31.5.11

MONTH ONE!!!


my first month if o-o-o-over! drumroll please! buuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrruuuuuuuuuuuuddddddddddrrrrddddddd.....

in total this month i paid down $1,950.52 dollars on my debt!!
thats right!!! $1,950.52!!!


pictures c/o weheartit
 
i paid off my only credit card with a balance-a total of $812.57.
i paid $360.00 on my v-dub.
and, for the kicker, i paid $777.95 on my damn student loans.

i'm feeling SUPER empowered and happy with how i did the first month!!

 may 'wants' quickly turned into 'not a need' spending. i didn't really 'want' to park at the airport, or repair my jeans, but alas, i also didn't have to...so, it counts here. i wrote it here for my first month because i was afraid i wouldn't be honest with myself. but i was, so i don't know if i'll post this each month. it is crazy pants how fast it goes.

$200.00 balance for may 'wants'
$24.95 re tipped my leather heels
$9.75 wine for dinner with a friend-i know. cut me some slack i'm still new at this.
$10.00 repaired anthropologie dress
$10.00 repaired jean zipper
$18.00 airport parking for mother's day trip
$2.50 fee to use flight points for a wedding in kansas city
$7.56 caved (popcorn and diet coke for lunch)
$10.00 margaritas with friends (luckily i have generous friends)
$5.26 bagel (post margarita night) for me and a friend-see...drinking ruins plans!
$1.02 card for a babyshower
$38.38 night out that i didn't plan on
$3.75 parking (note to self: LODO meters go until 10pm)
$40.00 tips for hair and massage on a groupon i bought forever ago
$2.09 remainder due on 2 scarves i bought with a gift cert to lovely boutique
$8.00 movie-i couldn't help it.
$4.50 diet coke at the movie...okay-i could have helped that. my bad.
BALANCE $4.24

i feel like i could have been tighter on this budget...maybe i should chop it down to $100/month?!? ehh, we'll see. i'm no angel. but, i do feel like i could have easily cut $80.00 off of that. lesson learned.


if you're thinking of trying a couple money savers out for yourself, here are a couple big savers i had this month....

~never buy anything at the airport.
~clean out drawers of...whatever. i did beauty products and its already saving me. big.
~drink coffee at work. gotta be $50/month savings-at least.
~flirt. i did. with my hot eye doc and walked out with a years supply of eye drops. ah-thankyouuu.
~carpool. or, do like the real moochers and stay at your grandparents every once in a while. guilty.
~return or sell things in your closet that you haven't worn. i did. totaling $135.74!


image from lilco
 when i started the financial lockdown my total debt was $34,114.73, and now-my new ugly truth, is $32,285.68.

so there you have it kidlets. i'm beaming with pride. and i'm feeling $1,950.52 dollars richer.

dolla-dolla bills ya'll.
xoxo ashleycolean

30.5.11

money wasters

i was checking in with cnn money the other day and found this article about the top ten biggest money wasters. according to them-
c/o whi

the biggest money wasters:

atm fees-i'm not too into this because i used my cards whenever possible, but something as simple as planning ahead if you're into carrying cash will do wonders for you.

lotto tickets-i have to avoid lotto tickets because i somehow become totally convinced i will win-every time.

gourmet coffee-like i said here-stopping the starbucks runs have seriously helped my budget.

cigarettes-thank goodness-not something i had to worry about.

infomercial impulse buys-i've only ever bought 1 thing from an infomercial. and i used it-for a while.

brand name groceries-guilty, and i think the whole foods 'brand' is even more expensive. i love whole foods. i can't help it. i actually enjoy going to the grocery store when i shop there. probably oughta switch over. ugh.

going out to eat-uh yea-i think before the lock down i was easily spending $250plus to go out to eat in a month.

unused gym memberships-indeed. i keep thinking maybe i should put a hold on mine until the fall-because i'd rather die than waste a sunny day in the gym. something to think about.

daily internet deals-bingo. although, i haven't bought any in the past month, and now my focus is using all the ones i had so they don't expire.

bundled phone and internet packages-n/a

so yes, i have been a victim to most of these-

but probably my personal worst one- beauty products!

xoxo ashleycolean

29.5.11

life or money

the other day i got an email from my pops. he doesn't send (too many) forwards so i took a minute to look it over. basically this chart shows that the longer you work, the shorter you live after retirement. take a gander...

