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Archive for July, 2008

Wooo Hooo!!! Student Loan # 1 Paid off

July 31st, 2008 at 07:09 pm

I mentioned before that I'm being gifted some money from my mom. Well, my first student loan is a private loan in my parents name. So they went and paid off the loan today as I asked. And I'll get a check for the difference.

I am SO happy to have that paid off. I hated having debt in their name and now I'm FREE from it!! Nice!

To top it off, the balance was less than I expected. And because it was paid off before the next due date, I was able to send that loan's monthly payment of $225.00 went to Student Loan #2!

Now I need to work on Student Loan #2. The current balance is $9017.28 (before this new payment hits).


Edited to add: Although the gift paid off the last $1,652.46. I'd just like to say that I got that balance down from:

Dec 31, 2005 $15,694.69
Feb 28, 2006 $15,100.52
Jan 31, 2007 $12,512.40
Oct 3, 2007 $8,813.28
Jan 8, 2008 $4,973.31
Mar 1, 2008 $3,795.49
Today: $0.00!

Electric Bill Went Up and Odds N Ends

July 29th, 2008 at 02:22 pm

Booo! The electric bill went up. $94.97! Still under budget, but I'm not too happy with the amount. I got the amount online, but I'm waiting for my paper statement to see what the usage was. With the rates going up, its hard to tell if that bill is really all that out of line.

I've been home all day with a migrane. So its been a no spender. All the things on my to do list went out the window. Oh well.

Today, I've set the AC at 78, but it hasn't kicked on in hours. I've kept the window shades drawn and thats helped. I am utilizing a fan in the living room. A bit before going to bed, I'll lower the temp a little more and use my bedroom fan to keep things cool.

I get paid tomorrow and I've worked out a zero based budget for this pay period. My goals are to stay within the budgeted amounts for entertainment spending ($39.75), groceries ($50.00), gas ($60.00) and cat expenses ($31). I'll hold myself accountable here because I really need to get back on track with this kind of spending.

I've also premade food for work tomorrow. Cheerios and milk for breakfast. Salad with chicken for lunch. Popcorn as a snack. I've made a tentative meal plan for the rest of the week.

Wednesday Dinner: Chicken and baked fries
Thursday Lunch: Meatloaf muffin and pasta salad
Thursday Dinner: Sloppy joe over pasta
Friday Lunch: Salad with chicken
Friday Dinner: Turkey BLT

Big and small gifts!

July 28th, 2008 at 07:48 pm

Today my Dad stopped by and helped me detach the stopper in my bathtub so that I could clean the drain. I had been trying to get the thing out for 2 weeks. It was stripped.

He was able to get it done in about 5 minutes with the right tool. He gifted me his time and the tool for future use. I went to Lowes later and boought a new stopper. Man its nice to have a clean tub again Smile

Later in the day, I went over to my parents house with a movie. We had lunch, talked and watched the movie.

During lunch, my Mom let me know that she's gifting my sister and I each $5,000.00 from her inheritance from my Aunt's estate. I tried not to accept. But my sister could REALLY use the money due to getting into some credit card debt and because of some medical issues my nephew is having. And I don't think they (my parents) feel its fair to gift her and not me.

At least my sister has already said all the funds will be going to pay off her biggest card. Which will ease up payments and help her snowball towards the rest of the debt.

My Mom asked that I use some of the funds for a mini vacation and some clothes. I think she feels like I don't do things for myself so much anymore. I will do as she asks with some of the funds for those reasons and then I plan on putting the rest of the money to good use.

I will say that I was already setting up a new clothes budget. With my weight loss, I need a new clothes. I've dropped 4 or 5 sizes in the last year. I've bought enough clothes to get through the summer, but now I'm at the point I need to pretty much completely redo my wardrobe. Underclothes all the way to sweaters. So I'll set the funds aside until I hit my goal weight. And then I'll work slowly, but build up a really good wardrobe.

I have less than $1800.00 on student loan #1, which I will pay off. I plan on using $400.00 towards a vacation fund. $400.00 towards new clothes. $400.00 to home repairs that I've been putting off. And the remaining amount will be going towards Student Loan #2.

Once Loan #1 is paid off, I'll have $200.00 going to Loan #2. Plus the normal payment for Loan #2. Plus the income from my likely 2nd job, which I have the interview for this Thursday. I could have the second loan paid off by August 2009. AND thats without getting a roommate.

Tried something new

July 27th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I had off on Friday, did some stuff around the house, ran errands, then met my friends from work for happy hour. I had a good time.

Yesterday, I went to a family wedding. So it was a no spender. I wore a dress that I've had for a while, with shoes and purse from my closet. No spending necessary for the wedding. Other than a donation to a charity in leau of a gift, which I had previously donated.

I wanted to go walking today and I wanted to go to Walmart for a few items, as well as the local produce place (I cant call it a stand since its in an actual building and runs year round). Well, today, I combined the two. Instead of driving to a park then stopping at the stores, I walked it. In 90 degree heat. Not really the best idea I ever had. But it went well Smile

According to Mapmyrun.com, my walk was 2.34 miles, not including actually getting into the stores. I bought a jar of popcorn kernals, some razors, cucumbers, lettuce, celery and eggs. All of which made it home safely. Also picked up a Redbox movie with a coupon code, so it was free!

I try not to use credit cards, but I got an offer on my Old Navy Visa for two transactions outside Old Navy and I'll get a $20.00 voucher to Old Navy Smile So I used the card for the Walmart and produce place.

So now I'm doing some laundry and watching some laundry movies. And later, I'll watch the Redbox movie, Fool's Gold.

