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Archive for March, 2007

Money added to savings & overtime

March 30th, 2007 at 02:18 pm

Just paid 165.45 to savings! Now I'm $2,721.42 away from my 2007 goal!

I've been looking at this goal as almost a debt to myself. I owe it to me to get the rest of the amount by the end of the year Smile

I'm keeping up with the overtime- Working about 11 hours this week. I have worked 53.5 hours of overtime for the month of March (Up from 40 hours in February).

I'm going to aim for 60 hours in April. Definately doable !!

Today's spending: $20.00 copay

March 28th, 2007 at 11:44 pm

UGH. Since when are my copays for office visits $20.00? Oh yeah, since 2007. I remember waaay back in 2005, when my office copay was $5.00 and my SPECIALIST copay was $15.00! Geeze. I don't want to think about what its going to be like in 2010!

Ok, sorry for the sarcasm, its all out now. I feel better Smile

Well, for the $20.00, I got to talk to my doctor about my migranes, get 3 prescriptions AND to schedule a follow up in 2 months.

I've always had migranes, but they've been more severe and frequent in the last 3 months. So I'm hoping these meds will help. I'll be taking a daily med for prevention, a medicine to take when the migrane starts & and a high-falooting pain med that WILL make me very goofy, but definately feel better. Hopefully this will help Smile

On the upside, I packed all my food for work today, but they treated us to pizza so that was nice. Yesterday, they treated us to pasta & salad & my team had an outing. We got to go bowling, which was pretty fun.

I'm giving myself a treat tomorrow & I'm getting something from the salad place I love so much. That'll be dinner for tomorrow night & lunch for Friday. Not too bad for $7.00.

Still working on the OT, but not so much this week. I'm getting back on board tomorrow. I just had to enjoy the nice weather we've been having.

Oh, and so far I've lost 6.5 lbs on the weight watchers. YAY!

Electric/Gas bill went DOWN!

March 27th, 2007 at 01:41 pm

I haven't gotten the bill with the breakdown between gas and electric yet, but the website gives me the total and I am happy to say that my electric AND gas went down by $38.19 !! This is based on a much larger month than the February was. So even though there were more days in this cycle, I still paid less.

I really want to see how much my gas usage has changed... mainly because I installed that new programmable thermostat. And I didn't install it until about a week into March, so I still should see more savings in April. I'm also hoping that it'll warm up soon & I won't be using heat as much. I was able to open my windows up on Sunday (it was beautiful out!) but then it was back to heat on Monday.

Overall, I'm happy at the savings and the extra between what I budgeted and the actual amount will be going directly into savings!

free food at work and overtime update

March 25th, 2007 at 03:27 am

They served pizza at work today & tomorrow they're buying subs us. VERY nice! Just a way to try to gain more interest in overtime, but hey, it works for me!

As for the overtime update: I worked 17.5 hours last week & I'll be doing about 10 this week. I have a few appointments, so I can't come in early 3 of the days I normally do. Still doing well though Smile

my no spend streak has ended

March 23rd, 2007 at 09:43 pm

After 5 straight no spend days, I spent..

$0.55 on a soft pretzel
$7.80 on a book of stamps
$0.95 on a library fine

I picked up Stephen King's Lisey's Story from the library. I've heard good things about it!

3rd entry of the day, but hey, its a biggie

March 23rd, 2007 at 03:23 am

I've had FIVE, yes, FIVE no spend days in a row. Tomorrow may or may not be my 6th. It depends on whether or not I stop at the grocery store on the way home from work. I probably won't, but we'll see Smile

Delaware Money School !!!

March 23rd, 2007 at 02:47 am

I was browsing links from my public library & I came across a great thing! There's a Delaware Money School. Its a school of free financial education classes! I've signed up for a few, I may know some info, I may learn some new things, but no matter what, it should be interesting.

And its possible that I might meet some like-minded people.

