Monthly Archives: July 2012

Staying Motivated

Happy Monday Readers and PF Bloggers! Today’s post is not really going to be related to personal finance but more tackles lifestyle choices!

Let me just say, the past month has been both hard and easy. I am really enjoying my new job. I like my company, my boss, and my co workers. I am definitely being challenged. It has been a little slow because I am currently in training, and cannot contribute as much as I would like. It’s a huge transition for me. I had been at my university for four years completing my undergraduate and graduate degree. I knew everybody, knew who to go to for questions, or for advice. It was easy to move around the organization. I am new to this organization and I am still awkward. What can I do? Who do I go to for questions? Where are the conference rooms? :) It’s all good, considering I am grateful for my job. However, I have so many questions! How do I advance in my career? How do I get bonuses? LOL Maybe I am getting ahead of myself here?

So where does the hard part come in? I am having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule. My mind and my body are both in agony. During graduate school, my schedule was basically on and off from 11 am to 4 am. Now it has switched to 6:30 am to 10 pm. During the day, I am exhausted, and try not to pass out. I am going to bed early, and still don’t seem to get enough sleep. Note: I do not consume any caffeinated products, so I cannot drink coffee or a soda to wake myself up in the morning or halfway through the day. Today was actually the first morning I felt amazing. I am hoping my body is getting adjusted finally to this new schedule because I need more energy.

My lack of energy and sleep has affected my performance throughout the day. One, I feel slow…Two, I haven’t been working out, and have gained a couple of pounds. Too much chocolate! Bam….the vending machines are too close to my cube.

I have been taking steps to relax more. We went out with friends this weekend! I got a haircut and some hair products! I watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and some of the events. Although, I don’t think I am recording the right events. Where can I watch the swimming and gymnastics matches? Right now, all I see is cycling, which doesn’t really interest me.

My main goal this week is to stay motivated! I want to workout a couple of times this week and get back in the groove. I, also, don’t want to be as tired. I have so much to do. Our anniversary is this weekend, and I haven’t really planned anything. Yikes!

He wants some wireless headphones to work out and a new otter box for his phone. But I want to get him something he will have to remember. What do you think about a watch?

Weekly Round Up- July 28 2012

Thanks for all the support last Thursday when I spoke about the importance of finding time without feeling guilty. I have been feeling better and more energized. Last weekend I tried to stay calm, slow down, and relax. I woke up Saturday morning and watched an entire Girls marathon on HBO Go. The show is both hilarious and depressing! I know…how can that be. I just don’t understand how these girls can be so well put together and yet not be. Maybe it’s the NYC influence? I, also, love how they can pull their outfits together! I am a Gossip Girl fan – until the writers split up Blair and Chuck- and the fashion from Girls to GG is completely different. I wish I could pull off some of their looks.

Both my hubby and I got paid last week! :0 And after some scare of losing my check in the mail, finding it, and depositing it, our bank account went up. Can’t wait to see how much we actually save at the end of July! So far it’s $2300.

Joe @ Retire by Forty finally quit his corporate job! Check out First Week of Retirement. He is much happier, enjoying time with the baby, and loving it so far!

Daisy @Add Vodka talks about baby sitting as a side gig. I started baby sitting two kids last month, and so far it has brought me $500 of side money. It’s not hard, and I feel like I am doing something productive with my life. Do you baby sit?

Go check out a new blogger’s blog :) Making the Bacon! She is so much fun!

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents talks about Frugal Beauty!

Erika @ Mo’Money Mo’ Houses talks about the one percent. Are they douche cakes?

Have your spending habits affected your friendships? Read TL’s story Am I Tightwad? 

Erika @ NewlyWedsOnABudget wrote about what if you died today, would it be okay? It’s a little depressing to think about it, but that’s why it’s best to try to be happy every day.

Janine @ My Pennies, My Thoughts wrote money earned and well spent.  You must check out her story. She is so young and financially responsible. Definitely, someone to aspire to!

I, also, redesigned my blog’s website. Do you like the new layout? Any suggestions?

I’m going to be baby sitting today, playing softball tomorrow, and going to a Texas Rangers game. Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Aiming High, Hopefully We Land Somewhere Close

This is going to be short and sweet! A recent post by Ninja @ Punch Debt in The Face, “Houston, We Have a Failure,” made me want to post my total financial goal for the end of 2012. Yes, I posted a detailed plan of saving, debt, and personal goals for the rest of the year. But I wanted to reveal the big number we are aiming to have in the bank.