table 1: actuarial study of life span vs. age at retirement

Age at
Retirement
Average Age
At Death
49.9
86
51.2
85.3
52.5
84.6
53.8
83.9
55.1
83.2
56.4
82.5
57.2
81.4
58.3
80
59.2
78.5
60.1
76.8
61
74.5
62.1
71.8
63.1
69.3
64.1
67.9
65.2
66.8

read more about this study here

bbe made a good point though when i showed her the table-that there are also studies that show that because work causes you to think critically, be active, etc-for many people (likely with less stressful jobs, or jobs they truly enjoy) working later in life actually extends their lifespan. so i suppose, it's different for everyone and every job.

but then, today on the simple dollar i read this quote 'everytime you buy something today, it effectively tacks some time on to the end of your working career.'
yikes...that'll make you reevaluate unnecessary new bedding, or overpriced candles for your apartment.

the retirement gods are trying to send me a message. maybe something along the lines of 'don't think once you get out of debt you are done with this new budget-you have a lot of catching up to do, erickson.'

c/o weheartit
daily golfing is going to add up.
xoxo ashleycolean

27.5.11

3 things

my three things this week are simple pleasures, good company, and a great online find~
a picnic lunch with my great friend annie

the sun finally showed it's beautiful face again over boulder

my new glasses from warby parker

happy weekend comrades.
xoxo ashleycolean

my problem...

'my problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income'
errol flynn

c/o whi

xoxo ashleycolean

26.5.11

wrongly accused villain

c/o emo-corner
when i started this 'get out of debt' mission i admitted that i have a problem with credit cards. not really carrying balances-which is most people's problem. actually, in all honesty-in the 5 years that i have had credit cards i have only been charged a total of $58.00 in charges. $19 was on interest, and $39 for my annual fee for my airline mileage card (which i learned through all of this i can call and get out of).

my problem, as i've said before is with the points, credit, cash back, etc. they blind me when i am making a purchase. i have less of an issue spending the extra money because i know it will convert to points. this is exactly what they are designed to do. i am simply a product of the ad campaigns.

i vowed to get off the cards. the problem is-i can't. i just don't see the point. if i pay cash i see no benefit. if i pay with my discover card (5-20% cash back) or my southwest airlines card (1 pt per dollar/ 2 pts per southwest dollar) i rack up points.

so, i had to be honest with myself. can you keep the cards and keep out of trouble?? i've done well so far. not carrying anything on my accounts. and in the first month of the lock down i earned $23.76 in discover rewards and over 4,000 points from southwest.

ultimately, my friends, it isn't the credit cards that are the problem. we are the problem. it's our responsibility to be smart about our spending. a lack of personal responsibility is the culprit here-not credit cards.
if you quit playing the blame game, and you're smart about what your credit cards offer, it might not be long before you're flying somewhere fun for free in a great new outfit thanks to your good buddies over at visa and discover.

think about it.
xoxo ashleycolean

25.5.11

want vs need

folks-we've got a problem. i need this dress. it would cost me $96.00 (because my darling friend brooke works for anthro and they are allowed 1 friend to reap the benefit and she chose me...a girl after my own heart). i have a $102.61 gift certificate from some returns i made earlier this month.

but something is holding me back. i feel like i should probably hold on to that cash for gifts or something-but man o man. i don't think i have ever gone a month without buying myself something new. it's annoying. super annoying.

what to do...
xoxo ashleycolean

emergency funds

i've been doing a lot of digging lately into the idea of an emergency fund. there are tons of theories out there about just how much you need to have available in the event of something awful-or in the event that you have a pricey 'surprise crap' purchase. ya know, car work, broken leg, big broken appliance, ambulance ride, etc.
c/o weheartit
in all my eagerness to pay off the debt-i simply passed by savings-or, adding to my emergency fund. yesterday, i found myself getting pretty deep into the simple dollar-a financial blog designed to talk about financial things in a way 'the rest of us' can grasp. i love it!

trent hamm-of the simple dollar laid out some tips for your emergency fund-and yes, i've got 'em for you! 

