Buying a house? Like a real house? To some, that kind of thing makes people quiver. According my husband, it’s the best possible move for us to make rather than renting. Granted, everyone is different…but in our real estate market (PA), it is certainly the right move.
But, buying a house comes with a couple of really…real responsibilities. Ones that you wouldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams. Coming from a girl rifled with anxiety and over thinking, you would think I wouldn’t miss something as big as..oh, a water heater, a roof, or a purchase of a lawn mower…but, we all make mistakes. Right?
I’m here to walk you through this, because as much as other people say, it is almost impossible for a young couple to buy a house…I’m here to tell you, it’s possible. You just have to plan a hell of a lot. (Which is hard for me)
First thing you have to get in order:
Start saving: I’m not talking about $5 every paycheck. I’m talking $100. Rip that band aid off, and get it together. kate spade will ALWAYS be there…and you don’t need to keep up your closet’s appearance, you have bigger fish to fry. If you are already paying rent, make sure to budget yourself. Sit down, and budget into your budget to save about $50-$100 each paycheck…or even every month. It adds up, and it is so worth it in the end.
Start a Savings Account: Transfer your monthly deposit into a savings account that you can’t get your hands on if you have a moment of weakness in Longchamp. We chose to go with Capital One 360, and it seems to give us the best interest rate for the amount of money we had saved up for the house. It also has a really easy app and very pleasant customer service people. We all know I’m hard to please, so obviously they’re doing it right.
Save your pennies: Okay, so this one is dumb, but it helps Michael and me have a little extra cash for when we do want to go out to dinner. Usually, I don’t use cash, but every once in a while we both will withdraw a couple 20’s and use it for the week. ANY change we get goes straight into a huge vase in our room. Since Michael used TDbank, we can change in our pennies and dimes for some crisp hundies if we wait long enough. Some use it as a vacation fund, or a puppy fund…but we use it as a food fund because we’re in love with going out to eat.
Which brings me to my next point….budget your ass.
Sorry, but it has to be said. You literally have no idea how much you hemorrhage in money in ONE DAY if you don’t watch yourself. I’m all about the treat yo’ self…but don’t treat yo’ self to a Chanel if you can only buy a tote from the line at Home Goods. Embrace the cheap, and don’t get tears on your new reusable tote.
I go by the rule: $5 a day on any item you want. Make your food at home, and don’t buy any snacks during the day. Now, the $5 rule is only applicable to frivolous purchases. We all know you have to pump your gas, and buy your groceries…so my $5 is used on my coffee…because I am a beast without it. I sit down after receiving my check and budget in my gas for a week, my groceries, student loans, water bills, electric bills, and our mortgage. After calculating all of our expenses, I see how much we have left.
Since both Michael and I get paid bi-weekly…we multiply 5 times 14…which is obviously 70. I usually give myself $100 in case I forget my lunch one day…but you can you know…not eat or something. I then subtract my “allowance” from my total left…and viola! What you save in that paycheck. It seems like a lot of extra work, but my co-worker turned me into a saving machine when she told me about her unwritten rule! ( thanks G!)
Anyway, back to the important stuff, the house and stuff.
Go Slow: Trust me, you would rather be in your situation and saving for 3 years than buy a house without much planning and be house poor…the worst kind of poor. Not only are you bound by contracts and bills…but you can also be charged a hell of a lot of interest, fees, and garnishing of your freaking paycheck if you can’t pay. This holds true for buying that beautiful new couch for your cozy new living room as well. If you can get a free couch for now, TAKE IT. Take anything you can and say thank you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the color for your theme…take it and don’t complain. Second hand furniture is the best kind…because it’s mostly FREE. Save that money for a new couch down the line, when you can afford to drop $700 and not cry as they swipe your credit card…oops.
Expect the impossible: You think you won’t have a bum roof? You will. Concrete problems? Yes, those too. Make sure to allot for the unexpected and impossible, because 9 times out of 10, a new (for you) home will have it’s issues, whether it’s carpenter ants or a water heater that leaks…make sure to are prepared for it, because it will happen.
