Marsa’s Still Hanging Out and Shopping Less

“I’m starting to think you live a double life” my partner texts me.

Double life, multiple identities
Double life, multiple identities

This is because my new Fabletics order came in. I got spandex shorts, a hooded shirt with thumb holes, AND a sports bra for $25. They only do that for your first purchase. I am definitely a fan of the online shopping. It is more of a pain to return things, and I wouldn’t recommend the samana bra I bought (the fabric was itchy, and I’m not a busty girl, but I still say it ain’t doing nothing…maybe a smaller size?) which I will have now have to ship back. But this is all just one of my fabulous, possibly ADD side stories that is almost or partly relevant.

I don’t go by Marsa and Carter is my unmarried partner’s last name. But it seemed so appropriate because ‘the shopper’ was a bit embarrassing to me – I’d had delusions of being mostly non-girly on account of not liking malls. So I went with Marsa. (Yes, it has a back story. I will refrain.) But my Shnookums Carter is good with money, unlike me, as my mother and I recently revisited on the phone lately.

So Marsa Carter is my inner shopper AND my inner fiscal conscience. It’s not as bad as you would think.

Despite being largely not as productive with my money as I could have while I worked in my full-time grown up job, I did produce, as it were.

Identities and Education
Identities and Education

And I was nervous about the switch to graduate school income, and indeed I did see about a three month stall in progress on my credit card debt, but I have successfully switched and successfully NOT touched any of my retirement even when I had the opportunity to. That was hard. In my defense I was going to take out just enough to pay off my credit card debt remaining. But I was listening to howstuffworks podcast and they did an episode on money.  Basically, if I’m taking from savings and/or retirement, I’ve screwed up and it’s a double screw up to take from savings.

So I’m leaving it. I’ve successfully rolled it into an IRA investment ROTH thingy, that I mostly don’t understand. (Don’t worry, my partner and my credit union financial adviser walked me through it). Also, my credit card debt is down a hundred dollars this month even WITH buying the new yoga clothes.

So yes, my dear partner, I am living a double life. My crappy instincts against what I’ve learned. My debt from mistakes of my past versus my growing competence (I pay my rent). And the yoga clothes help motivate me to DO YOGA and treat the stress from graduate school in a more affordable way, then say, expensive (but nice) pharmaceuticals, and…well really, you can’t put a price on health (even though our society does, all the time).

Marsa Carter is always on the back of my mind. At one point I thought, ‘an outsider might think I’ve got multiple personalities!’ But it’s nothing so painful exciting as that. It’s mostly a personification of my weaknesses and girliness/materialism that I haven’t fully accepted, harnessed by my rampant imagination and daydreaming.

Finally, I haven’t really had time to write regularly because of graduate school. And because I do this thing, where I only want to do things just so, near perfect or perfectly inline with whatever the hell I had in my head. I do this thing with graduate school and money. And it’s no good! We — and by we I suppose I mean Marsa and I? — have to allow for mistakes and flexibility. So here I am actually blogging about my money adventures and woes like I keep telling myself I’m going to. Maybe not as cool or as neat as I thought it would be, but whatever. I did it.

Marsa out!


Marsa: documenting the small parts


Today I had some victories and victories in my failures.

Due to my bf freaking out about buying a house, we are not going to my one and only bar mitzvah opportunity (hopefully not, but right now…not sure what my other options would be). We will save a lot of money that way. I’ve been sulking all day.

Also due to this occurrence, I had the frank state of mind to realize NAD express that I cannot afford this house decision and I cannot pay more than the current $375 a month.

I’ve just had a moment of realization on my lack of efficacy. I wonder if the bf would respect me more if I delusionally insisted the lack of trust on that plan (that I would just stay in debt forever to pay cheaper rent) could never fail – I don’t have proved reliability or success in getting out of debt but who is he to doubt me? And does he really think I would dick him over like that? He either WOULD do that to someone or knows someone who would. Yikes.

Aren’t finances cheery?

Anyway, the other thing I did was update my monthly bills scenario. Paying $200 a month will take 3 years to get out of credit card debt but as long as I’m in my current job, I should be able to guarantee $300 a month and more likely $500.


The real victory was NOT buying a paper holder for my new NaNoWritMo month. I really didn’t need it because of the book one I have. Yay!

Also looked at Shoedazzle, liked nothing, looked at my favorites and left. I skipped the month for Just Fab. There was one pair in my ‘boutique’ that I favorit-ed however.



Shoedazzle again: triple your reward points! If I’d bought those shoes then I would’ve gotten a free pair – Shoedazzle has even inexplicably given me $5 credit. I resist. For now.

I also decided not to renew my Skype number. I’ve been calling it my landline. While I was an undergrad it was perfect; I was on my laptop all the time anyway so why not save some phone costs?  Though it was also $30 a year not $60 if my memory serves…maybe that’s not right. The point is, $60 is a lot for something I almost never use now. While I am saving money, I’m not going back to the days of no cell phone and I’ve got a Google Voice number now that can replace the Skype number’s function for free! So why add bills to my nice and low $38 a month cell phone bill (unlimited data and texting – woot woot!)

I did, however, drop $32 to keep my website up. I did have an awesome discount because of my boyfriend and I also ditched a domain name (didn’t need it!).


11/5/2012 later

I just did the math. I only have to go 4.2 times to the gym in order for it to be better than random gyms that I don’t have a membership to. I need to step it up! Also that’s a good deal

Introducing Marsa Shops


I’m Marsa and I’ll be putting a few blog entries up as a sort of way of checking in on myself to get out of debt!

First entry:

Personal finance. I would include the definition I found on wiki but I kinda got lost/bored half way through the long, hyperlinked aspects of personal finance, sentences. What I really need is the how-to. What makes this work day in and day out? What is the correct mentality?

I seemed to be getting the hang of making ends meet on very little towards the end of my under plus before I got a full-time job. Maybe it’s just a matter of going back to that. But how do I simulate the urgency and get myself out of debt?

There are all these opportunities that are so easy to justify in my head.

Well, I’m determined to turn this boat around. And I liked what wiki said further down about logistics:

Personal financial planning process

A key component of personal finance is financial planning, which is a dynamic process that requires regular monitoring and reevaluation. In general, it involves five steps:[2]

  1. Assessment: A person’s financial situation is assessed by compiling simplified versions of financial statements including balance sheets and income statements. A personal balance sheet lists the values of personal assets (e.g., car, house, clothes, stocks, bank account), along with personal liabilities (e.g., credit card debt, bank loan, mortgage). A personal income statementlists personal income and expenses.
  2. Goal setting: Having multiple goals is common, including a mix of short term and long term goals. For example, a long-term goal would be to “retire at age 65 with a personal net worth of $1,000,000,” while a short-term goal would be to “save up for a new computer in the next month.” Setting financial goals helps to direct financial planning. Goal setting is done with an objective to meet certain financial requirements.
  3. Creating a plan: The financial plan details how to accomplish the goals. It could include, for example, reducing unnecessary expenses, increasing the employment income, or investing in the stock market.
  4. Execution: Execution of a financial plan often requires discipline and perseverance. Many people obtain assistance from professionals such as accountantsfinancial plannersinvestment advisers, and lawyers.
  5. Monitoring and reassessment: As time passes, the financial plan must be monitored for possible adjustments or reassessments.

Typical goals most adults and young adults have are paying off credit card and/or student loan debt, investing for retirement, investing for college costs for children, paying medical expenses, and planning for passing on their property to their heirs (which is known asestate planning).[citation needed]