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Oh, the JOYS of Home Ownership

November 2nd, 2013 at 04:55 pm

In the last 2 weeks, I have replaced the downstairs toilet, replaced all the interior of the upstairs toilet. Fixed a leaky faucet.

And this week, a pipe leading to the hot water heater started leaking. We attempted the repairs ourselves, but without luck. So we had a professional come by $190 later, all fixed!

We are left with the problem of the pipes. The home builders used an inferior piping. I knew that buying the house (and it factored into the pricing). However, joints are gathering moisture & some are leaking. Replacing parts of the piping will not stop further issues in other areas, so I got a quote for replacing the pipes in the whole house. $5950. Yeesh. I will be doing research & certainly working out a budget & getting other quotes. We have time to plan, but its likely it will need to be done.

Electricity Savings

July 22nd, 2013 at 11:56 pm

My local electric provider is having 2 energy saving programs. Of course, I signed up for both.

One, we are enrolled in Peak savings days. When there is one, they notify you the day before. You can get $1.25 off every kilowatt hour you reduce your energy use below your base line during this period (usually 4 hours).

Two, you can have a programmable thermostat installed and during these days (usually weekday, mid-day) and they will cycle down your air conditioner (I chose 50%). There was a $40 credit for installing it AND its programmable via phone & computer, which I find to be a HUGE perk!

Updates, Updates, Updates

October 20th, 2011 at 02:14 am

Today was a no spender (yay). I packed food for work, went looking for a Halloween costume (no luck yet), went to kickboxing to find out that my training session was cancelled. The guy rescheduled the session and gave me 2 more classes for free. Great customer service!

I have several financial goals for this week:

-Budget out entertainment spending between now & the 31st.
-Stick to grocery budget
-Eat in as much as possible
-Finalize Medical Plan choices
-Make new monthly budget
-Put up more items on Craigslist
-Finish most of Christmas shopping
-Start figuring budget for sister's wedding & 2 other weddings I will be attending in 2012 plus another one I will be attending in 2013.

The air has been off, windows open & although its cool in evenings - no heat is needed yet (WOOHOO)

Freebies & Christmas Presents

December 22nd, 2010 at 01:32 pm

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!

Its gonna be a long week

December 7th, 2010 at 01:00 pm

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

Halloween is winding down

November 1st, 2010 at 01:54 am

I have turned the lights off for the trick or treaters. I have a LOT of candy left. It was a very small turnout compared to last year. I will have to find some way to get rid of the rest of it.

I am starting back on Weight Watchers for the 80-billionth time tomorrow. I am unable to workout, but I can still do the meal plan. it'll just be tougher because working out meant I could splurge a little more food-wise.

I have already pre-packed my food for work tomorrow. I am upstairs & getting ready for bed in a minute. I LOVE coming upstairs to a completely clean room & made bed. I am going to try to keep this up.

The weather warmed up in the afternoon, but got chillier again at night. I have made it all the way through the month of October without turning on the heat. We will have to see how it is going forward. The house is a little chilly and any more drop in temp & I will definitely want the heat on Smile

Tomorrow, I will be posting November goals and will be working hard to stick to them. I can already share that I am doing another Lunch Challenge. I get so easily distracted from packing my lunch Smile The threat of layoff will definitely be a motivator.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Happy Saturday

October 30th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Well, I survived my vacation from work, but had a wealth of health problems. The doctor still does not have a diagnosis for me, which is frustrating. Where is Dr. House when I need him? lol

This week was not too spendy, but today was. Yesterday was payday. I spent $20.00 on a copay to the doctor.

Today, I am having a great day health-wise, so its just a great day in general. I woke up this morning paid my loan at the bank ($98), went to another bank to meet the other members of the Homeowners Association and transfer ownership of the HOA account.

The HOA's bank is next to the Farmer's market, so I stopped there for veggies & fruit. ($15.76)

I stopped & grabbed gas ($30.44)

Afterward, I went to lunch with my folks and they paid. I gave my nephew a Halloween card with some money in it ($5.00).

We then went to my nephew's ball game & froze our butts off. The ball league was having a sale on a bunch of their stuff and there were some 2009 t shirts they were giving away for free. I took 2 in my size and intend to use them as workout or housecleaning clothes. (Yay free!)

After the game, I stopped at the library & picked up some new books. Then headed to the Dollar Tree Plus which no longer has stuff only $1.00. I got a 30 piece set of plastic containers for food storage for $5.00, a 5 pack of toothbrushes, hand soap & dish soap. ($8.00)

Now I am home and am working on a meal plan for the week. With my current health, it is really important to plan for the days when I'm too tired to cook, but still be able to remain healthy.

