October 28, 2010

Halloween is Successful So Far

First day of my Halloween celebration (my favorite holiday) 2010 went well!

Today, my office had a costume contest.  A LOT of employees dressed up, some in very AWESOME costumes.

Check out these AWESOME Aqua Teen Hunger Force costumes.  They went all out!  I bet they win the costume contest.  They took photos of everyone in their costumes, and are putting it up online tomorrow.  Everyone will get to vote on the best costumes, and the winner gets $200!

After work, I decided to make some delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  I must say they turned out VERY well.  The recipe came to 24 cupcakes, and I'm taking 3 to work tomorrow for 3 lucky recipients.  The rest will go to my friends at the Halloween party on Saturday.

I will keep the world updated as my Halloween weekend progresses.  Woohoo!  My favorite holiday has begun!

October 25, 2010

I Got a Free 8x10 Collage Photo Print

Walgreens had a really cool deal going on, where you can order an 8x10 collage photo print for FREE.  You could either pay 99c for shipping, or pick it up at a Walgreens.  I went to pick it up on Friday and it was awesome!  It was just pictures of me and my boyfriend, and since I already got a bunch of pictures and framed them, I decided to give it to him.

If you keep your eye out, you can find all kinds of freebies!

October 21, 2010

I love Groupon

I love Groupon!  Here is a list of Groupons I have gotten so far:
  • $5 for $10 to Lick it, Bite it, or Both (I haven’t used this yet; it’s a cupcake shop, YUM!)
  • $10 for $20 to Austin Java (haven’t used this yet either, very excited!)
  • $99 for about $350 to Bellezza Spa & Salon (haircut, hair color, blowdry, massage, $50 worth of merchandise, and spray tan)
  • $10 for $20 to How Do You Roll
  • $7 for $15 to Texadelphia
  • $25 for $75 for WineInsiders.com;  I love this one! I got 4 NICE bottles of wine shipped to my house
  • $14 for $28 to Mr. Clean Car Wash
So all in all, I have spent $170 total, and have saved $347.  Pretty nice!  Anyone else a Groupon fan?
If you don’t know about Groupon, let me be the one to refer you!  Click here: Groupon

I Got $100 for FREE!

 I just wanted to update and say that I DID get my $100 from Chase!  It wasn’t a scam (not that I thought it was, Chase would be in big trouble)!  I figured that there was a lot of small-print or something I didn’t qualify for.  But it was SO easy.  I just opened a Chase checking account with $100 and a savings with $25.  Today they deposited another $100 in my CA, so my balance is $200.  How awesome is that?  I’m still going to be loyal to Wachovia, I love their Way2Save program.

I Got 100 Free Glossy Photos

Okay so they weren’t 100% free.  I had to pay for shipping, and I got two 5″x7″s which were $.79 each.  It totalled to about $8 which is NOT bad for 100 film-quality photos.  How did I get this?  They were from Snapfish!  I don’t know if they’re still doing it, but I basically had 100 free photo credits.  I picked some from my digital camera, some from facebook, other people’s facebook photos, and now I have a TON of pictures for albums, frames, etc.  I even bought some frames since I wanted to put them up on the wall or display on my countertop.

$100 Chase Bonus

A few days ago, I received a pretty awesome deal in the mail.  It was what looked like a gift card for $100, from Chase Bank.  I am a Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) banker.  However, Chase has this deal where if you open a checking account with a coupon code, put $100 in it initally, and keep it for 6 months, they will give you $100.  Sounds pretty good to me!  Its basically free money for opening up a checking account.  There are no annual fees, nothing.  I normally wouldn’t open a new checking account, but if you’re going to pay me $100 to do it, why not?

I just did this today, and they are supposed to deposit the $100 10 days after I make the minimum deposit of $100.  When the time comes, I will update again about it.  See if it’s actually LEGIT.

If you get this “gift card” in the mail, don’t make the mistake of throwing it away!  Open up that checking account, and take advantage of the offer!  I will probably always be loyal to Wachovia, but why would I refuse a free $100?

My Secret Weapon

What is the first step to being frugal?  Making and keeping a budget.  You need to know how much money you are taking in, how much you are spending, and hopefully the first is greater than the second.  Otherwise, you are living above your means, and have a negative cashflow.  Now, I know that sounds like I’m talking to a child, but there are more people in this world who don’t seem to comprehend the concept.  Or, they simply refuse to.
How do I live within a budget?  I need help.  My favorite little “secret weapon” is Mint.com.  It tells me how much income I am making, how much I am spending in each category, and lets me create budgets for myself.  When I first started using it, I got a little depressed by how much money I was spending on frivolous things like eating out, clothes, etc.  I didn’t think about what I spending, I just spent it, as long as I had money.  Now, I know where my money is allocated and how much I am saving.  The best way to save money is to see where it’s all going.  Same idea as counting calories.  Once you actually realize how much you are spending/eating, you start to cut down.
This is one suggestion I would give to anyone and everyone for being frugal.  I even set up an account for my mom.  If she can use it, you can too!

Frugal, But NOT Cheap!

Here it goes: my first blog post.  I wanted to title this blog “Life After College,” but it was taken.  I also wanted to title it “Jesus Saves, I Use Coupons,” but I thought that might be a little offensive.  So, the best way to describe myself right now is the current name of my blog: Frugal, but NOT Cheap!
Here is the gratuitous introduction: I am a recent graduate from the University of Texas (class of May 2010), and currently employed at BuildASign.com.  I work in SEO marketing, and I love it.  BAS has been ranked as one of the best places to work in Austin several years in a row.  It’s no surprise, as the people there are awesome, it’s growing every day (in September we hired 15+ people, including little ol’ me!), and other goodies like breakfast tacos and free Thursday lunches.
But enough about my job.   On to the important shtuff.  Like what my blog is about.
I’ve been browsing “frugal” blogs, “cheap” blogs, “coupon” blogs, and all kinds of money-saving sites.  I feel like it’s hard to find any that relate to a recently post-grad, single, full-time employed young woman.  Most of the bloggers out there are SAHMs (stay-at-home-moms, for those not in “the know”), or…well that’s about it.  It’s about time a 22-year old without kiddos talked about frugality.  Because yes, it is hard to raise an entire family frugally, but it’s also hard to support oneself when all your friends want you to go out and get drinks, get dinner, go to shows, celebrate birthdays, and look cute while doing it–on top of all the other expenses that life throws at you.
I know it sounds selfish, SAHMs, but that’s what your early 20′s are about!
So, what is my main financial goal right now?  To be FRUGAL, but NOT CHEAP!  This means that I am trying to enjoy life while being smart about it.  I am trying to save as much as I can for a rainy day and pay off my debt (mostly just my student loan). However, I won’t turn down every opportunity to be social just because money is involved.  Yes, I will buy a bottle a wine and some cheese now and then.  Yes, I will see shows and concerts with my friends.  Yes, I will buy that cute dress if it is calling my name (and is a good price)!
I am going to blog about my experiences, ways that I’ve been saving money (and spending it intelligently), random product reviews like wine, movies, cheap food, and other enjoyables.  I also may follow suit and post random coupons & freebies to make readers want to read my blog!