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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Debt Girl Gets a Dog…

You know how I’ve gotten into a lot of my debt? Impulse.

It was impulse to move to quit my job and move from hum-drum, low cost of living Midwest to California, it was impulse that made me get my tattoo and nose ring, and it was impulse that now has me saddled with a 6 week old side kick.

Remember when I said the Hubs and I were having puppy fever? Yeah, it didn’t go away after that post. As a matter of fact, over the next few days it ramped up. It’s spring, which means everyone has come out with his or her dogs. It’s like dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit, folks.

After being discouraged by rescues because we live in an apartment (um, it’s L.A. What young professional doesn’t live in an apartment??), I took to Craigslist to see if there were any ‘apartment friendly’ breeds that needed a good home.

You know, just to look.

Kinda the same way ‘window shopping’ goes for those with debt issues.

Google told me Boxers make great apartment pets and are good with cats, so I found a couple of breeders online who were giving pups up for adoption. On impulse, I sent the links to Hubs, who instantly fell in love with them. We made an appointment to see them in two days.

For me, Debt Girl the Impulse Queen, that wasn’t soon enough. So! I found a breeder who told us we could come glance at the pups that very night.

Awesome.

We went, saw this cute little scrunch faced thing and decided on the whim to get her. Peeps, our apartment was not puppy proof, there were no supplies on hand, and we don’t have a clue on how to raise a puppy.

As soon as we drove off, I began to panic. What did we do? How were we going to take care of this precious thing? And after I found out 6 weeks was too young to be rehomed, we both felt incredibly guilty. Why had the breeder let us take her???

That was on a Thursday night. I called in sick on Friday and stayed home with the pup so we could get acquainted. I’ve been in a state of panic ever since.

Hubs tells me that we’ll be fine and my dog owning friends echo that sentiment. It’s not helping though. I’m still in “Oh shit!” mode

Oh, and the financials for my little impulse excursion?

 

Adoption fee: $500

Supplies:  $241.31

 Total: $741.31

 

That’s not to mention shots, spaying, and a new crate once she grows.

Will I ever learn??

Here’s a couple of pics of the new addition:

keke3 keke2 KeKe1

Debt Girl Has Been Hit…By a Car…

I was driving into work today and was rear ended by someone not paying attention to me. So while I had a post all ready and geared up to write, my body is now extremely sore and even typing this sentence is killing me.

Therefore, I’m going to pop a muscle relaxant and go to bed. But fear not, fellow DGnians! I’ll be back in a couple of days. 🙂

 

 

 

I want a dog. And a new car.

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I’ve been having urges. (No, not those types of urges.) Urges to spend. On a few things I totally don’t need right now…

Like a dog. We have two cats already and live in an 1,000 sq 1 bedroom apartment. As a matter of fact, both of our cats are ‘fugitives’ because the landlord didn’t really want us to have pets. Even though our lease said we could have one with a pet deposit, we just decided not to mention it unless one of the critters damaged something (then it’s only right to pay for the damages). But both the Husband and I are definitely feeling the urge to get a doggy. We’re BIG animal lovers (I recently cried in Petsmart because a dog up for adoption looked sad). But everyone is advising us against it. In LA, it’s super, super hard to find apartments that accept pets, and VERY hard to find apartments that will accept three pets. My friends are all over me: What if the landlord found out? What if you got evicted? What if the dog gets sick? Don’t you know how expensive dogs are? Don’t you know dogs can’t live in apartments?? THEY NEED A YARD!!!!!

Oh come on! Tell me that’s not awesome!

Good grief.

The problem is I don’t think they’re right. I grew up with dogs, and outside of boarding them when we were away, they were never too expensive. And if we got a small-medium dog, he could totally live in the apartment. We’d walk him twice a day and Hubs could possibly come home from work to check on him.

But the doggy urge is NOTHING compared to the “want to trade in my car for another used one that’s more gas efficient” one. Folks, I’ve got the itch BAD.

