Monday, August 29, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen!

Tomorrow, my dear sister Kato and I are off to Germany! Munich for three days, Berlin for three days; then, I fly home and she meets up with classmates for another three weeks of fun!

My sister Kato, one of our little cousins, and me!

In other news, I found this amazing video footage of Timmy Curran performing "Horses on the Range"-- enjoy!

I'll be back soon! But first, two questions:

1. My dad and I are discussing second job possibilities and I am interested in knowing what people suggest. We are leaning towards waitressing, because I can use my charismatic personality to get more tips! Writing and editing really does not pay the bills... enough.

2. How does one make a solid budget when so many prices seem to vary? The next year and a half will be major money saving and scrimping years, and the years to come will be frugal as well. I've always been comfortable, but I need to start saving more than the extra moolah since my money earning ways is going to affect other people now too.

Ideas, dear readers?


  1. Oh, so many ideas! First of all, I LOVED waitressing. It was one of the most fun jobs I've ever had. I got to be my people person self, and it was nice to be able to feel the assurance of a job well done multiple times in a day. In most jobs, projects and goals are long term. But in waitressing, you can see your success in an hour with a happy table and a good tip. And really, the skies the limit for your tips, you get out what you put into it. I think you would rock as a, it's a job that you can take anywhere. Once you have that skill set, you can move to another city years later and still be qualified for the job. Now about budgets. I happen to really like budgets. When a I get a second today I will e-mail you the one that my dad and I created for my post-college life in Excel. It would be easy for you to take my basic layout and adjust to fit your specific bills and costs in life. It will also give you an idea about costs you have yet to incur, for example I'm sure you're not paying renter's insurance, electric, or water bills living at home, but now you can see what you might expect to pay if you were to move out on your own. Hope this all helps!

  2. I loved working as a barista - and I think it's a job that has to hours to become a 2nd job.

    As for budget, do you currently know where your money is going? I use Mint ( to track all our spending and I think the first step in making a budget is understanding how you are currently spending your money so the budget can be practical.

    Enjoy Germany!

  3. I like the new format! No, no ideas on second jobs; as far as waitressing goes, I say try to get employed at the classiest, most expensive restaurant that you can for the best tips.

  4. I say yes to waitressing, and as for budgeting, go back and journal your spending for at least six months, one year is better. Look at how you spend your money, what are your regular monthly expenses, what are irregular expenses? An excel sheet works well for this especially if you know how to do a pivot table. Once you have all the data sorted, you can start analyzing itand see where you can trim.

  5. I spent last summer waitressing. It can be hard to get a job at a nice restaurant (where you work less hard than at worse restaurants, and for better tips) unless you know someone who already works there or have waitressed elsewhere before: fancy restaurants don't like first-timers. And waitressing at a cheap restaurant can be exhausting and less fun than it looks. Maybe it would've been more fun for me if I'd spent fewer hours doing it, but even for this relatively outgoing, hard-working girl, it was more often unpleasant than enjoyable. Also, at cheap restaurants, if you have to work some slow shifts (mid-afternoons or late nights at many places), you will likely spend some hours earning less than minimum wage, as you depend on tips for bringing you above minimum wage. Just figured you should hear the negative sides of waitressing before you start applying.

    Have you looked into tutoring programs or (freelance) editing/copy-editing at all? I'm not that familiar with either field; I just know they both exist and would take advantage of skills you already have.

    As for budgeting, I just started a spreadsheet with two columns (Target and Actual) for every month. To come up with the Target, I started with my after-tax income. Then I subtracted from that what I wanted to save; what I wanted to give to churches/charity; what I'd be paying every month for rent/utilities; what I'd need for groceries, gas, travel commitments, and other necessities... then finally came to the "discretionary" part for shopping, dining out, etc.
    That's a pretty boring way to do it, but it got me committed to tracking how I spend: I have to keep track of Actual spending on those categories in order to make sure I'm matching or under the Target for the month. And it definitely motivates me to be careful how I spend.

    Wow, longest comment ever. Signing off!