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Archive for August, 2007

Quickie Entry

August 31st, 2007 at 11:04 pm

- No overtime this week since I was sick, but I'm feeling MUCH better now
-Packed my food for the week, but did buy bottled water one day and a soft pretzel the next. Normally, I have a cup at work for water, but I took it home to put in the dishwasher & forgot it.
-Today was payday- I paid my electric, water, amex, cell phone, cable and student loan
-I was able to sent a total of $730.00 extra to my student loan!
-They announced overtime was extended through September at work, which is AWESOME!
-I have some new savings goals that I need to think about. My friends and I are thinking about renting a house for a week in the Outer Banks next year and I need to plan for some new clothes once I reach my goal weight (I have a while to go)
-And by the way, I lost 1 lb this week (slow but steady wins the race!)

Sick, no spend days for August & some numbers

August 29th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

I was sick over the weekend, ended up not going into work on Monday for overtime and then I called off work yesterday. Since I called off work, if I did any overtime this week, Iíd only get paid regular time. So there will be no OT this week. Which isnít so bad, since Iím still not back to 100% I got pretty much nothing accomplished on my time off, but I did manage to pack lunch for work today.

My Electric bill was 77.21! Iím putting the overage from the budgeted amount of 120.00 towards my student loan.

And being sick helped me gain 3 no spend days for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So Iíve made it to my goal of 13 no spend days for the month! And today will be number 14!

I am going to be able to put at least $700.00 towards the student loan this paycheck. With the previous $400.00 I put towards it, Iíll have surpassed my $1,000.00 a month towards this loan! YAY!

Iím still doing the weight watchers and its been slow, but steady loss. I got off the exercise track while being sick & Iím still feeling low, so I wonít do anything tonight. But starting tomorrow, Iím going to have a steady exercise routine in place.

I need to update my numbers both in my personal tracking as well as this site, but its at the back of my to-do list right now. I'm behind on a lot of things.



10 no spend days & a mistake

August 24th, 2007 at 05:38 pm

Yesterday was No Spend Day # 10 for the month. Iím almost at my 13 no spending days for the month goal!

Iíve been overspending in the grocery category, stocking up on healthier foods. But its all good.

Iím still waiting on my electric bill, I want to see where I stand. And I hate waiting.

Today I packed breakfast & lunch for work, but Iím going to have to buy something for dinner.

Iíve been working out a little every day since last Friday. Last night, I was only able to get in 15 minutes of Tae Bo, but a little is better than nothing J

I made a mistake on which paycheck would have the 3 weeks of OT in the check. I thought it was August 30th, but its actually September 30th. So thatís when I plan to send $1,000.00 from that check towards that student loan. In the meantime, Iím keeping with my goal of at least $1,000.00/month or an average of $500.00 a paycheck going towards that student loan. I already paid $400.00 towards it this month, so I plan on getting at least $600.00 towards it out of the 30thís paycheck.

Fighting off a cold

August 21st, 2007 at 11:00 pm

I'm fighting off a cold & its not fun. The non-stop rain isn't helping, neither are the many coworkers who cough & sneeze all day around me. But I'm holding on Smile

I'm planning to work about 14 hours of OT this week. Its a little less than normal, but I switched my day off from Monday to Saturday so I could attend a birthday party. So Between Monday & Friday, I'll get 14 hours in, which is still awesome.

I did some unexpected spending over the weekend, but I'm holding strong now. Yesterday was a no spend today. Today may or may not be the same. It depends on if I stop at the store on the way home for some vitamin C. We'll see Smile

I didn't get a chance to do my meal planning for the week, but I am planning on packing my food again for tomorrow.

Grand Plans

August 18th, 2007 at 04:56 pm

This next paycheck, the 30th, will include 3 weeks of overtime instead of the normal 2. During that time, I worked 58 hours of overtime. I had forgotten that this was a 3 OT week check.

Originally, my goal had been to pay $1000.00 towards my student loan this month. I already paid $400.00 out of my check on the 15th. But now, I think that I can get $1,000.00 to the loan out of the 30thís check!

