1.31.2012

I Paid $6 For Diorskin Nude Foundation!

A few weeks ago, I tried out my mom's new foundation - the Diorskin Nude foundation. I used it 3 days in a row, with my normal make-up on top. My mom and I both wear 021 Linen.

not my pic. can't find the original source but it's from luuux

For reference, here's my make-up routine (I'll do a full post on this soon):
Eucerin or Olay moisturizer with SPF
Rimmel eyebrow pencil and/or ELF brow powder
Eyeshadow - usually neutrals like MAC Satin Taupe or anything from the Naked palette
Lancome High-Def Mascara or Covergirl Lashblast
Maybelline Stiletto liquid eyeliner
MAC blush (I switch it up everyday) with ELF shimmer palette on top

I used it with full make-up around 10am each day and went to my brother's volleyball tournament all day, and left it on sometimes until midnight. It still looked flawless! Out of all the foundations I've tried (ranging from drugstore to higher end brands), this has been the best for me. I'm not a make-up blogger so this isn't a review on the foundation itself, but believe me it worked wonders for me. It didn't break me out, which usually happens with every liquid foundation on my acne prone skin. The consistency is light but still gives full coverage, staying power is great, and the way it stayed on throughout the day was amazing on my oily skin! My mom has dry skin so it works for both types! I would imagine it works for combo skin as well. With a bit of google searching this morning, I also found out that this foundation was the one Kim Kardashian was wearing on her wedding (in case you were interested).

Anyway, on to my little adventure this past Sunday. I actually had a new bottle of Bobbi Brown's tinted moisturizer that I used once. I basically used it and realized it was too dark for my skintone, and never used it again. Mind you, I bought this back in September at Sephora. I brought it with me to Sephora thinking that I wouldn't be able to exchange it but they told me I could, as long as it was at least half full! I went there thinking I'd have to spend almost $50 on the Dior foundation so when she gave me my total of $6, I was happily surprised. It just goes to show that you should always check the return policy for stores, and if you aren't using anything and you still have the receipt (or in my case even if you don't have the receipt), you may be able to return, exchange, or obtain store credit for the item.

Are there any other stores with generous return/exchange policies?

1.30.2012

Interview with Michelle of Sense of Cents


Happy Monday folks! I have a sweet post for you all today. I'm starting a new series on my blog consisting of interviews with other savvy PF bloggers. As my first guest, I've invited Michelle over at Sense of Cents. If you've never read her blog, hop on to it right away!

A pic from Michelle's travels


Write a little summary of yourself-Who are you, what do you do?: Hey everyone! My name is Michelle and I am 22 (I'll be 23 in May). I'm a financial analyst at a small firm in the U.S and I graduated from a university in the Midwest in May of 2010 with a lot of student loan debt. I'm currently working on paying all of that off and I'm hoping that it will be completely gone within the next couple of years.  I currently work full-time and also attend night classes for my MBA.  I started my blog in August of 2012, and I am so happy that I started it. I am extremely addicted to blogging as well. I have two dogs (a French Bulldog 12 pound runt and a 90 pound Pitt Bull/Boxer/Brittany mix) and a house that I bought at the young age of 20.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, it would be: Hmm... I always find it hard to describe myself, especially in 3 words. I would say responsible, hard working, and FUN. It's hard not to be responsible when you have a full-time career, MBA classes, a house, and two dogs. I'm also hard working, mainly because I'd rather get everything complete now and then have the rest of my years to have fun. 

How did you learn to budget and manage your finances so well at a young age? I learned to budget mainly through my dad. He was an insane saver (but not cheap, he enjoyed spending his money on our travels). He showed me the difference between being cheap and frugal, and taught me to enjoy the good things in life. My father passed away when I was 18, and since then I have had to fully control my finances, income and living.

How was your home-buying experience? Did you buy it with your BF? I bought the house with my boyfriend. We have lived together since we were 18 and have been together for nearly 6 years. Yes we bought our house young, but it has worked well for us this entire time. Our home-buying experience went very well. Our mortgage loan officer, and both our real estate agent and the seller's agent said that our home-buying experience was the EASIEST that any of them had ever dealt with. We were approved for a loan (did that first, which I recommend to everyone), and once we found the house, I think it only took 2-3 weeks to close on it and get the keys. We bought a house that was much lower than what we were approved for, which is what I hope that everyone does. Since we bought our house near the end of 2009, we got a GREAT deal on it. 

