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November 19, 2013

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You may have noticed the blog silence over here for the last month or so, and that is because I finally repurchased my domain name and self-hosting capabilities! There are some things I want to do that will only manifest itself if I have the creative and technical freedom to post/design as I wish. With that in mind, I felt it in my spirit to be the right time to have my own online space.

Please (re)join me over at Chinyeloves.com. You can also subscribe to Chinyeloves.com here. 

Please, please, please update your blogroll and links page with my new blog home and name.

Hope you are doing well and that you will join me over at my new home.

Recently I’ve:

Given a re-introduction to Chinye Loves

Shared How I Create My Budget and Why It’s Important to Me

Expounded Upon Why I Even Care About Personal Finance

Debuted A New Friday Series, entitled: “Postcard From…”

Thank you all so much and I look forward to connecting with you over at my permanent home!

<3 Chinye

 

When To Buy Plane Tickets

October 8, 2013

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Undoubtedly, one of the biggest travel expense is the ever necessary plane ticket. After years of flying domestically and internationally, I’ve found the closely kept bit of knowledge to be true. The New York times has its own recommendations on specific times prior to travel, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist recommend the “8-week rule” and I personally like to look 6-8 weeks before travel. Now, I also make it a habit to browse tickets months in advance to get a general range of where prices fall. I’ll keep a mental note of maximums and minimums. FareandCompare also gets it right every single time. The best time to purchase tickets is between 2pm-3pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Companies will usually run their sales between Tuesday and Thursday. Don’t ever purchase a ticket on the weekend. It’ll just be more than you should be paying.

Also, if you’re searching for prices on a MAC, you’re getting the short end of the stick. I’ve tested this theory out multiple times. PC’s simply show better prices. Fair, mostly likely not, but that’s just the name of the internet-is-watching-and-knows-everything-I’m-doing-and-what-I-have-game.

Ciao.

October 2013 Financial Goals

October 4, 2013

I am so grateful that the weather has finally decided to cool down. I also think I am one of the very few people who look forward to payday because it means I get to pay my bills and put my budget/plan to work. Now that I’m back to budgeting on a monthly basis, it is reassuring to know exactly how I am going to use my paycheck, and that I actually gave it thought and consideration. I think financial maintenance is all about knowing your current status (knowing exactly how much you take home, knowing your spending habits, knowing what your goals are- if they exist, and knowing what your commitments are, etc.). Self awareness really is so important when keeping a grip on your financial obligations. For this month, my budget may look a little different from it did in the past, and that is because I added new line items and am beginning to pay back student loans. I highlighted my debt in light blue. In the next month or two, I’ll begin to save for two major trips I’m taking next year. One, is a EuroTrip that I will hopefully go on with my sisters, the other is for a bachelorette Weekend in L.A. I’ve never been to the West Coast (shame, I know), so I’ll be looking to fly that way a little before the festivities start to explore on my own.

Other than that, here is my October Financial Budget:

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Notes:

  • Dental Costs- I’m getting braces! I decided to just go for it. My initial down payment will be $600, then I will contribute $125 a month throughout the course of treatment.
  • Cell Phone- seriously, I pay wayyy too much for a cell phone. Must do something about it. I’m thinking of going the prepaid route. Has anyone ever used a prepaid plan?
  • Transportation- Minimal allocation for transportation because I typically bike to work and around the city!
  • Groceries- You may look at the $35 and say “How??”. I am in an Eat My Kitchen challenge. Essentially, I am going to shop my cabinets (I have so much dried bulk food…rice, beans, peas, etc). I’ll only go to the farmers market to get veggies.

October Goals:

  • $50 into Emergency Fund- I typically allocate much more, but this month I am getting braces so I decided to save less.
  • Secure one wholesale contract for my venture, Uriomma Delicately Smooth
  • Work out 4-5x/week.
  • Keep credit card utilization at 10-15%- Getting the right amount of “balance” to show on my credit card statement has been a game for the last few months. I think I finally got it. I’ll report on it once I receive my September card statement.
  • Make weekly food plan. I eat based on what I’m feeling at the moment, but having an outline will help me stay on target when deciding what I want to eat. Using a meal plan when shopping means I can only choose from what I have available rather than going to the store for ingredients for a certain craving.
  • Buy Plane Ticket for Thanksgiving 
  • Read one book for fun

Ongoing 2013 Annual Goals:

  • No buying lunch, snacks or coffee during the work week
  • No buying clothing, shoes or accessories for the remainder of the year. This includes thrift stores as well!
  • Try to make a difference in the life of one person. A significant difference

Fall Bucket List

October 2, 2013
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October is my favorite month of the year. The weather has cooled down, football season is in full swing, and I’m filled with anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, a time of good food and a reunion with family and friends. The length of the fall season tends to vary year to year, and as such I like to try my best to fit in all of my goals for the season! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, but has summer gone a little too quickly? I’m all about the cooler temperatures and crisp mornings, but with this also will come the dreaded day lights savings switch. I’m not ready to start waking up in darkness. Not yet. Even though Fall is in full swing, Chicago seems to think of this time as summer. Temperatures have steadily remained in the 80s, and I only wish there would be a little more chill in the air.

I really do love October. While I’m waiting for it to feel like fall here, with crisp chilling mornings and bold blue-sky afternoons, I appreciate the weather for what it is. We’re in the final Quarter of the year, and there are a lot of productive things I want to accomplish this month, plus a bunch of fun (and mostly free!) things that will simply make me happy to do.

While my October financial goals are forthcoming in a separate post, I thought it would be fun to highlight my Fun Fall Bucket List:

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Are you doing anything fun this season?

Any seasonal goals you would add to that fall bucket list?

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