a little extra

so, i think i'm gonna get a little side job. just a little something, maybe 2 nights/week and 1 day/weekend to bring in a little extra cash. now that i am on this spending freeze and debt obliteration, i wanna speed it up. get it movin'. get it over with.
i feel almost panicked about watching these numbers go down. people keep telling me i'm obsessed. i probably am. whatever. i have an obsessive personality. i can think of about ten million trillion worse things to be obsessed with than getting out of debt and educating myself on my finances. like donuts, meth, jack daniels, justin beiber. i mean, that's only 4 things-all of which would be much more destructive.
c/o we heart it
so here are my ideas.

i already have a little side pet/house sitting company, tails are waggin'...i basically do in home pet care for people that go on vacation, leave town for work, etc. i have a few clients-but not enough to make a real dent. so, for starters i am going to try and get some more 'tails' business. i'm thinking posters in coffee shops in neighborhoods i live or work around, and pass out more business cards. this business is basically word of mouth-because, let's face it, i don't want to spend 2 weeks in a weird, strange place.

so in addition to tails, i need to think of another way to boost the good ol' income.

i've waitressed-and i'm good at it, but i dont get off work until 5:30 and evening shifts normally have to be in at 4:30 or 5...

i've done retail-it was alright, but i'm nervous i'd spend all the money i made...i still have undies with the tags on them (the fancy pairs) from when i spent hundreds working at victoria's secret over christmas break one winter.

i've cashiered-and i liked that alright. but only in busy places. boredom makes me want to die.

i've babysat-and would again. do you think if i hand out my pet sitting cards for babysitting people would get the wrong idea??

so, i need to get going on researching these options. see what i can find. maybe i'll wait until after e's wedding (i'm the moh and so have to be in kc for the week before) in october to find something...lots of companies need extra help around the holidays.
we'll see what i come up with.

my wheels are, as they say, turning.
xoxo ashleycolean


i won!!!

thanks to my amazing friends, family, friends of friends, strangers, etc etc etc....i WON the st julien pancake contest!!! whoo hooooo!!!!! it was hard work and took more campaigning than i have ever done in my ENTIRE life. i know now, that i will never, ever, ever run for political office. it stressed me out!!

the julien is probably my favorite place on earth....okay, maybe not earth, but in boulder-at least! it's glorious! every time i stay there i am so depressed to leave. i'd move in if they'd cut me a deal!

anyway, i am so excited i could flip out. the best part is, i can use it for the bachelorette party i'm planning-so it saves me about $250!! so exciting!

just thought ya'll would like to know
xoxo ashleycolean

an okay cave

you remember this dress? well i wanted it. badly, but abstained from purchase. i know, pat me on the back, would ya?!

so yesterday i got online and had an email from my old friends at anthropologie telling me there were a bunch of new sale items i should check out. i'm sure they think something bad has happened to me because it's been so long. like i'm trapped in my basement, or stuck with a broken ankle alone in the wilderness. that is more believable than that i quit shopping. alas, i'm alive and well.

anyway-the dress. so it was on sale and so, i bought it (with a gift card). i got it in the purple instead of the salmon. i ended up paying $69.95 for a $129.00 dress! whoo hoo

pretty excited to get it!!
xoxo ashleycolean


twenty under $25-four

oh hey, ya'll. so i've got another one for you...

last night i went to an amazing show at the larimer lounge in five points-a hood i'm newly investigating because my uncle david just got a new place over there. we went to see sondre lerche-who was amazing! i wasn't familiar with him, but david and his kids are always talking this guy up to be amazing. i couldn't have agreed more.

the larimer is a divey little joint but a great sized venue for intimate concerts. cheap drinks, good music and a great vibe. who could ask for more??!! i somehow avoided the tshirt/cd table-although i would have bought at least 2 of the tshirts i saw and the cds for all three artists! alas, i contained myself. i'll get the music from uncle d and probably covet the tshirt until christmas and ask for it then...yes, i'm already thinking about christmas.

what it cost:
$15.00 ticket for sondre and 2 opening acts (also amazing)
$3.00 coors light-then switched to water

total cost: $18.00
for a headbangin', toe tappin', hip swingin', air guitarin'  good time??!
i'll take it.
xoxo ashleycolean


things wendi taught me

i have never been much for nice cutlery. a knifes, a knifes, a knife. i'm not preparing any fancy sushi or prepping my own fillets. i do, however, appreciate keeping the things i have in nice condition-especially now that i don't allow myself the cash-o-lah to buy anything new.

