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Archive for May, 2006

very very tired

May 27th, 2006 at 06:10 pm

Today I helped my dad clean out part of his garage...its stuffed FULL. I had a whole bunch of storage bins in there that I took over to my storage unit, so except for a bookcase in the basement, I have nothing left at my parents house.

Tomorrow one of my roomies is having a party here for his cousin's high school graduation. So we're going to be invaded by family for a few hours. In exchange for the invasion, I get to eat TONS of free homemade food and get at least 2 days leftovers out of it.

Monday will be my day of rest and laundry. Plus some grocery shopping. I started a diet last week and will set up a meal plan for the week.

Spent a little on eating out this week, really trying to cut down. Being on the diet helps. I just got a little lazy this week because of working some overtime, which is finally being offered again at my work. I'm finding it VERY hard to be motivated to even work a normal 40 hour week, must less overtime. So I'm forcing myself to think about buying my own house, just to get through those extra hours. We'll see how long I last.

groceries and medicine

May 21st, 2006 at 07:30 pm

Today I realized that I paid nearly the same amount for 1 prescription as I did for 2 weeks of groceries.

One of the medications I'm on has a $40.00 copay because they consider it "unnecessary". There are no generics for it and the other 'comparable' medications do not have the same helpful effect.

So for a similar amount, $45.00, on groceries, I got veggies, meats, snacks, drinks, and tons of fruit for 2 weeks. I'm going on a strict diet for health reasons & I'm trying to keep the costs down.

Staying healthy seems to cost a lot.

Splurging on books

May 19th, 2006 at 03:29 pm

I am a HUGE reader. I read very quickly & can sit all weekend going through a stack of books. I utilize the library and resale book places for most of my books. I limit the amount of books I actually own.

But there are a few books I'll splurge on, some of which I buy in hardback:

Nora Roberts (mainly paperback, most from the used book store)
The Harry Potter Books (all hardback and new...I reread a lot)
Janet Evanovich, the Stephanie Plum Series (all in hardback as well)

There's a new Janet Evanovich coming out & I'm SO excited. I'm going to reread the first 11 books in the series, hopefully finishing in time to read the 12th when it comes out June 20th.

I can 'justify' this purchase, because it brings me a lot of enjoyment, I'll read it over and over, and because I know it will be used.

I'm happy to hold off on buying new clothes, getting highlights, a nicer car, but these small pleasures make it worthwhile.

So when I've saved up and bought my house, I can enjoy my books in the comfort of my own home, knowing I do not regret having some of those "nicer" things. Because I have what matters most to me.

old goals and new

May 19th, 2006 at 02:59 pm

Couple of good things today:
-Received a $10.00 gas rebate in the mail
-Got a $19.25 credit on my credit card from a disputed item.

I have made the decision to look for a new job, even though I'm not done school yet. I applied for 4 jobs, all similar. One is really perfect for me, the other 3 all have possibilities. I already have an interview with one of them, but not the Big one that I'm hoping for.

I have redone my school goals again.

The new School goal is $7100.00
Current School savings: $4732.09

Current House savings: $17,276.00

I also have a new goal: Computer
My laptop is slowly dying, so I'm going to hold out as long as possible & just start saving now.

Work if finally offering overtime again, after 6 months without it. I'm going to try to do at least 5 hours next week. Normally I'd do around 10, but I'm having some health issues, so adding an hour a day is not bad, but anymore could cause me some problems.

I'll spend all weekend hoping for an interview at that one place. It has the perfect job description, benefits, hours, location and salary. I can only hope for it.

I'm trying to stay as frugal as possible, but I need to put myself on a strict diet due to health issues. I'm anticipating a bigger grocery bill to start stocking up on certain types of staples, but then things should be back to normal. At least by eating well, I will potentially save in terms of medications and visits to a specialist.

gift giving

May 14th, 2006 at 03:26 pm

I've seen a few blogs lately about gift giving and being frugal. For Mother's day I gave my Mom gift cards that I received from signing up for trial programs. And I gave her a Brooch from the dollar store.

I had a moment or two's pause before buying the brooch. I felt guilty spending so little on a gift for her, but at the same time, it was perfect for her style and it was definately in my price range. She loved it & had no idea that it came from the dollar store.

Still I feel guilty. I have to get out of that habit. Gift giving should't have an expected price tag on it, but be thoughtful and of use to the person receiving it.

I have a lot of occasions coming up: Father's day, father's birthday, sister's birthday, roommate's birthday, parents anniversary. So here's the game plan: I am going to find ways to give thoughtful gifts instead of going by the price tag and in doing so, I will save money and make my family & friends happier.

My roommie is getting a set of 4 beer mugs...I've scouted out prices online & have come up with a couple of prices. I just have to find the right one.

My dad is getting Lowes Gift Card for Fathers day because he has been doing a lot around the house lately and he enjoys going to lowes.

My sister is getting some hair stuff from Ulta, which I got a gift certificate for Christmas & haven't used.

My dad is getting, for his birthday, some computer photography gadgets from Circuit City--also have a Gift card for there.

Each is something I know they will use, and be happy to receive & I don't have to overspend for anything.

All I have left is my parents anniversary. Need to think about that one...and talk to my sister, we might go halfsies on it.

been missing lately

May 14th, 2006 at 02:16 pm

Things have been very frugal lately, but I have so much going on. I finally have a chance to catch up todcay.

Yesterday we moved all the furniture that we're keeping from my aunts house. My storage unit is packed.

