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Archive for July, 2007

End of month updates

July 31st, 2007 at 02:40 am

Some quick updates:
-I made my 12 no spend days for the month!
-I ended up working 20.5 hours of overtime last week
-Yesterday, I bought 4 deoderants, 1 V05 shampoo and 1 conditioner, and 3 Aquafresh toothpastes for 8.33 (or 88 cents each)
-Today, I bought hair products with a gift card to the local pharmacy
-I'm looking for another prescription transfer offer to another pharmacy to get some kind of incentive gift card. Every little bit helps
-I worked 6 hours of overtime today
-I put my car back in the shop because of the check engine light coming back on. Total cost was $135.59.
-My overtime goal for this week is to do 16 hours between now & Thursday. I have vacation time for Friday & Saturday. I plan on using the 4 day weekend as a mini vacation. I'm not going anywhere, but I am going to get some much needed rest.
-I lost another pound this week. I'm down 4.8 lbs so far!

And one random thought---does anybody else get annoyed at those Visa commercials where everyone is paying with their debit card & its going smoothly, then everything grinds to a halt when one guy wants to pay cash? I can't stand those commercials. Which is ironic, because I use my debit card more than cash Smile

I received my Electric bill too

July 27th, 2007 at 09:12 pm

I'm piggybacking on Ima's post, but I am pretty excited. I've been waiting for this bill, because of it being the first month where I was using the a/c. Mine was $69.54! I am SO happy! I budgeted $120.00 & I'm going to put the extra right towards my student loan! Yay!

Splurged today

July 27th, 2007 at 04:24 pm

I went out last night, so I didn't have time to make food for today. I'm working 7am to 8:30pm today. I packed stuff that I could just grab, so I was covered for breakfast & snacks, but no lunch or dinner. So I ended up ordering with some coworkers.

I love this local salad place. They give you these HUGE salads & large homemade wheat rolls that are bigger than your hand. Very yummy. The salad was large enough to have a third of it & the roll for lunch & I'll eat the other 2/3 for dinner. All for $8.00 including tip. Very yummy!

Tonight, I'll get back to packing food. I only need to make breakfast & lunch for tomorrow. Dinner will be with friends.

Thursday Ramblings and Some Goal Changes

July 26th, 2007 at 02:08 pm

Yesterday was a no spend day. I worked 7am to 9pm with a Ĺ hour lunch, earning 5.5 hours of overtime. I was invited out after work, but I declined because I didnít want to spend money. Plus I wanted to go to bed early. So I came home, made food for today & went to bed. I was back up at 5:45 am (which is a feat, since I am NOT a morning person & my normal work shift is 11am to 8pm).

Today Iím working 7am to 8pm & then Iím heading to a friendís house for dinner & movie night. I offered to bring stuff, but she refused, so today may be a no spend day too. Weíll see. I hate coming over empty handed.

Iím making some changes in my current goals. The plan was to replenish my emergency fund after it was hit with the hot water heater & air conditioning problems. However, I have $5,000.00 in my ING account earmarked to pay back a first time home-buyer incentive loan at 0% due in Sept/Oct of 2009. Iíve decided that Iím comfortable with having this as a back-up e-fund. So what I am going to do is put all my extra funds directly to student loan # 1. Iím really motivated to pay it off quickly, because itís in my parentsí names. If for any reason, I have to touch my emergency fund. I will immediately stop paying down the loan & work on rebuilding the e-fund.

Iím getting paid on Tuesday. I have very little overtime in this check, but Iíll be putting 194.55 towards the student loan. Next pay period (August 15th), Iím hoping to have over 40 hours of overtime to put towards the loan. I REALLY want to get this paid off! If anyone has any comments about my plan, please let me know. Iíve thought this through in terms of my comfort levels, but Iíd like to hear other opinions as well.

Raise !

July 25th, 2007 at 08:26 pm

Today was no spender number 11 for the month. And today I had my annual review. I did really well & I"m receiving a 6.2% raise. I've already set my 401k withholdings to add 3%. Normally, I'd do the whole amount, but my monthly budget needs to be redone & I have wanted a bit more wiggle room for unusual catagories (hoa fee, sewer bill, ect). If I find that I have more than I need, I'll up my 401k contribution in the next paycheck.
But I am VERY happy with my raise. It was pretty much top tier for my department.