in comes twtm: don't put good cutlery in the dishwasher. apparently this ruins them....ya know, rusting and such.
c/o weheartit.com

i bet the same goes for swords.
xoxo ashleycolean



so this is a shameless attempt to win another one of the st julien's contests...

i need you to go to the st julien on facebook and 'like' their page...and then like my comment under the contest!!! i need to win this one kiddos.

it's imperative to my happiness. i gotsta win! oh and you have until monday!!

thanks friends!
xoxo ashleycolean



occasionally on this little journey i've put myself on, i feel lost. for the most part i am over the moon with my progress and my sticktoitiveness with digging my way out of this hole. but that doesn't mean that for the other part i don't think this is just insane and i should just go back to my old ways, because damn, i'd love that new bag, or pair of heels...
c/o whi

but the cat has got it all wrong you see. of course it matters. not knowing is okay-just go with an idea and try and figure it out as you go.

'i found the road to wealth when i decided that a part of all i earned was mine to keep'
george clason

build the plane as you fly it.
xoxo ashleycolean


twenty under $25-three

i got one for you. well actually, it's two things, but we'll count it as one because that leaves me more of my twenty activities to accomplish. i love a challenge.

co-ed leagues. yea, that's right. getting outside, drinking a beer, and playing...well, anything. i am in two leagues right now. softball-monday's in boulder, and volleyball-thursday's in denver. both of the leagues give me something fun to do with friends two nights every week...and both are relatively cheap.
wash park votr league
check out volleyball of the rockies website for more info on starting your own team. or the city of boulder for softball. every city has all kinds of leagues, so get out there and find some friends to join with you. just google local leagues in your area. you can also join teams with people you don't know...make some friends. two birds, ya know.

what i spent (volleyball)
$33.00 for the season
total weekly spend: $4.13

what i spent (softball)
$58.00 for the season
total weekly spend: $5.80

all the cool kids are doing it.
xoxo ashleycolean


yes, please

american apparel
i want this. i really, really want this. really bad. it's days like this i freaking hate doing this. ugh!!! it's going to take everything i have to not walk over there on my lunch break and get this. think about it....tshirts, tanks, belted, flats, heels....the opportunities for this little diddy are endless. i may have to save up my spending money. july could be the month of the skirt.

i need a second job-just for shopping money to buy this skirt....in every color.
xoxo ashleycolean


which do you want first?

the good news or the bad news???

i like to end on a good note, so the bad comes first...

the bad news:
oops. this weekend i oopsed. sort of badly. i spent like i used to. not at the mall-just at one bar, one day-but still. no bueno.
granted, it was my favorite bar, and the margaritas are totally worth every stinkin' penny, but now i only have $3.94 left for the month of june in my non-need spending pocket. 10 days and less than $4.00. i repeat, no bueno.

hopefully i live through these 10, long, hard, (that's what she said) rough, terrible, days.

c/o lilco
the good news:
with a honkin' transfer from savings into the student loan, and some diligent 'debt downing' this month i am officially below the $30,000 mark!!! WHOO HOO!!!! i feel like knocking on the door of $20,000 will feel even better, but under $30k definitely didn't suck.

i'll give ya'll some more details on where it all came from and where it all went for my month 2 recap-but i was just too excited to hold it in. maybe my fudge on the non-need spending was a subconscious celebration for the reaching that milestone?!

nah, i think i just fudged.

wish me luck.
xoxo ashleycolean

the good life

c/o weheartit.com
we've heard it a million times. 'livin' the good life. but what does that mean, exactly? well, it means something different to everyone out there. we all have specific things that make us happy, things that matter, and things that don't. i will never care to have a road bike more expensive than some people's cars.
i will never care to spend money 'makin' it rain' in a bar filled with strangers. i won't ever spend money on expensive european wine-the $12.00 bottle is close enough for me. we all have priorities.
i know some people think the $285 michael kors watch i've been wanting for two years now, is totally unnecessary-that to some, spending $198 on a summer dress at anthropologie is asinine, and that a $400 day at the hair salon is totally unimportant to say, someone who goes to great clips for a quick trim...but that's the thing...what's important to you may not be to me, and vice versa. the beauty of it- that's absolutely fine.

