Saturday, May 5, 2007

In my preparation of, celebration of, and recovery from Slope Day...

...I have not been a good newbie blogger. My college's celebration for the last day of class is called Slope Day. Celebration includes waking up around 8 or 9am, commencing beer funneling and mimosa mixing, and continuing the party throughout the day. The University's assumption is that Slope Day is celebrated by attending "Slope Fest" on a large grassy slope near the center of our campus and "jamming" to a popular performer (this year: T.I.) mid afternoon. I didn't quite make it to the slope, but I heard this year's performance and overall slope scene wasn't as great as previous years so I don't feel I missed to much.

Anyway, the sloping celebration has kept me from performing my self-imposed finance-tracking duties. I will try to remember what I spent; if my cash on hand from my last post plus (gains minus losses) from this post does not equal the cash I currently have on hand, I will count this as a lesson learned and be more diligent with posting.

Happy spring, all!

5/5/07+ Expenses

Before class 5/3/2007
What: Cab
Why: Needed to get downtown for an appointment; in retrospect, I could've easily taken a bus and walked the few blocks to my destination but I felt pressed for time.
Total: $6.00

When: After Slope Day dinner 5/4/07
What: Sushi from Miyake
Why: Needed dinner and my boyfriend's friend wanted to go to Miyake. The already inibriated guys ordered a couple of bottles of wine and were too drunk to correctly figure out the bill so I gave up and threw in $20 for my $11 roll.
Total: $20.00

When: Lunch today
What: Mmm.... Boatyard!
Why: I felt like treating Jamie (my boyfriend) to lunch
Total: $41.00

When: Dinner today
What: Campbell's Soup at Hand
Why: Dinner
Total: $2.09

5/1/07 Gains

Total: $153.00

Gains minus losses for 5/5/07: $83.91
Total cash: $266.00

Wow, I really, truthfully thought the math would not work out but $182.00 (total cash 5/2/07) + $84.00 = $266.00! I could've sworn I made some small purchases that I was forgetting to calculate into my totals.

Also, for future reference, so far my posts pertain only to my CASH ON HAND. I am mum on my checking account, savings account, and money market account for the sole purpose of maintaining simplicity while I begin this blogging venture. I cut up my debit card a few weeks ago to cut down on my impulse spending and thus only pay for things with the cash I have on hand. I aquire the cash through one of my two jobs; I deposit the weekly paycheck from one job into my checking account and I cash my weekly paycheck from my other job and keep that as spending money. I could probably work out a more technical savings plan, but the above works for me so far!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, mi gente!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Oh, SCRs...

5/2/07 Expenses

When: Brunch
What: CTB Parfait
Why: Breakfast/Lunch
Total: $3.25

When: After classes
What: The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille
Why: Need to read it for an extra credit paper
Total: $24.95 - 30% off business books Borders coupon - $15.00 gift card = $3.86!

When: After classes
What: A slew of stuff from Rite Aid... not important what because:
Why: SCRs! Whenever I happen to be by a Rite Aid with time to kill (like when I'm waiting for the bus after picking up the book mentioned above), I scour the weekly circular for Free After Rebate items. Rite Aid's ever simple Single Check Rebate program is amazing!
Total: $42.96

5/1/07 Gains

Haha... nothing to report.

Gains minus losses for 4/30/07: -$50.07
Total cash: $182.00

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May day!

5/1/07 Expenses

When: Lunchtime
What: Lemon Pepper Lavash from the Johnson School
Why: Lunch
Total: $3.83

When: After work
What: Cab ride home
Why: My cell phone was missing so I couldn't look up bus schedules, my boyfriend was in the midst of a paper that I didn't want to distract him from so I couldn't ask him for a ride, and I was too down to walk all the way to the bus stop to wait and see if a bus would show up.
Total: $6.00

5/1/07 Gains

What: Johnson School experiment
Total: $7.00

What: Fraley paid back money owed
Total: $30.00

What: Mean person's friend tried to make up for mean person's attitude
Total: $5.00

Gains minus losses for 4/30/07: $32.17
Total cash: $224.00

The first day of my birthday month is sucking majorly. It is cold, it is raining, it is windy, and I am cursing the darn groundhog for giving me hope for an early Spring back in February. Considering this past week of rainy, 50 degree blahness came on the tail end of two gorgeous 80 degree days that followed a nor'easter that brought two feet of snow in the third week of April, I have begun to lose all trust in climatic regularity. I haven't been going to class as often as I should nor have I been keeping up with readings; let's hope actually writing this will motivate me to correct my behavior.

