Monday, November 21, 2011

PCN will open enrollment for parents December 10 - 23, 2011

To be eligible, you must have a dependent child under age 19 living at home.

PCN is a low cost health care plan that covers basic heath needs like Dr and Dentist visits. It has low co-pays for prescriptions.

 If you want to know more about it click here...http://health.utah.gov/pcn/faq.html.



Monday, November 14, 2011

OMG....The B Word Part 3

I have read several different books on financial stability and two of my favorites are by Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. The way I do my budget is kinds of a mix of both their ideas.The easiest way to prepare a budget is to take some time before your money comes in and plan out every thing you need. I start by making a need and a want list. I can think of a million things that I want but the hard part is realizing what I can really afford. My want list usually starts out something like this,
Clothes
Make up
A new curling iron
a new car
New couches
Shoes, Shoes and more shoes

Well, unfortunately, I can not survive off of clothes and shoes even though I when I was 20 I convinced my self I could live with out the necessities and I ended up in some crazy debt.
In reality if you don't buy the necessities first you will be trying to play catch up to pay the bills you never paid. Not paying your bills does come with consequences. You have to realize what you want in the long run. Would you rather own a house or 500 DVD's that are worth nothing in the future? Do you want collection agencies calling and harassing your all the time trying to get you to pay your bills? Making a simple budget will help you to get what you want instead of living in a life of stress. 

Your need list should start something like this. I always start out with the most important things needed for survival. To me the most important is having a place to live.
Housing (Rent or Mortgage)
Utilities (Power, Gas, Water, I don't ever want to live in a cold, dark home)
Food (We have to eat but this doesn't include going out to eat)
Telephone ( I don't own a cell phone because I can't afford one)
Transportation (Vehicle, insurance, maintenance, bus fair, bike repairs etc.)
Debt
Health care
Household
Personal Care
Entertainment

After your list make a rough estimate of how much you think you spend on each one of the categories. The categories at the top of the list should have more money allocated to them. After you place your estimates make a second column with your actual expenses. It will like something like this.

              Estimate               Actual
Rent        600                         600  
Utilities     250                         210 
Once you start figuring out how much money you spend on certain categories you will soon be dead on with your categories. At this point you can start to determine what things you can cut back on. I use the envelope system, that Dave Ramsey came up with. I write each category on an envelope and put the amount of cash budgeted in each envelope. I record every time I use money from that envelope and replace it with the receipt. I like using this method because it you physically see where the money is going and when its gone its gone.

I only use my checking account to play bills.  I keep any extra money I have in a savings account. I personally am not a fan of checking accounts because it's too easy to spend money I don't have. Plus banks are mean, they like you charge fee's for things like overdrafts. A 29 dollar overdraft fee just makes me sick to pay. That is a quarter of my grocery budget.

I found an online budget that does all the math for you and all you have to do is plug in the numbers.
Here is the link to it....
http://www.budgetworksheets.org/
I personally like to make my own work sheet, the last one I made was on cute zebra paper.  I like to turn it into a positive thing. Once you have budgeted for a couple months you will realize how much more money you feel like you have.  I encourage all of you to commit and make a budget for 3 months and you will see the difference in your life.

Happy Budgeting

Amy

Crazy Life

So... I totally feel like a jerk for not keeping up with my blog in the last month but my life has been crazy. I have been really focused on my goals lately and have not spent much time on the computer. 
I will be posting like crazy in the next few days to make up for what I have missed.


Amy :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Free or Cheap Events Coming Up In the Next Few Weeks

After one of my budget posts I got asked.....
Everything I go to costs way to much money and I never have enough money to do anything. Where are all the free events you say you go to?

So I decided to make a list of everything I would find worthy of going to for free or cheap in the next couple weeks.....