In unhappy news, I heard from a very reliable source that my work is looking to lay off around a third of the departments in the next 2 weeks. Its pretty scary. I really need the health insurance as well as the income. So I hope I make it through this.

Cash Budget Balances to last until the 15th:

Entertainment: $55.00
Groceries: $64.24
Cat litter: $10


And another Heat update - its still off Smile

Plan for the week

September 12th, 2010 at 07:30 pm

Well, to help me with my lunch challenge, entertainment spending & with weight watchers, I have a weekly plan set up. I've set a meal plan, workout goals and my social commitments to a calendar.

Money-wise, I've been able to have the a/c off & windows open. My roommate's rent was due on Friday (the 10th) but it is still unpaid. However, I have not seen her since Thursday since she's been away all weekend. That may be why I haven't received it. She's always just handed it to me instead of leaving a check. Hopefully, I will get it tonight when she comes home.

As for my schedule - I would like to note that my exercise activities have been modified for the next week or so due to tendinitis in my foot. Booo to that.

Today, I am home doing laundry, planning my weekly wardrobe per our new dress code, and watching movies from the library. I have The International, Black Christmas and When a Stranger Calls. Yay for free movies!

Monday:
$0 spending.
Gym - bicycle 30-45 minutes, plus weight training.
Entertainment - no commitments
Breakfast: oatmeal, apple
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snacks: goldfish, microwave popcorn
Dinner: pasta with spinach and a salad

Tuesday:
$10 spending
Gym - off day
Entertainment - Nephew's ballgame (free); Pub night with friends ($10)
Breakfast: apple, animal crackers, cereal
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snacks: goldfish, microwave popcorn
Dinner: pasta salad (to be taken to ball game)

Wednesday:
$15 spending
Gym - 30 mins bike, 15 mins strength training
Entertainment - Dinner out with friends
Breakfast: oatmeal, apple, animal crackers
Lunch: Pasta salad w/ turkey pepperoni
Dinner: Medallion salad from restaurant

Thursday:
$0 spending
Gym - 45 mins bike
Entertainment - no commitments
Breakfast: to be determined (after grocery shopping!)
Lunch: Salad with meatloaf muffin
Dinner: shake n bake chicken/potatoes

Friday:
$15 spending - happy hour dinner & drinks
Gym - 30 mins bike
Entertainment - Happy Hour with coworkers
Breakfast: to be determined
Lunch: pasta salad
Dinner: Salad at happy hour; tuna sandwich at home after

Sat -
Spending: $10 at Delaware Park races (can bring own food). Then $10 Oktoberfest with sister to celebrate her anniversary

Sunday - Day at home; groceries shopping for spending; movies from library (free)

No Spender, but definitely not due to doing nothing all day

September 4th, 2010 at 08:40 pm

I planned today to be a yard work day as I just borrowed my dad's weed whacker and hedge trimmer. The temperature has lowered significantly & I was able to open up the windows and turn off the a/c. I woke up on my own this morning (as opposed to an alarm) and was outside in the yard by 9:15 am.

So today, I:

-Mowed the lawn
-Weed whacked around deck and air conditioning unit
-Weed whacked walkway in backyard
-Raked and bagged the yard
-Cleared the deck of debris blown onto it.
-Trimmed shrub in front of my house. This was a BIG task as 1/2 of the bush is dead on the inside. Its not the prettiest now, but I need to borrow a saw from my dad to get rid of the bigger dead branches.
-Weed whacked grass growing in crack in driveway.
-Bagged up all trimmings (4 full bags full).
-Piled all the yard waste into the car, as well as my 2 big tomato planters full of dirt and dead plants. -Took it all to the free yard waste disposal site.
-When I got home, I vacuumed out the car VERY well.
-I took the hose & rinsed out all planters that are now empty
-Did 2 loads of laundry.

And that was by 1pm.

Then I:
-made lunch
-made jello shots for a BBQ tomorrow
-unloaded the dishwasher
-cleaned the kitchen
-vacuumed and mopped the floor
-polished the kitchen table
-watered the plants

I have a few more things on my to-do list, but I made myself a nice margarita first & sat down to take a break Smile

The rest of my list is to:

-replant a plant (DONE)
-bring up last load of laundry
-clean the living room (DONE)
-vacuum and dust the living room (DONE)
-take cleaned out planters to the basement now that they are dry (DONE)
-vacuum upstairs bathroom floor (DONE)
-take a shower (DONE)
-make a yummy dinner
-PLOP MYSELF ON THE COUCH, watch some movies and/or read a book. No other work for the rest of the night. Even though my bedroom is a mess and so is the upstairs bathroom. That could be tackled tomorrow.

