I'm sitting here at my desk at work trying to plan out this summer. With The Writer being in NYC for ten weeks starting in June, I want to make sure I can visit him as much as possible. I also want to make sure I can work as much as possible before I drop him off, yet still have plenty of time to spend with him. I plan on maximizing on his absence by working a ton while he's gone, too. I hope to take a full two to two-and-a-half weeks off over the summer to visit him and my family in New Jersey.
With my work being cut back in the last month, money's gotten tight. I've consolidated my credit cards and plan to save every bit possible. Not only do I want to be able to take time off over the summer, but I'm aiming to pay down at least 75% of my credit card debt by next April. It's going to be tough. With the plan I'm on, if I pay their minimum amount, I'll pay off the cards in a little under four years. It would've taken me the better part of 30 years if I'd kept paying only the minimum payments on the individual cards. Still, four years is a long time. I have other goals that I want to move forward with at the end of next April, and I don't want these payments hanging over my head.
I bought what I'm determined will be my last pair of shoes for the summer last night. They were a practical buy, I'm telling myself. I'm glad I got the rest of my spring/summer clothes buying done before I knew my work was being cut. I bought enough to get me through the season, including a new pair of running shoes that were badly needed. I'm sure there are other things that could use replacing, but I am determined to not buy anything, and I mean anything, unless it's really needed. I won't buy new clothes unless I start a new job that demands clothing options that I don't already own. I won't buy any new body care until I've used up every drop of what I already have, which is a lot. My makeup and other things should last me a while, especially once it's summer. My skin is always happier with a little sun, making foundation less necessary.
This new deal with myself means that I will have to live with Maybelline mascara instead of Diorshow. I will have my girlfriends over for potluck dinners instead of eating dinners out. My Netflix account will be suspended indefinitely. If the roommate will agree, cable may disappear altogether. Lightbulbs in the new apartment will immediately be replaced with energy efficient bulbs. I will do a yoga DVD at home instead of going to classes. The Starbucks card will not be reloaded. I may allow myself to splurge every once in a while, because I believe that experiences are worth more than money in the long run. I may miss the occasional $3 latte, but I would definitely miss the long talks with my friends that are had while drinking that latte. The compromise: switch to plain coffee with a flavor shot and some soy milk (it's cheaper) and meet my friends anyway. I will buy cheaper face wash, but buy my expensive moisturizer, instead of buying the expensive cleanser AND moisturizer. In $30 years, I will rather have spent the money on the moisturizer than actually look my age. Clothes and shoes can be bought in the future when I'm established financially, but repairing aged skin will be more costly than serums or moisturizers, if not impossible.
I want my blog to be a lifestyle blog, encompassing all of my interests and explorations. Being smart about my money is something that I am long overdue in learning, so it may become a frequent topic. It's better than whining about being poor, that's for sure.