the afternoon. I really like all my new co-workers so far. I picked out my window and come Monday morning it will be a little more "spunky" with my bright colored office accessories. Can't wait! I'll have to shadow for a day or so next week and then I will work out of the supervisor's drawer and then hopefully they will let me on my own by the end of next week. I'll keep everyone updated on how it goes. 

Without further ado......
My Friday Faves:

Good Citizen @ Debt Discipline- Brian over at Debt Discipline shared a post this week about being (you guessed it!) a "good citizen" in the PF blogging community. He mentioned in this post how he started to take it personally that he would comment on some blogs and would get no replies! That has happened to me as well so I'm right there with him. But we are both over it now and have moved on! Lol. I did make sure to let Brian know that he is always welcome to comment on stuff over here and I will reply to anything he has to say! 

July Debt Update @ Downstairs and in Debt- Last week I mentioned that this is the newest blog on my bookmarks and she is definitely staying at the top of my lists of weekly reads! I love a good debt update, and while she doesn't think she has done as well as she could have, I think she has done great! She has now challenged herself to get to the $4000 debt repayment by middle of September. I wish her all the best and can't wait to see how she does!

What To Do If You Totally Failed Your Budget @ Monica on Money- This is actually a guest post from Budget Blonde and it's definitely a good read. We are all humans and sometimes we mess up on our budgets and this article talks about what to do if that happens.

So there you have it everyone! The Spunky Banker's Friday Faves. Check them all out and show them some love!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

pet peeves part 3.

1. Don't hit on your teller- Seriously. We don't appreciate it. And if you do hit on one of us and we turn you down go to a different teller from that point on. There is one middle aged guy who used to come in to my branch and he hit on me for the whole 3 years that I was employed at that bank. One of the first times I helped him he told me that he has 2 teenage daughters and that their friends always tell them that their dad is so hot and blah blah blah (I will say that I am honestly concerned about the future of society if these girls think he is hot, yikes!). Of course I had to be nice to him so I would just smile and nod but it all got old real fast. A few months ago I guess I looked really nice one day and he came in and came to my window and said "damn girl, does your man buy you roses when you look that good?" My response was "I don't have a man and I don't like roses." For that entire transaction he was completely flustered and just completely weird. From that point on I refused to help him. Anytime he came in my co-workers knew that they had to help him.

2. Don't come to my window until I acknowledge you- This should really be common sense but apparently it is not. After the customer ahead of you walks away there are certain times that I'm still working on something for them after they're gone. Would you want someone else to see your personal information that I probably have out in my window? No? Then wait until I say "I can help you right here." This also goes for anytime you walk in and I'm counting cash. There are a few different scenarios in which I might have cash out and no one in my window: I could be doing a drop off deposit, I could be balancing my drawer, I could be strapping cash to take into the vault. This is a safety thing guys, I can guarantee you that if I don't know you or have never seen you in my life and you walk up on my while I've got cash out then I'm probably going to think you are trying to rob me. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: bank tellers are the face of the bank and we have to deal with all of the crazies and the crankies that come in to the bank so please be considerate when you take a transaction inside.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

mid-week check up.

So here's the thing.... my no spend week? I'm not doing bad at all. I did have to get gas on Tuesday morning but I said I was going to, so that's fine. I also need to get groceries but I'm waiting as long as I can to do that (I'll just be having protein shakes and apples for a couple meals a day...joke). As far as my goal of going to the gym, that has not happened. I feel bad for not going but by the time I get home from work I'm exhausted and I just don't want to get back in the car and head to the gym. I need to work on that. And what about de-cluttering my bathroom? So far so good! I got under the counter and got out my hot rollers (that I haven't used in years) and my foam rollers (when did I ever use those?) and put all of that into the hall with my garage sale stuff. I need to go thru my make up still, and there are two drawers left to look in but I've still got the rest of the week. 

New job.... I hate training. It's miserable. I go and sit in a room with two 19 year old boys and we read the policy and procedure manual and then we had to do these fill in the blank style worksheets and when we have "down time" we have to study the worksheets. Now that doesn't sound too terrible but I've been a teller for three years and all the regulations and everything that we are "learning" is stuff that I already know, I could teach the damn class. Today we got to run pretend transactions on computers so that was a nice change of pace! We have to take a test and make at least a 90% or else we are out of a job, so that's one more thing that I have on my mind to stress about. 