in the book i'm reading the author recommends laying out your want/needs. i like that she calls them 'want/needs' because it's true...my dad 'needs' a fancy road bike for the life he wants. same as i 'need' a MK watch for the life i want.

our good lives can change over time, evolve with us.
my friend c likely didn't think organic pears would ever be something she'd spend extra money on, but now that she has a baby-they are. when i lived in kansas having nice hiking shoes wasn't a priority-it's funny how one scary ass (almost serious) fall on a hike changed my mind on that front. lay out your want/needs, but remember to reevaluate them every so often.

things change. people change. priorities change.

my good life today:
family-being there. spending the money, every so often, to be present with my family.
friends-having a social life, entertaining friends
health-healthy food, gym membership (that i actually want to use)
a city zip code-i commute, and sometimes i hate it. but part of my good life is living in the city i love, not having a shorter drive to be stuck, living out off the highway somewhere because it's cheaper.
financial comfort-i don't need to be loaded, (although that would be nice) but being in a place void of financial stress is the goal.
pretty things-at least every once in a while!

what makes up your good life?
xoxo ashleycolean


all the love you need

i've got a pretty rad dad. i'm not just saying that. everyone that knows my dad, loves him.

he is one of the hardest working, family oriented men i have ever known. lucky for me, he's my dad. i had a pretty fantastic example of what a husband and father should be. you could say i've been spoiled in that department.

with dad at a bar in kc

new years 2009-denver

tailgating in 2008
i'm a lot like my dad. we like all the same things, we have similar views on a lot of things (mainly i think everything that annoys my dad-annoys me). sports, music, and a good micro brew-i don't think there will ever be a day my dad and i won't enjoy something together.

being daughter number one, i took on 'daddy's girl' pretty easily.

my dad taught me a lot about teamwork, priorities, accountability, hard work, and being appreciative for what you have. i fell in love with colorado largely because of my dad, and always had so much support to move out here and do my own thing.

my dad taught me to respect people, that good work ethic would always beat lazy, to respect my name and where i came from. i learned that good music is the best medicine. that the national anthem should never be sang as a joke. that sometimes, just walking away is the only thing that makes sense. to be proud of myself-and always do things to hang on to that pride. i learned an appreciation for the outdoors. how to make a mean hamburger. that the kind of person someone is will always show itself-no matter how hard they might try to cover it up. i learned that i was never going to get anything for free. to think long and hard about inviting people into my life that don't deserve it. never to be a fair weather fan. and, that passion and conviction outweighs most things-and a strong sense of self will always lead you where you need to go.
making your parents proud is, i think, on of the most fulfilling feelings in the world. and to know that my dad is so proud of me for moving out here, getting through the tough times, making a life for myself, and doing it my way, is the greatest gift. thanks daddy, for making such a wonderful life for me, filled with support and love. i treasure our relationship more than i could ever say.

happy father's day.
xoxo ashleycolean



i've always been 'thrifty'-the problem is it was always so that i could buy more! i never thought, 'oh good, it's on sale so i will save some money.' instead i thought 'oh good, it's on sale so i can buy three.'

this quote cracked me up-'think of it like being on the atkins diet. full-price items are protein. sale items are carbs. if you overdose on carbs, the diet doesn't work and you get fatter. you need to be selective and smart about what you put in your mouth (and closet, as it is). farnoosh torabi from you're so money.
c/o weheartit.com
sale doesn't mean you gotta get it!
xoxo ashleycolean


3 things

after a rough week last week i am feeling on the mend this week. it's finally feeling like summer in denver this week-and i couldn't be happier about it. okay, i could be happier-if i were actually outside in the nice weather instead of watching it from my work window. but, whatcha gonna do?!

my three this week were easy to come up with...