What are your other hobbies besides personal finance? My main other hobby includes traveling. I love saving for my future trips and I constantly think about traveling. I'm more of a relaxing beach goer when on vacation and not much of a touristy traveler.

Pic from Michelle's travels




What is one financial mistake you wish you could correct? I wish I wouldn't have bought a brand new car at the age of 18. My other car failed on me (and was very ugly) so I bought a new one. At $400 a month (and at the age of 18), it was way too expensive. Thankfully, I'm paying off my loan over a year early, and it should be paid off in February of 2012.

What is one financial mistake you've never made? I've never carried a balance on a credit card. I always pay off my balance every month. That is one thing that I am very proud of. I use my credit cards to improve my credit score and reap the reward points benefits.

Where do you like to shop? Clothes, shoes, accessories? For trendy items, I like to go to H&M and Forever 21. For better quality items I like LOFT, J Crew and the like. In my case, I really think that clothes make a person. When I like my outfit, I tend to feel much better about my day and I feel much happier. I used to work in retail as a manager for exactly 5 years, so I definitely have the closet to prove that I am obsessed with clothes. Lately, I have been much better with my clothes buying though.

Do you buy items on sale or full-price? What items are worth paying full-price to you? I always try to use coupons at LOFT and JCrew or wait for when they have a sale (which is very often). I prefer to get clothing at a discount (of course!), but I know that's not always an option. I try not to buy things that are on sale just because they are a good "deal." If you never wear it, then it's not a deal.  Full price is fine for me at places like H&M and Forever 21, since it's already cheap. Items that I absolutely need because I think I will wear them for awhile are also OK in my book to buy at full-price.

Do you have any budgeting or saving tips for us? My main thing is that when you create a budget, it has to be realistic. You need to keep track of your budget every month, and if you are obviously not within your budget for a certain category, then you are most likely not being realistic with yourself. Don't create an unattainable $100 food budget, if that cannot ever be beat in your case. Creating a budget has to work and be realistic, not a dream.


HUGE thanks to Michelle for answering my long list of questions! I hope you all had fun reading it as I did :) She is an amazing inspiration to us all, especially at a young age. I would love to teach my kids the art of personal finance so they can be self-sufficient like Michelle when they graduate college. Also, her wardrobe sounds awesome, I'd like to see some closet or outfit pics! Thank you Michelle for kicking off my interview series!!!

1.27.2012

Back to the Drawing Board

Happy Friday! Disclaimer: This post will be a bunch of random updates. However I do have an exciting post coming up that I'm excited to share so stay tuned for that in a few days.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions on my previous post! I still haven't decided on what to do to commemorate this moment in my life but for the time being I think I'll just let it all soak in and if I get in somewhere, I'll celebrate and think long and hard about celebrating. For now I'm content with just being finished with the super long application process. I mean, seriously I kept thinking I was on my last essay but first it was my personal statement then my diversity statement then my "Why do you want to go here?" statement and then my addendum. It was crazy! And don't get me started on obtaining letters of recommendation. Whew, ok sorry... long rant over.

The point of this post was to let you guys know that we decided not to move forward with the townhouse. Our real estate agent called us last night to let us know the bank wants someone to pay $9,000 for a 2nd mortgage (what does this mean?) and $15,000 for over a year's worth of HOA fees that the owner did not pay for. Uhhhhh yeah no - $24,000 on top of $175,000 plus closing costs and renovations. The place needs tons of work! We can't afford that. We already offered 2% above list price which I heard was the norm, and offered to pay for ALL closing costs. I guess we'll see what happens and if anyone will pay for it. I really don't like short sales but I know some gems can be found since my dad and stepmom were able to get a great deal. I hope that our next place isn't a short sale and preferably a bank-owned property.

So now back to the drawing board...I still believe that everything happens for a reason and if it was meant to be, it will happen. So here's to hoping that our place pops up soon. For now, I'm feeling like a burden was lifted off of my shoulders now that we don't have to do a bunch of renovations. It was fun planning though!

