Category Archives: The Cubicle Escapee

Money Matters

So far we are 22 days into the New Year and I have made some very difficult decisions.  I told myself that this year I was going to focus on me and getting my life back into some form of order.

Note: The main point of this post is money so bear with me, I will get to the point

So far I have made a few very hard decisions and I suspect my hard decisions are far from over.

I am going to take care of health things I have been putting off like dental work and vision issues (I am practically blind and I am in serious need of better glasses)

I am going to focus on more budget friendly weekend getaways vs crazy long trips (with the exception of Ecuador)

I am going to save money and cut my debt in half.

The last thing is the most important.  I realized that the number one thing holding me back from doing what I want in life is money.  I want to travel that requires money, I want to start my own fair trade business that requires money, I want to buy a town home, again that requires money.

When I was trying to decide on what I wanted to do in 2015, I realized that yes I want to do everything, but at the same time I understood I couldn’t do everything.  That doesn’t keep me from dreaming my dream trips to Europe, South America and China.

What can I say, I like dreaming.

Anyway I digress.

The end of last year was interesting, my grandmother passed away and while my heart broke it made me realize quite a few things.

I need to get rid of the people in my life that want me to adapt and change to what they want, without any consideration of the things I want.  I am very much willing to compromise but I don’t feel it is fair to judge me because I want to travel & experience a multitude of things.  Yes I am judged.

Life really is way too short.

I really needed to sit down and evaluate my situation so I can set myself up to do the things I want and live life to the fullest so when I am 80 I can have no regrets.

Truth is I am sick of having regrets. 

So to come full circle I realized that maybe this year I wouldn’t be able to do a lot.  I needed to sit down and make a budget, I needed to make sure I was saving money and I needed to make sure I was living balanced.

I made a spreadsheet with all my bills & debts.  I put the balances of each bill along with the amount I am going to pay.  Every month I am going to set a goal, reduce my debt by a % and/or to save a certain amount.

I am proud to say I have already hit both my money goals for January. 

I have to thank my dear friend Ashley for the inspiration of this post.  She has made me realize that surrounding yourself with people who encourage you vs those who point out your flaws is important.  The daily encouragement I feel from her when I talk about my goals & ideas is one of the most amazing things I have felt in a very very long time.

Her encouragement has already made me accomplish my January goals.  It feels great.

That being said the goals I am setting in February are going to be a little more aggressive.  So that brings me to the topic of this post.

Money Matters.

Truth is when saving money and putting yourself on a spending freeze it is pretty dull. I am not really a person that likes sitting around (although regretfully that is who I became last year) it makes me antsy, irritated and just plain crabby.

So friends I am sharing some ideas with you.  If you are like me and trying to save money, here are some things you can do to make the lack of entertainment seem bearable.

So without further ado,

Things you can do instead of spending money:

1, Make a bucket list.

2. Make a “travel plan” This is one of my favorites… dream up your perfect trip put it in a notebook.

3, Organize your closet.

4. Finish those old craft projects (I have a list I am slowly working through)

5. Go to the library (you know the place that loans you things for FREE!!!)

6.  Have a Chris Evans movie marathon (nope not ashamed)

7. Binge on netflix, pick a show and just have at it! My current favs? Lost Girl, Bitten, Walking Dead & Hart of Dixie

8. Call an old friend (in my case it was my college roommate)

9. List crap you don’t want on eBay.

10. Volunteer, it is a fun way to meet people and learn new skills!

11. Walk around the neighborhood.

12.  Get rid of things you don’t want, plan a yard sale (make money while saving money! win win!)

13. Write a book

14. Start a blog (if I can do it, so can you!)

15. De-clutter (not my favorite, but I am trying to do it for my mom’s sake)

16.  take a nap (we could all use more sleep)

17. Learn to bake

18.  Go through your cabinets, use what you have vs buying more stuff

19. Write letters

20. Start a journal.

21. Make a book list you want to read and read it

Well everyone that is my list! What are some things you love to do to pass time?

