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Archive for June, 2007

Payday & paying for the A/C

June 29th, 2007 at 08:17 pm

I got paid today & I"m putting all my overtime towards the A/C. This still leaves me with a VERY large balance. I'm transferring money from my ING account to pay it, then I'll be paying myself back. I'm expecting about $700.00 of overtime in my July 15th paycheck. Then about $280.00 in my July 30th check. I'll still owe myself about $1700.00 after that.

Unfortunately, they announced that overtime has stopped indefinately at work. So I'm going to be looking at other avenues to pay myself back as quickly as possible.

Today is a no spend day. I packed my breakfast, lunch & dinner and I'll be having a snack when I get home. I'm out of library books and movies, but I have a large to-do list to keep me busy this weekend.

Tomorrow, I'm packing my lunch again. I have leftover tuna fish and I'll make a salad & some breakfast stuff. Tomorrow night will be dinner at home.

There are several movies coming out soon that I REALLY want to see in the theater. So I'm saving my entertainment budget for this paycheck (which lasts me til the 15th) to buy tickets for Transformers and for Harry Potter. I am VERY excited to see both.


Motivation

June 28th, 2007 at 10:42 pm

There's an annoying guy that sits by me at work. He's nice enough, but really negative about EVERYTHING... except money.

He's about 22, recently got engaged. This is his first real job. We got to talking about money and he was saying that he has no debt, no obligations. That he & his fiance are working toward buying a house next year after getting married.

I asked if his fiancee was on the same financial page that he is. I gave some 'gentle' advice and said that they sould talk about finances and goals prior to getting married.

He told me that they had done that and in fact, she wants to live off of her salary for the bills and mortgage & completely save/invest his income! Then he said that he has no use for credit cards and will be paying for the wedding in cash. They REALLY are on the ball with money.

I am VERY jealous. I wish that I had such defined goals 6 years ago. Well, I have them now & I am doing everything I can to be sucessful.

On a lighter note, I've been trying to eat better and excersize. One of the women at my work says she's going to be my 'trainer' and make sure I'm staying on track. She's just teasing, but it was funny, because she's really going to check in with me daily to make sure I'm doing well (she's also got the same goals). It'll be great to have a buddy!

I'm still working overtime, although I only got in 1.75 hours today due to oversleeping and a doctors appointment.

My movie night with my friends was a bust. A 1/2 hour after we got there, the electricity went out. So we spent the night talking instead.

Credit lines ! Oh my!

June 27th, 2007 at 01:52 am

I got an email from one of my credit cards, notifying me that they've increased my credit line. I haven't carried a balance on any of the cards in at least 2 years, but for some reason, they still love me.

I have a few store cards that I use for discounts and coupons. And I have 6 major credit cards. I only use 2 of them, but I haven't gotten around to closing the others. Mainly because I didn't want to mess with my credit bureau prior to buying the house. Now I am thinking about closing some of them.

But right now, I'm just amazed at the credit lines that I have available to me.

CC#1 $2,400.00 limit
CC#2 $3,000.00 limit
CC#3 $4,000.00 limit
CC#4 $6,500.00 limit
CC#5 $7,500.00 limit
CC#6 $13,200.00 limit

Geeze! Like I would EVER use that much if any of the credit available to me.

In a spending update, I brought lunch/dinner to work with me today, only to find it spoiled. So I grabbed a salad from the salad place. A $6.00 super huge salad (I'll have to take a pic next time I get one). It covered me for lunch & dinner AND I finished off the last bit when I got home from work. Not too bad.

Tomorrow, we're having a team outing at work. Except we're staying in to play trivia games. Dull, but not my choice. On the upside, we're ordering food from one of my favorite take-out places! I'm either going to get a sub & split it between lunch and dinner, or get a pasta dish with bread and salad. Which, I'd also split between lunch and dinner. The pasta might last until lunch on Thursday too. We'll see.

