uh oh.

4 06 2011

i’m in trouble. not entirely sure how it happened, but my $1,200 post tax season cushion is COMPLETELY GONE, and i have exactly enough money to pay my bills… leaving me about $68 to last me until my next pay day. oh, did i mention that i get paid every TWO WEEKS?

FUCK.

summer is the spendiest time of year for me, filled with after work margaritas, flea marketing and new sun dresses… in the last month, i indiscriminately blew through over $1,000 of  lazy $12 “i forgot to pack my lunch” days, several “OMG this skirt is only  $18” days, and everyone’s favorite “i can’t show up to this brunch without at least $20 worth of champagne and donuts” days… i really have no idea what i bought, but i had a crazy exciting month, so i’m sure it was fabulous.

being broke, markedly less fabulous. Read the rest of this entry »





say NO to the dress: why paying the rent should be a bigger priority than feeling like a princess.

11 03 2011

behold, the classic slut bride!anybody who follows me on twitter knows that i’ve been watching A LOT Of say yes to the dress (there are 78 episodes on netflix instant!). the thing is, it’s a TERRIBLE show. like the worst possible people that you can imagine whining, and crying, and hissy fitting all over the store until some poor frazzled family member agrees to spend $11,000 on a skin tight cacophony of beads, lace, tulle, crystals and bad taste (don’t even get me started on the whore-bride trend…). this dress will invariably made by a woman named pnina tornai. this woman must be stopped. but again, that’s a conversation for another day…

i can’t seem to stop myself from watching the show, but with each subsequent viewing, i become more and more furious.

as you will learn shortly, there are actually only 2 kinds of brides that shop at kleinfeld. they are both equally revolting.  Read the rest of this entry »





i’m fashion blogger famous!

21 12 2010

i promised a long long time ago, that i was going to add a budget fashion feature to the ole broke207. well, i lied! totally! i’ve been trying all year to figure out how to get it going, and i just couldn’t figure it out. i would start and stop and reconfigure, but the post just never… posted. well, a few weeks ago, i had an actual revelation! perusing a guest post on the goodwill of northern new england blog, i realized that maybe the fashion post didn’t belong on broke207, and that’s why i was having such a hard time writing it.

well, i decided to nut up and contact goodwill, and see if they were interested in a potential weekly fashion feature. you never know unless you ask, right? well, they received my idea very very kindly (thanks for being awesome michelle!), and my very first post is up today! if they like it, it will be a continuing thing. if they don’t, at least i got a totally sweet outfit for $10.49. it’s a win win!

so anyway, go and check me out, and maybe even leave a little comment love so they let me do it again. and if you’re really lucky, i can talk some of my favorite local fashion bloggers into doing it with me.





and the cupboard was bare.

16 07 2010

this week was really going better budget-wise than last week- um, for a while. by wednesday, i still had $40 in my wallet and no huge plans to spend it. i think it gave me a false sense of security though, because as of this afternoon, i have about $15 left to get me through saturday. i’m not entirely sure where it all went, but somewhere in there i managed to wander into 2 candy bars, a bag of potato chips, and a bunch of other crap food that i definitely didn’t need (especially considering that i can’t afford to buy new pants). which brings me to my current point:

i can’t afford to buy new pants. the good news is that i don’t need new pants right now (luckily i went on a pants buying spree just before i started this crazy financial diet), but i am swiftly building a laundry list of other things that i do need, and can’t really afford on my new budget:

stupid expensive shampoo
even stupider expensive candy cane body wash
pair of headphones with 2 working earphones (i have 3 pairs with only one)
saucy costume for burlesque performance
tickets to upcoming red hot and ladylike booze cruise

ok, so most of those things don’t really count as necessities… and i could get by for a while by condescending to downgrade my personal hygiene back to the bargain bin if i had to… but i feel like i shouldn’t have to. am i just being selfish? have i learned nothing about needless spending? in a way, if i really didn’t have any money, things would be easier. i would just go without because i had to. i would probably whine a lot in the process, but at least the decision would be made. so how exactly do i establish some artificial parameters that will save me from blowing out of my budget, without having to deprive myself of the things that make life life comfortable and fun?

over the last two weeks, i’ve actually kind of enjoyed living on an all cash diet (however meager). i’ve had to scale back a little, but i’ve also stared to learn to pause for a minute before i get spendy, and really evaluate how much i really need/want something before i hand over my precious precious cash. $50 is fine and all for beers and snacks and goodwill runs, but sometimes things break, or run out, or crop up. sometimes it’s reasonable to take just a little bit more. in fact, it may be time to institute a secondary budget.

i actually genuinely can’t afford to stuff my budgetary bra this month. it’s $50 a week and lots of sucking it up and using cheap shampoo. but in august, i will thankfully be able to go back to a slightly more solvent lifestyle- but i’m not interested in undoing everything i’ve learned so far. my master plan is to stick with the $50, but add a 2nd tier budget of $200 a month for fun extras and emergency stuff. it’s messy and dirty and easy to lose… but i’m starting to think that cash is the answer.  why am i just figuring this out now? or is there an even better plan that i’m just too dense to figure out?





getting schooled.

12 07 2010

well, i made it successfully through my first week on the $50 diet without any major trauma. i went out, i drank beers, i had lunch dates and snack breaks. i’m hardly cured of my spendy mcspenderson ways, but i did somehow manage to stay within my budget. and i think, very possibly, i might have even accidentally learned a few things.

1. ask for the cheap beer. usually something of the PBR or miller high life variety, but occasionally something pretty awesome like the $2 magic hat #9s (my all time favorite beer) at the port city music hall on tuesday night. bars have specials,  it is in your wallet’s best interest to find out where they are.