I've been stressing  thinking about the fact that I don't get paid for 2 more weeks. I went ahead and paid the rest of my phone bill with some cash I had stashed away so I feel a little better. I really don't want to have to dip into my EF to pay my auto loan and my mom said she would loan me some money but I really don't want to do that either. I'm trying to stop and tell myself, "hey girl, you can load up your emergency fund again once you are back on a normal pay schedule," but doing that makes me feel like I'm failing a little bit. 

This has not been my best post and for that I apologize. Hopefully tomorrow I can post something a little more upbeat! Hope everyone's week is going well. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

weekly plan #1

In an attempt to stay on top of my finances and just keep my life organized I am going to start posting "weekly plans," just so we are all clear these may not all be financial. If I write down my weekly goals and I have other people viewing them and giving me their input then I'm more likely to stick to the plan. Fingers crossed. 

1. No spend week- Right now it is Monday evening and I did spend some money today (I thought lunch would be provided in my training class so I didn't bring anything and it wasn't provided so I had to spend some money) so this goal is going to start tomorrow. With my new job the pay schedule is quite a bit different and I won't be getting paid until July 31st. That means I have to live on what cash I have until that day. I can tap in to my EF if I need to but I really don't want to do that. With the exception of gas (because my gas light came on today) and groceries (which hopefully I don't need until next week) I won't be spending any money this week.

2. Gym 3 days- I would like to go to the gym on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. I have gotten out of the habit of going and I really need to get back to it!

3. De-Clutter my bathroom- In an attempt to get ready to have a garage sale I want to go thru my bathroom and clean out all of my hair products, make up products and just general "knick knacks" that have accumulated in my bathroom. **Just a note, it might seem weird to sell hair products and make up products (nothing that would be considered un-hygienic) in a garage sale but that stuff goes like hot cakes.

Hopefully y'all will help me stick to my goals this week. Does anyone else make a goal list to keep them on track for the week?

Friday, July 11, 2014

friday faves #1

New series? Sure, why not! Everyone seems to do their favorite blog post of the week so I'm going to succumb to peer pressure (ha!) and do it as well...

  • Save. Spend. Splurge. Budget Round Up- (Okay so technically this was posted last week, but I just read it Thursday!) I'm a sucker for these kind of posts! I like to know how other people did during the month. Anyway, her monthly budget update is SUPER detailed and I love love love it! I wanna be that organized when I grow up. 
  • Shoeaholic No More's Liebster Award- Okay, okay, okay! I probably just super loved this post because she mentioned me in it! Lol. But really I loved reading Kayla's answers to her questions, I always enjoy getting to know people a little better.
  • brokeGIRLrich's Liebster Award- This is one that technically came from March of this year buuut I nominated her for a Liebster Award so she went back and updated it. This goes along with the above blog and how I enjoy getting to know people better.
So those are my 3 favorite posts for the past week (or maybe farther back than a week), go check them out! I also discovered a new blog during all the Liebster madness that happened around here and I'm happy to say that I've added her to my bookmarks and can't wait to see how her journey goes! That would be Downstairs and in Debt. Y'all should check her out too, if you haven't already. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

update on the job front.

I got a call yesterday from a bank that I interviewed at last week and they offered me the full time "service associate" job (that's a fancy title for teller). It will actually be $0.50 less than I was making per hour but I can handle that. I start a week long training class on Monday, it will be from 10-5 which is part time so I'll be short on hours that week but it's better than nothing. 

I get my final paycheck tomorrow but one of my former co-workers texted me this morning and told me the amount that was pending in my account (perks of being a teller). I was really only expecting about $700 as it was just my 80 hours of vacation pay that they owed me but I was surprised to hear that my check was actually $970! That would be overtime that didn't go on my previous check and then some bonus pay that I was owed. That's definitely exciting. 

I've been looking over my budget spreadsheet and tweaking it where I can. I managed to decrease two sections and eliminated one while increasing one category by $5 (I eliminated my Discover card since I rolled that into my credit union loan and that upped my credit union payment just a few dollars) I'm hoping that over time I can start decreasing the amounts that I put into some of my envelopes... Probably just like my "fun money" and my "eating out" money because those are ones that aren't totally necessary. 