At least I knocked off a TON of stuff of my to-do list! hee-hee

First Day of September! (Long)

September 1st, 2010 at 02:53 pm

Welcome to September! I'm looking forward to cooler weather where I can keep my windows open and not run A/C and therefore save some money. Unfortunatley that isn't happening this week. Its in the mid to high 90s here.

Yesterday was payday, I spent 8.85 on pub night with friends (entertainment budget) and $42.19 at the grocery store to get most of my staples for this pay period (thru the 15th).

I have been working hard to make my money work for me. I paid some bills - bought gas, paid cell phone, car insurance and my cable bill with my Old Navy cc. They are doing triple rewards points and that plus the balance I already had, will yield me a $10 gc. Which I will use with another gc I already have to get some fall pants Smile I am paying the cc off as soon as the charges post to the account, which will leave a $0 balance.

I also reduced my 401k contribution (while still keeping the company match) and all that extra amount is going straight to my credit cards.

I have lowered my entertainment budget to $65 per pay period and my grocery budget is $110 for this pay period and about $70 for my next pay period. I am going to work extra hard to stay within these budgets.

I also have finagled $40 in funds to use with a $10 off $50 coupon for Lowes. I need a new basement window cover, some weather stripping, carpet tape & CFL bulbs. And purchasing all at once will save me $10 Smile

I an reinstituting my Lunch Challange for myself for September. I went off plan a little at the end of August and really want to be back on track. So my goal for Sept is to pack breakfast, lunch, & snacks 100% with 2 exceptions for the month. One exception is today where I bought a 0.55 pretzel.

I would like to state that I don't mind the lunch challange because 1. I save money 2. Its easier to stay on my WW plan and 3. I'd rather spend disposable funds on being social Smile

Finally, I plan on lowering my gym plan from 19.99/month to $10 a month. I can switch on the 24th of Sept and already have it on my calander. I also am returning a cable box that I have in my bedroom. Promo ran out & returning it will save me $9/month.

Cash Envelope Balances:
Groceries: Start $110/ Current $67.81
Entertainment: Start $65/Current $56.15
House/Lowes: $40 plus coupon
Kitty Litter: $10

Back From Vacation and a Payday!

August 14th, 2010 at 05:32 pm

I came back from my beach vacation last night. I unpacked and crashed on the couch Smile I paid cash for everything, except the room, which I put on a card. But I transferred the funds for payment to the credit card this morning.

I had a great time, we stayed in a a very nice hotel. The weather was fun, and I am reallllly relaxed. Great week!

This morning, I am right back on the frugal wagon. I sold an extra wireless router I had lying around - $20 cash. Then I stopped by my parents & brought them the sugar free fudge from the beach. They treated me to breakfast at IHOP. Thanks Mom & Dad!

I paid some bills, got some groceries and headed back home. All of this was done by noon.

I am now watching a movie and when its over, I will be doing some laundry, cleaning & decluttering. The cats definitely missed me, as they are following me room to room. And I now have 2 additions to my pet family - 2 hermit crabs. I haven't had any of these since childhood. They were a total impulse purchase. But boy, are they fun!

For my envelopes this pay period, I started with $40 for gas, $100 in grocery money (need to stock up on some stuff), $10 personal items, $5 car washing supplies and $45 in spending money). I plan on sticking with it!

I was able to turn the A/C off today. Its a little hotter than I like, but with ceiling fans, its very comfortable in here.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, I know I already am!

Nice Weather for a Saturday

August 7th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Today, I got up, went to the Farmer's Market $5.25 spent for salad stuff. Then I returned some books/movies to the library. I was expecting a $0.25 fine, but the person who returned the dvd to the system made an error and I ended up with no fee Smile My lucky day.

I then went to the Grocery store where I spent $4.48. I picked up a movie at Redbox, $1.02 and headed home.

I have eaten breakfast, lunch and soon to be dinner at home. I had someone come pick up a cookie press that I had put up on Craiglist - $10.00 paid by a very excited pre-teen girl, LOL.

I've been doing a bunch of cleaning and laundry. And then I spent 4 hours dealing with a nasty virus on my computer. I purchased an anti-virus package, but they couldnt help me, so I cancelled the package (and will get a refund), then actually found a free program (from a reputable site) that was able to fix the problem. Yay Smile Took a lot of time and patience, but my computer is working again!

