Tag Archives: Vacation

A Millenial’s Perspective: When Work Takes Over

I have been radio silent over the past couple of weeks. In short, between the house purchase, an increase in my workload, and traveling over the weekend, I’m pretty much burned out. Usually I use the weekends to recover and catch up on posts but I have been going out of town the past couple of weekends. Thankfully, I’m staying put this weekend, and I’ll be able to catch some sleep and write a couple of more posts. On another side thought, I wish I could write without having to be in front of a computer. For example, if there was an automatic transcript of what went on in my head, I would be thrilled. When work takes over my life, it leaves no energy left for life or blog. Everything I think is about work. Here are some things I’ve noticed at work.

People Talk a Lot

I have always been a person who loves reading. I was the kid hiding from my little brother in the closet so I could read my books. He always wanted to play, makes sense he was little, and I always wanted to read. I prefer subtitles when watching TV or a movie. I read everything and anything. Part of my job involves a lot of meetings. I work for a corporation and my job requires me to interact with a lot of groups. I was just in a meeting with my boss, and I realized how much he talked. I could have easily said what he said in 3 paragraphs instead of his ten minute monologue. I felt like I was in one of those movies where the person who’s talking sounds like they are going 10 words per minute. Not being mean here! But whatever happened to being concise. I know I work really hard on being concise. But maybe I should be wordier. Is that what gets you to climb the corporate ladder because I see there’s a correlation between how high you’re up in the ladder and how wordy you are. Now don’t get me wrong here. I have known some executives that are extremely great public speakers. They understand that every word is important. Sometimes it feels like people are wordy to make up for their lack of knowledge in a business setting. Remember, I am only talking about wordiness in a business setting.

What do you think?

I’m getting territorial over my projects. My projects have been getting bigger and bigger. It’s a growth area in our company, and all of a sudden everybody in my group is interested in what I’m doing. While I don’t mind sharing information, now I have everybody giving input and trying to drive my projects. I wish it helped with my workload, but it really doesn’t, it actually gives me more work. Makes me wish my projects were smaller so I could be more under the radar.  At the end of the day, I own the responsibilities, so if something goes wrong, my phone rings. This may seem as if I don’t like sharing, but really I just don’t need more voices telling me what to do. There’s plenty, believe me. Not to mention, they talk about my project with my boss without me! How annoying is this? Pretty annoying! I know I may be looking at this in a bad way. Take in mind, I have been fighting a lot of political fires, so I’m more frustrated than usual.

Losing creativity

Sometimes I am so tired by the end of the day; I just want to stare at the TV screen. It’s been like this the past two weeks, and it sucks. I don’t even have enough energy to talk to my husband. The end of year is pretty crazy because so many teams want to close out projects. I can’t wait for vacation!!!

So I think until I get some vacation time, I’m probably going to remain frustrated and grumpy. I really try to be a positive person, smile at everyone. But I’m a little burned out this year. I just have to remember it’s a phase, and I used to think the same way about graduate and undergraduate school.

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Dimespring: 5 Tips for Planning a Budget-Friendly Vacation

Check out my staff post on Dimespring. It’s titled 5 Tips for Planning a Budget-Friendly Vacation.

At work, I often find myself fantasizing over where I’m going to travel next.

I grew up in an immigrant family, and traveling, as much as we wanted to do it, was not often in the budget. I can remember only a couple of times we went on vacation, including a trip to San Antonio’s Six Flags (best childhood trip ever!), Schlitterbahn (close second!), and a couple of other times we went to see family in Houston and Oklahoma.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article!

Let me know what you think!

A True vacation spirit

A True vacation spirit (Photo credit: Kenzoka)

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What Are Your Vacation Plans for 2013?

Today as I stared off into my beach screensaver, I thought about our vacation. A vacation that is not yet planned, but desired. This year as we save aggressively for a down payment towards a house, we are debating what vacations to plan. Some of our friends invited us to go to Cabo with them with a Group On coupon. $950 per person for a week in Cabo, Mexico. We passed. Most of the vacations we have been on we have managed to spend less than $1,300 on airfare, hotel, and food. So for this year’s vacation it’s my goal to maximize our vacation money.

