month one, year two


may of the SECOND YEAR of my financial awareness. sheesh. time flies.

so this month was weird. i tried to get back on the wagon but failed, sorta miserably.

i had a hard time turning down fun, and friends, and activities this month.

alas, i still threw $638.00 in savings, and a normal car payment of $360.00.

the truly exciting portion of the month was when i realized that my savings account finally has as much as it started with last year {remember i pulled a few grand out to pay down my loan} so that's a step in the right direction.

i'm in the process of potentially getting a little part time side job, so bare with me, i may have a whole new plan of action by the end of next month.

total debt down: $19,685.26!
xoxo ashleycolean


in a weekend

some weekends are so great you wish they'd never end. last weekend was one of those.
{trampolining: woodchuck under the trees: snuggle w the pup
bbq: lovebug: bcf brunch @jill's
jam sesh: homebrew: donuthut}

i wish i could stay in a slightly tipsy, sunny, friend and family filled three day weekend forever.

hope yours was a blast, too.
xoxo ashleycolean


happy day

and it's an extra long one!! winning!

i've been looking forward to this friday for a while now, because i get some face time with my friend tara down in denver. love it. love her. love friday.

happy weekend, kiddos.
xoxo ashleycolean


my best financial advice

here it is...

the bigger your savings account, the better.

profound, i know.
xoxo ashleycolean


first friday

{my kind of place}

a couple weeks ago i went to first friday in (cute as it gets) louisville with my fantastic friends beth and blake.
it was super entertaining, fun, cheap and the cocktails were flowing!
i'm officially attending every month, especially if i run the chance of seeing that hot eye doc.

see you there!
xoxo ashleycolean




don't let advertising lead you astray! you and i both know, the chances of kissing clooney have nothing to do with your lipstick!
xoxo ashleycolean


may challenge

{a cheapskate's weekend}
farmers market splurge $15: free itunes download of 'justified' pilot: bathtub: $104
because of the intense stress i have over the ol' interest free card, with the looming balance, i decided to test myself and see if for two weeks, i could live off $200.

two hundred dollars.

this covers, gas, groceries, and any other item i want or need.

it's tough, but it's only two weeks.

i have never operated on cash. it's not in my blood. i'm a credit card girl all the way...but with financial awareness in mind i am seeing what happens with this $200.00...cash.

i started on payday, last week. so i am 5 days down, with 10 to go.

i have $104.00 left.

yup. this oughta be interesting.

the good news: i have about 8 cans of black beans in my cupboard.
xoxo ashleycolean


weekends at gran's

{teaching me how to make green chili on my last trip down}

weekends with gran are good for the soul. this lady has nothing but love for me, even if it comes out of her mouth in a shockingly harsh way, she is such a love. :)

i try and make it the three hours to gran's house every couple of months. we cook, chat, watch hours of crime drama reruns and i explain the 'confusing parts.' it's just a restorative thing, to spend time with your grandparents.

i learn something new about my gran each time i go. this time i learned that she raised her SIX children on less than $30k year!! the idea that i have any sort of financial anxiety is almost laughable when i hear her talk about how hard she worked to put food on the table for her family. i know times are different, etc, but still. no complaining allowed!!

i keep thinking i should take my friend tara down with me sometime to 'document' my gran in all her sweetness, especially after seeing her latest beautiful blog post.

a warm home cooked (carb loaded) meal, a comfy couch and a sweet gran is always good for the soul.
and it's harder to leave each trip. gran waving to me from the front step is always a tear jerker.

love and miss you, gran.
xoxo ashleycolean


the regimen

okay, tara...you asked for it! :)
lately i've been talking about my new skin care regimen that cost me an arm and a leg and i'm still waiting for benefits...hopefully, waiting.

let me preface this with one thing i know for sure...origins products smell amazing!

