Money Saved in Your Lunchbox

I work at the mall…and I’m fairly lazy in my cooking escapades. We can see where this is going. Mall food. The worst, girl! Please. I’m telling you, I just want a simple hamburger and I’m paying more than what it would cost for a couple of gallons of gas in my car. I literally just can’t do it anymore. It’s not worth the money and the stomach pain.

It’s pretty simple to start meal prepping…ok, it’s simple for your fiancé to start meal prepping. The one crucial piece of advice: Make food that will keep for at least 48 hours. This means, no avocado for day 6.

It’s hard to start, but it’s easy to keep it going. In two days, I’ve seen that my bank account is staying at the same balance. Just, don’t spend that hard saved cash on some stuff you don’t need, like a super adorable shirt. Because…I didn’t get that today or anything.

This week, we made chicken salad, couscous, and celery with some mayonnaise. On the side, we made quinoa pasta and tossed it with some poppyseed salad dressing. I packed a water and a fruit bar!

Next big post should be some meal prep recipes! Stay tuned!

xoxo- Kate

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The Hidden Secret

Here’s a tip

Here’s a quick story for you:

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with my mother. We were talking about saving money, and how to do it successfully. She had mentioned that her assistant principal uses a giant vase to count up her extra money. The vase is kept next to the fireplace, and she and her husband drop in their coins and extra dollars whenever they get a chance. At the end of the year, they take a vacation to Disney World! I’m not in the market for extra vacations, with buying a house and “being” and adult just around the corner. However, I did take my mom’s suggestion to start saving for our honeymoon!

Although this whole carrying cash thing is new to me, I’ve realized that every cent counts, and adds up pretty quickly!  Dropping in money everyday can be a simple task to forget, but don’t!

My hubby-to-be and I have already saved $80.00! It’s not much, but it feels great! You know it’s love when you love saving money with each other!

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

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

Credit Cards, Promo E-mails, and Mailings! Oh My!

Let’s talk about the biggest trap around these days…Credit cards!
Now, I’m not saying its a complete trap, but much like life vests in the water, credit cards give you a false sense of security, and in this case, money. No matter how much money you make each week from a job, credit card companies will target you for everything you’ve got.

Here’s my advice: (thanks to my boyfriend)
Use your card for a purchase, but pay off the amount ASAP. Don’t wait until the end of the billing cycle. Why? Most of the time, you will reach for a credit card if you are short on cash. I do it too, and together we can stop this nonsense! On top of that, credit cards will give you a minimum payment each month. Most of us busy folk pay the minimum and go on with our daily lives. DON’T DO THIS! After each month, most cards have interest for an unpaid balance. So basically, your credit card is a ticking time bomb that increases in a balance just because you aren’t spending or paying off a balance wisely.

Credit cards aren’t your thing? Lucky. Well, I am going to reiterate a previous post. Promotional e-mails and mailings. These items are used as ploys by companies. (No matter your vice)
I like to think each time you click on an e-mail, a marketing employee for that company laughs manically. These people are marketing geniuses! That catchy e-mail titles, the amazing colors, the pretty pictures…anyone can get sucked in…right?

My advice? Get it together and unsubscribe. My friend and I recently went through our e-mails and purged our accumulated promo e-mails. Since I last wrote this post, more e-mails piled into my inbox to try and tempt me. Did I give in? Obviously. I have a weakness for Rebecca Minkoff! Don’t judge me!

As for mailings, refuse a mailing address when purchasing in a store. It’s for your own good. Sales people will try and convince you otherwise. Listen to me: no.
You aren’t being rude, you’re helping yourself.

Back to a clean slate tomorrow. Be strong, saving beauties!

K

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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