trent's tips:
apply some realistic frugality in your life-
acquire no new debt-
build up your emergency fund a little-
everyone’s personal sense of risk is different-
the key is always spend less than you earn-

they are pretty clear-but it never hurts to have a little reminder. my problem is, my emergency fund and my savings are one in the same. i'll have to tackle savings once i get this debt 'down-to-zero'...(name that 90's cartoon lyric).
trent's got a ton of great insight-so you'll be hearing more about his advice as i read.
in other news, the first month of the lockdown is almost over!! and i can't wait to share the results with you!!
happy wednesday.
xoxo ashleycolean

24.5.11

things wendi taught me

i've never been a big fan of lilies. i think they smell horrendous, but they ARE gorgeous. so, occasionally, i suffer through the stink to have them in my apartment.
as luck would have it, we also often get lilies in our weekly arrangement from the shop that delivers to us at the office, thus allowing wendi to teach me another tidbit.

as it turns out, if you pull the 'pollens' off their stems from the open lilies it sends a plant message to the other flowers that it's time to open....thus, a more gorgeous, and less stinky arrangement.

lovely.
xoxo ashleycolean

23.5.11

i see, said the blind man

i posted last week that i was going to have to order some new glasses, and my great friend kir, came to the rescue with a trendy yet un-spendy solution!

warby parker is an online eye ware company with super great prescription specs for cheap! new glasses from wp will only ding you for $95.00-including your rx lenses! 
these are the ones i picked!

the site also lets you try them-by uploading a picture of your face, or using your web cam, you can see just how stylish you'd look in whichever pair you go for!
haha-see!
not only does warby parker give you a bangin' deal on your new glasses but, like toms, with every purchase they donate a pair of glasses to a person in need somewhere in the world. learn more about it here!! thanks kir, for the heads up on this great site! much love.

and oh so hipster.
xoxo ashleycolean

22.5.11

what do you know

c/o weheartit
i was cruising around the internet reading financial blogs, articles and info and found myself at this article about gen y and it's reasons for financial issues. there was a quiz called 'will you end up in your parents basement.' the quiz consisted of 10 financial questions that helps you better understand your own knowledge when it comes to money and investing.

i took the test and scored a 60%. i'm no dummy (but apparently also not the brightest bulb in the box) and i still thought the quiz was difficult. the average on the quiz was a 52.4%. gotta do more reading so i don't end up 30, living back in kansas city, in toni and brian's basement. (take the quiz for yourself, here.)

but come to think of it-that would be cheap.
xoxo ashleycolean

21.5.11

compulsive debting-eek

i found this checklist on anna jones' blog and thought i'd give it a go.

these questions are from debtors anonymous and they can help you determine if you have a spending/debt problem.


1. being unclear about your financial situation. not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations. -i've always been good about this. even when i was spending irresponsibly, i knew i was

2. frequently "borrowing" items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them. -nope. never been a problem for me.

3. poor saving habits. not planning for taxes, retirement or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a "live for today, don't worry about tomorrow" attitude." -ehh, sort of. i tend to take money out of savings too much, but i do plan for other expenses.

4. compulsive shopping: being unable to pass up a "good deal"; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you've purchased. -jackpot.

5. difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met. -not really

6. a different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up. -how about of getting points??!! that's always been my problem, not 'feeling accepted or grown up'

7. living in chaos and drama around money: using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial crisis to contend with. -no.

8. a tendency to live on the edge: living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them. -no.

9. unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should be a normal discussion of money. -nah.

10. overworking or under earning: working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level. -man, i would if i could figure out how to. i'd love to have a tiny side job that would help me pay this debt down. but i don't know many places that are looking for a waitress to only work sunday brunch. let me know if you do!

11. an unwillingness to care for and value yourself: living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors. -no. but i have cheaped out and avoided the grocery store to buy overpriced shoes-so, kinda.

