Tag Archives: budget

LIFE: Spend a Day with Me

15 Aug

I had a pretty event-filled weekend.

Food + Shopping + Movie = Fun.

I picked up a birthday gift from Sephora and a faux suede blazer from Zara in XS. S. saw two “celebrities”, but I didn’t recognize them at all…apparently, both were supporting supporting actors…so they don’t have big roles. I rarely see celebs, but that’s because I don’t recognize a lot of them unless they’re really famous.

Anyways, here’s a small glimpse of Saturday.

Money Spent: $121.19

  • Food: $20
  • Clothing: $87.69
  • Makeup: Free
  • Movie: $13.50

After this weekend, I’m not going to buy any more clothes for the rest of the month. I’ve been spending way too much lately and I need to tone it down.

I wanted everything at Zara but I narrowed it down to two items…a ruffled suede obi belt or the suede blazer…I chose the blazer because it fit so well.

Darn you new fall arrivals!

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Foodie-Ville: Budgeting Update

17 Jun

It feels like summer…sort of. And it makes me hunger for cold dishes like somen, potato salad, and spring rolls.

Lately, I’ve been watching too many episodes of “The Naked Chef” a.k.a. Jamie Oliver. He has such simple recipes but he always tells you why certain ingredients are used to get the most out of it. It makes me want to be better at cooking and to better understand flavor combinations and profiles.

I cook quite regularly but it’s difficult to come up with creative dishes when you’re making it for yourself. And to minimize food expenses, I try to stock up on ingredients instead of products. I’d rather buy fresh tomatoes instead of purchasing tomato sauce. To me, it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier. Plus, when I have fresh tomatoes, there’s more flexibility than a can of sauce.

Though I do have a food budget, I haven’t been keeping track regularly and it shows. I finally sat down and worked out the numbers for the past three months and they haven’t been pretty. My food budget is divided into two sections: groceries and eating out. Ideally, I would want to spend $100 on groceries and $150 on eating out.

How did I fare?

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Remember Your New Year’s Resolution?

20 Feb

The 1.5 month New Year’s Resolution (NYR) update, part 1 of 2:

Like many, exercising is a top goal, but few continue on past the first month. I haven’t been exercising as regularly as I hoped, but maintaining muscle tone and increasing endurance are my main focal points. Last year, my sole accomplishment was getting ab definition and now I must balance it out with a stronger back. Back dimples anyone?

This year, I’m taking yoga lessons and it’s great for your core, especially if you’re behind a desk for hours on end. All those bends and twists get out those pesky kinks to improve your overall health. Hopefully I can keep better track of my exercise habits so I can stay fit and healthy.

Another section of my NYR includes the 3R’s project (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). I cut my electricity bill in half, which is amazing! By the end of the month, I’ll be plastic bag free (large trash bags aside) since I bring my own grocery bags to the store. As for clothes shopping, I have yet to find a stylish yet durable bag to take with me to the mall…so I still get paper bags when I purchase something. Boo!

Somehow, I got suckered into a LA Times subscription and with the leftover papers I created a side table and recycling the rest. This photo gave me the inspiration:


When it comes to money, I can’t say I’ve always been the best with it. However, I don’t have any outstanding debt and I pay off my credit cards on time. I’m increasing the amount I’m setting aside to savings and I’m keeping better track of my budget.

Besides, I think I keep most of my expenses to a minimum anyways…like the fact I don’t have a TV and therefore, no cable bill. But that doesn’t mean I don’t watch TV shows, I either catch it online or I head over to my friend’s place. I can see my favorite shows and keep in touch with my friends at the same time.

For the most part, I’ve been doing fairly well and with Lent on its way, it’s another motivator to create smaller short-term goals so I can better accomplish my year-end goals. This is the first year that I’ve set up a multi-part NYR and I really want to stick to it.

On a different note, I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics with an itch for snow. Luckily, this weekend I’ll be off to Big Bear to hit the slopes! YAY!

Another Month, Another Recap

1 Feb

For January, I went over budget with the Kate Spade Genny heels. Despite the shoe sale this past weekend, I was convinced NOT to go because I know I’ll walk back with at least one pair of shoes, which I don’t really need.

