Let’s Budget Babe

My favorite thing to do is BUDGET!!!!LOL ya right. I learned to budget when I lived in Arizona on my own and was completely independent. I literally was adulting while going to Grad School.

One thing I didn’t account for was how different California and Arizona are….expense wise. LOL

Arizona is sooo much cheaper than California. I miss the good old days of paying $16 to fill up the gas tank in my car. Now it’s almost $30, I am lucky if it’s $25. SO now I budget for gas something I used to never do. ( Clearly took that for granted in Arizona LOL)

So I’ve created different methods that help me keep track of my budget.

Things I am pretty good with are:

1. I don’t like using my credit card (that much) …..I’m old school. I like paying for things with cash. ( Especially if somethings $20 or less) I know, I know I am the lame person cashier’s hate because they have to give back change. ( I’m sorry!) It just helps me keep track of spending! If you want to blame something LOL blame Arizona for that habit! That’s where I learned it. ( Independence lol this is what it does to you)

But in all honesty credit cards make it way too easy especially when I am on Instagram scrolling through my feed and VOILA next thing I know I’m buying a dress. YES, A DRESS! I know! The funny thing is I don’t even wear dresses to work! ( and yes I know it’s good to be in debt but you don’t want to be in $100k worth of debt! And be in debt from clothes? Yaaaa that’s not worth it) Not going to lie when I was in high school I did read Confessions of a Shopaholic and I loved it but I don’t ever want to be in her shoes) anyhoooo back to my methods!

2. I STOPPED buying dresses. The reality is I work with construction companies, so basically casual clothes. I wear jeans and a nice shirt ( okay, mostly turtlenecks, it gets cold in the office) SO like WHYYYY have a TON of dresses? I only wear them on weekends soo it’s pointless trying to own like a bazillion dresses.

So budget-wise I’ve taken out buying dresses. ( Thank God! You should have seen my closet in Arizona, it was a hot dress mess) A rule I made for myself when buying clothing is that: the only exception for clothes is running shoes. ( I’m going to be honest I did buy a reflective thermal running shirt, Headband & cowl neck sweater- so I haven’t exactly stuck with that rule- I’m only human after all- but I budgeted so looks like I’m not eating out for a while) But hey! At least I didn’t buy dresses! So that’s technically a small victory.

3. Spending limit: every month I write down how much I want to spend on things for example; clothing, food, entertainment, random stuff. If I over spend in one area, it means that I take money away from something else that month. Let’s say I buy clothes for $50 and my budget that month was $25 for clothing welp! It means the $50 budget for eating out just dwindled to $25 for that month!

Budgeting is different for everyone. We all tend to spend money on different things. Some people spend more money on food while others on clothes. I tend to be the latter.

When it comes to food I am pretty easy, I’m A’OKAY with eating at home. I’ve spent years eating the same thing over and over thanks to being a poor college student ( mainly chicken & veggies) So I’m fine with not eating out all the time, one thing I’ve learned is eating in saves money, especially, at work. I pack my lunches, it saves time and money which is awesome sauce!!!

So how do you keep track of your spending?

My first method of how I keep track of my spending is I created a spreadsheet ( yes, I know dorky) of literally EVERYTHING my credit card spending, PayPal spending, Poshmark Earnings + Spending. I’ve broken it down into categories as well, to see how much I spend on gas, food, entertainment etc. ( Yes, they are different colors) Personally it helps me see a trend in the way I spend. For example; I found out I have a tendency to spend more during Spring, I have no idea why but since I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet for a couple of years now I know that and can be more conscious during that time of year.

My second method is to check my monthly statement EVERY month ( like actually take a look at it! Don’t just glance at it!) I look at my monthly credit card statements and all my receipts ( yes, I always get receipts where ever I go) It helps me make sure 1. no one is stealing my card 2. I can see how much I spent that month and budget accordingly for the next month. 3. Keeping receipts helps me see what stores I go to the most so I can budget for those specific stores. (Target! I’m literally there almost every other week)

Another method (#3) I use is the BUDDY SYSTEM! I got my boyfriend to budget with me, it’s so much easier doing things with someone else.

