Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dating Nightmares

Date Culture. 
It kind of sucks.  A while back, I wrote a post detailing how I love to be single.  While that is still true, and I'm still not necessarily looking for anything serious for the time being, dating is really hard and this is why:

Everyone is looking for something casual.

I spent some time today reading a few different articles about dating. The main complaint is that everyone just wants to "hang out".  The traditional date is so rare these days.  I have been thinking about my most recent experiences with going out with new guys.  Typically they pay for my meal or movie or whatever and we have a good time.  But that's it.  I hardly ever go out on a date where something was planned beyond a meal.  When I do go out on a date where we do something besides eat food and watch a movie, it's with an older guy who has been dating much longer than the 21 year olds I've been going out with. 
With that being said, I want to help you, men. I know that my following is mostly women, but I know there are a few men in the mix, and if you're still in the dating scene you could use this advice. These wise words have been brainstormed from experience.  They are to be used particularly when you are first getting to know a person. 
1// When you're having dinner, I don't care if you're at Denny's, place your napkin in your lap while you're eating. It's good manners. 

2// Open the car door (this very rarely happens and when it does they get about 1000 extra points)

3// Pay. Seriously.  Just do it.  Yeah, it sucks that guys are expected to do that, but if it works out, I'm sure she'll buy your food down the road as well. 

4// When you're having a conversation, don't interrupt to tell her something random that isn't relevant to the conversation.  You would think that this is just common sense, but you would be surprised how often I can barely get a word in edgewise. 
5// Don't talk about your ex. 

6// Have a plan. Don't pick a girl up and ask her what she wants to do.

7//  Put your phone away.  It's forgivable if it rings or you have to check it, but don't play on it!  Rude.
8// Don't post about it on social media right after. If it was good or bad or whatever.  Some things don't need to be shouted from the rooftops (or facebook, or twitter, or whatever) If it continues and works out, maybe they'll make their way into your daily status here and there, but don't start out on that track!
9// Don't make things up.  So many guys make up stories (and it is so obvious.)  Chances are, we'll like the truth better. 
And the most important one:
10// Do NOT expect sex. Just don't. 

Being single, while it can be fun and exciting, can be a chore.  I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has experienced a few very bad dates among those generally fun ones. What kind of dates have you been on! And Ladies, a lot of this advice goes for you too! I hope that what I had to say might help someone out on their next date. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Things I Leave Behind

For the past few weeks, I've been here at Fort Knox, twiddling my thumbs, having random adventures, and making new friends.   In a couple more weeks, I'll be gone.  I'll part ways from all my new friends, pack my bags (again) and head back home.  
Shortly after that, I'll be packing even more bags and moving back to Las Vegas for the rest of my college educations. I'm really excited to go, but I'm also really sad to go.  This time is a lot different from the first time I went off to college. Back then (almost exactly a year ago) I was terrified to be away from home in a different capacity.  When you're away for the Army, it's different.  You have friends that are basically issued to you.  There is always someone  to hang around with.  College, on the other hand, isn't really like that. It can be a lot harder. 
This time, though, I'm not really scared. I'm just sad about all the things I'm about to leave behind (again).
There are a few things that are Utah Originals that I can't get anywhere else. 
This is the only place that I can order anything that is hot with a little caffeine that gets me going on a rough day of work.  Well, they don't have them anywhere but Utah...So I'm out of luck. 

I'll miss my family so much. I've already been away for pretty much the entire summer and now I'll be gone all school year as well.  For some people that's no big deal.  It's completely normal for the kids to grow up and move out.  For me, it's really hard to leave home even though I really want to. 

Of course, it's already hard not to see this adorable face every day...She's so big...I can't believe how much she has changed just since I left for Kentucky. 

I'm going to miss the mountains...We have mountains in Vegas, but it's just not the same there...However, the trade off is palm trees...I love those palm trees. 

I'll miss my must as I complain about it, I don't really hate it as much as I make it seem. 

I'm leaving behind a whole lot more than I even really know, but hopefully this will be an awesome adventure where I'll actually make some real progress and make some strides towards a whole new life. 

It's hard to leave things behind, but I'm sure this will be for the better...Bye-bye Beans & Brews...