1. i am super pumped about my little blog catchin' on and striking a chord with people enough to be checking me out regularly! this week i had over 650 views! now that's pretty great. i started this thing to hold myself accountable, but it turns out other people are actually into it and learning something from it-which is amazing! (if you're one of the people checking in on me-click 'follow' on the right! i'd love it)

2. healing and health were up there this week. my little sis and grandpa both went under the knife last week, and are both healing quickly! i can't wait to have my sister back in good health and good spirits-so this certainly made my week. (i'm totally jealous of her though chilling out at home during her recovery for a few weeks reading books and catching up on mindless tv and movies! ---but no, i wouldn't trade her spots).

3. highlands street fair is this weekend!!! man o man-this girl loves herself the highlands!! heading over to spend the day in the sun with friends-it just doesn't get much better than that.
hope you all have a great weekend planned-i'll do my best to have a twenty under $25 for you from the weekend.

sunsets are free-
xoxo ashleycolean


twenty under $25-two

20 under $25.00 is the product of the still skeptical people in my life that think i must be rocking a pretty lame social life in order to do this budget. as i showed you in this post-you can, indeed, have a social life on a budget. it just takes a little more planning and creativity.

but-as i do all of these things i'll show you how!! 20 summer activities under $25.00!! now doesn't that sounds fan-tastic!

on friday night-i went to see natasha leggero at comedy works dtc with my friend, e. we also saw her three openers, who were all hilarious.
c/o natasha leggero
the tickets were $36.00 for two-but i had a significant coupon that i got downtown last summer (i've literally been carrying it around for a year). we had dinner before heading to the 9:45 late show!

so here's what i spent:
$0.00 dinner at home
$6.00 remainder cost for 2 tickets after using my coupon
$0.00 beers-e covered the drinks since i covered the tickets (thanks e)

total friday spend: $6.00

still got the chuckles.
xoxo ashleycolean


so they say

c/o flickr
'money makes a good servant but a bad master'
french proverb

xoxo ashleycolean


that's what he said

art by alice carroll
j.d. roth posted today-putting first things first. laying out the financial basics he has learned over the years and drawing the parallel between his daily routine and his financial routine. i reorganized these in the order in which i'm tackling them...

"pay your bills as they arrive-in the olden days, i’d wait to pay my bills until the last minute. why pay them early? i figured waiting let me use my money longer. this just led me to live paycheck-to-paycheck, though. now I pay my bills when I get them (and sometimes I overpay!), which makes life easier. it relieves pressure." i do this every month. on payday, every two weeks, i sit down and pay everything i know i have due for the next two weeks. not only does this ensure that i pay everything-on time, but it also gives me a much more realistic idea of the money i have to work with for those two weeks.

"build your emergency fund as soon as possible. shit happens. people get sick, things break, and fate is fickle. an emergency fund is like self-insurance: It’s a way to ameliorate the bad stuff that happens around you. build your emergency savings as soon as possible, and when you can, build it bigger." we've talked about this here before-but i can't stress how important this is! even if you can only afford to put $20/month into a rainy day account, it is still imperative to your financial success. one flat tire and you're, as they say, royally...screwed. i'm keeping two months expenses (that's what i decided was right for me) and adding between $150 and $180/monthly to that number.

"get out of debt as soon as you can. i hope this one is obvious. debt drains your soul — and your bank account. when you eliminate debt, you eliminate burdensome interest payments, freeing that cash for other uses. i’m a fan of the debt snowball, which lets you pay off your smaller debts quickly so that you can use the increased cash flow to pay off even more debt." the meat and potatoes-get.out.of.debt. i'm doing it and you can too. even if you don't do a lock down or a fast like anna-every little bit helps. don't skip payments, don't only pay minimums, and do start taking your financial situation seriously. trust me, it sucks but it's awesome. :)

"invest as much as possible as early as possible. the single greatest factor in determining how much you’ll have saved for retirement is how much you save. and the earlier you start saving, the more the extraordinary power of compound interest can work for you." this is my plan after the debt is all gone. save at a max for another 6-9 months (with $0 debt) and then hire one of those suit wearing guys to tell me what to do next. ira's, 401k's, etc etc...won't that be fun!!!

knowledge is freedom.
xoxo ashleycolean


i prefer key lime

i'm reading a great book called, 'you're so money', that suggests laying out your expenses in a pie chart to show where you're money is going. this can change over time, depending on what's important to you and how you need/want to spend your money. this is a chart of my approximate current spending. (keep in mind this isn't even sort of mathematically fool proof-it's i think-nearly impossible to make a pie chart hit 100%...and this is no different.) it'll give you a rough idea of how to make one of your own-and at the very least get you thinking about it what your chart would look like.

