9.22.2012

What's a Budget Again?

Okay, I think I know why I keep blogging sporadically on here. I used to use this blog to catalog my life and my financial habits. Now that I'm in school full-time and not really working (well, working enough to make a decent salary), I don't even have money to spend, save, budget, play around with, move around, or whatever.

Skip these next few paragraphs because I will talk complain about school.

It might sound cliche, but I also have no time to do anything else but school stuff. If I'm not in class, I'm reading. If I'm not reading, I'm briefing or outlining or studying. If I'm not doing the latter, I'm talking to classmates about school. If I'm not talking to classmates, I'm at a school lunch event for the free food. If I'm not at once of those, I'm at an event after school for networking. If I'm not at those events, I'm meeting up with my mentor. If I'm not doing that, I'm on a run, walking my dog, working, eating or sleeping. I've heard from many people that it gets better after the first semester, and I'm looking forward to that oh so greatly.

I think that I may just write in here more often...and it's going to be about law school...because I would like to look back on here one day and know that I prevailed (or failed, depending on how you look at it). I actually just need an outlet to channel my stress because I hate to burden the bf and my parents and non-law school friends with these thoughts. They don't understand and I just come across as this crazy, stressed out zombie who complains all the time. People start telling me that I need to stop stressing and just have fun with it, but honestly, they do not know what I'm going through and it's all easier said than done.

I also think I got really unlucky with my crim teacher. I have a love/hate relationship with him because he's a brilliant and entertaining man, but no one can understand what the hell he's saying. I do not know what I've learned in the course in the past 6 weeks and I walk out of class in a haze wondering what just happened. A girl in my class cries often after that class because she just doesn't get it. I mean really, my teacher's "sample answer" for his midterm is 60 pages long. There is no way a normal human being can write 60 pages in 1.5 hours.

This will be me during my crim midterm in 2 weeks:
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Okay onto more interesting topics...because I can complain about crim for hours.

What else...oh yeah, the point of this post was to mention that I don't have a budget right now.

I basically just try not to spend anything. My mom gives me some money when she wants me to pick up food or something, but other than that, I use my money sporadically to buy lunch probably once a week or every other week. The funny thing is, I wouldn't have believed myself if you told me a few months ago that I wouldn't be sticking to a budget. Yet, when you don't have money to spend and you are already making the max amount of money you are able to -- and don't have the time or energy to take on ways to make more money, there is no need for a budget. I'm eating at home, paying my student loan interest, cutting everything unnecessary out of my life (froyo, shopping, health insurance [talk more about that below], etc.) so I don't know what else to do. Oh, there is one thing I am adding to my list of expenses, and it's actually still a maybe.

Other financial stuff-

Sprint: Really frustrated with Sprint. I have 5 lines on a family plan and 4 of them NEVER get any service at home. Now my phone isn't sending text messages. Sprint will be happy to know that I will be calling them soon so they can enjoy an earful courtesy of me. If they do not fix anything, the wrath of zombies shall ensue and the world shall end. Or something like that. Not sure yet, but I want lots of credits back on my account, termination fees removed or the signal in my area fixed. Oh yeah, and I need my text messaging to work STAT. What the hell did I do before text messaging people....do I actually have to CALL people now?! THE HORROR.

Medical Bills: I have a few medical bills that I put on the back burner. Well, now that my benefits were cut off when my employment status changed to part-time, my credit card that has my flexible spending account $$ was cut off so I had to pay my medical bills with my money and submit a manual claim to get my money reimbursed. I really hope I get that money back soon!

Gym membership: This is what I was talking about when I might add one thing to my expenses. I have about 3.5 months left with my 24-hour fitness gym membership, but the active and sport locations near my house are absolute crap. One would not want to work out there, much less walk or drive near those gyms. I don't feel comfortable going there so it's no use to me. It was a prepaid 2-year membership that came out to about $12/mo and I think I maximized the total cost when I went to a bajillion group exercise classes as well as went everyday when I was living in San Diego.

The gym at my school is absolutely horrendous, too. There are about 7 treadmills, 7 ellipticals and 7 stationary bikes...no stairmasters and barely any weight machines or stretching areas. Also, you have to pay for group exercise classes. This would all be acceptable if the law students were the only ones to use the facility, however there are about a million undergrad students and other grad students that have access and thoroughly enjoy dominate the place because they don't have homework to do.

