Author Archives: danniiromo

Re: OMG…….I Might Be a Cheap Ass

I recently read Chris’s, (aka Mr AE) from Apathy Ends, blogpost titled “OMG…….I Might Be a Cheap Ass” and was inspired to create my own “cheap ass” moments.

MY CHEAP MOVES OF JUNE 28th

Example 1a.

I wore these washed out “black” jeans to work today. See that tiny little rip? They weren’t sold that way and I have no idea when this tear actually happened. I know it’s time to splurge on high quality black jeans, but I have other money priorities right now*. SO in the meantime you will find me wearing what I paid for in these fast fashion H&M classics.

black jeans

*Example 1b.

2 out of my 6 undies currently have holes in them 😦 … I MUST prioritize purchasing new undies instead.

Exhibit 2.

I am a canvas bag shopper, I always bring my own bags and rarely uses plastic ones, so I find the idea of spending $16 on rolls of plastic bags for Char’s poop obscured. INSTEAD, I collect plastic bags from my boyfriend and coworkers’ takeout orders, my mom’s supermarket trips and anywhere else I can find them.

Untitled design

Example 3.

No point in buying these fancy Rubbermaid containers….  Everything from my raspberry jam glass jars to Chinese takeout plastic containers are fair game substitutes and fits my lunch meals perfectly. #SorryAmazon

IMG_2937

I hope these three examples reflect less of what a cheap’o’ I am and more of my reuse and reduce lifestyle. In reality, I could purchase new jeans for cheap but I don’t want to. I want my next jeans and underwear purchases to come from a sustainably responsible brand and that means I am willing to hold off until I can truly afford these high quality items.

~~how cheap are you?????~~

xo

Dann

Advertisements

Hiding from the B-word

Part of getting my financial act together requires creating a budget…. beyond the daily expense spreadsheet I showed you in my last post. That includes figuring out your fixed monthly expenses-items that don’t change from month to month- and your varied monthly expenses.

My total monthly income is $3,439.14*

*sounds like a lot of money, right??? It is. For someone who was making minimum wage while interning for a nonprofit for eight months post college graduation, a fair and consistent paycheck is something I do not take for granted. It’s hard out there for a liberal arts grad.

FIXED EXPENSES

See the pretty graphic below for what these fixed expenses are…. GAH $$$

my fixed monthly expenses (3)

If you haven’t heard of the phrase “PAY YOURSELF FIRST (PYF),” that’s what my $2,000 in savings per month is. To PYF means allocating money into emergency savings, retirement accounts, or for any money goal BEFORE you spend on anything else. Why is it important to PYF? Because if you don’t take this money out before spending it elsewhere you will make excuses for why you can’t save this month, that month, or EVER.

pay yourself first

photo cred: here

How do I pay myself first? Last month I added my online savings account to my direct deposit at work, so now $1,000 of every paycheck goes into this account, and the remainder ($719.57) enters my checkings.

I live in my parents’ home, so why am I paying rent? I pay rent because I like contributing to my household and helping mis padres out while they help me by saving me hundreds in “real” rent money.

My commute is non-negotiable, how else will I get to and from work? Fingers crossed they don’t jack up these already high prices -__-

Although my minimum student loan payment is $266.93, I pay $300 to help expedite loan repayment.

Charlotte, my little GSD, needs health insurance ($75.49) and food ($36).

I don’t really see how much more I can lower my phone bill. I’m on an unlimited text and talk prepaid plan, with no data. This costs me $30, but since I enrolled in automatic payment, a nice $5 discount was added. So I’m really paying $25 plus tax=$26.72.

Netflix and Spotify make up my entertainment charges. Without data on my phone, being able to download music to listen on my commute is essential.

These expenses are not changing on a monthly basis so I can bet I will need to spend AT LEAST $3,199.62/ month.

VARIED EXPENSES

FREESHIPPING (1)

Things get a little tricky with my varied expenses. Each month I only have $239.52 to spend on workweek meals, eating out, movie nights, and networking events.

