Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mapquesting Cheap Gas

Well, you might as well add Mapquest Gas Prices to your to-do list the next time you budget your commute or your summer road trip plans.

Type in a zip code, etc. and a map will pop up with local gas stations and their gas prices. While it doesn't alleviate the sticker shock, it's not such a bad idea to penny pinch at the pump whenever you can.

Speaking of which, I applied for a BP Visa card and got one. Actually two, since M and I share the car. It's 10% cash back for the first 60 days, which will cover our summer travel, and then 5% thereafter. Unfortunately, at non-BP stations it's only 2%, but anything to get me close/under $4 per gallon. Of course, there's a million BP stations near me, and none in Maine or Cape Cod...

Other gas station price sites (not quite as intuitive to navigate, IMO):

Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer in the City

Summer in the city is hot, humid, and humming. It's the time of street fairs, block parties, and FREE live entertainment. I love this time of the year. Time to mark up my calender!

Central Park Summerstage:

Mavis Staples (and Stephanie McKay) kick off the season Friday, June 13th at 7PM. I saw her at BAM and saw firsthand that this woman can still take you there.

Other highlights- indie band of the moment, Vampire Weekend (June 14th), Taj Mahal (July 27th), Junot Diaz (July 27th), Richard Price- Lush Life is high on my reading list- (July 31st), and many more.

The Summerstage benefit concerts are obviously not free, but you can still sit outside and hear great music. I'll definitely be there for the Thievery Corporation (live) with Seu Jorge featuring Special Guests Bebel Gilberto & Federico Aubele Turntables on the Hudson (June 12th)- yes, Bebel Gilberto! Also lined up are shows with Sonny Rollins (August 6th) and The National, Yeasayer, Plants and Animals (August 4th).

Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell:

Isaac Hayes (Shaft!) kicks off the season Thursday, June 12th. Man, I can't wait for that show!

Some highlights- Cold War Kids (June 27th), Beth Orton (July 12th), Deerhoof (July 18th), The Philip Glass Ensemble (July 25th), Mark Morris Dance Group (July 31st),and Lila Downs (August 8th).

The above schedules might be the most famous of the free concerts in the parks, but the schedule for the CityParks Concerts is just sick. The Jungle Brothers (August 5th) and BT Express (August 12th) in Red Hook, Whodini (July 10th) in Bed Stuy'sVon King Park, KRS One (July 24th) in the Lower East Side's East River Park, Slick Rick(August 13th) in Harlem's Jackie Robinson Park, The Delfonics (July 29th) in Queensbridge Park, and Frankie Morales (July 22nd) in South Bronx's St. Mary's Park. Many more, just check out the schedule.

McCarren Park Pool has free Pool Parties and movies, just scroll through their full schedule to see what's going on. Desperately Seeking Susan July 22nd and MGMT on July 27th caught my eye.

Shakespeare in the Park brings you Hamlet and Hair. Sweet.

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival- Mondays, opening night June 16th, Dr. No.

The Village Voice's Siren Music Festival July 19th, noon-9PM. Broken Social Scene and a gazillion other bands, essentially just rocking out right off the Coney Island boardwalk.

DUMBO's Movies with a View schedule isn't up, but watching flicks at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge with Manhattan as a backdrop (and eventually Olafur Eliasson's waterfalls), there could be worse ways. Check back here for a schedule, first film is July 10th.

South Street Seaport:

Wire, those punk legends who still inspire, opens the season tonight.

Madison Square Park Music

BAM's R&B Festival at Metrotech

Harlem Meer Performance Festival

River to River Festival- schedule not up yet

Broadway in Bryant Park

Pier 54 River Rocks

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival- schedule not up yet

Seaside Summer Concert Series- new schedule not up yet

Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series- new schedule not up yet

Good Morning America Concert Series in Bryant Park:

Nothing like seeing Usher (May 30th) at 7 o'clock in the freakin' morning.

But wait, there's more! NBC's Today Show has the Toyota Concert Series at Rockefeller Center. Rihanna (June 20th) and Coldplay (June 27th), and yes, at 7 AM.

