Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How do you select an engagement ring?

I got engaged on our 6 month anniversary. We have talked about it and luckily agreed that it would be a long engagement and we do not have a date set. I really don't want to have a wedding (seems so stressful), so we most likely will go abroad and elope. I am very happy about this but there's been a source of stress...

Engagement ring shopping.

I am wearing an emerald ring he got me while we search for an engagement ring. I guess I should be glad that I get to pick it out since I will be wearing it for the rest of my life, but I am not sure what to look for. I am not really a fan of diamonds and I don't want him to spend a lot of money on it. But is selecting an engagement ring like selecting a wedding dress, where there is supposedly "the one" that you know is it when you find it? Right now I like the idea of getting an antique ring but I am not even sure where to begin with that.

If anyone has any suggestions, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cheap Date Ideas?

I have been dating a guy for approx. 6 months now. We are at that point in the relationship where if we do not plan dates, we will stay in and be comfortable. Although it is easier on my mental sanity (there's always work to be done!) and my wallet to stay in, we have agreed to aim for two dates a week -- a small one during the weekday and a bigger one over the weekend.

This week I was in charge of the small date so we ended up going to a discounted movie theater and hit an ice cream parlor before. He is planning for us to go to a drive in movie in a town that is a bit away and grabbing dinner there. Next weekend, we are planning on a little get away for our anniversary trip.

Although romance is nice, the problem is that it always seem to cost money. Sure, the discounted movie theater was cheap but I can't be doing that for every date. I plan on cooking for both of us a few times and going to cheap events around campus, but it seems everything costs money. Hopefully I can be creative enough to keep our date plans going.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Great Unknowns

There are a few unknowns in my life right now and they are impacting my life.

One is the gas price. It keeps on fluctuating, which makes it difficult for me to calculate whether I should rent a car for my drive to work 1x a week or just take my car. I drive a small SUV so with over 100 miles each way, it is sometimes worth it to rent a compact car for the day.

Second is the internet. I need internet for my work to telecommute. I thought we were outfitted with wireless cards but, nope, just the network cards. For some reason, I live in THE only building in the apartment complex that is under the graces of Comcast. Not only is Comcast ridiculously priced ($59.99 a month? really?!?), I hate their customer service. I do have free internet thanks to a neighbor with a wifi network, but it does drop quite often. I must put a price on my patience and see if it is worth it to have a reliable connection for $59.99 a month. I do have 3 weeks or so before the scheduled installation date (ridiculous, right?) so I have some time to decide. Since I want to keep my utility costs under $50, I am leaning towards testing my patience.

Third is my health. I came down with a really bad case of kidney infection last weekend and I am still in the process of recovering from it. Although the medications have been fairly cheap so far, I am sure the school insurance will fight tooth-and-nail to say that it should not be covered because I went to a local clinic instead. This is ridiculous because although the walk-in clinics are open 24/7, no doctor was available over the weekend and even the nurses said they couldn't really help me. That should be a fun fight.

Fourth is my computer. I do not trust anything Microsoft and Vista on my Parallels filed, which doesn't make me a happy camper. I have decided to just suck it up and purchase Mac:Office, which is a hefty $340.

K, enough ranting. I will write more soon on happier topics.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Fresh Start

After a year long hiatus, I am back.

So what has all happened in the last year? I finished my first year of the MBA program and have only one more year left. I did a summer internship in the City and have a full-time job post-MBA (contract already signed) and part-time job at the same company during the school year in the field that I want.

But those good things were, of course, balanced out by the bad, mainly in lacking time. Between classes, group meetings, searching for an internship... it was one of the most stressful times of my academic life.

So why am I going to keep a blog now? Because I am completely on my own financially from now on. For the last year, my parents provided assistance with living expenses but since I now have a job (sounds so grown-up), that will be eliminated and I must rely solely on my weekly salary. Although the pay is more than enough for my living expenses, I need to save extra for international travels, emergency savings, and retirement.

I also recently moved from a 2 bedroom that I shared with a roommate to a one bedroom that I will live in on my own. Not only does that mean higher rent, I've had to purchase new furniture such as dresser, big display shelf, and a dining table set, on top of smaller, necessary items such as flatware and silverware. Yes, I could have saved a lot of money by relying on craigslist and Ikea, but since my company will pay for my relocation, I decided to spend the extra money and buy items that I would keep post-graduation rather than buy cheap items that I will need to replace later on.

I need to work out the exact budget, which I will do in the future post.