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Archive for January, 2009

February's To-Do List

January 31st, 2009 at 07:41 pm

Lots of goals for February, financial and non-financial. Here are a few.

- Complete Taxes
- Keep house clean daily
- Pack Breakfast/Lunch for work 100% of the month - NO Excuses!
- Stay on Weight Watchers plan 100% of the month
- Work out at least 3 - 4 days per week
- Lower electric usage
- Sell at least 5 things in Craigslist
- Prepare furniture in basement for sale
- Take a few bags of clothes to Good Will
- Stay 100% within budget for this month (been going over in a few catagories)

Ice Storm & Car Trouble

January 29th, 2009 at 06:58 pm

Yesterday the snow & ice hit. By the time I was heading to work (7:30), it was coming down as sleet. Roads were slick & it was a rough drive. Then 3/4 of the way to work, my driver-side windshield wiper just QUIT working. In the middle of an intersection, with sleet coming down and dirty slush flying up from other cars' tires.

So I couldn't see out the windshield. There was nowhere to pull over and the passenger side wiper still worked, so I leaned into the middle of the car & drove that way. Literally, there was nowhere to pull over because there were a few accidents on the side of the road.

I made it all the way to work safely. Thank goodness! My dad came out in the afternoon and confirmed my diagnosis... the wiper motor was broken. So then I left work early (using 1/2 vacation day) to drop the car off at the repair place. By this point it was just drizzling, so it made sense to drive the car then. No way I could have driven that car much further in steadier rain.

$88.00 later and the motor and both wiper blades were replaced. Just in time, cause it was steady pouring at that point. I have to say I feel REALLY lucky that I didn't get into an accident!

Kitty in the Bathroom Sink

January 26th, 2009 at 06:24 pm

The kitty has found a new comfy place... my bathroom sink. Its cute as anything! But I can't seem to get a good pic of when he's sleeping. Still, I thought I'd share.








I'm starting my own personal challange of no longer buying food at work. I've prepacked food for tomorrow. One day at a time Smile

Raise & a free tv

January 25th, 2009 at 09:19 am

Hope everyone had a good weekend! I did Smile Friday I went to a happy hour & then to a friends to play cards. A guy I'm seeing met up with us at the friends and he & I ended up watching a movie at his place.

Yesterday, I went to a local wrestling show. Kinda like WWF or whatever its called now. A friend was participating in it and a group of us all went to show our support. It was kinda cheesy, but really fun. There were a lot of people, including kids. They have another show in the beginning of March & I think I'll take my nephew to it. And possibly my friend Mike. It would be right up his alley Smile $15 to get in, but the show was worth it.

Today I'm heading to the movies with my mom. Its been months since I saw a movie in the theater. She wants to get out of the house and there's a small independantly owned theater where matinees are still under $6.00. Not too bad!

When I come back tonight, I have a to do list waiting: Do laundry, make a meal plan, clean the kitchen, pack food for work tomorrow. All easily done!

On Thursday, I was given my raise for 2009. 3.13%. Not too bad considering most companies in my industry stopped raises alltogether for 2009 and some are stopping their company match program. I also know that I was at the high end of the scale for raises.

And I inherited a free tv from my sister and nephew. After Christmas, my sister bought my nephew a new 13 inch tv for his bedroom. I took the one that he previously had, with a built in vhs and am putting it in the spare room. I also have a spare dvd player, so I'm going to use it for work out tapes. Plenty of room to work out in the spare bedroom. And when summer hits & it gets too hot to work out upstairs, then I can easily carry the tv down to the basement to set up shop down there Smile

I've been utilizing the library a LOT again. Movies & books, with some magazines thrown in for good measure.

For February, I have 2 mini goals:

1. Pack all meals/snacks for work for the month, with 1 time eating out option
2. Attempt to use as little as possible out of my entertainment budget, but still be well entertained. We'll see how creative I can get!

Big Grocery Day!

