Hello, April

 

 

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Another month I go over my budget… surprise, surprise!

I love Mint.com, it helps me stay grounded, but if I go over my personal budget even when I track it regularly, how do people live without a budget?! Oh yes, they must be rich.

I can be very good one week, bring my home cooked meal to work, deprive myself of shopping and only do happy hour specials… but then there’s one day that I feel like I can rule the world and I decide instant gratification is the way to go, so I indulge in tasty meals over $8 and splurge in this cute summer dress I can’t even wear because hey, it’s still winter. March didn’t get the memo, I hope April does.

So yeah, today I say hello to a new month, with a blank economic canvas waiting to be filled with overpriced purchases of everyday necessities… life in New York City.

Here’s to April, may it finally bring Spring to us!

 

* photo and image edit by Cristina Nogueras

5 Things I did NOT learn in college

It’s been a year and a half since I graduated college. Let me tell you, it was not the easiest of transitions. Doing the whole grown-up thing is not easy and every month when I have to pay my student loans I can’t help but think of all the things I did NOT learn in college. Sure, I got an awesome education, but sometimes it’s about the little things. I can keep a list going on forever, but here are a few of the things I did not learn in college.

1. Who to CC in an email – Carbon copying in an email is a hidden art (Yes, Carbon Copy is what CC stands for). It takes real skill to get it just right. When used properly, CC can become the sweetest form of passive aggressiveness you can use.

2. How to do my taxes – Seriously, I need to give away more money… why? Thank God for TurboTax. I would not have survived my first taxing season without it and would have probably ended up in jail.

3. How to manage people’s expectation of hanging out every single day – “I’m sorry, I can’t do happy hour every single day and no, I can’t hang out every single week with you either. I have other friends and honestly, we are not that close anyways.” It’s hard to stay in touch with people, even if they live in the same city than you do. There’s always a lot going on and even though you wish to meet up with people all the time, there’s just not enough time (or money). How do you manage people’s feelings and your sanity? I did not learn that in college either.

4. How to save money – Don’t let this one be confused with “how to eat frugally”, that one I got down in college pretty easily and I’m still practicing it today (thank you Campbell’s). I’m talking about straight up saving for life, like for puppies and stuff. I thank my lucky stars that I found Mint.com, keeping it real and crushing my wanderlust dreams one personal budget report at a time.

5. How to cope with 10 vacation days a year – This one is hard and honestly, I’m still working with it. Make the most of the weekends? Spread your vacations throughout the year? Print out a beach landscape for your desk? Not really sure what’s the solution for this one, suggestions welcomed.

Feel free to comment and add on more things to this list. I know college was great, but let’s face it: it’s a tough world out here.

My Battle With Coffee

Photo & Editing by Cristina Nogueras ©

Photo & Editing by Cristina Nogueras ©

Hi, my name is Cristina and I’m fighting coffee addiction. I’ve seen loved ones suffer from caffeine deprivations and go through immense trouble to get a hold of coffee in the mornings. I’ve seen the sleepy eyes, the vacant stares and the tamed spirit that can only come from the absence of coffee.

I’ve never liked coffee. I think the first thing I ever ordered from Starbucks was a white chocolate frappuccino, just because it did not taste like coffee. How did I survive college? Diet coke perhaps? That’s still a mystery to me.

Now, in the real working world, I find myself fighting against the urge to get a cup of coffee every day. My reasoning?

  • It’s expensive to get the coffee I like (Not that I’m drinking gold, it just adds up)

  • I do not want to be addicted to coffee and then be unable to function without it

I think I’m losing this battle. I’m so much more productive and motivated when I drink coffee, I hate it. Why can’t I just wake up all sunshine and glitter every morning ready to hit the ground running? No, I have to depend on this warm and aromatic substance to fuel my system and power my brain. Then they have to come and make it pumpkin spice lattes and all these other alterations that make it actually wonderful to drink and so much more harder to resist it.

Is this it? Is this how I know I am now a real grown-up?