Looking ahead to debt-free life

It’s happened, friends. The credit card debt is GONE. I don’t yet have a zero balance screenshot for posterity but it’s going to happen. Soon. Yes, I am side-eyeing all of my various financial institutions collectively because I see them making sure charges get posted to my credit cards way sooner than it takes for my payments to get sent over.

Anyway. The fact remains that IT’S GONE! 🎉

ETA: I spoke too soon!

I’m not completely debt-free yet, but all of a sudden that day seems so much closer. After the extra $350 I just sent over to my student loans last week, I’m sitting on about $800 left on those. Continue reading “Looking ahead to debt-free life”

Life update: job, taxes, and debt (payoff)

Hey, y’all. As you might’ve noticed, I didn’t post on Tuesday. I was in LA enjoying quite a lovely birthday weekend trip and was too busy spending Monday evening at the beach in Malibu to write. Ditto for the previous nights on being too busy. I brought my laptop with me to LA on the off-chance that I’d find some time to write (or spend time on the plane doing so). Nope. Didn’t open it even once, and you know what? That’s fine. That’s called having a life and enjoying my vacation, which was my first visit to California and my second visit to the West Coast. Continue reading “Life update: job, taxes, and debt (payoff)”

Financial lessons from Les Misérables

I drove home two weekends ago and, as often happens when I’m there, my mother and I had a culture weekend.

I love musicals and I love ballets (and I did plenty of both in years gone by[*]), but, as odd as it sounds to say this, honestly I could afford to see so many more shows back when student tickets were an option. It’s just a fact of life that buying tickets to the Kennedy Center doesn’t fit in my budget at the moment. But since my mother and I both love them, she’ll usually buy a ballet or musical (or sometimes both) ticket to bribe me to come home as inducement for some mother-daughter bonding time.

This time, as an early birthday present to me, we saw the Carolina Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet and then saw Les Misérables that evening.

I’ve seen both shows before (Les Mis is one of those that gets me every time), so I could better appreciate that essentially the theme of the day was “love at first sight” followed by “everyone dies.” It was dramatic, to say the least.

Obviously the ballet had no words, so even if I could pull some brilliant personal finance-related things out of a tale of two very young star-crossed lovers, they would be hard to narrate, given that ballet is a visual art. (Yes, of course I’ve read and seen the play. I’m still not dissecting Romeo and Juliet.)

Communicate with your partner might be one—and one that has financial implications for those of you who are partnered up. Honestly there would be no need for the entire story if they could just text each other:

“hey so imma appear dead when u see me but don’t worry it’s only fake so I can get out of marrying that totally lame other dude my parents want to hook me up with UGH lol”
“ok cool lol then i def won’t bring the poison that’ll come in handy when i think ur for REAL dead hahaha love u see u in the crypt!”

BUT ANYWAY. It’s hard to write a post about a ballet, but a musical? That’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.[**] Especially because almost two weeks later and I’ve still got Les Mis songs in my head on constant repeat.

It all started with that fateful song, “I Dreamed a Dream.” Continue reading “Financial lessons from Les Misérables”

January 2018: uber frugal month?

So I started off 2018 with the goal of doing an Uber Frugal Month challenge (among other goals, with varying degrees of success) for January. And then I broke that with a car repair and a plane ticket to LA over my birthday weekend.

Yet again, here’s where emergency funds are amazing: I didn’t break (much of) a sweat swiping my credit card for either of those transactions (and to be fair, the plane ticket was decidedly not an emergency. That came out of my Tip Yourself savings which is not earmarked for emergencies). Those pushed my spending up much higher this month, but I was not worried about covering them.

I’m leaving for LA next week and I cannot contain my excitement. That $370 is already well-spent and I’m not even there yet! Continue reading “January 2018: uber frugal month?”

Doing hard things, part 2: waiting

Last week I told you all how I’d asked for a raise and a title change for the first time ever in my life. And I also wrote about all the awful things my anxious brain has been thinking about in response. While this is still incredibly uncomfortable, I’m pleased to say that the title of that post is still accurate: nothing horrible has happened (yet)!

I was told it would be at least a week for the high-level conversations to happen, which would mean in theory they would happen by last Friday. I haven’t heard anything back yet about how that went. But I do have more to report.

That first post was about the first conversation I had with HR. The day I wrote it, I had a second conversation with HR. Continue reading “Doing hard things, part 2: waiting”

Twelve months of experiments: January 2018

When last I wrote, dear readers, I’d cliffhangered you at the end of the first of what’s likely to be an exhaustive series on how my first-ever request for a raise goes. I regret to inform you that today’s post is not a continuation of that series, which is something you’d probably surmised from the title.

Instead, since it’s a new month (also my birthday month! I suppose turning 26 means my quarter-life crisis will be over, right?), here’s an end of month update on the challenges I took on in January. I was decluttering, doing a no-spend/uber frugal month challenge, a barre challenge, and still trying to meditate every day.

In case that sounds like an overwhelming number of things to do all at once, may I remind you how the last bit of my first post of 2018, which laid out the four challenges I was doing, ended?

Ridiculously overly ambitious? We shall see!

In a surprise to absolutely no one, turned out it was ridiculously overly ambitious! Continue reading “Twelve months of experiments: January 2018”