Today, we had a Mother's Day Brunch, it was my sister's treat to all of us. My sister works at a nice restaurant & got us reservations. The food was DELICIOUS. I was able to get VERY stuffed and enjoy my family for free...thanks sis.

I used some of my free gift cards from My points for my mom's gift. She wanted to buy some books from Barnes & Noble, so I gave her some gcs & she was very happy.

Also, I went to the Dollar Store this morning to get cards for my sister & mom for 50 cents each. While I was there, I found a brooch that matches most of my mom's jewelry. She has a very specific style that she likes and thats it. She loved it, and it was only a $1.00.

I went to the library on the way home. Got a couple of novels & 1 movie. I have a huge addiction to movies, but have been trying to curb my renting and buying them. My roommate has netflix & a huge movie collection, so he's been sharing...between that & borrowing from the library, I've been doing very well.

I was supposed to go the grocery store today, but I was too tired. So after the library, I came home for a 2 hour nap. My roomies are making hotdogs for dinner and I have food for lunch tomorrow, so I'll hit the grocery store after work tomorrow. Its a great time to go anyway, no one is there at 9 in the evening.

My goals this week are:
-To plan and buy groceries to eat/pack all meals from home. No spending money for food or drink
-To call my car insurance about lowering my rates. Never hurts to ask.
-To redo my resume. I'm going to send out a few this week.
-To apply for 2 positions that sound interesting to me.

a little off today

May 10th, 2006 at 07:42 pm

For all my grocery planning, I was feeling sick after class tonight, so I just ran in the store & bought some junk...nothing too bad, but certainly was more of the wants, than the needs. I have to rethink my eating habits. I have a stomach condition & I need to change some things to handle my stomach a little better.

This is my next goal for myself. Since planning food means packing food more often, it'll have a side benefit of helping my budget. So I have food to hold me over til Sunday, then I'll do my big shopping then.

Tomorrows Meals:
Breakfast: cheerios & strawberries
Snack: Muffin
Lunch: Big salad and pretzels
Dinner: Lean Cuisine, pudding
Snack: Oatmeal (weird for snack, but good for my tummy)

new budget

May 9th, 2006 at 08:02 pm

Well, redoing the budget wasn't as bad as I thought. I just have to limit myself quite a bit on spending for eating out & groceries. More planning, less laziness. Gotta just buckle down.

I'm going to throw my budget out there for all to see...its a very scary thing to do.

Income: 1045 biweekly net (after 401k, medical, ect)

Monthly Expenses:
Gas 140.00 (higher due to recent travel)
Spending 90.00
Groceries 92.00
Cell 35.00
Rent 400.00
Student Loans 525.00(with extra payments)
Car Insurance 140.00 (6 mos of year)
Car 5.00
Savings 490.00
cat 20.00
xm radio 13.00
medical 30.00
Storage Unit 110.00

As you can see there's room to move things around, but I don't want to compromise on my savings right now.

So I suck it up in the easier catagories like spending money & groceries. I'll review the budget in July, once I get a Full month under my belt.

cost of free furniture: A LOT

May 9th, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Given my current living situation, I am unable to house my ineherited furniture at the townhouse I'm currently living in. My parents don't have the room either. So to keep the furniture, I've had to rent a storage facility. I've chosen climate control because of the delacacy of the furniture. I called around, checked costs & availability and went to my top choices today to make a decision.

The storage facility will cost me approximately $650 for 6 months. This will put a serious dent in my budget, but thanks to my mom's generous graduation gift, I won't have to take money out of my house or education fund to do it.

So I'm buckling down on the budget.
I posted last week that I have to redo the budget, but I never got to it. So today, after running errands all day & heading off to go see my nephews tee-ball game, I'll be home tonight to redo my resume and budget. I saw a position that I might be interested in. Its pretty much the job I'm doing now, but at a different company. If I get my resume together today, I think I'm going to take a chance and apply for it. Otherwise, I was trying to hold off til late June to apply for anything. We'll see how it goes.

I'm really trying to buckle down now. I have $50.00 for gas & groceries to last me to next Thursday. I can do it, but it'll be tight. I'll hit the grocery store on the way home today.

Special Day

May 5th, 2006 at 09:04 pm

Today I had my graduation ceremony. I'm pursuing 2 MBAs, one in Financial Management and one in Human Resource Management. Since they only hold the ceremony once a year, I was able to attend the ceremony, but I still have 2 classes to complete before officially receiving the degrees. Can't wait to finish everything in August!

My parents, sister, and friends took me out to dinner after the ceremony. My parents and sister are SO proud. They've been very supportive and I'm very thankful for them.

My parents gave me a huge surprise...a $1000.00 check to go towards my house. A huge and unexpected gift. This means a lot to me. And it's had an added benefit-I have become more motivated towards saving. I plan to take some time tomorrow and run through a new budget, cutting as much of the extras as possible to save as much as I can.

I feel very blessed, having my friends and family. This is a step in a new direction. I will complete my last 2 classes, look for a new position that will utilize my new degree and hopefully provide me with more income.

I'll keep you posted on changes & my new totals for my house & school goals.

Sunday, we go to my Aunt's house to finish cleaning it out. We have movers coming next weekend for the furnature. The sale goes final the next weekend after that. Dealing with the sale has been stressful, as well as time and money consuming, so the sale will give my family a much needed rest.

earned a free lunch

May 2nd, 2006 at 08:53 pm

Due to having a lot on my plate this week with work & school, I ran too late this morning to pack lunch for work. I ended up with a free lunch, since my work provided me a lunch of pizza & buffalo bites. Not the healthiest, but it was free. Held me over til I could get home & have some real food.