I currently drive a 2005 Ford Taurus. It’s in relatively good condition, only has 73,000 miles on it. And it’s paid for. It’s the frugal superhero’s dream. The problem? I spend about 15 hours a week in the car and about over $300 a month in gas. While the car is in good condition, I fantasize about having a car with better mileage.

Ok, I’ll admit it: I want the shiny new features that some of the newer models come with: Sirius radio, sun roof, GPS. I’ve been salivating over crossover SUVs for about a year now!

Come to Mama!

Come to Mama!

Again, everyone is telling me not to do it. My car runs fine and is PAID OFF. Better not to mess with the Universe on this, they say.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I know they’re right on both things. But a want is a want.

What do you guys think? Am I wrong to want to upgrade my car and have my new doggy addition cruise around town with me?

March Budget Recap

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Recap:

Okay, March was a rough month. I technically got paid three times this month, which was something I totally forgot about and didn’t plan for. The month flew by and we made a lot of decisions that affected our spending.

Here we go:

march recap 1

march recap 2

Where things went right:  Pet food, Gas, Utilities, House Stuff, Cell Phones.

The easiest categories to stay under budget for are of course the fixed expenses. We’re pretty frugal with the basics (don’t use a lot of energy; cats don’t eat gourmet cat food, etc.). And gas is always the same amount every month unless we take a road trip. These types of expenses happen once or twice a month.

Where things went wrong:  Food, Clothes, Personal Care, Entertainment, Fun Money, Side Hustle, Misc., Parking, Fees.

Boy, oh boy. Our biggest area that needs improvement is Entertainment. That’s what living in the big city does to you, folks. When you live up the street from authentic Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Korean AND Soul food, good decision-making seems to get thrown out of the window! What can I say? Eel sushi rolls are my Kryptonite!

Another big expense was our grocery budget. The jury’s still out on this one because $160 a month for 2 people might be too low. I do think we need to plan our meals more instead of buying as needed. And we could totally utilize the crock pot more.

Fun money is supposed to be $100 a month. This is something we can do better in. Even though we love going out with friends, eating out at lunch and drinking beer on the weekends, all of this stuff is not important. If we want to get out of debt in a reasonable time frame, we MUST say NO to some extracurricular activities. And the great thing about living in LA is the weather, which allows us the opportunity to get outside for fun. A trip to the beach or a hike in the mountains is free!

If Wonder Woman can wear heels and save the day, so can I!!

Clothes- Totally unexpected expense. After noticing that my superhero costume was a little snug, I decided it was time to stop looking like a bum and get myself some new threads. As much as I hate to admit it, folks tend to judge you by your appearance. And my jeans were starting to develop holes that couldn’t be fixed, PLUS most of my shirts didn’t fit anymore. So even though the expense was unexpected, it was definitely worth it.

If Wonder Woman can wear heels and save the day, so can I!!

Side hustle– Like most 20 something year old Wonder Women, I’ve got a side hustle. I am a freelance writer and am starting to do a bit of consulting. The Hubs and I decided that if I was going to be serious about my biz, I would need to upgrade a few things. We got a new printer (the one we had been four years old and stuttered when we printed something), a new desk (so that I wasn’t typing in my lap) and got a domain name. I think it was worth the investment, but it wasn’t planned. Going forward, I’m going to keep add “Side Hustle” in our monthly budget.

Misc– I joined Weight Watchers this month (have lost four pounds!), checked my credit score (was $30 bucks for all three agencies) and had to get my maid of honor a gift. All of these things were not planned.

Debt repayment!! I really wanted to put at least $500 on my credit card, but it didn’t happen thanks to our spending.

So what now, Debt Girl???

As we say in my mama’s house, KEEP ON KEEPIN ON! I haven’t done a line by line budget in a long time, so it was good to confirm what our biggest money pits are. And I really do have high hopes for the month of April for adding some additional moo-lah on my credit card…

tbc