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Archive for January, 2007

something neat I noticed

January 30th, 2007 at 02:44 pm

I started this job about 6 months ago. As a 13 person training class, we all seemed to gravitate towards eating lunch together. Some packed & some bought from the cafeteria. We all worked 8am to 5pm.

After the 6 week training period was over, we switched to our regular schedule 11am to 8pm. So when we look 'lunch' at 4pm, the cafeteria was closed. This was about the same time that I was in the process of buying the house and due to laziness, I started going out to eat with my coworkers. This lasted about 6 weeks and when I moved into the house in October, I started packing my lunches again. I also started eating alone because everyone either had a different lunch time or they still went out to eat.

Well, a few of us had a conversation about lunch & I talked about preferring to make eating out a treat instead of an everyday occurance. And a few weeks later, I noticed that one of my coworkers started bringing his lunch and eventually he started eating with me! I rubbed off on him! Plus, now I have a lunch buddy.

forgot about the sew bill! oops

January 30th, 2007 at 02:04 pm

Well, when I bought the house, I knew I was going to have a sewer bill to contend with & I had a montly amount in my budget, but for some reason, I didnt remember to prepare for the bill for this year. I just got a bill for $167.32 due 2/28/07. It'll cover the year of 2007. Since I just bought the house 3 months ago, the sewer savings doesn't have that amount in it yet. So I used my overtime & savings from this paycheck to pay the sewer bill in full. It'll set me savings plan back a little bit, but so be it. At least I have the cash on hand to handle the bill.

On the upside, I did a little overtime yesterday. AND my parents took me to see The Departed--surprisingly good!

Ima's post about frugal things we did today got me thinking. I've been getting a little lax in some areas, so my focus is going to be to focus on the little things. Today I packed my lunch, drank only water. I'll be premaking food for tomorrow as well, I have plenty of tv to enjoy & this weekend I'll enjoy the movies from my free trial from Netflix.

I also have several library books to get through. I just finished Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich. That series is REALLY good. Very funny.

tracking spending

January 29th, 2007 at 07:57 am

One of my New Years Resolutions was to track my spending for the full year. I'm off to a good start. I'm tracking my spending & money put towards savings. I have a basic excel spreadsheet & at the end of the month I'll add up the catagories. I can already tell you I'll be over budget in groceries, but thats ok.

I was planning on working 8 hours overtime today, but I have an issue I need to resolve at the bank, so I'm going to work 4 or 5 hours & try to make up the other 3 or 4 between tuesday & thursday.

My goal today is to be productive:
I have a small to do list
-work overtime
-go to bank to close acct
-call & make drs appointment
-call trash co & discuss notice of increase of rates (they said there will be an increase, but didnt say how much)
-clean kitchen
-clean & dust living room
-change sheets
-clean bedroom

For any Nora Roberts fans: Tonight is the first of 4 of her books made into tv movie on Lifetime. I'll be taping it!

one day weekend

January 28th, 2007 at 06:11 pm

Well, I worked yesterday & I'll work tomorrow. I'm trying to gear myself up mentally to work the full 8 hours of overtime & still come in 2 hours early either Tuesday or Wednesday.

I've been holding steady on my soda resolution. I haven't cut it out completely, but it has been drastically scaled back. I have to admit to buying a soda from a vending machine last week. I had 1 can of soda at work (my emergency stash). I had an upset stomach, used the emergency can & still needed another one to make it through the day. Oh well. I'm going to pack 2 emergency cans to stash at my desk next week. Lately I haven't needed the soda at work, so the 2 cans will stay for awhile.

I've been really sucessfuly on my packing lunch resolve. I've packed every day so far this month & it really hasn't been a hardship. Partly because I'm still doing weight watchers & since I preplan my food & its easier to control what I eat when I bring it, packing is beneficial.

I've lost about 8 lbs this month & I'll do my weekly weigh in again tomorrow, so I'll give another update soon.

Lots of good tv on right now, so I haven't been watching alot of movies. But there are a few that I really want to see, so I signed up for the monthly free trial of Netflix. I'll check it out, then make my decision between that & Blockbuster Online.

