During my hunt for a cheap and chic wedding gown, I stumbled on BCBG.com. The site is having a big sale right now, with an additional 20% off for sale items until August 2. There are several beautiful white dresses that will be wonderful for a wedding. If you are also looking to for a gown, check out this site! (As an aside, I don’t understand why white dresses are displayed against such a light background!)
Want to really get drivers worked up? Just ask them about expensive tickets issued as a result of those ubiquotous cameras above traffic lights. THEN tell them that they didn’t actually have to pay the fine. Apparently, red light camera tickets, are really just… voluntary.
City officials this week spotlighted a surprising revelation involving red-light camera tickets: Authorities cannot force violators who simply don’t respond to pay them. For a variety of reasons, including the way the law was written, Los Angeles officials say the fines for ticketed motorists are essentially “voluntary” and there are virtually no tangible consequences for those who refuse to pay.
The disclosure comes as the city is considering whether to drop the controversial photo enforcement program, with the City Council scheduled to vote on the matter Wednesday.
I have never gotten a red light camera ticket before, although I did have a very big scare back in 2009. I understand that these cameras can provide a useful deterrent to dangerous driving, but most of the times they seem to be a way to wring extra money out of citizens who makes a quick right hand turn or something of that ilk. With the latest turn of events, however, if you get a red light citation… you’ll know what to do with it!
Updated Ways to Enter! (as of 7am PST)
- Newsletter sign up: http://www.pearlsofjoy.com
- visit the website and comment on which is your favorite product – please leave a link
I am a big, big fan of pearls – nothing can look so beautifully classic as a strand of pearl necklace or as elegant as a pair of pearl drop earrings.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce a giveaway sponsored by PearlsOfJoy.com, an online merchant that specializes in pearl jewelry for much cheaper than retail. The company also offers free Fedex shipping and 90-day return period! If you are in the mood for a pair of earrings (for yourself or for a special lady in your life), this contest is for you.
Mix the look of contemporary and classic with these stylish, freshwater pearl hoop earrings. The pearls are suspended from 14K gold endless hoops, and are nearly round and have little to no blemishing. Available in only AAA grade quality, and sizes ranging from 6-9mm. All of our pearls are paired by hand to assure the highest quality of matching for our earrings. Our earrings are securely mounted by hand to solid 14K white or yellow eyepins. Hoops measure 3/4″.
This pair of earrings cost $109 on the website and is valued at $400+.
Here are 4 ways to enter:
- Like Pearl of Joy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/
- Follow Pearl of Joy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/
- Leave a comment here and tell me what you love the most about pearls
- Blog about this contest and let me know in a comment
Please tell me exactly how you entered in the comments, so I make sure to count all of your entries.
The contest ends Friday August 5. The winner will be announced on Monday August 8 and must claim the prize by email within 48 hours. Good luck!
photo credit: PearlsofJoy.com
What’s the best thing about getting married? Lifelong partnership, dual income household, honeymoon? Yes, yes, and YES.
There is a school of thought that a honeymoon should be a warm and sandy cocoon of tranquility, for the couple to relax after the stress of wedding. But let’s face it – what better excuse to have a big fun vacation – perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime trip – than a trip to celebrate the beginning of our married life? I can justify expenses like I never can before! (A room with ruby-encrusted chandelier and personal butler? Why of course, please. …kidding).
This trip will be a real treat for the both of us, and to be honest, we have neither the vacation days or money for just lying on the beach. So I wanted somewhere a little bit unusual, romantic, luxurious, and adventurous. After some thought, we’ve decided to head to where Europe meets Asia… for a 2-week honeymoon in Turkey!
We are going to Istanbul, with an excursion to Edirne, Cappadocia, and Ephesus. Using Turkey Travel Planner’s website, we estimated 200 Turkish Liras (or $120-$125) per person, per day. So for the two of us it will be $250/day, or $3,000 for the 12-day itinerary. Flights to Istanbul (considered EuroZone 3 for British Airways) will cost 100,000 miles plus $1,000+ in fees, taxes, and surcharges for the both of us.
I am going to set the budget at $5,000 total for our honeymoon. I am also thinking of having a travel agent help with the planning. It should be a FANTASTIC journey. As you might have already guessed, we are raiding our Galapagos Fund, or rather, changing that to the Honeymoon Fund. It currently has $7,000, so enough to fund the honeymoon in full, but I am planning to add $3,000 in there to pay for the wedding. Although, I have not yet booked anything or anyone for the wedding. But the wedding will happen… if only because I am going to Turkey, gosh darn it!
Why go on vacation when you can have a nice, relaxing, budget-friendly, traffic-easy staycation?
Yeah, you tell me. Head on over to LendingTree Blog to check out four of my staycation ideas.
Can you have a vacation with all the fun and relaxation of getting away, minus the expenses and logistics of travel? By planning a staycation – a vacation where you stay close to home, you not only get to enjoy time off, but you can also save money and avoid the hassles of security lines, high gas prices, and car rentals. And if you only have a few days off, a staycation means you won’t waste any of your vacation days on the road.
I say, YES! In fact, I am planning a staycation of my own right now… it still counts even if it’s only for a night, right?
If you live in Southern California (or maybe if you even live outside of the area), you probably have heard about Carmageddon – a heavily trafficked stretch of the I-405 will be closed between the I-10 and I-101 for this weekend. The I-405 is the basic artery of north-south traffic on in West Los Angeles, so if you live in that part of town, stay put!
