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Archive for December, 2010

More Roommate News

December 30th, 2010 at 05:11 am

So the roommate came home after being at her parents for the holidays. I had emailed her yesterday with the question - what are you doing for January? (backstory: she gave 30 day notice back in late november, but did not move in December after all & is paid through Jan 9th).

Last night, she told me she's moving to Florida. She's going there for a job interview 1/3 and then on a short cruise and will be back around the 10th.

At that point, I told her that any days she (Or her STUFF) are here after the 9th, she will be charged rent divided by 31, which is roughly $15/day.

I will be sending her an email today confirming that arrangement, as well as stating that the day to day can continue through Jan, but as of end of day Jan 31st, I expect her to be completely moved out so that I can have a new renter start Feb 1st.

This means that my budget will have a shortfall in January. I will be looking closely at the budget & while I do have savings to cover the shortfall, I plan on doing everything I can to cover the shortfall without digging into savings.

January Budget Will Be Challanging

December 29th, 2010 at 05:03 am

I get paid on the 15th & last day of the month. I"ve always worked by budget as the 30th & the 15th so that the paycheck at the end of the month goes to the first 14 days of the following month.

For example, December 30th check will go for my January budget. I recently changed my 401k witholdings so my 12/30 check is a little less than what it was on the 15th. To top that off, my medical benefits increased by $6 and my Social Security withholdings will be going down (Woohoo) and I also changed my HSA withdraw amount by quite a bit. Given all these changes, I do not know exactly what my new paycheck amount will be on Jan 15th. Hard to make a budget.

PLUS - I still do not know what the roommate situation is. I plan on emailing her today to see if she can give me a heads up. She was out of town all Christmas week & went to her parents on Christmas Day & I haven't seen her since. I know that she is not working. I don't think she's found a new job. As she is planning to work in another state, I don't see her leaving until she gets a new job/place to stay, but I just don't know.

So in light of all the above, my January budget is all jacked up until I truly know what is going on with my paycheck & my roommate Smile

I plan on being SUPER frugal in January to cover any shortfall in income if the roomie leaves and it takes time to find a new one. I really do need to find a new one though.

So I will set my 12/30 budget, but will wait to set the 1/15 one until I see the new paycheck online about 5 days prior. SHould be fun!

Getting back on track!

December 27th, 2010 at 05:06 pm

I am looking forward to a clean slate in the new year, but in the mean time, I'm trying to get back on track with spending & packing food.

Tonight, I had dinner at home, made food for tomorrow & am getting my house organized again. I've felt out of whack since I've been sick again. The house is a mess, I barely have energy to cook for myself and its a real downer.

I'm going to try to take things easy, but I really need to get on the ball with spending & saving. Especially since I do not know whats going on with the roommate situation. Right now, she's paid through the 9th. I've barely seen her as she spent a week out of town, came home Christmas night for about a 1/2 hour and then headed back to her parents an hour away. She's unemployed, so I have no idea when to expect her back. I don't know what her plans are after the 10th. She's paid through the 9th, rent due on the 10th & since we haven't talked, I don't know what she's planning on doing.

I also can't wait to see my paychecks for 2011 since I decreased my HSA amount and increased my 401k. I have an estimate, but I like to know my net pay to the cent. That won't happen until my Jan 15th paycheck.

I am looking to do my 2011 Financial Goals soon, but I want some of those figures first. I've been reading other people's goals for the new year & its been giving me inspiration!

Not Enough Snow for a Snow Day

December 27th, 2010 at 08:03 am

There was not enough snow for a snow day. Oh well, at least the drive in wasn't too terrible. I went into work about 45 mins late so that I could drive when it was light out versus dark. Management is totally fine with those type of situations.

After yesterday's post, I started feeling ill again. The doc has not fully diagnosed my problem - so I have been calling it the mystery illness. I was feeling weak (not tired) and was worried I might pass out, so I went to my parents to hang out there. We enjoyed leftovers from Christmas and watched movies on tv and I spent the night.