lockdown spending
of course when i have variable expenses, i have to decrease the 'additional debt payments' section to pay for said expense-but this will give you a pretty good idea of where your money is going.
(note: i also excluded taxes and health care from my chart-they are automatically taken out of my paycheck each month...but remember that you can also include those in your own chart.)

for old times sake-and to show myself how horrible i was with money until about 2 months ago-i also did a chart for my previous spending (using general estimates).
pre lockdown spending
one thing that sticks out is how hectic my spending used to be. no wonder it was so stressful. in general, i wasn't spending more than i had to spend in a month-but it was still so scattered. now, all of the expenses that aren't necessary fall into 'spending' on the new chart-so as you can see it was quite a financial transformation for me. another thing to notice-the largest area on my new spending chart is 'additional debt payments' at 31%....my 'previous spending' chart also has 'additional debt payments'-however, the percentage is 0%. wowzers.  
to make your own pie chart-write out all of your expenses, approximately what you spend on each, and lay them into excel, highlight the information-then go to 'insert-chart.' it should provide you a pretty good idea of where you could cut spending, where you could increase spending and help you with an all around better understanding of your finances.

xoxo ashleycolean



c/o flickr

'i don't know much about being a millionaire but i'll bet i'd be darling at it'
dorothy parker

xoxo ashleycolean


3 things

i'm struggling this week to come up with three things that made me happy-as it seemed nothing could really make me too happy this week.

sadness prevailed with the loss of a great man, far before his time-

anxiety reared it's ugly head also, with my sister going through an intense surgery to fix some horrible pain the poor thing has been in for nearly a year now.

the combination of the two has given me a heavy heart. so instead of try to come up with 3 arbitrary things that really didn't do too much for me-here's what i have.

1. family.
2. good friends who can find a way to support you, when even you, aren't sure what it is you need.
3. your health, and the health of the two above.

'live everyday like a holiday and treat every meal like a picnic'
xoxo ashleycolean


this little piggy

last night there was a massacre in my apartment. it went a little something like this...

i've been lugging around this pig full of money for years now. it came with me from college, to colorado-then from my first place to my second-from one spot in the apartment to another. slowly collecting funds (but not much because i'm a credit card girl myself).
last night i decided he was done. i needed a pick me up and he, ultimately, had to take one for the team.

today-i am 1 piggy bank less than i was yesterday-but $94.25 richer than i was yesterday. i'm throwing the coins down on my contact purchase i had to make earlier this month.

side note: also made some cash today from my carpooler-that too, is going toward the contacts.

tryin' everything i can think of to get outta this funk.
xoxo ashleycolean

notes from the universe

'bbe' told me about this website that sends little emails each day-food for thought, if you will. in general these are great little notes that you can generally connect to something happening in your life. the other day i got this one:

"How adventurous would life be, Ashley, if you were "challenge free"? If you had the perfect body, perfect self-esteem, everyone adored you, and you won the lottery every Sunday?

Now what if, painful as they may temporarily be, you could choose a life during which challenges might arise whenever your thinking needed expansion, on the sole condition that every one of them could be overcome no matter how daunting they may at first seem?

Everything makes you more,
    The Universe"

if you'd like to receive these little notes for yourself go here.

xoxo ashleycolean


contrary to popular belief

photo found here
'a man is not a financial plan'
richard evans

damn it.
xoxo ashleycolean


artsy and mindful

i was talking about my spending lockdown and all that goes along with it with bbe's husband the other night. he was super supportive and impressed with my plan but asked a good question: 'you're still living right!?'
he was worried that i was getting too focused on the lockdown and avoiding doing things to save money.

it made me think about it. was i? avoiding life to save money?

the answer is no. wholeheartedly, no. i do a great job (i think) of adjusting  my life to save money without avoiding life all together. when friends want to meet for lunch, i suggest a picnic in the park. when people want to go out to dinner or drinks, i suggest a home cooked meal. i try and find cheap or free activities around the city (there are tons). there are ways to have a social life on a budget they just require a bit more time, research and energy to figure out.