We constantly ask each other if we should buy this or that and we talk about whether we need it or not. So far it’s been a good system for us so here’s to budgeting. Hopefully, I become a pro at it. LOL

My fourth method is to pay my credit card off ( literally everything) every month. So if don’t have to pay interest because trust me, having to pay off my student loan was NOT FUN AT ALL. I don’t want a repeat of owing money, LOTS of money.

Hopefully my mistakes can help you! Or maybe my methods that help me can help you in your endeavors to be a budgeting babe. LOL

WELP! Catch ya later until next post.

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Say Yes to which Dress

If you’ve been reading my blog then you surely know I OWN A TON OF DRESSES!

A couple of blogs ago, I posted about how I was proud I own 25 dresses, yes, I know what you’re thinking….25 dresses is excessive. I know, I know hence the whole trying to downsize my closet. Lol Anyhoooo…..I’ve gotten it down even more! I want to say I have a dozen dresses but I’ve downsized it to roughly 15 dresses which is still a big YAY!!!! In my world. I’ll need to double check my closet to see the exact number but I mean look at me making little waves over here! Getting all excited for something so small, yet so rewarding at the same time.

It feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest.

Think about it, I’ll eventually get to the point where I’m not spending hours looking at my closet trying to figure out what to wear……even though I had a ton of things to wear!

It’s ironic really, how I’ve noticed now that I’ve downsized quit a bit ( but still making more baby waves) I actually don’t spend a lot of time picking out an outfit the night before or morning of work. I just grab an outfit within 5 minutes.

It saves a lot of time!

Time I can spend doing other stuff like being on Pinterest, reading a book, poshing on Poshmark or making a list of all the DIY stuff I want to do. LOL don’t judge me…to each his/her own lol I have a bunch of hobbies what can I say.

Now that I have narrowed down my dresses, I actually wear them a lot. I don’t have to think about it, I just grab a dress and go. Especially dresses with pockets! I love dresses with pockets! They’re so useful!

One of the silly things I used to do was buy dresses for special occasions. I would buy dresses for hypothetical occasions or situations. It got to a point where that was my only reasoning for buying certain dresses. I pretty much thought I was going to go to 50 weddings in one year. It clearly didn’t happen. And I clearly didn’t wear most of them.

Sooo I ended up having so many dresses that it took sooo much room in my closet. It got ridiculous. Like why was I keeping this dress? For a hypothetical wedding? Well guess what has happened when a wedding actually does come up…..so you think I wear the dress I bought specifically for that occasion? nope! I always end up wearing something else. The day of any fancy event, I change my outfit last second. So having a ton of gowns is actually a waste of space.

But now that I can breathe! It feels good to have less dresses in my closet. Not just because there’s more space but because I don’t have to waste time trying on 10 different dresses to figure out which one is the best for the occasion.

Or even trying on a dress and feeing fat in it and then going on to try the rest until there’s one that I don’t feel meh about.

It’s been great going through my pile of dress and saying yes to some and no to most. It’s simplifying life a bit. I get back more time that I’ve lost standing in front of my closet debating on what to wear. Now it’s a breeze.

So here’s to improving everyday! Hopefully I don’t regress and go on a binge shopping spree since the holidays are closing in on us which means a ton of sales! Let’s pray I’ll be strong enough to not online shop for dresses.

Balancing Act

I have always been that person that tries to do it all. It’s like I just love multitasking or something I don’t know it’s just engrained in me. I swear it’s part of my DNA.

My entire life I remember just constantly doing something or being on the go. My planners were filled up with different colors…listing all the things I need to do and I LOVED IT ALL! It was my thing.

I wanted to be in ASB, I wanted to be on a sports team, I had to take those AP and Honors classes. I wanted to be a part of everything. I didn’t want one thing defining me.

So you’re probably wondering okay Jen, I get it…what’s your point? Well my point is when I was younger it was so much easier. Lol life is a balancing act.

