A Credit Card Is Not Your Friend

Today is a good day. I finally paid off my credit card…in full. Oh, I can’t tell you how good it feels to finally be out of debt! Well, except…you know…freakin’ Sallie Mae.

Here are a couple tips that helped me when I was trying to swim out of this black lagoon:

  1. Don’t put small purchases on your credit card We all know it’s tempting, but don’t do it!! Putting on small purchases are easier to forget than an impending big charge. The less you put on a credit card (or debit card for that matter!) the better. I have become a big believer in trying to carry cash with me, and only using cash!
  2. Swallow your fear: submit big payments If you get a paycheck for $800, and your other bills are paid, put $100 into savings and submit a BIG payment. Try to put $200-$400 for the month. The bigger, the better. You will feel like a huge weight is being lifted!
  3. Don’t swipe after you make a payment. We’ve all been there, we think that since we paid off some charges, we can continue to swipe! Our credit line is up, so why not? I’ll tell you why…because being confident about your money can be lethal. Obviously not at all times, but when you get cocky, it can be bad.
  4. Use your card for a specific thing. Whether it is for gas or food…keep it as such. Don’t go crazy using your credit card for frivolous purchases. The up side of this is that several credit cards have a special for cash back or double points for a certain thing. If it’s offered, use it. If you get double points for food and entertainment (ie: movies)…use it for just that. You can get some super fun things! (ie: points to use towards cash, gift cards, or your cc balance)

Try it, and get back to me!

 

xoxo- kate

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Chic and Cheap Weddings: 103

After a long week of soul searching (and working like a dog), I’ve decided to write another post about weddings. It’s certainly a biggie: wedding favors, table linens, and veils

Alright, this is a short post, but important.

Wedding Favors

Girl please, most people will be too drunk to get the favor…(unless it’s a dry wedding…in which case, you need to get your priorities straight.) So, anyway, there are plenty of favors that are less expensive than the common ones. For example: food, bubbles, or flower seeds. Candy can run you a good $2.00 per candy, while flower seeds and be a couple cents, if you know where to go. I have gone to my fair share of weddings, and I will tell you my ultimate favorite favor: Nothing. THERE! I said it! Donate that money to a good cause…we all know your guests are more excited about their new profile pics and their drunken buzz than a package of *literally* terrible candies with my husband’s face on them.

Table Linens

Another ridiculous expense that most brides would be better without. Yes, your color scheme is important…and yes! the lace linens you saw ARE super cute…but literally, your guests are looking at you, talking about you, and taking pictures of YOU. I have never heard of a party-goer saying that a bride’s table linens were not “up to par.” Please, we all know you spent a fortune on a table cloth that your aunt dropped spaghetti on…and then tried to cover it up. Linens are the WORST. It is so easy to get caught up in that crap. Do me a favor (just for me, please!) Don’t spend extra on table linens. Most of the time, your venue will have a vast amount of choices that come with the price. Take those bitches for all they are worth!

Veils

Oh, lady! You are literally putting a piece of fabric in your hair for about 3 hours! You might want to make it interesting…for goodness sake, it’s your wedding! If you are anything like me, you want it to be traditional. I get that, I really do. Traditional is good! Don’t splurge for a veil. My advice? Go on etsy, ebay, or a pre owned shop. It will save your life…and your wallet (Which is super cute, by the way!)

That’s all for today, the holidays are getting to me! Oh, and I got published on Elite Daily! Check that baby out!! I’ll see you after Christmas!

xoxo -Kate

Holiday Shopping Etiquette

Ah, the season of grumpy parents and bratty children has begun! I’m so excited! Partially because I am neither…but because of Caramel Brulée Lattes at Starbies. But, that’s another post…for another time. However, if you don’t know what it is…click that link, educate yourself, and get back to me…pledge.

Cool- we’re all caught up? Great. Let’s get started. Last year, I blogged about budgeting and making sure you all knew the tips and tricks to stick to your budget. This year, I’m talking about etiquette. Someone has to– might as well be me.