January 20th, 2009 at 05:29 pm

Went to the store today. I'm back doing Weight Watchers & I've been eating at home/packing lunches more. But I'd eaten down the pantry & freezer. So I needed to stock up.

Ended up spending $93.00 at Walmart and about $11.00 at the local produce stand.

I still have a couple of things to get from the Super G by my house on a few things that either Walmart was out of OR is less than Walmart's price.

So now I'm stocked up. I had a big salad for dinner, with pasta in it.

Tomorrow I am having:

Breakfast: Cheerios & milk, 1c yogurt
Morning Snack: All Bran Crackers
Lunch: Large salad with pasta in it.
Afternoon Snack: Mini popcorn
Dinner: To Be Determined - probably pasta

Tomorrow night I'm having a few friends over to watch LOST. Can't wait for it!

Awesome Weekend

January 18th, 2009 at 06:18 pm

I had a really awesome weekend. 2 friends and I drove to a nearby city to visit a friend staying at her boyfriends for the weekend. They made us a really great dinner of Beef and Bok Choi and homemade sushi. Very very good!

Then we took a 15 minute walk in the freezing weather (and survived) into town. We went to this really nice jazz club, saw a live band and had some drinks. Afterwards, we stopped by a pizza place (2am) and crazy types of pizza. I chose Buffalo Chicken and Waffle Fries, Bacon and Ranch.

We spent the night at their apartment and came back home after stopping for brunch at Perkins. It was a spendy weekend, but SO much fun!

Now its snowing a little and I did some laundry. I am going to go & pack lunch for tomorrow and head to bed early.

Hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did!

Made Some Calls & made some money decisions

January 13th, 2009 at 03:37 pm

Made some calls today. Set up some annual doctors appointments for the first quarter.

Called my electric/gas company & signed up for budget billing. I've never done it before becuase I just set the extra budgeted amounts aside for when the bills are higher in the winter. But then I just decided to make it easy on myself and just have them do it. I confirmed that they still send a statement with the actual cost of the bill regardless of the budgeted amount. Saves me a headache.

Now I really have to dig into being frugal. My take home pay has decreased some due to insurance, ect and it means reworking the 2009 budget. We'll see how it goes. The budget billing will actually help me cash flow wise in the next few months.

Still Sick...ugh!

January 10th, 2009 at 05:32 pm

Well, I'm still feeling ill. I'll be heading back to the doctors on Monday, but in the mean time, its rest and sleep for me!

Anyway, because of being sick (and still going to work), I've been eating out at work and not going to the grocery store.
Well, at least today I went and got some groceries finally. And I am taking the down time I have today & tomorrow and working a meal plan from stuff I have in the freezer or is easy to make.

I'm back 100% on weight watchers and some people in work are going to do a little contest starting Monday. It should be fun and it'll be an encouraging environment at work as opposed to all the bad food pushing that usually goes on Smile

I've been playing with the new camera and loving it. Please bear with me while I share!


Here is a picture of my older cat. She's a sweetie Smile



This is her doing a Jabba the Hutt impression!




This is the little guy that I rescued back in March.






I was playing with the zoom on the camera. Here is a picture of the trees in my back yard.



And here's a zoomed in picture. I'm loving the zoom on this camera!



Sick again - But at least the camera came

January 7th, 2009 at 04:13 pm

I've been sick again. Making it into work, but am sleeping pretty much non stop. And if I'm awake, I have NO energy. Which means I've been buying food instead of preparing it. I'm hoping to feel better by tomorrow or Friday. Once I get back into the swing of things, I'll get on with my packing all food challange.

On the bright side, my new camera came in today. I'm waiting for it to charge & then I'll be taking some pictures. Since its dark out, I'm probably going to be taking lots of pics of the cats and the house Smile

I like to see photos of other people's places, so I think I'd really like to share mine!

Getting a digital camera!

January 5th, 2009 at 04:58 pm

A while ago, I posted about having a big WANT for a new digital camera. I didn't buy one though and planned to start saving for one.