SoCal is such a car-based culture, really, if you don’t have a car here, you don’t have any way of getting around.
I spent most of my life in California, and there are so many things that I love about this state. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to travel a bit throughout the country, however, I realized that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I were to move somewhere else, with a lower cost of living (and the benefit of having lived in an expensive area is that MOST OTHER PLACES outside of New York, Boston, and D.C. are going to elicit the reaction of “wow this is so cheap!”). In fact, it would probably be an enriching experience – financially and personally – to live somewhere else at least for a few years while CB and I start out.
Here are a few reasons why I realized this:
1. I love, love, love North Carolina. Granted, I was only there for less than a week, but there is just something about the state that makes me feel so.. happy. I love the rolling greenery that surround highways connecting Charlotte and Raleigh, I love the slight twang of Southern drawl, I love the food (although soaked in butter…), and the weather is mostly mild. I told CB how much I liked the state and he said, sure, I’ll go there with you! North Carolina was really the first place that I started to dream about living somewhere else.
2. I have CB. I’ve realized that what makes me really happy, location-wise, is being with CB. And the best thing about getting married is that, God-willing, we are going to spend most of the rest of our hopefully long and healthy lives together. And that makes it so much easier to move to a different location, even a place that may be less than ideal.
3. Eventually, CB and I would like to come back to California where we are near both of our parents. But there’s nothing that says we can’t live somewhere else for a few years, and then move back to California once we’ve saved up some money. There’s nothing that says we can’t buy a rental property in California and have my parents manage it for us.
4. The things that we really like to do, day-to-day, really have very little to do with the “culture” that a city offers. This realization depresses me to a certain extent, but it’s true. We love to go to the movies. We love a variety of good food (this might be harder to come by in most other cities), we love to travel (but we can travel mostly to anywhere just as long as there’s an airport along the Southwest route!). In fact, if we live somewhere cheaper, we can probably have MORE money for these experiences.
If you live in an expensive part of the country, would you be willing to move for a few years to get on a better footing financially?
For the past few weeks, I’ve put personal finances on the backburner. I don’t check my accounts as frequently, I forgot to pay one of my bills (oops!), and I just happened to stop by an outlet one day and stepped out $50 poorer – but one stylish maxi dress, 3 ramekins, and 1 cake pan richer.
To make up for this lackluster feeling, I did schedule a $300 contribution to my 2011 Roth IRA. I suppose that’s a start. I also picked up a new wallet for my dad, and per CB’s instructions, will put in a one dollar bill when I give Dad the present. Apparently, it is bad luck to gift someone an empty wallet.
To snap myself out of this, for the lack of a better word, funk, I have decided to apply to a volunteer position at a local free clinic. I’m also planning on looking for a few classes to audit, or embark on some self-study courses. Since I have been out of college, I feel that my study abilities have gone steadily down hill. Even though I am obviously using critical and analytical thinking at work, I miss that feeling of being in class and really delving into a subject.
Wait until I’m in grad school… then I shall look at this post and laugh.
2011 is half over… can you believe it? I think as I get older, the years just seem to pass faster and faster. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. That means it’s time to look back and see how I’m doing on 2011 goals.
- Making money: My goal is to make $78,000 gross this year. On track. I am at 57% of goal so far. Some of that money is from one-time or discontinued freelance work, but I do have some bonus coming up and hopefully will have other freelance opportunities.
- Saving money: I want to save $2,500 in the Galapagos Fund. On track. I have saved $1,601.56 so far, and the total balance in the fund is at $6,1200.
- Investing money: I will contribute a total of $21,500 to retirement accounts: Roth IRA ($5,000) and 401K ($16,500). On track. I just maxed out my 401K – woohoo – and I am going to start the Roth later this month.
In other news – I have another goal that I didn’t have at the end of 2010 - saving for a wedding! One of the perks of having a small wedding (and correspondingly smaller budget) is that I didn’t have to change any of my original saving goals to accommodate the wedding. I’ll get some bonus pay next month, this money (likely $6,000 after taxes) will be spent on the wedding and the honeymoon.
Run a Better Blog
Ummm… Basically, I’ve really neglected this part of the goals! I am still participating in the Carnivals, but I am not as active in the blog community / Yakezie as I’d like. I don’t comment as much as I’d like. Sometimes I think I still haven’t shaken the personal finance rut. Usually I work on the blog after work at night, but lately I’ve just been reading instead – it’s one of my biggest loves and I really have let it go in the past couple of years. So instead of spending time in front of the computer, I am reading 4-6 books a week. It’s wonderful, but I need to figure out a way to do both and be more involved in the blog.
Life, Health, and Happiness
- Travel: I plan to do some domestic travel, maybe a trip to Washington, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina. I’ve always been fascinated by those parts of the country…who knows why! I may also take another trip up to Boston area, because, well, I loved it so. On track! Seriously, I’ve done EVERYTHING on this list, and then some more. I’ve been to D.C., Arlington, Raleigh, Durham, Boston / Hanover. Granted, many of these trips were for work, but I always found a couple of days to spend with friends.
- Fitness: I aim to exercise for 4-5 hours a week: 1-2 hours of Bar Method, 2 hours of Fitness Boot Camp, and 1 hour of running. Hah. Hah. Hah. Oh folks, I have completely and utterly fallen off the budget. Part of it was because of a nagging ankle injury, but most of it is because I felt so let down that I just kind of given up. I need to get back to having some kind of movement…