On a frugal note, I've had the A/C off since Friday with no problems. Its been very windy lately, so the house has been pretty cool.

10 no spend days for July

July 25th, 2007 at 02:33 am

Today was another no spender. I'm two away from my goal of 12 for the month of July! I'm looking to make tomorrow number 11. I've already pre-made food for tomorrow's breakfast, lunch & dinner.

I'm working from 7am to 8 or 9pm tomorrow. They've extended overtime hours in a push to meet our month end numbers. So I'm going to take advantage this week. Since I only worked 3 hours of overtime on Monday (my day off), I wasn't planning on making my 20 hour goal for the week. But now its back on. We'll see what I can get done Smile

Today I extended my hold on my Netflix. Its been on hold since May & it was to restart in August. I went online to cancel, but they gave me to the option to extend the hold until October. Perfect timing. I LOVE to celebrate Halloween by watching lots of cheesy horror movies, most of which my library doesn't carry. Also, I have a week's vacation in October, so I'll have plenty of time to watch movies.

In the meantime, I have several movies on request at the library & I'm keeping a list of new releases that I want to watch, but my library doesn't carry. I'll get to them in October too.

free grill

July 24th, 2007 at 05:01 pm

My parents friends bought a new grill, so they gave me their old one. Its about 9 years old, but kept in really good shape. My dad is checking it over to make sure its safe, but free is good! Now I just have to learn how to grill Smile

Yesterday, I only worked 3 hours overtime, but I also got my car inspected. So there was some cash out for the 2 year renewal plus gas.

Today, I packed my lunch, so it'll be a no spender. I'm getting a bit bored with the foods that I'm bringing, so I'm going to set aside some time to meal plan some different foods for next week.

6 day workweek

July 21st, 2007 at 08:43 pm

Today is the end of my 6 day workweek and I have a few minutes before heading out of work to update some things--- Spending:
Friday was a no spender. Today, I'll be buying gas, but brought my breakfast & lunch to work, so no cash out there.

Harry Potter 7 arrived at my door from Amazon with the free standard shipping. I feel almost bad about it because people paid for extra for the guarenteed delivery & I didn't, but we both got the same service. But I am really EXCITED to read this new. And a little sad, because its the last. At least this series is one that I will reread several times.

So although I have a ton of things I should get done around the house. I'm going to spend the weekend reading Harry Potter & watching some movies from the library. I currently have Last Holiday (with Queen Latifah, Norbitt, Maxed Out, and the Good German. So I think I'm going to make tonight a movie night & tomorrow a book day.

Then Monday, its back to work for some overtime. My goal is to get at least 20 hours in this week. Definately doable!

yesterday ended up a no spender anyway

July 19th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

I had grand plans to stop by the library & the grocery store on the way home from work yesterday, but I was just too tired. So I skipped the stops & went home, ending up with a no spend day.

Today I packed breakfast & lunch, but didnt pack dinner, so I ended up grabbing a sandwich. I'll stop by the grocery store on the way home tonight & pick up the tomatos & banana. I plan on making food for tomorrow & then going straight to bed. I am BEAT!

I'm still doing all the overtime I can, which is good, because I'm in the middle of this monster project & I just want it to get finished. It is really stressing me out. I'm looking at it possibly being done by Saturday, if some of my coworkers pitch in tomorrow, which they probably will. I will be so relieved when its over.

I am planning on cashing out a gift card through MyPoints this weekend. I have a friends birthday coming up & it'll be great to use to buy the gift. As soon as I figure out what to get him.

planned spending and grocery thoughts

July 18th, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Today was pretty much a no spender. I brought all my meals to work today. After work, I'm going to run to the library to pick up some free books & movies to go through in the upcoming week & weekend. Then I'm going to stop at the grocery store to pick up tomatos & bananas. That will be my only spending today.

I'm back to using cash for groceries because I finally used up all of my gift cards from work. I had $50.00 that I budgeted for myself on the 15th & the 30th. When I just use my debit card, I overspend. With the gift cards, I stuck with that figure (outside of a Walmart run). So I've been thinking about buying some more gift cards and when that money runs out, then thats it. I'm going to mull this one over a little more.