Yesterday I skipped the gym during lunch and bought Vietnamese food. I am so disappointed that I spent $19 on subpar food. I got a vermicelli plate, eggrolls, and boba thinking that I would be able to get 2 meals out of it like I normally do if I get some sort of Asian food during lunch. The drink was so gross, it didn't taste like anything and the eggrolls were soggy. I ordered my food to-go and didn't even look at the menu so I was surprised that my total came to $19. Usually when my BF and I go out to eat Vietnamese, our total bill comes out to less than $25. For some reason I didn't feel like calling to complain but lesson learned - I need to check prices online when I call to order food. I have food buyer's remorse!!!

Anyone else have food buyer's remorse? Although it happened yesterday I am still raging about it.

And just for fun from pinterest cuz I want to go to zumba this weekend:

PS check out this awesome giveaway. I am SO excited for this etsy store to launch. The bracelets are handmade.

1.25.2012

I Thought Today Would Never Come


Can I just say I am so happy that all of my applications are finished and have been sent?! When I signed up for the LSAT class last June, I didn't know that a crazy adventure awaited me. The hardest part is over (for now) and I can finally sit back and relax, and enjoy this little waiting game. I'm honestly not expecting to hear a peep until April and I find that this will ease my nerves if I keep my expectations low. I should also probably do all the things I love now since I most likely will not have time in the next 3-4 years.

I spent $188 on 2 applications since I could not get fee waivers for them. It sucks because I had to show my income and my monthly expenses, and as you know I do not pay rent and I had too much savings. I wanted to tell them that the savings would be gone soon due to buying real estate but I didn't bother. So I coughed up $188 and decided to just let it be.

Onto my next question, do you guys plan out rewards for yourselves if you reach a milestone?
2 years ago I told myself that if I took the LSAT I would buy myself a designer wallet, because I never had one (and I still don't). I also told myself that if I got into law school, I'd buy myself a designer purse. Obviously it didn't motivate me that much since I didn't do anything about reaching these goals 2 years ago.

Now that I have finished one goal and am onto the next, I really don't know if I want to reward myself with something materialistic. Yet, I think that I should remember these moments somehow. If I put money into a savings account, it would be a normal thing for me. I was thinking that I should invest in some great running gear to get back into working out. I've been going to the gym everyday this week and I've been feeling great.  I also don't want to spend a lot since I already spent so much on these applications.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks all!

1.24.2012

House Hunting Continued - The Townhouse

actual townhouses we are looking at...

Hey everyone! So our house/apartment/condo hunting has been underway as usual, and we spent this weekend checking out more places such as condos, apartments, and a townhouse. The townhouse was by far our favorite in terms of layout, location, structure, space, HOA, and privacy. It is 2-stories and has 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, a 1 car garage with a driveway, access to a rec center (membership fee included in HOA), and it has an enclosed front porch in addition to a small backyard space overlooking an elementary school (in an award winning school district!) - so I know you're thinking it's perfect. The price is right and within our budget and we love everything about it but there is one catch; there's always a catch right?

Well for one, it's a short sale and two, it's 41 years old and it's listed at $175k. It was reduced from $200k and other townhouses in the same complex/area are listed and were sold for much more - ~$250-350k. Yes I know there are lots of you that live in other parts of the world that sell mansions for this price, but in Southern California, this is the norm for us. I love it here though and I wouldn't change it for anything. Prices in Northern CA (my hometown) are similar and tax is higher there so it's a better deal in SoCal (for us anyway).

This place doesn't look that old except that there is a lot of remodeling to do (mostly cosmetic). The good news is since it's a SS, we'll likely have to wait a few months to find out if our offer was accepted. This will give us a chance to save more money for the remodeling costs. Right now we have just over 20% which will be put towards the down payment. We went to Home Depot on Saturday just to check out everything we would need to buy, and everything seems pretty cheap but thinking about it altogether is a bit overwhelming. Currently there is a tenant living in it and the way he treats the place is atrocious. It is a mess, and I felt disgusting just walking through it. He had a dog and there are pee stains everywhere, and the stench is just gross. I have a dog so I know what urine smells like and I can't believe the way this guy has treated the place. The good news is we received a credit report and my credit score is 783. OH YEAH!