Today has been great weather - I've had the windows open and ceiling fans on. I'll definitely take the electric savings!

All in all, a frugal day. I had a very social night last night. Took some beer to a friends house for a game night. We got a little rowdy Smile So tonight, I'm having a movie night in.

My total Craigslist profit has been $40.00 for 3 items sold. A lamp $5.00, a calculator $25.00, and the cookie press $10.00. Woohoo

A/C Back on and went home from work sick

August 4th, 2010 at 03:44 pm

Well, I went into work today feeling ok. 2 hours later, I had the chills and sweats. So I went home instead of infecting anyone else. Yuck. I'm home on the couch, watching tv. No fun.

I also had to turn the A/C back on at 10 this morning. I had had the windows open since Friday afternoon, but the humidity kicked up and with not feeling well, I'm not up for playing with the heat. Booo, I wanted to use as little electricity as possible.

Quick Stop In

August 3rd, 2010 at 02:14 am

Been very busy lately, so I haven't had time to post. A couple of quick updates.

- Watched a free Redbox movie with the roomie (Book of Eli). It was interesting, if a little slow in parts

- Listed 7 items on Craigslist. Hope they sell, I could really use the money

- Finally got some decent weather and have been able to open the windows as opposed to the A/C since Friday night. This will really help the electric bill!

- Will be looking for more items to sell from the basement tomorrow night.

- Been packing work food 100% -so keeping up well with the lunch challange. Will continue the personal challange through August.

- Transferred a bit of debt around for a lower rate - worked out really nicely.

Hottest Summer - and vacation plans

July 16th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Where I live, the temps have been on average about 90 degrees this summer, without having a real spring. According to the paper, 'June and the three-month period from May to June were the hottest in 116 years of record-keeping'. So yeah, its hot. I've been utilizing the programmable thermostat and ceiling fans, but the A/C is still running... a LOT.

In other news, as of 3pm today, I am officially on vacation for a week! I am not going anywhere specific and I am looking to not spend a lot of money. But I am planning on having fun.

I have the weekend and Monday to just hang out and have some down time. I am hanging out at home with some friends, reading & watching movies. I might have lunch with my mom Sunday, but its all open to what I feel like doing. Which is definitely different than what I have to do, or what I already committed myself to doing. I am only going to do what I feel like doing Smile (I hope to keep spending to about $25)

Tuesday, I am getting a mani/pedi with a gift card (free) and attending a birthday party in the evening ($25 budgeted).

Wednesday, I am heading down very early in the morning to go to the beach. My sister & her boyfriend rented a house with their kids for the week. I plan on bringing mid-week groceries in exchange for a night on their couch. We plan on going on a Pirate Ship ride ($20), hanging at the beach (free), having dinner & hitting the boardwalk.

Thursday, I will hit the beach alone (which I LOVE) & head back home at a reasonable time. For the 2 days at the beach, including gas & dinner out, I'm looking at at budget of $145.00

Friday, I am attending an all day concert. With food & drinks we will be bringing, parking & emergency water for the 100 degree weather, I have budgeted $90. I hope I am WAY overestimating. But if water inside the complex is $10/bottle, I will be forced to buy it becuase Heat exhaustion is no fun.

Saturday, I am heading to the state fair with friends, we will be seeing Paramour. Entrance into the fair, plus some fun stuff $40 budgeted. Hoping I overestimated here too.

I have cash for all of these activites, but am definitely looking to shave off spending anywhere I can. Tonight is a night in by myself. Roommate is out and I am planning on laying around and enjoying the house to myself. $0 spent for that!

Checking Mistake

June 7th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I balance my checkbook, but my budget is on a spreadsheet at home. I checked my checking this morning to see if a check cleared and it did not yet, but I also realized that instead of the check amount plus $40 in my checking, I had less than what the check would be. UGH.

It bugs me - becuase I have to wait til I get home to figure out the problem. IN the meantime, I transferred money from my 2nd checking to cover the 1st.

Can't wait til I get home & can figure this out!! I'm such a dork about this stuff.

In other news, the air is still one. Spending money is tight and I didnt get to 1/2 the things I wanted to this weekend. BUt the important stuff was taken care of, so I"m happy!

4 days into the June Challange & great Customer Service from Purdue

June 4th, 2010 at 06:53 pm

Well, today is Day 4 in the lunch challanged. I packed breakfast, lunch, snacks & drinks for work Tuesday, Wednesday & Thurdsay. Today, I had an unexpected day off, but I've been eating at home, so I still complied with the challange Smile

Yesterday's spending:
$14.00 dinner date - paid for my half. Date was a dud Frown
$5.00 drinks with friends at my local bar. Good couple of hours, 2 drinks & only $5 spent. GREAT deal!