Well, I'm off to watch the Dresden Files on Sci Fi. Interesting show. Then I'll be watching Dirt. REALLY good show.

unexpected houseguests

January 28th, 2007 at 07:02 am

The idiots at the power company incorrectly marked their power lines, so when my parents' neighbors had people working on their sewer line, they dug right into the power line & cut their electricity (and therefore heat). It was off most of the day and way into the evening. So my sister stayed at a friends and my mom & nephew spent the night at my house. (I only have one bed). My dad works nights & wouldn't be home til 5am, so he crashed in their family room, which has propane heat since its an addition.

Since they came over last night, my mom treated us to dinner out first. Nice free dinner. Then we watched Barnyard (which was funny) and put my nephew to bed. Then I got my mom to watch Jackass Number Two. I couldn't believe she watched it! So not her type of movie, but she was totally into it!

Anyway, they just left. I'm chilling until around 12:30, then I'm heading to the movie store (where I have a coupon for a free movie) and the library. I also am making a quick stop at the grocery store for a few items I couldn't get from the other store.

-I will have $154.00 in my 1/30 paycheck from overtime, that will go directly to savings.
-I have 130.00 from my 2/15 paycheck that would have gone to car ins that will now go to savings (since I paid the ins through the credit on my Sony card).
- I will have another $310 + in my 2/15 paycheck from overtime that will go into my savings account too

I only did one hour overtime on Friday, but I plan on going in for a whole 8 hours on Monday. Very aggressive, but overtime will not last long. Then I may or may not come in early on Tuesday & Wedensday. I don't want to get burned out.

On top of that, we're planning a last minute surprise party for my best friend. Her boyfriend emailed me on Friday. So I'll be helping with food & prep, which will probably lead to some unexpected expenses, but thats ok. I'm going to take $20.00 of that sony credit & use it towards food & whatnot.

jury duty , overtime & taxes

January 25th, 2007 at 05:50 pm

I had jury duty today & the courthouse prohibits bringing any food or drink into the building. I caved & got some baked cheetos from the vending machine, spending 85 cents. Frown It would have been a no spend day otherwise.

My work is offering more overtime from today to the end of the month. I already did 8 hours on Monday, but I'm going to do an additional 2 hours tomorrow. Then I'm debating on how much to do next week. I'm thinking a 1/2 day (4 hours) on Monday (my normal day off), 2 hours on Tuesday & 2 hour on Wednesday. OR just sucking it up and doing an 8 hour day on Monday again. I don't have to commit to anything now, so I'll just play it by ear.

On the upside, I just got my 150.00 credit for opening & using a Sony Card. I had used the card for a normal purchase, and paid it off immediately. So I am using the credit to pay my car insurance and groceries for this month. Then I'll put the budgeted money for those expenses into my ING. VERY nice!

I premade my lunches/dinner for both tomorrow & Saturday already. Tuna fish, salad and baked fries. Yummy. And I don't get too tired of having the same food back to back. I have been trying to vary my food a little more, but sometimes is easier to just double up on premaking the food, so I can just skip a night.

I think I have all the paperwork necessary to do my taxes, so I'm going to do a preliminary draft by hand to see how I come out. Shouldn't be too hard, then I'll use one of the free file options & check my work against that, before submitting them.

soda irony

January 22nd, 2007 at 12:16 pm

I've been doing pretty good with my soda intake. I used to have about 4 to 5 sodas a day, now I'm down to maybe 4 or 5 a week. I'm feeling pretty good about it.

At work, we just had a conversation about soda & I realized something pretty funny about myself. My coworker brought at 2 liter bottle of soda to work instead of cans in an effort to keep costs down. We started talking about the price of 12 packs of cans and I mentioned that I don't really see sales for 4 packs for $10.00 that often anymore. My coworker said, she keep seeing the 3 for $9.00 and that she refuses to buy it at that price. I said, I'm the same way, I'll wait til the next sale.

Then I realized that in the past, I would have definately waited for the next sale rather than pay $9.00 for 3 packs, but if I ran out of soda & wanted one, I'd still grab one from the vending machine at 75 cents per can. Lets do the math... 12 x .75 = $9.00! So out of stubborness, I'd end up paying 9.00 for a 12 pack from the vending machines just because I didn't like the sale at 3 for $9.00! ugh! That was really dumb of me.

