Friday, December 31, 2010



Happy New Year Everyone! I wish all my readers an awesome New Year’s Eve – and a great new year ahead!


Thanks for reading my blog, and I look forward to seeing you next year! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Good Quality But Expensive Or Poor Quality But Dirt-Cheap? A Story About How You Get What You Pay For


This last summer I had just bought a pair of gorgeous new high-heeled boots. They cost $73 brand-new. While that definitely is pricy by all means, I still thought of that as a bargain buy, since these kinds of boots often range in the $110-180 price spectrum. So happily, I bought these boots and took them home.

high-heeled boots

A week or so later I was going out to a party. I put on my brand new sexy boots, walked out the door and down the street to catch the bus.


It wasn’t more than a few minutes of walking when suddenly one of the heels of my gorgeous new boots had fallen off(!) I was mortified. With broken heel in one hand and bruised pride in the other I had to wobble all the way back home to my apartment again to change my boots. I entered my apartment door, quickly changed my boots, swore a little (maybe, a lot), and made a mental note of taking the boots to the repair on Monday. I couldn’t return them because I bought them at a market, so the vendors where long gone by now. Maybe that should have been a warning sign to me to begin with, not to buy boots at a market. But I’m frugal, so I’ll do anything to save a buck or two. So off I went to get my boots repaired on Monday after work. The cost of this, you ask? It totalled at $27.


Ok, so there I was, newly repaired shoes and all. Happy as pie. So I had plans to go out again the next weekend…


So the next weekend I got ready to go out. I put on my new boots and walked out the door. And sure enough a few minutes down the road – my other heel broke. Yet again I had to wobble home down the busy street, cursing and swearing, back to my apartment. The following Monday (you know the drill…) I went to get my boots repaired again. This time I had a lengthy argument with the shoe repair man, because he wanted to charge me $27 for the other heel. I thought that he was ripping me off, so I argued tooth and nail to get a discount. But no go, unfortunately. His prices (meaning price pr. heel) were fixed.


So there I was forking out another $27 on top of the original $27 for the first heel and on top of the original $73 dollars that the boots cost originally.


So all in all I ended up paying $127 for my pair of boots.

Yes, you heard me, $127, I could have bought myself a good pair of quality boots to begin with and spared myself all of the hassle. In this case, I really did get what I paid for. Poor quality boots. At a cheap price, sure, but what good are they if they have no heels. So in order to get “fully functional” boots, I had to fork out the extra $54. So sometimes it really does pay to buy good quality. I know the 3 dvd-players (the latest one is on the fritz by the way, so it’ll probably be 4 very soon) that I’ve owned during the last 8 years  are a solid testament to that. Making electronics that don’t last more than 2 years is very normal nowadays, as long as it’s priced at a bargain, then we accept it. But I guess, if I had bought good quality from the get-go (both in terms of the dvd-players and the boots) then they would probably last me longer.

What’s your take on all of this? Better to buy good quality products but that are more expensive or buy poor quality products at a cheaper rate? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, so do leave a comment in the comments section. I’m interested in hearing other people’s experience with this.

By the way, if you knew me in real life, you’d know that I’m a very frugal person and that these boots were in fact the only pair of shoes I’ve bought in the past 2 years. So maybe that’s why it angered me so much, when they broke (twice!) So normally I would say that buying cheap and compromising on quality is okay with me. But after that experience, it made me wonder. In fact I was so pissed of that I talked to my dad on the phone complaining to him about boots, hahaha, can you imagine. :) What dad’s have to go through with their daughters.


Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

These Are The Christmas Gifts I Got For My Family This Year


I just finished my Christmas shopping today and I wanted to share with you the Christmas gifts that I bought for my family. So if you’re a last-minute shopper (like I am, this year : ) and still haven’t gotten any presents for your friends and loved ones, then this list might help you get some last-minute gift ideas:




Football Manager 2011

For my older brother, who is 31 years old, by the way, I got this PC version (because his X-Box is broken) of the computer game FOOTBALL MANAGER 2011. He has been an avid fan of these football/soccer-managing games since we were both teenagers and used to play them on our Dad’s Windows 95 computer. He also owns both FOOTBALL MANAGER 2008 and FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010, so when I saw that the 2011 Edition had come out, I just knew I had to buy it for him. 




Kingston USB 8GB + SanDisk Extreme III

For my father, well, as you can see, I had a really difficult time figuring out what to get him this year. So I opted for practical. Something that he needed. I remember him recently telling me that he didn’t have a back-up for his computer (documents, emails and music) and while 8GB is not really that much storage space – believe me I’ve seen my Dad’s computer, 8GB is more than plenty. The SD Card I got him because his old SD card is filling up to the brim, and he needs a new one. And as you can see from his computer, he doesn’t store his pics on the computer, he keeps them in the card. He uses his card as storage :) And I know my father well enough to know that instead of trying to change his ways and convince him to store his photos on the computer, giving him the brand-new SD Card instead will make him happy.  So storage, storage, storage is my dad’s gift.