Workweek food is easy. I have breakfast a work, some cereal, or oatmeal with dried fruits. For lunch I usually pack some quinoa, black beans and tofu. I don’t complicate myself with this because I’d rather splurge on food when I’m eating out with family and friends then on my workweek lunches. Luckily, I get free lunch at work on Wednesdays, so I try to order something that will be enough for two lunches; eating for free on Wednesday and Thursday. I would put my workweek lunches at no more than $70/month. Homework: I need to examine this a bit further for an accurate amount. 

Eating out is a tough one. It’s really hard to say no to take-out, or dining in when you have a boyfriend who never makes his own food. I have gotten better at saying no when he asks if we’re eating together, but I do want to budget at least one dinner out per week. Usually I spend around $30 per meal, so I’m going say $120/month is a good limit?

That leaves me with about $47 bucks to spend on going out/ networking events. What does help is the fact that I’ve stopped drinking so much, so spending $10-15 dollars per drink isn’t an issue for me. Though, not going to lie, not drinking at social events has not been an easy task. There is definitely major peer-pressure to drink in order to fit in, or to simply feel comfortable in certain situations. BUT I am moving away from needing a drink to socialize.

Although it is clear where my fixed expenses are going, there’s a gray area about where my varied expenses go, maybe this is because it really depends on the month, but this is something I want to get a closer look at.

Anyway, so far this budget has been keeping me from spending in unnecessary places, so I know a budget could help anyone achieve their goals!

~~Dannielle

$pending habits and trying to breakkk them -___-

Sometimes I think I have it really easy. I don’t pay rent (at least not consistently), I have a good paying job (55k salary hey) and no real bad “debt”, because student loans are considered good debt… yet, I find myself having to explain to others, mainly family, why and how it’s possible that I do not have enough cash to pay for this, or that. OR why I do not want to go to Vegas IF I make money and can technically afford it.

I truly have no idea where my money goes, I don’t eat out every night, I don’t get mani/pedis every week…. so wtf right? Well, over the last couple of months I’ve thrown myself into personal finance really just trying to find ways to pay off my 24k in student loans ASAP, as quickly as 2018. BUT, after reading more and more PF books I discovered other areas I should be funding, like my 401k at work, Roth IRA, or my emergency fund SOooo my focus has shifted a bit.

I started saving $200 per paycheck for my emergency fund, and paying $300 (only $25 more of my minimum) towards my student loans. While, I now have ~3k in savings, I still haven’t contributed to my 401k, or a Roth and my student loan debt is still high as F. & that’s how I find myself thinking, “I SHOULD really be saving more”… and I hate feeling like I should be doing stuff, but because I want to become financially independent and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. I needed a reality check.

Since this reality check, I have:

1) left my unlimited data phone plan, where I paid $100 a month, to a prepaid phone with NO data… yikes! except that my payment is only $26 and change per month. A 75% decrease… I’d call that a score and smart money move- since I’m either always at work, home, or someone’s house where I get wifi and I barely drive – data isn’t my priority.

2) started entering every single expense and created a cool little pie graph; see below

My Expenses Chart

2a) as you can see my biggest expense is “Misc.” LOL … AKA who knows. This month, that miscellaneous chunk comes from my beautiful but pricey Maid of Honor dress I wore for my sister’s wedding… you can say I have my priorities straight, right??? I justified this expense as YOLO, or SOGMO (sister only gets married once) and have posted it on Craiglist, so hopefully someone thinks it gorgeous too and buys it!

2b) Char is my second highest expense. What is char? Well world, Char stands for Charlotte, my 1 year old German Shepherd (see child below), who was EXTRA costly this month because SOGMO… We needed to find a nice boarding home to send her while the entire familia from FL, ChiTown and etc. joined us for SOGMO celebrations. Sadly this was necessary because Char’s first 6 months in life were spent mostly alone>> which lead to her lack social skills>> which transfers to unpredictable aggression. Of course, before boarding little Charbooger needed to renew her shots. Hi Vet expenses -__-

IMG_2328

2c) Beauty, my third highest….. one word. SOGMO. the end.

3) Although, it hasn’t happened yet AND I do see myself cheating on my next paycheck. I added my savings account into my direct deposit at work and asked that $1,000 out of each paycheck be sent there. Sounds drastic right? Yeah it kinda is… except I think I WILL be able to handle this. LIKE I said, I don’t pay rent… since I live in Casa de Mis Padres and don’t have major credit card debt, or expenses.

