Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Free Furniture

I have a cute place. (I think, at least.) And, it is mostly furnished with free or cheap furniture. Much of this furniture is temporary and just waiting for an upgrade--but definitely serves its purpose for now. Examples:

This is a dresser that I got from some people I used to babysit for. I think it is beautiful. It's nice because it has a mirror and drawer space.

This is one of my best side-of-the-road finds. It is an Ikea shelf. I found it a block from my house on the day after Halloween last year. Everyone who sees it says that they want one, but can't afford it. All it cost me was some dragging for a block and some super glue to repair one of the shelves.

This is two of the three parts of my vintage sectional couch. I got it for free off of Craigslist. I love it, except for the fact that it is old and worn out. But it folds down and lines up with the other section to make a bed, which is rad. I'm seriously thinking of reupholstering it once I have the money saved. But, I also have a cat, so that might be counterproductive.

These two shelves both came from different sources. The one on top was one of two that I found on the side of the road and hauled home. The one on bottom came from my old work. This is one of my least favorite set-ups for my place--I can't wait to replace this with a vintage credenza to hold all my media needs. But, some things have to wait.

One of the two matching ones from the side of the road.

This used to be a barstool, but now I have no need for a barstool, so it is a plant stand. It's kind of ugly, but I think paint might make it nicer someday.

Second plant stand. Modems are hiding in the bottom. I hate visible modems.

Coming soon: Cheap furniture post. I think my most expensive piece cost $125. And that's the one I like the least.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Best Buy's Price Matching

The other day I was buying a DVD player at Best Buy. This was, of course, after I had compared prices at Target. I wanted a reputable brand, as my last two DVD players have died on me because they were cheap.

All over the store, there were signs about price matching. Best Buy swore up and down that they would match the price of any other store.

Before hopping into line with my $41 Sony DVD player, I googled the model number on Google shopping. Sure enough, I found the same DVD player on Amazon for around $39.

When girl started ringing me up, I showed her my evidence of a lower price elsewhere, and she matched that price. This saved me three dollars, which is equivalent to a cup of chai with rice milk, 1.5 avocados, or a pair of cheap socks.

I was happy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yelping My Money Back

I went to the dentist yesterday.

Boy, do I like my new dentist. I can't remember if I talked about it before, but I wasn't happy with my old one. I didn't realize HOW unhappy I was with my old one until yesterday when I had an incredibly pleasant cleaning done.

How did I celebrate this pleasant cleaning? Why, by writing a semi-unfavorable review about my old dentist on Yelp, of course!

For those who are interested...

In short, I recently felt one of the fillings that the old dentist had done shift around as I was flossing. At my dental visit yesterday, my new dentist told me that I would need to have it replaced. This is after it being done less than a year ago!

Happily, my old dental office read my Yelp review this morning and offered to refund me the money for that filling. This is so nice. That filling was expensive, as I had to pay for it out of pocket. Hopefully the repair will be covered by insurance, so the refund will more than cover the work that needs to be done. It will also help pay for the time I will have lost having to have that tooth worked on twice. Dental appointments in general are kind of a time suck for me.

Basically, when in doubt, ask. Oh wait, I didn't ask. When in doubt, write a bad Yelp review. It might just pay off. Thank god it did for me.

**Photo courtesy of the flickr of shakespearesmonkey

Monday, September 14, 2009

Finances and the Single Girl

It is a known fact that I do not really like being single. It gets lonely and I don't get to have sex nearly as often as I'd like. But that's beside the point. This is a finance blog. Here are the ups and downs of my wild bachelorette lifestyle.

Let's start with the good...

I'm only responsible for myself. I don't have some trashy boyfriend pissing away my savings or an annoying husband trying to share one of my three retirement accounts. I don't have to worry about taking care of someone if they get sick or hurt, or bailing someone out of debt. Just me. And Darby, but he's easy.

I have more time to work.Because I have no one to report home to, I am able to spend these years of my life working two jobs to save a little extra. I enjoy both of my jobs, so I don't see it as a time loss at all. Sometimes I wonder what will happen when I am married and have kids and don't have time to babysit. Will I miss that money? Yes.

I always have leftovers.With only one person to feed, I always have enough dinner left over for the next day's lunch, sometimes even for two meals.

I am able to focus on my own financial goals.Of course I will still have financial goals when I am no longer single (if that ever happens), but now is a great time to be able to focus that much more. I feel like I can be more efficient at this point without the distraction of a really hot boyfriend (I mean, um, normal looking partner.)

The Bad...

My mortgage is really expensive.Sometimes I think of how nice life would be if I only had to pay half a mortgage. Or all my married coworkers who are buying big houses together. If I were half of a couple-y unit, I too could have a bigger space and a cheaper mortgage. I also would require less social interactions, so maybe I could save even more by moving out of the city a little bit. Of course I am thankful for what I have, and wouldn't trade it for a freeloading boyfriend at this point, but sometimes i get a little jealous of the people who only pay half of what I am paying for housing.

Less total income.If I were part of a couple, we would be making more money total (hopefully) and spending less on bills (for example, I would only have to pay half an internet bill, half an electric bill, etc.) Now, I'm sure me and my super-hot man friend could find a way to spend this money that we were saving, like for example on cable so we could sit around and grow fat together. But generally having that much more money would be nice.

Security.If I lost my job, I would have someone to help me out. Not that I don't already. It just might be easier to ask my hot boyfriend for help for a little bit than asking my family and friends.

In general, I am quite happy with my situation. Many people in my position might feel like they couldn't do some of the things that I have done financially. But I have, and on the income of a preschool teacher/social worker. Not bad. Financially, I don't really feel all that deprived at all. Now it's time to work on the loneliness and lack of sex part.