bar method

at the start of the good ol' new year, i decided to start a new fitness routine. hoping to get hooked. it's a bit too early to tell, but i think i'm on the road to fitness addiction! bar method is a fancy new(ish) fitness class that is pretty great. the motto you hear all the time in class is 'good shaking' and they are not kidding. your muscles are outta control shaking.

i did the new member special at the boulder location and have been 8 times in a week and a half. normally being surrounded by people that are better than me at something makes me never want to go again, but not this. it's a challenge to go back, get better and get stronger! you can get 30 days of unlimited classes at the denver/boulder locations for $59, which is cheaper than most trainers!

my bcf, jb told me about it! she is lookin rockin from going for two months, so i thought i would give it a go. thanks for the heads up jb.
your body will thank you, even if you want to murder your alarm clock.
xoxo ashleycolean



you guys might remember when i told you about my contact lenses rebate debacle but i will cliff notes it for you here:

1. needed contacts (march 2011)
2. found a website offering an $80 rebate with 18 months purchased
3. bought 18 months even though i didn't need that much just for the rebate
4. rebate place loses paperwork
5. fought for rebate despite loss
6. get rebate card mailed to me
7. never receive card
8. call company to check on it
9. "yes, we mailed it and you used it all but $1.32"
10. realize my mail had been getting stolen (not just the $80 but other things too)
11. dispute charges
12. months pass
13. check online yesterday
14. money is back on the card (january 2012)
15. hooray!

the moral of the story, hold onto all your paperwork, fight back and be persistent. companies bank on the idea that people won't notice, won't remember or will give up. so don't do any of those things. be diligent. even if it takes NINE months to get an eight week rebate.

so now i have $80.00 i thought i would never ever see again burning a hole in my pocket. i'm going to go buy a box spring with it, but i better do it fast before i buy something leopard for my closet.

i just love leopard that much!
xoxo ashleycolean


rather than resolutions

some people are anti resolutions. i'm not. i'd just prefer to make a list of the ten things i really want to do in the new year.

here's my list for 2012:
1. pay off my student loan
2. go on a vacation to another country
3. do something spontaneous (i know it seems like i'm planning it)
4. run another marathon (or at least a half)
5. get back in shape (aka lose the 25 lbs i put on since my last marathon-ugh)
6. read 3 classic novels that are often referenced (help with these options would be great)
7. hug at least one person everyday
8. be more present (try and live for the day not for the future)
9. put at least $6,000 in savings
10. (still under consideration)


bed buying

i had to go buy a bed after i sold my million year old one on craigslist for $40.00. after the move i headed out to find a bed. i'm embarrassed to report, i was so over it when i started that i pretty much just walked into the first place i stopped, asked to see their cheaper 'soft' beds, and 10 minutes and $539 later walked out with a mattress.

i should have shopped around, but you know how some purchases are so daunting and at the end of a long week (or month) that you just don't have it in ya. that's what happened here. my plan was to put the mattress on a platform bed so i didn't need a box spring, but that plan has changed.

my mom shed some light. "get a bed you can use for a LONG time, as a guest bed one day." and she was right, the whole cute platform idea is really not me. super trendy and modern. i'm more of a shabby chic, antiquey, mix and match girl myself when it comes to decorating. so i found an iron bed at pottery barn which i will have for-ev-er and it's on sale for $599.


after a 10% off coupon and a $75 gift certificate (c/o bbe), i should be in pretty good shape. also, at pottery barn, if you go into the store to order large items they will waive the $150 overweight shipping charge! deal.

making adult purchases, like co-pays at the doctor, are the bane of my existence, but i am really excited to have everything in my new place all set up.

here's to sweet dreams.
xoxo ashleycolean


sticky ricky


my love for credit cards is not a secret. i've posted more than once, about the value, i find, in credit cards. it's my firm belief if you have a good grasp on your finances, don't spend like you never have to pay it back and figure out a way to play the cards, you win.

i have only paid $97.18 in fees, and interest charges since 2005 when i got my first credit card. two annual fees for my southwest airlines credit card, and a $19.18 interest fee once when i forgot about a payment (the only payment i've ever forgotten about). i have taken about 9 free flights on southwest (since october of 2009 when i got my swa card), and gotten hundreds of dollars in rewards from discover over the life of my credit card use. for me, that $97.18 was absolutely, unquestionably, worth it.

so a few months ago i was nerding out about finances with my friend blake. blake is one financially savvy gentleman himself, so i always enjoy chatting with him about what he's doing, his route, his plan, and his reasoning. blake had recently gotten a no interest credit card, which he planned to put the majority of purchases on (while still being wise about money), until he had his student loans paid down. the point was, "borrow" the money at no interest, from the credit card while you pay off an interest baring account, and then pay off the card before it's no interest term expires.

i hadn't thought of this until then. an interesting idea. i was afraid, initially, that getting my hands on a card that had 'no strings' would resurrect my wild non need, pre lockdown spending. however, with more thought and reflection into my new habits and ultimately, new found self control in a consumer way, i could handle this.

i recently put another big fat chunk of cash down on my loan, which has taken me to a balance of only $4290.79!! super exciting. so, i decided, i am likely about three months away from having it completely paid off. pushing me into the idea, why not get the no interest card??