I signed up for:
-Investing for your future
-Women & Wealth
-Think Rich: Mind Your Money
-Everybody Needs a Will

Fun stuff! I'm very excited. Good to see that theres information out there to the public Smile

Clarification about my IRA rollover

March 22nd, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Fern commented on my last post, which made me realize that there may have been some miscommunication in my last post, so I wanted to clarify.

I'm using my bank's Financial Services Company to sign up and aid in the rollover of my 401k to an mutual funds IRA. This is not a bank account, but an investment account. I have picked several strong funds to work with.

The reason that I chose to do this face to face is that I did my research before hand, but I wanted help in making the conversion as easy as possible. They were able to give me a prospectus for each of the funds (although I already had most of the info from online) and I was able to discuss other options for my finances as well.

I am definately trying to make my money work for me!

Back from my bank appointment!

March 22nd, 2007 at 05:18 pm

I'm all excited. I met with the bank guy about opening an ira to switch my 401k over to. I knew what I wanted going in, but after talking for a little bit, and answering a couple of questions he had some good recommendations.

I'm getting the account set up, now I"m waiting for paperwork from the 401k, once that happens, I'll request the check & then give the check to the bank.

Now that I'm getting that settled, what I need to do is think about opening a Roth IRA for this year. Its one of my goals for the year & definately doable. I just don't know if I want to wait until I have the money set aside, or if I want to start making monthly contributions until I get to the annual limit... decisions, decisions Smile

The best part of the meeting was when the Financial Services guy told me it sounds like I've "really got my act together". Its always good to hear feedback about my plans Wink

FYI: Tuesday April 24th is ...

March 21st, 2007 at 08:06 pm

... National Teach Your Children To Save Day!!! My work is sending volunteers to teach 3rd & 4th graders about saving. I wish I could volunteer, but I have an appointment that day Frown Oh well, its still a great of idea!

finally switching 401k to IRA

March 21st, 2007 at 07:36 pm

It was on my financial goals list this year. I wanted to get it done in January, but I prioritized overtime above making the appointment. NOW I'm finally getting around to it.

I have an appointment with my bank to set up an IRA. Once its set up, I'll submit the paperwork to my previous employer to move my 401k over. I'm excited because I also want to talk about contributing for 2007. I hope to make the contribution limit by April of 2008. To be honest though, its all dependant on overtime. If it keeps going, I might make it, if not, I'm going to have to get that 2nd job to make that goal.

Dave Ramsey

March 20th, 2007 at 11:45 pm

I've started listening to his show on XM. I don't always agree with what he says, but its definately interesting. He also offers the shows online for free. If anyone's interested, just go to this website for the links.

Today was interesting, he had this one guy who was up to his eyeballs in personal AND business debt and the guy was talking about after he sells some assets, he'll owe about 200k to business vendors and about 200k to family. The man clearly stated that the family is going to need the money back relatively soon, but Dave tells him don't worry about them. They'll get paid when he's ready to get paid. Let them wait.

I dont' agree with that. Obviously, the family shouldn't have lent money they can't afford to lose, but these people are in need of some of the money and he should make it a priority. Because he told them he would. And now Dave's telling him to tell them to wait.

I feel bad for both parties here. The man is lying to family and his wife about the situation and if he isn't going to honor his family loans in a timely manner, their relationship is only going to get worse.

My sister is bad with money and I worry about my parents situation. IF it comes to having to lend them money... its only going to be what I can afford as a gift. If I get the money back, thats great, but if not, I haven't put myself into any financial stress.

no spend today and waiting on electric bill

March 20th, 2007 at 09:14 pm

No spending today, packed all my food. I'm sticking to my meal plan for the week... Yay!

I"m waiting for my electric bill to come, I should see it in the next week or so. I'm curious to see what the programmible thermostat has done to my usage. Now, the thermostat wasn't installed until the 2nd week of the cycle, but I'm hoping for a good difference anyway. I'll let you all know as soon as I do!

No overtime today, no spend & Savings totals!

March 20th, 2007 at 01:19 am

Well, I was going to go in for overtime today, but I just really needed the day to relax. I worked 17.5 hours of OT last week and even with skipping today, I can probably work about 10 this week. I did pretty much nothing all day and it was great!