I can estimate based on my last 3 week overtime check of 55 hours of overtime, that I should net about $950.00 after taxes, medical & 401k (which includes a percentage of the OT income). Plus now I have my raise, which should bring it up a little more & I did 3 extra hours of OT above that other check. And Iím expecting to be under on my electricity budget, which is paid out of my 30th check to. So between all that, I should come up with the additional $50.00. I am going to do everything in my power to pay $1,000.00 or more to that loan. I canít wait to send that check!

In other news , staying on the topic of grand plans, I am trying to incorporate exercise into my week. Its hard working 60 hour workweeks, making healthy meals at home to take to work, plus trying to exercise. I started out small with a little walk on Monday, but then I didnít do anything Tuesday through Thursday. Last night, I did an exercise video from On Demand (for free). It was a mile walk (in the house) in 15 minutes. I felt pretty good about it. Today on my lunch break, Iím going to take a mile walk outside of my work building (thereís a small trail around the buildings in our work complex). I should get it done in a Ĺ hour in this heat. Tomorrow, Iím going to attempt a much bigger walk. And Iím going to try different On Demand videos during the week, walking outside when I can.

My goal for no spend days this month is 13 (I did 12 last month). Iím well on my way to hitting that goal!

Free Redbox Movie

August 16th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

During my lunch break, I went out to grab a movie from one of the many Redbox Dvd units in my area. There's one in nearly every grocery store. I had a free coupon code - DVDONME, which entitled me to 1 free movie. Today has been a total no spender. I packed food for work, I have a friend coming over tonight. I'm making dinner & have the movie & the friend is providing the wine. Fun!

spend/no spend

August 15th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Yesterday I brought food for work, but still bought a soft pretzel because I was extra hungry. I also gave $5.00 towards a gift for a coworkers baby shower. Then I grabbed some groceries --- normal stuff, plus veggies, cheese & pepperoni to make pasta salad for the shower. So yesterday was a spendy day, but all planned, except for the pretzel.

Today is a no spender, I brought breakfast, lunch & dinner. I'm making that pasta salad tonight after work.

Tomorrow I'm packing breakfast & a snack, but lunch will be covered by the food at the shower.

Tomorrow night, I have a friend coming over. We'll be making dinner and watching a movie. Yummy.

I'm doing a lot of stuff tomorrow, but it'll still be a no spend day if I can help it Smile

Overtime update-So far I've worked 14.5 hours of ot this week. I'm aiming for over 20. Definately attainable.

passing through & a thanks

August 14th, 2007 at 08:53 pm

I've been crazy busy lately, but wanted to stop in for some quick updates.

-I lost 1 pound this week
-I'm adding walking to my routine this week, even though...
-...I'm working 20 hours of overtime this week
-I've been overspending in my groceries catagory, but underspending in eating out
-I'm redoing my budget this weekend, something that I've been putting off for awhile. That should be fun Smile

Hope everyone's doing well! Thanks to everyone who responded to my A/C question!

Air conditioning Question -- what do you do?

August 11th, 2007 at 06:49 pm

In the winter, I had the programmable thermostat turn the heat on right before I got up in the morning. I turned it back down while I was at work & turned it up again right before I got home & then back down again when I went to bed.

I've noticed that I follow a different plan altogether with the a/c. I leave the temp up higher while at work all day, set to start cooling a little bit more when I'm about to get home. I stay downstairs most evenings and utilize the ceiling fan, so the air still isnt being used that much.

HOWEVER, when I'm going to bed, I turn the temp down more because I am completely unable to sleep in high temperatures and humidity. Its still not that low a temp (I freeze when I go to my friend's houses. But I'm wondering if it a/c is being wasted because I use it the most at bed time.

What do you guys think? Or how do you do it?

Patience pays off!

August 10th, 2007 at 08:36 pm

Ever since Janet Evanovich's newest book came out in June, I've been wanting to buy it. But I held back. I put myself in the VERY long waiting list at the library and intending to put the book on my Christmas wish list (I have the whole series in hardback & this is the 13th book).