Right now my first goal is to fund my emergency saving account with six months of living expenses… BEFORE, I do this, I need to figure out what my living expenses are. I will post about that next time… when I figure out what this number is :O … l o l

xo,

stay $avvy

skinny fat, fat skinny

how can one be fat

and

skinny?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – — — – – – — – —– – –

I’ve been struggling with this question lately.

I know I am not what society calls fat, but I also don’t fit the ideal beauty standard. I can’t wear a tight shirt without having some rolls hanging out, or sleeveless shirt and take a picture without looking twice my size.

I was at the gym last week and pretended to work out when really all I just stood in front of the large mirror and frowned at my body. I found my body so unpleasant to look at that I left the gym early. Who does that?

I started jogging again this week (well I jogged once… I plan on doing it tomorrow as well) and part of myself wants to know if I’m doing this because I love the rush I get when I’m running up a hill, or how strong I feel when I’ve completed your three miles; or if I’m doing this because I want to look a certain way.

Can it be both?

Can I love the feeling of a jog but also want the flat belly?

By doing this, am I succumbing to society’s idea of beauty?

It annoys me to think that the discontent with my body comes from a source outside of my control.

But it is in my control. I have the power to say fuck it, I feel great and look great. Except, I don’t feel great. I feel weak and low on nutrition. I’ve been eating out a lot and abusing the amount of BBQ sauce I apply to one fry. I’m buying the burger and greasy fries that makes me lightheaded and nauseous. I’m buying the peanut butter Ben & Jerry’s pint and eating it in one sitting for dinner. I am doing that to myself.

then again,

Why is it that we live in a society that shames the “skinny” for being too thin and begs them to have a BigMac WHILE ALSO shaming the “fat” for being too fat and begs them to stop eating the junk food?? AND where does someone who looks skinny but eats the fast food junk fit in?

Can you eat like crap and be healthy?

Can you eat crap and be skinny?

Can you eat healthy and be fat?

Can you work out and still be fat?

Can you work out and eat like crap and be skinny?

Point is: why do we care so much about weight? why do we care so much about our body image and how others will perceive us through it?

Point is: I love to jog and I want to feel healthy and if I do that then who cares if I still have rolls hanging out and look twice my size in photographs who?

Point is: being content with your body is something we all need to survive in this world, when we fail to accept our body for what it is we open the door for harmful patterns.

on 22

It’s walking ten blocks

             to save three bucks

It’s dodging umbrellas

             through the crowded sidewalks

It’s braiding your hair

             and letting it frizz

             because you just don’t care

It’s going out for drinks with your coworkers

              who are nine years your senior

It’s realizing you’re on the 7:45 local

               and have a ton of shit to fold when you get home

                wasting away your time with the commutes

Falling apart from childhood friends

                but allowing it

It’s not letting distance get in the way of special friendships

It’s eating dollar pizza on your lunch break

                 from your human rights internship

It’s finally loving a man and

                 being loved by him

It’s working on your insecurities to be the person

                 you’ve dreamed of

It’s walking past the NYTs building on 620 eighth ave

                 and envisioning the day an article will be

                 written about you

It’s learning to stand with your head held high

                 when it seems no one wants

                  you

finally

It’s about being afraid of the future

                   but not enough to lose out

                   on the endless opportunities

This is home?

I recently watched Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture. It really resonates with my current situation, that of a girl who returns home from school to find it difficult to conform to the realities of living at home. Or at least that is the aspect of the film that caught my attention.

I haven’t officially moved back home, I’m only here for winter break, but I will be moving permanently in May. After graduation. And it’s just such a daunting thought. How things are now at home, it seems almost impossible (I really trying not to use this word in 2015, because why invite negative language into my life? But here, it’ll be used as emphasis) to live here permanently. Unlike my family likes to believe, this isn’t because I hate my family, it’s simply because when I come back I feel almost uninvited, as if my presence is ignored and unappreciated (realllllllly not trying to play the victim card here).