this weekend for instance i planned saturday for my girlfriends...
we went to the highlands farmers market in the morning, walked down to paris on the platte and had a cocktail and cheese on the patio, went to the larimer square chalk art festival and then headed to the rapids game for dinner and soccer!

check out these amazing chalk art artists...

gorgeous. right?!!

so here's what i spent:
$0.00 farmers market-we went for the sun...and samples
$0.00 paris on the platte-my amazing girlfriends took care of the bill because i covered the soccer game/dinner-and just because they are fantastic
$1.25 parking downtown at a meter
$0.00 chalk art fair was free
$0.00 shopping at american apparel-this was a miracle
$7.51  for some delicious fro-yo at kuulture
$0.00 rapids game/parking/dinner/drinks-i came into some great tickets and shared them with the girls

total saturday spend: $8.76.

staycations can be amazing and cheap!
xoxo ashleycolean

differing opinions

c/o we heart it
so this whole emergency fund thing has had me up in arms over the past couple of weeks. the problem here, are all the differing opinions on the topic.
do you need an emergency fund? how much do you need? is 3 months okay? should you have 6?
how do you figure it? what do you use it for? should you have a fund for emergencies when you are in debt or broke?

you could read a million opinions on the topic-which makes it tough for someone like me, who is still navigating through all of this financial information. i like cut and dry. black and white. easy peasy.

but with something like emergency funds, i'm going to have to make my own final decision on this one.

of the information i found the consensus (for the most part) is this:
~3-6 months is a rational amount of money to have stocked away
~your emergency fund should be a liquid asset-kept somewhere that is fairly easy to access should an emergency arise
~emergency funds should be used for just that, emergencies-you lose your job, break your leg, blow your transmission. they should not be used for hefty expenses that you just didn't plan for-if you know it's coming-you should be planning accordingly, not waiting to drain your emergency fund
~once tapped you should begin immediately pumping money back into your fund
~the more your monthly expenses, the more you should keep put away
~home ownership, pets, and kids should all increase the amount you have
~you can adjust your emergency fund amount down if you have an additional family income (so basically if you are married you can have less-likely you both won't lose your jobs at the same time), you have investment income, or a side job
~you can also lower your emergency fund amount if you have substantial liquid assets (or assets that can be converted to cash quickly if needed)

figuring how much is right for you:

first: write down your minimum monthly bills-these are the things you are contractually obligated to pay-rent, car payment, student loan (although you could request a default should you lose your job). things that could be canceled (cable, gym memberships, etc) shouldn't be counted here-should something catastrophic happen, you could always cancel these things.

next: list all the routine monthly expenses that you have-gas, groceries, etc. be tight on these-you likely won't be driving cross country for fun, or eating steak if something should happen that required you to dip into (or deplete) your emergency fund-so think of bus fair and romen noodles.

3 months is generally the minimum amount of months it takes to find a new job-so if you have any possibility of doing a job search 3-6 is likely right for you.

if you have fairly liquid assets like i talked about above-or if you are in a secure job in a growing industry you may not need all 3 months.

my decision:

my total monthly expenses (both routine and contractual) add up to about $1700.00.
i have a secure job, and a few fairly liquid assets.
my savings account earns interest at 0.10%, and my student loan interest rate is 6.55%
so, i've decided to pull a bit of my $5,000 (current emergency fund) out and put it down on my debt.
i'm leaving $3400.00 in the emergency fund/savings-and putting the rest on my loan.
then, starting july1 i will transfer approximately $175.00 back into the savings account each month.

i'll have a decent payment for my loans while still keeping a good chunk of change in savings. i think i'm doing the right thing for me. my mom would probably freak out to know i pulled savings money-but luckily she's not big on blogging.

kinda feels like gambling....
xoxo ashleycolean


old fashioned ways

c/o whi
i was reading get rich slowly the other day and the author was talking about how frustrating it is that people are always looking for the new way to save money, to get rich, etc...

basically-it's basic.

the old fashioned way is still the right way. i pulled some info from get rich slowly to share with you here.

wealth = what you earn - what you spend

pretty simple guys. no blaming anyone else. if you're broke,  ultimately it's your bad. you're spending more than your making. i was doing it for months-okay-years.

