Archive | July, 2011

What’s to come

31 Jul

I know this blog will evolve into its own beast, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what might appear and below are some of my ideas:

1. Debt Party Documentation with my lovely friends, Izzy, Patrick, and Beth. Patrick is a very, very charismatic accountant and us girls really want to listen to him talk to us about money and making a financial plan. He is probably the only boy who could garner our attention in such matters. We love him. And just look at him. You want him to talk to you about your finances too, don’t you?

Izzy and Patrick

We also plan share tips, try tactics, and bitch a lot about money problems. All documented of course so we can all learn from each other as one big happy family.

My girls - Izzy and Beth

2. Personal Examples. Yeah I think I’m willing to share my budget. My info. An exposed look at what I am really dealing with so that everyone actually gets “it”. I am sure that sadly, many people will relate.

3. Stories – I really do need to call student loan companies and find out my options. And I need to transfer my credit card balance. And, and, and, essentially I need to get dirty and dive into that muck…and when I do, I’m gonna put the conversations on record.

4. Book Reviews. Debt-Free by 30? I guess I’ll read this, and other books, and tell you if their worth your while.

5. And you…I want to hear all of the above from you too. What have you done to make an extra buck? Do you have rad tips for the rest of us? Funny stories, good resources, just need to vent? Share in the comments please. It’s such a miserable endeavor, I hope we can see we’re not alone in it.

❤ Lou

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Setback? Or Saved?

31 Jul

I really did try to go pimp perfume yesterday, I swear I did. I was jotting down directions when I saw the “Justin Bieber Cheat Sheet” in my email. Oh lovely, I thought, now I can remind myself if Vanilla is a top note, or a mid note, and what about Rose, is that a top note??? Better know my stuff if I’m gonna try and sway folks to smell like the Biebs.

But when I opened this Cheat Sheet, turns out it was actually a bunch of rules. Crazy rules. Many of which I hadn’t followed and now, with 3.5 minutes to spare, I realized I had failed to properly prepare for what I guess is a super serious job. See for yourself…here are some examples of what I would have needed to do in order to slang “Someday”:

CODE OF CONDUCT

  • Do not consume any alcohol 10 hours prior or during the promotion or while wearing Justin Bieber gear (oops)

 

  • In addition to the IVR call in system, Brand Ambassadors at Macy’s locations are REQUIRED to sign into Macy’s vendor website ( HYPERLINK “http://macyspartners.com” http://macyspartners.com ) to print out a bar code that will be scanned when entering the store. Further instructions are included in your Training Manuals. Please give yourself at least 48 hours before your first event for registration clearance. (Damn!)

 

  • At the end of each shift, you will be REQUIRED to visit the Someday Reporting Portal to turn in a report of the day’s events. This is required for us to consider your event as complete. Failure to do so will result in your event being considered unexecuted, and you will not be paid for your event hours. (Huh?)

So many rules. 4 full pages. I totally failed. But I am not sure that is a terrible thing. And it wasn’t all a loss. Because I did use my time to pull up the budget I had woefully been neglecting. I just got paid and I decided to start fresh. Budget is now updated. Bills are paid. Debit card is placed in freezer because I am pretty sure that is a good reminder to myself not use it.

I also asked my boss for more money at work. Well, I said that I might need to flex my schedule for a second job and he pretty much told me not to be dumb and said we’d work together to try and push something through the insanely stringent state university system. Here’s hoping.

I guess the moral of this story is that I might rather spend $0 on fun than drive to Clackamas to sell perfume. I also have the real estate events, which are actually kind of fun even if I put on a front:

 

Someday….ok, tomorrow

29 Jul

In a quest to earn more money for the student loan police, I will subject myself to a bad case of Bieber fever and potentially vomit a few times in the mall bathroom.

For those of you that missed it, tomorrow I will be slanging perfume for a tiny child who is so rich he could pay off all my debt in one fell swoop. It’s disgusting. And embarrassing. And GREAT comedic material.

So be sure to check back this weekend to hear all about my experience as one of Justin Bieber’s perfume pimps.