Today's spending:
$0.35 library fine
$19.06 Farmer's market

I got a big bag of baby spinach, 12 roma tomatoes, 8 large garden tomatoes (I love tomatoes & will be using some to make a chunky pasta sauce and homemade bruschetta), 3 cucumbers, celery, 3 green peppers, a quarter watermelon, pint strawberries and a quart of blueberries all for $19.06!

In other news, a little while back, I splurged & bought a pack of the perfectly portioned Purdue chicken breasts. They're prepacked into individual servings & perfect for a single person. But they're expensive, so I rarely buy them.

When I pulled 2 out the other day, once they thawed, I found that the packaging was broken and I found them to be unsafe to use. I emailed Purdue & explained the situation and I received an email back, they're sending me a $10.00 check. Nice!

In other news, the air is on... it was nearly 90 degrees out today & very humid. I hope we go back to some milder weather before we really enter summer.

I have someone coming to look at the spare room today. My sister sorta lit a fire under my butt when she suggested I rent out the spare room to her boyfriend. They are drama and I do NOT want to go there. So I answered an ad on Craigslist & put one up of my own. I will be meeting this girl this evening to see how it goes. Wish me luck!!

Happy Memorial Day!

May 31st, 2010 at 03:04 pm

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! I've been having a fun weekend. Saturday was horse races, yesterday was a BBQ at my sisters (and a no spender!). Today is getting stuff done around the house. I spent $40 in gas for the car & the lawn mower. But thats it!

Its very warm out (HOT!) but I still have yet to turn on my air. I have house fans going & am drinking lots of cold drinks. As long as I'm not super uncomfortable, the air stays off!

I'm looking forward to puttering around the house today. When my house is clean and organized, I feel clean and organized. So even though there's lots to do, I'll be doing it while watching tv or taking breaks. Anything I don't get done, just doesn't get done.

My to-do list is as follows:

1. Laundry (DONE)
2. Mow lawn (DONE)
3. pull weeds
4. Work on container garden
5. Clean kitchen, vacuum floor, oil kitchen table (DONE)
6. Wipe kitchen blinds
7. Clean, dust, vaccum living room
8. Clean basement floor, change kitty litter
9. Vac spare bedroom, fill in holes left by old roommate, use magic eraser on walls
10. Clean bedroom, change sheets, vac floor
11. Clean upstairs bath, scrub tub
12. Make meal plan (DONE)
13. Food prep for the week, lunch & dinner at home (DONE)
14. Clean out car (DONE)
15. Organize stuff for verizon rebate (DONE)
16. Anything else that I can fit in! haha

Race for the Cure Philadelphia

May 10th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Yesterday, I participated in the 20th Annual Philadelphia Race for the Cure. Local news is estimating there were 120 thousand people there. I think the first year, they had under 2000.

We raised a bit of money for the cause and got a nice healthy 5k walk in! They handed out a LOT of freebies - juices, drinks and food.

I came home with a bandana and some coupons for local stores. Food-wise, Wawa literally shoved into my hands: 2 water bottles, a donut, soft pretzel, banana, 2 bags sliced apples, 2 bags grapes, 2 cheese sticks,and 3 large bags of candy.

I drove home to have brunch with my mom, sister, her boyfriend and my nephew. Then had my parents over for dinner - we had take out at my mom's request.

The candy went to my nephew. Rest of the goodies went in the fridge for me!

Today's Food/Spending:
Breakfast: Granola bar & soft pretzel (.55 spent)
Lunch: Pasta salad
Snack: popcorn
2nd Snack: small tomato salad
Dinner: Penne pasta in tomato sauce with homegrown basil and 1 cup spinach. Leftover salad from last night's takeout.

My little indoor garden is growing. I planted some catnip, chives, parsley and something else I can't remember. I have several basil plants going & a tomato plant that I have to transfer soon.

It got really cold over the weekend and I ended up turning on the heat last night. Keeping it at 65, but the heat still is kicking in once in a while.

Today Started Something Old and yet New

May 3rd, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Well, a while back, I did a lunch challange and it helped me 1. Save Money and 2. Eat Healthy.

