The reasons I have for being grateful this week, including walking, getting a new pair of comfortable shoes, and a surprise birthday present!Hey everyone! This week went by extra fast somehow. It doesn’t feel like we’re halfway through July, but I know I keep saying that. I’m starting to wonder if working from home just makes time move faster because everything tends to be a blur!

Anyway, like I said last week, I didn’t do anything for my birthday. This actually felt like the most un-birthdayest of birthdays, if that makes sense. That’s okay, though – I’m grateful I’m still here even though I’m in denial about getting older. ;)

What I’m Being Grateful For: A New Monitor

For starters, my parents surprised me with a new 24″ monitor for my birthday. My dad had asked what I wanted, and I jokingly said I’d like to upgrade from my 19″ monitor. However, because I’m spoiled and have two monitors, there was really no reason to upgrade.

My old one was around 6-7 years old and the screen didn’t look great next to my other one, but I could deal. It wasn’t a “need” and other things are more important right now.

While I don’t like that they spent so much on a gift for me, the bigger monitor is handy when I’m working with Photoshop, and it’s a widescreen, so videos look great. It’s honestly still a little overwhelming to me because my other monitor is 21.5″, and now it looks really small in comparison. I would love to eventually have two of the same monitors for consistency, but these work just fine!

Really, if I had more desk space, I’d use all three. If that sounds crazy/wasteful to you, I just have one word: efficiency.

Getting Outside

To gear up for my trip to Austin where I’ll be on my feet for 14+ hours a day for 4-5 days straight, I’ve been getting outside and walking 2 miles. This hasn’t happened every day, especially since rain loves to roll in randomly, but it’s been nice to force myself to get outside and away from my desk.

I know it’s simply about prioritizing my time and what I want to do, so I’ve been trying to work it into my schedule. R comes home and goes running, so I don’t leave myself any choice but to go with him.

Lately I’ve started alternating running and walking a la Couch to 5k, which I had started (embarrassingly) almost a year and a half ago, but given up on. It’s slow progress, and of course, I’m not going to become a runner overnight. But it’s been nice to be proud of the progress I’m making. Hopefully I can keep it up this time, especially since I’d like to go hiking more this fall.

A Little Shopping Trip

What?! This sounds weird to be grateful for, right? Well, the truth is, I hate shopping for myself. I guess that’s a good thing because I’ve never had a spending problem when it comes to clothes or accessories.

I don’t like malls, and if I have to be in a store, I want to get out as soon as possible. I hate trying clothes on because barely anything fits right and I just can’t be bothered. I have a closet full of clothes I already know work well, so why get more?

Well, I wanted to get a good pair of shoes for Austin, as I know all the standing and walking is going to take a toll on me. Flip flops aren’t going to work. Besides that, I also needed to get a dress for a charity auction I’ll be attending while there.
new shoes saucony

Last weekend, my mom, R, and myself went to the outlets. Every store was a bust as far as dresses went. I didn’t find anything remotely worth the effort of trying on. However, my mom and R ended up with the majority of the spoils, which was amusing.

My mom has back problems, and she picked up a comfortable pair of shoes for work, as well as a comfortable pair of sandals. R actually needed sandals, too, as his only pair had a hole in the soles. Both were 40% off and around $20 – not bad.

Then we came across simple v-neck shirts for R at Banana Republic for $9. He’s slowly been replacing his old shirts with new ones, and he picked up 3.

Finally, I was able to find shoes at our last stop. I got a pair of Saucony shoes that literally feel like heaven. They’re like slippers, and they’re adorable. They weren’t cheap, but there was a BOGO 50% off sale happening, so I picked up a nice pair of flats along with them for that charity auction. I have one other pair of flats I first got when I started working, and they’ve been worn down since then.

I was mostly concerned about the shoes and I’m very grateful I actually found a pair. My feet are really weird – one foot is bigger than the other, so shoe shopping is truly a pain.

I’m also really glad my mom was able to find a good deal on shoes. In the past, we’ve cheaped out and gone to Payless, but now that I’m aging (ahem), I think a good pair of shoes is worth the price, especially when you have back problems.

Writing Around the Web

Should You Mix Family and Money? on Frugal Rules – Lately I’ve been hearing conflicting stories about family and friends lending money to other relatives, and the results seem mixed. I go over potential issues and what you should consider before being generous.

How to Improve Your Credit Score on Wherewithal – Last week I talked about why your credit score is important, so I thought it was only fitting to give tips on how to improve it!

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your College Major Define You on Young Adult Money – A lot of graduates aren’t working in the field they studied in college (I’m not!). It can create a lot of inner turmoil when you’re paying back your student loans, but it’s important to think about what else your degree gave you.

The Ultimate Guide to Side Hustling on Young Adult Money – A two-fer this week! I put together the best posts YAM has ever published on side hustling and compiled them into one handy guide. Give it a look if you want to earn more!

That’s it for this week! Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. ♥

What are you being grateful for this week? When’s the last time you went for a planned shopping outing?



  1. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini July 18, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    Good luck with the working out. Having a desk job for years can really take its toll on your body. Alot of people don’t realize that mobility is very important for good health and long life. Enjoy the monitor….they love you, and there is no problem with getting spoiled once in a while.

    1. Erin M. July 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      No, they don’t, and walking daily can solve so many problems! I really don’t like sitting all day. I’d like to try experimenting with a standing desk or something similar, but my setup is unfortunately not very mobile!

      I am very grateful they still like spoiling me, I’m just glad I’ve been able to return the favor ever since I started working.

  2. Kirsten July 19, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    At NASA, I sat at a console with 4 monitors (plus a TV screen and a separate computer that has a very special purpose). I never felt like I had enough screen real estate :-) Now we have a huge screen for our Mac, but I’m hoping I can use it as an external screen if I get a MacBook. It would definitely be close to having three screens!