Monday, July 28, 2014

This is the End

This past month, every Monday has been dedicated to different ways that I have learned to budget and save.   The original idea that I was supposed to follow was "No Spend" only save just like Ashley from American Honey did.  Well, to be honest, I think she did a lot better at not spending any money than I did.  While I didn't really stick to the rules, I shared quite a few things that I learned about financial wellness and ways to obtain your goals dealing with money. 

On the first day of "No Spend" I established some rules that I didn't follow very well.  Well over the past few months, I've realized that there is a lot more to financial wellness than just having a huge saving account.  If you want to be able to make huge purchases or get a mortgage, you might have to pay attention to things like Credit.  I have learned so much about credit from a little bit of experience and a lot of staring at people's credit reports all day long. 

One of the things that I pulled out of this month long financial wellness challenge was that there are so many resources to help you save.  My favorite thing I've used to far is the app Level

I also shared how I've learned to take advantage of things like shopper's rewards and coupons/apps for things that you planned on purchasing regardless of how much it was.  You might as well save a little bit if you have to spend the money anyway, right?

As this month winds down, I feel like I've actually learned a lot, even if I didn't stick to the rules quite like I was supposed to...I hope that a little bit of what I know has helped you out as well! 

Now go check out Ashley's blog today for her last "No Spend" post!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Am Enough

Real talk.
Being a female in the Army is hard. Scratch that. Being a female is hard. Period. Don't get me wrong there are things that I love about being a girl, but it has some serious downfalls. 

I read an article today by a bikini competitor who writes for the Huff Post.  The gist of the article was that women have been put up on this pedestal. It explained that the ideal picture of a 'fit' woman is unattainable for 90% of females.  The point of it was de-sexualizing a fit body, but I sort of took away something different from it. 

For the first time in my life, I felt adequate.  Adequacy is something that I haven't felt in a long time.  I stand in front of a mirror and I see negative things.  I see my splotchy skin that I should have grown out of.  I see brown hair that won't stay one color no matter how often I dye it.  I see a smile I hate to show.  I see small.  Weak. Less. Not enough. 

I listen to men talk all day about women with the perfect ass and a beautiful face.  Perfectly tanned legs that go great with their sundress.  They stare.  Judge.  Rate.  And they cut down women who's story they know nothing about.  

I work in a place where I'm surrounded by men all day.  I do manual labor that is too hard for my small body and weak muscles. I work twice as hard to accomplish half the work.  I get made fun of because I'm small and seemingly lesser.    

Well you know what? I'm not.  It might take me longer, but I'll still get the job done.  I try my best to play to my strengths and work where I fit.  I get by and I really wish that I was held to a completely impossible standard.  I can just be...this and be okay with it. 
Sadly, the standard probably won't ever change.  All I can do is hope that I can hold onto the adequacy I feel right now because...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Literally Can't Even

A little while ago, I wrote a post about some of my quirks that you would likely only know about if you really knew me. Well, today, I decided to bring that back with a theme in mind. Before, I posted a few random facts that were just that: random.  

Today we're talking thing that I literally can't even be without. A "Katie Survival Kit" if you will. 

My number one can't-be-without would definitely be my wooby.  When I was in AIT (advanced individual training) my parents sent me my wooby for my birthday.  It was made for me by my mom, my grandma, and my grandpa.  It makes me feel like I have a piece of them with me anytime I sleep with it. 

Also in the photo above, you can see my pillow. That is a new thing that I will never again go without.  Last week, I realized I was having a really hard time sleeping.  I decided to get myself one of those memory foam pillows. Best. Idea. Ever.  I seriously think I will never leave home without it ever again. 

Of course, my phone.  It has my music, my friends, my life. Everything that I could possibly need, it has. 

Except...for my planner. 

Some people can write all of their appointments and reminders in their phone, but I cannot. I put everything in my planner from when to pay for things to when to write a blog post. Without it, I might be completely lost (read "I would ABSOLUTELY be lost")

This might be the part where you laugh at me...I have a thing about my hair looking good in uniform. Ask anyone that I work with... In fact it's more than a thing. You might even call it an obsession.  I can not live without all my hair products. Big Sexy Hair, LA Looks gel and Sally's Bobby Pins. I will never use anything else if I can help it.   