We want to save up $20,000 in cash by the end of 2012. Right now, we have $7500. Yup, I added $1500 from last paycheck! We saved $2300 so far this month. Which means we have $12,500 to go. With five months to go, it means we have to save $2500 a month to make the goal. Is it doable? Not sure, but we are going to try!

We, also, want to decrease our car loan (debt) to -$3000. After the July payment, the loan is currently -$4900. Right now, we are planning to pay $300 a month. 5 months * $300 is only $1500. We will be $400 short of our goal. But maybe I can send an extra payment in December?

What is your financial goal for 2012? Are you almost there?

Employee Stock Purchasing Plan

Here comes another edition of the grown up world! Fresh off the press!!! On Monday, I talked about the Exciting and Not So Exciting Parts of Growing Up. Wednesday, I wrote about retirement contributions. And today, I am writing about my employee stock purchasing plan. Honestly, until I joined my company I had no idea I could do this. Sure, I have heard of Facebook and Google employees becoming overnight millionaires after IPOs. I had also heard a graduate classmate who works at AT&T as an IT Engineer, talk about buying company stocks. But when I asked him about it, he was pretty much clueless about it. So no luck there! Of course, I also remember Enron employees losing their retirement savings because they were banking on continual company success. :/

If you are wondering what an Employee Stock Purchasing Plan is; a quick Google search generated these results:

A company-run program in which participating employees can purchase company shares at a discounted price. Employees contribute to the plan through payroll deductions, which build up between the offering date and the purchase date. At the purchase date, the company uses the accumulated funds to shares in the company on behalf of the participating employees. The amount of the discount depends on the specific plan but can be as much as 15% lower than the market price. -Investopedia.com

Trying to figure out how much to contribute in my ESPP is giving me a headache. I can contribute 1%-7.5% of my base gross salary. If you hold the stock for three years, my company will match each share with one share. I have 90 days from my start date to enroll, and the next time I can change my contribution is November.

The matching is awesome! In three years, I will be able to sell those stocks and hopefully make a profit! Three years is a long time to wait, but I am all about long term goals.
Dang..three years from now I will be 25….suspense music please?

Why am I having so much trouble? Well, I have no idea how much I want to contribute! 1%? 2%? 3%? 4%? 5%? I don’t want to contribute the max right now because we want to increase our cash savings, plus I am already contributing to my 401K. I am really tempted to contribute 5%, and then if I feel comfortable increase my contribution in November. But I also have to balance my savings…dilemma…dilemma

Do you have an ESPP? Do you contribute to it? How does it work? Has it paid off? What has been your return?

Retirement Contributions Here I Come!

Personal finance is a journey. It’s a way of life. Each road has many different choices. On this journey, it’s just you on the road. Each turn you make brings new experiences.

You can either choose to spend it on a nice juice box:

Or a lean, mean piggy!

 Well, he doesn’t look that mean or big…

Last week, I set my retirement contributions at 10% of my annual pay. My company will be matching 7%. 10 + 7 equals 17%! Yesterday, I received all the funds’ prospectus (AKA financial information). Looks like I have some bed time reading for the next week or so.

I decided not to max out my 401K because we need to build our savings, pay for tuition, and we are still primarily depending on my income for living expenses. I still haven’t opened up a ROTH IRA. One step at a time peeps :)

It’s a little crazy to think I won’t be touching this money until about 3 decades from now. Hmm…talk about postponing pleasure. At least, I am not getting taxed now on the income. It will grow for years and years to become a fat little piggy.

Where in turn I can use to buy lots of crispy bacon! A girl’s gotta dream!!!

Have you started contributing to your 401K? How much do you have?

Saving For Retirement

Financial Choices

Saving, Debt, and Personal Goals for July-December 2012

By the way thanks so much for reading my post yesterday: The Exciting and Not So Exciting Parts of Growing Up! :)

The Exciting and Not So Exciting Parts of Growing Up

I love my independence! I love living alone, away from parents! I love being able to pay my own bills! Of course, I love paychecks and any additional side income I can get!

I do not love figuring out the fine print. What I mean by the fine print is figuring out what medical insurance covers. Or how much my hubby’s contacts are going to be. Or who my in-network doctors should be.

I love having my car! Who doesn’t like to drive wherever and whenever they feel like it!?!

I do not love the way my parents see me. They want me to grow up, and stay a little girl at the same time! So even though I’m an adult, stopped depending on them a while ago, they still want to treat me as a child. This awkward stage of being in the middle is so not exciting.