The more civilized stuff:

NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks

The Metropolitan Opera in the Parks

That's just the tip of the iceberg (I didn't even touch art, except for the waterfall mention), and I'm exhausted. Remember, it's early in the season so new shows are added frequently. Click on all the above links for updates and full schedules, and bookmark FreeNYC for even more events and reminders. And seriously, you need to mark things in a calendar. And if you're not from the city? Come visit!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Multi-Class Squeeze Economy

Last week M bought some groceries and came back flabbergasted at the prices. And last night we ordered some take out from a taqueria, and on the walk over we passed an empty Blue Ribbon and Stone Park and the cheap Mexican joint was packed. You know it's bad when the fancier places are unusually empty, and the cheap eats places are hopping. Welcome to the universal economic squeeze.

CNN Money has an interesting take on it in Making a good living, but still feeling strapped.

Hoyt of argues that every income strata is feeling it. The wealthy are hurting from the roiling stock market, the middle class from falling home prices and working folks from rising prices.

Food prices, for instance, climbed 5.1% over the past 12 months and April's 0.9% rise was the largest in 18 years, according to the Consumer Price Index. Gas, meanwhile, hit its highest recorded price of $3.937 on Monday, up nearly 21% from a year ago and 9.7% over the past month, according to AAA.

That's right, last month's food prices spike was the highest in eighteen years. Egads.

The interesting thing about the economy is the point of departure between consumer perception and the perception of the economists. Consumers are pretty much freaking out (one man in the article points out that he didn't mind penny pinching to send his kids to college, but not to buy eggs), while the economists are mucking about the statistical wash of price indexes and the increase or decrease of important numbers. Basically, I don't think we're walking around thinking are we or are we not in a recession. Sure, I know the debatable criteria for real economic recession, but I also know that my place in the economic food chain is in a steep recession. And I'm not the only one.

Suddenly, people who aren't used to looking at certain bills are getting shocked from their eye sockets to their pockets. I mean, I looked at my bill from the Associated supermarket, but not like I do now. I'm running around the apartment turning off random lights. And I think that I finally might just put a dent on that lifelong project of eating down the pantry.

What does this mean for the larger economy? I don't know, but for now I think the war of perception is being won by us, the consumer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Carnival of Money Stories Edition #61

Two posts in one day. This is what happens when I wake up at a decent hour.

So PiggyBankBlues is proud to take another stab at the Carnival of Money Stories. For those not in the know, a Carnival is basically roundup up financial bloggers doing what they do best; blogging about money. It's a good way to catch up on new bloggers and some great posts. Enjoy!


Not the Jet Set lists lessons learned from 2008 Emergencies and Expenditures: YTD.

My Dollar Plan has some helpful budgeting tips in Create Your Own Dollar Plan: Step 4.


Saving to Invest urges us in these dark times to Embrace Fear for Financial Freedom.

Financial Zip really breaks down just how to Use Investor's Business Daily as a wealth of info for investors.

The Dividend Guy has a useful chart in A Review of My Yearly Dividend Income for all you dividend investors out there.

Amateur Asset Allocator has a funny and smart post, Dear Washington: My Retirement Plan Wish List.

It covers more than just investing for retirement, but Greener Pastures has an excellent post on Four Things You Need for Retirement.

Net Worth

Free Money Finance takes stock of My Finances 10 Years Ago and Today, and we could learn a thing or two.

Five Cent Nickel also takes the 10 year plunge, and shares with us what happens when Stepping Back in Time: Our Life 10 Years Ago.

Speaking of net worth, it's not always so cut and dry a calculation. My Money Adventure tries to get a handle on how to figure out My New Net Worth


Blueprint for Financial Prosperity has a great post on How to Cut College Costs by 13% - 25%. Too bad it's a little late for me, I could've used the savings...

Chief Family Officer has some money saving advice in Review: Ebates. Check it out before the next time you shop online.

The Happy Rock does all the legwork for you tool chest shoppers in Frugal Tool Chest Tip #2: The Dynamics of Finding the Item You Want Cheaper.

Speaking of tool chests, Monroe on a Budget tells us Why You Want to Fix That Leaky Pipe, it will cost you less money sooner rather than later.

Student Loans (or not...)

This Wasn't in the Plan breaks down just why Studen Loans Aren't Always the Enemy.

Frugal Babe tells us the Best Financial Decisions I made in College, and how she managed to graduate debt free (!!).

Credit Cards

living the cheap life has A Reminder About Cash Back Credit Cards- they just might be a wise thing to have in your wallet.


Debt Diet has good reason to rejoice I'm Out of the Will!

Money and Fitness Blog is trying to cover all the bases by Switching Roles with your Spouse When Paying the Bills.

Funny about Money has a wise post that pointedly asks Are We Movin' on up? Or Not?