This time we want to head to a beach destination like Cancun, Mexico.

We are, also, considering taking a Caribbean cruise.

I am going to start looking at deals and hopefully, we will find a deal under $1,300.

Has anybody been to Cancun or taking a cruise? Any tips for this newbie?

The plan is to take a week’s worth of vacation in the early fall. I am going to attempt to find a deal around Labor Day weekend. It would be great if we could take our vacation during Labor Day week. I would only have to take 4 days off work, which would leave me with 18 vacation days. I really want to take a long Christmas break. It would be great if I could take off the last three weeks of December. Remember, last year I sold a week’s worth of vacation? I really regret that, even though the money was nice. However, this year I am not going to sell days. Uncle Sam taxes that week and takes 30-40% of it. So,  I would rather just take it and enjoy it. But I have noticed I am getting more and more fatigued. My hubby has, also, said the same thing. The question will be if can we last until September to take our vacation?

How many vacation days do you have this year?

The more and more I think about our vacation, the more and more I want to go. Sometimes I wish we lived near the beach. It would definitely be a plus to escape and hear the waves. Maybe when we retire? Texas has such boring geography. It’s just flat!

Where do you plan to go on vacation this year?

***Please feel free to share your vacation plans, costs, and the deal website.  I will definitely appreciate it, and I’m sure others would love the information :)

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Retiring or Living Abroad: My Dream

So, I have to say I am definitely the most adventurous in our family. We were having dinner with my in-laws last night to celebrate my husband’s 23rd birthday, and I mentioned an opportunity to teach kindergarten English in Japan for a couple of years. Although I do not want to be a teacher, I did express my excitement about working in a new, different country. My sister-in-law (future teacher) completely shut down the idea. My husband is on the edge. He loves his American lifestyle and is quite stuck to his habits. When I mention living abroad, he says maybe if it’s Australia. It’s going to take some convincing to make him move in the future, but I will succeed! My parents despite moving from one country to another, do not want to make such a move again in their lives.

My dream has always been to live abroad. I want to experience new cultures, and love seeing House Hunters International. I would love to move every five years or so to a different country. But I definitely want to retire/settle down somewhere tropical like New Zealand or Australia or Costa Rica!!! I don’t know what the future holds, but I definitely hope it’s somewhere else on this earth.

If you want to retire abroad, there’s ten places in the world that provide beautiful scenery, cheaper cost of living, lower tax burdens, and good healthcare.

  1. Ecuador
  2. Panama
  3. Philippines
  4. Belize
  5. Southwest France
  6. Bali
  7. Costa Rica (No taxes on foreign retirement income)
  8. Italy
  9. Mexico (Campeche)
  10. Argentina

I, also, saw New Zealand in another list. Honestly, I can’t wait until retirement to live abroad. I mean by that time I retire, I’ll be too old to enjoy water sports or look good in a swim suit. So, I have to make sure we bust our ass and get abroad at some point in our careers.

Do you want to retire or live abroad?

August 2012 Goals

I can’t believe it’s August already! Time is going by so fast. I woke up today with a flurry of goals updates from Twitter and Google Reader. So I guess it’s time to put my goals out there for August 2012.

In July, we ended up saving $2500. It definitely exceeded our $2000 goal. We, also, paid off $300 on our car loan. I, also, set my 401K contribution. I think I’m going to have wait on the ROTH IRA. I will have to revisit in September.

Here are some goals for this month:

  • Spend no more than $2500
  • Save $3000
  • Pay $500 to car loan
  • Set up contribution to ESPP
  • Workout 4-5x a week
  • Write 3-5X blog posts a week
  • Make some side hustle $$$
  • Sell 3 pairs of shoes on Ebay
  • Sell books on Amazon

This is my last month of partial freedom. Fall classes start on August 27th, and I’m sure the next couple of months will be a whirlwind. I already started working on my Christmas list.

I have one week of vacation. If I don’t take this week, I will lose it. Other option is to have a stay cation, but I think I would get pretty bored. So that’s not an option. I want us to go somewhere nice and warm to relax. I’m thinking beach. Probably in mid December. Our budget will be $1000-$1500. Any ideas?