Wordless Wednesday

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Book Review: Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell

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I can’t stress enough how obsessed I was  am with Veronica Mars. She is someone that I just feel is a true female role model that young girls should look up to, instead of like you know, Kim Kardashian

She is smart, cute, whitty, no-nonsense and went to law school. She uses rational thought to solve problems, she is charming… I mean she is just awesome.

I have been itching to read this since I finished book 1. That being said thank you to the publisher for approving my ARC on Netgalley.

The following review is my own. This review is going to be spoiler free, HOWEVER I am assuming you have watched the TV show. Proceed with caution if you have not watched the show as there is a major plot spoiler of the show in this review.

First let me say that I read a lot, and I have read a lot of books that the author was a writer for a TV show and quite frankly wrote a crap book.

This is not the case with Rob Thomas, every word that man writes paints the perfect picture and truly makes me feel as if I am seeing the world of Neptune through Veronica’s eyes. I could picture the scene in my head, and that is one of the signs of a fantastic author in my opinion.

Before I started the book I was debating the topic of Duncan with my friend Ashley:
What happened to Duncan?
Did Veronica ever speak to Duncan since he ran of with his baby?
Are we ever going to hear from Duncan again?

Well only one of these questions was answered. No I will not tell you which. You want to read this book, believe me marshmallows.

That being said, after reading this book, I can almost say I feel that all my questions will be answered soon, if not the next book.

The plot was well paced and quickly developed, it had a few twist and turns, but there was a slight difference in this book. Veronica figured out who was raping the girls quickly but the catch was proving it.

Does she prove it? was there a twist at the end?

Well you will have to read the book silly.

Only one new character introduced in this book, every other character in the book has appeared in the series some how prior to this book.

That being said, I think the new character has a secret. A good one (I am channeling Lilly Kane here)

I am most certainly waiting for the next book and to see where this character goes, because she was well developed and we got a back story, that you know will come back into play in the future.

I am so grateful for Thomas, for writing these books, Veronica Mars WAS my college experience. The characters are lovable, I stalked the characters at comic con… I even tried to copy Veronica Mars wardrobe.

I apologize for nothing.

I am so happy this is the first book of 2015, and it will proudly sit on my Jen’s 2015 Favorites shelf all year.

January Challenges

In an effort to really focus on having an amazing year I am going to have a monthly post on what I hope to accomplish.

Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org & I figured it was appropriate for January since the country is under ice it would appear 🙂 

In an effort of having a great year and not turn down opportunities I am going to focus on making myself feeling better and not saying no to opportunities.  The goal is to escape the cubicle after all. 🙂

However in order to not say no, I need to feel better. So health is a priority this year.

So goal #1

I am doing a 21 day detox with co-workers.   We are calling it the No Junk Food Challenge.

The rules are simple:

No Chocolate
No Candy
No Biscuits or cookies
No Cake, Donuts or muffins
No Pastries
No White Bread
No Chips
No Fast Food
No Soda
No Ice cream

We start this challenge on the 5th and it will last until the 25th

Goal #2

Switch to green tea in the mornings.

Goal #3

100 crunches a day

Goal #4

Go to the Taken 3 premier, I almost turned the tix down because it was a work night.  I decided that is a dumb reason.

Goal #5

Get $250 into my rainy day fund.  The reality about me other than my 401k I am horrible about saving money. HORRIBLE.  I am really going to make a solid effort this year at saving money.  My brother has inspired me when it comes to this, he saves money, so should I.

Goal #6

Take the 15 second hand stand challenge.

This is more of a fun thing, I am pretty out of shape.  I saw this challenge on Instagram and I thought hmm
“what fun”  the challenge is simple work to a full 15 second hand stand.

Truth: I can’t even get both legs up against the wall…. so I have a long road but I think it is going to be fun.  Want to join? take a picture or video everyday of you trying to do the handstand.   This is a full year challenge so it should be pretty interesting to see how it goes.  I am also excited to see how far along I get throughout the year.

So that about sums January up.  What are your goals?

Until Next Time

XOXO