I'm considering starting to 52 week money challenge, even though the year is more than half over. I could throw enough money into it to catch myself up or I could start by saying that next week would be week one and so on. I guess I'll weigh my options on that and let you know what I decide to do. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

blogger awards... say whaaat?

So this morning I was browsing my Twitter while walking thru Wal-Mart (seriously multitasking, y'all) and I realized that Kayla over at Shoeaholic No More had mentioned something about Blogger Awards. Well being new to the game I had no idea what she was talking about so I went to her blog to check it out and while I'm standing in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, I learn about the Liebster Award. What is the Liebster Award? It's for new and upcoming bloggers with under a certain number of followers, the number of followers is kinda all over the place some say under 200 and some say under 3000 but one more says under 1000. Well, Kayla was nominated for the Liebster Award and as part of that she has to pick 5 more bloggers to nominate. Kayla answered 5 questions on her blog. And in return she has to ask 5 questions to her nominees! Kinda like a chain letter. So guess what? Kayla named me as one of her 5 blogs! Pretty cool, right?




Here are the questions that Kayla asked her bloggers (and my answers of course!)

1. Why did you start your blog?
~ When I first realized that I needed to get my debt under control I started googling "personal finance" and I found a few debt repayment blogs and I was fascinated! I would sit at work (when I wasn't busy) and go back to the very first post of each blog and read their entire journey. It started with Girl Meets Debt and then I found Kayla's blog and I would just look at each blogs blogroll and find a new one to read. I figured that starting a blog would keep me accountable. (I think that's what we all say!) So one day I decided to bite the bullet and go for it! I've had my ups and downs since I started the blog but I'm definitely glad I did it.

2. What is your favorite song and why?
~ This is a tough one so I'm going to take the easy way out. I love listening to music, and I can't pick a favorite song. But I can tell you that if it's got a good beat and catchy lyrics then I'm going to like it. Why? Because I love to dance. If I can get up and wiggle around (PS I have no rhythm) then that is a perfect song. 

3. What is your life’s passion?
~ Currently what I'm most passionate about is personal finance/paying off my debt. I'm always trying to give someone some little bit of advice that I've read somewhere if I think that it will help them out in the long run. 

4. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet and why?
~ My first instinct is to say that I would want to meet my mom's brother that died before I was born. Everyone says that we are just alike and I would like to know if that is true. But if I was to pick someone who was alive and I had the slightest possibility of maybe meeting at some point I would have to go with Ellen Degeneres. She seems like an awesome person and she is super funny. Not to mention she can dance, so we could probably have a dance off, just kidding because she would dominate.

5. Describe yourself in 3 words.
~Well obviously my first word would be "spunky," bet ya saw that coming a mile away. My next word would be "motivated." And finally I would say "organized." (Bonus word: cluttered, yeahhh, organized-clutter)

And now for my nominees:

  • The Weight of Debt- This is one of the blogs that I found while I was working one day and I must say, I'm glad that I did. Bre always has a good post and her Monday Monologues are my fave!
  • The Frugal Trial- Victoria's blog is one that I only recently started reading but I love hearing about how things are going for her in the UK.
  • brokeGIRLrich- Another blog that I've only recently started reading but her's is super cute and she's a stage manager and I have a soft spot for anything theatrical.
  • Figuring Money Out- This is a blogger who like me prefers to stay anonymous. She has posts that I really appreciate such as her blogging resources, which definitely helped me decide to start my blog (and to get my ".com" started).
  • Lisa Vs. the Loans- One more that I've only started reading recently but she posts a lot of helpful stuff, like various links to other blogs (that I then start reading and can't stop, it's like a drug y'all). 

My Questions for the new nominees:
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
3. If you didn't blog about money, what would you blog about?
4. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet and why?
5. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Now that you’ve been nominated, you don’t have to participate, but if you do, it’s a great way to spread the love. You can add the Liebster image to your blog – pick a button of your choosing by downloading and adding it to your post and in your sidebar if you wish. Prepare you own 5 questions (you can reuse or modify above) and let your own 5 nominees know. Link back here in your post as well, to let me know who you have selected so I can go and read. Can't wait to see how it goes, enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

goals.