Now that I’ve thoroughly discouraged you…sorry…I will leave you with one thing:
While I am sitting at my kitchen table, that we bought by ourselves for $500 off of Close5, I will say, it feels pretty damn good to know that I have at least on thing handled.
Now, if I could get my dog to stop jumping onto my bed…
I am writing to you today to let you know about how much money I have spent on you in our long-term relationship of 8 years. In this relationship, I seem to be giving you cold-hard earned cash…and you give me a temporary happiness that is just as quick and fleeting as a Venti Iced Coffee from Starbucks.
We have to see other people, and by other people…I mean I have to see Target, and you have to see my closet. Sigh. We both knew that this was going to come sooner rather than later, and it’s not meant to hurt your feelings…but in all honesty, this isn’t a healthy relationship. You take my money, tempt me with high expectations and pretty colors, and then hit me to the floor with your prices. In essence, you use me for my money.
This is why, for at least 6 months, we have to take a break from each other. Don’t make it awkward and e-mail me…I won’t respond.
Hi Saving Beauties! Let’s just talk about a little thing called a vice. Mine? kate spade. Ugh, my favorite types of handbags, and my ultimate splurge items all come from kate. I’m not sure what they are trying to do to me…sending me e-mails about a “surprise” wedding sale with 65% off of everything wedding. Sigh. But, after looking through all of the sale items (yes I looked!) I am happy to report back to all of you, I didn’t break. Yes, that cake topper is a must…and yes those “Mrs” earrings are to die for…but I don’t need them. It breaks my heart to say that I found that I didn’t have the impulse to spend my money on the beautiful items on the website. Not that I’m not KICKING myself over it…but I am becoming more responsible with my money. I’ll give you an example: As you all know, I have to pay my own phone bill now, and I’ve discovered that by spending a mere $100 on a totes adorable handbag is very tempting, I could also use that money to save up for my guy’s birthday present AND pay my part of the phone bill. My logic that “what’s 100 dollars going to do anyway?” has been thrown out of my Mazda 3 window like no one’s business. I need that $100 for me to LIVE…and you do too. If you have the extra money, be my guest: kate spade. I do strongly advise you to enter (if you dare) and practice self control. Let’s call this approach-avoidance therapy. Go in, look at the items, and DON’T buy anything. One tip: After you receive the e-mail…because they are tricky and make you enter it in order to see the sale, go to your inbox and UNSUBSCRIBE. We’ve talked about this before. I feel like a broken record 😉 Anyway, tune in for another post later this week. Love you…mean it Kate
This week has been super taxing on me. I feel like I’m hemorrhaging money, but at the same time…I’m getting super worth it things. It’s a trade-off, but it’s all about making those sacrifices. Most of my purchases were on a need-to-buy basis and were totally selfless…I swear!
This week, I picked the lucky number to go into work at 6am…I honestly don’t mind it…but I’m just thinking about what a zombie I’ll be, and I hate it. At least I’m close to 40 hours, right?
Anyway, this blogger is super excited about her new super cute purchases that happen to be a fantastic price!
Hound Dog Belle Band : Southern Proper // Girl, this baby is all the rage right now. Perfect fit, print, and width to make a statement. I can’t even stand it. Follow them here. These bands are currently on sale for $15. I know, for a headband? Yes. And you’ll love me for it.
Ticket: Hot Chocolate on a Stick: I got my first hot chocolate on a stick from a secret santa at work…and I’ve been crazy about them ever since. If you go on their website, they have more variety than I’ve ever seen. Peppermint, Chili, and Chai…oh, my!
David’s Tea: This new found tea shop (thanks to my coworker) has become a haven for all of the employees at my work. We get free tea after hours, and we spread the word about them like CRAZY! All of our customers have checked out David’s Tea and become enormous fans!! They have any type of tea that a tea snob could love, and then some. Check them out and sign up for their “frequent steeper” card.
A Writing Competition: Yes, I said that right. I invested in myself. I trusted myself to pull out some genius words that could potentially win me money…and I’m cool with that. Google it…you can do it too.