Quick overtime update, I worked 7 hours Monday, 3.5 hours yesterday, 3 hours today. I'll be doing 3.5 hours on Thursday & Friday and a 1/2 hour on Saturday. So my total for the week will be 21 hours.

6 no spend days this month!

July 18th, 2007 at 02:23 am

I was tracking my daily spending (none for today) and I added up my no spend days for July. 6 so far! I think I can make it to 12. We'll see Smile

food, weight & money

July 17th, 2007 at 08:58 pm

Couple of updates since its been a few days since I've posted.

I did some major grocery shopping and a little overspending on Sunday, stocking up on some things. Other than the grocery shopping, I hung around the house, did laundry and made some meal plans.

Yesterday, I did some overtime from 8am to 3pm, then grabbed some cat food on the way home. I'm in the middle of a BIG project at work, so of course, I got a migrane from the stress, but it didn't go full blown & I've been able to deal with just taking pain meds.

Last night I weighed in at Weight Watchers. I lost 3.2 pounds for the week & my mom lost 2. I'm happy that she seems into it. I kinda think she'd have quit if I didnt go.

I packed my food for work yesterday & ate dinner at home last night. Today's a no spender-- I packed my meals for work today too. Both days people invited me to order out with them, but I said no.

Since I've overspent in the groceries catagory & I need (WANT) to replace my ailing wireless router, I am going into super non spend mode to save money.

I'll try to post from work, but right now, I pretty much have no internet at home.

I'm waiting for my first electric bill from the summer with A/C. I have really no idea how it'll be. I did turn it off for awhile, but its back in the 90s again and VERY humid, so its back on Smile

Small victories

July 14th, 2007 at 04:48 pm

I packed a salad for lunch at work today. But it didn't sound that great to me. What I really wanted was Subway. However, I talked myself out of it. I ate the salad, I have fruit for snack later. And when I get home tonight, I'm treating myself to a big pasta dish for dinner. Yummy.

So today will end up being a no spend day after all.

No spend & good tv

July 13th, 2007 at 08:56 pm

Today is a no spender. I packed breakfast, lunch and dinner for work. I worked 8am to 8pm again with a 1/2 hour lunch.

When I got home last night, I cleaned the downstairs, prepared today's food and made food for work on Saturday. So when I come home tonight, I'm going to sit in front of the tv & veg. There's some good tv on tonight. Monk and Psych are both back on. I am a bit of a movie & tv addict. I love them for the same reason I love books. I like to see into other worlds.

I was able to do 11.5 hours of OT this week. My goal for next week is 22, but its likely to be 21, since I have to take my car back to the shop. My car had a recall on some airbag part & they had to order it. Its free to replace, but its inconvenient & I'll have to take a hour long lunch to do it, instead of a 1/2 hour.

Today is payday & I'll pay my normal bills through epay tonight.

A scare at work today

July 12th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

I left work early yesterday to see the Harry Potter movie with my friends. I already had made the time up earlier in the week.

Well, when I came in to work today, I received an email about a floor meeting that occurred a 1/2 hour after I left.

I asked a coworker what I missed and she said it was pretty bad, they're doing layoffs. But in a Florida site, not ours.

At first, I thought she meant us. She even said thats how it was presented in the meeting. I am SO glad its not us. But I'm going to start doing some searching.

I had applied for another position within the same company, but I have yet to hear back about it. Because of this, I have an updated resume. I plan on keeping it updated.

Anyway, I am thankful no layoffs are occurring here. And I am happy to say that if something like that happened, I do have a plan in place. That makes me very happy Smile

So, in the meantime, I am taking advantage of every available minute of overtime to build my savings back up (the numbers to the right have not been updated recently).

In other news, I packed my breakfast, lunch & dinner for work today since I worked 8am to 8pm. I am planning on going home & packing again for tomorrow. I'll be working another 8am to 8pm shift with a half hour lunch. Its surprising how easy it is to work such a long shift. I think its because the work I"m doing is interesting. At least thats something Smile

Back off Murphy!

