Scared of Money

This is about getting the most out of life for the least amount of money. And doing it with a bit of style.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Hairstylist, My BFF

One of the most ridiculous expenses I rack up on is my haircuts. I love my hairstylist. She's like my BFF. I just got a cut, partial highlights and exebrow wax for $165. Ouch. But this is an item I refuse to cut back on.

I've been with her for 3 years. My sister's been with here for 5 years. She knows my life history. She knows my hair. I don't even have to think about what I'm going to do or what I want. I just go with her recommendation and love it. I don't buy the over-priced products but I do tip 2o percent on average. On the way to the salon, I thought that I should let this expense go. I don't think I could ever commit to Fantastic Sam's but maybe I could go to an Aveda training salon. But I can't. And after I got my haircut I really feel like I've made the right decision. A bad haircut can take years to grow out. Trust me, I know.

But if I'm going to keep going to my oh so fancy salon then I need to cut back in other areas. This is the hard part - evaluating what you want to keep, what you need to keep and what has to go.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Put That On My Tab!

It's a nasty habit but when I drink, I tend to be a little too generous with my money. The more drinks I have, the more money I seem to think I have. So I tend to pick up other's drinks. Certainly I don't want to be ungenerous but this is one habit I really want to put an end to. I also want to watch how much I'm drinking and to make sure I'm paying attention to specials.

So last Saturday, my friend was throwing a party at a local establishment and I invited friends over to pre-drink. I have an over abundance of hard alcohol and figured that was a good way to start cutting down on costs. We had a couple of drinks and then headed over. It's literally the bar next door to me. (Living downtown certainly cuts down on cab costs.)

Yet at the end of the night as I went to pay my tab, I found like 4 drinks on my tab that weren't mine. Undoubtedly I had a bit too much too drink but I hadn't been drinking that much that I wouldn't have remembered taking three jaeger shots and finishing off a red bull and vodka. Plus, my friend was with me the whole time (and in a much better state than I was) and she said I never got those drinks for me or anyone else. But yet because I had been drinking, I felt uncomfortable arguing the bill (which more than doubled my tab). So what should have been a very frugal night, was more expensive than necessary.

So should I have argued the tab knowing they wouldn't have taken me seriously?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Did you have something to say? Or did you just call to chat?

One thing I really want to do is examine my recurring expenses and see if I can make any additional cuts. I started with my cell phone bill, which is one expense that really irks me. I'm not a big phone person. I'm infamous in my family for once telling someone "Did you have something to say? Or did you just call to chat?" In my defense, I was 8-years-old at the time. Needless to say I don't use a lot of minutes.

I'm on Sprint's Fair-and-Flexible Plan, plus I have $5 for unlimited Sprint PCS-to-PCS calls and $6 for phone insurance. I'm on a two-year plan so I'm stuck with Sprint for awhile. I compared other plans and this one works best for me. I also decided to keep the $6 phone insurance. I'm on my third cell phone in two and a 1/2 years, so I'd rather keep that with the obnoxious price of cell phones. But I did decide to get rid of the unlimited PCS-to-PCS calling. I got it originally when my Mom and I shared a phone plan and that way all my calls to my Mom were free. Plus, every single one of my old roommates from college have Sprint. But now that I'm well within my minutes, it was time to let that one go. 12 X $5 = $60. Not a lot but I'd rather keep the money than Sprint, the Satan of cell phone carriers.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I'm a procrastinator. I always have been. In high school, my dad drove me to downtown to mail my college applications at 11 p.m. so I could them postmarked by the application deadline. Despite my crappy habits, I somehow got accepted into college and made it through.

Why do today what can be done tomorrow? Late fees. And the damage to your credit report.

As I'm trying to reform my financial habits, this will likely be the best way to shave off unnecessary spending. I pay my bills today -- some overdue and some way early. And I paid $150 in late fees. Ouch. I already have recurring payments for my car and insurance. I signed up today for recurring payments on my cell phone. And I'm going to try to figure out how to do e-bill pay for my utilities. My first financial goal for 2006 is to incur no more late fees. That's just giving money away.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I Don't Balance My Check Book

I don't balance my check book (I'm not even sure where it is)...I don't pay my bills on time...I'd love to post my net worth but I don't have a clue (because I don't open my mail)...I can justify any purchase, which is how my bank account empties out pretty quick. I'm kinda what you could label a financial mess. In the first Shopalcoholic book, the main character, Becky Bloomwood, throws away her bills in the hope that someone will find them and pay them for her. My financial strategy is a bit more strategic then that but not much more.

I'm starting this blog in hopes of curing some of my worse habits, to develop some financial goals and to figure out my net worth. I was inspired by some of the better financial blogs out there.