This Shirt: Francesca’s: Yes. I bought this…and I wear it out in public…and it makes people smile and laugh. Judge me, sue me, whatever. It’s comfortable and makes me look skinny. Black is slimming anyway. Buy it, rock it, and love it. Because I do.
Anyway, so I think I’m done with buying stuff for now. Got another week to go on my paycheck and I have to say…I’m rockin’ it! (If I stop now!) It’s good to pamper…especially if you don’t get out much 😉
So, I feel that being an avid shopper has led me to uncover some tricky tricks that ALL stores get you with. It seems logical, but lethal. Sometimes, it’s not easy to detect these “bargains,” but to the trained eye, it is fairly simple.
Sales are a great way to increase a store’s money flow. When the word sale is However, sales are not always the greatest of bargains. Watch out for final sales and non-included items. It’s easy to play tricks on the common folks, and final sales can be a bitch to try to return. My advice? Try to weed out a bad deal with your common sense. It’s not that hard to ask an associate about the details and fine print of a sale.
Another issue I have with retail stores is the impulse buy section at the cashier and in the line. I literally think that cashiers take enjoyment out of taking more than enough time to ring you up. I know for me, I look around, touch a couple of items that sparked my interest, and I give myself a stern talk before I add the new impulse item to my bill. I don’t know what makes me more mad: the fact that the store actually got me, or that the cashier knowingly takes her time ringing me up.
Stores usually have large re-merchandising shifts that take up to 8 hours to completely revamp the look of the store. This way, the customer is more prone to purchase items that have a “focus” display. On top of that, music is carefully chosen in order to make you bop around and add more things to your cart…and they make sure there is a space for you to sit down and enjoy the ambiance.
Here’s my real opinion. Ya’ll are just losing control. Get it together, make sure to utilize your budget, and don’t drop your guard. Salespeople can be very convincing if you don’t want to be mean. Conclusion? Kindly say no. Tell the salespeople you don’t need their help…unless you really do. For some reason, I feel like I want to become friends with these people. TBH, they literally don’t care about anything but your money and your purchase. Gather your belongings and move along.
For most people, gambling can be a vice that they just can’t walk away from. For others, it is not an interest. For me, it’s a catch-22…do I voluntarily become a broke bitch? Or, do I walk away and enjoy other things in life? Although I would choose the latter, my friends would like to have a “sassy casino night” in Atlantic City in New Jersey.
What’s a girl to do? I can’t be a Debbie downer, so I’m gonna have to deal.
How To Gamble: For Non-Gamblers
Make A Budget
Make a budget and stick to it. It’s a common trend for me to verbally tell my fiancé my plan for a budget. I will say how much I am going to spend, and how much I am willing to bend on it. I’ll think about the bills I have to pay, and how much I already have on my credit card. It’s a good strategy to keep in your back pocket when you are faced with the possibility of winning millions.
We’ve all been there: you put in $10.00, and you win $20.00…then $35.00…then you lose it all. When you lose your budget, stop playing. STOP. Casinos now make it easier than ever to put you in debt…including a place to put your credit card, and ATM’s all over the floor. My advice? Take your budget out in cash before you get to the casino. Usually, there is a HUGE surcharge fee all up in that jawn.
Enjoy Other Things
Although casinos are based off of gambling and throwing away money, you might as well throw your money away (if you really want to) on something that has a guaranteed good or service that is beneficial to you. So, go to a show or a club at the casino. In the end, you’ll be happy and drunk. #whatcouldbebetter
Yep, that’s right…be negative. Be realistic. What are the actual chances that you will win millions? Nada. Sorry for the harsh reality, but it’s true. You won’t win big if you keep putting your money in. Chances are, you will lose…and lose big.
Cash Out and Walk Away
If you put in $10, and win $20…cash out. CASH OUT. Go buy yourself ice cream and walk on the boardwalk. Put that money in your money jar and consider it a lucky win. Don’t ever think that you’ll win more with one more round.
That’s it for now, stay tuned for some sassy observations in a couple of days. Should be a good time.
If you know someone with a gambling problem, visit your state’s website for a dose of reality.