{September Update} Confessions of New Year’s Resolutions

This post is dedicated to Audrey at Just Add Paris…hey girlie! Back in April, I posted an update to my New Year’s Resolutions. As we approach the final leg of 2012, I thought I owed Ashley an update since she asked me to write one over a month ago. So…here goes:

Start Putting Money Away for Emergencies

January 24, 2012: Since I’m being honest, I might as well go all in. Currently, my emergency fund looks like the sad little piggy pictured here. That’s right, even She Makes Cents, has to get her own finances together sometimes. I almost depleted my fund when… an emergency came up. I am so glad that I got myself into the habit of saving for the unexpected because life would have been so much harder without one.

April 4, 2012: I have started my emergency fund again and I must say it feels good. I really hope it will be a long time before I have to tap into it since there isn’t much in there and two, no one likes emergencies.

September 30, 2012: I’m still going strong putting away money into my emergency fundJ How are you doing with your emergency fund? 

Cook More, Eat Out Less

January 24, 2012: The Mr. and I love trying new restaurant spots; consequently, we have gotten in the habit of going to restaurants multiple times a week. Sometimes, I even eat out multiple times a day. While examining our finances, we both concluded that we can’t save if we are constantly spending on dinners out every night, plus tips for the servers, plus parking. Do you see how quickly it can add up? Not only are we spending too much, but also it is counteracting to my bangin’ body goal.

April 4, 2012: Well…we still eat out, but we are now more conscious of it. Using the envelope system has really helped with this one. I set aside a certain amount of money per check for non-grocery food expenses. For example, I stopped at Smoothie King this morning for a Pineapple Surf and used my “restaurant fund” to essentially…fund it. The envelope system, regarding eating out, has also forced me to really think about my motivation. Am I really hungry? Am I going to be social? Now, I need to work on the “cook more” portion of this resolution.

September 30, 2012: We are still working on it. I have actually set a new goal for myself to eat at least 10 home cooked meals a week. I might actually like cooking a little more. Did I mention that I made my first lasagna from scratch?

Bangin’ Body 2012


January 24, 2012: I think this one is a little self-explanatory. I will just let these swimsuits be my inspiration. I say show it while you got it…so I have to get mine tight. Get it right, get it tight 2012!!!

April 4 2012: I am pleased to announce that I am actually starting to see a difference in my tummy. I started jogging, stretching, and taking the dog out for longer walks. I am also trying to eat a little better, so once swimsuit season officially begins; I hope to have accomplished my goal of losing 2 to 3 inches. As of yesterday, I’m already down an inch.

September 30, 2012: I actually just started “The World’s Fastest Workout” and let me tell you it is NO JOKE! I also plan to take advantage of the FREE online classes that Keep It Moving Fitness is offering to readers of She Makes Cents. I now have a goal to be healthy first and then the bangin’ body will follow.

Reduce Impulse Shopping



September 30, 2012: I am finding that my urge to impulse shop has significantly reduced. I am happy about it and trust me, so is my wallet!

See the World

April 4 2012: So my Dad and I are getting our passports updated this week. This is very necessary since I will be celebrating the Mr.’s 30th birthday in Germany among other places. Overall, I would say that I’m not too far off of my goals for 2012. While I could be doing better in some areas, I could also be doing A LOT worse. In fact, as I accomplish my goals, I will start replacing them with new goals.

September 30, 2012: I got my passport and I am back from Germany and Czech Republic. This was both of our first international trips and we are already planning the next one. It was an AMAZING experience and now I want to see more of the world. We toured castles and beautiful Cathedrals, kissed under the fake Eiffel Tower, shopped, tried foods, celebrated the Mr.’s Dirty Thirty in style! I even found a TK Maxx over there, which was their version of TJ Maxx! Yep, I was shopping smart even 4,000 miles away.



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{Every Woman Should…} Have An Updated Passport

“You don’t have enough stamps in your passport”… (In my Jay-z voice)

 I had dinner a couple of weeks ago with a friend (hi Rashell) who mentioned that when she gets the opportunity to speak, one on one, with more seasoned women, she asks them, “if you can do it all over, what would you do differently”? I thought this was a very interesting question that could provide a great life lessons. So, when I got the opportunity to ask the same question to some women I know, I was surprised by one subject that continued to come up- TRAVEL. It made me think of a conversation with someone very close to me who told me that she never thought she would reach this point in her life and never seen the world. Her answer prompted a very simple follow up question from me, why not? Her answer – time and money. This conversation has stuck in my mind since early this year, giving me the extra push to get myself together before I’m looking back thinking shoulda, coulda, woulda, myself. I believe every woman should have a passport whether one has travel plans or not. It’s a first step that provides options to go nearly anywhere in the world and the freedom to do it when you want. Looking back, I am saddened by that particular conversation, but also blessed by the lesson learned. Life is short and while I enjoy making a list of all of the things I want to do while here on Earth, it’s more important to actually start crossing some things off! I got my passport in the mail last week. Number 12 of my bucket list is now crossed off with the plan to have a couple of stamps in it before the start of 2013. 