Fitness
Community
Black light Zumba Friday nights Only $1. In the Shopping Center by Big Lots.
Sage Hills Yoga......Yoga Classes for everybody and Friday morning Breath Walks. I am personally a fan these classes. They even have Yogi Tea and Refreshments. Only $3 http://www.sagehillsyoga.com/
Free Indoor Walking Track... Great for cold days. PE Building.
For SUU students...
Free Zumba and other aerobic classes in the the PE building. Ask at the Desk for times and actual classes.
Free POOL admission


Feeling Artsy?
FREE and Open to the public. Braithwaite Gallery will run its Soviet Era Art: 1917-1991 Exhibit through November 19, which includes an incredible retrospective of Russian art from the last century. On campus



Want more Knowledge?
Free Convocation: The Rewards of Curiosity Ken Jennings, Ya know Jeopardy Master.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 11:30 AM
Outdoor Education Series: Engaging the Public Through Art: Zion National Park’s Art Initiative
Free and open to students, faculty, staff and the community. Thursday, September 29, 2011 SUU Outdoor Center, 11:30 AM
Free Pizza to STUDENTS only at Pizza and Politics
Eat some Pizza and debate some Political stuff.... Wednesday Sept, 28. Entertainment Bureau.
Take your Kiddos to story time at the Public Library for FREE
6 pm- 7pm

Want to See Nature?
Take a Drive up the Canyon and See all the Fall leaves.
Cedar Breaks has all sorts of activities.
Guided walks, interpretive field trips, Junior Ranger programs and scavenger hunts.For information call 435-586-9451, 435-586-0787 or visit www.nps.gov/cebr
Hike the C trail to see the leaves changing.

 I want more feedback. Tell me if you all would like me to keep posting events? Tell me what you want me to write about. Comments Are always welcome. :)
Final Budget post coming soon.

Amy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Goal Update

I decided to take a break from budgets and give an update about how my goals are going.

Yesterday was a weird day. I went to class and when I came home I got a phone call that there was a mistake on my financial aid and I no longer qualify. I was having a heart attack, I just kept thinking how in the hell I was going to pay for my tuition, or maybe it was the time to really drop out.  I remembered that this is my goal and I am not going to give up, for some reason, I feel that I have far many more set backs the other students. I was in tears yesterday trying to decided what to do. I just kept thinking about how this is my goal and I am not going to give up on myself. I did my budget a couple days ago and knew how  much more tight money was going to be for us but I decided that I was going to sign up for a payment plan and continue going to school.

Later in the day I got another phone call, the financial aid office found me a scholarship. HOLLY COW!!!! It's from a private donation and all I have to do is write a think you letter. Not only did I write them a letter but I am want to tell them thank you on here. THANK YOU!!!  I can't believe that there were willing to help me out. I am so grateful for what they are doing for me. They will not even have a clue how much their money helps me out. This was a miracle a huge sign from god to just continue following my dreams. This makes me want to study harder and really get an A in my class.I am still in shock this morning.


Last night I started my first YOGA class. Well there is something a little funny about that too. The class was intended to be for pregnant people. I am the only one in there that is not pregnant, I was going to drop out of it but the fee is non refundable so the instructor told me she would modify it slightly for me. She told me there is a reason why I ended up in the class. The class was very soothing, we did mostly meditation and relaxation techniques. I really could tell a difference when I came home I could focus a lot better and I got all of my homework done that I was struggling with yesterday. I slept well and woke up early. Tonight I am going to another yoga class and this morning I ate only foods for nourishment and not for pleasure.

On an even more funny note...
I guess Charlie, my dog decided that he needs to be more healthy too because when we woke up this morning he ate half of a loaf of organic bread we got from the bountiful basket. All we found was the wrapper it came in. Last night he ate the peach slices right off my plate. Charlie...you are a funny, funny dog.

I want to achieve my goals more than anything. I want a healthier life. And most of all I want to no more ramen noodles.
CIAO
Amy

Friday, September 2, 2011

OMG... The B word. Part 2



PUZZLED??? 
Now I will answer why budgets are important.