So because of that, I did not have breakfast/lunch packed. I have seriously failed in my lunch challanges the last few months & I need to stop making my health an excuse. When I eat better, I feel better anyway, so its a win-win.

Anybody who has a snow day today, I just have to say LUCKY! lol

And just to share - books! I just finished the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series - Mockingjay. I really liked the books. I also read the 1st 2 books of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series & my friend is lending me the 3rd tomorrow! I started re-reading the Kitty books by Carrie Vaughn - they're about a werewolf named Kitty. I find them to be nice, light reads.

Waiting for the Snow!

December 26th, 2010 at 09:27 am

We're supposed to have snow today. It just started with a few flakes. Of course the news is already making it into Snowpacalypse 2011. I ran out this morning for some veggies from the farmer's market - approx $8 spent.

Now I am home, on the couch, waiting for snow. I have a ton of laundry to do & that's my big plan for the day. I am watching movies on cable, have a few books from the library and plan on planting my butt on the couch until there's enough snow to have to clear out the driveway!

Merry Christmas To All!

December 25th, 2010 at 04:30 pm

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday! I have enjoyed a fun, relaxing day with my family and am excited to have the day off tomorrow Smile

Merry Christmas Eve!

December 24th, 2010 at 10:32 am

Merry Christmas to All! Work let me out at 11:45 today, wasn't that nice of them? I came home & lazed around for a bit & am now packing up all of my stuff & heading over to my parents.

I've had a bad week health-wise, so I am REALLY looking forward to relaxing. I will come back to my house tomorrow night after all the festivities, but for once there won't be a rush. No work the following day!

And as a Christmas present to myself, I completed my goal of a cash only Christmas! Hoorah!

Freebies & Christmas Presents

December 22nd, 2010 at 05:32 am

This week at work, we had a luncheon supplied by the business, the managers brought in donuts, I brought in cookies for the group & someone else brought in mints. Tis the season for food! lol

Yesterday, I packed my breakfast & lunch for work. After work, I made dinner at home & I went had a few friends over for a gift exchange. Afterwards, we went to the pub for our normal Tuesday night outing. I didn't stay too long as I"m not feeling well again. I spent $5.75 for 2 beers, plus tip.

Today, I packed food again. I have a couple of errands to run after work & I will spend the evening enjoying my Christmas tree & wrapping presents!

In other news - the heats been kicking on a lot. I'm going to hate seeing my electric/gas bill!

Busy Days!

December 20th, 2010 at 04:25 pm

Yesterday, got up very early & went to Michael's where I bought one of the last presents I needed as well as some that I didn't Smile I spent $35.00 and it included on of those light up Christmas houses that my friend collects.

I stopped by Barnes & Noble for some gifts and spent about $42. $7 was hardback version of Walden that I just couldn't resist!

I went to my parents house & cleaned their bathroom for them. I brought my nephew back home with me & we made chocolate chip cookies & played games.

Then my parents came over & we watched Elf, then met my sister for dinner at Texas Roadhouse for my nephew's birthday. My mom treated for dinner. I plan on offering more cleaning since she treated Smile

We had the nephew open presents at my house after dinner and then I promptly went to bed. I was worn out!

Today, I had my annual review at work (we do them quarterly & finalize annually). Raises are decided in the 4th quarter, but aren't doled out until February. My review went really well, but who knows how it'll come out pay-wise.

After work, I hit up WalMart and came home. I made dinner, pre-made food for work tomorrow, cleaned the kitchen, mopped the floor and now I am chilling on the couch watching Downsized.

Craigslist Cash!

December 18th, 2010 at 10:19 am

I put up a bunch of dvds & other items on Craigslist last night. A gentlemen came today & bought 6 for $25.00. Great score!

Spendy, Spendy 2 Days and Weekend To Dos

December 17th, 2010 at 05:54 pm

I ran a lot of errands last night & today.

