"Secret skimping is out, like false bosoms." - Marjorie Hillis, Orchids on Your Budget, 1937.

Monday, August 31, 2009

September 2009 Net Worth

Emergency Fund: $400.65
Checking: $37.76
ING Funds (total): $176.35
Roth IRA: $5,730.07 (out of the $6,300 I've invested so far)
401k: $3,632.28 (from the $3,374.88 invested so far)
Sharebuilder: $35.19 (out of $50 initial investment)
Pending ebay sale: $30.00
Total Positive: $10,042.30

Rent: PAID
Credit card: $58.75
Student Loan I: $8,977.50
Student Loan II: $0
Total Negative: $9,036.25

Total Net Worth: +$1,006.05

No. Effing. Way.

Are you getting this? For the first time in the history of EVER, I have a positive net worth. All it took was 2 months of self-flagellation... and abstaining from my most damaging hobby.

I've also accrued $150 in ebay sales this month. That, along with the nearly $200 from last month's sales, and I'm practically rolling in it. Not really. I am, however, recouping some my expenditures over the past year, and because I never pay retail, I'm not selling at too much of a loss.

AND I have a $5 Amazon gift card that I got from using SwagBucks, which I can toward my boyfriend's (er, fiance's) birthday present!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Itchy trigger finger

My favorite jewelry designer, Temple St. Clair, has written a book. I bought said book, read it, and am now insane (keep reading).

If I could distill my dreams, desires, and principles into a single, wearable object, it would look something like this, but with either (i) a round, faceted, vibrant blue-violet sapphire or tourmaline with bezel-set diamonds in place of the gold granulation, (ii) an east-west set oval cabochon - peridot or citrine, or (iii) a scrumtrulescent sugarloaf emerald (see book for example):

And yes, such beasts do exist.

If ever a time comes where it is appropriate for me to spend money in this fashion, I will forego all other jewelry except for my engagement ring and wear this treasure until it becomes a part of me, and some of me is part of it. (See what I mean?)

Until that time comes, a girl can dream...

and dream...

(btw, all pictures taken from the book and the TSC website - they're not mine, and I so don't have permission to use them.)


I've done so well this past month, and it feels great. I'm being tested, however, as today is Klondike Gold Rush day on QVC, and they have new designs in 14k gold on sale. Luckily, most of it looks cheap or doesn't speak to me, but the fact that I keep checking back is not good.

Yesterday I was wrestling with whether or not to buy a refill of my favorite AHAVA hand cream. Winter will start nipping at my knuckles before I know it, so I want to be prepared (seriously, my hands get WRECKED during these New England winters. One day without gloves, and you're red and chapped for a week). BUT I do have an abundance of other, less expensive body lotions that will work almost as well, but somehow fall short. I decided to go in for a tube of my favorite stuff, and while I was there, I picked up some Serious Skin Care olive oil moisturizer. I used to use this stuff in college, and I liked it, so with a 30% off coupon, I decided to try it again. I dropped about $35 on stuff I could probably do without, but will probably use. All in all, I could've done worse.

In other news, a stranger complimented my jewelry today. Stay strong, self!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Budget

I did some budget tinkering, and this is what I'd like to shoot for:

Housing: $850
Medicine: $200 (cc)
Food: $200 (cc)
Internet: $25 (cc)
Misc: $150 (cc)
Loan: $200
Total Expenses: $1625

Clothing purchases: $40
Doctor/Dentist: $75
Future Fund: $100
Emergency Fund: $400
Checking Cushion: $100
Roth IRA: $200
Total Savings: $915

Total/mo: $2540

cc= Charged to credit card. The point being that I'm trying to keep my credit card bill under $600 a month, if at all possible, and these are the items I charge.

Any amount left in my checking cushion at the end of the month will be divided and saved as I see fit. Same with any ebay sales. Although I imagine that the majority will go into the Future Fund, as I now have a wedding to plan... ... ... because I got engaged this past weekend!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 2009 Net Worth

Emergency Fund: $0.06
Checking: $361.00
ING Funds (total): $1,767.76
Roth IRA: $5,382.46 (out of the $6,200 I've invested so far)
401k: $3,327.65 (approx. $1350 employer match just hit!)
Sharebuilder: $33.85 (out of $50 initial investment)
Total Positive: $10,872.78

Rent: PAID
Credit card: $2,295.94
Student Loan I: $9,197.55
Student Loan II: $0
Total Negative: $11,493.49

Total Net Worth: -$620.71

Is that right? If it is, this is the closest I've been to a $0 net worth ever. It feels incredible.

Things that have contributed to the positive: Employer 401k match!; ebay sales (almost $200 worth); returns... and most importantly, only 1 QVC purchase in the past 3 weeks or so (!).

Things that have contributed to the negative: Last month's QVC purchases; overpriced dental appointment, expensive medications; airplane ticket.

I have a note in my planner for today, "START FROM SCRATCH". I'm at a turning point right now. After I pay my credit card bill for the month, I'll have only about $100 (liquid) to my name. From there, I have the option of falling into consumer debt, or doing what I set out to do and fighting tooth and nail to overcome this. There are no other options.