For more information about the passport application and renewal procedures, click here!

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{When Is The Best Time to…?} Buy International Plane Tickets

Travel- InternationalIn a post last year, I researched the best day of the week to get the best deals on plane tickets. Based on my research, I concluded that Tuesday at 3pm is the best time to buy. A few weeks ago, I tested out this theory with the Mr. as we were stalking international flights to Europe. While I know the savings rules can be a tad bit different for international flights, we still went with the tried and true paradigm that Tuesday was the best day to buy and fly. We waited and waited and researched stalked travel sites and airlines for weeks and then picked the “perfect” Tuesday to make our move with airline of choice- Delta. Perfect Tuesday came and (insert cricket sounds here) nothing. In fact, the price of the ticket went up almost $200 since the last time we checked and then consistently stayed there. So we waited a week for the next Tuesday…same price.

Did we make a mistake and miss our savings fate?

No. Like most companies, several factors influence the price of goods. The state of the economy, international relations, and my favorite…good ole competition. My Mr. called on a Wednesday to tell me that another airline was offering deals to Europe and to check it out. My first thought was oh well and my second was bye-bye frequent flyer miles. Instead of giving up, I gave myself to the end of the day to find a great deal; but being the impatient person that I can be, I hit the refresh button on the computer about ten minutes after the call. I mean, if one airline lowered their prices, others are sure to follow, right? ABSOLUTELY!
The moral of the story is that good things come to those who wait and research. If you have the luxury of time, it is worth the extra effort to comparison shop. This method helped us save money and it can help you save too. I still believe Tuesdays and Wednesday s are the cheapest days to buy international tickets, but if something is out of your budget, stop….breath…and press refresh.

If You Could Travel Anywhere in the World…

Where Would You Go?

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{Update} Confession of my New Year Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions???  That’s so January… Save more money. Eat right. Exercise more. I remember having to try at my goals again after an epic fail the first time around. I think the problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that people set either too many goals or a couple of unrealistic goals. This is why after a couple of days, resolutions seem impossible. Throughout the year, I promised to share my game plan to accomplish some of my goals and resolutions for the year- so here you go!

Check out some of my favs!

Start Putting Money Away for Emergencies

She Makes Cents

January 24, 2012: Since I’m being honest, I might as well go all in. Currently, my emergency fund looks like the sad little piggy pictured above. That’s right, even She Makes Cents, has to get her own finances together sometimes. I almost depleted my fund when… an emergency came up. I am so glad that I got myself into the habit of saving for the unexpected because life would have been so much harder without one.

April 4, 2012:  I have started my emergency fund again and I must say it feels good.  I really hope it will be a long time before I have to tap into it since there isn’t much in there and two, no one likes emergencies.

Cook More, Eat Out Less

January 24, 2012:The Mr. and I love trying new restaurant spots; consequently, we have gotten in the habit of going to restaurants multiple times a week. Sometimes, I even eat out multiple times a day. While examining our finances, we both concluded that we can’t save if we are constantly spending on dinners out every night, plus tips for the servers, plus parking. Do you see how quickly it can add up? Not only are we spending too much, but it is counteracting to my bangin’ body goal.

April 4, 2012: Well….we still eat out, but we are now more conscious of it.  Using the envelope system has really helped with this one.  I set aside a certain amount of money per check for non-grocery food expenses.  For example, I stopped at Smoothie King this morning for a Pineapple Surf and used my “restaurant fund” to essentially…fund it.  The envelope system, regarding eating out, has also forced me to really think about my motivation.  Am I really hungry?  Am I going to be social?  Now, I need to work on the “cook more” portion of this resolution.


Bangin’ Body 2012

January 24, 2012:I think this one is a little self-explanatory. I will just let these swimsuits be my inspiration. I say show it while you got it…so I have to get mine tight. Get it right, get it tight 2012!!!