Yesterday I did some deep cleaning in the kitchen & living room I did all my laundry over the weekend. And while I had a few things to do, non were pressing. So I vegged all day. Even got an afternoon nap in Smile

Obviously, since I stayed in all day, it was a no spender SmileAnd I've already premade my food for tomorrow. So tomorrow should be a no spender as well.

I deposited more money into my savings after I was paid on the 15th, so because I like to see the big numbers--- I totaled the amount I've added to savings this year.

January $300.97
February $1345.43
March (so far) $1014.00

Meal Plan for the week

March 18th, 2007 at 01:49 am

I've been working a lot lately, so I've been eating breakfast, lunch AND dinner there. Plus I'm doing the Weight Watchers, so I'm really trying to follow the plan. So, tonight I'm working on a mealplan tonight to make prep each day as minimal as possible. So here's a tentative plan:

Breakfasts will mainly be fruits and cheerios or oatmeal

Lunches will be: Big salads, tuna sandwiches, peanut butter on crackers

Dinners: Mon: Wheat pasta w/ sauce and salad
Tues: Shake n Bake chicken, baked potato
Wed: Chicken taco salad (w/ Tostitos baked scoops)
Thurs: pasta salad, with MorningStar Chick'n strips
Friday: Sloppy joe and baked fries.

Most of the dinners will be made tomorrow. I'll make bigger batches & freeze the extras. I can premake 2 days of salads at a time, then switch lunch the next 2 days to tuna sandwiches (1/2 can each day), then have peanut butter and crackers & do a salad again for Friday.

I've premeasured snacks-- honey nut cheerios, baked cheetos, ect to grab n go. I'm just trying to make this as easy as possible for myself.

FINALLY got my $6.90 back from MagsforLess

March 17th, 2007 at 07:43 pm

Over 8 months ago, I had ordered a subscription for Kiplinger's through Mags For Less. It was a great deal. The order was from over 8 MONTHS ago. About 3 months ago, I finally remembered the order & realized I never received any issues.

After multiple emails and unsatifactory answers, I started requesting a full refund. They had generic email responses, requesting that I request a refund by hitting a link to cancel. Then nothing would happen. I requested the refund about 4 times for a response. Right after I threatened to contact the Better Business Bureau. About 6 weeks later, I got my refund.

FINALLY. I knew going in that the deal was sketchy. So I figured I was taking a gamble with my $6.90. But it was the principle of the matter. And now I have my money back... YAY!

no spend today

March 16th, 2007 at 11:29 pm

I had a no spend day today. Packed all my food. And even got to leave work early today due to hailing ice! Woohoo!

more savings!

March 15th, 2007 at 08:55 pm

I got paid today and used most of my overtime money towards savings and student loans. Since I've upped my 401k, my take home was a bit lower, but thats what I wanted SmileI've upped it again to continue through overtime, and since I don't want to lose the extra take-home, its actually motivated me to do even MORE overtime.

Anyway, I put $300.00 directly into savings, $50.00 to student loan principle. I also used some of the funds to replenish a few of my cash catagories that I had used to pay for my IKEA trip last weekend. All planned, all good Wink

My goal for March is to do an average of 10 hours of overtime per week. There's 5 weeks in March, so I should make 50 hours. I'm hoping to beat that figure. We'll see how it goes. I'm getting a bit burned out from the overtime.

Today was a no spend day, packed breakfast, lunch AND dinner for work. No money spent on vending machines or the company cafe! Yay.

still packing my lunches and a funny story

March 15th, 2007 at 02:38 am

Packed my lunch again today. Well, since I worked 9am to 8p, it was really breakfast, lunch AND dinner. I'm working hard to keep eating right and eating frugally.

Funny story from work... I was talking to one of my coworkers about the fact that my remote hasn't been working properly with my tv in my bedroom. Its hit or miss if it'll work and its definatley not the batteries. So he said to me "well, I guess its time for a new tv". I started laughing and I said "Actually, its time for a new remote!" And I bought one for $7.99 on my lunch break. Tv's working good as new Smile

I think its funny that his first thought was to replace the tv altogether. That would have been a VERY last resort for me.