Obviously my main goal is to get out of debt as quick as I can, that's a given. However, I do have other goals (personal and financial) that I am working towards while paying down my debt. 

  1. Pay off my debt- I would like to have all my debt (minus my auto loan) paid off soon. I don't have a time frame on that, I just know that I want to have it done. If I said something crazy like the end of this year then I would basically be planning to throw $750 at my debt every month. Not something I think I can do. So I'll stick to working my butt off and putting all my extra money towards my debt as often as I can. 
  2. Emergency Fund- Currently my EF is sitting at $600. My goal right now is to get it to $1000 before I start working on another savings goal of mine. In all reality I should be able to have my $1000 in my EF sitting in my account earning interest by end of August (at the latest).
  3. I want to buy a house.- This is something that I tried to do earlier this year but I had too much debt to income ratio and I couldn't get financing. Once I get my emergency fund to the $1000 point then I plan on funneling my savings money into my "House Account," so that I can have money for the down payment. Ideally I want to be in a house making payments by the time I'm 25, which is in March.
  4. Career- I want to advance more quickly in my career. Now currently I am unemployed so that's the opposite of advancing but once I get back on my feet I don't want to be stuck as a teller forever. There is nothing wrong with being a teller and for 3 years I've loved it (most of the time) however, I want to be able to move up the ladder. Being a personal banker, asst. manager, loan officer, just advancement in general. 
  5. Marriage and all that mushy junk-  I want to be married and start a family. That's all there really is to that goal. Lol. 

What are some of your goals that you've either met or are working towards? Any advice?


My Pennies, My Thoughts

Saturday, July 5, 2014

financial bookworm.

I decided to share with everyone the books that I have read recently. I'm not some top notch book critic but I'll tell you what I've read and if I think you should read it too, and these 3 books are awesome. 

The One Week Budget by Tiffany Aliche
The Budgetnista

I bought this book on my Kindle and let me tell you, I LOVED IT. Tiffany, "The Budgetnista," gave you stories about people that she had worked with in the past and that definitely made it easier for me to follow her methods. I really like that if you buy the Kindle version you can download the templates for the different lists and things that she talks about (for free) here. You can also follow The Budgetnista on Twitter here.


The Frugalista Files by Natalie McNeal
The Frugalista Files

This book is kinda in the form of a diary so you are learning about her life while The Frugalista is writing her blog and working for The Miami Herald. I sat down and read this in pretty much one day. Natalie is so funny and it's definitely easy to relate to everything that she was writing about! Love, LOVE, loved it! Check out her website here. And don't forget to follow her on Twitter, here.



Shoo, Jimmy Choo! by Catey Hill
Shoo, Jimmy Choo!

This book was so awesome. I loved that Catey broke down definitions for all kinds of stuff like 401k information and IRA stuff. She even gave you information on buying a car or selling a car, renting vs. buying a home. It was great! Here is the website. You can check out the templates for all the lists that she has you make, here. And obviously, you need to follow Catey on Twitter, here.


The Anna Belle Blog

Friday, July 4, 2014

let me tell you about the time....

A guy asked me to give him counterfeit money.
Yeahhh, that happened.

This guy walks up to my window and tells me he wants to cash his paycheck. To paint a picture for your imagination he looked like Ryan Gosling only heavier, more tan, and dirty (he worked as a maintenance guy on a high school football field). I'd be lying to you if I told you I didn't think this guy was real good lookin. I mean I like guys that could like pick me up and toss me over their shoulder with little to no effort and I like for them to actually do work, like physical labor. Anyway, I asked if he had an account with us, he told me that no he did not. I gave him the instructions that I give every check casher, "I just need your ID. And your right thumb print on the front of the check, preferably near the signature line. Please sign the back." So as I'm processing the transaction we exchanged some witty banter, and it was pretty fun! Well, he looked behind him and he saw that I had a line forming so he asked for a brochure and let me know that he was going to read over it. But instead of leaving he just stepped to the next empty window and read the brochure. When I handled all the transactions I looked at him and asked was he ready to open the account. He said no he didn't want to open an account but he did want to take me to dinner that weekend. I told him sure and gave him my number (I don't normally give my number to customers but I had a change of heart). 