As for food, I made it under the $50 budget for groceries, with $5 to spare. I went out to eat 4 times, but I didn’t have to pay because my friends or my sister paid for me. They didn’t know about my budget, but they’re nice and I haven’t seen them in a while. So next time, it’s my treat.

For February, I’ll be pushing for more accessories and less clothing/shoes. I’ve been streamlining my closet and I have a large bag to take to Goodwill. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be on a shopping spree. I need to be more careful of the clothes I purchase. My latest obsession is with silk blouses. I need more!

Anyways, it was such a nice weekend that I got to walk around outside. I love a little stroll every once in a while. Most of the time, it’s so hard to get around by foot, I drive everywhere! But I do love being out in the sun.

Outfit Details: M+O grey shirt 0, PacSun Venice skinny capris 00, Le Petit Sperone suede boots, Forever 21 purse, Glitterati chandelier earrings

The M+O blouse feels so soft and comfortable to the touch, it’s a little dressy and casual at the same time. I was contemplating adding darts, but since the material is so fine, I don’t want to ruin it with my DIY skills. Still not sure about taking it to the tailors because I kind of like it loose.

A Shoe Update

13 Jan

My biggest shopping weakness is shoes…specifically heels. It’s a good thing I’m not rich because it hampers how much I can spend on footwear. But even if I did have a lot of money, I wouldn’t have as much as Christina Aguilera…that’s just excessive!

This year, I’m capping my shoe collection at 30 and the maximum price I’d spend for a pair is $200. Also, for every new shoe purchased afterward, it will hold to the “one in, one out” rule. Hopefully this will curb my addiction to shoes while making me more wary of the kind of shoes I purchase.

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Happy New Year!

1 Jan

A new year, another new beginning.

I’ve finalized my New Year’s resolution and it’s over a page long outlined with long term and short term goals. I won’t be posting it, but I can provide the quick and dirty description.

Live better, love the earth, and have fun!

2009 is over, but there are so many memories I’ll keep forever. There truly is no time like the present to enjoy life and expand your horizons. After all, if you never take any risks, how can you know what life has to offer?

As for shopping, I’ve gotten better in keeping my budget. I avoided the malls and shops during the holiday season which saved me loads of cash for which I’m thankful. It makes me more creative with the things I already have and makes me re-evaluate the necessity of a new clothing item.

For the new year, I’d love to collect more day dresses and feminine tops to inject a little retro influence. Plus, I must improve my sewing skills so that I can make more elaborate creations. I wish I could think of a clothing item and create it at a moment’s notice with expert grace. Alas, I’ll have to stick to the old adage: Practice makes perfect.

Happy New Year Everyone! =)

Thinking of a New Budget

14 Dec

(source)

While finalizing my New Year’s Resolution, I wanted to share a new part of it. This is the first year that I’ll be writing a pretty thorough resolution complete with short term and long term goals. Today’s section is about food.

During the summer, I did my own version of the Food Stamp Challenge where I spent less than $80 a month on groceries. It was pretty successful and it didn’t really change my lifestyle all that much. This time around, for January, I’ll be making a deeper cut into my budget. I’ll be setting my grocery budget to $50 for the entire month with the following conditions:

  • No coupons unless it is already marked off with my rewards cards
  • No processed/frozen food (unless it’s sausage and tofu)
  • Must have balanced meals (no living off of ramen and mac&cheese)
  • Can eat out twice this month (leftovers not allowed and prices don’t count in budget)
  • Spices, oil, and 10 other things in the pantry does not count (it’s a bit cheating, but it’s already in the fridge and I don’t want them to go to waste)

A lot of people say that in order to be healthy, you have to spend a lot more money than to be unhealthy. But I want to prove them wrong, it can be done…to be healthy and to be cheap are not mutually exclusive. Sure, it might not be possible for me to buy organic, but it will be ok. This challenge would probably be the toughest part of my resolution since I love food and I eat 4-6 meals/snacks a day.

So wish me luck as I plan January’s food budget!