2. it’s never the wrong time to downgrade. day old bagels, iced coffee instead of an iced latte…i usually just wander into a food service establishment and order whatever the heck seems appealing in the moment- with no regard for sticker price. now, in an effort to hoard my sacred money, i start analyzing the menu in terms of bulk per dollar. i don’t just want something delicious anymore- i want something delicious that’s a good value.

3. accessorize your dinner. by friday night, i had exactly $8 left and was headed to the cupboard for the broke girl’s favorite dinner of pasta pasta pasta. not entirely as dismal as it sounds, i mixed some leftover faux sausage with a little paul newman sockarooni, but it was still missing something. the boyfriend brilliantly suggested investing in a $3.49 loaf of garlic bread from the amato’s. instantly, our dinner went from pitiful to butter soaked amazing.

4. work those coupons! by saturday evening, i had $2 left and was smothering in the hot hot heat.  but then, i unearthed a 2 for one blizzard coupon that i got for joining the DQ blizzard fan club. and not just the bitty blizzards, the 16 oz bad asses guaranteed to make you blissfully barfy. $3.74 for both, split with a more than willing boyfriend, i was able to satiate my fatness, and finish the week with a few coins in my pocket (very few, but still).

5. it’s ok to cheat a little. i didn’t use my debit card, but i may have accidentally dipped into the laundry quarters to purchase some emergency m&ms. when you’re cutting corners, it doesn’t always cost a lot to carry yourself through the rough spots.  on a strict budget, even $.99 candy seems like a spurge.





i’m guest post famous.

14 06 2010

i’ve always wanted to write a guest post. i didn’t have any idea where, or about what,  but the honor of being asked by another blogger to write for them just seemed like it would be totally awesome. as it turns out, i was correct! the very amazing chris over at part time vagabond recently gave me the honor of writing a little article about budget travel tips that made its debut this morning. what i love about PTV is that it’s grounded in reality. it isn’t all “let’s jetset to morocco for a long weekend”. it’s about the eternal struggle between wanting to aimlessly wander the globe while still tending to the responsibilities of things like jobs and pets and property ownership. chris is all about escaping when you can, and finding adventure in even the shortest jaunt. it’s everything that is amazing about travel, translated into real life. anyway chris, you rock, and thank you for letting me get my stink all over your kick ass website!





get dressed.

12 01 2010

damn. so i had this business meeting today with a web developer who is at least 5 years younger than me- which isn’t really the problem, except that she looked AMAZING. she wasn’t wearing a suit, and she wasn’t perfectly coiffed, and she certainly wasn’t sporting crunk-ass dragon lady acrylic nails… but she had a good haircut, fabulous shoes- and looked interesting, and pretty, and creative- all while still being entirely appropriate and business-like (she also had the world’s most perfect short manicure). and i just wanted to crawl under the table and die. my hair is a mess, i’m wearing my fat pants (coincidentally the only pants i fit into right now), and a wrinkly sweater vest that makes me look like an extra from newsies. FUCK!!

clinton & stacy always say that you should dress for the career that you want, not necessarily the job that you have (i manage a small commercial real estate office). just because my officemates don’t mind if i look like a scrub- doesn’t mean that it’s ok for me to strut around the file room in  wrinkly sweaters and jeans. i’m 32 years old. maybe it’s time for me to start dressing like the person i want to be when i grow up.

i’m not talking rayon suits and pantyhose here (nobody needs that- NOBODY), but adding a light veneer of sophistication to my look is definitely along overdue. the punchline here is that i love fashion, i’m literally just too lazy to deal with the maintenance (dry cleaning- aaaaaaaah!). i’m also 30 lbs. heavier than i ever have been (thanks divorce!), and need to get myself out of the “no new clothes until you’re skinny” loop. dude, i might never be skinny again.

anyway, here is my 5-point plan to start to peel away the elastic waisted layers of my current self, and find the polished and professional adult underneath that i know (well, i hope) is in there:

1. get a decent haircut. what i have right now is more the absence of a haircut. mostly, it’s an ever present slightly messy ponytail. not good. i need something that doesn’t require a blowdryer (hate ’em), or any sort of product (no thank you). something simple that looks good out of the shower, or not out of the shower (i don’t like to get wet).  really, anything remotely resembling an intentional hairstyle would be a start.

2. get used to swapping shoes at the office. it’s winter in maine, and i walk everywhere. generally, this means i’m sneaker-clad or wearing my snow boots to work, and then wearing them all day… also not good. while i’m at it, i should probably buy some slightly more sophisticated shoes (the neon green chucks aren’t really cutting it).

3. learn how to give myself a manicure. a real manicure is like $35 bucks, but my jaggy gnarled little claws need to go! clean, short, and modern is the plan. but i’d be happy if people just stopped averting their eyes in torn cuticle terror.

4. buy infallible classic basics. a pair of well fitted denim trousers and the perfect white blouse might be a good place to start. i feel like i’m craving more navy in my wardrobe anyway. as much as it pains me to say it- i may need to shell out for this. fit is expensive– and fit is the absolute most important thing that makes you look put together.

5. buy beautiful bold accessories. i actually have a silk scarf with chainsaws all over it that i’ve never worn. why the hell not? the thing that makes those basics less… um… basic is dressing them up with pops of color and crazy vintage finds. since i will have spent all my money on that perfect white blouse, i should probably hit the goodwill on the hunt for bold jewelry, vintage cardigans, and silk scarves.

yeah, i know i’m hopeless… what else can i do?