from top left -the entire system

wash/modern friction exfoliater/exfoliating pads

(the exfoliater is made with rice so it isn't as harsh on your skin as say, the sand products i used to use/the pads can only be used twice/week)

balancing toner
(i put it in a spray bottle i got a target for $1 so i wouldn't waste any on a cotton ball)

brightening serum/everyday serum
(this brightening serum is supposed to solve my dark spots problem/the other is to keep environmental junk off your face)

(i love this product...a lot)

ginzing eye cream
(a day time eye cream with caffeine to take the night time puffiness out of your eyes)

bb cream/vitazing
(i'm not in love with their bbcream. i think garnier's product is better/vitazing is a tiny bit of tint plus spf for days you are running to the gym or errands. i also use it under my makeup sometimes just because i like the way it feels on my skin)

smashbox photo finish/origins foundation
(not an origins product but love it (sephora)/i went with their 'fawn' color and am pretty impressed with the coverage)

at night/apply after serums
zit cream/anti aging eye cream/night cream
(for spots/never too early to start/not in love with this night cream, the texture of it is a little weird for me so i will try a different approach on my next go around)

there you have it. the suddenly paranoid about age, 27 year old's face care system.

origins, i'll be lookin' for my kickback.
xoxo ashleycolean


a giant step

today i got a giant step closer to my goal of setting out on an out of country adventure...
my passport came today. one less excuse for the type a, cheap, paranoid, people pleaser to get out, do something, and have fun...

looking for a place to grab my first stamp.
xoxo ashleycolean


to covet

in this week's addition of 'don't you wish you were rich'

the definition of coveting:
1 : to wish for earnestly <covet an award>
2 : to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably

uh, yep.
heavy sigh.
xoxo ashleycolean



the big brother

i've talked before about "bbe" or "best boss ever" but i don't know that i've spoken much to the awesomeness of her hubby, D. i would go as far as to say that D is certainly the big brother i always wanted.

last night my "big brother" decided to "do me a favor" and take my credit card that's been causing me so much anxiety. take it! like from my wallet. he tucked it safely away in his wallet and said, "if you need something, just give me a call for the card number."

best brother ever.

xoxo ashleycolean


it's closer than you think

my cousin jb sent me this the other day. she understands that as a planner, i needed to get a head start on the list :)

i recently read this in glamour mag, but i'm so glad jb sent it to me to reiterate it! generally when i'm reading glamour it's at the pool with the sun in my eyes and a dozy nap sprinkled in, so it's easy to forget what i've read.

here's the list of things to do before you turn 30. jhc, that's only two and a half (i think typing the words instead of '2.5 years' looks longer) years away.

By 30, you should have ...

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
how about a dozen that remind me how far i've come? i bet i could find one i'd go back to. i'll always have my 'loml.'

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
excellent, but i do have to admit my mom pushed me in this direction. i was two seconds away from an ikea purchase.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
ultimately, my black silk banana republic dress would do the trick for both-with a few tweaks.

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
purse, check. suitcase-ehhh. do you really need to own an umbrella in colorado?

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
yes. other than the fact that i haven't done much traveling or much of anything spontaneous...but hey, i've got two and a half years for that.

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age -- and some money set aside to help fund it.
my anxiety attack most days starts or ends with this idea. i'm workin on it.

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account -- all of which nobody has access to but you.
people don't have these things?

9. A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded.
maybe it's my fault for never padding, but yes, i'm good here.

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
i've got a couple in each of these categories, and a couple that serve as both. this makes my heart swell with happiness, as i was just saying the other day, these kind of friends are harder to come by than you'd think.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
i don't have a cordless drill, but i've got some fella neighbors with one. that oughta get me through for a bit!

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
ridiculously expensive may be a stretch. i bought a $300 jacket-but it was on mega sale. i've been way too focused on paying off my debt to go purchasing something wild. maybe for my 30th birthday :)

13. The belief that you deserve it.
i'm workin on it.

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
oh man, i feel on top of the game. i just came up with a skin care routine and bit the bullet and spent a good chunk of money on it. ya know, eye creams, serums, frothy washes, toners, etc. i had to get a tutorial in the store. as it turns out, your skin can't always live on clean and clear.
i'm still searching for that just right exercise routine that i don't hate. i'm on the market for that perfect thing for me.