I'm off tomorrow and Tuesday, and I had these grand plans to head to the beach. But its a lot of gas and I'm thinking I might just head to the park for some hiking and hang out at home the rest of the time. No matter what I choose to do, I wont be at work for two more days, which is great Smile

In other news, I have accumulated 5,077 points with MyPoints. And I'm close to getting a $25.00 Amazon gift card from my Amazon card. The MyPoints gift cards and Amazon gift card will be going towards Christmas.

Entertainment Spending

July 19th, 2008 at 11:32 am

Yesterday, I packed breakfast and lunch for work. I was able to get out a little early, so I met my parents and nephew at the movies for Hellboy. Geeze $8.00 for a matinee, RIDICULOUS! I did enjoy the movie though. And I was able to resist drinks and snacks. I snuck a bottle of water, refilled at work before leaving.

Today, I went to a local state park and did a 1.5 hour hike around a pond. In the 90 degree weather, what was I thinking?!? At least I enjoyed myself. But I came home dirty, sweaty and tired! The park had a $3.00 admission, but it was worth it. I feel so relaxed now Smile

Tonight, I'm staying in. I have movies from the library, a book my mom gave me and a house to clean. I need the down time Smile

Changes - part time job & roomie

July 17th, 2008 at 07:38 pm

I heard back from that shipping company about the part-time job and I have a walk-through scheduled next Thursday. Its basically a package handling job, so they want people to see first hand what the job entails. I've seen a video of the job and its definately doable. Hopefully, I'll be hired.

Also, I heard back from that potential roommate that I interviewed a few weeks ago. He's interested in the room. I feel comfortable with him, but I'm still fighting the selfish feeling of loving having the house all to myself.

So to play around with things, I made a really rough pay-off budget. Basically, it looks like it would be a difference of a little over 6 months (to pay off the student loans) if I had the roomie and part time job vs just the part time job.

So it kinda boils down to - is having a roommate worth being out of debt but the house 6 months earlier? I'm not sure that it is. Unless I knew the roomate prior to living with them or maybe they were a friend of a friend. I'm not sure its worth it for a stranger.

So now I need to make some decisions. Its a definate that I need and want a part time job. Now, I have to make a decision by tomorrow about the roomie.

Another No Spender

July 16th, 2008 at 06:52 pm

Today was another no spender. Brought food to work, ate dinner at home. I picked up a few movies from the library. I'm working my way through the TV show Angel.

I've applied at a well-known shipping company for a part-time job, but have yet to hear from them. And on the roommate front, I'm still searching. I'm planning to put an ad back on Craigslist. But not until after the weekend, when I do some deep cleaning Smile

Getting back on track... again

July 15th, 2008 at 06:08 pm

Today was a no spender. Boy, has it been a LONG time Smile Packed breakfast & lunch for work. Ate dinner at home, buffalo shake n bake chicken, which was YUMMY!

Took a walk with a friend at the park. One hour, approximately 3.5 miles. It was pretty nice out, but hot.

I've already packed food for breakfast/lunch tomorrow. I'm hoping for another no spender.

I am planning that sometime this week, I need to get kitty litter, gas and groceries, but I'm hoping to wait til the weekend.

I think the key to getting back on track with spending, just like my diet, is planning Smile

Need a Swift Kick in the Butt

July 14th, 2008 at 06:24 pm

I've been spending like crazy. Too much on food, too much on going out. Just too much. Well, I'm getting back on track tonight.

Payday is tomorrow, I'm working a $0-Based budget for this pay period. I plan on sticking strictly to it. And to get myself started, I made a meal plan. (Woo-hoo!)

Also, to save electricity and becuase I just wanted some fresh air, I turned the A/C off and opened up the windows. Its 66 degrees right now, but in the sun tomorrow, it'll be close to 90. I was worried about leaving the cats home in the heat, but I read on wikipedia that cats tolerate heat better than humans.

So I'll be closing up most of the windows, and drawing the blinds to keep the sun out. Worst case scenario, they'll chill out in the basement (pun intended). The basement is really cool during the summer.

Here's the meal plan. I work one from Tuesday to Monday, based on my Weight Watchers meeting.

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Cheerios & Milk; Yogurt
Snack: Granola
Lunch: Meatloaf muffin and pasta salad
Dinner: Buffalo Shake n Bake chicken; tomato salad

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Cheerios & Milk; Fruit Cocktail
Lunch: Salad with roasted chicken; Cheese sandwich
Dinner: London broil; salad w/ light italian

Thursday:
Breakfast: Cheerios & Milk; Yogurt
Lunch: Peanut butter & Jelly sandwich; salad
Dinner: Sloppy joe over egg noodles; tomato salad

Friday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal; Fruit cocktail
Lunch: Sloppy joe over egg noodles; cucumber salad
Dinner: Pasta with meatsauce; salad

The weekend's up in the air until I know what I'm doing.

During the week, I plan on walking and/or working out at least 4 times. Definately doable. I'll keep you updated.

Fox Business Network Celebrates the 4th

July 4th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

It looks like the Fox Business Network is celebrating Financial Freedom today. They're playing back to back Debt-Free Friday episodes of The Dave Ramsey Show. Thats a pretty good way to celebrate, I think!

Air off then back on

July 1st, 2008 at 06:40 pm

So yesterday the air was off, but when I came home tonight, after trying to do Tae Bo in the 85 degree living room, I turned the air back on. I sleep better this way and my sinuses were driving me crazy.

Oh well, it was nice to have fresh air in the house yesterday & part of today. Plus yesterday was like 10 degrees less than today Smile

In other news, I picked up some groceries and some gas today.

Tomorrow, I'm going to happy hour with some friends. $2.50 Captain & diets and a 1/2 pound of shrimp appetizer. YUMMY!

I'll pack breakfast & lunch for work and I'll probably spend about $15.00 including tip for dinner.

I'm hoping to make Thursday & Friday both no spend days. We'll see Smile