Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pinterest Challenge - #1

Taco Cupcakes!

The first thing I decided to make off of Pinterest for my self-imposed challenge is taco cupcakes! I decided to try a new recipe for dinner and they turned out quite well. The hubby agreed! He even asked me to make them again so I'll be sure to put them in the dinner rotation. They'd even be cute for a get together appetizer since they are so compact. 

Here's the recipe if anyone wants to give them a try. The only thing that I did differently was that I only made one layer of each ingredient. I'm not sure if my cupcake pans are smaller than normal or if my layers were a bit thick, but there was definitely not enough room to be able to put another layer of all the ingredients. They still turned out great though and I'm sure I'll make them again :)

Next item in the challenge will be a home craft project! Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Pinterest Challenge!


Just an update that I started my new job this past week and it's going great so far! I feel I made the right decision and I'm in a good place. On to new things!

So, lately I've started reading personal finance blogs again in an effort to motivate myself. I was over on Budgets are Sexy, reading some older posts and I found this one called, Want to Stop Spending Money? Get Busy. It got me thinking about that old saying, "Idle time is the devil's playground." That can be true sometimes. In an effort to fill up my spare time, I have decided to try some of the pins I saved on Pinterest.

I think many of us are in the same boat, where we go online to Pinterest to kill some time and we pin projects and things to do for another day but that day rarely ever comes. Well, I'm going to make that time now. I'm not going to push myself like crazy to get them done, but I'm going to enjoy my down time and try some new things. I'd love to try one new thing per week, if my schedule and finances allow. It's very important to me that I don't spend a lot trying these new things. I'm thinking several of them will be food related, so I'm hopeful that I will be able to use my current food budget for those items. Some of my other pin ideas are house related projects. Since we moved into our place in March, we haven't done much to personalize it. I'm hopeful this challenge will help me start to do that!

Feel free to join in on the challenge or if you have done something similar and would like to share how it worked for you and any pins you'd recommend, I'd be open to hearing about them. Here's something funny to get me started -


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Job!


I got a new job and I start next week!

As I shared in a previous post, I had been contacted about a new employment opportunity. I was on the fence about whether I should even consider a new job offer since I'd be leaving my current 401K match on the table. After much consideration and the new company coming in with a 10% salary increase, in addition to several thousand stock options, I decided that I'd take a chance and make the move. I accepted the new job offer and I start next week.

It was a stressful few weeks as my current employer counter-offered in both salary and position. While this was a bit tempting, I went with my gut and I'm going to go back to a small company where I can make more of a difference and report directly to the CEO. This is exciting to me and I look forward to new beginnings.

As many of you who also balance the budget can understand, I'm dying to know what my new take home pay will be so I can figure out our debt repayment plan! I've been toying with a few options (aggressive versus more relaxed payment plan) and I'm dying to see what we can do. I'll likely get one check in August, but that won't be my true new take home pay amount, as the insurance money won't be taken out until September.

So, expect to hear about the new debt repayment plan sometime in September! I'm leaning towards the aggressive plan which will hopefully allow us to pay off all debt by December 2015.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Zero Interest Balance Transfer


I use the Mint app on my phone for my finances. 

I think it's a helpful tool to get a quick snapshot as to where our finances stand. Occasionally Mint alerts you about suggestions as to how you can save money and they show you offers for credit cards and stuff. A recent offer was for the Chase Slate card. Chase was offering not only a zero interest balance transfer but there was no balance transfer fee (which can typically run 3-5%)! So I applied and was approved. I quickly transferred some of the balance from my highest interest card to this new one. I'm really looking forward to paying less interest on that card going forward!

It may be a baby step, but it's a step in the right direction... one day at a time! Hope you all have a cheap weekend planned ahead ;-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

24,000 Reasons to Stay at a Job You Don't Love!


I don't LOVE my job. 

Phhhhewww, it felt good to say that! Sure, when I took this job, it seemed like the right "next step" in my career and it made sense at the time. It pays well and I've learned a few new things, but I'm just not able to contribute at the level I want to. In this role, I'm one of many instead of the "go-to" one. I've realized that I want to be able to make more of a contribution.

I feel like Goldilocks, but I'm trying different sized companies to see what's the best fit for me, instead of trying different sized chairs. At this point, I believe a smaller company is my next step.

I've been contacted about another opportunity and I'm pretty far in the interview process. It would be a similar role to one that I had before. It would be at a start up company and I'd be the go-to person running the show. This is interesting to me. In this new role, I would also likely get a $6,000 pay increase, but they only offer a very small 401K match.

The thing that is mentally weighing me down is that if I stay at my current job, which has a nice 401K match, I'd be potentially leaving $24,000+ behind if I leave before I'm vested. Ouch! This is a large amount of money to walk away from. Given that our retirement accounts aren't where we'd like them to be, I kind of feel like I need to suck it up and stick it out with my current company.

What would you do in this situation?

I'm open to your thoughts on staying until after I've vested versus getting out now and going to the other job where I can contribute more and get a pay increase. Thanks!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Blog Makeover!

As I restart this journey to climb back out of debt, I felt that I needed to freshen up my blog and give it a makeover. I wanted to give it a clean, fresh look. During this process, I debated switching from Blogger to WordPress, as it offers way more creative options, but I figured that this has worked for me so far, so I'm going to stick with it for now. So, I hope you like the changes and if you can't find where something went, just let me know :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Free San Diego Harbor Cruise!



This week my hubby and I were selected by a local radio station to be able to attend a free listener concert. Neither of us were too interested in the band playing, but I love live music and even more than that...


I love free stuff

so we decided to go! It also happened to be on a cruise that goes around the beautiful San Diego harbor at sunset. You can't beat that! Parking was free, so we only had to worry about dinner. We picked up some sushi and had that on the way there. It was great! I even brought my camera (something I'm trying to do more often) so I could share some pics from the night. Enjoy!