I'm glad I waited, because my parents gave me $100 towards a new camera or lamps. I chose the camera.

The original price was $149.95. After the $100.00 cash, a $25.00 gift certificate and $1.56 credit balance on my Amazon account, I paid 23.39! I will have to get a memory card, but I'm going to get that locally from a store. Amazon's prices were a bit high compared to what I've seen.

Can't wait to get the camera!

Finally got some stuff done :)

January 4th, 2009 at 06:02 pm

I've been really busy the last few weeks and a LOT of things have been piling up. My kitchen was disgusting and I had presents, paperwork and stuff all over my living room.

Well today, I took care of it. Did 3 loads of laundry with no use of the dryer. I took my Christmas tree down, and drove it over to the land refuce recycling drop off. Free recycling! Then I vaccummed up the millions of needles all over the floor. Organized my ornaments and packed them all back up. By packing them better, I went from 4 bins of Christmas ornaments, lights & knickknacks to 3!

Then I cleaned up the living room all together. Finally, I moved into the kitchen. Did dishes by hand AND ran the dish washer. Made dinner, cleaned up again. I just need to wash the kitchen floor, but I won't get to it til next week.

And since my January goal is to NOT purchase food/drink at work, I pre-made and pre-packaged food for the week. I have breakfasts and snacks covered. I made a big salad & thawed sloppy joe for lunch tomorrow. Tomorrow night I'll make lunches for Tues/Wed. And then Wed night, I'll make lunches for Thurs/Fri. That way I can catch a break every other day Smile

I budget a large amount for gasoline each pay period. With the prices so low, I'm coming in way under budget. I filled up the car today and I have around $23 leftover. I won't need to refill the tank this payperiod, so I'm setting the funds aside in a savings account for gas for when I travel during the summer Smile

Groceries & $40 fees waved

January 3rd, 2009 at 11:11 am

Spent $5.50 on produce today. Not too shabby Smile

I went into the local branch of my bank today. Explained the situation about the mortage payment being duplicated on 1/1, which caused the checking account to overdraw. They refunded the $40.00 of fees that were put on the account. YAY! I didn't even have to come right out & ask, they just offered.

I'll be calling my mortgage company on Monday to discuss their $35.00 fee that they charged. Unfortunately, I think I won't have an easier time of it, but I hope to be sucessful.

Yesterday I was off work, but ended up dealing with doctors stuff all day. Doctors copay & medicine cost $34.70.

I did end up going out with some friends to Buffalo Wild Wings. We sat in the bar area & played trivia on the tvs. I split the order with one of the guys & drank water. Ended up paying $10 including tip. Not too bad for 4 hours of entertainment.

Not So Great Start to the New Year

January 1st, 2009 at 11:05 am

Ugh, Jan 1st & I'm sick AND I managed to duplicate a payment to my mortgage, overdrawing my household expenses checking account. I've set up a transfer from ING Savings to cover the deficit, but man thats annoying. And I only have myself to blame. I've NEVER overdrawn an account before.

Yesterday was awesome. I was let out of work 3 hours early. Had an inpromtu lunch out with some friends. Headed home and got dressed up. Met friends for a quick Happy Hour at the pub. My friend bought the first round and wouldn't accept any money from me. So yay free drink!

Then I headed to a friend's house to help set up for a party. It was a LOT of fun.

Today I had all these grand plans of stuff to do and now I'm just spending it on the couch. I made a quick run to the closest store for food and I picked up a redbox movie.


I already have a yearly budget & January budget set up. Im working on my financial goals, which I normally have done by mid December. But a few things are up in the air & I'll have more info by Jan 15th, so I've got tentative goals until then.

I'm also planning on working on some mini challanges for myself. January I'm going to work on packing breakfast, lunch & snacks for work. With only 1 time expected to eat out (monthly work lunch out). That a LOT of packed food. It'll be a challange.