Remington Hair Straightener Tribal Edition

For my father’s wife I bought her a hair straightener from Remington. She’s over 50, but she’s young at heart, so I have a feeling that she actually will like the tribal edition and think it’s fun and playful. I bought this hair straightener for her because she sometimes goes to get her hair straightened professionally at the beauty salon, but when I asked my dad if she had a hair straightener at home, he told me that she didn’t. So I think she’ll be really happy for this gift. I think she would really like a hair straightener at home, but she’s always been too frugal to buy one for herself. So now she gets one from me. :)




The Princess And The Frog DVD

For our little cousin me and my brother got her a DVD with Disney’s “The Princess And The Frog”. Because she’s a little girl. That’s all the reason needed. :) Me and my brother, however, never buy our cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. any presents usually. However, because we’re spending Christmas with our extended family this year, my brother thought that it would be a good idea to get our little cousin something. And so we did. :)


What Christmas presents did you get for your friends, family and loved one this year? And why?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So my boyfriend and me broke up this weekend



So my boyfriend and me broke up this weekend. I feel very sad right now, but I know that in the end it was for the best. And what a time for it to happen, just before Christmas. :( :( :(  We’d only been seeing each other for 5 months, so we fortunately don’t have any shared finances, children, shared housing, etc. We don’t even have that much of a shared history, lol. (Let me laugh about this, I’m trying really hard to find something to laugh about). But somehow we still had something together, and it always hurts to see that end. 5 months seems like a long time for me right now (even though I’ve had longer relationships) because I’ve only been working at my new job for 7 months. Meaning that throughout most of the time I’ve worked at my new job, I had him as a boyfriend… and now I don’t anymore.

We broke up because lately he began treating me like sh**, like standing me up, not returning my phone calls, etc. So there’s only so much a person can take of this madness, so I broke up. Yes, you heard me, so I was the one who broke up. But I’m still feeling sad. Because I really did like him, but I just wouldn’t put up with his sh** anymore. So I left. As I said, I know it’s for the best, and I do see better guys for me in the future. So I’m single again, but hopefully that just means that there’s a new love (a new guy ;) in store for me in the New Year. But hey, if there ever was a time for change and new beginnings, I guess this time of the year would be it ;)

Thanks for reading this. I just needed to vent a little. And if some of you out there are thinking, “5 months, that isn’t a long time…”, I’m thinking, “Wow, 5 months, was waaaaay toooo looong a time.” ;) I’m glad I got out, with my dignity and self-esteem intact. All it cost me was my time, a bruised ego and a broken heart. The last 2 of which will heal in time…

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RE-BRANDING: Transitioning Your Blog When You’ve Come To A Different Place In Your Life


When I started this money blog I was a college student. I had 2 years left of college (grad school), I had a part-time job, I was accumulating student loans, I was saving, saving, saving – oh yeah, and the times were good. I started this blog during the summer of 2008. It wasn’t until autumn that year that the global financial meltdown began, and the times-they-were-a-changing.

Now, a number of things have changed. I’ve since graduated (written my thesis and gotten my Masters degree), I’m working full-time, I’m in the process of paying back my student loans – and the current times are, well, not too good, to say the least.


I “branded” my blog back then both in blog directories, comments, meta tags, etc. as a “student-money-blog”. As you can see from the sidebar of this blog, I still have remnants from that time. For example the entire link list titled: “Links To Money Saving Tips For College Students”. There was a reason why that was placed there. But now it just seems a bit out of place. 





Broke Grad Student was a blog that I loved to read and followed vigorously back then. But as you can see from his header - he crossed out the word “student” a while back – that he had difficulty transitioning from a student-money-blogger (which was a good, profitable and exciting niche) to a working-man-money-blogger. You could tell from his last dozen posts that he was struggling – to find ideas & the motivation to write about something that he wasn’t a part of anymore, namely, college life, and that he was more interested on occasion in writing about this new and exciting time in his life, namely, as a young, ambitious man beginning in the work force and his experiences and observations here within.

Ultimately, he abandoned the blog completely. And the last post was made on September 1, 2009.

There are 2 other noteworthy student-money-blogs that I followed back then were Broke-Ass Student and The Frugal Law Student. The Frugal Law Student is still posting, but, the posts are far and wide apart. While Broke-Ass Student (Jennifer) has in the meantime become entirely debt-free and so decided to abandon her blog. Her last post was on September 10, 2009.