Are You Going To Be This Way the Rest of the Time I Know You? tells us why she went the route of a A Frugal Girl's Decidedly Not Frugal Wedding.


Out of Debt Again has an amazing story on How I Got In and Out of Debt the First Time.

I've Paid Twice For This Already has a thoughtful post on how Life Is Meant to be Lived, a little perspective while trying to manage finances and debt at the same time.

And for a little bit of lightness in a heavy category, The DebtFree Playbook Blog has a funny post How Not to Clear Your Debt.


My $mall C€nts brings us a first hand report on Consumerism in France and America (Part Three).

Harvesting Dollars has a story in Kroger Gift Card Program Resolved that reminds us to be careful purchasing those gift cards.

And last but not least, categorical crossover The Baglady has some fine pointers (and analogies) on Mastering the Game of Money.

A big thank you to all the participants!

Radio New York and KEXP

I'm a little slow on the uptick, because it made news last February, but this morning I discovered Radio New York's and KEXP's Radio Liberation. Hipsters, and those who listen to the same music anyways, rejoice. 91.5 FM weekday mornings.

I just woke up, fiddled with the dial, realized I didn't have the radio plugged in right (that would help), so I pulled out one plug and some funky song came on. Then I listened to Clap Your Hands followed by Talking Heads and was beside myself with aural joy. And I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet.

Now, I'm no big fan of on-the-dial radio stations in NYC. Besides public radio and major label hip hop (both of which I like, but not exclusively), it's shocking that a city with such a vibrant music scene has such arid air waves. Sure, WFMU and WBGO are great, good luck getting reception.

So what is Radio New York 91.5 FM? It's an NYC government radio station. They do things like cover NYC high school sports and Brazilian music shows. KEXP 90.3 FM is a member supported radio station based in Seattle that I've streamlined for years, as do millions of other listeners. They also sponsor a lot of NYC shows. So joined forces with Radio New York 91.5 FM to air several programs.

Weekday programming info from Radio New York's website:

Wake Up, airing 6AM to 9AM, is a three-hour morning drive show featuring an eclectic mix of music, hosted by Kevin Cole of KEXP.

John in the Morning airs 9AM to noon as a simulcast of the long running KEXP variety mix show hosted by John Richards.

MoGlo, broadcasting from 12AM to 1AM, is a nightly modern global show with a music mix from the streets of New York and around the world, hosted by premier DJs, including Darek Mazzone of KEXP.

So turn your morning dial to 91.5 FM and enjoy. And for those not in NYC, and those who want music 24/7, just head on over to KEXP's site and streamline or podcast their music. And best of all, it's free!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Library Fodder- 1001 Books

I'm sort of at an impasse on my reading list. The list hasn't disappeared, but sometimes my interest has waned. Like my Netflix queue, my public library wait list can get a little stale. So the great NY Times review Volumes to go Before You Die came just in the nick of time.

It's not the book, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, so much as The List.

The book is British. Of course. The British love literary lists and the fights they provoke, so much so that they divide candidates for the Man Booker Prize into shortlist books and longlist books. In this instance Peter Boxall, who teaches English at Sussex University, asked 105 critics, editors and academics — mostly obscure — to submit lists of great novels, from which he assembled his supposedly mandatory reading list of one thousand and one. Quintessence, the British publishers, later decided that “books” worked better than “novels” in the title.

Even without Milton or Shakespeare, Professor Boxall has come up with a lot of books. Assume, for the sake of argument, that a reasonably well-educated person will have read a third of them. (My own score, tallied after I made this estimate, was 303.) That leaves 698 titles. An ambitious reader might finish off one a month without disrupting a personal reading program already in place. That means he or she would cross the finish line in the year 2063. At that point, upon reaching the last page of title No. 1,001, “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro, death might come as a relief.

I haven't done a tally yet, though I suspect I'm more of a quarter to a third of the list through already (I've read Ian McEwan, but not eight of his novels). No matter, that leaves a good 700+ books to sift through and plug into the Brooklyn Public Library search page. I don't put much stake in the authority of these literary lists, but I do love finding new authors through them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy 125th Birthday Brooklyn Bridge!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Brooklyn Briii-idge, happy birthday to you!

You're the apple of my eye, here's to 125 more years.

Check out this weekend's free events celebrating the Brooklyn Bridge's bday here. If you've got roof access, there's fireworks all weekend.