I guess for you to understand why budget is important, I better tell you what a budget is. I got this definition straight from one of my text books so it may be a little scary but I will explain things to you later.
A Budget is a detailed plan for the future usually expressed in quantitative terms.

We always need to plan for the future... All of you got so excited that I was going to have a Baby, but unfortunately my budget is not large enough right now to support a baby the way I want. It's in the future we are planning on it. Quantitative terms are the amount of money we make. The amounts we plan to spend of things. The math of a budget. It's important to know what percent of money we need to spend on things.

Check out this link:
I was shocked when I realized how much more I was spending on things then I needed to be. Play around with the calculator. Budgeting is a lot easier for you to figure out how much you should be spending on things. Some things you will have to spend more on, for me I spend a lot more on utilities. It was more around 20% for me. Notice clothing you should only spend 2% and recreation you should only spend 5%.

Just because you can't spend as much on desired things doesn't mean you can't have a good time. You just have to find a low cost way of doing it. I still shop and buy clothes all the time. When I go into a clothing store I start at the back. I search all of the clearence racks first and try to pair them with a coupon. Maurice's always has good clearance and I love Wal-Mart's 3 dollar rack. Search for deals and use coupons when going out to dinner. I love COSTA VIDA'S dinner and movie special. The movie tickets can be use any time and mine didn't expire until 2013. We were spending $20 on dinner any way might as well spend 5 more and get the movie tickets. Then you have a date all ready saved up. Participate in free events on campus. There is tonz of free stuff, even for community members. Just because you find a good deal doesn't mean that you can afford it. Don't over do it and keep track of how much you spent.


I encourage all of you to start tracking all of your spending. Save receipts and watch your bank accounts. Doing so will make your budget a little more simple and we are becoming one step closer to no more ramen noodles. More to come on BUDGETS......

Thursday, September 1, 2011

OMG... The B word. Part 1

Now that I have all of you dying to know what the B word is well thanks to my favorite accounting teacher the B word doesn't mean B!&@$ or BABIES.... it means BUDGET!!!!!! I get so many questions about budgets, how to make them easy? Why are they important and why do they have to suck? I decided to write about Budgets in several different posts answering several different questions about them.



I will answer why budgets SUCK first.
They suck because my husband said so. HAHAHA, no not really. They suck because they force you to face reality. They can be complicated, and involve math. Math scares away too many people. Budgets are time consuming and confusing if you don't have a good method. Budgets tell you that you can't just go spend all your money on everything that you want. Depressing....Or so you think. Not tracking your money will actually lead you into spending more. You think you are getting the things you want but when you look at the big picture are those expensive new shoes really worth paying off for the next 30 years?


Now that I have you thinking I will post again soon about why budgets are important.
You will soon find out what they are and how they will change your life.
 






Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Deciding That It's Time to Grow Up.



 I have been sitting here all morning staring at my pink hair, ripped cropped pants and t-shirt and I decided that I need to find a more mature me. Why am I posting this on the blog is because actually "growing up" is a hard task for us young 20 somethings. My birthday is coming up in  a few months and I will be 27, holly cow. I am on the downward slope of being a twenty something.

I have learned more in my twenties then I have learned in my entire life. I have made stupid mistakes but have learned the hard way from every wrong decision. It's disappointing that I am still in college and have wasted time on not following though with my career goals. Often times I am really hard on myself because my goals have been hard to achieve. I am tired of feeling like all my hard work is not paying off. Lately I have felt sad. When I was 19 I thought I would have been really successful and owned a mansion by now.  The point I am trying to get at by all of this is that sometimes life happens and the hardest part for me is moving on.

“Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves... for growing up.”




I wish I could sit here and tell all of you how to become successful but if I did I would be lying to all of you. All I can teach you do is hang in there, that is what I am going to do. I have had a major set back education and will not be graduating in May like I thought. I really had the urge to throw in the towel and settle for what I have all ready accomplished. Instead I decided to take my consequences like a man and move forward. I have adjusted my goals to suite my new needs. I want to be the person who is happy with what I have instead of beating myself up over what I could be doing or things I have not done. 