12. a feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won't really get into serious financial trouble, that there will always be someone you can turn to. -no. i've always taken care of myself financially.
images c/o google images
Most compulsive debtors will answer "yes" to at least 8 of the following 15 questions.
1. Are your debts making your home life unhappy? N
2. Does the pressure of your debts distract you from your daily work? N
3. Are your debts affecting your reputation? N
4. Do your debts cause you to think less of yourself? N
5. Have you ever given false information in order to obtain credit? N
6. Have you ever made unrealistic promises to your creditors? N
7. Does the pressure of your debts make you careless of the welfare of your family? N/A
8. Do you ever fear that your employer, family or friends will learn the extent of your total indebtedness? N
9. When faced with a difficult financial situation, does the prospect of borrowing give you an inordinate feeling of relief? N
10. Does the pressure of your debts cause you to have difficulty sleeping? N
11. Has the pressure of your debts ever caused you to consider getting drunk? HA-N
12. Have you ever borrowed money without giving adequate consideration to the rate of interest you are required to pay? Y-when i was young and had no idea what i was doing (student loans).
13. Do you usually expect a negative response when you are subject to a credit investigation? N
14. Have you ever developed a strict regimen for paying off your debts, only to break it under pressure? N-but we shall see.
15. Do you justify your debts by telling yourself that you are superior to the "other" people, and when you get your "break" you'll be out of debt overnight? N-but kinda. not better, just more financially responsible.

phew. i passed. but still, could have had healthier spending habits in the past. but, the past is the past and i'm strollin' through this new lifestyle.

strollin' i tell you!
xoxo ashleycolean

20.5.11

3 things

i'm taking a little inspiration from cupcakes and cashmere and starting to throw 3 things together each week that have made me one happy camper. probably free, or cheap things. even better. maybe scattered with things i would like to have-just in case someone wants to send me somethin' special...hint.hint.
i had a bit of a painful week this week. no reason. just a week showered with blah. i attribute it to the nasty overcast weather we've had the past two weeks. colorado forgot to be the most gorgeous place on the planet this week. and it's making us denverites a bit, edgy.

i tackled some serious to do listing this week, and that always feels so lovely.

um yea. him. blog world, meet jett. jett, blog world. this is the best nugget ever and i love him with all my heart. of course he's amazing...he's the product of two of the most rad folks i know. seriously-look at him. his sweet smile made my week.
ta da! i finally figured out how to curl my hair with a flat iron. i was so proud. correction: am so proud. the days of $30 blow outs just for this kind of curl action are a thing of the past.

happy weekend kidlets.
xoxo ashleycolean

19.5.11

four eyes

welp. my bad eyes have cost me again. $446.85 for the next year of contacts. so next month's pay down won't be nearly what i was hoping it would be.
(eye roll).

just one more reason in the 'DO IT' column to ask out the hot eye doc.


glasses come next. so much for the prada's i had my eye on.
damn lockdown.

that's gonna hurt.
xoxo ashleycolean

game of averages


last night, in my (money saving) carpool, i was talking about the lockdown, my progress, and my goals. and my rider asked a good question....'how much do you have to pay down monthly to reach the goal in your time frame?'

i hadn't really thought about it like that yet. don't get me wrong, i have made list after list with scenario after scenario, but hadn't really broken it into an average number.

funny how something one way seems way more daunting than the exact same thing in a different way. funny enough my big number (34,114.73) seems easier than my average monthly pay down number...$1,421.45.

ouch.

well, at least i know what i need to hit each month to get there...and luckily, this month, i'm on track to beat that number. 

woosa.
xoxo ashleycolean

18.5.11

pedal to the metal

c/o weheartit
"if you think no one cares if you're alive-try missing a couple of car payments."-earl wilson

throw caution to the wind.
xoxo ashleycolean

17.5.11

ease

c/o heather heron
well said.
xoxo ashleycolean

ya know

c/o thats happy
ya know something. for as much support on my financial lockdown, i have had an equal amount of skepticism. and, ya know what....that irritates me. so, here's to you, the credit card flinging, over spending, living outside of your meansing, a-holes...we'll see. we. shall. see.