Well, I received an unexpected gift certificate to Amazon.com and I've been toying with the idea of buying the book with it. Well, due to general laziness & unwillingness to commit to buying anything right now, I've put it off.

Well.... I checked my library account online to see if any of my many requests came in .... and the Janet Evanovich book was there!! So I"m stopping by the library to night to pick it up. And I'm going to save the gift certificate for Christmas gift purchases!

I'm glad that I waited Smile

No Spenders

August 10th, 2007 at 11:49 am

Yesterday was a no spender. Today will be too. I'm hoping for tomorrow as well.

Our paychecks go up online prior to payday. We get paid the 15th & 30th & today I saw my check with all the overtime.

Once I took out my regular budgeted expenses, minus my car repair amount a planned gift to a friend for a Breast Cancer Benefit, and a couple other things that I'm setting money aside for, I have $480.22 to go to my student loan.

I'll be able to do at least another $500.00 at the end of the month. I'd really like to see the balance go down by $1,000.00 this month, so I'm going to see if there's a way to find a few more dollars. Definately doable!

Saving on Food - Meal Plans (Long)

August 9th, 2007 at 09:24 pm

I was asked after my last post to give examples of all the food that I bring to work. (Thanks Moi Aussi!) I usually pack some food for breakfast, lunch & dinner, all of which Iíll eat at work during the week. At least while the overtime lasts.

Iíll admit to being pretty lazy and/or tired, so I try to make things easy on myself by preparing food on the weekends and putting it in the freezer to be able to grab and go later. I also make a lot of salads, which are really quick to make & can be prepared a day or two ahead of time. I also use fruit, which is easily grab and go or quick to cut up. Iím not above using canned fruit or veggies either.

I also take time once a week or so to make up individual servings of snacks that I can grab & goÖ like dry cereal, crackers and baked Cheetos. I just have a basket of baggies that sit in my pantry ready to grab when needed.

All of this helps because Iím very portion-conscious. Iím not a fan of leftover and Iím watching what I eat, but I refuse to eat only diet food.

Here are some examples of my breakfasts. I mix & match, but usually have one fruit & one grain-type item.

-Strawberries & Splenda or Lite Cool Whip
-Sliced green apples
-Fruit cocktail
-Banana
-Dry Cheerios
-Dry Rice Chex
-Oatmeal (the individual packs that you just add water to)
-Granola bar


Lunch Examples (sometimes I switch lunches with dinners)
-Sandwiches Ė turkey & chase, peanut butter & jelly, tuna salad. I vary them up by using different types of breads, pitas and wraps
-Different types of salads
Ė Big ones with Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, green pepper and I vary my dressings a lot, as well as change things up with toppings (green beans, sunflower seeds, croutons, bacon bits, cheese, chicken and/or turkey)
Ė Cucumber & tomato salad (a summer favorite)
Ė Pasta salad with a little pasta & a lot of veggies and turkey pepperoni (very filling)
-Crackers with Peanut butter
-Crackers with sharp cheese & turkey pepperoni
-Soups in the winter-time


Dinner Examples, which could easily become lunch examples:
-Pasta with meat sauce or with red sauce & chicken strips
-Sloppy Joe (easy to freeze) with toast, bun or over pasta
-Meatloaf muffins (made with ground beef & stuffing Ė also easy to freeze)
-Chicken Ė lemon, shake-n-bake, barbeque
-Veggie burgers (can be cooked in the microwave) with bun
-Breaded chicken patties Ė on a bun or with a side of pasta
-Beef stew (easy to freeze)
-Chili (easy to freeze)

Sides/Snacks- baked cheetos, fruits & veggies, green beans, peas, apple sauce, baked fries (sliced potato baked with Old Bay), crackers and microwave popcorn

I drink lots of water (a minimum of 64 oz a day), have sodas at my desk (limit to 1 a day).

Hope this is helpful to anyone looking for meal ideas!

January 1st through today

August 8th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

-I made a financial goal of tracking all of my spending from for the whole year. I've kept up with the tracking and its actually gotten pretty easy. Its crazy to see some of the numbers for catagories. Once the year is ending, I'm going to reevaluate my catagories.