I love having my grown up job! It is awesome! Even though I get tired, it makes me feel accomplished.

I do not love the period after lunch when sleep tries to get to me. When I really wished there was a nap room.

I love taking care of just myself (and hubby, of course, but he’s mostly independent). This much needed “selfish” time is needed for my development. I have to say that I don’t mind not having someone else to be responsible for at the end of the day. I don’t think I could handle a pet at this point.

These are the exciting and not so exciting parts of growing up.

Finding Time to Relax Without Feeling Guilty

I have been really quite in the pf world this week. Honestly, I just haven’t had the motivation to write about anything. I have been feeling rather gloomy and I didn’t want to spread my gloominess to the rest of the world.

I decided to take some time off during the evening and separate myself from the world on Tuesday and Wednesday. Instead of going to work out, talking to family on the phone, worrying about my personal finance, thinking about future school classes, I took a breather and relaxed! I, also, ate tons of chocolate, bacon, biscuits, and cake this week. :) And I don’t feel bad about it!

Taking some time for yourself is so important and, unfortunately, I am currently FAILING. Here is my confession….

This past year I have failed at relaxing without feeling guilty. Usually when I relaxed, I felt ultra guilty, and ended up not enjoying. I actually felt like this on Sunday during my softball game. While I was playing, I couldn’t wait to leave because I was thinking of everything I had to accomplish. I could be bay sitting or grocery shopping or…..let’s just say the list never ended. There I was, playing under perfectly beautiful weather, and I was anxious about the possibility of maybe baby sitting or going to buy the pan to make Turkey loaf at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. By the way, buying the pan at BBB only took 15 minutes after the game. I have always been the person that takes care of everything for everyone. My parents call me because they need something? There I am figuring it out. My brother needs help with homework during time alone with my husband? There I am helping him with his homework. My mom needs help with work and needs to relax? There I am for an entire week. It’s my duty. Or is it?

I’m tired. Plain out exhausted of taking care of everybody else’s needs before my own and still being called selfish. I admit, I haven’t found the perfect balance between family, friends, husband, work, school, and myself. But I am only 22, and I am allowed to have time to discover myself. After all this is the only time I have for me. The older I get, the more my time will be diverted to grown up things.

I want to relax without feeling guilty.The truth is deep down I am feeling guilty. But I am also really tired. It’s a feeling that I push aside most of the time, but this weekend it slowly crept up to the surface. Which is why I took time to myself this week. It was amazing! I woke up feeling more rested and motivated!

I am going to continue my relaxation tonight and hopefully go back on schedule tomorrow.

Have you taken time to relax lately?

Finding Time to Relax Without Feeling Guilty

I have been really quite in the pf world this week. Honestly, I just haven’t had the motivation to write about anything. I have been feeling rather gloomy and I didn’t want to spread my gloominess to the rest of the world.

I decided to take some time off during the evening and separate myself from the world on Tuesday and Wednesday. Instead of going to work out, talking to family on the phone, worrying about my personal finance, thinking about future school classes, I took a breather and relaxed! I, also, ate tons of chocolate, bacon, biscuits, and cake this week. :) And I don’t feel bad about it!

Taking some time for yourself is so important and, unfortunately, I am currently FAILING. Here is my confession….

This past year I have failed at relaxing without feeling guilty. Usually when I relaxed, I felt ultra guilty, and ended up not enjoying. I actually felt like this on Sunday during my softball game. While I was playing, I couldn’t wait to leave because I was thinking of everything I had to accomplish. I could be bay sitting or grocery shopping or…..let’s just say the list never ended. There I was, playing under perfectly beautiful weather, and I was anxious about the possibility of maybe baby sitting or going to buy the pan to make Turkey loaf at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. By the way, buying the pan at BBB only took 15 minutes after the game. I have always been the person that takes care of everything for everyone. My parents call me because they need something? There I am figuring it out. My brother needs help with homework during time alone with my husband? There I am helping him with his homework. My mom needs help with work and needs to relax? There I am for an entire week. It’s my duty. Or is it?

I’m tired. Plain out exhausted of taking care of everybody else’s needs before my own and still being called selfish. I admit, I haven’t found the perfect balance between family, friends, husband, work, school, and myself. But I am only 22, and I am allowed to have time to discover myself. After all this is the only time I have for me. The older I get, the more my time will be diverted to grown up things.