tongue waggers.
xoxo ashleycolean

16.5.11

tip of the mornin' to ya

oh hey kiddos. hope everyone had a nice, cheap, fun, free weekend. i caved a bit this weekend. but didn't do too badly. and, alas, i have an article for you. i know, i know...you can thank me later.
tips for a solid financial foundation
  1. begin early – you have time on your side. (it's amazing what a couple hundred bucks a month can do. just think what a couple thousand a month could do!)
  2. know that debt-free life is possible. (seriously. it is. but probably a marathon, not a sprint)
  3. you are ultimately responsible for your financial well-being. (eventually your parents will take you off the payroll. for some of us this happened sooner than others...which is super annoying. 'look at this car my parents just got me!!' ---seriously?!? you're 30! isn't that embarrassing????)
  4. don’t spend beyond your means. (i'm learning how to do this. but lots of us are guilty of it. no, i probably shouldn't have bought $200.00 shoes when i was unemployed. lesson learned-better late than never)
  5. monitor and control your spending.
  6. establish some good financial habits right now.
  7. begin building your net worth. (join mint.com. i love it and it lays out your net worth. its a bit sobering to see a negative number here. knowing that if i kick the bucket tomorrow i'd literally be 'in the hole' for about $3500.00 (not for long!!))
  8. stop trying to impress other people. (yea. quit. ashleycolean.)
  9. take good care of your stuff and you will get more out of them. (like your shoes) 
  10. find and work toward your true passions. (i'm still workin on this. but my wheels are turning)
  11. improve yourself every chance you get.
  12. talk about money-and be honest. (i don't understand why people are so afraid to talk about money. maybe, if our generation had talked about-in a serious way-our financial situation, how to understand it, and ways to fix it-i'd be out of debt. having a true, honest conversation about money is so educational-for everyone involved! and yes, please quit lying and acting like you make $80k/year. it's asinine.)
  13. give without strings or regrets
info from an article written by Niyi Adeoshun

don't say i never gave you anything.
xoxo ashleycolean

14.5.11

on the road to happiness

so my tiny book club finished book number two. the happiness project by gretchen rubin.
i enjoyed it. i thought it had a lot of good insight and would recommend it to anyone looking to boost their own happiness. because, no matter how happy you are--couldn't we all stand for a bit more!


i pulled out a few of my favorite points she made through the book.

c/o weheartit
 on starting the project:
i didn't want to wait for a crisis to remake my life.


on organization:
tackle a nagging task...unfinished tasks were draining my energy and making me feel guilty.
(this was a huge help for me. i organized and decluttered my apartment/life and was instantly happier. now, i spend 20 minutes each night putting my space back in order, and 1 lunch break/week running errands and it has been a huge happiness booster!)
on marriage (i took these to other areas of my life-and felt like they were applicable to most):
love is a funny thing. i'd donate a kidney to jamie without a moment's hesitation, but i was intensely annoyed if he asked me to make a special stop at the drugstore to pick up shaving cream.


don't expect praise or appreciation...'you have to do (that kind of) work for yourself. if you do it for other people, you end up wanting them to acknowledge it and to be grateful and to give you credit. if you do it for yourself, you don't expect other people to react in a particular way.'


on aiming higher:
enjoy now.


on parenting:
**this section had great insights for parents. several times i thought to myself you need to reread this when you have kids. so, if you're a parent. grab a copy, if only for this chapter.


on gossip:
i learned another reason not to say critical things about other people: spontaneous trait transference. studies show that because of this psychological phenomenon, people unintentionally transfer to me the traits I ascribe to other people.


(i'm not sure how true i believe this is across the board. i think it would be absolutely true with people you didn't know very well. but, i talked to my friend chel about this and we decided that because we know each other so well, it doesn't work with us so much.)


make three new friends.
(i'm an expert at this. and i think so important for people. go out by yourself somewhere and make a friend. seriously. i dare you.)
_______________________________
here we are folks-the meat and potatoes!!

on money:
money satisfies basic material needs. its a means to an end. it a way to keep score, win security, exercise generosity, and earn recognition. it can foster mastery or dilettantism. it symbolizes status and success. it buys time--which can be spent on aimless drifting or purposeful action. it creates power in relationships and in the world. it often stands for the things that we feel are lacking: if only we had money, we'd be adventurous or thin or cultured or respected or generous.


indulge in a modest splurge.
(i'm planning to get myself a fancy camera-to reward myself for getting out of debt...23 months and 2 weeks from now)

give something up.
(i'm doing a lot of this these days. so far i've given up, coffee from coffee shops, paid parking (which is killing my feet), my netflix subscription, my 'mfd' online membership, happy hour, manicures, pedicures, food at the grocery store that isn't necessary, and my wine club membership.)

money. it's a good servant but a bad master.


samuel johnson 'abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.'

