Saturday, May 22, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
- Visit family members. I've already purchased airfare to visit my Dad who lives in another state and may also go to at least one family reunion in a near-by city.
- Go to a (relatively) near-by beach. I'm hoping to take at least one trip to a near-by beach either in Delaware, Virginia or New Jersey.
- Day trip to NYC to visit some musuems or other sightseeing. I've already been to NYC a few times this year to see an excellent show and do some shopping/thrifting, but I'd like to take at least one day-trip via Megabus to see some cultural sights and museums that I have never seen before like The Met and MOMA.
- 'Staycation'. I'd like to take advantage of some of the great things going on in my city this summer as well and deviate from my usual routine. I still have to do some research on what I'd do on this staycation.
I still have to set an exact amount I plan to spend on travel this summer, but I don't plan to spend as much as I have during past summers because they included more air travel and hotel stays.
What are your summer travel plans?
Friday, May 14, 2010
- Grilled Asparagus
- Spicy Black Bean Burgers
- Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
- Vegetarian Potato Salad
- "Chicken" Kabobs
Other good vegetarian friendly options I plan to try include:
- Roasted or Grilled Vegetables
- Fruit Salad
- Mixed Green Salad
- Grilled Corn
- Gazpacho Soup (with Mango or Watermelon)
Do you have any vegetarian-friendly summer dishes you’d like to try this year?
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Networth Obsession - I like to see progress in the positive direction on my networth like anyone else, but I don't see the point in getting too 'caught' up in the numbers.
Thinking Outside Rails and Runways, and Taking the Bus - As a frequent Megabus rider, I'm not surprised that bus-riding is catching on among younger (and older) adults. The lower cost of bus travel vs. Amtrak makes traveling along the East coast much easier for me personally.
Credit or Debit? Which Card You Should Use, and When - This is a question I often ask myself when making larger purchases or booking hotel rooms.
Generation Y's Steep Financial Hurdles: Huge Debt, No Savings - Yet another 'downer' article about my generation. This article was even more motivation for me to get my financial act together. There are many Generation Y'ers out there that are fiscally responsible. I chat with quite a few of them on the internet and have met some of them at the two blogger happy hours I've gone to in DC. I hope to meet more like-minded people my age in the future.
Exploiting the New Student-Loan Rules - I don't think I need to take advantage of this option at this time, but it's good to know it exists.
Have any recent news stories or (blog posts) caught your eye recently
Monday, May 10, 2010
It was brought to my attention by a coworker recently that I rarely wear pants to work. Yep, I'm that girl that was wearing skirts and dresses in the dead of winter with doubled up tights and knee boots. I don't personally have anything against wearing pants for religious or political reasons. So, why don't I wear pants on most days?
Friday, May 7, 2010
My Grandma does know how to use the Internet to check her email, but I’m pretty sure she doesn't read personal finance blogs. I’m dedicating this post to her anyway. I’ve learned a lot over the years from my dear Grandmother including a few money (and life) lessons, here are a few:
Save your money and spend it wisely. My Grandmother has always been a saver according to my Mother. She spent less than she earned and learned how to spend her money wisely. This allowed her to raise five children and put them through college. My Grandmother faithfully socked money away money for years and because of this, she is able to live comfortably in retirement.
The importance of pursuing a higher education. My Grandmother never gave up on her dream of completing her college degree and went back to complete her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in education while taking care of her family when she was in her forties. Because of my Grandmother (and my mother as well!), college was not thought of as a privilege, but a right of passage. The younger generation of my family is now continuing the tradition and now many of us are college graduates or still matriculating. Pursuing a higher education significantly increases your income over your lifetime and my Grandmother was aware of this.
Some things are not worth skimping on. From appliances to reliable cars, my Grandmother knows what to skimp on and what quality items to pay top dollar for. She is the original Small Budget, Big Style Chick :- )
Eating at home is cheaper than eating out. My Grandmother (and Mother) can turn a few items in the pantry into a whole meal for a family and I hope to one day have that skill (not quite there yet with the cooking skills). My Grandmother realizes that eating in is healthier and often cheaper than eating out.
Volunteering and giving back is not something you can do, but something you should do. My Grandmother to this day is still active in her community in several different types of volunteer capacities. From tutoring students, to being active in her church and the many other activities she is involved in. I’ve heard her joke before that she doesn’t know how she found the time to work because she is so busy in her retirement. I try to follow my Grandmother’s example and donate my time to opportunities that help youth in my community.
I hope to live a long fulfilling life, as my maternal Grandparents have; they are currently in their 80's and 90's, so I better start (aggressively) saving now so I can live well in my older age like them.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I don't really consider myself to be a frugal person. I'm willing to spend money on things others may consider 'splurges' if they fit in my budget. I am making a concerted effort to cut out mindless spending, but I do like to travel (after saving for it) and plan to make travel a life-long hobby.
Even as the economic recovery plods ahead, many American consumers are
refusing to come along.
They're not spending freely - and they have no plans to. Many of them have steady income. They aren't saddled by high debts. They don't fear losing their jobs. Yet despite recent gains, they've lost so much household wealth that they're far more cautious about spending than before the recession.
Their behavior suggests that the Great Recession may have bred a new
frugality that will endure well into the recovery. And because consumers fuel
about 70 percent of the economy, their tightfisted habits means the rebound
could stay unusually sluggish.
That's the picture that emerges from an Associated Press survey of leading economists and interviews with more than two dozen ordinary Americans. The new AP Economy Survey asked 44 leading economists whether the recession created a "new frugality" among consumers that will outlive the recession. Two-thirds said yes.
There are things I have no problem living without like a car, fancy kitchen appliances, air conditioning (except in very high temperatures). But because I don't really miss those things, they don't really count as sacrifices in favor of frugality. For me, balancing spending and saving is more realistic than trying to be frugal. But I so admire frugal-minded people like personal finance personality Michelle Singletary and some of the more frugal-minded personal finance bloggers out there. Whether people choose to be frugal or not, I hope being more fiscally conscious in general is a habit that is here to stay.
Do you consider yourself to be frugal and if so, is your frugality permanent or temporary based on the economy?