July 10th, 2007 at 10:54 pm

I wrote before about Murphy moving into my spare bedroom. Lately, its seems as if everything that could go wrong, has. And just right as my work stopped offering overtime. I've been a little worried because I wanted to pay myself back as quickly as possible.

Well... today they announced unlimited overtime again! I'm very excited. I have some appointments & things this week, but I'll be able to get 11.5 hours in this week. My goal for next week is to do 22 hours. Definately doable!

I am still working on the roommate thing. Its been tough. Word of mouth is a no-go and I've only received scam replies on my Craigslist ad. I'm going to keep trying though.

Today has been a no-spender so far. But after work,I'm heading to a second bar to meet up with some work friends. I'm limiting to ONE drink and then I have to the grocery store very quickly. After that, I'll be heading home to make my food for tomorrow.

Car repair expenses

July 9th, 2007 at 03:01 pm

Well, as Dave says, it feels like Murphy moved into the spare bedroom. Its just one thing after another for me.

I took my car into the shop today for the check engine light and a belt squealing. I asked them to call with an estimate before starting any work.

So they called me back, trying to upsell me on a dozen different things. She gave me an estimate of 809.85. I said no to most of the upsells, but the major problems are going to cost me $599.95. I have $500.00 in my car repair fund and I'll spring for the rest out of my overtime.

What sucks the most is that I was planning to use that car repair money for new breaks, which I'm going to need soon. Oh well.

I am working on the finding a roommate/2nd job situation & I'm MUCH more highly motivated now.

Also, today I"m at work for the last possible overtime for July. Some of my coworkers are ordering from my FAVORITE place, but I declined and will instead eat the peanut butter and crackers in my desk.

I will be spending tonight though. Here's the background- I've been loosely following the weight watchers plan, but recently cancelled my online subscription to save some money. Over the weekend, my mom started asking me about the plan & to look at my materials. My mom is seriously overweight, with some major medical issues. She's also battling depression. Her doctors have told her that she needs to loose weight, but she's made no effort.

It really hurts my family to see her like this & for about a year now, I've been encouraging her to join weight watchers with me. However, she wants to do the meetings & thats not something I"m really into.

When she brought WW up over the weekend, I jumped on board & told her that I wanted to go to the meetings & would she come along as a buddy & she actually agreed! So I'm going to buy the monthly pass, so that we can go together for the month & once she's into the program, I'll stop going to the meetings (and continue online), but we'll still be weight loss buddies. The monthly pass is $39.95, but well worth it if I can help my mom get healthy!

No spender yesterday, a little today

July 7th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Yesterday was a no spender. Today, I'll be spending a little on some needed items.

I brought my lunch, drink & snacks to work today, so no spending there.

On my way to work today, I got gas. On my lunch break I'm heading to the dollar store for dishwasher detergant & 2 other things. Then I'm heading to the library, where I owe them a $0.25 fine.

Either after work or tomorrow, I'm heading to the grocery store. I also need to stop by Walmart for some staples. I'll be using gift cards for both.

Its interesting, but its been MUCH easier to stay on my food budget using the gift cards. Its a mental thing, but its kinda like the envelope system for me. Once this last gift card runs out, I"m thinking about getting some more to help me stay on budget.

No news on the room renting front. I've had no responses to my Craigslist ad. So I'm going to keep looking. I also think I'm going to resubmit my ad on there, just to get it back on the top of the list.

Tonight I'm hanging out at home, watching a library movie & reading. Tomorrow, I'll be running errands & cleaning.

On monday, they've opened some overtime, so I'm going in. I also need to drop off my car to the repair shop. My check engine light is on & I have to get my car inspected by the 20th. Hopefully, its just a sensor like I think it is, and it won't be too expensive. I REALLY hope so!

No spender

July 5th, 2007 at 07:45 pm

Today's a no spend day for me. I brought food to work & I'm heading straight home afterward. Tonight, I'm planning on making food to take with me to work tomorrow and Saturday.

The Transformers movie yesterday was AWESOME! It was well worth the money. I bought the tickets for my friends & I. They bought the lunch afterward. It worked out really well!

