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Author Archive: Jana

Money Tune Tuesday: Hate My Life

About 9 months ago, I finally decided that I had had it with my job. I was working for an absolute monster, the work was boring and tedious, my co-workers were pretty awful and the gray, fluorescent, windowless office I resided in was just not cutting it anymore. I realized at that point that nothing was going to get better unless I started making some changes in myself and in my situation. So I did. The soundtrack to that part of my life was Sick Puppies “Maybe”. Prior to that, the soundtrack to my life was Theory of a Deadman’s “Hate My Life”, which is today’s money tune. Here is it:

I love every single verse in this song. It is the most upbeat, melodious, angst filled song I’ve ever heard. It’s just so appropriate in so many circumstances. And I love how many verses are about money!

I also love that I’ll have this song in my head for the next week. I suppose it’s better than the Care Bears.

Money Shuffle: Labor Day Edition

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Money Shuffle (you can view the first edition if you’d like)! This time, in honor of the Labor Day holiday, all financial stories will be related to a work experience I’ve had.

As always, the rules are the same: set my iPod to shuffle and note the first 5 songs, regardless of how much I may actually like that song, then relate a financial story to that song’s title but not necessarily the subject matter.

Let’s get ready to shuffle!

Song #1: The Boys of Summer by the Ataris–this is actually a really good cover of the Don  Henley song. It reminds me of all my summer jobs as a camp counselor. I’ve worked at day camps and sleep-away camps and I loved each and every one of those jobs for various reasons. The pay was low (really low), the tips were good (really good) and the experiences were incredible.

Song #2: A-Hole by Bowling for Soup–easiest song to relate to work, hands down. I spent 3 years working for the most heartless, soulless bitch on Earth. She stole my ideas, plagiarized my work, and made me feel worthless and incompetent at every turn. The only good part of this job was the raise that came with it. Lesson learned here? I will never again compromise my self-respect for a paycheck.

Song #3: One for the Razorbacks by Green Day–talk about a song I had no idea was even on my iPod! This one hurt my brain as I’ve never had a job involving pigs or Arkansas. So I thought and thought and thought and I came up with…nothing. I’ve got nothing on this one. Deduct 100 Schrute bucks from my total.

Song #4: Burn It to the Ground by Nickelback–I know I may lose some point with a few of you for having a Nickelback song on my iPod but any song that has the phrase “batshit crazy” is OK with me. I’ve never worked in food service nor have I ever had a job that dealt at all with fire. However, I did spend one semester working at a Hollywood Video and I frequently wanted to set the place on fire. You know that scene in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle where they’re at the drive thru and the worker starts screaming “Let’s burn this motherfucker down!” That’s how I felt during every single shift.

Song #5: Count on Me by Default–I absolutely love this song. It doesn’t necessarily remind me of a paying job that I have. It reminds me of my most important job–being a mom. Everything I do, every decision I make is for my daughter. I need be there for her no matter what because when everyone and everything else may seem like it’s failing her, she can count on me to help her through it.

That’s for playing this edition of Money Shuffle! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing. And remember to spay and neuter your pets!

If you’re also playing Money Shuffle, post a comment or leave your link in the comments section.

Yakezie Blog Swap #11: Finance 101: Keep your debt to a minimum

Hi, I’m Little House from Little House in the Valley and I’m part of a larger personal finance blogger’s network called the Yakezie.com. Our community of finance bloggers selflessly support others with the common goal of sharing our finance experience and knowledge. As part of that support, we frequently swap posts to help broaden our readership. This month our blog swap topic is about the Best Tip for College Freshmen. Be sure to surf over to my site as well to read another member’s perspective on their Best Tip for College Freshmen.