Oh, and for an overtime update: I worked 4 hours on Monday, 3 hours today, I'll work 3 hours tomorrow. I might get some time in on Thursday, depending on a doctors appointment, and I'll get 3 hours in on Friday. I'm doing all I can, just in case overtime is no longer available in July.

If that's the case, I'll be looking for a part-time job QUICK!

Miserable day at work, but still no spending

June 23rd, 2007 at 05:55 pm

I'm at work til 5pm today. My coworker is completely miserable & making sure that we all know it. I'm tired of her complaining. So, I just ignore her.

On the upside, I passed up several offers to order lunch today. I ate my oatmeal, baked cheetos and peanut butter and crackers instead. I even got a bread stick from one of my coworkers! I love free stuff.

I'm all ready to spend some time relaxing. I have movies to watch, cleaning to do and sleep to catch up on. Today is DEFINATELY a no spender.

Tomorrow will be too, excluding getting some groceries paid for by my gift card.

I'm going to try extending my no cash, credit or debit weekend into the week. However, I am planning on 2 things. I need to buy cat litter and I will be paying a copay at the doctors on Thursday. We'll see if I can make it til Friday!

Enjoy the weekend!

No cash, credit or debit card weekend

June 22nd, 2007 at 11:40 pm

I was invited to Atlantic City this weekend, with some new friends, but I declined in an effort to not spend right now.

At least we have a movie night planned instead of the weekly bar night we have usually. I'll bring microwave popcorn from home, one of the guys is supplying the movie. Should be fun.

My goal for the weekend is this: to not use any cash, debit, or credit cards. Today, I am working til 8pm. I'm stopping for gas on the way home (I'm on E). Then I'm heading home to watch a library movies and possibly a re-run of House while I clean & pack some food for work tomorrow.

Saturday, I'm planning on leaving my wallet at home. I'm working 8-5. I'll take a 1/2 hour lunch, but I won't be going anywhere. I just plan on playing on the internet for the 30 minutes.

Then tomorrow night, I plan on hanging out at home. I've been working 6 days a week and for the last 3 weeks, my only day off (Sunday) has been packed with family obligations. So I am planning on completely staying home and vegging on both Saturday night & Sunday. Unless the temperature gets too high for being without A/C, in which case, I'm going to camp at my parents house Smile

I'm want to do some organizing and cleaning this weekend, watch some free movies, catching up on blogs and some financial stuff, and generally relaxing. I really need it.

I have food for dinners at home, but I plan on making a stop at the grocery store at some point. I have $29.36 in Super G gift cards left for this pay period. So I'll stock up on some salad stuff & some essentials.

I was going to make some food to freeze ( I have this meatloaf muffin recipe that I want to try), but if its hot, I won't be turning the oven on. I'll just plan on having a lot of salads and tuna fish and pasta salad Smile

So to recap, I'm buying gas tonight. Then no more spending except my gift card to Super G for groceries.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

#275 in line at the library

June 21st, 2007 at 10:32 pm

I forgot that Janet Evanovich's new book Lean Mean Thirteen came out recently. So I went onto my library's website to request it. I'm #275 in line to get the book. However, the total Delaware public library system has about 67 copies of the book. So hopefully, I'll be able to get my copy within a month or so.

I've also been putting myself on the library wait list for a lot of movies. I have a pretty varied taste, but the library has a good selection. Just to name a few that I'm in line for: Blood & Chocolate, Because I Said So, Breach, Epic Movie, NCIS Season 1, and The Pursuit of Happyness.

I've been kinda lost the last few days. Spending more than I like, when I need to reign myself in. So I am going to make some changes. I have been saying that for awhile, but I really need to hold myself accountable.

Also, there's some things I've been wanting to do around the house that I'm either going to put off for awhile or do myself. There's some terrible bramble bushes in between some trees at the end of my property. I was hoping to hold off & get a professional to get in there & haul the stuff away. But now I"m thinking of doing it myself. Maybe do a bit at a time.

In other news, its been really hot and humid here, so being without a/c has been very uncomfortable. We seem to have a break in the humidity tonight, so I'll be able to sleep comfortably.