Who To Buy For:

  1. Your direct family. This means parents, siblings, and yes…your in-laws too. Get a “couple gift” if need be, but don’t be a rude sister/brother-in-law. It leaves a bad taste in a person’s mouth.
  2. A significant other. Depending on the seriousness of your relationship, gifts may have to be purchased for his or her family members as well. If engaged, get it together.
  3. Your BFF. Talk to her/him. Determine a budget and stick to it. No one wants to be embarrassed when exchanging gifts.
  4. Your Close Friends. If they are all in the same close knit group, do a Secret Santa sort of deal. If they aren’t, work it out individually. Some friends don’t want to give gifts, and would rather just have a fun night together. I get it, and I’ve done it.

Who Not To Buy For:

  1. That crazy coworker who bought you a candy cane.
  2. Your Dunkin’ lady…your Starbies barista may be another story: She just gets you..and I get that.
  3. Your “friend” who you see once a year to “exchange gifts.” Please, let that end…sooner rather than later.
  4. Your customer at work who knows what kind of car you drive, and the type of coffee you drink. My advice? Don’t drink the coffee she brings you when she comes in to buy stuff. Just saying…
  5. Your coworker’s child. Unless you are close, which I doubt, refrain from this practice. You’ll be broke by the time that kid graduates from kindergarten.
  6. Your boss. We know, it’s important to suck up. Write a card with meaningful thank you. If they wanted a gift, they would have given you a raise.

That’s it. Don’t buy petty, nonsense gifts. This time of year, it is so easy to go crazy and shop for anyone you’ve ever had a conversation with. Don’t do it. It’s not cute. As always, stick to a budget, and always remember to avoid a credit card charge!

xoxo- Kate

Some Advice Before Buying Full Price

Hey Boos-

Ok, so let’s talk about this whole instant gratification thing. I’m guilty. Who isn’t? …put your hand down, bitch. Anyway, I want to talk about buying full price in a store or online. Stawp it. You know it’s going on sale in like, a week. Let me tell you, stores pull items off the floor almost weekly. Stores also almost ALWAYS mark that stuff down come the next two or three weeks. If they don’t, whatevs. Hate me, I saved you some money.

Here’s some advice to you when something is on the market that you just can’t get your eyes off of. (I’ve been there,after all… I am human.)

  • Stalk the crap out of it. Visit that website every day if you have to. Sign up for promo e-mails, then unsubscribe after you’ve gotten what you need from them. (Ugh, that’s so terrible.)
  • Make sure you do price comparisons. Go on direct online sites that maybe selling the same item for cheaper.
  • Although I used to stick my nose in the air about this, check Amazon and Ebay. No jokes..well the one joke would be if you bought something and it was fake…but seriously, there are a lot of people out there who have what you want and are selling it because of a break-up, divorce, or they too are broke!
  • You want it? Work for it. Go on every website you can think of. RueLaLa, Hautelook, Nordstrom, Bloomies, Macy’s, Neiman, Lord and Taylor, do I need to go on? I mean, you found me because you’re trying to get off the drug, you already know what it looks like 😉
  • Just know how terrible you’ll feel when you’ve already bought it, and it goes on sale the next day.

(On another note, trying to stop shopping is like trying to stop smoking the first, second, and third time. Harder than hard. But, once you get over the first hump, it’s so good…in reference to both things.)

Anyway, happy hunting!

xoxo- Kate

Penny Pinching is the Way to Go

With Christmas just over a month away, I have already started a list of people I need to purchase a gift for and the amount I expect the gift to cost.  This is a great way to stick to my budget. I have to congratulate myself, not for my low paying job, but because I am almost positive I am nearing the end of what I call my obsession for designer brands. I could easily charge a Michael Kors bag on my credit card and slowly pay it off over the upcoming months, but I don’t. I instead have come to realize that this isn’t going to make me Instagram famous. No matter how hard I try.

I realize there is a bigger picture: there are bigger things you have to worry about than spending frivolously… No matter how much I think a new handbag would bring in a new season or a new necklace would accent my new outfit, in the long run it isn’t the right choice.