For the month of May, 2 coworkers and I are doing a Lunch Challange. There are 20 work days in May. We have challanged ourselves to pack our *HEALTHY* lunches 18 of the next 20 work days. We did set a $1.00 allowance daily to supplement the meals - so if someone wanted milk for their cereal, ect... but I plan on skipping that unless I really, really need to Smile

I'm also trying to curb my soda addiction(AGAIN!) I will drink several throughout a day. I had 2 cans (from home) that I drank at work - there will be NO soda tonight. Hoping to get to 1/day at work for the rest of the week and then go from there.

So today was a no spender. I worked extra hours to be able to flex some of my time on Friday to sit at the hospital while a friend has surgery.

I also was talking about food with some coworkers and I mentioned I was interested in baking my own bread - my manager mentioned she had an unused extra one. So we'll see if she follows through and brings it in. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I turned on the air yesterday mid-day due to it being 88 in the house & extremely humid. I kept the air on overnight and left the air on at 78 while I was gone today. Turned the air off when I came home since it cooled down a bit. Windows are back open and the fan is going!

And I'm going to get back into my 5 Things - I feel so much better when I get something done off my To-Do list, even if its not all of it!

1. Stay on food plan (DONE)
2. Call & reschedule doctors appt (DONE)
3. Make dinner at home & prepack food for tomorrow (Working on it now)
4. Search HOA records for info needed (DONE)
5. Litter box (DONE)

Today's Food:

Breakfast: Granola bar, 1 cup fat free cottage cheese (didnt get to eat the fruit I brought)
Snack: 1 mini bag popcorn
Lunch: LARGE salad with buffalo chicken (grilled)and low fat blue cheese dressing
Snack: Tomato salad
Dinner: Whole grain spaghetti with basil from my plants, tomato sauce & ground turkey with a side of garlic bread

Finally sitting down to enjoy my weekend!

November 29th, 2009 at 12:32 am

Wow! I REALLY cleaned today. With a few breaks here and there (as prescribed by Lux!)

I was able to clean my whole upstairs, scrub the bathroom, organize stuff for goodwill (and loaded up the car with it), do some heavy duty dusting on fans, walls, baseboards & trim. I did 3 loads of laundry (hung 2 to dry).

I also organized paperwork, filed & shredded. Put out a few Christmas items (from the dollar store). And lastly, I am sitting down to watch a movie from the library, maybe read a book or play on the computer.

I accomplished a lot and feel 100% better for having rid myself of a lot of clutter and dust Smile

Tomorrow, I have to drop some items off to my parents, my sister and a friend I borrowed a book from. I will be making a Good Will run and hitting the farmer's market for veggies.

I TENTATIVELY will tackle the basement, which needs to be cleaned, but not organized. However, I'm thinking the chances of that actually happening are pretty low! Haha Smile

Financially, I have my ducks in a row. My Nov 30th budget is done, I found a $4 check to deposit, and am working on keeping my Christmas spending under budget.

I also have an appointment for a part-time job at Macy's on Monday. Just temp work, but I could use it. Also, since the house is superclean, I took some pics of the place & am putting another roommate ad up on Craigslist.

Today's Spending

November 23rd, 2009 at 11:28 pm

$0.55 for a soft pretzel. I was extra hungry today. I also need to restock my snack stash in my work desk Smile

I hit the library after work (free), then the gym (no spending today there), then straight home. I'm about to start dinner: Penne pasta with ground turkey & fresh basil. YUMMM Smile

I have a loose mealplan for the week. All flexible. I won't get much in the way of leftovers, but am planning on buying a turkey & cooking it over the weekend or next week for myself and freezing the extras. Should last me a LONG time!

And as a side note, the weather was so nice this weekend, I was able to have the windows open on Friday. Heat didn't kick back in until last night. Its a nice 64 degrees in the living room. After dinner, I'm spending the night under a blanket & infront of a tv! lol

Today's 5 Things:
1. Library
2. Gym
3. Cook dinner & pack food for tomorrow
4. Pack car with stuff for goodwill
5. Budget for 11/30

Free Stuff This Week

November 18th, 2009 at 01:14 pm

Well, I've been lucky enough to get a few free things this week.

- Several books/movies from the library
- Borrowed movie from friend
- 2 Hershey bars from work as a promotion
- Gummy lolli-pop (friend's leftover Halloween) Am giving to the nephew.

Other updates:

- Heat kicked back in last night. Woke up to a living room of 62 degrees. That was tough this morning as the last week or so has been 67-70!

- Made it out of the pub on $3.00. Had fun, didn't drink a lot and basically spent nothing!

- Water bill came in for the quarter. It went up a bit, but I haven't looked it over to see if increased rates or usage caused it. Roughly $6.00 difference.