Things We'd Have to Remodel/Fix:

- So, we'll have to rip out all the carpet and replace it with fake wood or carpet. Not sure how much this will cost but our realtor said that she has a contact who could do it for under $2,000. Idk if this includes price of the actual carpet.

- Doors - No need for new doors, but they are sorta messed up. We'll have to fix them - sand, paint, etc. and get new doorknobs

- Appliances - Definitely needs a new stove and fridge. Not sure about the dishwasher.

- Lights - New light switches definitely, and new fixtures.

- Drawers/Cabinets - Just need fixing up. New knobs and hinges probably, paint, sanding.

- Sinks - New sink heads/handles are needed.

- Kitchen floor - unsure if this needs replacing

- Check plumbing, vents, electrical

- Need to double check toilets - If they work we aren't replacing them.

I'm waiting to hear back from the association on the roof (how old is it, when will it need to be replaced), how often do they increase the association fee, and how much reserve money they have.

In total we are expecting around $185k including closing costs and hopefully less than $10k on slight renovations. We aren't ripping anything out or knocking down walls so they're mostly cosmetic repairs. Of course this is all planning but I like to be prepared in case our offer is suddenly approved by the owner and the bank. If we get this place, I will need help from many of you who have done renovations before, all advice is welcome!

Anyone have tips on buying an older house/townhouse?

1.19.2012

How to Analyze Your Job in 7 Ways



BF and I were discussing our jobs and how satisfied we were at our current jobs a few months ago. I've been meaning to write up this post since I thought it was a very valuable discussion for us. Rafiki also reminded me that I mentioned it before so here it is! We actually decided that if you are happy and satisfied with at least 4 or 5 of these factors, then you should stay longer and basically stop whining about how much you hate your job. This is all our own points of view so definitely don't take it too seriously. Everyone is different and I'm sure one crazy co-worker could drive someone over the edge as well as salary being too low.

Here are the 7 factors that we like to take a look at to analyze our job as a whole. Work is not something that we all love to do but it's something that pays for what we really want to do. Some of us are fortunate to have work that we do enjoy wholeheartedly and would possibly do for free, but sadly I'm not one of those people. I have explained ways to analyze each factor with questions and comments:
  1. Salary - Self-explanatory. Factor in everything including commission, overtime, whether you bill your own hours, how often you are paid, 401k matching contributions, stock discounts, benefits.
  2. Job Duties - Look at everything you do, what skills you use, how much you enjoy what you do. Are you capable of all the job duties you are supposed to be doing? 
  3. Location/Commute - Is it near your house? Think 15 minutes is bad? At least it's not an hour! Can you take public transportation there? Look at everything in terms of parking, whether you are near places you like to eat or shop (during lunch), near a gym, your facility itself, your office space or cubicle/desk area.
  4. Co-workers - Pretty sure this one is super self-explanatory. Sometimes people love their co-workers and sometimes they don't. Sometimes you don't have to work with them as closely and sometimes you do. I would also group management, HR, and other depts in this category.
  5. Atmosphere - Is it loud, busy and crazy filled with stress? Is it quiet with lots of downtime? 
  6. Flexibility - Do you have to clock in? How easy is it to take days off?
  7. Advancement - Is there a path for advancement by staying in your current position? If you stay long enough, does seniority get you far? Do they offer tuition reimbursement or classes for you to obtain certifications?
Basically BF and I were putting these factors in order of most important to least important to us. I want to know if any of you are staying at a job where you are only satisfied in one of these factors or less than 4.

PS. I want to work at home and I want my office to be pretty.
both pics via pinterest

1.16.2012

Weekly Money Check-Up 1/9-1/15/2012

Hello! I was in Orange County this weekend and the hotel charged for internet so I wasn't on the computer all weekend. It was so nice to be unplugged. I did have my phone with internet but I barely went on it besides to check email periodically. BF and I hung out with my mom and brother for my bro's club volleyball tournament. We stayed at the Hilton Suites hotel and besides my dog barking at everything in the hotel resulting in hopeless sleep for us, it was nice. We didn't get back until late last night and I almost didn't make it to work because I finally got enough sleep last night!