I spent:

- $17.90 for groceries at Target *used a $15 gift card
- $19.66 groceries at WalMart
- $4.95 ornament from Pier One (for a gift)
- $1.98 picture enlargements for mom
- $35.01 gas
- $3.99 for catnip (present for the cats & entertainment for me. They treat it like its crack!)
- $9.34 large bad of calcium for snow
- $12.54 groceries at grocery store

*Lots of grocery shopping, because I was OUT of staples Smile

I have paid all my normal bills & I have the following amounts left in my cash (and gift card) envelopes

- $10.00 to mail a package to England
- $105.54 Christmas
- $7.01 Cat (need litter & litter bags)
- $.66 leftover calcium funds (this will go to the piggy bank)
- $79.60 Entertainment money (I am hoping to stretch this into January!
- $56.42 groceries

Unfortunately, I have a couple of Christmas items to still pick up (UGH - hate last minute shopping!!)

This weekend, I plan to:

Do an annual Christmas trek with friends. We hit 2 specific Christmas stores & enjoy the sights. We might do lunch, which would be the only money I spend there.

I need to hit a bookstore & get some gifts.

Saturday night, I plan on chilling at home & doing some cleaning. And especially doing some wrapping of presents!

Sunday, I promised 2 hours to my mom to clean wherever in her house she needs the help. After, my sister & my nephew are coming over to enjoy the real Christmas tree, make some cookies & watch a Christmas movie. I am really looking forward to it!

The roommate is still unsure when she is leaving. She got official word of the termination, but I think she has no idea what she's doing. All I know is she's paid until the 9th of January & if she needs to move - she still has to give 30 day notice again.

Lastly - I just wanted to share that I have a bunch of stuff checked out from the library at any time. I just finished Catherine Coulter's Whiplash (I like her easy books), but what I am really into is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socity by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Its about a writer who gets a letter from a farmer on Guernesy Island in 1946, just after the Germans un-occupy the area. He had come across a book she had once owned & had her name in it. A flurry of letters commence between the author and the islanders in the society who have been cut off from the world during the whole occupation. Its really well written even with so many different voices giving their versions of events. Its something really different and I LOVE it.

PayDay Woohoo!

December 15th, 2010 at 05:42 pm

Today is payday. I spent $8.10 on lunch - losing my lunch challenge, but oh well Smile I went to the doctor ($20 copay) and then out to dinner with a friend, and she treated. I will reciprocate next week. I spent $1.00 for parking.

I am now home, snuggled under an afghan and enjoying the cats & the Christmas tree and paying bills and transferring funds to my various savings accounts including the efund.

I upped my grocery budget this pay period because I need a lot of staples. $106.50 cash/gift cards into the envelope.

I started with $72 for the entertainment budget & am already down to $62.90. I am looking to put some stuff up on Craigslist & add to my entertainment budget because I have a lot of social obligations (or social wants) in the rest of the month.

Tomorrow is our work holiday lunch - so YAY FREE FOOD! We also have a work holiday happy hour after work. I'm debating about going because it means spending money. BUT it would also mean schmoozing, which is always good for the career. I will figure it out Smile

More Good News!

December 14th, 2010 at 01:38 pm

My work announced today that we will be getting a $500 compensation into our 401k in January. We don't get bonuses, but some years, they give us this compensation. Hey, I will definitely take an additional $500 to my 401k!

Best Laid Plans :)

December 14th, 2010 at 06:24 am

Well, none of my goals for yesterday were accomplished, except finishing my Christmas cards. Oh well, I enjoyed reading the rest of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and watching some tv.

Today is the last day before payday. I have about $5 left in my entertainment fund, which I may use to buy a beer at the local pub with my friends for our normal Tuesday night outing.

I am working today on my budget for 12/15 to 12/31. Its going to be tight as I have about $95.00 in medical expenses to pay for. Oh, the joys Smile

An update on the roommate situation - I think the job will end soon for her and there's a very good chance she will be moving soon. I don't know for 100% sure, but I know she's paid through January 9th. Even with her personal drama (which I really only overhear when she's on the phone in the same room with me), she's been an easy roommate to get along with.

I haven't done too well with bringing lunch, so between the 15th and the end of the year, I plan on packing my breakfast, lunch & snacks 100% with the exception of 1 lunch out for the holidays with my coworkers.

I also have finalizing the grocery list & meal plan for the next 15 days. I keep planning on doing it, but don't follow through. It will definitely be done today! LOL

Woo-Hoo, bonus from the weekend

December 13th, 2010 at 02:29 pm

I attended a friend's work Christmas party in Philadelphia on Saturday night. We went to a bar/bowling place. Very upscale & fun. There was open bar, free bowling & a buffet. All free to me. (Thanks to my friend who invited me!!!)

Well, he just text me even more good news. I guess they did some random drawings for bowlers or something, but we each received a $25.00 Amex gift card. Woot!

Happy Monday!

December 13th, 2010 at 05:54 am

I had a great weekend and Monday is going well for me. I am working to stay within budget for the rest of the month. ALthough the sidebar is not updated, I have finished all Christmas shopping, except for a gift card for 1 friend and an Itunes Gift Certificate for the nephew.

I am finishing my Christmas card today, nothing like waiting until the last minute!

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks for work today. I'm hoping it will be a no spender, like yesterday.

I also wanted to mention that I finally downgraded my gym membership from $20/month to $10/month. Nice savings there!

Today's 5 Things (to do):

1. Finish & mail Christmas cards
2. Make dinner at home, pack food for tomorrow
3. Make meal plan/grocery list for the 15th through the 31st
4. Finalize budget for 15th through the 31st
5. Start wrapping gifts

I should also add that I will be (Hopefully!) finishing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I really like the book. A friend let me borrow her copy.

Frugal Weekend and Christmas stuff

December 12th, 2010 at 06:54 am

I have a 3 day weekend this weekend, off Friday and back to work Monday.

I ran errands Friday, cleaned & finished trimming the tree. I had 2 friends over Friday night, we watched National Lampoon's Christmas vacation (already own it on dvd) and ordered food. I got gnocchi & plan on having the leftovers for lunch today! $13.00 spent.

Yesterday, I ran to the farmers market & grocery store. I used self checkout at the grocery store & was able to use $3.50 in change that was rattling around in my purse Smile

Last night, I drove into Philadelphia with a friend for his company Christmas party at Lucky Strikes. Its a bar/bowling lane combo. Pretty nice. They had a full buffet & free beer & wine. I know a lot of the people that my buddy works with, so we really had a blast. I had several hours of fun & a lot of beer - for free. He tipped & paid for parking. I am really grateful for the big night out.

Today, I have no plans, other than cleaning my bedroom & laundry. Its raining out and I am enjoying sitting in the living room with the Christmas tree lit.

In other financial news:

- I had to buy a medical supply (per my specialists orders). It was not covered by insurance and cost $75.00. I shopped around and could not get a better price. Ouch

- The roommate paid a full month's rent, so she will be here through the 9th of January at this point. I am pretty sure she will be moving out in January though. She will give me notice again when she's absolutely sure

- My work gave me a $15 gift card to Target for Christmas. Yay!

Today will be a no spender Smile And today's 5 things are:

1. Laundry
2. Clean bedroom
3. Meal plan
4. Grocery plan
5. Make lunch for tomorrow/food for the week

Got my Christmas tree!

December 7th, 2010 at 06:32 pm

After work, I picked up my parents & nephew & we went to get a cheap, little tree for me. It was freezing outside with bitter winds. We went to Lowes, just to check theirs out and ended up coming home with the 2nd tree we looked at.

A nice Douglas Fir, the tag said 6-7 feet. It was on sale for $20! The nicer holiday places & tree stands cost twice as much! When we got it back to my house, we realized that the tree was much bigger than 7 feet. We measured & it was 9.5 feet!

We cut a little & the tree is now up in the living room. I treated my parents to CiCis pizza as a thanks for the help $20 total for the 3 of us. Not my favorite place, but my dad really likes it.

I took out the bins of Christmas decorations. I pulled out all the non-tree decorations & put them out. I'm letting the tree branches drop tonight & then I will put the lights & decorations on tomorrow night! I can't wait!!