April 4 2012:  I am pleased to announce that I am actually starting to see a difference in my tummy. I started jogging, stretching, and taking the dog out for longer walks.  I am also trying to eat a little better, so once swimsuit season officially begins, I hope to have accomplished my goal of losing 2 to 3 inches.  As of yesterday, I’m already down an inch.

She Makes Cents get abs

She Makes Cents


Reduce Impulse Shopping


See the World

She Makes Cents svae money
April 4 2012: So my Dad and I are getting our passports updated this week.  This is very necessary since I will be celebrating the Mr.’s 30th birthday in Germany among other places. 

Overall, I’d say that I’m not too far off of my goals for 2012.  While I could be doing better in some areas, I could also be doing A LOT worse.  In fact, as I accomplish my goals, I will start replacing them with new goals.

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Ways to Fund Your Bucket List

SMC Answers Your Email Questions:

Good Morning,

I have started to create a bucket list and I have found that actually doing a lot of things requires a lot of money. How do I fund my bucket list activities on a budget?

Congratulations on starting your bucket list or a kick ass lifestyle list, as one blogger refers to it. I think that is pretty awesome! I have found that bucket lists activities bring happiness and remind people to have fun and be open to new experiences. However, paying for these experiences can quickly add up. My bucket list is a mix of activities and experiences that could break the bank or that don’t require any money at all. First off, I would evaluate the items you have listed on your list already. Do they all include some type of financial component? If so, try adding some free activities that you always wanted to do but never made time for. I’ve always wanted to witness a birth and that’s free. Next, try signing up for flash sale sites like Groupon.com, HalfoffDepot.com, and Living Social because they are always having great deals. I’m not sure what exactly is on your list, but I can show you some of the deals I have found that correlate with my own list (btw, if anyone wants to donate to my bucket list fund, email me:)…:

080111_1716_HowtoGetFRE1.jpg

Another way you can help to fund you bucket list/kickass lifestyle list is by adding an additional category to your financial budget. Assuming you divide your income, you could start a rainy day fund by putting aside extra change into a piggy bank and cashing it in every few months, add $10-$20 here or there by reducing your Starbucks visits every now and then, or even ask for activities for gifts for your birthday, graduation, anniversaries, or special holidays. People used to laugh at me for saving pennies. I thought then and I still believe now that every penny counts and it proved true the first time I emptied my little red wagon that held about $75 in spare change. That $75 could have paid for the Smoky Mountain Adventure Package, above, which includes zip lining, rafting, river tubing (something I’ve done before and really enjoy) and horseback riding (another pastime I once enjoyed). Lastly, I would try to space out the activities. You don’t have to become a adrenaline junky overnight. Overall, remember that it is supposed to be fun and even life altering.. don’t get caught up in the finances.

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Bucket List Update

Good Morning,

Today, I will be working toward crossing off TWO long-term goals on my bucket list. Therefore, I may be unable to post today. I wish you all a Happy Thursday full of savings and deals. Updates to follow…

Danielle Boler, She Makes Cents

Bucket List

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of a Bucket List even before Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman became on-screen friends in their 2007 film.  I’ve done some pretty awesome things in my quarter century here on this earth and I thought that I would document some of my experiences.  Creating and maintaining this blog, for example, is on my list.  It’s something that takes discipline and allows me to use my major outside of an academic setting….but overall, it’s FREE!  While most of the bullets on my Bucket List are expensive to experience, some are not.  In fact, some of the listings actually require me to make financial decisions that will lead me to a debt free future.  Below is only a small portion of my Bucket List. 

FINANCIAL GOALS

  • Pay Student Loans Off Before I Get Married
  • Eliminate Credit Card Debt
  • Replenish My Emergency Fund 6 or More Months

 COMPLETED/IN PROGRESS GOALS

Bucket List

 THINGS LEFT TO ACCOMPLISH IN 2011

  • Get Into an Awesome Masters Program (Johns Hopkins, Emory, Ga State, Vandy)
  • Become a member of the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders
  • Complete the Peachtree Road Race
  • Raise money for a worthy cause (The American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity, ASPCA)
  • Sky Dive
  • Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  • Learn to Dive Into Water

 THINGS TO ACCOMPLISH…WHENEVER THEY HAPPEN

  • Go Surfing in Fiji
  • Zip Line
  • Witness a Birth
  • To be nicer to Aaron Sneed …lol

Stay tuned to see how I plan to fund some of these things on a tight budget.   

What’s on YOUR Bucket List?  How do you plan on funding your Bucket List experiences? Please share in the comment section!