This weekend is our anniversary, not sure how much I am going to be online. We are starting our celebration by going on a baseball game tomorrow. It’s my first baseball game ever. Frankly, I don’t think I have ever watched a baseball game more than 3 minutes on TV. However, I have been playing softball, so I understand some of the rules.

Have you been watching the Olympics??? I almost cried when the girl’s won Gold!

How’s everything on your end? Are you staying motivated?

Weekly Round Up – Friday June 29

Today I am posting 2x. I have been pretty behind on posting, and am trying to catch up, and be better! Well it has been a pretty crazy week. It’s Friday and I am almost finished with my first week of work. I was definitely pretty busy this week. I came into the office at 8 am and did not leave until 6 pm. I then either went to the gym or babysitting, so my day ended around 10 pm. I barely had a lunch break because I was in and out of meetings. But at least I am getting paid, right? I can’t wait to see my first paycheck! I really love my company. I already have a coffee mug, hot thermos, and water canteen with my company’s logo imprinted. I will pass these gifts to my family since they love to have things that say my university’s name and now my company’s name. I also arrived Wednesday to see a special package: a tin of cookies from my company! :) I am also getting a Samsung Galaxy phone. They will be paying for my phone bill :) I will finally upgrade from MetroPCS talk and text only! I feel so grown up :)

On Wednesday, I also received great news! The apartment below the apartment we leased became available. So we are moving in sooner than August 23rd. Actually we are moving next weekend!!! So excited! My summer hopes were just revived!

We still have that pesky loan we have to take care off, but unfortunately we do not have the money to clear it right now. I will have to re-do my budget to include the monthly car payment, and come up with a plan to pay it off. Also, his parents are giving my husband $1,000 as part of his graduation gift. They said they will give it to us after the loan is paid off, but I really think they should give it to us now. That way interest won’t accumulate on the $1K. How do you think we should approach this?

Here is a round up on some great personal finance posts. My goal is to publish a weekly round up every week. :) I need to come up with a better system of documenting what posts I really like. I read a lot but always forget to link em. Is there a link generator out there?

This weekend is going to be pretty busy: suit shopping with my husband tonight, date night tonight, baby sitting tomorrow, softball game Sunday, interview practice with my husband, and who knows what else.What about you?

SavvyFinancialLatina

Weekly Round Up – Friday June 29

Today I am posting 2x. I have been pretty behind on posting, and am trying to catch up, and be better! Well it has been a pretty crazy week. It’s Friday and I am almost finished with my first week of work. I was definitely pretty busy this week. I came into the office at 8 am and did not leave until 6 pm. I then either went to the gym or babysitting, so my day ended around 10 pm. I barely had a lunch break because I was in and out of meetings. But at least I am getting paid, right? I can’t wait to see my first paycheck! I really love my company. I already have a coffee mug, hot thermos, and water canteen with my company’s logo imprinted. I will pass these gifts to my family since they love to have things that say my university’s name and now my company’s name. I also arrived Wednesday to see a special package: a tin of cookies from my company! :) I am also getting a Samsung Galaxy phone. They will be paying for my phone bill :) I will finally upgrade from MetroPCS talk and text only! I feel so grown up :)

On Wednesday, I also received great news! The apartment below the apartment we leased became available. So we are moving in sooner than August 23rd. Actually we are moving next weekend!!! So excited! My summer hopes were just revived!

We still have that pesky loan we have to take care off, but unfortunately we do not have the money to clear it right now. I will have to re-do my budget to include the monthly car payment, and come up with a plan to pay it off. Also, his parents are giving my husband $1,000 as part of his graduation gift. They said they will give it to us after the loan is paid off, but I really think they should give it to us now. That way interest won’t accumulate on the $1K. How do you think we should approach this?

Here is a round up on some great personal finance posts. My goal is to publish a weekly round up every week. :) I need to come up with a better system of documenting what posts I really like. I read a lot but always forget to link em. Is there a link generator out there?

This weekend is going to be pretty busy: suit shopping with my husband tonight, date night tonight, baby sitting tomorrow, softball game Sunday, interview practice with my husband, and who knows what else.What about you?

SavvyFinancialLatina

The $3,000 Budget

How far does $3,000 go in Dallas, Texas for a couple?