Catering to Debt

29 Jul

I am really not stoked that after working an 8 hour day at the university, I have to go pour wine at an event in the Pearl (fancy schmancy Portland hood) until 8 pm. 12 hour day. 12 hours of work on a beautiful, sunny, Friday! Ugh.

Yes, I am thankful I have the gig and yes I will walk out with $50 cash, but then I have to confront the challenge of not spending all that cash on $50 in wine. Or whiskey. Or whatever will remind me it’s the weekend and time to have fun. This is one of my biggest problems, admittedly. I love fun. And I work hard so then I convince myself I deserve to spend some money on fun. When really, I should squirrel it away in savings or something.

But what fun is that?! Savings. Such a foreign idea to me.

Me and my friend Gretchen at a Friday evening catering event…I actually don’t look like I hate life so I will look at this and force positive thoughts. I will also be sure to squirrel away at LEAST half of my $50. That is all I can promise…Baby Steps.

Starting Fresh

29 Jul

The Change Jar

It’s time to cash in the change jar.

28 Jul

Two days ago, as I walked into my $14.33 per hour Executive Assistant job, I saw a pile of books on the floor marked: FREE. I didn’t pay them much attention since a quick review of the titles showed me one of the Social Workers here at our university health clinic had left them. I didn’t feel the need to read up on how to deal with depression or tips for self-coaching my way through life. However, on my third pass down the hallway to fetch a cup of coffee, an electric green binding caught my eye: debt-free by 30.

Pft. Sounds nice, I thought, and kept walking. I made it the full 10 feet back into my office before running back to snatch up the book. It’d be foolish to not at least take a peek at what the two authors wanted to tell me, considering 7 years of college (4 undergrad, 3 graduate) had left me $70,000+ in debt and at 27 years old, I am still borrowing money from my mother to make ends meet.

This is where it gets tricky for me because, I suspect like most people, I hate dealing with money. Or numbers. Or anything even remotely related to financial matters. My mom oftentimes helps me out with this stuff because I deplore it so much were I left to my own devices I would surely slide into financial free fall.

When I accepted this horribly low paying job in order to get back to the city I love, Portland, OR (for more history read About Me), we made a pretty solid weekly budget for myself and put every last student loan and interest rate on a spreadsheet. These projects are never a pleasant experience, especially for her since my naturally sunny persona immediately sinks into extreme grumpiness and impatience whenever we begin our talks. I would rather ignore it, but am finally realizing that really isn’t an effective approach.

All I want at this point in life is to be a financially independent adult. I want to be able to pay my bills every month and still have money to buy delicious groceries and maybe a new nail polish and drinks with friends a few times a week. I want to be able to go on dates with my boyfriend to the movies and afford small gifts for my loved ones on their birthdays.

I am so, so tired of living paycheck to paycheck, or worse, seeing my bank account dip into the red. I hate that one night at the bar can disrupt my financial state for months, and let me tell you, I am pathetically prone to these mistakes. And most of all, I am terribly sad that the feelings of accomplishment that came from obtaining advanced degrees now feel like mistakes that I regret on an almost daily basis.

I know things need to change. I know I need to stop ignoring the fine print and instead jump in and see where I can gain some control. So many of my friends and family are in a similar situation, as are countless people in our world, which is why I decided to document my plight to dig out of it. If I can do it, maybe that will offer hope for others. Maybe we can learn from one another. At the very least, we can see we’re not alone.

So, debt-free by 30. Think I can do it? I’ve got 2 years, 3 months, and 3 days. I’m guessing my only hope is to tie it in with my real passion, writing, hence this blog. Please, please let this take the edge off such a miserable endeavor.

Plus, don’t tell me you’re not interested in reading about how my lack of funds has driven me to what will make up the next post of this blog:

Slangin’ Justin Bieber perfume at local malls for extra cash.

Kill me now. It doesn’t ever get any less embarrassing to write, but for my sake, I am going to try and find the humor in it. So, see you for that next installment. I guarantee it will make you feel at least a tiny bit better about your own situation.

Love, Lou