side note: rubin quotes samuel johnson throughout the book and it wasn't until this quote at the end i realized that she in fact was NOT quoting samuel l. jackson. i kept thinking, man, that s.l.j. is much more insightful than i would have thought. yea, you could call me a cursory reader.
______________________________
so, you should read it. i thought it was very practical, and thought provoking.

you're better looking when you smile. 
xoxo ashleycolean

13.5.11

leaving on a jet plane

i'm not a big fan of the airport. any airport. i always have some dilemma, end up running to my gate as they close the doors, forgetting something, getting the pat down....etc.

c/o weheartit
 but what's worse-i realize now, the airport is a spending trap. a trap, i tell you!!


the ticket is one thing. decent parking is entirely too expensive.
but it's inside. that's where they really get ya.


people are always walking around stuffing their faces with overpriced fast food, oversized sodas and sugar packed snacks. it grosses me out.

perfect example of what most people are noshin' on at the airport. fat free...of course.
i, too, fall into the airport trap. i normally get a coffee, or a cocktail, bag of pretzels, book, magazine, etc at the airport. this is always absurdly expensive, but i do it anyway.
no reason. no need. just impulse.


i recently went home to kansas city (bought the ticket pre lockdown) and when i was at the airport both coming and going i didn't buy a thing! not one thing! not even a delicious coffee-which was a miracle after getting to the airport at 6:30am.

 somehow made it through DIA and MCI (twice) only spending $18.00-on the parking.


patting myself on the back.
xoxo ashleycolean

two sided coin

so when i decided to put myself on financial lockdown, i did so, largely in part to reading the story about anna jones-of and then she saved. she was young, fun, fabulous, a fellow denverite, and fighting her way-uphill-to get out of debt. i was instantly into it.

after a week or so pining away about if i could do it, stick to it and actually make is even sort of interesting to read about-i wrote it down and made it happen.
granted-i'm still a newbie at this. but, i'm doing it. and i'm super proud of myself.

i got a pretty bad spending pang today and as irony would have it, it came from cruising anna's etsy site.
her site hit on the majority of my spending triggers...adorable, funny, one of a kindish. i love popping things in the mail to kc-and onesies are no exception.

i mean really-
d bird-you need these. i'll try and skimp on my 'wants' budget the rest of the month to send it to you!

if nothing else-keep your eye on the mail for this one...
love you d bird.
xoxo ashleycolean

12.5.11

like a thief in the night

lately, i have been inundated with burglary dreams. people coming in to my house, car, work...whatever and taking everything i have.
it's getting old. i wake up in a panic, toss and turn, and have to talk myself out of checking on my car in the middle of the night.
image c/o shitty weekend
it's odd to have these bizarrely awful dreams because i feel very safe. except for the time i thought walking across the street of my apt to walgreens was a good idea after dark. that didn't go over so well...but other than that...no problems.

i did a little googling and this is what i found:

'to dream that you have been burglarized, indicates that you are feeling violated or that personal space has been invaded. you feel helpless in some situation or relationship. this could be due to a major change in your life.'

'to dream that you have been robbed, indicates that you are experiencing an identity crisis or are suffering from some sort of loss in your life. alternatively, the dream means that someone has stolen your success or has taken credit for something you did. perhaps you feel that you have been treated unfairly.' both from dream moods.

'if someone is stealing from you-you feel like life-or something in it, is very demanding right now, or that people are wanting things from you, especially in manipulative ways. you're feeling disrespected, not validated, or undervalued in some way.' dream visions

interesting. right?!  i just associated it to my anxious feelings about the new lockdown...but this shed some light.

enter sandman.
xoxo ashleycolean

11.5.11

a learning curve

a few things i picked up from my first couple weeks in spending detention...
pic c/o googleimages

1. i have to get better at saying 'no'- which i struggled with pre-lockdown too.
'no, i can't go out to eat.'
'no, i brought my lunch.'
'no, i'd love to get together, but i'm not up for that $ (insert wildly high amount) concert/event.'

no.no.no.no.no.no.

i realized, after some reflection, that i was partially afraid of not getting asked again. when i moved to colorado, and sat for the first six months, friendless, i would have said yes to anything. 'ash, wanna go tag a building with spray paint??' 'SURE!!!'

of course saying 'no, i can't make it to brunch,' did not mean 'no, i don't want to be your friend-please cease all communication with me.'
i'm a nut job.