As I pondered the single best tip I’d give to a college freshmen this semester, I was brimming with advice. However, much of that advice would go in one ear and right out the other, like budgeting for example (though an important skill). Instead, there are plenty of online programs to help manage a student’s spending automatically. So, as I weighed my suggestions based on importance, I decided that the single best tip for college students would be KEEP YOUR DEBT TO A MINIMUM.I can’t stress the magnitude of this tip alone without practically screaming it from the post in capital letters. When I mention debt, it can come in all forms; student loan debt, credit card debt, and *gulp* personal lines of credit debt.But before I go into the benefits of keeping your debt to a minimum, let me just outline a few ways to reign in the spending.Keeping school expenses within limits (warning: these tips do require some budgeting):

  • Housing – If you are attending college near your hometown, living at home will save a bundle of money. It may not be your first choice, but in the end it could save thousands of dollars. If you’re attending a college too far from home, check out alternatives to living on campus. Is there an apartment complex nearby that caters to college students for less than a dorm would cost you? Do you have friends attending the same college? Share a small apartment instead.
  • Books – University book stores are seldom the least expensive option. Get online and hunt down your books for less a week or two before classes begin. Don’t forget to check Amazon, eBay, Abe Books, and Chegg to name a few. Renting textbooks is also an option. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons. When you’re finished with the books, you also have the option to sell them to recoup a bit of your expense.
  • Food – Learn to cook. Even if you can’t replicate Wolfgang Puck, learn to make a couple of pasta dishes, bean and cheese burritos, and sandwiches. Squeeze a couple of fruits and veggies in with every meal or so, and you’re verging on healthy.
  • Travel – So your friends are going to Cabo for Spring Break and you don’t have the cash. Skip the trip. Your time for travel will come when you have a full time job. Set a monetary limit for traveling each year and stick to it.

Now that I’ve outlined how to keep your expenses to a minimum, let me explain the benefits to keeping your debt to a minimum.Imagine you’re approaching graduation. You already have a job lined up thanks to some smart planning and internships. Your debt is minimal, only taking out student loans to cover education costs that scholarships and grants didn’t cover, and the total is less than what your first year’s salary will be. Your first year out of school will be its own adventure, but you’re not worried about drowning in debt, like some of your Spring Break Cabo friends, because you were wise enough to keep your debt under control and not get lured into splurging on credit.You’ve made a plan to pay off your student loan debt in five years so that you can purchase a house, move to a new city, or start your own business because you are debt free, something not many people can claim. Since you are debt free, you have choices others do not have.Keeping your debt to a minimum by making wise choices has opened up a multitude of other choices available to those who are debt free.

Are you keeping your debt and student loan debt to a minimum?

Wednesday guest post and some link love

Today I have a guest post over at Baking the Budget. I was quite honored that she asked me as I have a lot of respect for her and what she does with her finances. If you have a chance, check out my post and make sure you take some time to read her site. She’s quite knowledgeable.

While you’re out visiting others, check out these posts:

And if you’re stopping by here for the first time from  Baking the Budget, thanks for visiting!

Money Tune Tuesday: Something To Believe In

I am a sucker for a good power ballad. Truthfully, I like all hair band songs but there’s just something about a good power ballad that makes me happy. And there are so many good ones to choose from: Steelheart’s “I’ll Never Let You Go”, Tesla’s “Love Song”, Warrant’s “I Saw Red”, Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home”, Skid Row’s “Wasted Time”. I could go on (and on and on) but I’ll spare you.

Perhaps one of the most popular power ballads is Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. While that’s a good song (but slightly overrated in my opinion), Poison has a significantly better power ballad–“Something To Believe In”. It’s a really pretty yet cynical and sad song, with very poignant lyrics (which I did not even need to look up in order to quote!). Here’s a sample:

“I drive by the homeless sleeping on the cold dark street,
Like bodies in an open grave
Underneath the broken old neon sign
That used to read Jesus Saves

A mile away live the rich folks
And I see how they’re livin’ it up
While poor they eat from hand to mouth
The rich drink it from the golden cup

And it just makes me wonder
Why so many lose and so few win”

Whatever you’re opinions on the causes of poverty, or the solution (if there is one), there’s no denying that it exists. And the way this song paints the picture is just so, well, accurate.

Check out the video below for the entire song: