Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Organizing my files.

I recently started following I Heart Organizing for organizational tips. I am probably the biggest neat freak. I color code my daily planner. I spend hours deciding whether it was best to organize my closet by color or by style (long sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves, sweaters, cardigans, etc.) And I am constantly re-arranging my bedroom. So, finding this blog sparked a million more organizing ideas and makes me anxious for my future apartment/home.

It was time to clean out my night stand from bills that were piling up. I was starting to forget to open those envelopes and transfer them to my filing box. (I still paid my bills thanks to my planner.)



Notice how I used sticky notes as my tabs. Lame! I needed a makeover and with the boyfriend out for the evening having a guy's night, I had all the time in the world. My one and only stop: The Container Store. And lucky for me, there was an office sale going on! 




I started separating file folders for student loans, credit cards, car information and income tax forms. Other miscellaneous paperwork that had no home but felt was too important to throw away I decided to put in a box. It keeps the room looking clean. 


As for the envelope holder that you saw earlier in the photo with all the office supplies I bought, it's sitting on my nightstand with future payments that need to be made. It reminds me that I have pending bills to pay for when for whatever reason I am not looking at my ever-so-colorful-and-organized planner. Just in case!





Friday, February 22, 2013

Cheers to the freakin' weekend!

It's Friday, y'all! This is about to happen like right now:


I'm a girl who loves to shop. Last time I went on a little shopping spree, Gap had some pretty good deals on their sale items. I'm hoping I get just as lucky this time around. Spring is just around the corner which means Baby Bake, Oyster Bake and other Fiesta festivities. And of course - my birthday. 

Let the count down begin! 



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Current Must Haves

A girl is alway editing their wish-list. Currently, I am obsessed with Polyvore. I can create outfit ideas without having to go to the mall to try on clothes. It is the best thing ever. Personally, I don't like going to the mall. It's crowded and sales associates are constantly asking you if you need help every five minutes. No, I do not need help. I just want to shop at peace. (Funny because I worked in retail for about four years.) Below are some of my favorite must have items:



I feel like this a good outfit for transitioning into the Spring but it's still chilly. Texas weather can be a bit bi-polar. One day it's high 80s and the next day it's mid 60s or raining. I'm ready for the weekend so I can take a trip to Austin and shop a little. It's been a while.

On a different note - I changed the layout of this blog! Hurray! It's about time. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 Goal: Pay off debt


2012 was my year of travel. I wanted to enjoy life and take spontaneous trips. Thank goodness for friends who were supportive of that goal and were willing to join me on that journey. Vegas pretty much was our second home in 2012 and we visited California for the first time. It’s pretty clear from the photos below that my 2012 resolution was a success.

This year, my goal is to save money and pay off some of that debt that is forever haunting me. You know what that means? No more trips with my spontaneous vacation crew. Okay, maybe I’ll sneak in ONE trip this year. We’re only young once. That’s my life motto.

In order to fulfill this probably-not-so-realistic goal (let’s be real – paying off $50K of debt is going to take more than one year, unless I miraculously win the lottery) I’m setting a paycheck by paycheck budget. I want to know where my money is going every two weeks. With $30K alone being all student loans, it’s probably best to start with whatever has a higher interest rate. The advice given to me was to pay off credit cards first. Good thing that beautiful tax refund check is on its way. Credit card debts will be out the door in no time. Not so fast. I don’t want to blow my entire tax refund check on pay off my loans. That’s far too painful for me. Instead, I will put 50% into savings and 50% towards paying off my debt. That will drop my credit card balance tremendously. Luckily I only have two credit cards with a balance: Banana Republic and a Wells Fargo bank credit card.

Set a schedule: Seeing as I'm on a salary, I know exactly how much I'm getting every two weeks. Using Excel, I marked the dates and check amount for the entire year. From there I have subtracted how much goes to my four student loans, two credit cards, car loan and savings. 

An example of my budget schedule: 


Personally I like the dates across and the total at the bottom. That’s the way my brain works and I’m a visual person so I color coordinated each month to make sure I don’t miss ANY payments. Those late fees can totally mess up my budget.


Set a monthly budget: In my case, I set a bi-weekly budget. I tell myself I only have a certain amount of money to spend for two weeks. I’m used to living off a small amount of money and on a budget because I worked retail prior to getting my full-time job. I didn’t want to change that habit. I wanted to put that extra money I was now making towards my loans and not change my lifestyle.


Pay more than the minimum payment: If I only pay the minimum of $25 a month then it’s going to take FOREVER to pay off that debt. I pay TWICE a month (every pay check) FOUR times the minimum amount on credit cards. On loans, I pay the minimum mainly because they’re already high monthly payments. (Dang loans!)


Emergency savings account: It’s important to be constantly putting money into a savings account. You never know what life will throw at you. You may have accident, lose your job, drop your phone, or maybe lose an insane amount of money while gambling in Vegas but you need to have a back up plan and be ready for it. Sometimes I put as little as $20 per paycheck or as much as $100. At the end of the year I want to either put whatever I have in my savings towards one of my loans or buy a Mac book.

By the end of the year I could pay off:

  • 100% of one of my loans
  • 100% of both credit cards

Other student loans and my car loans – still have a long way to go.  Maybe I’ll start buying lotto tickets, go on a game show or Ellen for some help. Joking. You need to pay off your debts the RIGHT way.  

Let’s the year of savings and paying off that $50K debt start now. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Social Media Spring Cleaning


Spring cleaning is not just for your home. If you’ve had your Twitter or Facebook account for more than three years, more than likely there are posts and/or photos that you are embarrassed about. You may not want future employers to see the past, immature side of yourself. You’ve grown into a mature, well-rounded young individual (at least, I hope you have!) who is looking to appear more professional in the social media world.

For starters, you may use Twitter for rants. I am personally guilty of watching a show (ie: The Bachelor) and live tweeting my comments or remarks without thinking before hand. There is nothing wrong with that, just don’t take it overboard by stating one of the girls on The Bachelor is “a fugly whore” (quote Mean Girls) along with other inappropriate and not-so-classy words. Or worse, you may use it to tweet every thought that runs through your mind while you’re out with your friends at night. Whether they may be old, childish tweets or heartbroken tweets bashing your ex or #angrytweets, more than likely it is time you clean up your account ASAP. It’s time for change.

But how do you start all over without having to do the obvious of deleting your account and creating a new one? You’ll lose all your followers and will have to re-follow everyone. No, you do not have to delete your tweets one by one. There’s a solution! The top website suggested by various articles was TwitWipe but unfortunately their website was not working. The next best thing is to use Tweet Delete or Tweet Erase.

Tweet Delete allows you to automatically delete tweets over a certain amount of days or months old. For example, you can set the app for tweets over 90 days old to be automatically deleted. You tweet; it then becomes 90 days old and BAM! Your tweet has been deleted. Tweet Eraser “unfortunately” deletes 3,200 tweets per step which for me that was more than enough. Both sites are great and I highly recommend them.

Next on the list: the overall look of your Twitter profile. If you have a background with a collage of yourself or little pretty pink stars, it may just be time to grow out of that. Keep in mind that potential employers may stumble upon your profile and may find that childish. Just saying! Choose a clean template that defines your personality. I chose my background to match the same background that I had for the back of my personal business card which also matched my blog. I chose to have them all match only because I’m a neat-freak and liked everything to match. Let your creative mind do the work in choosing a new look for your Twitter.

Lastly: your profile picture and bio information. Viewers’ eyes immediately go to the top banner of your Twitter profile which includes your profile photo and your bio. Don’t have a profile photo that has you “chunking up the deuce” or making a “duck face.” That is so high school. Use your best judgment in choosing an appropriate photo and your English skills in writing a short and to the point bio.

After your done with your Twitter Spring cleaning, your profile will be looking PRO-FRESH-IONAL! Too cheesy? I thought so.

----

Random thought: The word “tweet” is part of the synonyms on Microsoft Word and lists Twitter. Halfway through typing out this blog entry on Microsoft Word I noticed I wasn’t getting any spelling error lines for “tweet” and quickly realized Microsoft is up-to-date with the social media terminology. Instagram is still getting a misspelling red line, though. Oh well.