Mermade Moments: August 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back On A Budget - Barista Style

Back when I had my office job, I blogged every day. If you were reading me back then (or hung around through my hiatus), you probably remember my posts about trying to save $10,000. I was gearing up to move and wanted a legit savings. I ended up with about $7,000 and that's the most money I had ever had. I was making $14.25 an hour and commuting, so I never had time to spend the money I was earning. I saved that much money in less than 6 months.

Current status? I moved out on my own, to the beach, and work as a barista, not making $14.25 an hour. Throw in first time expenses, a Caribbean vacation and the real world. My savings is dwindling and I'm panicking. (surprise) I've decided to get back on a budget. I'm going to share what worked for me in the past and what things I plan on doing differently. Maybe you need to budget too! We can help each other out :)

My Barista Budget Plan:

  • live off tips - I have a little notebook I've been using to keep track of the tips I'm making
  • don't swipe my ATM card - use cash, cash, cash
  • cut down on eating out - keep a stocked fridge
  • no more online shopping - I was doing so good before. oops. 
  • delete shopping emails before I open them - this worked before! 
  • work extra hard on Linqia campaigns for extra money 
  • sell unwanted clothes/purses - I did this before I moved and made some extra money 
  • stay active with Etsy - try to get more consistent purchases
Here are a couple of links to old posts I wrote about budgeting.

  • printable budget sheet/spending tracker, click here
  • unsubscribe to unwanted emails, click here

My goal is to save about $500 a month, which is essentially one whole paycheck. I get paid twice a month. We'll see how this goes! Updates to follow! 

If you would like to take a look at my Etsy, click here

Do you have any budget tips I should try? Let me know!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Living Big And Bold With Chili's At Home

I have a confession you guys. Going to dinner at Chili's used to be my jam. Birthday dinners. Celebration dinners. Family outings. You name it. I loved the menu options. Monterey chicken, anyone?

Fast forward some years and here I on my own, on a budget, with no Chili's in sight. That has all changed. Chili's At Home.YES. You can enjoy Chili's delish meals in the comfort of your own home. For a great price. Located conveniently in the frozen aisles of your local grocery store.

I found these meals in Walmart and Safeway. Walmart only had the family sized packs in one flavor.
I was hoping to find the single servings, so I can eat them when I get home from work and don't feel like cooking. Safeway had a bunch of options and they were on sale! 2 for $6. Woot woot!

I chose the Bacon Mac N Cheese. Of course. Noodles, chunks of bacon, cheese sauce AND shredded cheese, topped with Poblano peppers. I really liked it! The cheese sauce was good. (Cheese sauce freaks me out sometimes.) I thought the peppers were a nice touch. Definitely added a twist of bold flavor. The only complaint I have is that I had to wait 6 minutes to eat it. Don't microwave minutes last soooo much longer than normal minutes?

This meal even got the thumbs up from my mom. That's definitely saying something. She said it tastes like something you would order from the restaurant and I agree.

I would recommend the Chili's At Home meals for lots of things like: lunches, easy dinners, or even an inexpensive date night!

Check out all the other options here and get a coupon to try your own! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Life Lessons From A Donut

Donut. Doughnut. I spell it both ways.

Interesting title right? Stay with me on this one, guys.

I was eating a pretty little sprinkle donut the other morning on my way to work. I was thinking that I always consider donuts a special occasion treat. Birthdays, celebrations, surprises for your coworkers.

Seriously. Fried deliciousness, covered in chocolate and showered in sprinkles shouldn't be consumed on normal days, right? Wrong! Everyday should be a special occasion.

I know this is sort of weird. Let's just say I'm easy to please and the donut put things in perspective. I was lucky enough to be driving my own car, on my way to a job that I love, driving along the coast, eating a treat for breakfast on a Monday! Just a regular day.

Hearing about all the tragedies going on in the news and even closer to home really puts things into perspective. Make everyday a special occasion. Celebrate life. Celebrate yourself. Celebrate donuts with sprinkles on a Monday.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dorm Room Essentials with Kleenex + Walmart

Sorry to break it to you guys, but school is RIGHT around the corner.

I've partnered with Walmart and Kleenex to bring you 10 dorm room essentials!

So, you have :
  • bath caddy
  • dry erase board + cork section
  • plastic storage drawers
  • mini fridge
  • mini K Cup
  • microwave
  • desk lamp
  • mini vacuum
  • under the bed storage bags 

 I know it's summer and you probably don't want to count, buuuut that was only 9 essentials. The 10th might come as a surprise...KLEENEX.

Look how cute these Kleenex Expression Oval Facial Tissue boxes are. In chevron print!!! You can only get them at your local Walmart Supercenter for a limited time, so stock up! I mean, who's going to bring you a tissues when you're sick and in bed?? Your dorm mate? Probably not. ;) 

This post is sponsored by Kleenex and Walmart, but my love for all their dorm room essentials is for real!