Luckily, I no longer do the soda out of the vending machine (in the effort to pack my lunches & limit my soda intake. But it wonder.... how much money have I wasted being stubborn about the price I'd pay for a 12 pack??

Today will not be a no spend day...I'm paying some bills (electric, cable, ect) and I'm stopping back off at the grocery store today to get the bread & few other items that I forgot yesterday.

I'll be prepacking my food for tomorrow. In an effort to make things easier for myself, I try to premake for 2 days instead of one. Its been going pretty good so far.

Tonight's dinner will be a blt on wheat and pasta salad (with more veggies than wheat pasta).

I'll take the leftover pasta salad tomorrow, along with the leftover tuna fish from today's lunch. Very easy!

finally got some snow

January 21st, 2007 at 09:17 pm

Finally got about 2-3 inches. It was very pretty to watch out the sliding glass doors this afternoon. It should be cleared up by morning, so no troubles Smile

I've done very well spending wise. I got a salad (one of those huge ones from the specialty place) for $6.50 on Saturday.

Today I spent $28.63 for gas & $21.94 for groceries. Unfortunately, I forgot the bread, so I'll be stopping again tomorrow, but then I'll be set for awhile.

I've premade food for tomorrow, since I'm going in for 8 hours overtime. I will eat at home tomorrow night.

Today, my parents took me to see Dreamgirls. It was REALLY good. Their treat, which was awesome of them. They wanted to take me to lunch too, but I knew eating at home would be better for my diet.

I also got my electric bill today. $69 vs $63.00 of last month & $61.00 of the month before. I attribute the increase to being home more around the holidays & the fact that I've turned the heat on finally in the last week. Still a good number, since I've budgeted $150/mo to electric. The extra is going to my different savings goals.

Big Numbers from other people

January 19th, 2007 at 07:29 pm

Other than basic discussions on finances, I don't normally talk to other people about their debt (except online), but in the past few months, I've found out that a coworker has $20,000 & growing in debt and one of my best friends has about $15,000. I find these numbers to be amazing!

But then I took a look at their lifestyles compared to mine. And realized that there were a lot of differences. Comparing myself to the 'Joneses' actually made me feel good about the steps I've taken to help me reach my financial goals. And its motivated me as well.

For the updates--I packed my lunch every day this week. This is the 3rd week in a row. NICE! I had no spend days Tuesday through Friday. My intention was to have lunch out at work tomorrow, but I decided to take a personal day instead. So instead of working, I'm going to see my nephew in his new karate class, go to the library & head to the grocery store. I still might get that salad that I was looking forward to...we'll see.

I am really trying to stick to my grocery budget, but I need to stock up on a few things that I wasn't planning on. So I'm going to take a look at my list--determine what can be held off until my next payday & then just get whats needed this week.

I'm hoping, but not expecting any more overtime to be available at my work. If it does, I am signing up for as much as possible. All the extra money will go towards my financial goals.

And I hate to say it, but I still haven't been looking too hard for that part-time job. I WILL get on it this week. I promise.

winter finally hit

January 17th, 2007 at 04:21 pm

Well, its cold today. I actually had the heat running last night. I can count the number of days that the heater's been on, since I moved, with one hand!

I finally get to pull out the cute gloves & scarves I bought last year. I pulled out my down comforter & have a several layers of blankets to cuddle under. I also have a few downstairs for sitting in front of the tv.

Today was another no spend day. I've been drinking only water. Staying on the diet too. I don't weigh in again til Monday, so we'll see how it goes. I packed all of my food. The only non-packed food is the free pretzel I got at work on Tuesday.

My work is offering a second day of overtime (pretty much unheard of) for next Monday & I'm going to sign up.

I haven't spent much this month (year). I'm really trying to rein in spending to be able to meet my financial goals this year. Its helped that I was sick the last two weekend---didnt leave the house, so easy to not spend.

No luck on the part time job search yet... but I'll admit to putting it off a little too. Due to both laziness & health issues.

I will be stopping for gas, probably tomorrow or Friday, but other than that, I'm holding onto my goal of no spending. Saturday will be my treat to myself-- salad from the place down the street.

going strong

January 15th, 2007 at 12:55 pm

No spend day today for me. I had one soda (still having the touchy stomach). I'm having dinner at home tonight & I'm going to try to get through a bit of chores--all easy stuff since I'm just starting to feel normal again.