The good news is I didn't spend any money at all! On Friday night my BF paid for dinner at Wood Ranch, one of my fave restaurants. He spent about $100 on 4 people... a bit overpriced for what we got. My mom already paid for the hotel and she paid for everything else. We got some tournament snacks and water at Target on Saturday, and had free breakfast at the hotel. We went to the outlets and my mom insisted on paying for some yoga pants and a sweater for me at Old Navy. Everything was 40% off (including sale items) so my items came out to $11 and $6. For dinner that night we went to a Thai restaurant which my mom paid for again and on Sunday we went to TGI Friday's which she paid for again. I kept telling her that I wanted to pay but she said don't worry about it. I'm not used to her paying for everything for me, but I'm sure she just wants to make sure we are taken care of since we live so far away and she barely pays for us. Oh wait she also paid for my gas which was nice! I miss her already haha.

I had a great spending week last week! I'm also easing in my work out. My favorite turbo kick teacher is back so I will definitely be going every Friday.

Monday
No spend day!

Tuesday
$2 - iTunes (iPad apps to read PDFs)

Wednesday
$7 - Chinese for lunch w/ coworker

Thursday
$34.54 - Gas

Friday
No spend day!

Saturday
No spend day!

Sunday
$8 (worth $17) - I checked my email around 6am and ended up buying a Living Social deal for a half dozen cupcakes at this new place by my work. I must have been hungry. Grrr.

Total = $51.54

I'm kinda shocked at my total! I knew I had a good week but I guess I had a great week. In addition I sent $550 to savings and $250 to my roth, and the usuals came out of my paycheck to 401k and employee stock purchase plan. If only every week was like this! I'm going to have to go grocery shopping today so I hope I can keep my spending low again.

Other good news is I got a fee waiver for one of the schools I'm applying to. That saves me $75 in the future! I'm also thinking about sending a letter to 2 other schools requesting fee waivers, each costing $75 to apply to each school.

1.12.2012

Peer Pressure in the Workplace

via
I have been really good these past 2 weeks and have brought my lunch to work each day (besides Subway last Tuesday, because I went grocery shopping after work) and eating at home for dinner. I noticed I have been feeling a lot better too, since I am not eating fast food or greasy food anymore. I really hope I can stick to this!

This week, my co-worker has been badgering me about getting Chinese food at our favorite takeout place. I kept telling her that I brought lunch and I didn't want to buy anything. I didn't tell her that I was trying to save money and not eat out, but somehow she convinced me yesterday that we should go get some. I guess I was mad at myself for breaking my good record on eating lunch at work. It saves me gas since I don't have to drive to get food and it also saves stress, money, and the long thought process around the "What should I eat today?" question. I brought this up to my BF since I was so hard on myself but he didn't seem to care and just said "Who cares! It's just one day" so I think I'm being too neurotic about this. Of course my PF blogger friends would understand so I knew I had to write out my feelings here. In the past our department also orders pizza, Chipotle, and bagels. It's always hard to say no when you don't want to feel left out.

How do you deal with workplace peer pressure?

I have chicken in the fridge, spring mix, cucumbers and my favorite asian salad dressing ready to go for this week so I'm looking forward to that. This weekend I'll be going to Orange County for my brother's volleyball tournament so I'm hoping that I'll still have enough time to make lunch when we get back on Sunday night. I'll also have to go grocery shopping on a weekday again. I noticed that I hate grocery shopping after work, because I'm usually drained and lazy and I am not thinking straight. I enjoy it more when I go on a weekend, in the morning.

I found this picture on pinterest and I want to keep this here so I can stay motivated on grocery shopping and not eating out. My budget is truly thanking me since it went off on a Starbucks and dining binge within the last few months.

via
And lastly, check out Fashion Chalet's Balenciaga giveaway. I would DIE for this bag! But I can't buy it - it's close to $2,000.

1.05.2012

Weekly Spending Recap 1/2/2012-1/8/2012

You guys, I got my LSAT score last Wednesday. I got a 158. My first cold diagnostic was a 142, and I stayed at that score for about a year before I really started studying. I was 3 questions away from a 160 which sounds a lot better than my 158 but I'll take whatever I can get. I applied a bit late this cycle so if I get rejected or waitlisted, I will be retaking in June and applying early in September.