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.
i feel confident that by thirty i'll be here, which, i suppose, is half the battle.

the article also says...

By 30, you should know ...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go -- be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat -- when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30

happy reflection.
xoxo ashleycolean


splurging causes purging

this is how that balance makes me feel...
a few months ago i made the decision to get a no interest rate credit card to pick up a few items i needed. my bed, mattress, moving costs, etc. i had high hopes that what i had learned over the past almost year would be enough to keep that card in my wallet. problem: old habits die hard.

soon after i got that card i confessed that i wasn't very good about spending wisely when i knew that i was going to have fifteen months to pay it off.

i cannot tell you the intense amount of anxiety i have knowing that credit card is sitting with a seemingly impossible balance on it because of a only a couple of months of haphazard spending.

first, i should tell you that my haphazard is by no means, WILD. if we are being honest, here's a couple places i went wrong: i bought about $280 worth of lululemon workout clothes and a new skin care line which was a bit spendy, probably $350 for the whole thing. i feel like those were my only two purchases that could be considered silly or unnecessary. i didn't start picking up $200 bar tabs, go on a shopping spree, or take a trip to europe. (which is annoying because i could have probably gone on a pretty decent vacation with all the money i somehow spent without noticing...UGH).

however, the card piled up a pretty decent balance, and even after a couple months of trying to put some cash down on it, i still have a balance flirting with $2,000.


it got to TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS before the statement slapped me in the face??!? what the HELL.

so, now, i have this nearly uncontrollable urge to sell the majority of my belongings (furniture, clothes, etc) to get that damn thing paid off. i am so anxious and so irritated.

i have zero interest on that card until march of 2013, but i can't stand it. it's haunting me. i need to pay it off as soon as humanly possible.

the moral of the story...splurging causes purging. and nobody likes that.



in my continued effort

...to be more present and live life in the now...this is a good reminder.

try and live life like it's a treasure, not a chore.

happy weekend
xoxo ashleycolean


4 months into 2012

my little updates continue on my goal list for 2012:

1. pay off my student loan DONE! 

2. go on a vacation to another country-i'm actually feeling pretty good about this one! i just went to get my passport today! not smiling for the photo took three tries, but i am one step closer to some sort of international adventure!

3. do something spontaneous (i know it seems like i'm planning it)-......

4. run another marathon (or at least a half)-despite the absence of training, i am "running" a half on june 2nd

5. get back in shape (aka lose the 25 lbs i put on since my last marathon-ugh)-this turned quickly into 35 lbs before i got committed to doing it, so now...a couple weeks into my efforts, i have lost 17 lbs with 17 to go. half way feels about 1,000 times better than the starting line.

6. read 3 classic novels that are often referenced (help with these options would be great)- i got addicted to the hunger games. like, seriously, addicted. now that i am wrapping up book 3 i am preparing to tackle the grapes of wrath, which has been staring longingly at me from the bookshelf since about 2001.

7. hug at least one person everyday-as it turns out i'm not a big hugger. there really aren't that many people i am just dyin to throw my arms around. i get a few here and there, but this seems like a warped goal for me, at least at this point.

8. be more present (try and live for the day not for the future)-i'm working hard on this, and still a work in progress.

9. put at least $10,000 in savings- i haven't been spectacular in this area....i am just under $2,000 into the savings so far. i am however, dangerously close to beefing my savings back up to what it was when i started the lockdown...so that'll be a good step in the right direction. AND, in addition, i didn't buy the new anthropologie bedding i was coveting because justifying $380 (after my (recently revoked) discount) seemed irrational with a sturdy savings goal in mind this year.

10. (still under consideration)-seriously, i still don't have a goal??

as you can see there is been little progress, but little progress, is better than no progress at all.
xoxo ashleycolean