Last but not least, I cannot live without my Cafe Rio. It's seriously the best thing in the world.  When I returned from 6 months of training, it was all that I wanted. Luckily at school, it's walking distance from my dorm.  Um...awesome. 

This post was inspired by an email from a representative at Man Crates. They specialize in making it easier to buy for men. Let's get real, it's freaking impossible to buy gifts for a man.  I know that my dad gets so tired of getting all the same old stuff for every Christmas and Birthday. Man Crates is creating a better alternative to make shopping for the men in your life that much easier. Check out their site to learn more! You can also like them on Facebook to keep up with what they have going on!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

100 posts later

Since my first post in this blog  a whole lot has happened.  

I quit school. 
I was unemployed.

I spend a lot of time doing that Army thing. 

I went on a million and one dates. 

I got a new job. 

I decided to go back to school.  

I suppose that the more I blog, the more I remember why I blog.  It's to remember all of the crazy and amazing things that happen in my life.  Blogging, while some people think it's stupid has been the best thing for me.  It forces me to sit down and write about my life.  While it may not be the most interesting thing to everyone in the world, it means something to me.  I'm able to go back and read that first post and remember who I was 8 months ago.  

A lot has changed since then and I'm so glad that I can go back and read all those posts and remember who I was back then.  I'm at this age where I'm constantly changing.  Life is constantly changing and I don't ever want to forget who I was in this moment here and now. 

As this is my 100th post I'll leave with you my favorite posts so far.  It almost makes me sad to go back and read all these posts. Time goes by so fast.  Life is short only live once. 

You Just Do

Weird things that bother me

When things don't quite work the way we planned 

Love/hate relationship with the Gym

Fake Perfection 

On August 1, I will be hosting a giveaway to celebrate 100 posts! I am waiting until my period of Financial Stinginess is over! Please stop by on the first to enter to win  some AWESOME free stuff :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Turnt Tuesday

I'm not sure if you know this, but Utah is a predominately white, predominately suburban area.  Of course, there are rougher parts of town where the tougher people reside, but in general, I'd consider it pretty basic. 

I suppose before I continue, I should explain what I mean by basic.  I think that Urban Dictionary says it best:

1. Used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.

With that being said, I've been devoid of some culture in my life. Prior to this spring, I'd never really been to a club where it isn't all white suburban kids grinding on each other (and that's the worst thing that's going on in that "club").  When I went to Fort Leonard Wood for my Mass Casualty Decon course, I was first exposed to that life.  What was really happening though, is I was joining the rest of the world as far as the club scene is concerned. 

But that was training wheels in comparison to what I've seen here in Louisville. Let me tell you a little thing about this place called Fourth Street Live 

It's basically like a little, tiny Las Vegas strip in Downtown Louisville.  This photo really does not do it justice. I'll have to go again just so I can take some better pictures. 

While I was there, I drank and danced to the music and had more fun than I have had in the longest time.  It was incredible and such a great experience. One of the greatest parts of the military is learning how to have a good time.  These people are a blast.  They just really know how to have a good time.  Due to an unfortunate experience that left me cleaning up my room for an entire day and switching beds (yeah...threw up in my sleep. Gross), I haven't really been all that interested in turning up, but this was so worth it.  

Can't you tell I'm having so much fun?

It was such an awesome night that I will hopefully get to experience again! 


I Was Going To Buy it Anyway

Let me tell you something about money.  I don't have a lot of it. I do alright, but I don't have a ton, so every penny that I save matters. I have to work hard to make things work for me.  
All month, I've been paying close attention to my finances and working with Ashley from American Honey 
This month I've done my best to be frugal, but every now and then, things come up and you have to take care of business.  Let's just say, my Level App is very mad at me.  In my defense, almost everything that I have spent has been 100% essential to life. I've made my car payment, paid some school stuff and bought things like Q-Tips and Emery boards. 
When I think about it though, sometimes you're going to spend some money.  Sometimes everyone at work goes out to eat. What am I going to do? Just watch them eat and be hungry? No. I'm not 
Instead I'm going to use awesome things like this:
+This is a feature that my credit union offers called ABC deals.  You select the offers that you want and you save when you make purchases there with your credit union's debit or credit card. For example, it will have a McDonalds offer. If I select and activate it, if I use my debit card there, I'll get 10% off my entire purchase there.  Of course, if you're just spending the money because you have the offer available, you aren't saving any money at all, but if you were going to go there and spend money anyway, you may as well save a little right?
+Typically, I'll check my online banking app and select any offers for places that I typically shop or eat at.  That way, I'm getting 10% cash back on anything I buy. Just one of those little life-hacks I suppose. 

