S or S? : Summer Staples

So, what do you want to splurge or save on?

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It’s that time of year again where we find ourselves at a cross roads. To buy new, exciting clothes..or deal with what you have for yet another season of not so cute instagram posts.

Obviously, we have our summer staples: Bathing suits, a cute pair of shorts, sunglasses, flip flops, and a sundress…anything else? I’m probably sure I’m missing plenty of staples…but my dog keeps licking my leg, so that’s what we’re going with for now.

So, what do you want to splurge or save on?

Bathing Suit

Splurge. Yep, splurge on this one. I gotta say, buying bathing suits from Target are great in a pinch, but when you actually spend some quality money (like $100 and you have a mini heart attack while swiping your card) you get a pretty great bathing suit that will last a while. Lands End, Everything but Water, Boden..just to name some. Some things are reasonable, and some stuff is just outlandish– but I’ve seen the difference first hand in how a GREAT bathing suit fits vs a cheaper one. As a bigger laday, it’s hard to find something that flatters you.

Sundress

Save. I know we can all agree that a $98 sundress from Lilly tends to be a *must* for me, but there are so many different dress options these days, that you can get a practical dress for less than $20 that will last you for the summer. Guess what? That color trend or style of dress may be out of style next summer, so it’s best to spend less.

Shorts

Save. Same goes for this topic. Not gonna lie, a good pair of shorts can hug you a special kind of way, but I own expensive shorts…and the pockets stick out and make my hips look wider than they need to. Guess what pair of my shorts DON’T do that? My JCrew FACTORY shorts for literally $15. So, my good pair of shorts that hug me in all the right ways, was $15, while my $68 Lilly Pulitzer pair makes my hips look like they don’t lie. Sometimes, they do. So don’t be fooled.

Sunglasses

Save. Okay, is it just me, or can you find some bomb-ass sunnies for nothing? I know that I had a $3 pair from Marshall’s for the longest time, until I sat on them in my car and then squinted my eyes all the way to New York. I currently have a pair from Dollboxx which is a little more pricey, but still reasonable…and not $150. To add to that, they also make bathing suits that I wouldn’t be caught dead in..but if you can rock them, be my guest.

Flippys

Splurge. Yeppers–buy that pair of Jacks, Eliza B’s or Tory’s. It’s treat yo’self day. First off, Jacks hurt like a bitch, but last a while– unless you get those Jellies, because they hurt AND don’t last…but the reg leather ones are great– just try not to wear them for a whole day unless you like being a grumpy bitch. Eliza B’s are about $60, and WORTH IT. I have about 4 pairs from high school that I can still wear and not look like a bum. They LAST. I just bought a new pair, because they’re madras– but I love how comfy they are and how supportive they feel. Lastly, Tory Burch sells some cute sandals, man. I don’t own any, but for the girl who has everything and wants more– these are for you. She has a ton of choices, and I’m into each one. Everyone might be different, but in my opinion, a sloppy shoe is a sign of a not so put together person.

This summer, spend smart, spend less, and make sure to plan out your purchases so you have enough left over for an impromtu hooky day from work..or if your boss is reading this, an impromtu PTO day 🙂

Love you, mean it.

K

 

Home Decor Ripoffs!

Is anyone else sitting on their couch on a Friday night watching HGTV and wishing that they figured out a way to make a ton of money and have a fabulous, Instagram worthy living room? No? It’s just me?

Okay, well is anyone on my same page about this: You hear about a store that is supposed to have amazing deals and awesome stuff, and you muster up the courage to go in– and everything you see is mediocre…and costs more than it should? Yea, me too.

I’m here to tell you that you aren’t alone– home decor is cute, and commercials and social media posts from various stores make you want to jump in the car and drive there even if it’s 10 at night. When you find a new place, the first visit in is like a blind date. You don’t know what you’re gonna get, and you might get stuck with a huge bill if things don’t work out.

So here it is: The top 3 most overrated places for home decor.

If you’ve had luck at these places, I need to go shopping with you– because I walk in, do a loop, and walk out after looking at a couple of price tags.  I can never find anything splurge worthy or affordable enough for me to pull out my Henri Bendel and swipe my Amex. (Don’t tell my husband I still use that card.)

Let me know, am I just looking for the WRONG things at these places? And if you get deals, what are you shopping for?