i applied for the discover platinum card, which is offering 15 months no interest. i kept my limit at a reasonable, $3500, as not to do any undo able damage. :) of course,  i will have to pay the minimum, on time, each month, to keep the special terms, but that will only be 2% of the total balance.

the plan: put rent for one month, gas and groceries for three months on the card and see where i land. this will free up cash that i would have put toward these things for my additional student loan payments and then, leave me 12 months to pay off the balance at a couple hundred a month.

the benefit: i will pay substantially less interest on the student loan, and then no interest on the card payments. it will also allow me to put more money into savings over the next year.

i'm not, by any means, saying this is the right route for everyone. you have to be really disciplined or this could totally backfire on you. if you spent wildly for the next year you would be up a creek without a paddle and trying to harness $1500/month credit card payments facing a 23% interest rate, when you could have paid the 5% interest on your loans.

i'm interested to see how it goes. like anything you have to have a plan. if you don't it's likely not going to work. if you want to look into a plan like this for yourself, go to creditcards.com to compare cards to get you the most benefit. be sure to keep your eyes on the annual fees too. i refuse to pay annual fees on any card except my southwest airlines card, because i get so much benefit out of it.

good luck and no interest.
xoxo ashleycolean


it changed my life

a few months ago, i was hanging out with some friends and one of them was reading glamour mag. she was mocking an article called 20 beauty products that will change your life. "seriously?!! changed your life??! what beauty product can change your life!!" i quickly corrected her. yes, as a matter of fact one of their 'life changers' from a couple years ago really did change my life.

okay, maybe a mild exaggeration, but still. it's made a difference. the product in question, clairol root touchup. aka, BOMB DOT COM root saver.

it is freaking amazing. it saves me time, MONEY, and embarrassing roots. i color my hair about 4 shades darker than my natural color (much to the dismay of my mom). i have had hair just about every color under the sun, but there are so many benefits to being dark.

limited upkeep, box dye looks just the same as the salon (or close enough), its cheaper, i look like the poor mans kardashian (or so i've been told), and it looks better when it's a mess. i just did a little root touch up this weekend...
ya see...looks like one color to me!
anyway, root touch up really does work. i dont know how, but it does, and i'm not asking any questions. it's normally just under $6 box (you can get it at target) and it works just as well as coloring your whole head. i actually like it better than an all over color because it gives a little dimension.

i was at target the other day and they had a sale, buy one box color and get the touch up free! i spent under $20 and have enough hair dye and root touch up to last me until september!! september, people!!

now that's what i call a bargain.
xoxo ashleycolean


leavin on a jet plane

i have a trip coming up. i can't say what, because it a surprise, but it's a trip nonetheless. being a bit on the thrifty side, i recently signed up for airfarewatchdog.com. i get emails all the time, but yesterday one popped out at me! denver to (surprise destination city) for $99.60...ROUND TRIP! i booked, saved a fortune and got to take southwest-my favorite because the miles pile up so quickly with them (and i use their mileage credit card.

airfarewatchdog is awesome because you can sign up to receive emails about airfare deals on cities you are actually interested in going to. i have kansas city, vegas, nashville, dominican republic and chicago on my notifications list.

yesterday, the sucker paid off. sign up here.

and i'll see ya at the airport!
xoxo ashleycolean



'tis the time of year for all things recap! so here you have it. in just 8 months and 3 days i have saved, via savings and debt payment, $11,730.35!!

eleven thousand, seven hundred and thirty dollars, and thirty five cents!!!

and let me tell ya, it feels damn good!
xoxo ashleycolean


month 8!!

8 months! duuuude!

december had the same expenses for me that it has for everyone else. holiday gifts, travel, party dresses :)

i managed this month to pay off $1,098.14 on my student loan, $360 on my car, and put $536.14 in savings!! and yes, i still got a party dress!

i realized about half way through september that december was going to hit me hard. i love gift giving, but i knew this year i would have to scale WAY back. i still bought for my family-i just scaled back a bit, and started shopping in september! not because of my type A-ness, but out of necessity. that way, when december came, i didn't get blasted with all of the gift expenses at once.

i also started looking for sales for a dress for my holiday party at the end of october. i got a (nearly) $250 dress for less than $100! i could have probably worn something i had, but i didn't. i regretted it a bit, but it is what it is, and i learned from it. luckily this little number will come in handy for a bunch of other events, occasions, and can be worn in every season-so i didn't do too terrible.

i also had to fly home to kc. i kept my eye out-starting in about august for that just right sale, and frontier provided. they offered a $14.00 one way ticket! my total travel for chirstmas was about $200.00.

i also moved this month. i watched my spending big time. i used old boxes, got boxes from friends, and my boss. luckily, moving around the holiday was kind of a good idea, as it saved me box costs with all the online shoppers i know! total spend on moving materials was $78.54-not bad when you consider the tape alone was $23! i did hire movers. i googled 'cheap denver movers' and found always moving and relocation. for three hours of work i paid $222, and tipped $60.00. total move cost: $360.54-and about 3 months of stress, but who's counting.

i also made a bit of extra cash this month with side jobs, tails jobs, selling a bunch of stuff on craigslist.

so total pay down on debt in december was a whopping $1,458.14! and total savings was $536.14!

in 2012, i am reformatting a bit. i'm going to add a little emphasis to saving...so my total from here on out will reflect not only 'total debt down,' but also savings!! a little like this:

month 8 total: $1,994.28

happy new year!!
xoxo ashleycolean