Monday is the A/C installation day. Its my normal day off, but I usually go in for overtime. So the game plan is to meet the workers myself and about 10am my mom will come over to be around while they're there & I'll head into work for some overtime. This week, I'll have worked 21.5 hours. Next week, probably about 15.5 hours due to a meeting & doctors apointment that I have scheduled.

AND... I heard back from that home improvement store that I had such problems with. The manager of the store that I visited called to get some more information about the situation. He will be calling me back tomorrow. I'll keep you all updated with what happens. I have to share that I was all flattered because he told me that my letter was very well written. I'm so glad I waited until I had calmed down a bit before writing and mailing it.

Food day at work

June 20th, 2007 at 06:56 pm

We had a going away party for someone at my work. I contributed potato rolls & butter for about 20-25 people. I spent $6.88 last night picking the stuff up. (I used my grocery store gift card). And today, I ate very well Smile

We had fried chicken, jerk chicken, mac n cheese, spanish rice, spinach dip & beer bread, pasta salad, rolls, plus various cookies and cake. So I am now stuffed Smile It was very good.

I'm working 8am to 8pm today, same as yesterday. I'm going out with some coworkers tonight, so depending on what time I get in, I'm going to come in early again tomorrow.


I have to make some changes in my spending and budget. I've been spending and eating based on my emotions. I really need to make some changes. So this weekend, I'm finally going to sit down & do some of the things I've been putting off financially and personally. We'll see how it goes.

Making Lists

June 15th, 2007 at 09:29 pm

I am a HUGE list-maker. I make lists for tons of things. Then I remake lists. Then I do some, but not all, of the stuff on the lists, but thats ok.

Here's a few examples of my lists:
-Lists of movies that I'd like to rent from the library, but if I can't I might get from Netflix later on when I restart it
-Grocery list
-Meal Plan list
-To do for work list
-To do for home list
-Overtime schedule list
-Books I want to read in the future list
-Websites/Blogs that I want to explore further
-Wish list (my small & big wants). If I write them down & wait, some come off the list & some get asked for at birthday/Christmas
-Bank account balance & budget catagory balance list

I have no idea when I started this habit
of list-making, but it REALLY helps me stay organized. And I'm less prone to impulse buying this way Smile

Got the quote for the A/C unit

June 14th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

UGH. I knew what range it was in (high numbers), but when I heard the actual price, I almost threw up. I had gotten quotes from a few other companies, but this is one that I really trust. They were straight-forward, gave me options on the different models and were generally nice to me. They also had the best price.

So I've converted the bill into overtime hours: The full amount minus the $400.00 gift card = 172 overtime hours! Yuck. But its ok, I have the cash. I'm going to use some money (not showing in the balances on the left)that I have set aside for a small interest-free first-time homeowners loan that I don't have to pay back til 10/2009. I'll be able to pay myself back in a few months easily. And I'll still have my emergency fund.

In the mean time, I'm buckling down on the overtime. By Saturday, I'll have 23 hours to put towards that total. Next week, I'm doing a minimum of 19 hours. That leaves 130 hours to go.

I'll also be adding to paying myself back from other sources, like paycheck funds that would normally go to savings.

I am REALLY tired right now. I am going home and making some food to bring to work tomorrow. Then I am going to bed.


Need to find $50.00 and a $22.00 discount

June 14th, 2007 at 02:39 am

I have a specialist visit with my gastroenterologist at the end of the month. I used up some of my medical budget on a new medicine I'm trying, so its a little depleted and I have a few 3 month supply of prescriptions to order this month. So, I am going to find little ways to make up the $30.00 copay without having to dig into my medical or other budget catagories.

I also have to get my car inspected, which will likely be a $20-25 fee. I'd like to complete it by the end of the month.

So I want to find ways to come up with $50.00.

First, when I get paid on the 15th, I have $10.00 of the budget going to personal items (shampoo, ect). Since I already have a $20.00 gift card to Happy Harrys (owned by Walgreens), this covers my personal items for the month & the extra $10.00 isn't needed, so I'm starting off this personal challenge with $10.00.

