Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yeah, baby, I'm Alive

I have let so many blogs die slow and painful deaths in the past, and I am determined that this blog will not suffer a similar fate!
I have been working quite at bit at my job and have been earning $1100-1400 each month so far. It has felt really, really great! I have had to fill out a lot more paperwork and apply for a variety of professional memberships and things since I found out I passed my test. That has eaten up a little money and has partially kept me from fulfilling a bit goal - a second contract. I only have one more thing I must do before getting the contract and one other optional membership (which I think I'll join just for the networking). I finally feel like I'm not only becoming active in my profession, but also setting myself up for success.
Part of my job now is also to maintain my certification through workshops and the like. My first workshop is next weekend! I'm a bit annoyed that it will eat up all day on Halloween, but I'm excited to be participating!
I've been reading a lot of PF blogs lately and it seems to be a bit of trend to just write a To-do list for the week. I'm going to give that a try in the hopes that it will keep me motivated to update this bad boy.
AH! Lest we forget...My savings ticker is getting closer to the bank! Thanks to three paychecks this month, I decided to deposit $300 into an actual savings account. Because I'm ghetto, I still have the $42 in change in my dresser. I never took it to the bank to turn into silky smooth greenbacks. And with the big deposit, I opened a real, linked account, instead of just filling up my checking. I may keep the $42 and turn it into a Christmas gift fund (because Christmas is almost here, as Ta*rget and a painful amount of commercials keep reminding me).

To Do - 10/25 -10/30
1. Email about second contract (10/28! Hopefully I hear back soon!)
2. Contact city abt business license (DONE! 10/26)
3. Membership to last prof club
4. Clean the bathroom (not money related, but it is needed)
5. Check out local gym

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finnigan, Begin Again

It felt silly to try posting during August. For one thing, I was out of town for almost the entire month. Very hard to post where I was and I wasn't using any of my own money. The second reason I didn't feel like posting was that my own finacial situation was at a total stand still. Hadn't heard about my test and I didn't start work until the last 10 days or so of August.

Work has started up again and just this past week I recieved the results from my test. I passed! This now means that I'm earning double my hourly pay (sweeeet) and so from my regular job I'll be earning over $1100! This is still not a ton of money compared to most, but luckily my schedule leaves me plenty of time to pick up extra work as a contractor. Now that I have my results it should make it much easier to get those contracts going. Hopefully by the beginning of next week I'll be set up with at least one more. I cannot begin to tell you the relief that I feel now. Longest two months, ever!

I really want to be smart with this money. My rent is going up $50 for the next year and I'd love to be able to start saving up for a house, open a Roth IRA, and maybe save up for a wedding. My first goal is still to get my emergency savings set up. I think I'll be able to spare $25 or $50 from each paycheck, still figuring out an exact amount. That will definitely get me to $500 much faster! Then I'll open the Roth IRA and seperate savings. I also need to start thinking about insurance (health). And the fun begins!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Still waiting on my results and it is driving me INSANE! I have some work secured for the new school year and if I pass the test then it will end up paying me around $1100 or so (after tax) a month. That alone is a GREAT feeling and so I have to hope both that I pass and that schedules don't end up changing too much. It'd be nice to have this amount as a sure thing for several months. That work would also mean that I only have to find enough work for another $900 to meet my goals for income. Again, if my results come in positive, then that would become much easier.
Bear and I are taking off for almost two weeks in August and I am really excited. I definitely need to get out of town for awhile (I haven't travelled out of state in...10 months or so) and am getting restless. Hopefully I handle the humidity. The best part of this trip is that in a random set of coincidences, three or four of our friends from here will be within an hour of where we're going! So we're going to try to meet up with people.
The trip is being paid for out of Bear's money and some work I've done for my dad. I won't have a ton of personal spending money, but Bear has enough and I think it'll all work out. If I get things set for the next few months, my next vacation will hopefully be in October. My BFF (seriously...since kindergarten) and I haven't seen each other in WAAAYYY too long, so I really want to get to Chicago to see her. If work is slower than I expect, then I'll try to get out to see her around Thanksgiving.
I feel like things are starting to come together, at least in my mind. I'll be really, really disappointed if I make all these plans only to find out I didn't pass. So, guess for know I'll go back to sitting, waiting and creating my fantasy life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm a Big Kid Now!

I turn 24 this week! Ah, to be in my early 20s again :)
For my birthday I'm asking my folks to pay for a gym membership and some new workout shoes. I definitely need to start working out and so does Bear. We can afford the monthly 'Couples' cost, but the start-up fee+first month is just a little too much all at once. Luckily my parents feel good about this bday wish and were happy to oblige!
I know that every one is different, but I truly believe that a lot of my weight issues are connected to my financial issues. A lot of my financial issues are from a lack of self-confidence and an inability to just get things done that will benefit me (really, really annoying trait). I always talk myself out of networking or making "the" call. I do the "oh sure, later" game with both working out and work. To me this is more than a coincidence, it is a sign that I need to to change! Since I'm finally taking steps to improve my life financially, I felt like it was time to start things physically as well. Bear and I are going on vacation for almost two weeks in early August (his family lives on the other side of the country), and when we get back there will be about a 1o day break before work really starts picking up. Hopefully I'll find out the results of my test in the next three weeks and so during that 10 day break I can get a new contract and get into a routine of working out!
Speaking of the test results, I'm going batty!!! I know that I can retake the test if I really need to, but I REALLY want to just get a good result now and be done with it. After all, its only the rest of my life ;)

Monday, July 6, 2009


So I have taken my test and now I have to wait one month to FOREVER to hear about the outcome of a test that will only effect THE REST OF MY LIFE. I think I'm handling the stress pretty well :-)
I've had steady work since the middle of June that will last for another two weeks, plus I've picked up a few extra jobs. So all told, I'll be looking at ~$650 for the month. This may not seem like much, but it actually covers all of my living expenses so the BF won't have to pay for me to have food and shelter. When I find out my results I'll be looking to add one or two more contracts for fall. Starting the paperwork now and then finding out about my test would actually end up being more of a pain than just waiting a little bit longer. I'm definitely ready to start earning adult amounts of money and I know it would help me with a lot of my goals.
Which goals, exactly?
I'd like to earn $2,000 a month. I started crunching some numbers and that is a pretty magic number for me right now. It would allow me to cover basics, plus fun and new clothes and still have $1,000 for savings! Since engagement, marriage, weddings, vacations, a home and possibly grad school are all real possibilities in the next three years or so, I need to start socking away a lot. And if I am earning $2,000 (or anything over $1,000 really) and my mans keeps up his salary, we would be looking pretty good.
My first savings goal is to have $500 in an emergency fund. I've read a lot of PF blogs that recommend getting three months to one year of savings built up. I'd eventually like to build up to that amount but with my still small income, I figure that something is better than nothing. Right now I only have $42 bucks and it is all in coins (wrapped up and ready to go to the bank). Since most savings accounts require you to start with a higher amount, I'm going to leave it in cash for awhile. I figure it'd get "lost" in my regular account and accidentally spent so I don't want to put it there. Though I know a lot of online savings accounts will offer higher rates, for my basic emergency fund I want it to be accessible more than anything, so it'll end up in a simple savings acct. at my bank earning next to nothing.

Here's to saving up my spare change!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All work and no play?

So I have been working a lot this last week (at least a lot for me). It got me thinking about starting a basic savings account, an emergency account. I'm not sure if I should wait until I'm earning more or not. At this point I'm lucky enough to have my parents nearby should something big really come up, but I'd love to be in a place where I don't have to rely on them so much. One middle road to this would be to only use my spare change to save up a bit. I know we have about 45 dollars worth of change in a jar right now.
Also, since Bear has his own savings, we're not in any real danger at this point. I'm definitely going to keep my focus on my upcoming test and working towards increasing my general income. I will be working some during the summer (work tends to wane during the summer and winter holidays), but not nearly enough to reach my goal. Even if I can set myself up to increase my income for next fall, I'd be happy.
On a fun note-I'm going East this summer! Bear's family is from Pennsylvania and so we try to visit once a year. I love, love, love it there so I'm very exicted.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A little background - I'm self-employed and do freelance work (don't want to specify what kind at this point). My hourly pay is pretty good, but I simply haven't been working enough. I've been coasting by on my college mentality. Yesterday I worked 12 hours (mostly in the sun-poor nose), which is FANTASTIC. However, this was a one time event. So while my next pay period will look good, after that I'm back to my normal poverty level of work.
My profession does several tests and levels that anyone can work towards in order to up hourly wages. My first step to increasing my income is going to be taking the first test. It was expensive (over $300) but Bear and my folks helped me pay for it (Love you guys!) and if I pass, I will double my hourly pay. I'm going to take the test in June and I am definitely freaking out. I know that if I pass not only will I be earning more, but I'll also be qualified to take more work. If I fail, then I have to wait for 6 months before trying again.
I know that my biggest issue is going to be getting more contracts, but this is a good start. Hopefully the contracts will be easier to get with this little boost to my resume (how do I make that the right kind of e....?).
Quick Confession - I hate selling myself. Talking to managers and supervisors...eek! I know that seems stupid considering I'm in a freelance position where selling myself is the point, but still! A real goal for me is going to be having enough confidence to get myself work.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Oh Me, Oh My

To start my blog with the beginning of my blog, I record that I am broke.
I've now officially been out of college for 1 year, am 23 and am sadly under-employed. Part of that is my own fault, I really haven't been selling myself or pushing myself, but now is that time to grow up. Health insurance, car insurance, saving for a house and having some form of emergency fund are no longer things I can put off dealing with. I hope that this blog will provide a place for me to learn to budget, set up savings and increase my income.
I currently live with my boyfriend (whom I'll call Bear) so I've been able to get by with earning between $500-$1000 dollars a month (yikes) and my goal is to be at $2000/month (consistently) by next year. I'll explain more about how I earn my money and why there is so much fluctuation (and why my goal seems low...I mean, how many people really think that $24,000 is an "upgraded" lifestyle?)
So. There it is. The birth of my blog.