Monthly Archives

May 2012

Update: May 2012 Budget & Goals

May 31, 2012

may 2012 actual budget

Ok… who knew life without credit card debt could be so much fun!? My entertainment budget was outrageous this month. However, a good portion of that was on a trip to Vancouver with Mom and Baby Sis, as well as a couple of wine nights in with old friends. Other than that, I’m fairly happy with the numbers.

The biggest difference here is obviously what I put into my Emergency Fund. A couple weeks ago, I decided to stop most of my discretionary spending and put everything I could into savings. I even sold a few things online (and no one tried to rob me!) and put every penny of what I made ($240) into the same account.

My cell phone bill was larger than my usual $75-80, thanks to the purchase of an iPhone 4S. Seriously, best $40 I’ve spent in a long time! And while I can’t say I’ve given up Starbucks completely, I did go without it for almost 2 weeks. (Yes, I’m an addict. You should know this!)

Goals for this month:

  • Continue counting calories on Lose It! – DONE!
  • Workout 4x per week – DONE!
  • Put $5 into a jar, whenever I workout – DONE! But I’m going broke doing it, haha… might have to stop for a little while.
  • Read at least 2 books – DONE! I read Start Something That Matters and Tribes, and I started reading The Alchemist for the second time (because the Bold Team told me to!).
  • Fundraise my way into The Bold Academy! – WORKING ON IT!

Did you meet all of your goals for this month?

May #PFWorkout Update

May 30, 2012

For anyone new to Blonde on a Budget, #pfworkout is a hashtag personal finance bloggers use on Twitter to share exercise, weight loss and healthy living accomplishments. Each month, I set personal goals and post updates on my progress.

Last month showed little-to-no progress on the #pfworkout homefront. I used excuse after excuse to not workout and, as a result, only lost 2.2 lbs. and 3.5″. But, while my motivation for working out picked up greatly in May, the numbers are even smaller!

This month, I:

  • worked out 22 times in 20 days (including today and tomorrow)
  • ate an average of 1600.7 calories each day (tracked on LoseIt!)
  • lost 1.8 lbs.
  • lost 2″

Adding my previous numbers, I’m down a total of 12.0 lbs. and 10 inches. I’m starting to think that maybe I plateaued with my workouts and/or that I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could have this month… or maybe it was those few extra glasses of wine. Hmm.

Either way, I’ve been incredibly motivated for the last week or so and plan on making major progress in June. See that view up there? I’ve hiked up to see that 5 times in the last 5 days (including twice on Monday) and plan on seeing a lot more of it, before I head down to Colorado!

What #pfworkout updates are you most proud from this month? Haven’t used the hashtag yet? Join in anytime!

Is a Television a Want or a Need?

May 28, 2012

On Saturday afternoon, after a crazy morning of not sleeping followed by going hiking, I curled up on the couch for a nap. The sliding door was open, with both the sun and a slight breeze creeping in; that plus exhaustion was going to equal an epic afternoon nap (and would make up for the sleep I’d missed the night before). With a blanket up over my chin, I turned on my TV and started watching something on my PVR. My eyes were already half-shut, when my TV went blank.

At first, I wondered if the power had gone out. But my PVR was still running and so was everything else in my apartment. I tried turning the TV and PVR back on with the remote. The PVR came on but the TV did not. I walked up to the TV and hit the Power button. Nothing. Then I unplugged everything from the power bar, plugged them back into different spots, and tried again. Still nothing. I even plugged the TV directly into the outlet. No power. Nothing but a blank screen. And this is when I felt a few moments of panic.

I hit up Google and searched, “my 40″ Samsung HDTV died.” Let me tell you… the results did not make me feel any better. Post after post after post proved that I was not alone in the loss of a young Samsung HDTV. The upside is that most people said the problem was often fixable by replacing an electrical capacitor. The downside is that that’s not always the case and, unless you can replace it yourself, could cost up to $250 at a repair shop. I don’t exactly have $250 lying around… and that’s when I started thinking about whether fixing/replacing my TV was a want or a need.

First, I decided to calculate what this TV had already cost me. In October 2009, I purchased it from Future Shop for $900 (incl. taxes). Let’s now remember that that was during one of my spend crazes so, as you can imagine, it went on my credit card. $900 / 2.5 years = $360/year or $30/month. Plus interest. For a television that should have lasted me at least 10 years, making this purchase could potentially be my biggest financial mistake.

Second, I researched the cost of repair as well as the cost of replacement. A capacitor seems to cost no more than $2 so, if my dad can do the repair himself, it will cost basically nothing but time and effort. However, if it’s not a capacitor and he can’t determine the issue, I will then need to decide if it’s worth repairing or just buying something new. Another 40″ HDTV will run me about $499 + tax. A repair could be cheaper but I’m also one of those people who is really weary of getting any electronic repaired at a shop (that may be my one conspiracy theory, lol).

Either way, paying for a repair/replacement has not been in my budget. I’m beefing up my Emergency Fund right now, for the sole reason that I could potentially lose some of my income in the coming months, and anything television-related is just simply not an emergency. I haven’t watched much hockey since the Canucks lost in the first round, the Lakers are also out, and the only shows I’m really watching are Mad Men and The Killing (both of which I can stream). On top of that, the next 5 weeks could be the busiest of my entire life. What better time to not have a television?

Of course, there are things I will miss about not having a TV for a while (if it’s not an easy fix):

  • I won’t be able to watch Breakfast Television in the morning.
  • I will have to stream the Lang & O’Leary Exchange after work.
  • I won’t be able to have friends over for TV/movie nights.

But when I tried to make a list that could justify paying for a quick repair/replacement, I got stuck:

  • I don’t need a TV to survive.

And so, I’m not going to worry about it right now. I will bring it over to the ‘rents sometime, so Dad and I can take the back off and have a look at it. If it’s not something he can fix, it will have to wait until I can save up for a solution.

What would you do if your TV died today?