I'm going to get read to head off to work in a little. I work in two restaurants; one gives me a shift meal at the end of my workday and the other does not. Tonight, I'm working at the one that gives me a shift meal so I shouldn't need to spend anymore money today unless I get too lazy to walk ~8 blocks to the bus stop that will take me back to my apartment and take a cab instead. Ciao!

11:30pm update: I bit the bullet and took a cab (see Why under expenses, above). A terribly rude customer with a cane (but probably early 40s in age) almost made me cry at work today because a table for two was "too small" for a "handicapped person" like him. When I offered to relocate him, he instead yelled at his dining partner, a friend, to sit down, ignoring my offer. When I restated my offer, he glared at me, huffed, and yelled "God damnit, will you just sit down??!" to his friend. I thus ignored the man and turned to his friend and told him I'd check on where else I could seat them and quickly moved them to a table for four.

After relocating them, I checked on them twice during their meal (something I have absolutely no obligation to do as a hostess, and am normally too busy to do). The "handicapped" man continued to ignore me. The entire time they were in the restaurant, this weighed heavily on me and my mood was so affected that I had to force myself to cheer up every time a new guest walked into the restaurant. Life sucked for that hour and a half.

Anyway, when the two finished their meal, they came to watch the band playing in the bar room, right by the hostess stand, for a few minutes before they left. I thanked them for bearing with the seating confusion (masked hospitality talk for "I know you were a pain in the ass, but you're welcome"). The "handicapped" man AGAIN glared at me and ignored me. His friend, however, slipped me a $5.00 bill. I gave it back and explained that I'm just the hostess, I don't earn tips; if the service was exemplary, he should tip the server directly. He insisted, even after the second and third time I tried to give the money back, explaining that the accommodation was greatly appreciated.

I guess for every asshole out there, there is a sympathetic friend to make up for the former.

Too bad I still felt too down to test my luck with the buses (see Why under expenses) and spent that $5.00 (and more) on a cab later.

First entry...

I don't expect anyone to read this but me. If others happen upon this blog, I wouldn't be surprised if the fully self-centered theme helps them lose interest quickly. That said, I am trying to get my finances in shape. I spend too much money on unimportant things for the short term satisfaction that such things bring me. By documenting all of my expenditures, I hope to get a better grasp on what it means to be a conscientious spender.

Just for practice, I'll start with yesterday's expenses with commentary on why I purchased what I did:

4/30/07 Expenses

When: Lunchtime
What: Two salads and an artichoke appetizer from Aladdin's
Why: I bought one salad for myself, one for my boyfriend because we were in a fight and whenever we are fighting, the one who initiated the drama brings the other lunch
Total: $18.63

When: Walk home from class
What: A Vitamin Water and a "Sunny Weather" scratch-off lotto game
Why: I was thirsty. I had also never purchased a scratch off lotto game before and since it was a sunny day, I figured I might as well
Total: $3.27

When: Walk back from Johnson School experiment
What:A whole wheat pita stuffed with tuna salad
Why: Dinner
Total: $3.23

When: Before bed
What: Bubble tea
Why: I wanted something different. Side note - it was disgusting and I had to throw it away.
Total: Don't remember exactly. $4.00 is overshooting it but I will stick with that number for safety.

4/30/07 Gains

What: Johnson School experiment
Total: $12.00

What: Scratch off lotto game
Total: $4.00

Gains minus losses for 4/30/07: -$13.13

As I get used to blogging and this new venture, I will move from monitoring just the cash in my purse to including my goals to establish a Roth IRA, a high yield savings account, and an online checking account for interest-gaining purposes. This could be months from now; I could find inspiration from my newly recorded financial ventures and get the ball rolling today. Regardless, I hope to keep this up and learn from my mistakes my successes. We'll see how I do!