-I counted up all my overtime hours from January 1st through last week... 316 hours! Plus 18.5 that I'm working towards for this week. My goal is to get 20 hours a week for the next three weeks.

-Just a few updates for today: I worked 7am to 8pm, with a trip to the library on my lunchbreak. Today was a no spender. I packed my breakfast, lunch & dinner. I already have tomorrow's food planned. When I get home tonight, I'm going to take a quick walk, then make the food, then veg in front of the tv for awhile.

I recieved a $24.67 cash back credit on my Amex card! I use it for gas, so that'll go to my next purchase.

I didn't want to go back to work today!

August 7th, 2007 at 05:54 pm

I truly enjoyed my short time off. With all the OT I've been doing, I haven't had a decent amount of downtime in a very long time. I did little spending, lots of relaxing and nothing that I needed to do around the house, other than mow the lawn.

My goal this upcoming weekend is to plan most of my Christmas shopping. Over the weekend, I recieved an unexpected $25.00 gift certificate to Amazon.com from my Amazon Chase card. I had put the air conditioning bill on it, then paid it off immediately, but apparently it earned the gift certificate anyway! I'm going to put 1/2 of the g.c. towards a book that I've been dying to get and 1/2 towards a Christmas gift. Plus, I have a $5.00 off coupon from purchasing my Harry Potter book through Amazon. I'm also eligible for another $25.00 gift card from my points which I'll use for a gift. The rest of my Christmas money is already in savings.

I kept my A/C on all weekend, but at a higher temp most of the day, utilizing the fan & being downstairs in the day. At night, I turned the temp down a little more so that I could sleep comfortably. There's a lot of humidity right now & its messing with my sinuses.

I've been doing pretty good money-wise. I just sent off another $284.54 as an extra payment to Student Loan #1. I get paid again on the 15th and the check will include 41.5 hours of overtime, all of which, minus my weightwatchers fee and an unplanned gift expense of $43.00, will go to the loan.

My hair dryer, that was already on my list of things to replace, completely broke last night, so I"m going to buy one today. I have the cash for that earmarked in my personal items catagory in my budget.

This week I'm working between 16 & 18 hours of overtime between Tuesday & Saturday. All of which will go directly to that loan.

I've been listening to Dave Ramsey again & all I want to do is to pay this student loan debt off. I really can't wait!

On a side note: I lost 2 pounds this week! For a total of 6.8 pounds.

My goal for this week is pack my lunch every day. I spent 55 cents on a soft pretzel today & I'm picking up some veggies from the grocery store, but I am hoping to make Wednesday through Saturday no spend days.

Vacay!!

August 2nd, 2007 at 11:35 pm

Today work has been going SOOOOO slow! Its because I'm taking vacation days for tomorrow & Saturday, making a 4 day weekend out of it. I usually work on Monday, my day off, but I'm staying home that day too. I'm not going anywhere, but plan to veg tomorrow & get some stuff done over the weekend, ending with yet another veg day on Monday!

This week, I managed to add 18.5 hours of overtime into my week. I brought lunch to work yesterday, as well as dinner, but when I took out my bread to make a pb&j sandwich, I found mold on the bread.... Ewwww! So I ended up buying a salad & soft pretzel from the work cafe for $3.09. Since I'd already spent that day, I did grocery shopping after work, picking up a few 'treats' to enjoy this weekend.

I packed my food today- A banana and strawberries & cream for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, sloppy joe & green beans for dinner. And a few snacks in between.

Tonight after work, I'm heading out to a local bar for a few drinks. We call it The Pub. Its a bit of a dive, but we know the bartender and the drinks are cheap. My goal is to only spend less than $15.00. I'd REALLY like it if I spent less than $10.00, but I think I might buy the guys a beer. They got me last time.

So tomorrow is going to be a no spender. I'm planning on staying in, making some of my favorite meals, enjoying some fresh fruit & ice cream for snacks. I have several movies from the library, as well as a few movies from my own video collection that I wouldn't mind watching again.

Enjoy your weekend everybody, I'll probably be MIA for a few days, since my internet at home has been spotty.