+There are other ways that you can save when you're spending in places that you would anyway.  For me, I really like to drink a ch tea when I get to work.  To keep that from breaking the bank, the place I buy from has a rewards card. Every time I buy a drink I get points. When the points add up, I get a free drink. If a rewards card is free and you expect you'll be a frequent patron, sign up!

+Along with this, a lot of grocery stores have shopper cards.  If I use mine when I shop at Smith's (Kroger) I get fuel points and I can get almost full dollars off a gallon! So worth it!

+There's also apps like iBotta, Cartwheel (target), and all kinds of other that will help you save where you were planning to spend your money anyway. 
+If you're in the military, a student, a teacher, or law enforcement, you can get discounts in a lot of places (and on software!) 

Saving money is difficult because the situations that we're in can dictate where our money goes, but you can at least work to make the best of it. .
How are your financial goals going?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

There She is! Miss America

My decision to go back to UNLV has been a...conflicting one. Before I came out here to Fort Knox, my plan was to go back home, work my lil' ol' job for another few month and go to a small school in Utah that was a little less expensive and possibly a bit easier to handle.  

You can imagine my family's surprise when I woke up one morning and my mind had completely changed.  I had chosen, once again, to leave home and be on my own.  In some ways, I get so sad to leave. I'll miss my family so much, but I just can't stay. 

I was reading a blog post that Amelia wrote and it occurred to me why I feel that way.  I highly recommend that any twenty-something living somewhere besides their hometown gives it a read. I'm sure it will resonate with you. 
Today my little sister sent me a SnapChat that said "It seems like you think home is a bad place".  I'm assuming she said that because I posted some BuzzFeed article on Facebook about the things that people say to you when you leave home. So...I've decided to write an open letter to the world about growing up, moving out, and being your own person. 

My family is the number one most important thing in the world to me.  I love them all more than anything in the entire world.  Today I flipped through some pictures I have saved on my computer and I just couldn't believe how much we have all changed. 

We went from this little family just playing music together on a Friday night for our friends...

To a grandma and grandpa

A mommy 

A college student 

And well, you know all about my stuff...

But the point I'm getting at, is that in the span of about 6 or 7 years, a whole lot of things have changed. We've all lived some life and had some adventures. My little sister is about to experience living on her own for the first time. My sister and her new husband are learning all about the ups and downs of parenthood.  My parents are trying to figure out what the heck to do with an empty nest...

And me? Well I'm just trying to find the place that I fit best in this world.  I'm working on shaping my character and rounding myself out (not physically...ha. ha.) I want to "home" to be wherever I'm at.  Right now, home is my barracks room at Fort Knox. While it isn't the coziest and I'm not always super happy to sit in there and run up my phone bill, that's home. I live there and it's mine. 

For now. 

I'll always have Salt Lake to go back to.  It will always be a place that I can say I grew up in. But it's also a place that I've grown out of.  It's different and so am I. Life continues to push forward there when I'm not around.  So I need to make a home wherever I rest my head at.  

When I'm gone, I miss my family.  I miss the, while extremely annoying, familiar hum of the freeway while I fall asleep in my bed.  I miss my mom singing "There she is! Miss America!" when she fist sees me that morning.  I miss fighting over the last piece of nearly burnt-to-a-crisp bacon.  I'll miss random, late night trips to Walmart with my big sister...And I'll always miss those things. It will never go away, but things can't always stay the same.  

I'm just so lucky that I have made so many great memories with the people I love.  I can't wait to have a family of my own so I can teach my kids everything my parents have taught me.  And teach my future husband how to keep the cupboards closed and to dry off in the shower (I'm talking about you, daddy) I have been extremely blessed and lived an amazing life filled with great things.

