Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

Archive for the tag “apps”

Splurges

This weekend I drove down to San Luis Obispo for my friend Stephanie’s 23rd birthday. Weekends like that always end up costing more money than fit into my budget. Normally I don’t think about how much money I want to spend while I’m down there, but this time I did. I was so proud of myself! I didn’t spend more than $50, and that included meals, bars, taxis, and shopping. How did I do it? I have no idea, but it was amazing.

I have been budgeting, paying attention to my finances, figuring out how to organize my receipts, and working with my online banking/accounts to get myself organized and keep myself on track. It also helps that GOOD does their “30 Days of Good” and this month they are targeting finances.

But this post is more about what I AM going to spend money on, than how I’m organizing my finances. I’ve decided that there are some things that are worth spending money on. Like BufferApp – the application I use to schedule my Tweets. Or a stand and an external keyboard and mouse for my laptop so that I can be more comfortable as I work – ergonomics aren’t a joke! My back has been killing me!

Oh, and I’m also willing to spend money on clothes… because I  love clothes. And I have to build my professional wardrobe. And my every day wardrobe. And my shoe collection. And jewelry. And things for the apartment in San Francisco that I will move into in the semi-near future.

But you know, those are the only splurges I’ll make 🙂

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Finances – Step 1

Hello again! How are your 2012 resolutions coming along? Mine are okay, although I haven’t really had a chance to focus on finances because I haven’t gone anywhere that have had to spend money.

Celebrating 2012 with friends (and a weird guy behind us...)

I have, however, started to figure out how much money I want to spend on each category each month. I’m so glad that my friend Christine introduced me to Mint – an online financial tracking system that helps you stick to your budget. There is also an app for your smart phone. It develops a budget for you, but you can also change the amount of money in each category. My categories include Movies & DVDs, Alcohol & Bars, Coffee Shops, Fast Food, Restaurants, Groceries, Gas & Fuel, and Clothing.

I won’t get into the details of it because honestly, it would probably bore you (and me) but I will tell you that I have taken to using Mint, as well as Excel in order to organize my cash flow. I’m hoping to save at least 30% of every pay check I receive, which is pretty easy now because I’m living at home, but once I move out I’m expecting it to get a lot more difficult.

As for my other, more fun resolutions, I’m doing pretty well! I’ve taken a photograph every day (although last night I forgot until I got into bed, so I took one of my reading material). I’ve updated my 5 year blog every day. I have been reading. I have been eating healthier and tracking my food intake (not calories, just intake). I have been trying to relax more. I even started exercising.

I’ve been organized, productive, social, and happy. I’ve been reading books, magazines, blogs, and articles. I even went job searching today! I’ve been (mostly) following the schedule I developed last week. It’s pretty packed, but sticking to a schedule helps me get things done and feel more accomplished.

my weekly schedule

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, congratulations,” as you roll your eyes. “You’ve made it a grand total of five days. I’m sooooo proud of you. Not.” But seriously, five days is a great start! Think on the positive side – five days is five days of forming a habit. That leaves only 361 days left to make my resolutions habit and complete my goals. (Yes, 361 days – 2012 is a Leap Year!*)

I’m excited to get even more organized and figure out other ways in which I can work towards my resolution to make myself happier. Thus far, 2012 has started out well – I’ve had a smile on my face every day!

How are your 2012 resolutions coming along? What are they? Do you have goals for each month?

*Quick Fact: Everybody in my immediate family on my mom’s side was born in a Leap Year. That includes: me, my little sister, my two older step-brothers, my mom, my step-dad, and my niece. Pretty cool, huh?

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