When you transition from one time in your life to another, your blog naturally transitions with you, however, the topics of your posts change and so do your keywords. This can be a bit difficult, because you are suddenly veering away from your old niche and into a new, different, perhaps more competitive niche.  As you are able to see from the sidebar of this blog, I still have artifacts from that old time, and that my blog is very much still in a phase of transition.



I’ve submitted this blog back then to multiple blog directories, however the prominent keywords back then for this blog were student, college, money, blog, savings, etc. To re-brand this blog today I would probably go with keywords like work, employment, money, debt, … You get my drift? All of a sudden my blog topic has changed, my blog direction has changed, and I still get some visitors who “mistakenly” visit my site through my old keywords like “college/student/thesis/university- savings”. Poor them.  ;) I would need to build backlinks with my new relevant keywords again, again. :)



Most importantly, I think, is the psychological aspect of one’s blog transitioning. Had I started this blog as a clear-cut debt-reducing blog with well-defined goals back in the day, I think my debt reduction would go faster. However, I’m still in the student-loans-savings mindset on this blog, but I’m working really hard to try and transition it to the aforementioned type-of-blog. But old habits die hard. And as you can see, if I’m nostalgic enough to keep (now) non-relevant links in my sidebar from my old niche just for sentimental reasons, then you know that I’m the kind of person that has trouble with quick transitionings ;) But slowly, but surely this blog will change into a “working girl’s” blog from being a “student blog” – in natural synchronization with my own inner psychological transitioning in real life.



There are, however, plenty of blogs out there who have made successful transitions like Dooce or Blogging Away Debt. As well as there have been many blogs that have struggled and failed. My blog, however, is still within the Personal Finance blogging niche, so my transition is of course far smaller, and the effects above are undoubtedly exaggerated when it comes to my blog, but I felt the need to blog about this issue, because I feel a concrete shift in my mindset (in real life) and in my goals for this blog.


Thanks for reading! And if you have any thoughts, you’d like to share, then do feel free to do so in the comments section. I love receiving comments, so by all means, shoot one my way! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Company Christmas Party


So last Friday was my company’s annual Christmas party. Great food, drinks, good company and loads of dancing.

Christmas Party

All in all a good evening, that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. :)  I didn’t get home to bed until around 8:30 in the morning. So it was a fun night, definitely. :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Spending Habits: How much money I have spent this week (November 29–December 5, 2010)


This is a weekly review of my spending habits for the week of Nov.29 - Dec. 5, 2010.

Date Amount
Monday Nov. 29 330.30 kr. ($60)
Tuesday Nov. 30 233.95 + 193.20 + 44 = 471,15 kr. ($42.50 + $35.20 + $8 = $85.70)
Wednesday Dec. 1 342.45 kr. ($62.30)
Thursday Dec. 2 160.90 + 200 = 360.90 kr. ($29.25 + $36.40 = $65.60)
Friday Dec. 3 280.95 + 625 = 905.95 kr. ($51.10 + $113.70 = $164.80)
Saturday Dec. 4 0 kr. ($0)
Sunday Dec. 5 0 kr. ($0)

TOTAL: 2410.75 kr. ($438.40)

So there you have it. A tally of what I’ve spent during the course of the week. I’ve split things up with plus’es (+) because I wanted to differentiate between my actual spending habits and bills. So the first amount is my actual “spending habits” (this is mostly food and some toiletries) while everything after the first amount are bills.

So there you go. An overview of my spending habits for said week.

If you’re interested in reading my posts for the previous weeks, you can take a look at them here:

Spending Habits: How much money I have spent this week (November 8-14, 2010) 

Spending Habits: How much money I have spent this week (November 15-21, 2010)

Spending Habits: How much money I have spent this week (November 22-28, 2010)

This is week 4 of my expense tracking:

On Week 1 I spent $80.

On Week 2 I spent $189.

On Week 3 I spent $143.50.

On Week 4 I spent $438.40. (Because it’s the 1st of the month, and all my bills come in at this time.)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

To Do List: Dec. 5


I have some things that need to be done today, so I thought I’d post them on here on this blog. I was inspired by Beachgirl’s Budget Blog, who has often had to-do-list posts on her blog. So to help inspire me and to track my progress on my efforts, I’m giving you a to-do-list post as well.




  • Write and send a job application (completed!)
  • Write and send another job application (completed!)
  • Note your sent applications in your progress tracker (completed!)
  • Fill out the important questionnaire (completed!)