But it's time for me to write a new volume of my life.  I can't even say it's a chapter, because I'm pretty certain this is an entirely different book of life I'm writing here. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Things to Love Instead of Hate

After mulling over the life that I am currently living, a thought occurred to me: I have explained the many things that I hate about the Army, but I haven’t ever discussed the things that I love.  That being said,he complaints were mostly for the "10 things I hate..." series, but I suppose that it's time to share a few things about the Military that I couldn't live without

          1//  I have a friends all over the country that I could call any time.  There are couches across the America (and Puerto   Rico for that matter...) that I could sleep on if I needed because of all of the connections and friendships I have made in the Army.
    2//       We are a family.  I have never felt as loved as I do in the Army.  Even when I’m being teased about something dumb I said two weeks prior or someone is giving me a hard time because I screwed up, I understand that we take care of each other and would literally lay down our lives for one another.

         3//  The money isn't bad. Sure it isn't a ton, but for me, a young single soldier without much to support but myself, it is pretty good. I can’t even imagine what kind of money I would have saved if I was active duty. Of course, for soldier with big families and all that, it’s much harder to get by.  I just try not to think about it hourly and I feel okay with it.

         4//  It has presented me with opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. I've been able to get HAZMAT certifications, I got to go on a cross country road trip for a specific purpose.  I've had all kinds of adventures here (to be divulged later) and this is only the beginning.
            5//  I got instate tuition at the college I attend because of the Army.  It constantly inspires me to work hard and be better. While I've been here at LDAC (Leadership Development Assessment Course) I have decided that I should be an officer. I've decided to go back to school completely on a whim because I don’t want to be ordinary. I want to be...All that I can be…. (see what I did there?)
      6//  The Army has taught me how to be a grown up and take care of myself. While I have always been “mature for my age” the Army did so much to teach me not only how to act older, but how to be older. I've learned to take control of my life and my career and be a proactive, contributing member of the World.

        7//    I have learned how to work.  Pre-Army life, when I was presented with a physically challenging or otherwise difficult task, I would feel defeated and call for help unable to solve the problem on my own.  Now, I look at problems in a different way. I will do what I can to fix something before I shout for assistance.

           8// On the flip side of #7, I’m not afraid to ask for help.  Previously, I would have asked for help, yes, but I also would have sat and stared at my problem for 30 minutes while I worked up the courage to tell someone I didn't succeed at my task. The Army taught me that things are accomplished faster with help when you need it.

     9//  I have been exposed to people and situations that I never would have been otherwise.  It has made me into a far more well rounded person.  I'm so happy that I've had the chance to meet so many great people and learn to many things from them.  

      10//  And finally the Army made me eat.  This might sounds stupid, but I used to hate all kinds of food that I now things are absolutely delicious just because I was so hungry at some point I had to eat whatever was in front of me. Well, now I know that those foods were actually quite tasty and should never be neglected again.

And there you have it.  10 things I love about the Army.  I honestly could go on and on.  Nearly all of these things could apply to any branch of the military.  I suppose that it would depend on the person.  If you ask me, you get out of it what you put into it.  I work hard and put everything into the Army so I get a lot out of it as well.

Whenever I look at my life’s decisions and the path that I've ended up on, I feel completely satisfied with it. While it wasn't the plan initially, I have made myself very happy with my choices. I cannot wait to continue on this path and find out what else this amazing life has to offer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dat Credit Doh

Well hellooo! I know that it’s pretty late on a Monday to be posting, but I want to get down to business here.  I've been working on getting all my school stuff straightened out. Here I am again cutting it super close (just like last year) and making things all stressful! On the bright side, I'm enrolled! I'm wait-listed for one class, but otherwise, I'm done! All I have to do is get my room assignment and I'm as good as a resident of Las Vegas again!


Each Monday is supposed to be dedicated to “No Spend July”.  Sadly, I haven’t been able to do an amazing job at monitoring my spending, but I have been working on a few other things that have a whole lot to do with my financial future.   To check out how Ashley is doing with her adventure into learning how to budget, head over to her blog!
 Today I want to talk about something that totally sucks but is so super necessary in the world of money:


If you ask me, like that good ol’ Dave Ramsey says “Cash is king”.  And he is totally right. It is.  But in some situations, you just need good credit.  People look at your credit all the time. When you rent some please to live, they check your credit report. When you get a mobile phone contract, they check your credit report. If you want to buy a house and you aren't carrying around $100,000 in your wallet, you’re going to need good, experienced credit to get a mortgage.

