Sunday, May 23

Spending Diary: Alya of Kookulai!

I am so excited to announce yet another lovely blogger Alya from Kookulai that was brave enough to share her spending with us!

Take it away Alya...

 I am 23 from South Jersey, recently divorced and now living back with my mother. However, most the debt acquired over three years of marriage was in my name and though I have received some compensation, I'm still $40,000 in debt. My main goal is not to create any new debts and also to pay off what I do have as quickly as possible, but unfortunately I'm failing miserably.

Wednesday: $21 for lunch and tip with my best friend in the afternoon, and after work, $45 getting completely and unnecessarily drunk with coworkers at a dive bar. FYI, $45 buys a lot of drinks in said bar. A LOT.

Thursday: $2 for my boyfriend's coffee in the morning and a can of Sprite that I hoped would get rid of my hangover. (It did not, unfortunately.) Then I also bought pizza in the evening since he paid for the gas when we drove to the shore. That was $16.20.

Friday: I met my best friend again in the morning to discuss Wednesday night's follies, as we were both drinking in different locations. That was $8 for breakfast and tip. And a few bills had to be paid today. $25 to Gap and $30 to my Marshall's card- I always pay off my balance for both these in full each month, even overpay a bit. Then after work I went out to the 24 hour Wal-mart to buy an undergarment/shaper thing because I was invited out to a party and I wanted to wear a dress that required it. That was $8. A bottle of liquor for said party split between my friend and I was $10.

Saturday: Only $10 for gas, as I worked all day.

Sunday: Automatic student loan came out of my account, $52.76, and I gave my mother $300 for an installment of what I owe her for taking out a loan in her own name. I also got Ritas after work which cost $5.

Monday: I went to the local Salvation Army and bought a dress for $2.99. And this day I went to the Phillie's game, so gas was $20, toll for the bridge was $4, parking was $15 and the beer drank before was $6. I also spent $13.50 inside the park eating.

Tuesday: Had to get gas in my truck yet again, another $10 worth.
Total spent: $585.25

Observations: If I were not a borderline alcoholic I would save a lot of money. Alcohol alone was over 10% of what I spent This not only made me realize how much I spend on alcohol a week, since this is not an unusual display of my drinking habits, but also just how often I drink, which is disturbing. Another thing I noticed is that not many of my bills were due this week and therefore I never took my cash(I work as a server) to the bank. Mostly they come in the very beginning and end of the month, so I have a tendancy to overspend when I know I have time to remake the money and the cash is directly on hand.

My Thoughts: It sounds like what you need is structure. First and foremost, get that money to the bank! The best way to curb your spending is to eliminate the temptation. Make a consious effort to go to the bank at least once a week OR just take the money out of your wallet and stash it elsewhere until you can go (out of sight-out of mind).  Secondly, set a budget. Keep your spending diary going for the rest of the month and see where all your money ends up. It's can be tricky with variable income as a server but you should make a plan for your money based on both the best and worse case scenarios (you need to know what to do with an excess too!). Finally, be realistic. Sometimes you will go over budget on one category (ie. dinner & drinks) if you do, give something else up, maybe forego a clothing purchase or a Phillies game ?(I know,crazy.)

Definitely check out a budget site like Mint to get you started. It can track your spending for you without even breaking a sweat!

I love Alya mostly because she is breaking the mold of the fashion void that some think of the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. It's amazing how she can go from rough and tumble to soft and girly in an instant.If you want to learn more about Alya don't forget to check out her blog Kookulai.

As always, I am always looking for lovely ladies to feature for this weekly post, if you are interested
please feel free to e-mail me at


  1. Alya, thank you for sharing your spending with us! I just have one thought. I feel like having a Gap or Marshall's card could encourage you to spend more in those stores because of the rewards (or whatever they have -- I'm not familiar with those cards in particular). Have you found this to be the case? Just wondering! Also, I hadn't seen your blog before, and I like it a lot!

  2. I LOVE that you do personalized spending segments on your blog! What a GREAT idea! We would definitely be interested in doing a link exchange... but I have to admit that I don't really know what/how to do that. I DO know that I'll put whatever you want me to on our blog to promote YOU because I think the concept of this blog is *splendid!*


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