    1. Erin M. July 19, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      That sounds pretty awesome. I’ve used my TV as a third monitor before, but it’s not 1080p and there’s definitely no room for it on my desk! The Thunderbolt displays for Macs are gorgeous. I’m sure you can hook a Macbook up to get the dual display. That’s the only thing I don’t like about using my Macbook – 13″ is so limiting!

  3. Tonya@Budget and the Beach July 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    I think it’s good you were thinking about your feet for those long days. Nothing is worse than having bad shoes for something like that!

    1. Erin M. July 19, 2015 at 2:59 PM

      I’ve walked in NYC before with cheap shoes and it’s definitely not fun. Sadly, if I hadn’t been introduced to Asics by R, I’d probably still be scoffing at spending $70+ on shoes. Silly me!

  4. Shannon @ Financially Blonde July 19, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    I am grateful for the relaxing weekend I had this weekend with my family on Long Island. We spent most of yesterday on my stepfather’s boat and today we spent the morning at Jones Beach followed by lunch at my favorite bagel store.

    1. Erin M. July 20, 2015 at 10:12 AM

      Way to make me jealous about the bagel store! =P That sounds lovely, though. I spent more time at Robert Moses only because Jones Beach was further out, but beach days were always fun.

  5. Tre July 20, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    I would use the three monitors if I could make it work! I use two now and keep saying I need a third monitor. It’s much easier to work with files & saves on printing.

    1. Erin M. July 20, 2015 at 10:10 AM

      Glad I’m not the only one! It’s definitely really handy when you need to reference documents/research.

  6. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore July 20, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    I have 2 screens at my day job, but not at home. I might “invest” in a monitor to hook into my laptop though as I love having 2 screens at work.

  7. Derek @ August 12, 2015 at 7:21 AM


    LOL – sounds like you got your money’s worth on that old computer monitor :-) I only have two monitors, but they are both on arm/stand things. They really help to free up desk space and the adjustable-ness can help to reduce neck strain. Maybe you could look into getting some and add in that third monitor :-) You can get them real cheap (around $20 each?) at

    The shoes look nice, and glad to hear you got a deal on them. Good shoes really do make a huge difference! On a related note, I’m also trying to motivate myself to get more fit and healthy. I looked into Couch to 5K like you, but I have yet to commit. I may try to go more of a weight lifting route. I started a new health blog to track my fitness/health progress – I just created it last week with my wife, and I’m still working on the layout so there isn’t really anything to see yet. I plan to track my progress and research health topics to learn more about how to get healthy. Have you considered trying to do something similar (start a blog or something like that) to track your progress over time? This sort of thing really helps me to stay accountable. It worked to improve my money saving habits with and I’m hoping it will work for my fitness. For me, it’s been a multi-year journey and I am trying to get back serious about it again. If you have any interest in guest posting, have suggested topics, or would like to do any type of before/after type of post, then send me an email! I’d love to work with you on anything health related if you have the free time and interest!

    Good luck in Austin!

    1. Erin M. August 12, 2015 at 9:52 AM

      Hey Derek,

      I used to have the adjustable arm stands at my old job and they were pretty nice to work with. I’m actually looking into replacing my desk (I’ve had it since I was 7!), but maybe once I’ve done that I’ll look into them.

      In the past, I did consider starting another blog, but I have way too much on my plate right now to do that. This sounds a bit sad, but it’s hard enough setting aside 2 hours to go walking/running in the evening. I hope it works for you, though!

  8. Michael Tully August 24, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    I, like you, am grateful for the little pleasures of life. Had the pleasure of visiting my son in his new apartment yesterday, and just reminding myself once again how proud I am of who he is and what he has made of himself through his own efforts. For a while, as he was growing up, he had his mom and me wondering where we had gone wrong, so we thank God daily for good outcomes.

    Hope your Austin experience goes (or went) well. I spent a summer there during my college years, and loved it.

    1. Erin M. August 25, 2015 at 12:34 PM

      Thanks for the comment, Michael! I think most parents have that thought at some point. As “good” as I tried to be when I was a teenager, there were still rough patches.

      Thanks! We did enjoy it – thinking about making another trip back next year. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone not liking it there!

  9. Karen August 25, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Hey, I like your kicks! I should probably look into getting a new pair of running shoes soon. I’ve had mine for about three years now, but despite the beating I give them, they seem to be holding up well. Mind you, I only use them indoors.

    A pair of comfortable shoes is the one thing I will invest in. I used to have major plantar fascitis in my feet. I initially scoffed at th price of Birkenstocks but am now in love with them because they are so comfy. I feel I can walk anywhere with them. I’ve had them for about 4 years now and will definitely get another pair once these go.

    1. Erin M. August 25, 2015 at 12:36 PM

      Thanks! They proved to hold up really well during the entire week. My fiancé always recommended Asics, but had a pair of Saucony, so I figured it was worth a shot. They’re both great brands. I don’t think I’ll be spending $20 on Payless shoes again. =)

  10. The Thrifty Issue September 3, 2015 at 4:54 AM

    This week I am really grateful for my daughters, fantastic doctors and my amazing boyfriend. I’ve been really sick and it made me appreciate what I have so much more.

    I love how you have this gratitude thing on your blog. I write what I am grateful for every night and it truly makes a difference in my life.

    1. Erin M. September 3, 2015 at 11:23 AM

      I hope you feel better! Good doctors are basically a godsend. When I was in the hospital a few years back, the nurses there made my stay so much more bearable. It’s nice to know your health is in good hands.

      Thanks! I’m glad to hear the practice has helped you as well. It’s been pretty powerful in changing my perspective on life.


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