When people go home for break, they return to their childhood bedrooms, which are filled with memories, regardless of whether they are good or bad. But with my grandmother moving in with us, my bedroom is now hers. Noticing my clothing overflowing from my bags on the hallway, she explained that the room was still mine and I could place all my belonging there. This helped a lot. But the bed is still hers to use, and I’ve been spending the nights sleeping with my sisters. I like sleeping with Gisselle… A lot. Except I can’t help but feel like every little thing I do is an annoyance to her. Like my uncontrollable allergies that create for unwanted mucus-filled-tissues to appear everywhere. Or how I left HER sweater on the floor, meanwhile there are multiple stacks of her clothes flooding her bedroom (when I said this to her, she noted that it’s okay for her to do it because it’s her clothes and her room). Or when I burned her candles for too long, leaving very little wax left to burn. Yes, this would very much frustrate me if the roles were reversed. But I guess I expect Gisselle to be happy enough to have me over to not rub my mistakes and faults all over my face, or all over the house.

When I sleep with my little sisters it’s nice, they don’t seem to bothered by my presence unless I forget to make the bed. BUT like why am I sleeping with eight and nine year olds, ya feel me? Same goes with sleeping with Mami and Pa.

It isn’t so much that I don’t understand why Gisselle becomes upset when I failed to pick up every last tissue, or that I don’t enjoy sleeping with my younger sisters. The point is that I find myself in these situations, in my OWN house. The fact that there is no place to call my own, no place in which to hide out, or escape to with my thoughts is just inhumane. Doesn’t every living thing need this space? Or am I being melodramatic? Well, whatever, I don’t think so. There isn’t anyone to blame about this situation either, I’m not trying to point fingers.

My own room isn’t the only thing I feel inconveniences my family, but its my lifestyle, specifically my pescatarianism. My entire family eats meat and loves it. I can’t eat meat. This alone ostracizes me. No one is telling me to eat meat, and I wouldn’t eat meat. But the comments that are made by my family (I ignore the ones my little sisters make because they don’t mean to offend me) has a hint of resentment. Why must Gisselle eat fish meals two days in a row? Why am I complicating my mom and grandma’s cooking recipes? Why can’t I simply eat was is made? Solution? This certainly has one, which is cooking my own meals. I brought my chickenless chicken cutlets and nuggets yesterday, so I guess I should see improvement…? Maybe am I just feeling entitled to having a home cooked meal from my mom that doesn’t cause such an ordeal. Entitlement is not logical. I shouldn’t feel entitled to a personalized meal everyday, yet I do.

Winter break has made me think about five months from now. As I sit in my living room couch writing this, I can’t but feel nervous and scared about what will happen when I am living here for good again. Will it feel like I’m living out of a suitcase, being invited (but feeling uninvited) to sleep with my sisters, being shuffled around like an outgrown teddy bear? (did I really just compare myself to a teddy bear?) Will I still hear my dad making comments that hold a tint of grudge towards my decision to leave home four years ago? How many times will I continue to hear “Well you don’t live here so why do you care?”?

They say home is where the heart is, and yes it is. I feel unconditionally love here, without a doubt. I just wished that the small little grunts and complains that are expressed when I am simply “doing me” would disappear. Still, I find that maybe these are characteristics of what makes my home what it is. Because at the end of the day, after the hostility of an argument has faded, there is love. Love that does not need to be proven with a brand new bedroom set or finished basement (which would be nice), but is confirmed when seven/eight (including Abuelita) completely distinctive personalities come together and accept each others’ flaws, value, and exceptional traits.

Although I might find myself sitting in the dinning room table reading Gone Girl, while my dad and sisters play Monopoly across the table. There is no better feeling than that. I am not an inconvenience to my family, I am not a pest in their eyes. Our interests and passions might clash but that doesn’t have to led to a collapse. Hey, today I even started out write this post with Kat (my rebellious 12 year-old sister who never lets go of her iPad and whose social media appearance is everything) sitting by my side writing in her journal (after I convinced her that writing your feelings is essential in life) listening to The Shin’s Wincing the Night Away album (AKA AN UNHEARD OF OCCURRENCE IN THIS HOUSEHOLD)…. Which just further proves my point.