24 things for my 24th year

Celebrating my birthdays is always a weird thing for me. I always associate it with bad times. I think stems from the fact that my Mom banned me from having birthday parties due to my brattiness at the age of 10. 

My plans for my birthday are very relaxed: Takeout Chinese, Mad Men, and cuddling on the couch. I think taking time to myself is the best thing I can do for my birthday. Most of the time I am running at work, busting my butt at the gym, or sprinting around the city trying to get someplace I'm needed. I want to take the time to reflect on the past year and figure out how I can improve myself. 

24 things for my 24th year

  1. Book an international trip and go.
  2. Read 8 books.
  3. Stick to a budget - cause I'm an adult. 
  4. Visit a relative that I haven't seen in over a year.
  5. Work on my blog and get 1,000 page views a month. (See, I'm trying!)
  6. Meditate more - yoga counts.
  7. Write in my journal at least once a week.
  8. Spend less time watching TV and more time seeing the city.
  9. Worry less more about money.
  10. Care more about seeing friends.
  11. Complete one project in the apartment that improves the space. 
  12. Move my body more. Spin class twice a week helps my sanity.
  13. Complain less, be thankful more. 
  14. Get a new coffee pot. 
  15. Measure my progress at work. I've been there for a year and have no way to measure my progress. 
  16. Get my ASP (Associate Safety Professional) certification. 
  17. Be conscious of how often I use the words sorry and just. 
  18. Pay off my car loan. 
  19. See 5 new breweries.
  20. Write more. I used to really like poetry and I'd like to focus on that more.
  21. Vote for the next president.
  22. Listen to more music instead of The Front Bottoms on repeat.
  23. Get a massage. (I've never had a professional one before)
  24. Turn 25!

READERS: Do you have a bucket list? Do we have anything in common? Let me know what you goals your have in the comments below!

Weekly Top 3 {7/18/16}

Follow my blog with Bloglovin life in the city
  • Last Monday, I went to a Yelp Event at Yakitori Boy in Chinatown. Hands down the best karaoke bar in the city. The food isn't bad either - tons of vegetarian sushi roll options!
  • Thursday I headed down to the Jersey shore! I finally got a chance to use some of my vacation days. Look for some shore posts soon.
  • Grabbed some Chinese food Sunday to try and recuperate from the shore (and some stressful apartment problems).
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Attack a Savings Goal: Home Buying Part 1

A year ago, I had freshly graduated from college and I was considering the idea of moving to New Jersey. I grew up in the suburbs but moved to Philly for college. Just the idea of moving away from the excitement of the city threw me into panic attacks. Now, it's a year later and I still feel the same. I don't think I ever will really be someone who wants to move to the suburbs (this might be the millenial in me talking). At this point in my life. I have a steady income and a 5 year plan that includes staying in the city. The next logical step for me is to start looking at buying. I have been casually browsing Zillow and Realtor.com to check out home prices in areas of Philadelphia I am willing to call home. It looks like my price range is $300K and under for a 2 bed/2bath home. Some people might be jumping out of their seats thinking that's crazy price for such a small home but honestly, that's Philly pricing. Since I am planning on splitting this with my boyfriend, my savings goal for a 20% down payment about $30K. Here's a quick breakdown of what I currently am dealing with: Usable Assets
  • Savings: $2000 (Barclay Dream Account at 1.05% APR)
  • Emergency Fund: $5000
  • Roth IRA: $5500
Debts
  • Car: ~$8000
The car loan (which I am also aggressively paying down should be gone by Dec '17 (hopefully earlier). If not earlier. I am contributing around $1,000 a month to my Barclays savings account. Finding that $1,000 can be tricky but it you take advantage of some of my tips below, you'll be able to find some extra cash each month. 4 Tips to Aggressively Save for a House
  1. Minimize eating out. This is a good way to save a ton of money. Happy Hour, cheap pizza dates, and the occasional sushi splurge add up. I have limited my eating out budget to $50 a month which can cover about one brunch and one pizza.
  2. Drive less. That's one good thing about living in the city, I only have to drive to work and back. Everything else is accessible on foot or by public transportation if it's really far.
  3. Find activities that are cheap or free. If you are trying to save, there are usually a bunch of really cool events around town tempting you to spend. Coincidentally, there should be a bunch of really cool FREE events, like concerts, museums, and food tastings too. Uwishunu and Philly.com always feature interesting things that you can do for FREE. Most cities or towns have similar websites.
  4. Inviting friends over instead of going out. You can have a splendid time play old school board games (Yahtzee's my fave) or video games. You can easily get the supplies or utilize stuff you already have! Plus, creating a cheese or veggie platter can still be fun, festive, delicious, and CHEAP!