Its gonna be a long week

December 7th, 2010 at 05:00 am

Spent $12.03 on groceries yesterday. I packed my lunch & snacks, no problem.

My health issue came back with a vengance (They still don't know what it is) and I spent the night on the couch. I didn't get anything completed. Luckily I had already prepared food & snacks to take to work today as well.

The heat has been running a lot at the house. Although I keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, we have had some NASTY winds and the house was definitely feeling them. I bundled up and was plenty comfortable.

In other financial news, the roommates next month rent is due the 10th. We will have to see if it comes in on time. She has said she's staying through December, but at this point, I'm not counting on the money until it is in my hand.

Tonight, I am getting my CHristmas tree. I still get the lives ones. I just LOVE the smell. My dad & nephew are going to help me. Then I will be pulling Christmas decorations out & going crazy with decorating Smile

Productive & Lazy Sunday

December 5th, 2010 at 11:14 am

Contradiction, I know Smile

I went to the Farmer's market for groceries and came straight home. $8.03 spent.

I made breakfast at home, then started pre-portioning & making food for the week.

I took a large container of yogurt & put then in single serving plastic containers to grab & go for work.

I pre-made a large pasta salad. At the same time, I cut up veggies for a salad to take to work. I pre-portioned dressing to go with the salad.

I also made a bowl of tuna salad with onions, celery & spices. I ate 1/2 today & 1/2 will go toward a lunch this week.

I put animal crackers & pretzels into plastic bags to take to work.

In my fridge, I put a pitcher of water, pitcher of cherry limeade and a pitcher of lemonade. No soda for me!

All in all, it took me under an hour. Now I am watching old episodes of Parking Wars & am snuggling with the kitties. The rest of the day will be pretty lazy.

I only have a few things I want to accomplish:

1. Organize work clothes for the week
2. Clean out my purse
3. Put together birthday present for friend
4. Work on debt payoff plan for with & without rent. Roommate still is saying she will be here through January.
5. Enjoy my Sunday!

Starting the Weekend Off Right!

December 4th, 2010 at 07:55 am

Had a great night in last night. I was able to get some things off my To-Do list done. I shredded 3 grocery bags full of documents, put away laundry, handwashed some items, watched tv & talked to an old friend by phone.

Today, I have grand plans (NOT!) I already made myself a nice hearty breakfast, I'm watching an episode of CSI and when its over, I will be getting to my to-do list.

1. Make food for party tonight
2. Seal basement windows with plastic window shrink wrap
3. Change cat litter
4. Clean out car
5. Plan work clothes for next week (trying to wear nicer outfits to work lately)
6. Meal plan for week (scrapped the old one)
7. Grocery Plan for week
8. Change sheets on bed.


Tomorrow, I hope to get my Christmas tree & do some decorating!

Happy Friday!

December 3rd, 2010 at 04:12 pm

Today, I packed my food for work & came straight home after. I had a busy week and am totally beat.

I made dinner at home (FREE!) and am watching stuff off the dvr. I turned down a couple of invites to go out tonight, but since I have a big outing tomorrow, I decided to stay in.

I will be traveling to a friends house about 45 minutes away for her birthday party. I already have her bday gift (earrings from etsy.com) and am planning on bringing some type of appetizer. To be determined!

Today's 5 Things:

1. Work on Christmas presents (DONE)
2. pack lunch for work (DONE)
3. dinner at home (DONE)
4. Put laundry away (DONE)
5. Clean bedroom (DONE)

Moving Funds Around in my Budget

December 2nd, 2010 at 10:08 am

I am moving some funds around in my cash budget. Here are my totals:

1. Medical $40
2. Cat litter/food: $55
3. Groceries: $60, now at $50.11 after groceries purchased yesterday
4. Entertainment; $60, now $32. I had a big night out the other night!

This cash budget has to last me until the 15th.

I packed breakfast, lunch & drinks today. However, yesterday I bought some food at the work cafe. That was my 1 day allowed for hte month if I want to complete my December Lunch Challenge.

In other news, I am nearly done my Christmas shopping and it was all done in cash. Yay!!