So there is this gym opening up near my house, and coincidentally, another location is being built near my school. It is opening in Sept and the one by campus will open in Dec. I signed up for the pre-opening special, which was $30/month and $25 initiation fee. They didn't ask for my credit card though, so my mom thinks that they added me to her account (she signed up before me). I guess I'll figure that out when the club opens. But for unlimited classes, brand new facilities, proximity to my house, no annoying undergrads, and my sanity -- I think the $30/month will be worth it if I have to pay for it.

I was planning to talk about health insurance too, but I think I'll save that for another post. See what happens when I don't blog in awhile? I just have so much to tell you guys all the time. That, or I am actually drinking Starbucks for the first time in 2 months (in which I was drinking decaf during that time).

Until next time!

9.03.2012

If it's Free, What's Not to Like?

Hi everyone! I apologize for my recent hiatus. You know the feeling you get when you know that you have a full inbox and a ton of emails to respond to, and it just keeps building up? Then when you think about how many emails you have, you just want to crawl in a corner and forget about it? I felt like that same feeling every time I thought about my blog.

But I finally logged onto my site today and remembered why I started this blog...and what is has done for me. It's kept me on track and it's kept me accountable. There is no way I want to give it up. I've been so stressed out with school but I'm realizing that I can't keep my emotions bottled up or I will just resort to stressing out even more. Writing things out doesn't cost me anything, in fact, it benefits me! The title of this post says it all - writing is free and it's something that is important to me. Blogging is not a burden to me because I love to write. It helps me so much to write my thoughts out, and I've been needing an outlet since I began this new journey.

I have so much to write about but I won't unload all of my thoughts into this one post but prepare for a little bit of everything!

School has taken over my life - I'm at school everyday from 9am until 5pm and then I read from 6pm until 3am, sometimes 2am if I am lucky. Adjusting to everything is still so difficult. I haven't had time to hang out with family, friends, or even work out. I must get on a regular workout schedule again. There's so much I want to do, yet I'm working so hard just to stay afloat with homework. I'll write another post soon about why law school is so different and why it's so stressful.

Here's a glimpse...
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The good thing about being stressed out and busy with school is that I haven't had time to properly think about shopping. I did make 2 kind of large purchases since moving here though...gotta 'fess up! I bought a Longchamp tote in slate (loving it so far!) for school, and I just ordered some Sperry topsiders last night in the Angelfish style. I needed some comfortable flats to wear to class because ballet flats and flip-flops are just not cutting it with the 50lbs of books I carry everyday.

Longchamp tote - large in slate (via)

Sperrys (via)

I also paid my first interest payment the other day! I make about $330 every 2 weeks from working my 8 hours a week so paying $123 a month is not bad at all. I mentioned in a tweet before that I was stressed out with working and that I wanted to quit. However, the additional income is worth it to me and I think I was just having trouble transitioning the first 2 weeks to the workload. I'm pretty sure I want to keep working my measly 8 hours a week just to give myself some spending money and to pay off the interest on my student loans.

I also went and got my hair done yesterday at my hairdresser who I haven't seen in awhile, but she's been my hairdresser since I was about 12. It's funny how a visit to the salon can make you feel instantly better. My hair was a mess! I got my hair dyed darker now (almost back to my natural hair color) and I don't look so disheveled now...back to looking like a normal person again. This is why I definitely want to keep my job. You never know when you could use a pick me up, especially when life is so busy. You need to be able to keep yourself sane.

That's pretty much it with my updates on my finances. Nothing has changed, except I do miss the larger paychecks and the ability to spend more freely. However I appreciate that my parents let me live at home rent-free and that I barely have to spend on food. I always eat at home and guess what, I haven't even gone to Starbucks since I moved here! I used to go to Starbucks more than twice a week when I was working.

Since it's a new month, I wanted to let you know I was all alive and the future plans for this blog. It's not dying and I'm not going anywhere! My goals are to write more consistently (whether it's about life, school, finances, shopping, etc.), stay on top of reading for school, and to keep my stress level at a minimum. Hope you are all having a good start to the new month!

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