I want to relax without feeling guilty.The truth is deep down I am feeling guilty. But I am also really tired. It’s a feeling that I push aside most of the time, but this weekend it slowly crept up to the surface. Which is why I took time to myself this week. It was amazing! I woke up feeling more rested and motivated!

I am going to continue my relaxation tonight and hopefully go back on schedule tomorrow.

Have you taken time to relax lately?

Saving, Debt, and Personal Goals for July-December 2012

It’s time to write down my saving and debt goals for the second half of the year. As you read on my post, Financial Choices, my finances have been driving me crazy lately. I have to admit I am a control freak when it comes to certain things. For example, if you didn’t suspect it already, I like knowing what goes in and out of the bank account, even if it makes me feel bad. I know we have been spending a lot lately, hence the bank account hemorrhage. A lot of it had to do with car purchase, moving to a new apartment, merging accounts (debt). But I think since I started working, we should start climbing up the hill, and building some financial muscle.

So, I found out some information regarding our car loan. Please let me know if this is typical of car loans, since I have never had a car loan before!The interest rate scared me the most!

  • Current Balance: $5238.19, Interest Rate 6.64% Accrues Daily

Accrues daily??? I never heard of it. I thought most loans accrued monthly. I dislike debt very much! This realization made me jump start our debt paying off efforts even if hurts a little bit in the short term.

Here is a summary of our saving and debt goals:

  • Pay off a minimum of $300 every month, starting this month, July! Send payment during the first week of the month, so money disappears from bank account.
  • Save $1,000 more in July, $3000 in August (three paychecks), $2,000 in September, $2,000 in October, $2,000 in November, $2,000 in December.
  • Put 7% to 10% in my employer’s 401K.

I am aiming really high for our savings goals, in hope, we can increase our savings account. Even if we get 50% of the way through the monthly goal, I think we are making excellent progress. This should, also, increase our net worth significantly.

I, also, want to make some improvements in my personal life! :)

  • Make A’s in my Fall classes.
  • Work hard at my company and become an invaluable asset.
  • Identify a high level mentor in my workplace (I want to approach my VP).
  • Work out a minimum of 5X a week.
  • Visit family at home :)
  • Have fun with hubby and friends!

Last but not least, is my blog. I am still not sure what goals I should have for this blog. It is a hobby, and I enjoy writing just for the fact I like to share my experiences. I feel like if people had shared some of their experiences early on with me, I could have learned more. I love learning! So my goals are simple:

  • Continue to share my experiences with PF world.
  • Build relationships with fellow PG bloggers.

What do you think? Have you made your saving, debt, and personal goals for the second half of the year?

Weekly Round Up- July 13

It’s Friday everybody!!! I am so excited to get some rest and sleep in tomorrow! I have been really tried all week long, and I have been wondering why. For some reason, I forgot I moved all weekend, and didn’t get much rest. Number one goal this weekend is to relax, eat, and watch TV!

Someone brought donuts this morning, and it made my day! I haven’t had a donut in so long, and it was so good. What is your favorite donut place? I believe Shipley’s donuts has the best donuts ever!

I did pretty well posting this week, mostly in part, because I had a lot on my mind. Here is a round up of some awesome posts this week:

Joe @ Retire by Forty talked about How to Start Making Passive Income.He suggests to spend less than you earn, invest in equities, rental home, and P2P lending. I know I am pretty early in my financial journey, but I am trying to spend less than we earn. Are you?

Do you want to learn how to make sure your kid has a full ride to school? Read How to Turn Your Kid Into An Olympic Athlete at See Debt Run. I am not sure if I want my kids to be Olympic athletes, or if I even want to have kids. But I would definitely encourage them to succeed academically, athletically, or musically.

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents has some Extra Money Ideas. I have been making some extra money babysitting, and want to babysit more. I would be satisfied with ten hours a week. I would also like to tutor. I could be a Spanish or Flute tutor. I have taught music classes before, not sure why I never thought about it before. My target age would be beginners. I would like to make $400 of extra money per month. What are some skills you could put to use?

Who makes more money in your household? Erika at Everything Finance write about the changing dynamics in a marriage When Women Make More Money Than Their Husbands. Right now, I am making more money than my husband. I don’t think this will ever be the trend, but it honestly, doesn’t matter to us. I see my income as our income, and we have joint goals. If I make more money, it’s beneficial for both us, visa versa.

Daisy at Add Vodka wrote a very intriguing post, We PF Bloggers Are Self Centered. Check it out, and write your opinion. It won’t be a waste of time, for sure :)

What are your plans for the weekend?

SavvyFinancialLatina

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