The next day I got a call from a number I didn't recognize and it turned out to be him. We ended up both being busy that weekend but we made a plan to go out during the week. We decided to meet up at a local bar that has karaoke every night and I was pretty excited about it! Well I got there and he was waiting for me, so I went and sat down and ordered a beer. Not gonna lie, from that moment on he was a total a d-bag. He made comments about having drank like a whole 6 pack before he met up with me, and that he smoked a pack of cigarettes that day as well..... I don't know why he wanted me to know that but whatever, I wasn't impressed. I don't normally check my phone when I'm on a date but I looked at it a couple of times and he made snide comments about that. Now being a banker I was genuinely interested in knowing why he didn't seem to want to open an account at my bank. He basically told me that he didn't have an account anywhere and that he didn't plan on opening one. **Anyone who works in a bank would recognize this as an automatic red flag because most people who don't want to open an account and don't have accounts elsewhere probably either owe a bank money (in which case, they are unable to open an account) or they might have a DHS levy or something equally as serious (if you have a DHS levy or anything of the sort then basically any money you deposit is going to be taken out by the government).** He then told me that he has a safe that he keeps all of his money is and that it had about $100 in it. Okayyyyy, and so the night continues.... There was a guy who went up to karaoke and he was very good so I was listening to him and I remembered his name because he went up multiple times, I mentioned that I thought the guy was good and my date basically told me that I should try to get his number. Are you kidding me? I told him that was silly and explained that I just thought he was a good singer. 

Fast forward about 30 minutes and that's when it happened. The final straw, ladies and gentlemen. Trying to make conversation I told him about a guy who had gone to Subway and the change that he received was a counterfeit $5 bill. We talked about my training and how easy it is for me (and probably anyone who isn't blind) to spot a counterfeit bill. I got to telling him about all the security features that are in our currency and he seemed only slightly interested in what I was saying. So he asks me "how often do you get counterfeit money, what do you do with it?" I told him that it doesn't happen very often but when it does it's basically a pain because there is a lot of paperwork involved. I told him that after a co-worker of mine had quit the cash in his drawer became mine and that co-worker had 3 counterfeit $20 bills that he had been stashing in order to avoid the paperwork (dick move!). I said that I had had them in my drawer for a few days because I didn't want to do the paperwork (it really is tedious, y'all)... His response was "well, you could float me those bills and I could take care of them for you......" Uhhh say what? No. Some things bankers don't joke about and that is stealing money, counterfeit or not, from the bank. Needless to say I had an emergency come up and had to leave at that point because I wasn't trying to hear about this dude wanting to live a life of crime. 

Obviously I didn't talk to him again, and he never came back to my branch. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

unemployed.

On Wednesday, July 2, I lost my job. Let me tell you that I am not too upset because I haven't been happy at my job for awhile. But I'm annoyed because the events that caused my termination were basically bogus. I knew on Tuesday that it was going to happen but I honestly thought that since we had people out on vacation they would wait until Monday to do it. So I went in on Wednesday prepared to give my notice (that way I could still get vacation pay that I was owed) and they basically were waiting to let me go. I talked to the HR lady and told her that I did in fact say "I'm giving notice" before they said "we're letting you go" so she put in a request to pay me for the vacation time. I had already put in 2 applications at another bank and I was interviewed for both of those yesterday and I should hear something today. I will keep you updated on all of those happenings.....

This morning I went downstairs and checked my mail and I had 3 medical bills waiting on me. Now normally this might have stressed me out but before I let that stress kick in I went back to my room and grabbed my change jar and took it to the bank. It was $44 dollars and that will cover all 3 of my bills so that's nice. I like to avoid stress when I can. Lol.

My envelopes this week are doing good! I went to the grocery store last weekend and I spent $47 of my $75 and some of that food was left at the bank when I left so I'll have to go get some new stuff but that's fine. I have $3 left in my gas envelope and I shouldn't have to fill up again before I get my last check next week. My fast food envelope has about $10 left in it and my dad paid for my prescriptions this time so that envelope is full which is nice. 

Hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend.