It Feels Like my Debit Card is Filled with Endless Money…

But it’s not. I’m a spendaholic. I got it from my mama…and my dad…and my grandma, and about every other person in my family. I’m not proud but the enormous shoe closet cannot lie (and I can’t even put my body in front of it to cover it all. Thanks JustFab). I didn’t save money in college. I spent it all on pizza and wine. As much fun as I had in college I was not prepared for the real world of spending at all.

So when I went apartment shopping I clearly wanted the more expensive apartment with granite countertops. In my mind it was life or death. But then my dad sat me down and told me “Child here’s an expense sheet. You cannot afford all you want.” So I looked at it and I argued with him and I was seriously wrong. So I got the cheaper but still beautiful apartment that I’m much more grateful for anyways because the closet is huge (hence the need for more shoes!)

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I make decent money for a recent college grad and I definitely have some extra spending money but there’s also a lot that needs to be paid…EVERY MONTH. Yes its true, you have to pay bills every month.

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So here’s my advice on buckaroos.

  • Bills come first. No matter what you want or think you need, you won’t have any place to put those things if you don’t pay your rent. I have two checking accounts. I send a certain amount of my paycheck into one so at the end of the month I can pay my bills and have a little money to spare. I really advise you to do this. It helps me to make sure I have enough every month and my savings account is now getting plentiful. Also get Mint to help you better track!
  • Pay your bills ahead of time. If you have the money and you don’t have a dire emergency pay your smaller bills. I usually pay my cable and parking halfway through the month.
  • Do you really need it? Cable and internet are not cheap. You’ll need internet because most Americans do but if you don’t watch television a lot or have a Netflix subscription then maybe lose the cable.
  • Chose what you want. Some people like video games, some like books, I like clothes. Budget your money around what you know will make you happy. You might find yourself spending money on things you don’t really need (see below). Also sometimes saving money for a vacation is a better idea. My man and I are going ziplining over a wildlife safari next Spring. I think I’ll remember that a lot more than the purse I tried to buy the other day.
  • Don’t spend it all on eating out. This might seem liker common sense but you’ll find yourself eating out at lunch or getting nachos during happy hour. It adds up. Here’s some good brown bag ideas.

I could go on for days…and I will in a later blog post. In the mean time, what’s your best spending habits?

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To Roommate or Not to Roommate? There is no right answer.

Last night as I watched mindruining television (aka Catfish) I kept thinking that I really wished I could complain to someone. So I text my boyfriend and he had no clue what I was talking about and my college roommate/best friend was an episode behind and didn’t want me to spoil it.

I live alone in a big apartment and I love it and hate it every other day. There’s a million pros and cons that I could list but I do eventually need to go to bed so I’ll keep it down to three of both.

Pros:

  1. You can leave as little…or as much stuff around as you want. I am a clean freak and I lived with 6 girls in college that were definitely dirty as boys. I miss them dearly but I can live without their mess. In your own place you can decorate the way you want and you won’t have the awkwardness when you move out and can’t remember whose stuff is whose. Look how pretty my place is 🙂 Image
  2. No drama. Living with 6 girls you would think has made me immune to drama. No, never, not now, not tomorrow. I hate drama, I hate gossip, I hate girls. Needless to say one of those girls was not my favorite and she caused more drama than necessary. When you have a roommate you can’t ever get away from them which is even worse if you are mad at them! My one friend lives with her best friend, carpools to and from work, and works with her. End verdict – they hate each other.
  3. Nakedness is acceptable when you’re alone. Need I say more.

Cons:

  1. Scary, scary, scary. Maybe this just applies to me or maybe it has something to do with my boyfriend making me see The Conjuring and Insidious both in the same day but sometimes I find myself running from dark rooms and sleeping with the lights on. Any noise that comes from your apartment that isn’t from you is either a burglar, a ghoul, or that pesky ice maker and they all sound pretty similar.
  2. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes it makes it very lonely. As I mentioned with my Catfish story boredom is more often than not. I catch myself talking out loud just to hear myself talk. Phone calls to my parents, friends and boyfriend are more frequent on those days when I only have contact with people at work. I also find myself online shopping at my favorite boutique, Merchant 31, on those days too.
  3. Bills are the worst. And they take all your money and leave you with an unfurnished apartment, cable that hardly works, and A/C that is too cold or too hot. Just kidding, that was an exaggeration but it is really expensive. With roommates you split those bills right down the middle (or 3/4, 1/3, you get the point). Which gives you money to maybe upgrade to HBO so you can watch a little Game of Thrones

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After all that its clear that there is no right answer to this question. Words of wisdom though: its hard to live with people and can ruin or make a relationship. Make the choice you want to make, if its the wrong one your lease will probably only be a year anyways.