Spending Recap – March 2014

This is the second month in a row I’ve diligently tracked my spending so can I get a holler? *waits patiently for you to holler*

Okay, so this is the second month in a row that I’ve diligently tracked my spending down to the T and I am so happy I started doing this again. Yes, it’s frustrating to see where I waste money but I am loving the fact that I know where my money is going and areas I definitely need to cut back in. So, let’s get to it!

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My spending overall decreased from last month by $375.09! That’s a major improvement! Especially since I spent 9 days on the east coast on vacation. The amount spent does not include any additional money I was able to sock away in savings but does however, include debt repayments to my student loans. I am currently on the public service forgiveness program in regards to my payment amount and payment schedule. If anyone would be interested in learning more, please let me know and I can touch base in a future post. :)

Although I spent too much  in my personal category and in daily life, I am happy with the amount I spent while on vacation. I included the spending I did while in Las Vegas in my daily life category instead of vacations since it was basically just like a weekend out here. I also am pleased with transportation since $130 of that is actually car insurance and I drove all the way to Vegas and back.

Other than that, not too much to report. My spending in April has already been drastically different than it’s been the past two months due to trying to make a conscious effort of saving 25% of my income. It’s April 12 as of writing this so I’m hoping I can keep it up!

How did tracking your spending go last month?

Tunes Tuesday

You may be a little bit country but I’m feelin a little bit more rock n’ roll.

1. Franz Ferdinand- No You Girls

2.Marina And The Diamonds- How To Be A Heartbreaker

3. Tune- Yards – Water Fountain

Places To Visit In…NYC

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of positive feedback about my recent traveling and suggestions, such as perhaps starting a travel blog to share and document all of the fun places I’ve been visiting. Who am I to deny the masses? :) But, instead of starting an entirely separate blog devoted to traveling, I’ve decided to incorporate it here. I decided I would start a new series called “Places To Visit In.” In this new series, I’ll be highlighting fun places to visit in different parts of the country. Some of these places may be unique and some may just be places everyone goes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go too!

First up, Roastown in NYC!

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During Spring Break, I had the opportunity to visit Roastown located by Penn Station in New York City. My boyfriend surprised me with tickets to Mama Mia on Broadway and we decided to make a day of it in NYC. I was having slight caffeine withdraws due to lack of sleep so when I saw Roastown, I pretty much grabbed his arm and dragged him inside.

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Inside, I was greeted not only by a full service coffee bar, but also a bakery, a deli where one could grab a sandwich or salad and sushi! Or a beer if you were feeling so pleasantly inclined. Also, frozen yogurt.

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Glimpse of the salad bar ( prepared or make your own!)

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Sandwiches!

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The sushi bar was located in the back of Roastown to where as everything else was located on the sides. In front of the sushi bar were cute tables to enjoy your meals, treats or in my case, a nice cup of coffee. I also may have enjoyed something else.

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More specifically, a pistachio one. I should have taken a pic before I gobbled it while waiting in line for Mama Mia. After a second thought, I should have grabbed two! My guy had never had a macaroon so being the polite person I am, I shared. He enjoyed it too.

Roastown is located at 267 W 34th St, Manhattan, NY 10001. I would definitely recommend Roastown for a cup of coffee or a cute lunch spot in the bustling city of Manhattan while exploring. The atmosphere is semi-relaxing while still having that high paced energy and prices were very reasonable. My coffee had costs what it would have been at Starbucks and meals were offered for around $10.

Spring Cleaning? Don’t Forget To DeClutter!

When spring arrives, one usually thinks of new flowers blooming, nice clean fresh air and the joy of warmer temps. It also means that spring cleaning may be on your mind to get everything ready for the new season. This past weekend, I myself was able to spring clean and it felt liberating to not only clean and reorganize, but to declutter as well. Over the years, I’ve cut back quite a bit on my personal possessions and I’d like to share with you some great reasons to help you get started too. Because seriously, less stuff means less stress. Am I right?

  • It’s stuff, not memories or the person. A lot of people have an emotional attachment to their possessions and that’s why they end up with so much stuff. I myself, am one of those people. I keep cards people give me, movie ticket stubs and other random knickknacks just because someone gave them to me. The worst was when my dad gave me some of my mothers belongings and I dragged them around with me just because. My mother passed away when I was 15 and anything that was hers I hung onto just because. It wasn’t until I had a really good experience giving somethings away of hers that I began to gave away more and more. I still have things, like her punch bowl set and jewelry box, but I don’t have things I don’t care about or like. I didn’t like the Buddha statue growing up, why would I begin to like it now? Taking photos or limiting yourself to only keeping one item you like helps keep that memory.
  • Things take up space. Space costs money. The more stuff you have, the more space you need. I remember getting u-Haul when I moved last year and then freaking out because I thought my belongings wouldn’t fit. Because of having so much stuff, I needed to spend more money to move it. The more stuff you have, the bigger of a living space you need. If you have too much stuff, you may need a storage unit. All of things things cost money and wouldn’t be necessary if you didn’t have so much stuff!
  • Physical clutter causes mental clutter. I’m a coordinator for a non-profit at a school and I often buy supplies for my program and then get reimbursed later because it’s easier for me. But, I have lost receipts and misplaced paperwork because I am not the most organized person. Instead of filing things, I let things stock up. I knew it was bad when one of my students used my desk as an example of an unorganized space in class. Oops. Physical clutter and piles causes mental angst and the inability to focus. When was the last time you were able to cook in a messy kitchen? Decluttering means less stuff to pile up and allows you to be on top of your belongings and anything else you need to be on.
  • Decluttering helps you make extra cash. When you decide to declutter, not everything you decide to part with is going to be junk or trash. You can actually decide to sell things that still have reasonable cash value such as electronics, collectibles, books and clothing, to give you a couple of examples. You can have a yard sale, try to sell online through eBay, sell things to a pawn shop or cosigner or try listing things online locally, through a site like Quicksales.
  • Giving is good for the soul. If you can’t sell your items and they are still valuable, please consider donating your items. Old blankets and pillows can be donated to animal shelters, glasses can be donated to your local Lions club and electronics can be recycled through Goodwill, complete with a data wipe for extra security measures. Also, you’d be surprised what you can donate for tax deductions!

How do you declutter?