It makes more sense to watch your pennies and only indulge in the smaller things such as my cup of Starbucks iced coffee, a milkshake, or a bite to eat once a week with the person I love when we have the same days off.  I am learning my lessons about what I preach about impulse buying, and instant gratification. It’s not ideal and not where I see myself in five years. For now, my wedding planning and purchasing a house are more important than that new handbag I want, or that Tiffany’s necklace I hope my fiance gets me for Christmas. 🙂

Happy planning and happy savings.

xoxo- Kate

Payday! Payday!

As your weekend plans start to come together, and Friday night is closer than ever, it is imperative that you keep a conscious eye out for frivolous spending. As my loyal followers, I feel I have a duty to let you know, payday is just a day that is there to tempt you. “But, Katie, I just got paid! I have so much expendable money! It’s Friday!”

….No, no you don’t. Sit back and read…this could help you out of the poor house.

1) Let’s cut to the chase, every single time that you are planning on going out for an night on the town, you believe that you need a complete new outfit. Whether it be Thursday after work or Friday after work, your pump yourself up and lead yourself to believe that you had enough cash to go out to get cute new pair of pants or a new dress. If you’re an instant gratification gal or guy like I am, you have tunnel vision all the way to the store.

Fight the urge, my saving beauties!

Am I being unfair? Probably a little bit. But the fact of the matter is that you do have something to wear and quite honestly no one will actually notice your outfit!

2) How many credit cards do you have? One? Two? Six? Go in your wallet and take them all out. NEVER pay for a night out on your credit card. Don’t open a tab with a debit card either…imagine waking up with $27 left in your account! (It’s happened) Before you go out on the town, stop at your bank…NOT a random ATM. This way, you don’t have a surcharge on your account. Estimate how much money you will be spending and take out $20 extra. I like to call this “God forbid” money. With my anxiety, I like to cook up situations that may happen. I.E- my friends leave me, I get kidnapped…you know, the logical stuff.

3) How do you get to your destination? Walk? Taxi? Car? If you’re walking, good for you! Just don’t wear heels. Anything else is going to cost you $10-$25. In your allotted cash. That’s right! No credit or debit cards can be used!

Make sure that you have a definite area which in which you will be staying the entire night. If you were hitting up multiple places, be smart about it. Shop around different taxi companies. A word of advice: don’t appear drunk, many cab drivers will assume you do not know where you are, and take a long cut! Don’t be afraid to speak up if you know a shorter way!

4) Have the munchies? Cut it out! You will end up wasting more money and if you’re on a diet, well… You get what I mean.

5) Lastly, make sure to collect loose money in your purse or pocket and put it back into the bank! If you were under budget, congrats! If you went over budget, go through and reevaluate your night. I’m sure there were some purchases that you shouldn’t have made!

Happy Weekend, saving beauties!

K

Holiday Shopping

With the holiday season just around the corner, I figured I would share some interesting ideas for NOT going into debt this year. I know we all want to pamper and spoil our loved ones, but there comes a time that you have to draw the line inbetween being generous and being insane.

For those who have a big heart, but not a big paycheck: read on…

  1. Take cash out before a shopping trip and put in an envelope. Leave your credit cards at home and only use you alotted money that you have budgeted yourself.
  2. Use apps and websites like RetailMeNot, Hautelook, Ruelala, and Looksy to get great, designer looks for less.
  3. Never buy full price. Ever. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it. Do you hear me?
  4. If there is something major that you are buying for somebody, shop around. Instant gratification is not a feeling you want while holiday shopping. You’ll end up finding the exact item somewhere else for $100.00 less. Believe me, it happens.
  5. Do not procrastinate. Start thinking about gifts now. If you aren’t exchanging gifts, think about what you and your loved ones will be doing instead. Dinner? Great…get a reservation ready. Movie Outing? Even better…start making plans.

This year, I started saving for presents in August. I used my savings account as a safe haven for my money (literally). Today, I “cashed out” and once the money arrives into my checking account, I will be on my way to the bank with a crisp envelope ready to withdraw it! 

Shopping on a budget isn’t the most fun. I know we would all love to have an endless amount of money, with sales and beautiful items at our fingertips ready for us to buy…well, the latter actually exists, but you get what I mean. This isn’t dream land, and we don’t have an endless supply of money.