- Am working to use the dishwasher less and handwash dishes. Managed to do that the last 2 nights.

- I am working hard on Christmas shopping. I'll share my status on gifts and spending - maybe tonight.

- My goal for the rest of the week (Wed through Friday) will be no spenders. Definately do-able!

Had a decent weekend, not so good Monday

November 17th, 2009 at 03:21 am

Friday night I stayed in and just rested. I ran around a lot last week and just needed to rest.

Saturday, I went to that friend's book signing. I'm really proud of him. There were a dozen authors/artists at the signing (it was a compilation of short stories for the 30th anniversary of a locally owned bookstore). $18.00 for the book and I managed not to come home with any more than the one Smile

Saturday night, I went out for a friend's birthday. We had fun, but I spent more than I had planned. But not by much.

Yesterday, I got new tires, was told I need a car repair to the tune of $200.00. They didnt try to sell me on getting it done yesterday, so I doubt that they're scamming me. I spent $8 for lunch with mom and around $300 on the tires. Then I went to 2 grocery stores, the dollar store & Kohl's. I got a bunch of groceries and some stuff for Christmas.

Then last night, I organized/prepped my food for the week and watched some old movies borrowed from the library. I'm on a Marilyn Monroe kick right now.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to repeat my $3.00 night out at the pub. I plan on only going for an hour & only taking a little cash with me.

Oh and a bonus - the weather's been awesome here. Heat only kicked on one night last week. Yesterday & today, my living room has been 68-70. Yay for any extra time with the heat off!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I had a ton of problems at work today. Not with work itself, but a system transition that cost me 3 hours of time. I ended up staying a half hour late to finish a project. Booo. I don't get OT, so this time will be comped on Thursday.

After work, I did some grocery shopping at a store right around the corner from work. I skipped the gym and headed home.

Today's 5 Things:
1. Grocery store (DONE)
2. Brown ground turkey with onion, separate into servings & freeze (DONE)
3. Clean kitchen/sweep floor (DONE)
4. Pick up living room (will vaccum tomorrow) (DONE)
5. List 2 items on Craigslist (DONE)

Christmas 2009 Plans

October 22nd, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Well, I have a budget for Christmas. Normally I'm done my shopping by the first week of November, but I'm running late with this vacation coming up. I'm hoping to have it almost all done by November 15th.

I've already ordered some photos that I'm planning on giving from Snapfish at less than 5 cents per photo. I also supported my nephew's school & bought brownie mix at $10 (ripoff!) which I will make & bring into work at the holidays. I also got a great steal on some painted pub glasses for 2 of my friends for $0!

Family Presents: $156.75
Friend Presents: $84.00
Shipping to London for Uncle: $8.00
Gift wrap/Ribbons: $5.00
Cards: $2.00
Work Party: $20.00
Postage: $8.00
Trees: $60.00
Baking: $10.00

TOTAL budget: $353.75 All of which, I have saved and ready to spend!

Today I am taking a night off from being social & I'm getting a few things done around the house. And maybe I'll do a little playing around with clothes to pack for the trip! Lol, I am SOOOO excited.

And in a nice little surprise, the weather warmed up here & I've had the heat off the last two days.

Today's 5 Things:
1. Pay Bills
2. Go through, file & shred paperwork
3. Clean upstairs bath
4. Organize closet
5. Start pre-packing

Tomorrow's 5 Things:

1. Get bloodwork done before work
2. Clean downstairs bath
3. Clean out fridge
4. Do laundry
5. Take deck furniture into basement

Had To Turn the Heat On :(

October 14th, 2009 at 09:21 pm

Well, temps dropped overnight and a big storm is on its way. I came home from work to a 63 degree house. So the heat went on! I'm officially out of the No Heat Challange. BOOOO !

Getting Colder

October 14th, 2009 at 02:13 am

Oh boy, its getting colder. I'm in the fleece pants and have the down comforter on the bed. The kitties are snuggling with me, so I know they are noticing the tempreture changes, lol.

We're expecting a Nor'easter soon and that is going to make things even colder. I may have to turn the heat on, but I am trying to hold off until the last possible second. I think we're in for a very cold winter.

Today's spending was .55 for a soft pretzel and $7.50 for groceries. Tomorrow, I'm hitting a movie with a friend.

