The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Playlist: Summer Mix '18

Here's to driving down the road, windows rolled down, music playing. Here's to after hours BBQs, swimming in the lake and chilling by the campfire.

This playlist is built to last with songs that stand the test of time; a mix of old and some new. This is definitely the list you'll be singing out loud to. I've been listening to this mix almost every time I get in the car. The kids even request it by name! I'm planning on taking a road trip down some old country roads, hanging my hand out the window and listening with a giant grin smeared across my face. I hope this playlist gives you the feel good vibes of summer you've been missing.

Note: not all the songs are playable in the sample below. Press the Spotify symbol in the upper right hand of the playlist to open in Spotify and then click "Save To Your Library" to take the playlist with you on the go. OR you can click here to go directly to the playlist and follow along.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Beginning of Summer

Summer is officially here and with it came my motivation and inspiration to take more pictures, write more blog posts and try to live life the way I've always wanted. This entails decorating for the holidays, enjoying the weather, spending time outdoors and being with family and friends. In a world with no limits, it would also involve a lot of Pottery Barn because their catalogs are perfection. That and Martha Stewart whose been inspiring me since high school. Who doesn't want to throw a well decorated summer soiree complete with twinkling lights and a fire for toasting marshmallows.

For me summer is about good times outside. It's about s'mores forever, red white and blue, lakes/oceans/rivers, shorts, flowers, dining al fresco and road trip adventures.
Summer is warm.
Schools out for summer.

What does summer mean to you?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

About Saving Money

It's recently come to my attention that I need to be saving for known future expenses.

This humors me and here's why: in my family I'm the money kid. The one who was always finding ways to make money, count money and save money. It's an interest of mine I would say; money is.

I digress. It has recently come to my attention that I need to be saving money for known future expenses.

Known future expenses include things like auto insurance, vacations, season tickets to sporting events, auto expenses, medical/dental procedures etc. While auto insurance can be paid in monthly payments throughout the year, you can usually save a few bucks by paying in one or two lump sums. So right now I'm putting X amount of dollars into a separate "Auto" savings account. In this account I'm also putting X more dollars into this account for the future cost of car maintenance and the eventual buying of a new car. Cars require maintenance, this I know, so it makes sense to put some money aside so that when my auto maintenance minder turns on I don't have to make a big "unexpected" payment. I can go about my usual business and keep spending my discretionary funds on what I want instead of an oil change or new tires. Someone reading this is thinking 'duh!' among other things but this idea was ground breaking for me.

The same is true for vacations. It has been Matt and I's habit to use Christmas bonuses and tax returns to fund our annual SoCal trip. This year we'll be better able to enjoy that bonus because every month we set aside X dollars into a savings account called "Vacation - Entertainment". Mind blowing, I know. This account is also used for season tickets to the Sounders. And in the hypothetical future, could be used for expensive furniture or tech items. (Or really whatever I want because I make up the rules).

I have four savings accounts right now. Each with a different name. Every time I log on to my bank, I can see exactly where my money is at and where it's going as opposed to having a single savings account with no real meaning. There's a save to save account, save for car, save for house and save for entertainment. This also helps me from overspending in certain areas when I would normally pay no mind. For example, right now mid-June, I'm not buying clothing. I'm already capped on random shopping and I know if I spend more it means I can't put that money into one of my savings accounts. Let’s be honest here though, if I overspend on shopping, my vacation fund is never sacrificed. Never.

Creating and maintaining budgets is something of a hobby for me and now I'll just add creating savings accounts for known future expenses to that list. I'd love to talk money organization strategies with anyone needing advice - send me a message if you'd like.