I'm working on a to-do list for the house. I want to see what I can do on my own. So here's a few things to get me started:

-Replace seal in downstairs toilet (because its been running)
-Replace all of upstairs toilet interior--seal, ball, ect due to drip & old parts
-Tighten lock on front door...its a little loose (I'll be able to handle that tonight
-Put clothing rods in the spare bedroom closets, maybe some shelving.
-Put a door on mysterious alcove in the upstairs, making it into another storage closet. I'll have to take a picture of it, we can't figure out why it was put there in the first place.
-Pull fridge away from wall & fix ice maker (probably need a new doohicky--I know what it is, but I can't remember the name)

I've been doing some internet research, getting ready for these projects & I'll be taking them on one at a time.

grocery, meal planning

January 14th, 2007 at 09:34 pm

Well, I've survived 2 work weeks in a row of packing my lunch & snacks. I'm on week 3, but I plan on treating myself next Saturday with a huge salad from the salad place. They always taste better when someone else makes them, plus I can get all the extras on it, that I wouldn't normally use at home-- green peppers, egg, mushrooms, ect...

I had 2 no spend days on Sat & today, mostly due to the fact that I've been sick again with my stupid stomach. which led to me having some soda this weekend. Overall, I've been doing really well. To combat the urge to 'binge' on soda, I'm using a 2 liter bottle instead of cans. I tend not to drink as much from the big bottle.

I went to Walmart today, which is a little out of my way, but Oh so worth it when I need to stock up on my staples. I got a LOT of stuff for 45.01. I stayed under my grocery budget & I still have about 15.00 left to buy more salad fixings next week to last me until the next payday.

And I got a free lunch today, went out with my parents & I was able to eat healthy at the restaurant they picked. Broiled flounder, baked potato & salad bar. I had the leftovers for dinner.

Well, tomorrow I'm working 8-5 (as opposed to my normal 11-8 schedule). I've packed a salad & sandwich for lunch & I'm having shake n bake chicken, salad & baked potato for dinner. I'll do the rest of my meal planning for the week tomorrow.

And I'm going to actively search for a part-time job this week. I hope to have one by February.

good week so far

January 12th, 2007 at 07:32 pm

Brought my lunch every day this week. I've been thinking of eating out tomorrow, but in the end I'm going to bring a frozen dinner instead.

I spent a few minutes today mapping out expected money that will be put towards my financial goals. The smaller ones will be easy, but I need to get a roommate and/or 2nd job to reach the biggest goal of fully funding my emergency fund in cash (as opposed to savings bonds/ect).

I've been lazily looking for that 2nd job, but I'm going to really get started in the search. I would like a flexible position, more than min wage, but if I do go min wage, I'm thinking about working for a video store so I can get free movies as a bonus. Plus, I really don't want a stressfuly position and I'd think I'd really enjoy the video store. Well, thats a last resort, so I'll see whats out there first.

small amounts add up

January 11th, 2007 at 08:59 pm

Today was a no spend day. Nice!

-I transfered 87.00 to savings today.
-I'm depositing 7.98 from a rebate to be transferred to savings.
-I'm depositing 26.00 cash from overage on cat supplies. This is part of my budget for her annual vet visit. So it will go into my ING until that appointment later in the year
-I'm transferring 5.38 from my Emigrant account, which will go to savings. Then I'm closing it. I really do not like their website or customer service.

I've already packed my food for tomorrow. I'm sticking to the diet, which helps with packing.

I get paid tonight: so tomorrow will be a spending day as I pay my mortgage, student loan #2 & car ins. Then I will have a certain amount in my checking already designated to certain catagories. This must last me until the next payday on the 30th.

$215 medical
$50.00 gas
$25.00 personal items (toiletries, ect)
$15.00 gifts
$15.00 clothes
$50.00 groceries
$35.00 spending (for whatever I want, including entertainment & eating out).

I also have money set aside for my monthy & quarterly household bills: trash, water, cable, electric, sewer.

I also have cash set aside for an oil change and $10.00 cash left from this last paycheck's groceries that will go to buy some staples at Walmart.