Wednesday, December 21, 2016

how we budget

perfect illustration by @jooleeloren. I laugh/cry at every single one of her drawings. She needs an award. 

The thing is ... being an adult is really expensive. Being an adult in dental school is also really expensive. Now, I'm no expert on adult-ing, but I do know that it helps a lot with financial stress if you know where your money is going and exactly how much you need every month to survive. Aka a budget. Shae and I came across this great budgeting tool called You Need a Budget, or YNAB, which has really helped us visualize and plan our finances better.

It's an app you can download to your phone, and it is also a tool that can be used in your web browser. We actually use it the most on our computer.

Basically, you link up all your bank accounts and cards, so you can see how much money you have and how much money you owe in credit/loans/etc. This is a really helpful thing for us since we each had different bank accounts from before we were married. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly how much we spend because sometimes I use my UCCU card and sometimes I use my Wells Fargo card. On YNAB, we can see everything in one place and we don't have to log in to a bunch of different websites and try to make sense of it all.
You then set up all the categories you need to budget for. I.e. groceries, transportation, clothing, rent, etc. Then you put in the amount you want to budget for each category. We kind of had to estimate the amounts on the first month. The longer you use it though the more you see your spending patterns.
Every transaction will show up on the main page of YNAB. You then categorize each transaction. So if I see a transaction for $100 at Walmart, I know that was my grocery trip and I categorize it as such. It helps so much to see exactly where your money goes, and even more helpful to see how much you have left to spend in each category!
Another thing I like about YNAB is that you can make categories for things like Christmas Gifts, Car Registration, and, in our case, investing. Let's say you want to spend $500 on Christmas gifts at the end of the year, YNAB helps you see how much you need to save every month throughout the year to make that happen, instead of arriving at December and trying to scrape that money together. If you know you need to save $42 dollars every month all year, you will save yourself a lot of stress at Christmas!
YNAB is free for students for the first year, and then $50 per year after that. We're still in our first year of usage, but I'm pretty sure we will keep using it in the future because it is an awesome tool.
Here is a link to use to create a YNAB account and earn $6 right off the bat:
Happy Budgeting! (Flying money emoji here)

Monday, December 12, 2016

big news

Shae and I found some music that we both enjoy! This is big news because we have really different tastes. Of course, we both like The Killers because that is kind of a prerequisite for being married to me. But normally he refers to my music as "weed smoker music," and he likes country and the more mainstream music that I don't care for. I also really only care about how things sound musically, and Shae only cares about lyrics.

Two bands we've found are a good combination of what we both like:
The Stray Birds and First Aid Kit 

They're twangy enough for Shae and "weed smoker" enough for me! So there's been some happy mutual music listening over here for a few days. Huzzah!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Even though Shae and I served in the same mission, sometimes I think Shae's version of it was cooler than mine. He served like seven months on the Island of Malta. I mean, the man speaks Maltese for goodness sake! Wow, he's cool. Our mission included everything south of Rome, Italy, including the Islands of Sardegna, Sicily, and Malta. Between the two of us we served in all the islands. Sardegna (where I served) had flamingos and white sandy beaches, but idk Malta just looks the prettiest. 

Hi Elder Bryant! Nhobbok!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Impersonator by Mary Miley

photo by Jacques Henri Lartigue

This past week I read the book The Impersonator by Mary Miley. It was a super fun read! I really like murder mysteries, and this was one set in the 1920s. I've always been really into that era, so when I learned about this book I was excited to read it. It was like a mix between Anastasia and The Great Gatsby, with a little hint of The Lizzie McGuire Movie. 

Like I said, the book is set in the 1920s in a city near Portland, Oregon. Leah is a Vaudeville performer, and one night after a performance a man comes up to her and asks her to impersonate his niece, Jessie Carr, an heiress, who disappeared years earlier in order to help him claim her very large fortune. Does she do it? What are the implications of pretending to be someone else? Oh, and there's murder in it. Did I mention I like murder mysteries?

I was a little surprised because this book was actually really clean. Most murder books I like aren't so clean, and this one had nothing questionable in it and no f-words. So that was a cool side bonus. 

If anyone has read this book and wants to have a mini book club with me that would be welcomed.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

weekend playlist

I've been using Spotify for like ... 5 years probably. But I finally upgraded to Spotify Premium just to see if it is worth it. Is it worth it? I'm not sure yet. I kind of fell out of searching for new music in the last couple years, but maybe this will help me get back into it. Here's what I've listened to and like recently.