I'll keep updating as I find other funds.

I also came home to a nice surprise. I received the air conditioning repair bill from last week. I had been quoted $322.00 for the visit, but the bill was for $300.00. Yay! When I have the estimate tomorrow, I do plan on asking the guy to consider that I just shelled out such a large amount to their company.

In other news:
-I found out that the $400.00 in gift cards from work is going to come in the form of a Visa gift card as opposed to store cards like last time. I'm hoping to put this amount towards the new A/C unit. I'll have to talk to the company's office, but it shouldn't be a problem. My family has done business with them for years.

-I worked 3.5 hours of overtime yesterday & today. I won't get any in tomorrow because of the appointment for the estimate. But on Friday, I'm going into the office at 7am to do some system checks for the boss, so I'll get in 4 hours of OT, maybe 4.5 if I decide to take a 1/2 hour lunch again.

-And in even better news, the overtime is back on for next week, so I have some opportunity to earn some more OT hours.

Its funny, I keep thinking of the cost of the A/C in terms of OT hours. I'll calculate exactly how much I'll need once I have the figures tomorrow Smile

I already packed food for tomorrow & I plan to have a big breakfast before I leave. So tomorrow WILL be a no spend day for me Smile
Well, I'm off to bed, I'm beat!

Emotional Spending

June 13th, 2007 at 08:28 pm

I had someone I thought was a work friend say something very hurtful about me to another coworker today. I had to get out of the office for a bit to recompose myself. So I went down to the cafe and bought a soft pretzel for 55 cents. It was worth it just for the temporary peace.

This situation concerns a small group of people and I sort of feel that I'm in a hostile environment when I'm around them. I am able to remove myself from them at times, but this changes how I view my current workplace.

I am seriously considering some changes in my job. I'm going to try to let the situation go for now, not get myself worked up, but I do plan to take some time this weekend to sort some things out.

In the meantime, I spent 55 cents on food today. And I did end up going to a bar after work last night with another group of coworkers. I spend $9.00 for 2 large mixed drinks, an order of fries and the tip (its a small local bar, so its cheap). The $9 came out of my entertainment money.

Today I'm working 8am to 8pm with a 1/2 hour lunch. I packed all my food (outside the pretzel).

Tonight I'm going home & premaking food for tomorrow. Then heading straight to bed. Tomorrow I meet with the a/c guys for the estimate. That should be fun.

Being Prepared Helps! And good news!

June 12th, 2007 at 05:18 pm

I'm working 8am to 8pm today. I packed all my food and my plan is to not buy any food all day.

Well, around 12:00, I started having a drop in blood sugar. Its not unusual for me, but it was really bad. I was shaking like crazy. I didn't want to eat all my packed food before dinner time, but I also didn't want to run down & buy something from the cafe.

Luckily, I had a small stock of stuff that I brought from home that I keep in my desk. I keep a pack of generic Ritz-like crackers and a jar of peanut butter in my desk for just such an occasion. I spread the pb on a few of the crackers, gulped down the soda and now I'm fine! If I didn't have that supply there, I would have spent AT LEAST 75 cents for a soda and more if I wanted food too. So yay! Crisis averted.

A few more tidbits:
- I also found a quater in the parking lot today!
- I'm going to work a 1/2 hour lunch & get another 1/2 hour of OT in today

And just to share my packed food:
Today I had/will have:
-a small blueberry muffin
-a banana
-1 cup dry rice chex (I eat them as a snack)
-all bran crackers
-tuna sandwich on wheat
-5 crackers with peanut butter on top
-salad with light italian dressing
-homemade pasta salad with wheat pasta, tons of veggies and light italian on it

Not the most imaginative meals, but its been REALLY hot in the office and I just couldn't take any hot food.

I know I'm bringing a salad & the other half of the tuna tomorrow, but I still have to figure out the rest. I'm going to work 8am to 8pm again.