I am 21 years old.  I have some credit but not a lot.  I’m working really hard right now to bring up my score and make some big payments so that I ca refinance my car in about a year. I’m also working at it so that when I decide that I want to settle down and buy a house, I don’t have to struggle and wish I’d been a little bit smarter with my credit when I was young.

Today, I want to share with you what I have learned about Credit so far. Some of this has been from experience and some has been from my job at a private label credit card where I am frequently able to see why denials and approvals are made while looking at credit reports. 

Remember that app I told you about? They have an awesome blog with an article specifically on this.  It says it's only about cancelling credit cards, but it isn't.  Worth a read. 

1      If you have deferred student loans, your score will be inflated.  It might look like your score is amazing, but when creditors actually look at your report, they’ll see that most of the “experience” on your credit is stuff you have but you don’t pay.  That doesn't actually show them anything about how you handle credit.

2      Limits matter. If you don’t have any accounts with limits over $500 your credit score will suffer higher limits with less the 90% of the limit used looks good and will bring your score up.

    Use credit cards like debit cards.  I pay off my credit card days after I use it. Granted, I've only had it for about a month, but my score has already risen by 70 points because I have already made a payment on it.

      How you pay affects your score. If you always pay late, your credit will reflect that!

      Until you've been using credit for several years (read 7) your credit probably won’t look amazing. I, being 21 and having had one thing on credit (9 month old auto loan), looked really crappy to creditors when I was trying to get a new car, but you have to start somewhere. I now have a few different accounts using credit and my score will gradually go up the longer they sit on my credit report.

      Start small. Don’t try to go and get a major credit card right out of the gate. If you have rookie credit, get a rookie credit card! Your bank or credit union will likely approve you for one if you have proof of income and new credit.
      MONITOR!!! You should always watch your credit for errors. My report has an address on it I haven’t ever lived at.  Scary. Watch it and dispute when you see things pop up that are NOT you.

Credit is a game.  It isn't an easy one either. You have to work it for a long time to win.  Just keep in mind that while it does suck, your credit matters.  There is WAY more to credit than what I have just gone over.  There is even more that I want to say, but I can see people just clicking right past this post as it has a million words and isn't really a whole lot of fun…so I’ll quit now. 

I hope that someone can get something out of today’s post about money! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This Time Will Be Different

Well, I did it again. I made a huge life changing decision. It's one I've made before, but then, the timing wasn't right. I was overly excited for something that was very difficult to accomplish in a short amount of time.

I've been spending some time around the colleg campus in Louisville and I just felt homesick for that life. I felt, all of a sudden, like I needed to make a change.  Since I left school, although I've been working very hard and saving money, I have felt so very...stationary.  It was like I still new what I wanted but didn't really have any true plans to pursue it. 
Being here and working with Cadets has simply changed my mind.  

I'm going back to UNLV.
Yep.  Real life. I'm doing it.  All I have to do is submit my immunization proof and I'm in.  It was so easy. I called the registrar's office and there was nothing to it.  A sign that I have to do it.
While I'm at it, I'm going to attend ROTC courses to later (hopefully) become a Commissioned officer.  Just thinking about it, I have butterflies. That alone tells me that I have to do it.  It was like I woke up this morning and just knew what I had to do. 
At first, I thought I was being ridiculous thinking that I could get home from Kentucky and start school right away, but now, it just feels right.  I know that I've said that before, but I feel so much more confident this time. On top of that, I'll have a little bit more money in my pocket. If you'll remember last fall semester I was ridiculously broke. Like so terribly broke I couldn't eat out. Like ever.
This will be different.  And I cannot wait!
I have a checklist a mile long of the things that I have to do before I can go, but it isn't phasing me at all. Before I felt overwhelmed and stressed out, as if there was no possible way to accomplish anything at all. This time...this time will be different.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why They Say it Like That I Don't Know

For the 4th of July, I went out to Louisville (pronounced LOO-AH-VUL...why they say it like that, I don't know.). Finally! It was...fantastic to say the least. I went out with a handsome young man who showed me around the town. We went out to Bardstown Road and had some pizza (amazing.) and then later drove down to the waterfront for a walk across the River. If this isn't breath taking, I don't know what is...