I haven't had any response to my Craigslist ad for a roommate yet. With the holiday, thats expected, but I'm hoping to have some response today.

Sick Day & Some Decisions

July 4th, 2007 at 04:02 am

I woke up really ill this morning, but I dragged myself into work because we were having a work party and I had made brownies. I lasted most of the day, but ended up leaving 3 hours early. Then I came home & took a 3 hour nap. I'm finally starting to feel better, which is great, because tomorrow I have plans to see Transformers with my friends.

The last few months my work has been saying overtime is going away, but then saying its back on. This month, it looks like they're actually not offering it. Except for 4 hours for tomorrow. But I've decided not to go. One, so I can rest up since I'm still not 100%. And Two, because I have 10am tickets to Transformers.

So other than sleeping and playing around on the internet, I've gotten almost nothing accomplished today. I did have a no spender though, which is great!

I put an ad on Craigslist to rent out my spare room. We'll see how it goes. I'm very worried about renting to a complete stranger. I'd much rather have a friend of a friend. But having the roommate would really help me meet my goals.

Since I have planned spending on going to the movies tomorrow & to see Harry Potter later this month, I've pretty much eaten up my enterainment budget.

So what I'm planning to do is this: Utilize the library for free movies, utilize my home video library to rewatch some of my favorites like Rear Window,The Lord of the Rings trilogies, The Great Escape, and a few classic horror movies.

Reading-wise, I have some books from my mom to read as well as I'm re-reading my Harry Potter books in preperation to the new installment. I am also waiting patiently for my turn at Janet Evanovich's Lean Mean Thirteen from the library.

I also have a group of dvds and video games to take to a resale shop. If I like the place, I'm going to thin out my video collection even more.

I'm really going to put the word out about my spare room. See if anyone at work knows anyone who's looking for a room. I'm also going to ask my sister if she knows anyone. Before I have anyone move into that room, I do have to do a few things:

-Put up hanger rods in both of the closets
-Move my furniture & paperwork out of the spare room
-Fix the downstairs toilet. (I've turned off the water to it because it runs non-stop & is wasting water and I need to fix it anyway)
-Make room in bathroom, hall closet, kitchen & entry closet.
-Replace my wireless router (Its only working 1/2 of time. Its definately the router thats the problem)

So I'm looking at some spending to rent out the room, which I will put off until I know I am really renting the room out.

Frugal & Not So Frugal Stuff

July 3rd, 2007 at 03:04 am

Saturday:
-Worked 8-5 with a 1/2 hour lunch
-Mowed the lawn myself (my neighbors all pay someone to do what takes me about 20 minutes)
Sunday
-Picked up one of my prescriptions using a gift card I earned for bringing in a new prescription last month. Did not buy anything else, so I still have $17.34.
-Used a coupon for 1 free 22 count of Always
-Bought a 40 pound bad of cat litter for $9.99. They had a sale tag up from the prior week. It rang up at $19.99, but when I showed them the tag, they honored the sale price.
-Weeded the rocks by my front door, trimmed the bush back away from my kitchen window & electrical box
-I tackled the thorny bushes at the back of my property. I didnít make much headway, but I was able to trim back enough that I wonít get scratched when I mow the lawn.
Today:
-I took my parents to the movies today. $19.00 for the 3 tickets. The last few times weíve gone, theyíve treated, so it was definitely my turn
-Got 2 free movies from Redbox using online codes
-Made brownies for a work party tomorrow, plus giving $5.00 to the pot for a gift. I used brownie mix that I had at home, so no spending there.
-My car has to be inspected at the end of the month. But my check engine light is on. My Dad & I checked all my fluid levels & sensors, but itís still on. So I need to take it in, this week or next. Luckily, I have money in my car repair fund
-Today I did some make-ahead meals. I made myself a quick pasta dinner while waiting for my ground beef to finish defrosting and then I made the work brownies, salad & pasta salad to take to work tomorrow, a large batch of sloppy joe to freeze, and I tried a new recipe Ė Mealoaf muffins, which Iíll freeze as well. They turned out really well. Now I just need to see how they freeze.
-On the upside, its been really cool here, so no A/C on.
-I always struggle with food and eating out, so thatís going to be my main focus this month