Let me tell ya, it’s not an easy balancing act at all. When I was in school I had a set schedule….one that was only 8 hours including running. Now my days are longer, I have to factor in driving…something I never worried about in high school ( I didn’t get my license until senior year lol I had friends that drove me around lol) I also add in how much time I have for running in the AM. I’m lucky if I can get 5 miles in but it’s usually 3-4 miles.

I live in a rural area…..so whenever there’s a bear sighting or a mountain lion sighting in the morning I switch to PM runs…..ya and there are no street lights where I live sooo you can imagine it’s kinda scary at 5am. I start work at 7am bright and early sooo my day starts early.

Anyhoo back to my point; as you get older time becomes super valuable. I work 9 hour days so my time is very important to me. I’ve clocked the hours I work, the time it takes to drive around, running, packaging stuff I sold on Poshmark etc you get the point. I’m always on the go, trying to do more things because like I said I swear it’s in my DNA.

Instead of having 8 hour days, my days have dragged on to 14 hour days lol. I rely on coffee and sugar to get me through some days…..things I didn’t rely on in high school. My usually nap time during college…no longer exist. I really miss those the most out of everything.

Life is a balancing act and some days it’s overwhelming, some days I don’t do all the things I’ve listed down to do because I’m tired, other days are good days but that’s life you take the good and the bad and you CREATE YOUR LIFE.

You create what’s important to you. How you want to spent the minutes or the hours doing certain things.

You have hobbies and if you’re lucky enough that hobby turns into your job!

If your like me and love doing DIY stuff, you probably spend a good chunk of your free time doing that!

Or if you’re training for a marathon, you’re probably gonna spend most of your free time running and napping because let’s be real; you’ll need the recovery.

Maybe you’re into fashion, so you spend hours putting together looks or sewing clothes to make a fashion statement.

Every single person has their own balancing act and every single one of us is trying to manage our time to do the things we are passionate about.

So all I wanted to say was you’re not alone trying to do it all or trying to make a living from something you’re passionate about. Just remember life is a balancing act; one that you are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AT! No matter what don’t forget and if you’re struggling; remember, we are all trying to balance our lives.

Coffee Much

I used to be that person that would pride myself on the fact that I wasn’t a big coffee drinker. WELP! This little stubborn soul has to admit….my boyfriend’s gotten me obsessed with coffee!!!

The only thing is….. when I lived in Arizona I LOVED DUTCH BROS!!! LIKE LOVE IT SO MUCH THAT WHENEVER I GO TO ARIZONA THATS MY ONLY REQUEST LOL. Here’s the thing, Dutch Bros. Is basically sugar coffee, my kind of coffee!

My boyfriend’s kind of coffee is not sugary at all. So we compromise ( more like he gives in) I’m that girl who will ask for extra pumps of syrup( Okay, okay I have my boyfriend ask for more pumps lol), I want my coffee to not taste like coffee. I mean have you tried Dutch Bros’ The Kicker, that is my kind of coffee! It’s literally screaming my name.

As for all the sugar, if you guessed I’m bouncing off the walls, Congrats! You are correct! LOL Good Luck putting up with me! When I eventually crash you will be praising Jesus for it.

It’s funny how everyone has different coffee tastes. I’m definitely no coffee connoisseur, I’ll drink any coffee as long as it doesn’t taste like coffee….ironic right? As I’ve gotten older, I realize I’m starting to rely on coffee in the mornings. I usually wake up at 5am and run 3-4 miles, but sometimes I sleep in until 6am since I work at 7am and it doesn’t take me long to get ready for work. So I drink coffee maybe once a week on weekdays but weekends for some silly reason, I drink iced vanilla lattes all the time; at least before 10am, sometimes before 12pm because I don’t have work.

There’s just something about the smell of coffee brewing in the morning. It’s not like an energy drink, it doesn’t work right away like BAM I’m awake. It settles in your tummy and warms your insides.  The one thing that sucks about drinking coffee, at least for me is that I can’t drink it past 10am or I’ll be up all night. I don’t get how people can drink it at 2pm and still be able to fall asleep? LIKE SHARE YOUR SECRET WITH ME PLEASE!