gsr also says that basic personal finance comprises three essential skills:

earning-the ability to bring in money-which requires resourcefulness and a desire to work.
spending-the ability to live frugally and spend wisely-which requires sacrifice and the ability to prioritize.
investing-the ability to produce surplus and make that surplus grow-which requires patience and research.

spend less than you earn and invest the difference. or, in my case put every penny of the difference in the hole i'm standing in-to eventually fill that sucker up to the top!

what a novel idea.
xoxo ashleycolean



recently i told you about kiva, a brilliant peer to peer lending site. i think what they are doing is phenomenal and contributing to them, and their members across the globe, makes me really happy.

to update you on the kiva front-i recently loaned to my TENTH person for kiva. i had some quick paybacks from my last post so was able to loan again pretty quickly. my tenth loan went to a woman named elma yadao in the philippines who needed the loan to buy livestock feed and vitamins for her hog farm.
c/o kiva.org
george eliot once said 'one must be poor to know the luxury of giving.'
and, although i'm not technically poor, my new spending habits lend themselves to exponentially more pride when i'm able to do for others. we all win.  to read more about kiva and the brilliant things they are doing, go here!!

go elma, go!
xoxo ashleycolean


woot woot

one of my favorite websites to check in on is woot! there's wine.woot, shirt.woot, sellout.woot, etc...with all kinds of great deals.

i love the t-shirts! they are super creative, and can be yours for only $10.00 the day they are featured.

a couple of my faves that are features in the top 20...

pretty good gifts-especially for dudes. i got my dad one for christmas that he either loved or fake loved really well. the $10.00 includes shipping-so if you're into being thrifty-this is a good place for you to hang out.

thank me later.
xoxo ashleycolean


3 things

1. i am (probably way too) excited to report that yesterday i won a contest! the contest was to guess the number of eggs purchased by jills restaurant at the st. julien between january and may....because i had the closest guess i won brunch for two to jills!
ahhhh! this fancy brunch is just up my alley-and even more exciting because brunch is one of the things i gave up with my financial lockdown. but i can go if it's free!!! the julien is one of the most amazing places! i just love it.
brunch at jill's
2. tomorrow i have a totally 'rado day planned for my girlfriends and myself. can't wait to tell you about it. where we went, what we did, and how little we spent! :)

3. this week during lunch i got myself a spankin' new boulder library card. the days of spending money at the bookstore are over my friends. i can walk over from my office-which is an added bonus and another way to use my lunch breaks to do anything other than shop like i used to (urban is 2 blocks).

overall a good week. the sun is shining around here again, which is great. i was a little homicidal there for a minute. hope you all have a great weekend!

later skaters.
xoxo ashleycolean

brilliance...and modesty

a couple of weeks ago i was whining about the surprise crap. it ruins everything. fun, plans, fun, fun. you get the idea. the contact lenses i had to buy were no different. thanks to warby parker getting my new glasses (i hadn't had a new pair since i was 19) was a breeze. i'm just crazy hipster now, with clear vision-bonus.

contacts on the other hand...

my hot eye doc told me i had to switch to dailies from the month longs that i've worn before because of eye problems. fine. right? not fine. dailies are pricey little buggers! $439.92 to be exact-for 1 year of contact lenses.
but wait. you didn't think i'd actually pay that for them, did you!?? being the thrifty chick i am, i got the same supply for $175.94!!!

here's how:
1-went to discover card rewards section to see which eye companies work with discover to provide cash back.
2-picked from 2 or 3 companies and chose vision direct for their prices compared to the others.
3-googled 'visiondirect coupon codes' and found a code for 20% off my purchase-that worked.
4-got the contacts and linked through discover to get 15% cash back!!
5-filled out the ciba vision rebate when my contacts arrived.

savings from my purchase:
$80.00 rebate from ciba vision
$65.99 cash back rewards from discover
$117.99 coupon code found online

$263.98 total savings.
saved more than i spent!!

xoxo ashleycolean


natalie lines

i love cruising around the good ol' world wide web to see what's new, what's happenin', and especially new talent. i am constantly amazed by artists i find via blogs, etc. here's one for you to feast your eyes on...

natalie lines is a super talented chick i stumbled upon. from prints, to portraits, to animals. i dig it.

check out the rest of her cool work here.

gotta fill the online shopping void somehow.
xoxo ashleycolean