2 no spend days and my weekend stuff

March 13th, 2007 at 08:43 pm

Had no spend days yesterday & today. Packed my lunch both days and I'm sticking to my Weight Watchers plan. It makes it easier to stay with the WW when I'm paying for the online priviledges. I feel that I have to follow the plan and lose weight to get my money's worth.

I worked 7 hours of overtime yesterday and a 1/2 hour today. I would have done more this morning, but I wasn't feeling too good, so I slept in a bit instead.

On Saturday, my nephew spent the night & he woke up sick with a fever on Sunday. He's doing better now, but I hope I"m not getting what he had. I'm taking a LOT of vitamin C.

Sunday, we went to IKEA. I spent more than the limit that I had set for myself. UGH. But I got some fun stuff. And I paid cash, no credit. I got a duvet cover set, which definately was a want, not a need. I got a clock for the bathroom. A few small things for the kitchen (like a fun looking spoon rest).

The only other big purchase is a lamp for my nightstand. I have no overhead light in my bedroom and I do have a big lamp on the other side of my room, but I really wanted a bigger lamp for my nightstand.

The one really fun thing I got 2 Dracaena Bamboos, which I put in a rectangular vase with decorative rocks. I tend to kill plants, but apparently this stuff is foolproof. We'll be testing that theory here at my house Smile The plant is also called Lucky Bamboo.

upped my 401k withholdings again

March 10th, 2007 at 08:55 pm

Since I'm getting so much overtime, I upped my 401k withholdings to utilize the extra income in retirement savings as well as my regular savings. Since I've been with a new company, my 401k matching doesn't start until 1 year, so It'll go into effect in June. They match dollar for doller up to 5%, per paycheck. I can't wait!

spent today

March 10th, 2007 at 06:20 pm

$7.75 for lunch out with coworker. (packed my lunch every other day this week). Tonight my nephew is coming to spend the night. We'll be playing games and watching a movie. Fun for a 6 year old Smile

Tomorrow is the IKEA trip. I'm doing a little research online to see what I might want.

spent .80 today (Almost a no spend)

March 10th, 2007 at 12:42 am

I got a $5.00 coupon towards lunch at my work cafe. I used it for lunch, but really wanted a cafine soda, so I spent .80 cents today because my lunch plus 20 oz soda came to $5.80. It came out of my spending cash, so no worries.

I'm heading to IKEA on sunday with some friends. Mostly to do some wishing. I'm looking for a small clock for my upstairs bathroom. Just to be able to keep an eye on the time while I'm getting ready for work. Also, I'm looking for some small organizational things and I'd like to get some ideas for stuff for the house too.

I'm going with my spendy friends, so I'm setting a dollar amount limit $40.00 and if I really want something more expensive, I'll take down the tag info & hold off. That way there will be no impulse buying. I can go back on my own later if I decide to get it. The IKEA is about 40 minutes away, which helps on the impulse buying too.

lost my budgeting entry ! (redo)

March 9th, 2007 at 07:12 pm

I had this whole nice entry about budgeting & paying bills... then I lost it before I published it. And yes, it was human error Smile

ANYWAY... I really like it when people show how they budget & pay their bills...its always interesting to see other people's processes, so here's mine.

I get paid bimonthly on the 1st and 15th. I have 2 checking accounts, which get direct deposit. ONe is for regular bills (gas, groceries, spending, student loans, medical, personal, car insurance, gifts, oil change, cell, cat, and clothes), the other for house bills (mortgage, cable, netflix, water, sewer, electric, trash).

On the first, I take 1/2 of my monthly budgeted amount for gas, groceries, spending & mortgage. Then I pay 1/2 of my bills. On the 15th I take the other 1/2 of my monthly gas, groceries, spending & mortgage & I pay the rest of my monthly bills.