The Brooklyn Bridge by the numbers:

Length of river span: 1595.5 feet
Total length of bridge: 5989 feet
Width of bridge floor: 85 feet
Suspension cables: four, each 15.75 inches in diameter and 3578.5 feet long, containing 5434 wires each, for a total length of 3515 miles of wire per cable
Foundation depth below high water, Brooklyn: 44 feet 6 inches
Foundation depth below high water, Manhattan: 78 feet 6 inches
Tower height above high water: 276 feet 6 inches
Roadway height above high water: 119 feet (at towers)
Total weight, not including masonry: 14,680 tons

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No Free Checked Baggage on AA

As if the quotient for irritation with air travel isn't already at an all time high, American Airlines has announced that it will charge $15 for the first checked bag. The charge applies to all discount coach tickets, and is exempt for full fare coach, business class, international flights, and premium frequent fliers. More info on American Airline's site here.

United Airlines is already looking into doing the same, Continental declined comment, and Delta, Northwest and Southwest have no immediate plans to follow suit. We'll see how long that lasts...

As a legitimate carry-on only traveler, I have visions of UFC style fights breaking out in the aisles over that precious overhead bin space for those donkeys who brought on four bags.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Budget Hero

Marketplace has a very cool "game"- Budget Hero, where you get to play with widgets and control the US government's budget. Yeah, and I thought doing my own budget was difficult enough...

The deal is you choose three "badges", which are widgets that represent certain issues. So I played twice, and sadly I busted the US budget both times, by the year 2033. The first time I chose Competitive Advantage, Green, and Energy Independence. Depressed I busted the budget and labeled Debt Maintainer (I quote; "You made no impact on the 2008 debt level, maintaining it at 37.7% of GDP in 2018, 8.4 trillion"), I switched out Energy Independence (why who doesn't love giving the Saudis money) for Efficient Government. And I still got the same result.

The fascinating part is the breakdown. If you slide the curser around the buildings, the cost of each item breaks down, ie interest on debt 422 billion. Clicking on the taxes brought up a lot of very large numbers, Repeal the Bush tax cuts +2,725 billion, then you click on that box and it tells you that this 2.725 trillion buck windfall is over 10 years, and it has blurbs on the pros and cons of doing so, and the impact. Anyways, I just sucked a good hour of my life on this game, so enjoy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Our Piggybank's Inferiority Complex

CNNMoney's Why You Just Can't Seem to Save Enough hits us where it hurts- our piggybank's ego.

Your mortgage is prime. Your credit-card balance is reasonable. You've set aside some money for retirement. Feeling like you've done all you should? Didn't think so.

All signs point to an economic slowdown, and there's a real risk that it will be a nasty one. Jobs look shaky, food and gas prices are up, and the credit you thought would be there in an emergency could get a lot more expensive.

Even if you've been better than the average American about saving, you probably wish that you had a bigger cash cushion right now. And if you're at all like me, you've been looking around your house lately and wondering, "Why didn't I put the money I spent on that in the bank?"

Yes, therein hides the problem.

The article asks the question of just how much of what we purchase is in reaction to our friends and neighbors. I don't think I'm really prone to the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses affliction, but then again. If a friend said they ate at so and so restaurant, and it's maybe over $20 per person, I just might want to try it. But this is how it's skewed, because what you see is not the whole picture. Who knows if this person ate at home all week to go eat out at a moderately priced restaurant. Who knows if the person who drives the Lexus is eyeballs deep in debt. It's the trap of the ostentatious. While we associate objects with class, what you see is not always what you get.

New Yorkers are at face value less ostentatious than others. Unlike those in most of the rest of the country, our cars pretty much suck. Even the nice ones. Parking on the street will do damage to even the nicest bumpers. We are somewhat limited to how much we flash because we ride the same subway cars as those who like to mug. There are no McMansions, and what limited square footage we do have doesn't really fit a helluva lot of things. And yet...

The average cost of a New Yorker's stroller is over $500. We are real estate obsessed and have the economic cartography of all five boroughs memorized, so we can pretty much guess how you roll by where your front door is. And in a city with more metrosexuals than homosexuals, we are top shelf label whores on the down low. And speaking of top shelf, we don't order well drinks. In other words, we're still consumer kings and queens.