All of this has caused a lot of stress so I haven't found time to blog. I have been bringing my lunch to work and not eating out so I'm happy about that but I haven't had the chance to go to the gym. I need to stop making excuses and just go!

I also have a lot on my mind as far as law school goes. I will address that in a future post but it's been causing anxiety. I'm also finishing up one last diversity statement for some apps and I will be done with all of my apps by the end of this week.

I haven't done this in awhile but here's my weekly spending recap:

Monday: $6 Subway, $79.99 groceries
Tuesday: $0 no spend day!
Wednesday: $66 law school application fee
Thursday: $0 no spend day!
Friday: $50 for 2 wrist guards (my wrists are hurting)
Saturday: $0 no spend day!
Sunday: $10 groceries (fruit and bread)

1.04.2012

Christmas Gift Round-Up & Vacation Spending

So yes I am still talking about Christmas but I needed to put everything I received together because I like to be organized. I also need to figure out what to do with all this money. And it's always fun to talk about gifts right!?

I am very grateful for a huge family and lots of people that love me. I really wish they didn't get me anything but alas they did so here we go:

Gifts I Received:
Coach purse - returned for store credit $97
Nail polish - 3 sets
Nine West boots - returned for store credit $78
A soft and comfy robe
Thigh high socks
Forever 21 purple infinity scarf
Another scarf
H&M striped tee
Candle warmer
Crockpot
Slippers - 3 pairs
Starbucks gift card - $20
Forever 21 gift card - $40
Barnes & Noble gift card - $20
Movie tickets
Sephora make-up
Cash - $200 mom & dad, $50 from my grandma, $50 from my dad & stepmom


I felt bad for returning some items for store credit but the purse was not my style and I did not want to go through the hassle of selling it and the boots were way too small for me! I got so much stuff this year, I am not sure if it's because I always give people gifts or if my family just loves me a lot. I have a huge family and 2 sets of families. They all spoil me too much. I am very grateful for them all!

I'm going to deposit all the cash I received in my savings account. I used the Forever 21 gift card to buy a puffer vest and 2 basic tops when I went to SF with my cousins last week. I also used the Starbucks gift card twice. I love gift cards!

Holiday Shopping


Whenever I go home, my mom, sister and I love to shop and go to the mall. I went to the mall three times while I was there - once in SF, once with my sis and another with my sis and mom. My mom bought me a pair of boots at DSW for $40, I bought another pair of flat boots at Charlotte Russe for $20, and that's about it. I spent $7 at Sweet Tomatoes when I went to dinner with friends (I had a buy 1 get 1 free coupon so I split it with a friend) and then spent $30 on another dinner. My mom paid $80 for my hair appointment so I didn't have to spend much during the time I was there. For the most part I didn't spend as much as I thought I would and I even sent money to savings when I got paid last Friday.

I like being at home but when I am, I feel like I don't have to be an adult. My parents are always there to offer money and to do things for me. In a way it's a bit unsettling reverting to childhood ways but it was so nice and comforting to be home and not worry about money, bills, and life.

What was your favorite gift this year and did you do any holiday shopping?

1.03.2012

2012 Goals: Financial & Personal

Goals, goals, goals! New year = new me right? I don't plan to change much this year since I think I have been on the right track. I really appreciate everyone's comments and support throughout this blog. I have met some amazing people and now read a great mix of blogs. Here's to another successful year for us all!

Now onto some goals....

2012 Financial Goals

1. Max out Roth IRA.
2. $3,000 in Travel Fund.
3. Buy an investment property with 20-25% down.
4. Rent out investment property so monthly rent covers monthly mortgage.
5. Vacation in cash.
6. Open up some sort of interest savings accounts or investment accounts for my little brother & sister.

2012 Personal Goals

1. Get healthy. This means getting back into gym mode, running outside, walking my dog more often, eating healthy, less soda, less fast food, cook at home more, and eat less candy.
2. Get into law school. Whether it's this cycle or next cycle, 2012 will be the year I get this accomplished!
3. Go home as much as possible. I love my family and I hate living 8 hours away, but it's only a 1 hour plane ride away.
4. Go on a vacation with the BF. We've been together for over 6 years now and we haven't really gone on a real vacation. We are very close but whether it's a weekend getaway or a real vacay, I think it would be nice to  go on one for ourselves this year. We both work too much so I think we deserve it. But knowing us, it probably won't happen this year.
5. Read more. I didn't get to read as much this year but I just got back into reading again. I read fiction mostly because I like to get away when I read. This year, I'll be making more trips to the library.

