Wine & Wine: Said Yes to the $90 dress !

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m gorging myself with some delicious chocolates and watching the Olympics tonight, as my partner is working. I’m not a big Valentine’s kinda gal, but I do love the sweets. So, even if he was here we would probably doing much of the same!

Today, I have a very Valentine’s Day appropriate Wine & Win! It’s all about how I got my wedding dress for $90. Yep, you read that right NINETY DOLLARS.

So you guessed it, I’m getting married ! Nope, no date set. Not a venue yet either. I won’t have a bridal party or a shower or a bachelorette too. In fact, we’ve decided to buck most traditions. The wedding itself will be limited to immediate family members + one of my fiancé’s best buds, that might as well be immediate family too. We know it will be at a local hotel, hopefully near the water, and other than that there’s quite a bit that is TBD.

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Wisedebther Weekly Spending 2.4.18-2.10.18

Sunday relaxation… the best. The weekend in my neck of the woods has been a mix of relaxing and the drudgery that can be chores. Luckily, listening to Podcasts while doing said chores saved the day and snapped me right out of my snarky attitude and back into a place of gratitude. There are many times in my life when just having a Sunday off would have been something to be grateful for! Trying not to forget that. Alas, chores are done (mostly), taxes are not (that’s OK), and I’m ready to tackle the week ahead.

In the spending department it was a relatively low week, particularly compared to week one of the month, which is universally spiked due to rent.  Here is how it went down :

Entertainment: I’ve held on to my Audible membership, albeit at a lower membership rate.. I’m a “Silver” meaning I get one credit every other month. My last choice, was very underwhelming. I’m unsure if I’m going to hold on to this much longer. Let’s see how this month’s credit goes, been thinking to try out a Brene Brown book…

Cashew the Cat: Every 2-3(ish) months Cashew the cat gets an order from…We LOVE chewy ! The order consists of : 1. His special medicated food for his urinary tract problem. 2. An order of Litter  + 3. A “treat”, usually a toy. <–This last part of course is not a “necessity”, but it allows us to get free shipping + helps me keep my sanity. This cat, to put it nicely, is a bit high maintenance. His hunting toys tend to get damaged pretty quickly…he takes playing VERY seriously. Toys that he likes/simulate the “real world” = less damage to my furniture = happiness for all. Spoiled is a word he knows very well.

Food & Drink: A vast improvement from the week prior, and just in that sweet spot before it gets too high for comfort. Ideally, I’d like to see this expense in the lower 70 range, but I’ll take it. My partner has been working nearly every day, so considering I’ve been doing the list and shopping solo, I’m impressed! Food as I’ve discussed in my Debt Free Diet Part I and II has been my Achille’s heel in the journey to debt free. The fact that I’m at a point that I can manage this (almost) independently is a big giant step in the right direction–moving beyond those baby steps now !

“Funtivity”: Not much to report here, a “tip” for Super Bowl Sunday wings + an iced coffee at my local coffee shop right  before I dived into a few hours of “catch-up” weekend work.

Self-Maintenance: I ordered a pair of wedding shoes from DSW. They are white and pretty simple, just like my dress…which was only $90 !!!! Hopefully they fit, if not… back to the warehouse they go.

Miscellaneous: I think this is my third(?) week in a row with a misc. expense, meaning the category that is causing it (GIFTS!) should probably be given a line of its own. This time it was 4 greeting cards– three birthdays, and one Valentine.

Off to catch up on my fav Personal finance blogs, watch some Olympics, and sip a glass of wine. Sending good vibes for the week ahead !

Summer 2017: It’s a wrap!


Now that it is officially Fall, I figured I better jump my butt into gear and tie up all my Summer loose ends.  First up, personal life, followed by $$$$$! Disclaimer, this post is a ‘hodge podge’ of sorts and much heavier on the personal stuff than money.

Personal Life: 

August was a high point of the summer. There was 2 weddings + Vacation!

The first August wedding took me near my hometown and alma mater up in the Boston area. I took off Thursday and Friday in order to have ample time to visit with family and childhood friends. On Friday, my mom threw a casual get together with our close family friends and their “kids”. “Kids” because they are definitely not children anymore. In fact, one of my friends is expecting her first baby this upcoming winter. I’m so excited for my friend and her husband <3!! The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of fun. We saved some $$ by bunking with one of my college buddies in the hotel and off we went to seriously one of the most beautiful weddings. The weather was iffy with clouds and a few sprinkles, and I kid you not that after their first kiss… the sky opened! How romantic! We danced and drank the night way and less than 24 hours later we were back in Tampa.

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A normal, mundane, summer Monday in the books including a morning workout, followed by actual work, desk lunch salad, etc. Now, hit the pause button and rewind the tape. [Side note, yes I know no one actually uses tapes anymore]. We are now in December 2016. December was when I received my last stipend payment from the University of Miami, where I attended my doctoral program. When the payment went through I realized that the number looked a little off… in fact it was a bit higher. At this point in my life, I was on the cusp of entering my “debt free” phase, so I really didn’t pay all that much attention to the higher payment. I figured there had to be a reason for it. Christmas bonus? Increase in stipend pay? Whatever it was, I didn’t care. I had just moved and was paying for our full apartment’s rent + New couch (Cashew the cat utterly destroyed the last) + all the expenses that accompany moving.

Fast forward all the way back to the mundane, summer Monday. Cue, a very important email from the budget director at University of Miami School of Nursing informing me that I had been overpaid in the month of December. My “whatever didn’t care” attitude from the past winter was kicking my current self-hardcore. In reflecting, I went back to my bank statement and realized the overpayment was not just a small addition, it was in fact $1500 extra. ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED. This was the exact amount I was planning to spend towards my student debt for the month of August. Cue the crocodile tears. Hell, cue the real tears.

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Wine and Win: Saying NO to clearance

This Wednesday is my Friday! Winesday is feeling extra special in my neck of the woods. Tomorrow I head north to Boston to visit family, friends, and then attend a wedding of one of my first college friends. She is super sweet and adorable and has been dating her husband to be for nearly 10 years—WOW! It’s true love y’all. I was planning to write about my latest money fail, but hey that can wait ‘til later. Instead, I want to focus on my small, but mighty money “win”. The money win is actually related to weddings, but does require a bit of backpedaling.

A few rainy Sundays ago, after drinking just a little too much the night before (recovery periods for this 29 year old are approximately 48 hours), I realized that there was no way in hell I was making it to the mall. I was however, completely capable of shopping from my couch. I was failing hardcore until my boyfriend saved the day and found a dress on clearance from Rent the Runway. I had never used Rent the Runway previously. Honestly, I was always pretty frightened given that my short stature and lady curves make shopping of all kinds tricky. To top it off, the dress was final sale. It was a risk, but I did due diligence. Luckily, the site provides tons and tons of reviews and a plethora of pictures, so I was able to make the $100 purchase with confidence, albeit shaky.

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