And I would hazard to guess that we're not the only ones. Unfortunately, the urge to spend is a constant reminder that keeping up with the neighbors is a losing battle. And then there's the oddballs like case in point (me!), who are the only one amongst their legions of friends who do not have cable, and fully fund their Roth IRA instead. Sexy it aint, but talk to me when I'm sixty five. Just don't ask me how much I spent on clothes last week...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Taxing Gas

The NY Times article, In New York, Debating a Flat Tax on Gasoline was a bit of an eye opener. Gas in the city is always crazy expensive, and now I know why- there are eight taxes per gallon. The biggest shocker is the 75 cents (!!) per gallon that goes to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Each gallon of gas sold in New York actually includes eight different taxes. In addition to the city’s 4 percent sales tax, and the transportation authority surcharge, there is a federal excise tax of 18.4 cents. The state also collects an 8-cent excise tax, an 8-cent sales tax and a petroleum business tax of 16.4 cents a gallon.

In addition, drivers pay a “spill tax” of 0.3 cents a gallon for environmental preservation and a petroleum testing fee of 0.05 cents.

Higher gas tax in a city with spider web like public transportation definitely has drivers drive less. For example, the 8.6 percent one year increase in city tax receipts this past winter pale in comparison to the actual 31 percent increase in gas prices over the same period.

At the center of the debate is a flat tax versus the current rate of percentage. While drivers may welcome a flat tax, there is no reason why a city that is the single largest polluter on the Eastern Seaboard should encourage policy that encourages more driving. And this is coming from a car owner (granted, whose car now remains parked forever). Also, the flat tax makes little economic sense.

“You’re kidding yourself if you think that an industry that makes as much as it can will pass along the savings to the public,” Michael F. Conners II, the comptroller in Albany County, which abandoned its flat-fee tax after six months. “The oil companies say they would never take this tax away, but it’s absorbed into the price.”

Mr. Conners said that his county would have lost $4.6 million in taxes had it kept its cap in place for a full year. That would have amounted to 3.4 percent of the county’s total receipts from all sales, property and other taxes. “This was not help for the driving public,” he added, “but a transfer gift to the oil industry.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Steven Alan Sample Sale

More fashion, but this time mobbed with frantic fashionistas. Ah, the joy of shopping in New York for that deep discount.

Steven Alan Sample Sale
This Thursday through Sunday
87 Franklin St. near Church St. (212-219-3305)
5/15 and 5/16 (8:30–8)
5/17 (noon–7)
5/18 (noon–5)

Lews Cho, Jean D'arc, and of course my favorite men's shirt. Tons of cool threads on sale, and if you don't believe me, just check out the line to get in.

note: the sale is at the Steven Alan showroom, 87 Franklin, one block east from his store.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sticker Shock

I just put some gas in the tank-- $3.90/gallon! Egads. I don't drive in the city, so I don't fill the tank frequently; I just happened to kill some time while moving alternate side parking this morning. So I'm pumping gas and staring in panic at the numbers by the dollar sign flipping in rapid succession, and my eyes drift down to a receptacle for BP/Amoco gas card applications. 10% rebate first 60 days, 5% thereafter. Is it time to apply for another card?

This summer M and I will be driving to the northern reaches of Maine for a couple weeks, then down to Cape Cod for a week, and back to NYC. Plus there's a round trip NYC-Boston trip, maybe a jaunt down the Jersey Shore- it's a busy summer for our little car. With absolutely killer prices prices at the pump, I think I'll look into credit reward cards that are good for road trips. I'll post my findings, and any suggestions in the meantime would be great.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Your Walk Score

I was reading a Marketwatch article, 15-minute tip: Walk more for a better score, about how the walkability of where you live influences your physical and financial health, and found the cool site Walk Score.

The benefits for your physical health are obvious, but how does walking improve your financial health? Well, for one thing, have you seen gas prices lately? But most pointedly, a walk score can inform where you live- adding value to certain neighborhoods and making others less attractive. It certainly is true in cities with enough public transportation that most don't own cars; when choosing a neighborhood to live in you want to know how many services are within walking distance. Walkability can also help you sell your home, decide on where to work, etc.

So head on over to Walk Score to see how your current/prospective neighborhood stacks up. You type in your address, and a google map calculates your score based on the walkability of certain services. My address is an 86 (out of 100), almost a walker's paradise (a score of 90-100), but not quite. I feel like mine is pretty damn close to walker's paradise, the farthest thing is a public park (0.69 mi) and if you knew my avenue on a Friday night you would think there were a little too many services. I checked my old address in the East Village, which is a 100.