OH! And I found the missing $12 from my budget. I forgot about a return credit on a credit card that I no longer use. I'll put that towards my next gas purchase Smile

Today's 5 Things:

1. Meet buddy at gym (DONE - spent 1 hour for strength training and cardio)
2. Grocery store (DONE)
3. Pack food for tomorrow (DONE)
4. Upload photos to send to mom (DONE
5. Start new stretching routine (for flexibility) (DONE)

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays

October 13th, 2009 at 12:23 am

Well, its Monday. I SO can't wait until Friday comes around again!

Today, I skipped the gym and have been chilling at home. We had a big temperature drop today & I'm snuggled up in fleece pants and long sleeve tee & sweater. I'm still hoping to keep the heat off for a while. When I go to bed tonight, I'm putting the down comforter on the bed.

I had a no spender. Packed cheerios for breakfast & pasta salad for lunch. Made a really yummy dinner and have already pre-packed breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.

I did accomplish my 5 Things Today:

1. Reconcile Spending/Budget (DONE)
2. Clear out email Inbox (DONE)
3. Clean kitchen (DONE)
4. Put away laundry (DONE)
5. Plan Meals for this week (DONE)

Meal Plan:

Monday:
Lunch: Pasta Salad
Dinner: Farfalle with tomato sauce

Tuesday:
Lunch: Salad with pasta, soup
Dinner: Taco wrap

Wednesday:
Lunch: Cucumber salad, meatloaf muffin, soup
Dinner: Sloppy joe

Thursday:
Lunch: Salad, meatloaf muffin
Dinner: To be Determined (eating at parents)

Friday:
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: To be determined (possibly eating out)

And I can't believe that NOBODY commented about the dudes in coconut bras in my last post. That was funny to see in person!

Woman with a Plan!

October 5th, 2009 at 04:19 pm

Happy Monday All!

If you haven't already noticed, I am a fan of lists and plans. Following them is always a challange though, because I don't like being told what to do. Even if I'm the one doing the telling! LOL

I have a spending plan, meal plan and workout plan for this week. While at work today, I made a little chart on paper:

MONDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym
Planned Spending: $0.50 library fine
Meals: Pasta salad/Shake N Bake Chicken
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

TUESDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym, Civic Association Meeting
Planned Spending: $8.00 groceries
Meals: Sloppy joe/Tuna Wrap
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

WEDNESDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym
Planned Spending: $0.00
Meals: Tuna sandwich/Pasta with meat sauce
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

THURSDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Park for walking, Nephew's baseball game
Planned Spending: $0.00
Meals: Salad with pasta/Soft taco
Exercise: Park 25 min walk

FRIDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym, Movies
Planned Spending: $10
Meals: Turkey Meatloaf Muffin/Salad with pasta
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

SATURDAY
Planned Activities: Gym, Kennett Brewfest (beer tasting event); Spending night in West Chester
Planned Spending: $15-20 dinner
Meals: Salad & meatloaf for lunch/Dinner out with friends
Exercise: Gym 45 mins in early am.

SUNDAY
Planned Activities: West Chester Chili Cookoff
Planned Spending: $10.00 Cookoff Entrance fee, $5-10 drinks
Meals: Unknown breakfast; chili lunch, salad at home for dinner
Exercise: Walking around cookoff


In other frugal news:

- My heat is still off. I even had the windows open for a few hours yesterday.

- Most of my entertainment (other than planned events) has come in the form of books and movies borrowed from the library & new Fall shows on tv.

- I'm packing all my food for work & saving a bundle

- The addition of exercise into my routine has helped me sleep better and have more energy. Hopefully, in the near future, it will help with some of my health issues.

- The laundry I'm doing tonight will not need the dryer, so all of it will be line dried in the spare room.

Whats going on today & Today's 5 Things

September 29th, 2009 at 01:04 pm

Happy Tuesday! I'm planning on having a No Spend day today, so it should be a good day!

The air/heat are still off at the house. Its been over a month now. The temps started dropping again, but I'm just layering up in the house as needed. Yay Fall!

I packed breakfast (cheerios & banana), snack (banana blueberry muffin) & lunch (pasta salad & carrots). I plan on hitting the gym after work and then staying in tonight to watch the Biggest Loser.

I'm passing on going out to the Pub that I usually go to on Tuesdays. Some of the group dynamics have changed and its just not a fun anymore. It makes me sad, but probably isn't a terrible thing as I wont be drinking or spending money Smile

I talked before about my 5 Things list. Its meant for me to accomplish some goals for the day, but without being overwhelmed by a huge To-Do List. Here are today's 5 Things.

1. Go to the Gym after work
2. Go to the library
3. Finalize budget for pay period starting tomorrow
4. Go through financial paperwork, shred & file as needed
5. Make dinner at home


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