Happy budgeting!

K

Back at it…and Embarassed

There is no doubt I stopped writing because I’ve been busy…but there is a side reason as well…I’m back at spending, but wisely. Is that a thing? Is bargain hunting bad? I sure hope not. It seems to me that there is no grey area with deciding to stop spending frivolous money. You either lose all hope, or you don’t even spend money on gas. I’ve decided to break all of these stereotypes. Let’s be real, rationalization at its finest here, folks.

Why deprive ourselves? Saving money is like dieting. When you deprive yourself of an ice cream cone or a cookie, you tend to break your diet more and HARDER. So, I’m proposing, save…but spend responsibly. (I sound like a beer commercial) Don’t fool yourself, because if you are an instant gratification gal or guy, you always will be…let’s look at the hard facts. How would you know? Take a second and think about the past couple of days. Did you think about how much better your room would look organized? What about how much better it would be if your kitchen plates were in a different place? And then think about your reaction. If you went out to Bed Bath and Beyond or the Container Store and GOT and organization rack without weighing out the pros and cons…you’re instant gratification. FACE IT. I know I know…now let’s get over it and DEAL.

Since we last spoke, I left my job because of unhappiness. I still work for the company, just in a different, closer place. BUT this cause a severe dent in my wallet due to lack of paychecks. SIGH. Talk about struggle. Here’s a tip: During unemployment…don’t spend. Seriously, you’ll need your extra cash while looking for a job…or in my case, racking up hours again so you have a reasonable paycheck.

I have spend less money on eating on the way to school or work, which I am very proud of myself. I have taken advantage of my savings account, and decided to start putting money in (for the long run…and my dream wedding) (just kidding?)

Okay, time to jet. My room has been painted and I am SO EXCITED to see it… pictures? Okay…whatevs.

 

Happy Saving/Spending/Being Responsible?

xoxo

Healthy Saving

If you live in New York, you know just how much cigarettes cost these days. LORD. Not only would quitting this nasty habit help your health, it will help your wallet in the long run. If you smoke, take the time to sit back and write down how many packs you purchase a week– do the math. $35.00 a week? Yea…I know that pain. Luckily, I have cut down a LARGE amount, which makes my parents and my boyfriend very happy. I feel much better than usual. As of right now, I have 33 hours cigarette free. It’s tough, but it’s worth it.

What about all the money you spend on alcohol? Sit back down and add up all the drinks you had at the bar last night. LE SIGH. That’s the kicker isn’t it? When you think about it, you could drop over $100.00 in a single night, and not even remember it. Now, I’m always up for a good night at the bar, but let’s get real. We’re spending money on cigarettes and alcohol only to not remember the “great” night you had and feed into a life in the fast lane. Think about the amount of money you have, and how much you spend on items that will ultimately be bad for you.

Over my birthday weekend, I was able to go out for a couple meals, and found myself penny pinching in order to be able to eat lunch today.

Goal for today: Spend only what I need to. Don’t indulge in the pretty things you pass by in the windows. Make today a “healthy” saving day. Fight the urge. We’ll do this together!

iTunes Trap

I must say, I am relieved I was able to spend some time away from technology for a bit and have a wonderful weekend with my two roommates from college and the rest of my friends for my birthday weekend!

Anyway, I’m back at blogging and I have a couple awesome ideas brought to you by my friend Lindsay and my boyfriend, Michael. While taking a drive around Long Island, I asked Lindsay to download a couple songs from my iTunes account. She noticed my credit card was connected to my account, which I thought was easy access to download a song or movie. Lindsay told me her trick to try and save some money, because it does add up! If you buy a gift card, or you only use a gift card that was given to you, you are able to track your spending so much easier. This way, if your gift card runs out, you will realize how much you have spent when updating your music library.

Believe me, I get it. Sometimes a song (of five) get stuck in your head, and all you want to do is put them on replay and jam out in your car or room. Don’t give in!!! The little charges on your card aren’t worth it! After buying a couple albums on iTunes, you start to realize that having the latest music will in fact ruin your balance on your account.