Any other goals you'd like to share?

1.01.2012

2011 Goals Recap & Wrap-Up

Happy New Year everyone!!!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic new year :) I had a wonderful time with family and friends this past week, and I am so grateful I was able to spend a week at home for the holidays. First things first, we didn't get the condo but our real estate agent will be taking us to see more condos tomorrow. Someone put a higher offer and the bank was only able to counter offer the highest one. I was bummed but I know that everything happens for a reason and it wasn't meant to be so I will just be patient.

Last December I posted about my 2011 goals. Time to check in and see how I did!

2011 Financial Goals RECAP

1. Max out Roth IRA - still in progress
For 2011 I have contributed $3,450 to my Roth IRA so far. Hopefully I can get this $5,000 before May. Still working on it!

2. Finance a vacation in cash - FAIL
The BF and I never made it on a vacation in 2011 :( Well not by ourselves. The only vacation we had was the camping trip in the summer with my family but of course everyone chipped in. This year the BF and I are planning to do a weekend getaway somewhere and maybe just MAYBE a vacation to hawaii finally!

3. Buy my first property as an investment - FAIL
I really wanted to do this but the right place never popped up. We kept looking and we put in one offer just a few days ago, but we didn't get it. Oh well!

4. Contribute as much as possible to my 401K and force the BF to start one - DONE!
I have contributed 5% to my 401k which is what I am comfortable with for right now. BF got a new job this year in January and he was forced to have a 401k! :) Well he could have opted out but he's lazy and he didn't do it. So now he has a 401k and contributes 3%.

5. Never pay interest on my credit card again - DONE!
I believe I stopped doing this last year but thankfully I didn't fall into any consumer debt this year. I pay my credit cards off right away!

6. Save, save and save! - DONE!
I saved a lot in 2011 and I'm excited to save more for 2012. Here's a snapshot of how my year went - this includes all of my savings, 401k, Roths, and employee stocks. The reason for the huge increase from Nov-Dec is because I added my employee stocks to my mint account. I actually started contributing in July so the graph is kind of skewed. But you get the picture!


2011 Personal Goals RECAP

1. Start going to the gym again - DONE!
I am happy to say that I did start going to the gym hardcore in 2011 again. I've always loved working out and I took a lot of new classes. I also started going to a pilates studio. I fell off the wagon in the last few months of the year because I was so busy with studying but I will start up again this month and hope to keep it up!

2. Study for the LSAT and take the test - DONE!
This was a HUGE goal for me since I have been meaning to take the test since 2009. I finally did it on December 3rd as you guys know. I'm still waiting for my score but I am so happy that I finally took it. I was MIAing for a few months and was practically a vampire studying all day and night as well as a zombie with no sleep but it was so worth it!


Since I also forgot to post my 2011 Wrap-Up.... here it is! Read about my 2011 Wrap-Up here!

In a Nutshell: 2011 was Good to Me
  • Got a raise at work
  • No major expenses or emergencies happened
  • No injuries!
  • Found a cyst in my ovaries but it was benign
  • Didn't buy any expensive designer bags 
  • Went camping with my family
  • Became a godmother in May to my best friend's first baby 
  • Reached my emergency fund goal of $10,000 - it's almost at $20k now.
  • Reached my gift fund goal of $600. It was at $1,000.
  • Opened up a new credit card for better rewards and I love it!
  • Coordinated the annual alumni basketball/volleyball tournament
  • Paid for my LSAT class, took said LSAT class, and took LSAT
  • Received my first pair of diamond earrings from the BF for my 24th bday
  • Bought my first TV - a 51" Samsung plasma on Black Friday (in cash)
  • Bought a PS3 (in cash)
  • Finished law school applications
  • Reconnected with a lot of old friends
  • Spent as much time as I could with family
This year was a really great year for me financially and personally. I hope that this year will be just as amazing! Lastly, I kept blogging and I met a lot of PF bloggers this year. This community is awesome and I'm glad to be a part of it:) 
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