I am not a coffee connoisseur because I don’t drink coffee daily, thanks to my boyfriend it has become a weekly thing even a couple of times a week thing ( occasionally, if I am extremely tired) but I’m still not fully relying on it to wake me up. I don’t know how my aunts can easily drink several Starbucks Coffees a day, maybe it’s because they’re nurses. I honestly don’t know but man how do your stomaches handle it?

Last week I bought a ready-made cold brew coffee drink from Target and within half an hour of drinking it my stomach was not happy. That particular coffee drink didn’t sit well with me and I honestly thought something was wrong with my stomache. LOL All it took was a bathroom break and I was A OKAY. ( I know, I know sorry for the TMI…but I mean it’s coffee)

I’m hoping I never get to the point where I do a coffee overload, my mom said back in the day when she was working full-time during the day and going to night school…she literally lived on coffee….coffee, ramen and Twinkies ( I can thank her for genetics) But that over time, her stomach couldn’t handle coffee so she switched to tea. I don’t know how I would feel about that. I mean I always want an ice vanilla latte on weekends. I cannot live without those. LOL

At least for now I’m good with coffee, I don’t drink too much or too little; it’s just enough at least for me.

SO YAY FOR COFFEE!!!!!

Stress Cleaning

Has anyone ever developed a habit? Whether it’s good or bad you’ve developed it over time. You can’t explain how it happened but that it just did.

One thing that I developed in college was stress cleaning. Yes, I’ll repeat it. I clean when I’m stressed out. Out of everything I could do like I don’t know :stress eat, stress sleep, stress shop; instead I’ll start cleaning. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10pm or 10am if I’m stressed I’m going to clean something.

It was a habit that I formed in college, I don’t ever remember stress cleaning in high school. Maybe it’s because high school wasn’t bad compared to college. I’m not entirely sure but it’s one of my weird habits.

It has been a benefit to my roommates in the past. It worked out well because I usually roomed with someone that stressed baked. I stress clean; she stress bakes. It’s a perfectly simpatico relationship.

Not only would I clean the kitchen but if I was in my room…..I’d start cleaning everything from my dresser to my closet to the bedsheets.

Clorox kitchen wipes became my best friend. I love dusters they’re so useful. Lol I hate how dust just piles up even after dusting. Like where does it all come from? Like am I really that messy? I don’t get it!

I even got into using healthy alternatives such as a vinegar and water mix to clean the bathroom and kitchen or Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castillo Soap! It’s like God sent, you can use it for laundry, cleaning the kitchen to even using it as shampoo! Like hello, ya girl over here likes saving the moneys sooo yaaa that stuff is awesome!

I’m 100% positive that stress cleaning is therapeutic for me. LOL I literally feel so much better after cleaning and clearing things. It’s almost like I’m compartmentalizing stuff….ya know, like now that I’ve cleaned this room…life is so much better but at the same time I’m avoiding what’s actually stressing me out.

So in a sense there’s some good and bad to this random habit. For one thing, it helps me keep things clean and tidy all the time….but on the other hand it’s a mechanism I use to avoid the actual issue that’s stressing me out.

We all have our funny little habits that make us who we are. I’ll probably continue to stress clean and it will probably benefit my boyfriend when he gets his own place. Hopefully he doesn’t get an apartment with carpet lol because I for sure will be stressing vacuuming the crap out of it. LOL

Here’s to owning up to my stressing cleaning ways may your habit benefit you as mine does for me…not all the time but most of the time.

Oh my Keto

Soo when the new Tomb Raider came out, I fangirled over Lara Croft, the Alicia Vikander version. She’s petite like me so of course I wanted muscles like hers!

Fast forward to me going on the Keto Diet because well I wanted to be badass like Lara Croft….yaaa it’s been a struggle.