Pier One

Alright, don’t freaking kill me…but I can’t get into it. I walk in, and I immediately fall in love with a kitchen table that is farmhouse style with beautiful chairs and I can’t have it because it’s so much money and the chairs are all sold seperately….gasp for air… not that this happened to me. Although it’s featured on ebates rn, it’s a total rip off in there. And no, I’m not still bitter about the table, okay? I go in there, and I see a bedazzled pillow that my dog (or baby) would probably choke on, and it costs more than my gas to and from work all week. FORGET IT. I know, there are coupons, but it doesn’t help much. You can get the same, cute stuff for much cheaper other places: IE: Kirklands, Wayfair, NOT Joss and Main, Home Goods, and Ikea.

*Yea, I know Joanna Gaines has a new line that Pier One is selling, and since I love her– I’ll try to go in there again, because I’m a sucker for Chip and I want them both to love me.

Pottery Barn

NO apologies for this one. Included here: West Elm and Crate and Barrel. What am I? A Rockefeller? Not a chance in hell. I went in there during Christmas time to pick up a candle for my mother– one of those battery ones– and I almost choked on my Nordstrom cookie when she told me the price. Bitch, what?! One of those was $60. No way, Josephina. On that note, they have endless amounts of picture frames that are apparently dipped in 24k gold before they are shipped over to this place. I get it, I sound like Phoebe from Friends, but it’s true! If you don’t have to eat everyday, I suggest taking a look here for all of your home needs.

ZGallerie

I’ve never stepped into a store, but holy cannoli! It is expensive online! I watch a ton of YouTubers, and they all worship the ground ZGallerie builds on. Want something to hold…something in? $50 please. What about a purple fuzzy pillow? $150! I will admit, some of their accessories are comparable to what Home Goods sometimes tries to pull on us, but looking at this website makes me feel the same way I feel when I walk into a Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Ripped off.

 

Either way you slice it, I need to be able to rationalize my finds, and also be able to feed my child at the same time. There’s no way I’m going to spend the price of formula for two weeks on a golden artichoke for my mantle.

 

(I mean, if it’s super cute, I’ll consider it)

 

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

 

 

 

Buying a House

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…

Love you, mean it.

K

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!

Broke Ain’t No Joke

Let’s talk about this hiatus, huh?

Anywho, I’m trying my friends. I really am. Life catches you and throws you around like a piece of meat. Ugh, whatevs. Let’s just say,

I’m sorry. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, we have some new confessions. We can call them the good, the bad, and the really terrible.

For the good: I started making my own lunch, I thankfully have a job, and I’m paying off my credit card debt…$20 each week to be exact. I have to say, it’s a good balance. I’ve trained myself to look at my paycheck with $40 less every two weeks.

For the bad: I work in a clothing store. A really cute one. I get a fairly awesome discount, and I wear the clothes anyway. We all can see where this is going.

The really terrible: EEK! Okay, I’m getting married next year, and PINTEREST is making things so hard on me (typical first world problem) Ok, but seriously. Everything I see on there, I want in my wedding. I had to talk myself out of buying ANOTHER engagement photo shoot outfit because while shopping, my creative wheels were turning.   On another note, let’s hear it for all the fabulous bitties living paycheck to paycheck! (Do I hear a…cricket?) Is it just me? Well, in that case: let me break it down. I barely make enough to afford gas, food, and a student loan. (Thanks Sallie Mae)

This is where my wonderous post comes in:

What To Expect When Broke:

  1. Ha. The first thing you have to expect is probably a major cramp in your social life. Sure, I gave up going out every weekend once I graduated from college, but let’s get real, a girl’s got to get her drank on. Right?
  2. On top of that major cramp in social life, you’ll probably experience some sort of desperate search for coins; quarters, pennies, nickels, dimes OH MY.
  3. Coffee is a luxury: well, I didn’t give this up..because I’d be a much meaner person if that was taken away.
  4. You find new and exciting ways to revamp your clothing style: In other words: You can’t buy a new outfit every weekend…sorry, Blair Waldorf.
  5. Lastly, (and this is just the tip of the iceberg) you will tend to think you have more money than you actually do. I am so guilty of this. I love giving presents, and I really do have to learn that I cannot afford it!

A word from the wise, it’s hard. This is a hard, stupid concept to wrap your head around. It comes with petty fights with loved ones (don’t give in to fighting about money) and a lot of lonely nights while your friends go out without you.

Next post? What do to on a limited budget.

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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