I took several more pictures out there, but I did this really stupid thing where I deleted one-hundred three photos that I thought would just save to my computer. Wrong. Luckily, I posted this one to Facebook, so it's still in tact.  I suppose I'll just have to go back again so that I can relieve it and take more pictures.  It was really so cool. You walk over the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky and into Jeffersonville, Indiana. They call this whole area "Kentuckiana".  Weird.

So far, I really like this place. Seriously, the more I see, the more I feel a need to go more places. Hopefully I'll get to go out again this weekend.  I have plans to go to a Louisville Bats game today. My work schedule is totally nuts, so I usually don't even know if I have to work until I wake up for that day, but so far, I've made time to make friends and have some fun.

This is another thing that is nuts about this place. A few days ago, I was sitting in the bricks (that's my room in the barracks) and I see flashes of lightening outside my window. Two seconds later, rain is pouring, the wind is howling and the thunder's rolling.

It howled and poured for about 20-30 minutes then was suddenly done. The next morning, there were only a few little wet spots to show for that monster storm the night before.

Basically, Kentucky, while much different from home, is quite an amazing place. I can't wait to see what else it has to offer. If you've ever been here/lived here and have some things in mind that you think/know that I should see, I would be very happy to hear your suggestions. I crave adventure. Feed it to me.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Getting Appy

Today is a good day.  

Today, I made my last payment to UNLV.  While I am not debt free, I no longer have that burden to bear.  I am so happy to have that completely taken care of.  Little by little, I'm learning how to manage all the moving parts of my life and make them work in my favor.  

Money is such a weird thing, but I'm trying hard to turn it into a game.  I really want to win. 

In order to work on this I'm collaborating with Ashley from American Honey to avoid spending for this month. As I have been...a little bit behind on my blogging, I only just check out what Ashley wrote today and I decided to download the same app that she has to help me with my budgeting. 

This app takes the information from you financial accounts and will really make a difference in helping you read your financial goals.  It tells you how much you can spend(orange), save(green), and the amount of money used by bills(blue).

It also has all the amounts calculated here on this main breakdown page. It remembers what you spend and how you use your money to help you save.  It's basically the coolest thing ever. I'm only just getting used to it, but I'm sure once I get the hang of it, it will be my best friend. It even give you exact amounts you are able to spend down to the week/day/month to help you achieve your goals. 

Best. Thing. Ever.  Ashley's post about the app was definitely more informative, so please, head over to her blog and check out the post.

Well I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday. Hopefully the rest of your week is great!  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Saving Those Big Bucks

Well Hello, July.  It’s good to see you.  

Today, I want to share with you, my financial goals for while I’m at Ft. Knox.  Ashley, over at American Honey asked me if I’d like to join her in attempting to save as much money as possible throughout the month of July.  So together, we will provide weekly updates on how we’re doing and what we have done to keep our expenses to a minimum. You can read her intro to "No Spend July" here.

As I am currently on orders in a different state, I have made allowances for some “Fun Money”.  I don’t want to spend all my time out here not having adventures. That is just not how I do things. 
But anyway, the basic principle of this challenge that Ashely has invited me to do is go the whole month of July working hard at saving money as opposed to spending it.  She has a few techniques that she is using and I have a few that I am using.  Hers is a little bit more scientific than mine, but it all works I suppose.

This is how I will avoid spending them big bucks:
1   1) Use my meal card as opposed to eating out (I’m also all stocked up on snacks and stuff for sandwiches)
2   2) Drink very little.
3   3)  Use the on-post shuttle/car pool to avoid fuel usage.

Those are my staples, but I’m also going to be working hard to find some free/cheap entertainment out here.  I don’t want to just allow all this time out here to pass me by, but I am also trying to be a frugal as possible.  Hopefully I succeed!

As well as working hard to save my money, I've also just recently gotten my first credit card.  I'm currently working on building some good credit history so that I can refinance my car and prepare for my future. 

If you’d like to join us, please do so.  It’s never too late to get your financial goals in line. 
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