So this is my to do list for today. As you can see I’ve already gotten ahead of myself and completed some the tasks today already. Perhaps that’s why I needed to write this blog post. Since I didn’t really feel motivated to write and send the 2nd job application. But I have to. I just got to get myself together. And just get it done. I’ll be reporting back later on. When the task is completed. And then cross it off my list! : )


UPDATE: All done! Phew, it took a while. But I managed to even send an extra job application! So I’ve sent 3 all in all today! I ‘m really happy. There’s no better feeling than a job well done! So, now it’s 9:30 p.m. local time, and now I can relax the rest of this Sunday evening! : )

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Architectural Digital Rendering


While I was browsing around DeviantArt I found this great artist who does architectural-digital rendering. He’s a young architectural designer  & 3D digital artist from Malaysia that goes by the name Artzen03, and you can visit his profile here.

In the meantime enjoy a few examples of his works.

Bali Villa


VOID kitchen


Friday, December 03, 2010

Pay Day


So it was pay day on Tuesday. Hence I’m writing this post today to give myself a better overview of my money situation.


Income after taxes: 10,768.46 kr. ($1,957.90)

Amount left after the fixed bills are paid (not including electricity, phone bill, public transportation,  4,229.56 kr. ($769)

Snowflaking toward debt: 500 kr. ($90)

Snowflaking toward savings: 500 kr. ($90)

Budgeting for presents this Christmas: 850 kr. ($154.50)

Buffer: 300 kr. ($54.50)

Week 1: 400 kr. ($72)

Week 2: 400 kr. ($72)

Week 3: 400 kr. ($72)

Week 4: 400 kr. ($72)

Week 5: 400 kr. ($72)

This post probably makes more sense to me than to any of my readers. But I really needed to break it down in the above manner. For my own sake. This probably isn’t the most exciting post, so feel free to browse around my sidebar and my archives for more informative posts. This post was, admittedly, solely for me and my overview. And for my peace of mind.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

30 Easy Ways To Save Money - Day 3: Brown-Bagging Lunch


So over a year ago I started this blogging series called 30 Easy Ways To Save Money – Am I Doing All Of Them???, that tackled Dumb Little Man’s blog post 30 Easy Ways to Save Money (and No, you are not doing them all!) and the 30 different savings tips that were presented there. I’m a huge fan of serial posts, so I wanted to dedicate a blog post for each individual entry on the list. The time has come for no. 3 – or Day 3, as I happened to call it back then. I had it in my head that I wanted to do this over a 30 day period. Obviously, *ahem* it’s been a little longer than that ;) But anyways, I’ll go ahead and continue this blogging series, as I think they are immensely fun.

A few notes before we begin:


So the logic behind the Day 1 and Day 2 was pretty much there at the beginning :)


I’m however going to disappoint you people who are expecting a daily posting on this series, as I am not of yet, a daily blogger. Due to time constraints I currently only blog 1-2 times a week. This blog is, of yet, just for pleasure, not for pay, so I’m taking my time and taking it easy with all my postings. I’m thoroughly stressed out enough in my real life as it is, I don’t want my blog to contribute in any way to that as well. So don’t expect Speedy Gonzales when it comes to this blogging series. It’ll probably take a while :) But anyways, I’m happy. And I’m enjoying it. So that’s the most important part.


On we go.


This is Day 3 on my series “30 Easy Ways To Save Money – Am I Doing All Of Them??? based on Dumb Littles Man’s list of 30 different ways to save money.


  • 3.Brown bag lunch at least a few days a week: Lunch times are great opportunities to network and make connections that could improve your career growth. So unless there is a common eating area for brown baggers, you may choose to limit brown bagging lunch to three days each week. Find a balance between saving some money and making the connection. In my case, I take my lunch with me 2-3 times a week and eat out the rest of the time.”

brown bag lunch

Quoted from original post at: Dumb Little Man, Photo: brown bagging.

No one knows this, but I actually brown-bagged my lunch for a while at first when I began my new job. I eventually reverted, because of the very reason that was stated in the above. Lunch for us at my job was centered around the in-house cafeteria. A lot of socializing and networking and old-fashioned cameraderie would take place revolving around the in-house cafeteria, and for a young just-out-of-university newly hired employee who was ambitious and driven, this was unfortunately too good of an opportunity to pass up. BUT!!! I consiously have made this decision, so I am well aware of the fact, that I have to make up for it in another area of my life – so I only eat bread for dinner. My daily hot meal is eaten at lunch at the cafeteria, and when I get home in the evenings I eat bread with some meat slice or spread. That’s my dinner. So I’m completely aware of the fact that, if you have to choose one thing and make that a priority (for your career), then something else must go. Which I’m fine with.


So there you have it my thoughts in this particular saving tip. This wasn’t actually how I wanted this blog post to go, as I would rather have taken the specific saving tip to heart, and tried it out in my real life, so that I could save. However, on this particular post, I ‘ve had to put my foot down, and state that I’ve already done this, but that it however was not the right way for me to go in this particular stage in my life. I however have made compensations in another area of my life - to even out the fact.


So there you go, my Day 3 on this blogging series of mine. I look forward to the next time :) See you there.

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