A friend has give me some very wise advice and this is what I how I want to live my life. 
Treat Physical Illness
Balance Eating
Avoid Mood-Altering Drugs
Balance Sleep
Get Exercise
Build Mastery
This is going to be how I live my life, remember to take care of myself. I feel I will be able to achieve my new goals if I follow though on these five things. Here are my goals to go along with them...
1. Have a routine,  do not over exhaust myself, say no.
2. Eat more veggies and complex carbs, take my vitamins, drink water. (eat less ramens)
3. Be the DD instead of the one who has to be driven. Limit the amount I go out. 
4. Go to bed earlier and get up in the mornings, not take care of stressful things (like the bills) at bed time. Try to sleep on my own. 
5. Learn YOGA, ride my bike and swim. Hopefully early morning. 
5. I am going to get an A in my class. :) Make more time for my hobbies.
Most of all be happy for my best and not compare myself to others. 

I will post periodically how I am doing with my goals.  I will show you how I am growing up.  I want to know your feed back and want to know what questions you have for me. Growing up is one step closer to No more Ramen Noodles.

AMY




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MOVE OUT twenty somethings!!!!




This post is a rant....


Living with your parent or somebody who supports you when you are an adult is not cool! There are many ways to live on $8.00 per hour. Don't believe me...

Well you can... I did it for years.


5 ways to become independent.
1. Establish a budget.
2.  Apply for assistance (if you have to)
3. Save as much money as you can. Unexpected payments like a dentist visit or car repairs are coming your way. They always do. Don't say yes to every weekend outing because we are now adults and have to pay for crappy things. :(
4. Use coupons for food.  Share food with your roommates. Eat at home.
5. BE thankful you are out on your own SUPPORTING your self. Be OPTIMISTIC and happy your are a good citizen. :)

The plus side of being on your own. NOBODY is there to tell you what to do. Your choices are 100% yours. So make the best of your situation. Living though the hard times are what will make you become independent.  Independence builds wealth and one day... Our pantry will not be full of Ramen Noodles.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New POST!!!

HaHa...Like how I named my new post? Anyway, on to my topic. BUILDING MY SAVINGS

If you can't tell I have grown bored with my blog.  I feel like find a good deal and posting it to the world does not have that much substance. We all can find a good deal and go to sales at Crazy odd hours to buy things half price. But is a good deal , really a good deal?

I am not saying bargain shopping is a bad thing, in fact my office has coupons spread all over it. I love to shop and love using coupons even more. It does come to a point that it goes to far. If your house looks like the shelves of WalMart you have gone too far. People who have this problem, I like to call it hoarding, don't realize how much money they could have in the bank if they never bought any of their "coupon deals."  What people don't realize about using coupons is that you still have to pay money for the stuff you buy. Dollars that could have been put into a savings account, that add up over time.

Young people have a tendency to forget what the purpose of a savings account is. We all make up excuses of why we should not save money. For some reason all of us young people think because we make hardly any money we need to compensate for it by living lavish lifestyles. 

Take a minutes and examine how your money is spent. Do you really need 100 pairs of earring or 50 pairs of shoes. Think about how much you have spent on unnecessary items in the past month. Now think about how much it will be worth a year from now?  Video games trade in for less then 2% of what you purchased it for, Clothes end up being donated to the thrift stores, or what I call the  " The Clothing Grave Yard." Old clothes are worth all most nothing in the long run. Take time to realize how much more money you would have if you don't get somebody to cover your shift to go to that awesome concert.

So my point to this post is think about what you buy before you buy it even if it is a good deal. Ask yourself if you put the money away you were going to spend on your 100, .29 cent items how much more money would you have over in the long run? Is it really worth it?


Put your money away for a rainy day and when it really does rain see how much money you have that you thought you didn't have and you will be quite impressed. It could even save you stress over a late Student Loan Payment.

Remember, by having a savings we are one step away from Ramin Noodles.
 
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