Sitting at the airport...sad..nervous...with a terrible feeling in my stomach.  I'm leaving beautiful Charlotte.  Yes I cried as my dad pulled off...Its always bittersweet.

This has been the best Spring Break that I have ever had.  I am so glad I spent the entire 10 days with my dad.  Its something about the south that just calms my spirit.  I will always be a city girl at heart but I wouldn't mind having a love affair with the south :)

Today being Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday.  I view this as the Christian New Year.  This is an opportunity for you to start over and accomplish those things you set out to do and may have forgotten about.  Take this time for yourself, I know I plan to.

Enjoy today because it is a gift.  Appreciate it :)  Loving the simple things in life...


Half way...

Today is April 15th and it marks the official half way point of my spending fast.  I am really proud of myself because I have talked myself out of unnecessary purchases such as clothing, food, etc.  I have rearranged my closet and took inventory of all I actually have.  I have always packed lunch for work, it was breakfast I was spending on everyday.  During my grocery trip, I made sure to purchase items I could pack and eat for breakfast on a daily basis.  Looking at that financially in itself has saved me a lot of money.

One (6) pack of bagels = $3.50
One tub of Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese = $2.50
One Gallon of Tropicana Orange Juice = $3.00 (It was 2 for $6.00) poured into my own carrying container
Total = $12.00

Wawa or Dunkin Donuts
One bagel + Cream Cheese = $1.85
20oz Orange Juice = $2.00
Total = $3.85 x 5 days a week = $19.25

Thats a savings of $7.25 per week.  At least that can get me two gallons of gas :)

This is just one of the ways I see savings and it makes me happy, I feel accomplished.  How have you been saving???


Visual Shopping on a spending fast...

So there I was in Nordstrom that just opened in Christiana Mall, Delaware.  I was taking in the sights and looking at everything as it glistened.  I've been to Nordstrom before but there was something different about this Nordstom, maybe it was the tax free shopping :)  Nevertheless, I walked around with a pair Badgley Mischka pumps in my left hand, Tory Burch peep toes in my right, while I starred at the $10,000 boot made with swarovski crystals that both Rihanna and Beyonce have worn.

Yes, I am still on my spending fast, it is possible for me to be in a shopping environment and not buy anything :)  I call this visual shopping especially since 50 Cent has made being a "window shopper" such a negative thing.  Visual shopping is admiring everything thats around you, trying things on and appreciating the experience.  I apologize to the nice man for bringing me all those shoes and not making any commission off of any of them :(

Visual shopping also allows me the opportunity to not make impulse purchases, buying things that I know I don't really need, just because its cute or when I go home I realize I already own something very similar.  One key to not spending unnecessary money is to sleep on a purchase.  If there is something you have to have, leave it in the store, go home and sleep on it.  Rationally think about your purchase, weigh its pros and cons, see if you REALLY can afford it or how long it will take for you to save for it and then if after all of that you still want it, purchase it.

I am currently going through this process with a pair of Tory Burch shoes, I am craving them, but do I really need them is the question.  Is the price tag worth it?  Instead of deciding overnight, I am giving myself an additional 30 days to decide.  Hopefully I will fall out of love with these shoes in a month :(


Tidy Tuesday

Today is Day 5 of my financial fast and I am very proud of myself.  Yesterday I fought the urge to spend unnecessary money on food when there was food already in my freezer and fridge, I also fought the urge to waste unnecessary gas by driving to the restaurant of choice when gas is $3.60 a gallon!!!  (That's a blog in itself!)

I entitled this blog "Tidy Tuesday" because I used today to gather all of my finances.  You cannot change what you can't see.  

1.  Write down all of your expenses/ their payment amounts/ due date.  This can be done on a piece of paper or on a calendar.

2.  Total all expenses

3.  Write down total income after taxes

4.  Subtract expenses from income

5.  Anything left over = SAVINGS!!!

Then I list how soon my bills can be paid off if I sent just a little extra (am ex, car note, etc).  Believe it or not an extra $5.00 a month can go a long way.  I challenge you to write everything down, look at it, study it and make a financial plan/goals for yourself.


First three days are always the hardest...

Happy Saturday and Day 2 of my spending fast.  They say once you get through the first three days, the rest seems like a breeze.  Well between yesterday and today, I have seen more fashion ads, more sale ads, received more coupons via regular mail and email and had this intense itch to go spend money.  But so far, I have remained strong and not spent any money on anything extra.

I wanted to share with you the guidelines of my spending fast, in case you decide to join me on this financial journey.

What you can purchase during the Financial Fast:
Essential items such as food and medicine
Essential personal hygiene products
Essential items that would be required for your job (pantyhose, uniform, etc)
Essential items for your family (for example, school supplies)
Essential items for your home (for example, cleaning products)

Examples of what you shouldn't do over the next three weeks:
     Don’t go to the mall (if you do - leave the wallet at home)
     Don’t shop online
     Don’t browse through retail catalogs
     Don’t buy meals outside the home
     Don’t go to the movies or spend money on entertainment
    Don’t use debit or credit cards (Only use cash)
    Don’t allow yourself to buy things you know you shouldn't


Spending a little too fast caused a financial fast :)

I am grateful to see today because I know we shouldn't put things off for tomorrow that we can do today.  But new beginnings always have more meaning to me when they are started on the 1st of the month.  With that being said...Today on April 1st, 2011, I begin my 30-day SPENDING FAST!!!

I started keeping track of my spending through my check register especially for my debit purchases because we are so quick to swipe and then we forget what or where we spent the money.  Then later we end up in a financial bind thinking you had more in your account than you did.  I have a register in my wallet for each of my checking accounts (I have 3!)  But keeping track didn't help me to realize that my balance was drastically being reduced by the day.  Which prompted me to make some significant changes, my financial  goal is not a house, a pair of CL shoes, a trip - my goal simply is to watch my SAVINGS ACCOUNT GROW.

Today I will make a list of my income (salary) subtracted by my outcome (bills/expenses) and the remainder or excess should be my automatic savings.  I have a savings account through ING Direct and money is automatically deposited every two weeks from my paycheck but I now see that more money could be sent to savings especially if I am able to make DAILY runs to Target or Walmart for nothing specific and EVERYTHING in general.

Will you join me on my spending fast.  Are there areas in your finances that you can limit for just 30 days?  Wouldn't you love to see your savings account grow?  I challenge you as I challenge myself!!!  Best wishes :)

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