Well....... It's Cheap Time!

Written on Thursday, June 26, 2008 by Deeze

For the first time, I'm really starting to feel the economic crunch for the simple things in life. Normally, I don't let economics guide too many decisions as far as life style. Due to transportation and food costs, I'm unfortunately going to have to make some changes since I don't want to pick up another side gig to make up for the difference. In the past, I would pick up an extra class, or side gig to make up for new expenses or rising costs. At that rate, I'll have 10 jobs and be dead by 34.

For the first time since I've was laid off in 03, I'm going to have to make a tight budget for myself. I hate being cheap!

New cost cutting measures:

Buying the Sunday paper 2 times a month to get the coupons.

I can't afford to buy gas anymore but once a month. When living in Atlanta between 2001 and 2005, my gas expenses was $60-80 monthly driving approximately 1000-1200 per month. Now, my gas expenditures are about $240 monthly and I actually drive less, approximately 700-800 miles a month. The funny thing is my salary hasn't increased by 400% but my expenses has! My salary has only increased by approximately 35% instead of 400%. I can't totally offset the cost of gas but I can make some changes to help offset costs.

Searching for a new Barbershop:

I'm looking Downtown, South Loop, or West Loop area that doesn't cost much more than 3-5 my South Side Barbershop's rate. I've been going there since 1999 so I really hate to change.

Take the train to work, gym, barbershop, dinner, etc.

Riding my bike to the gym on good weather days. My gym isn't very far from me, but those 5 miles add up if I'm going 4 times a week. Also go only on heavy weight-lifting days, and go on core/cardio days in my building since I have a nice one there. That should save about 80 miles per month.

Now that I no longer work walking distance from my place, I drive to work, which is about 300 miles a month, plus about 20 more if I go out and buy lunch instead of packing. To take the train is about $60-80 per month which is the price of a tank of gas for me.

Taking the train should cut my traveling expenses by 40%. Cabs are also going to have to be cut out the budget because they've added a $2 surcharge for each ride. I usually only use them for going out on the weekend, but I'm cutting back on that too.

Food Expenses

Packing lunch daily, Coupons, Super-Walmart, and Ultra foods are the keys to cutting back. I used to go to Whole Foods about 3-5 times a week, but now I only go once. I go for their fruit, and bottled water for the gym. I'm still going for fruit, I'm going to buy water a gallon at a time, especially since Chicago imposed a bottled water tax. I'll buy it at Super-Walmart. Also, I'll get a liter water bottle to start taking to the gym to get out of the buying a liter of .99 water at Whole Foods habit (and an Odwalla smoothie when I'm feeling sluggish for $3.39 which went up $.40 in the last month). I hate cooking but I'm going to have to start eating my horrible cooking or bbq everyday :) . I love to go out to eat, but instead of once or more a week, I'm going to have to do it a few times per month, and make one of them 'cheap eats'.


I'm already cheap with utilities so that won't be a problem. I keep the house dark, and don't watch much TV..... maybe I should use my ipod around the house instead of the stereo and use my laptop on battery power and charge it when I get to work....... Ok, that's a little to far... just kidding.

I'm going to try all this stuff for the rest of the summer in hopes of saving about $300-500 per month. Considering the gas and food prices, that shouldn't be too hard.

Life Reloaded: Changes I've Been Going Through

Written on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 by Deeze

We're half way through 2008 already.... sure doesn't seem like it.

It's amazing how many things change and how quickly things can happen in life. One minute things are one way, the next, life is completely different. One thing I've learned about life is it's not what happens, it's how we respond to it.

My Dad Passed

On February 10th of this year, my dad left me to go be with the Lord. My dad was sick for a while so I knew it was coming, but it still doesn't make it any better, I just handled it better publicly. People were amazed that I didn't cry during the funeral, and I got up and spoke. I did all my crying the night before when I wrote the obituary, and the times when he was sick. Plus my dad wouldn't have wanted me to go crazy, and jump in the casket, etc. I will say this was the pinnacle of a miserable winter for me.

I've Met Someone VERY Special

Just when all hope was lost....
Doll, you're the last hope for the Sistas ;)
I originally wrote more here, but I'll save it for another post.

New Job

I have upgraded places of employment. I was actually skeptical at first because I was content (not happy, not unhappy) where I was. The fact that I'm making a significant amount more, and have a much larger potential bonus, definitely helped. The main reason for the move is because it's a smaller company, and I'm closer to the top of the Org chart. I can literally see every decision I make has an effect. Plus in my new role, I'm learning how to run and oversee several sides of the business. The other thing that sold me is the open, flexible environment. No cubes or dress code. Each week, I realize that it was a great move for me. I do miss a few of my co-workers but fortunately we still hang out from time to time and have a ball.

New Place

At the first of the month, I moved into a new place. I began to HATE the place I used to live (Shot out to "Presidential PROJECTS"). I strongly considered buying a condo this time around, but I decided to wait for a little while longer so I can get exactly what I want. What I want is less affordable, so I don't want to bite off more than I can handle financially. I will wait for what I really want.

Last month I was VERY stressed out because I couldn't find anywhere to live that I wanted (I'm pretty picky when it comes to where I stay). I gave my notice so I had to move out by 6/1 but as of 5/15 I didn't have anywhere to go, and I strongly considered moving back home until I thought about my commute to work, and moving twice. If it was winter time, I probably would have. However, things worked out; After looking at about 10 places and inquiring about 25, I found the perfect place with no move-in fees and brand new. In fact, I'm the 5th resident in a 35 story high-rise. I hated my other place, now I enjoy coming home. The best news is I'm saving a little money in the new place, and it's 10x better than the last.

Back to school - Change Majors

I've been on hiatus from school for the last year. I've decided to go ahead and finish because I hate leaving things undone. With my last job, I discovered that I really don't want to be a technical professional. My natural gifts are more towards managing projects and getting things organized. Also since I'm a teacher and that's something I'm pretty sure I'm going to do for the rest of my life, I'm going to get into Instructional Design. It's technical, but it is an educational role that uses technology. If you have no idea what that is, click here.

Writer's Block - Slowly Returning

Written on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by Deeze

I have a bad case of writer's block right now....

I have been trying to post a blog for the past several weeks, but I can't seem to get it going. Several has already been started, but I'm not happy with any of them yet.

I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon.........

Don't Call It A Comeback.........

Written on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 by Deeze

Welcome to my new readers, as well as my veteran blogger and myspace readers.

This is my new blog home. I've decided to shut down the myspace and the other blogger page and just create one combined page.

During, this blog, I'll discuss dating/relationships, social events, friends/family,spirituality, politics, odd news, and some of the lies that society tries to make us believe though the media. Get ready, because we will be experiencing major turbulence. Have fun reading.

Upcoming blogs:

  • Life Reloaded - Changes I've Gone Through
  • My Wedding Weekend: Black People Do This...... White People Do That....
  • Day Dreamin' and I'm Thinkin' Cheese
  • What's With The Ice Grill / Stop Hatin' On Doll!