Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Budget by talking to even more people!

Earlier this week my boss (not my direct supervisor, but the president- it's a small but growing company) asked me if I ever wore suits. I thought she was implying that I wasn't dressing up to the office dress code. Which doesn't exist. And I often dress nicer than I have to (I don't even meet clients or contractors) AND she was wearing a Juicy Couture terry cloth sweatsuit.

What she meant was, would I like a bunch of free suits? ^_^

A few pieces are still too big on me and not really worth (for me) taking to a tailor, so I'll be offering them to yet another coworker. One pair of pants manages to be loose everywhere except the waist- much too tight for sitting, eating, breathing. I have found out that I am (up top) smaller than an Ann Taylor size 2P, or at least what Ann Taylor 2P was when these were bought, although the length of the sleeves and jacket body are great. I also learned that I fit rather well (still a bit loose) in a Petite Sophisticate size 0. This is eBay useful, because Petite Sophisticate closed down last year.

In boss news, her husband the CEO came to my OTHER job tonight. My boss at other job (restaurant) and direct bosslady at office-job were okay with the idea of me taking off for about a month.
I only realized today that I haven't seen my father or brother in a solid year. With people I know already talking about Thanksgiving plans (my high school informal reunion is even planned for Thanksgiving weekend) I only have plans to cottage it up and probably knit. And cook lots of food for MYSELF. and... be thankful?
Just kidding! I am very thankful for my good friends, and we will probably do a Friendsgiving! or my wonderful friend Matt's not-as-wonderful parents might be hosting/insisting/staging something.

Speaking of friends, my good man Alex of @loudheadphones on twitter and tumblr has started another tumblr called Crafting for the Modern Man. It already has eight pages! I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of variety. I don't know if some people keep their terminology separate- crafting, making, a hobby, a talent, a pastime, a skill, etc. But what I mean to say is, I've seen on just this tumbler: friendship bracelets, mending clothing, knitting (clothing AND plushies), crochet (granny squares AND amigurimi), cross stitch.. I hope to see even more!

To bring it back to bosses, my direct supervisor bosslady really wants to learn to knit. She was then FLOORED to find out that men knit. I told her there was tons of men knitting, that knitting was a skilled trade that belonged to men and they formed guilds, that there are still guilds (at least one that I know of, but it is not gender exclusive), that books have been written on men knitting, for men knitting, by men knitting...

I'll bring her opinion around :D

Monday, November 7, 2011

Budget by talking to people!

I spend $13 dollars going to and from EACH class, by buying 10-trip ticket blocks and 10-token packets. I budget doing that once a month, with the occasional day I don't do it right- I put public transport in my budget as $70 a month. The 10&10 block costs 65.50 ($50 for the tickets, $15.50 for tokens). This saves a little because normally a round trip would cost me $12 in tickets and $4 in tokens. Really, I only save $3. I like the ease of having a bunch of tickets and tokens already on hand as well as blocking that money out and not having it be free to be accidentally used (you know, you think that cash money in your wallet isn't earmarked, spend it, then realize you have no cash for the conductor).
This is weird to think about because the subway tokens aren't entirely necessary, and I could walk and tried to get rides from the La Salle security service. However, I am not really comfortable doing either of those things now (walking through a sketchy neighborhood late at night), so the extra $3- and $15.50 a month- seems like a justifiable expense. Sometimes I still get conflicted over "justifiable" and feel guilty.
Today, my carpool woman wasn't going through Ambler, so I couldn't get a ride to work. So, I missed a day of work, and I'll miss one next week too because she won't be coming through. That's $144.50 I won't have, and if I'm not going to give up $15.50 on tokens where else can I deduct from?

I tried to work through all of that two weeks ago. When I went to the train station, the ticket attendant recognized me and asked about where I go and at what times. He suggested that I should just get a pack of day passes. At $11 each, they cover the train fare AND subway fare, and bus fare if I chose to take the bus ($55 for 10, cheaper than the $65.50 I was spending, although I may still get tokens for other days). They have to be used within the day they are stamped (I wonder about people who might work overnight shifts?) but overall they are the best deal for my needs right now. Yay for small towns!
SEPTA is going to be rolling out a fully electronic ticket system, and while I realize this will be easier for many people, I'll miss things like chatting with the ticket booth guy and having him advise me on the best deal.
Two winters ago, I used to take the train to and from my job. Once, I managed to fall asleep right before my stop and wake up immediately afterwards. I wasn't even sure where I was when the conductor caught my eye and asked me if I was going somewhere different today! He gave me a ticket to get off at the next stop and turn myself around- so I didn't have to pay for a whole second ticket just to go one stop. Very kind of him! Sometimes having a friendly smile always at the ready really does pay off. Although, I was also a girl with pink hair and a bright purple coat, so being easily recognizable probably helped.