It's a fun site, I wish it was around when I was single and searching for affordable apartments in crappy neighborhoods. It definitely would have been part of my research and would have saved me numerous subway rides out to the hinterlands.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Basic Finance for Artists

I got an email yesterday from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with information on a free six week workshop on basic finance for artists. I can't find anything on their website, but here's the pertinent info taken directly from the email:

BFA: Basic Finance for Artists

Designed especially for artists, Basic Finance for Artists is a concentrated, six-week series of workshops that will help develop financial awareness and balance through practical training in money management.

Workshop Topics will include:

* Budgeting
* Accounting & Tax
* Debt Management
* Investment & Market Basics
* Buying vs. Renting
* Long-term Planning


LMCC is looking for a diverse range of artists who are committed to and will benefit from hands-on training in an open learning environment. The workshop series is free, but space is limited and registration is required.
Dates & Times

Tuesdays, 4-7 PM
June 3 – July 15, 2008

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
125 Maiden Lane, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038

If you have questions about this workshop series, please feel free to call or write.

Natasha Chuk
212-219-9401 ext. 117

LMCC is fantastic, and I urge any NYC artists to check them out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Plant Sale

Roof decks, stoops, window boxes, fire escapes, the ledge of a kitchen window, the occasional backyard- this is gardening New York City style and 'tis the season. If digging the dirt is your thing, head on over to Brooklyn Botanic Garden's 2008 Plant Sale (and for those who don't live in NYC, almost all botanical gardens host plant sales, so check out your local one for some great deals).

Yes, it's crowded, but it's worth it. They have a lot of plants, and of course there's the wealth of info; from the silver haired ladies in the gardening club who are volunteering their time to tell you that the wind on a roof deck will kill that gorgeous plant in your hands, to the greenhouse reps who are there to give you more information on the dozen varieties of hot pepper plants. Trust me, those volunteers have saved my plants, from our basil plants that wilted the whole summer (too much direct light, they need partial shade) to our tomato plants that never really grew un-rotten tomatoes (put them indoors at night until the temperature stops dropping). Of course, if all you need is a plant in the bathroom and advice on how not to kill it (yet again), it's still a pretty fun experience. There are lots of free events throughout the day, and they take cash, credit cards, and checks.

So grab a little red wagon on your way in, and head on over to the green thumb extravaganza, maybe even check out Murakami next door. Not only is the plant sale cheaper than Home Depot, it's a helluva lot prettier.

Today, Tuesday May 6th 4:30-8pm
Members Only (membership may be purchased at door- a good idea for serious gardeners)

Wednesday May 7th 9am-7pm
Thursday May 8th 9am-Noon

General Admission

Adults $8
Students (with ID) & Seniors $4

2/3 Eastern Pkwy
Q, B Prospect Park

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lewis Cho Sample Sale

Feeling like some new duds just in time for roof deck parties and a spring fling? Head on over to my favorite NYC designers, Lewis Cho, for spring dresses, tops and skirts 50-80% off retail.

Lewis Cho
May 6 & 7 (this Tuesday & Wednesday)

12:00-8:00 PM

225 W. 36th St, #702
between 7th and 8th Ave


Thursday, May 1, 2008

April Net Worth

Well, I'm back to thirty thousand. $30,589 to be exact, an increase of 3.88%. It's so dinky, yet I feel so warm and fuzzy. I love being in the black...

I know I should have other goals, like a good pf blogger, but right now I'm just trying to gather enough together to max out my Roth IRA every month. It's seriously putting a dent into my cheeseburger budget, but I guess it's important to be able to even afford a cheeseburger when I'm seventy. Of course, when I'm seventy I'll probably be banned from eating cheeseburgers because, well, I ate too many for sixty nine years.

But back to the relevant stuff. M and I do save every month in our ING savings accounts, so I guess those count as goals.

$100 christmas fund (gifts and travel)
$100 car fund (for surprise repairs and a "new" used car in 5+ yrs)
$100 gym fund (annual gym membership for both of us)
$100 vacation fund (tax returns pad this fund, we go away a lot...)
$200 emergency fund
=$600/month in ING

It might seem like a lot, but remember it's a joint account, so really my share is only $300. Better to pay a savings account that much rather than Amex.

At least once a year four of those funds get drained (not the emergency fund, if life is kind), which is why my net worth spiked in December and then took a tumble. But I kind of figured out what things really killed my credit card every year, and just decided to save for them instead. So far it's worked out. Plus, now that those infamous stimulous checks are on their way, my savings account has a small something to look forward to.