This way, I pay everything on time, because A,B,C are paid on the 1st and X,Y,Z are paid on the 15th. It works nicely for me.

Sometimes I move money from one catagory to another, but I never had to dig into my savings. So if I'm under budget on gas, I may use the leftover for groceries.

Well, thats my system & it works for me!

Overtime Update: My goal has been 10 hours a week. I had 14 last week and only 6 hours this week, but it balanced out. It looks like our overtime is going to extend through April too (this has never happened in our department before). But its GREAT for me!! Mostly I'm sacking the money away, but I would really like a better digital camera (than the freebie I got from the bank). Its something that I've been wanting for a long time, so I'm going to put some of my overtime towards it. And I'm going to do a lot of research to find the best price out there Smile

no spend/no soda today

March 8th, 2007 at 09:55 pm

Today was a no spend, no soda day. I packed my lunch today. Apple, Banana, baked cheetos, salad, tuna sandwich & baked fries. Yummy. I also got a free soft pretzel for meeting a goal at work! Free is good!

Jean Chatzky on XM Radio

March 7th, 2007 at 10:28 pm

I listened to her show today (on the Oprah & Friends channel). I've never listened before, but today she was interviewing 2 Personal Finance Bloggers. I really enjoyed her first interview w/ the founder of No Credit Needed. The second interview was more fluffy. Then Chatsky spent the 2nd half of the hour talking about other stuff.

I really feel like she could have done more to explore PF blogs...like using the whole hour, maybe interviewing more than 2 people. (please note sarcasm). NCN brought up some great points about learning from other blogs, holding oneself accountable through blogs and encouraging others.

I really feel that communities like this one serve several purposes. SavingAdvice.com means a lot to me and I really feel like I've found a group of people who understand my financial ways more than friends and family can.

So Thank you all for your support, advice and for each of you doing your own thing and sharing it with us.

no spend day

March 6th, 2007 at 10:56 pm

NO spending today. I packed my food for work. Yesterday I worked a 1/2 day of overtime, then ran some errands. I spent the rest of the day organizing. I finally finished organizing & cleaning my basement. Then I organized all my financial papers. Things are a lot easier to find now Smile

I"m going to officially join weight watchers online tonight. I made the decision yesterday, but I'm going to join tonight. Then I'm going to preplan my food for the week & premake some of the food tonight. I was going to do premake more food yesterday, but I got distracted by the paperwork.

free cat food for me!

March 5th, 2007 at 09:41 pm

The place I buy my expensive anti-crystal cat food has a frequent buyer program, which I never remember to get stamped for. Well, the girl ringing me up noticed this, and went back through my records. I ended up getting 2 bags for free! Sweet!

spending & food update

March 5th, 2007 at 05:41 pm

I packed food for work today. 4 hours of overtime from 9am to 1pm. Then I'm off to get cat food & litter. I also want to stop at the dollar store for sandwich bags.

I've decided to rejoin Weight Watchers online. I've been doing it on my own, but I've been struggling. I think having the support is what really helps me to stay focused. Kind of like the support here Smile

When I get home, I'll be making some sloppy joe to freeze. I'm also going to make some chicken to take for lunch tomorrow & premake salad & other food for later this week.

quick note- loving my thermostat

March 4th, 2007 at 04:14 am

I installed that thermostat on Monday & I am LOVING it. I can set it for 5 days & 2 days (work week vs weekend). But what I really love is the hold feature where I can change the current temp, regardless of where the settings are automated. I can put a temporary hold on where it will go back to the auto temps at the next scheduled change, or a perminant hold that can only be turned off manually.

So tonight I'm heading to bed earlier than I normally do, so I set the temporary hold to what I keep it set at during the night. That way, when the morning hits, the heat will be up again through the automatic settings. But my heat will go lower earlier than normal since I'll be snuggled up in bed.

And tomorrow when I leave for work and will not be home for at least 8 or 9 hours, I'll put the perminanat hold on to 60 til I get home.

Obviously, I'm easily entertained... but I couldn't help sharing, because I think its neat Wink


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