****edited to add****

I just found out that I'll be receiving another $400.00 in gift cards from work. This was the last oppurtunity for it, but I am SO excited that I won!!!!

getting into ultra frugal mode

June 12th, 2007 at 02:16 am

Well, the A/C went again. The last visit from the repair guy was a last ditch effort to see if it would limp through this summer. Obviously, it won't. I have the cash to get the new unit, but I want to pay myself as soon as possible.

Also, there was a glitch between my hot water heater timer and my brand new hot water heater, so I had the installation guy come back out to take a look. It took him 5 minutes, but it was fixed.

Today I:
-woke up at 6:45 am.
-was at the grocery store by 7:30 am to buy veggies and some staples
-made food to take to work
-called & set up an appointment with the a/c guy
-called & got 1 more car insurance quote. I'm just waiting to talk to the company who has my homeowner's insurance to see if grouping them together would save me a few bucks
-met with the hot water heater guy
-went to work for overtime from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm
-came home & cleaned the kitchen, living room and downstairs bathroom
-made dinner and premade food for tomorrow.

now I'm resting, playing on the internet & reworking my budget a little.


I'm actually going to be under budget for groceries this pay period! Yay Smile I have $17.56 left of my $50.00 gift card that I'm using for this pay period. I'm going to save it for when soda is on super sale again. I like to stock up when its at its cheapest Smile

So other than groceries paid by the gift card, I had a no spend day today.

Tomorrow, I'm working 8am to 8pm (3 hours OT). I've packed breakfast, lunch & dinner to take with me, as well as some snacks.

I've been running the house fans, but not the a/c since the a/c isn't working. But even if it was, I'd probably have it off, its been so beautiful in the last few days.

My goal for this week is to pack my meals all the way through Saturday. I say that sometimes and I don't follow through. But I will this time. I actually put a sticky note on my debit card. It says "A/C", just as a reminder. When I was saving for the house, I had a sticky with a picture of a house on it. Its a strange little motivation, but hey, it works for me Smile

For entertaiment this weekend, I'm getting a few movies from the library. I've been watching old Poirot movies, which is fun. I have plans to do some organizational and cleaning stuff around the house this weekend. It should be pretty frugal Smile

Sunday Freebies

June 11th, 2007 at 03:29 am

My family & I went to the movies & dinner for my dad's birthday & for an early fathers day. My mom's treat for both. Plus, she gave me a bag of paperback books that she picked up for me from yard sales & book trade shops. Thanks Mom!

Frugal things I'm doing & my to do list

June 8th, 2007 at 10:53 pm

I opened up a trial size toothpaste this morning that I had gotten as a free sample. I have another one somewhere in the drawer. Its berry flavored, with a hint of mint, which is a little weird, but it was free & it'll last me a good long while Smile I'm going to organize & use all my free samples, before they get lost.

I'm going to be putting together an organizer for my card collection. I keep a stock of cards for birthdays, sympathy, congratulations, ect on hand. But when I go to find them, I can't because they've been shoved into some drawer in the spare room. So I cut the top off a tissue box & I'm going to organize the cards in it tonight. This means cleaning out my desk drawers, but that needs to be done as well.

I'm in the process of reading Green with Envy: Why keeping up with the Jones is keeping us in debt by Shira Boss. I got it from the library awhile ago, but I'm making time to finally read it this weekend. After that, I'm re-reading the last few Harry Potter books so when the new one comes out July 21st, I'll be refreshed!

I am holding off on my impulse to pre-order Mean Lean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. I LOVE this series. I have all the other books in hardback. But I"m really trying to hold off on it, get it from the Library and just put it on my Christmas list in December. We'll see.

I've been listening to back episodes of Dave Ramsey's show & heard his guest Henry Cloud. I put two of his books on my want list at the library. Boundries, and Integrity. Both should be good reads.