2. realizing all the little places where i was spending an absurd amount of money!! some of which include morning coffee stops, target end caps, 'just to say hi' gifts, beer.

just 1 stop, 4x/week at starbucks could potentially reach amounts of over $70/month.
yikes.


3. seeing how i'd begun to take things for granted (material things).
now, i think (i haven't actually bought anything yet) a new pair of shoes, or top, or even a trip to the movies will mean more to me.
even going out to grab lunch is a much more enjoyable experience because i don't do it 4x/week. we went out to lunch for work this week and it felt like a treat!


4. people are awfully quick to spend your money for you. 

5. i found out that there are a few people i know trying to be smart with their money! talking to my friends in this mindset was refreshing, helpful and kept me motivated during my first couple weeks.

6. it kind of sucks-but i feel so much less stressed out!! and, i'm shifting my mind from being excited about a new dress, to being excited about watching my debt go down!!
(i sound like my mother).

7. there are all kinds of fun things to do for free. some of them even involve cocktails!
hold for details.

i actually feel like i could succeed at this. and it's a healthy, positive thing to be dumping my energy into.

just call me dave ramsey.
xoxo ashleycolean

10.5.11

bada bing

normally mail is only irritating. bills. bills. bills. and junk.
today i got a vw envelope. i assumed it was a bill.
nope.

it was a gift card for fifty bucks!! c/o vw.
nothing like a little 'sorry we had an oopsie daisy recall' gift card.

whoop whoop.
xoxo ashleycolean

one foot in front of the other

last october i ran my first marathon. i was one proud peacock over it. i felt like such a bad ass. so bad ass, in fact, that i simultaneously decided that i could spend the next 7 months rewarding myself for a job well done. thus, undoing, all i'd done. bummer.

so, with my bf erin's wedding, my overall fitness, and my competitive spirit in mind i am training for numero dos. (kill me).
dooms day october 9, 2011.

this is how happy i was about running marathon number 1:

this is how excited i am about training for marathon numbero dos:

oh yea, this'll be really fun.
i started yesterday, but i can't muster the drive to run until thursday (you see what i mean).

this is not going to end well.
xoxo ashleycolean

9.5.11

goodbyes

a weekend at home is always so nice. i miss my mom, dad, and little sister so badly sometimes i think about packing it up and heading back home. at breakfast the other day with my gf tara she was talking about how hard it is to come back from being home, and then she said 'but, ya know, then we head west and get close enough to see the mountains and it's all okay, because this is home now.' she's right. this is home now. but that doesn't mean i don't tear up every time i wait in the line at the airport counter, and wish for just a couple of extra days.

photo from we heart it
 i could always use a few more hellos.
alas, the visits are always too short and i still cry in the terminal.
maybe one day we'll all be back together again-
boohoo.
xoxo ashleycolean

8.5.11

like the stars hold the moon

everyone thinks they have the best mom. and i'm not trying to brag, but if mine isn't the very best, she's damn close to the front of the pack.
toni, my mama, had that sister and i both before she was 26, and somehow knew what she was doing. she's pretty much self taught at everything, so of course, motherhood wouldn't be any different. a mom, business owner (way to go t), and great wife to boot...this lady's got it handled, and is great at everything she does. i feel like she knows how to tackle any problem, and even though i would have cringed to ask for help when i was a bratty teenager...now, i feel blessed beyond belief to have a mom that is always there, always helpful, and always thinking of me.



with my dad-the two made a life for sister and me. when things were tough, we didn't know it. when things were great, we absolutely knew it. and we were raised in a home where love was never hard to find.


i was just saying to amanda when i was in dc, that being a parent is such a crap shoot. how do you know your children will grow up to be kind, good, thoughtful, decent people? and how (the hell) did my parents pull it off? young, first timers, with a hope for a happy, healthy family...and somehow-it worked out.

mama had an awful lot to do with it. she was tough, but we always knew how much she loved her 'doll,' and her 'bug.'

she wasn't big on the 'be your kids friend' philosophy...but somehow, it ended up that way, anyway :)


happy mothers day, mom.
i can't wait to try and be the mom to my kids that you are to me...the very best.

now let's get our family brunch on.
xoxo ashleycolean