Archives for July 2011

#13: Buy a Bicycle

Well… I decided to take the plunge and purchase a new bike!!

Presenting my 20 year old Fuji Vantage CX Hybrid.  The previous owner converted it to a 6 speed.  It’s extremely lightweight, has a rack on the back as well as a water bottle holder.  Yesterday when I was at a local shop checking out bikes, the owner told me that most women ride men’s style bikes now so that most bikes come in unisex or step through, but only people who put babies on the back buy the step through.  So men’s bike it is.

And all of this for the extremely budget friendly price of $60!  I doubt it’s the world’s best bike and am sure if I keep up with the bike riding I’ll upgrade.  But I think it’ll fit with what I want to use it for right now very nicely.

July Wants

Since June was a no-buy month and I did pretty well with that (spent some gift card money at the end of the month), lets see where my “Want” money went during the month of July…

  • $60 – Entertainment – includes books/postage to ship, music
  • $40 – Stupid tax
  • $70 – Home (steam cleaner rental, supplies to paint chair, etc)
  • $115 – Dining Out
  • $25 – Blog improvement
  • $30 – Cell phone bill
  • $70 – New black work shoes
  • $90 – birthdays

I’m pretty happy with myself this month.  Feels great to have some structure back in my life because I feel a lot more productive overall.  My dining out was pretty high, but I spent zero money on groceries this month.  Bad since I could save a LOT of money staying home and eating… but oh well.  Another project for the future.

When enough is enough

As many of you know, I have a part-time job in a coffee shop.  A lot of people come through our doors every day.  Last week, I had a man and a woman come in.  While taking their drink order I noticed the woman had a credit card out to pay and the man had cash.  He handed me the money for both drinks, looked at the card and said “We’re going to talk about that later.”  She blushed, thanked him for the drink and turned away from him.  As I handed him his change back he repeated, “We are really going to talk about that later.”

I thought back to a story I read this week at So Over Debt about an idiot co-worker who is $30,000 in CC debt plus some.  I couldn’t help but wondering if what I witness was a concerned co-worker was trying to step in…

I couldn’t imagine being at the point of being tens of thousands in credit card debt alone, not to mention mortgages and car payments.  I’m thankful that I realized that’s where I was heading before it got too out of control.  But I’m not in denial anymore.  I know where my money goes.  I may have gone over my budget this month by less than $100 (three birthdays will do that plus I ate out a lot more than I should have out of pure laziness) but I am under my earnings by hundreds more.  It’s amazing.  It’s the first month in at least the past six that I haven’t been stressed out every. single. day. about balancing bills and life.  My net worth is also up over 6%.  Amazing.

There’s still about 4 days left in the month, but I picked up tips yesterday and bought gas with part of them today.  I think my July summary is safe since I should make it through Monday without my bank account taking a hit (and I’m not counting the $20 in cash in my net worth).

I’ve been putting aside money which I’ll use for purchasing a bicycle.  I’ll probably be getting it in the few weeks or so… hoping that if I can use that for smaller rides and maybe even some commuting (since I live under 6 miles from both my jobs) that it’ll help extend the life on my car a little.  I’ve been researching for awhile, so I think I’m finally ready to jump into actually shopping for one.  I’ve got a couple brands in mind and I’m fairly certain of my size (will find out for sure soon) so I can try out some new ones and maybe pick up a vintage or used one on Craigslist.  Have already seen several I would love to own in my price range, so just waiting for the right one!

Tuesday Prettiness

(image via Mimi+Meg; photo by Mario Sierra)

Then another step…

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

(Image: bekassine’s flickr)