I cannot believe how much has changed since April. Remember my post “Working on our First Post School Budget?” I did not have a car, a job, or anything really! After working some numbers, I believe I have our first budget. Here it is:

Let’s just say it’s pretty tight. Despite the fact that $3,000 is a lot of money, it doesn’t seem to go very far! :( And I live in Dallas, TX, an affordable city! I totally feel for the PF bloggers living in pricey cities! We have a $111 buffer, which I believe we may spend sooner rather later during the month. I am hoping the gasoline bill is not as high as I am predicting. We are going to be living 5-10 minutes away from my job, and I hope my hubby finds a job nearby! Everything is also five minutes down the road.  I, also, don’t know if my company will pay for my cellphone. I hope they do, at least partially.

Line Items:

  • Rent is an estimate. I have been looking at apartments and they all range between $700 to $900 depending on location and amenities. The cheaper the apartment, the more buffer.
  • Cash Allowance- I have budgeted a cash allowance for my hubby and I. Right now, I plan for a $50/ a week for each of us.
  • Car maintenance fund- I have also budgeted $100 for car maintenance. This should help pay for tires, oil changes, etc.
  • Christmas fund-  I am putting away $100 a month for Christmas gifts, so when the time comes we won’t go over budget.
  • Vacation Fund- Budgeting $100 a month for vacation expenses.
Some thoughts:
  • I am not sure how families do it. $3,000 for 2 people seems like a lot, but then it just disappears on rent, car insurance, etc. Hats off to the families who can. I know my mother always managed to find the money to pay stuff, and her budget was/is LESS $3,000 per month for 4 people.
  • I am so grateful to NOT have loans of any kind. I don’t know if I could pay off additional debt and stay under our budget. This is motivation for me not to rack up any debt.
  • You might notice that I say “I” or “me” when I talk about the budget. I am married, but  in the end I am the one who handles the finances. My hubby doesn’t like setting limits or paying bills or setting financial priorities. He leaves it to me.

What do you think? What is your budget like? Do you stay under it usually?

SavvyFInancialLatina

Flying Spirit, the Most Profitable Airline in the US

The plane during take off

The seats inside the plane

We were very lucky to land some awesome tickets to Myrtle Beach for $311 round trip for both of us. During our vacation, an article on the WSJ came out describing how Spirit has become the most profitable airlines while other airlines are hemorrhaging money. Check it out: A Stingy Spirit Lift’s Airline’s Profit. I decided to write a short commentary on my experience with Sprit. This is not a sponsored post.

How is Spirit so profitable? Well it charges for your seat and everything else is extra! Want to choose your seat online, it’s extra. Or you could wait, check in online, and choose your seat at the kiosk in the airport for no fee! Which is what we did by the way.

If you want water, you get charged. What about chips or peanuts? Another charge. You want to fly a carry on bag? Another charge. Everything is a la carte. I brought snacks in my purse to eat during the flight. On the flight back, I also packed water and more snacks.

Now while it would be nice to fly in a super comfortable seat, our flight was only 3 hours, so the savings was worth not having a great experience. The flight attendants were nice and left you alone for the most part.

I had a really good experience especially for only $155 roundtrip. I would definitely fly Spirit again :)

What do you think? Have you ever flown Spirit? What was your experience?

SavvyFinancialLatina

Hilton Head Vacation

Our trip to South Carolina was awesome! We actually went to visit my hubby’s cousins in HIlton Head. I greatly recommend spending some time in historic downtown Charleston. We stayed there our first night, and went to a jazz bar, the Rooftop Bar. We also visited the market (established in 1806 as a slave market) the next day, walked around downtown, and saw all the historic homes.

In Hilton Head, we did not have to pay for a hotel since we were staying in our cousins’ home. Here is a breakdown of travel expenses:

  1. 2 Round Trip Tickets to Myrtle Beach – $311
  2. Rental Car For 7 Days – $400
  3. Food- $405
  4. Gifts-57

Total = $1173

The food was relatively expensive, so we tried to limit what we ate. The beach was amazing! I recommend going to Hilton Head for a vacation!

SavvyFinancialLatina

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