For the weekend, I plan to:
-Deep clean the house
-Finish cleaning the basement after the repairs
-Clean out my car, including vaccuming
-Start updating my resume
-Put some stuff up on Craigslist (I keep putting this off)

Next week I plan to:
-Finalize my car insurance decision
-Work any OT available to me
-Pack breakfast, lunch & dinner every day next week, no exceptions!
-Work on prescription billing issues

Working hard

June 7th, 2007 at 11:16 pm

I spent $1.20 on some fries to go with my salad for lunch. I actually paid out 20 cents cash, and used a 1.00 voucher for my work cafe. Considering I've been at work since 9am & won't be leaving til 8pm, I packed most of my meals, I just got a littler hungrier than I thought.

I plan to go home tonight & make food for tomorrow's meals. I also am finalizing that letter to the store that treated me so badly (see my previous entry on Worst Customer Service EVER). I have the CEO's address, the complaints department address, and the address of the head manager of the specific store that I visited. I want a response. I want to know what they think about the way that I was treated.

In other news, I'm coming in for 3 hours of OT tomorrow & I'll do a 1/2 hour on Saturday for a total of 5.5 hours this week. I have the option for OT on Monday, and they may give us a little during the week again, we'll see. I'll be taking any ot that I can get so I don't have to dig into savings to cover the air conditioning repair. I would be able to 'repay' it quickly, but I'd prefer not to have to.

And just a side note--- we're having a work party next week. I signed up for pretzels only to get publically humiliated for my choice. I was told by a peer... not a manager... that pretzels were'n't good enough & I have to cook something. I told her I'll bring something, but I don't have to COOK anything. She preceded to yell at me from across the aisle. I was PISSED.

If I didn't like my coworker that the party is for, I would have just declined to attend altogether. So I stuck to my guns & told her to write down pretzels. Then about a 1/2 hour later, I changed my item to rolls. I can get them for the same price & they compliment the food we're brining more. Still, it was the rudest thing I've ever seen. AND I wasn't the only person that she did that to.

WORST customer service EVER! (rant)

June 5th, 2007 at 09:39 pm

I went to a home improvement store on Saturday to buy a hot water heater & set up an installation date. I had shopped around and planned on using a $100.00 gift card that I had gotten from work, plus sign up for the store card to get 10% off the water heater. Before anyone worries, I have the cash to pay this off, I'm using the card for the discount & I'll pay it off when the statement comes.

While I was there, I encountered a salesman who got angry about having problems with the store's computer system and at having to fill out the installation paperwork by hand. He began cursing while helping me set up the order & installation. I mean a SERIOUS use of profanity, repeated over a 20 minute time span. It was REALLY inappropriate. I am really not exaggerating.

Then, when I went to customer service to be rung up. The assistant manager that helped me, filled out the credit card paperwork didn't process the 10% discount. When I asked her about it, she starting making excuses:

1. I, the customer, should have told her, the MANAGER, what the store's promotion was.
2. I, the customer, should have told the sales guy that I wanted the discount (which I did). And he should have noted the discount.
3. If she cancelled the transaction & restarted it, then I would lose my $100 gift card because she can't refund gift cards.
4. If she cancelled the transaction, I would have to start COMPLETELY over by going back to the salesman.

At this point, I told her there was no way that I was going back to the sales guy becuase he had flipped out. She finally punched a few buttons on the cash register & handed me cash for the 10% discount.

So basically, she was trying to bully me into giving up on getting the promotion. She lied about having to delete the whole transaction and order. AND she lied about my having to lose the gift card.

I have already written a letter to the CEO of the company, which I will be sending return receipt requested.

I've been in customer service for 14 years and I've never seen anyone behave that way before!

Floaters & today's spending

June 1st, 2007 at 11:27 pm

$30.00 specialist copay to eye doctor... I have a floater, if anyone knows what that is. Its very distracting at work, but so far, not a sign of a serious problem (which it can be).

I spent nothing on food today. I packed my lunch. YAY!

I am heading to the grocery store after work. I'm going to use on of my gift cards. I'm trying to limit my spending today, knowing I'll be going back next week to stock up on more veggies and fruits.

I am working on my May totals and June goals over the weekend & I'll post them as soon as I have them.