Last time I posted about the Keto diet, I was not in a relationship sooo I had more time to look at what I was eating to follow the Keto diet. Funny thing is well dating….you eat out a lot and well I was slowly going downhill with the strict diet.

Oh my oh my…right? Uhhhh inner me is upset that I didn’t stick to the diet for that long. But hey! I can get back into the rhythm of things! My problem is now I need to meal prep to help better my chances of getting back into the routine.

Granted I won’t be in a very strict Keto diet since I do run and I’m slowly getting back into lifting weights ( baby weights right now….I need to take baby steps)

Since I work longer hours now, it’s hard to make meals for the Keto diet. I really need to go to the market! Lol so I’ve pretty much just been eating whatever my dad makes which is definitely not Keto friendly at all. LOL

To think I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the Keto diet! I’ve been planning to make all the recipes I pinned and I hope I actually get to! Maybe once everything settles down in my life I will, but for right now I’m taking baby steps getting back into the swing of things.

Oh well! I’ll be back on my Keto diet by the end of the year hopefully! Unless the holidays mess it up again. LOL we will see.

Fantasy Feeding

My friends came up with a term a couple of years ago, I honestly don’t know if they made it up but it’s called “fantasy feeding.” According to them I’m a big “fantasy feeder” which is completely accurate, I might even be the queen of it out of all my friends.

Fantasy Feeding is basically jumping the gun on relationships( your own relationship and/or your friends lol) like when my friend starts dating a guy I’m usually the one that asks if I can be a bridesmaid right away, even though they haven’t even been dating that long.

That’s an example of what we mean by “Fantasy Feeding” I pretty much start planning their futures and mine…….in a sense we all do.

It’s normal to want to know your future or at least have an idea of how your future is supposed to be. Instead the future ends up being an unknown, life takes unexpected turns and always keeps you on your toes.

A couple of years ago I “fantasy fed” a little too much about one of my friendships. You see we both liked one another and everyone knew. Me being me, little miss “fantasy feeder” I could see us dating and see a whole future. Basically I could picture myself spending the rest of my life with him. Well, all I can say is it’s better living in the moment than living in the future.

As it turned out, he wasn’t ready to date. Hearing “I just want to be friends right now” was not what I had anticipated. I did not handle that well it was like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? WHAT WAS THE POINT OF TELLING ME YOU LIKE ME IF YOU WERE JUST GOING TO FRIEND ZONE ME?

So our friendship took a break. I spent two days sitting on the couch watching chick flicks like Disney’s live-action Cinderella. It sucked. I sat there replaying over and over in my head how it could have ended differently.

How we could have been together but alas I had to settle for being just friends.

You see I did what a good majority of us do. Instead of living in the present…I started living in the future, planning the future.

I think we can all agree on that….we do sometimes “fantasy feed” we do sometimes get it into our heads of how it’s supposed to be. And the truth is, it doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.

As soon I realized that I indeed wasn’t living in the present but instead too busy planning my future. I took a step back. As for my friend and I, I’m happy to say we are still friends.

After that incident I started living in the present. I moved on. I still “fantasy feed” but not as much as I once did. Every once in a while I will freak out over a friends new relationship and bug her if I can be her bridesmaid ( I’m sorry I can’t help it, I love love!)

But I’ve opened my eyes and realized that it’s so much better living in the present. Unexpected things happen. Life takes you on crazy adventures you would never even fathom.

I “fantasy feed” and I might always “fantasy feed” I have had some crazy fun memories and I’ve had some painful ones but it hasn’t kept me from giving up completely on “fantasy feeding.”

We all think we know what love is supposed to be like. We all think it’s a certain way and it can only happen at the right time, but love just happens. It stops for no one.

I “fantasy feed” because I want my friends to be happy. I want them to find love but also I grew up watching chick flick and Disney Princess movies that tell you how it’s supposed to be. But in reality life isn’t perfect. Love is complicated not simple.

I know one day, I’ll give up “fantasy feeding” most likely when all my friends are happily married. But as for now, I’ll still be “fantasy feeding.”