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Payday & Countdown to Christmas

December 14th, 2012 at 01:43 pm

Today was payday and after the expected bills were paid out of this paycheck, I was able to:

-Put $5 into my gas sinking fund (for extra gas usage in summer). Any leftover at the end of the month goes in there too

-put $48 into my emergency fund ING account

-set aside $120 for groceries for the 14th through 31st envelope

-put $190 for entertainment expenses 14th-31st envelope

-have $140 left of my Christmas budget for last minute gifts & items to bring to parties

-$20 in toiletries envelope

-$20 in the pets envelope

- leave $45 in checking for gas for this pay period

The entertainment & groceries is where I really go astray, so I plan on working hard to be able to stick to to the budget. I plan on NOT going over!

On that note, I know tonight is date night. I have a $25 groupon for a local pub where the BF & I will have dinner & a drink. I am hoping to not go over $10 out of pocket

Tomorrow, we are decorating for CHristmas, watching Christmas movies & in the evening going to see his nephew in a play ($10 ticket). I am planning on making breakfast, lunch & dinner at home.

Sunday, I am doing a dollar store run with my girlfriend...we get excited about all the holiday stuff there & its a tradition. $10 of my CHristmas budget is earmarked for it. We will also do brunch on a groupon that I have. I am hoping to get out of brunch with $10 out of pocket.

Monday night, I am doing Trivia at a bar with some friends. 1/2 price pizza and free trivia. I earmarked $25 for this.

Wednesday night, I am having dinner with another good friend & exchanging our gifts. We are doing $5 burgers at a local pub that does EXCELLENT Burgers! I earmarked $10 as I won't drink and will probably order water.

Thursday night, the boyfriend is taking me to a CHristmas Burlesque show. We saw this troup a few months ago & loved the show. He splurged for the tickets, so I will pay for the drinks there. Probably looking at $30-40 there.

Next Friday, Saturday & Sunday are up in the air for plans and the following week will be Christmas. I think we'll be doing a happy hour with friends at some point & I was thinking of seeing if another set of friends wants to come over for brunch to do our gift exchange.

So there is little wiggle room in my entertainment budget, but I am happy to not spend on eating in the work cafe or having fast food to have the experience and time with friends and at events.

Good & Bad & Good again

September 18th, 2012 at 01:45 am

Friday night, the boyfriend & I had date night in. We rented Battleship off Amazon (for free with my Swagbucks AGC), I made dinner & we had a few drinks & enjoyed ourselves. Pretty frugal

Saturday - we went with my College roommate & her husband to a Brew Fest an hour away near a casino. The tickets were $25 each, but I found a groupon that did 2 tickets, plus $15 in free slot play each for $25 total. So - a savings of $55! We enjoyed ourselves, played our free slot money, enjoyed free sodas after the beer tasting & headed home. Very frugal day...

Until...I dropped my cell phone in the toilet. UGH. I was able to get it out quickly (and this was a clean toilet - hadn't gone yet). I dried off what I could with towels, took the battery out, and when I got home, put it in rice overnight. With the help of Droid forums, I was able to factory reset the phone & it is working again. I am a lucky, lucky woman.

If it had not worked, I would have just used my boyfriend's old phone. I was not putting anymore funds into a cell phone.

Sunday, I went to the Farmer's market, the grocery store and then Weight Watchers. I had HOA stuff to do at home, slept a good part of the day, made a yummy dinner & enjoyed some Netflix.

Today, I had a no spend day - packed healthy & did not go out of bounds Smile

Tomorrow - I have a 6am work call - so hoping to get out of the office a bit early tomorrow!

My physical therapy has ended (insurance will no longer pay). I am doing at home exercises for 2 weeks and if its not better, going back to the foot doc to fight the insurance. Fun

On another insurance note, I am STILl waiting for my $389. I keep calling & as of today, they said the funds will be back in 48 hours. I will believe it when I see it.

New news - Roommate is moving out (it's been a year & my boyfriend & I are ready to live together).

So it will be a weird transitional month, financially as she moves out the 1st weekend in October and I don't have an exact date for when the boyfriend will move in. But it won't be bad, just cash flow tightness.

So for now - pack food as much as possible, frugal activities, selling on craigslist & finishing Christmas stuff with freebies!

Doing well with Freebies & the Free Christmas Challenge

January 14th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Lots of updates. I ran a bunch of errands today - so bunches of spending. Vet (27.99), gas (36.91), Acme,(41.52) Farmer's market(9.14) and Walmart groceries(23.86) and Walmart cat litter (5.36).

I saved $2 at the vet by pointing out a price discrepancy.

I broke out my new crockpot and made BBQ Shredded chicken for dinner tomorrow. Then headed out to my HOA meeting.

I cancelled my plans to hang out at home. I plan on doing some online points earning, laundry and cleaning. All meals were had at home Smile

I have gotten several freebies in 2012:
-2012 pocket calendar
-craft paper from 2 gift wrap rolls
-3 Kindle books (recent ones)
-$10 credit Groupon for shopping locally
-Publix wine bag
-Personalized Valentines Day card
-2 snack bags of chips
-Shoprunner 2 year membership ($79 value)
-1KB memory card

I also have really hadd a good start on my Free Christmas 2012 Challenge: $70 total

-$20 Serve.com checks
-$20 Mastercard promo
-$15 Amazon giftcards from Swagbucks
-$5 amazon giftcard from Bing Rewards
-$5 check from Synovate
-$5 Toys r us rewards

I also have pending:
-$58.15 from Cashcrate
-8,973 points with MyPoints (another 2,000 pending)
-$11.27 Inbox Dollars (need $30 to cash out)

Lots of Bonuses & Deals (LONG - sorry!)

November 28th, 2011 at 02:34 pm

I have been working to earn credit card bonuses, rewards points & points through rewards sites. Any funds earned will go straight to my fund for my sister's upcoming wedding. If any of the rewards (MyPOints) come in gift card form, I will get cards that I can use for necessary items such as groceries and gas and those funds (from the budget) would go to the wedding fund (And debt payoff once that wedding goal is met).

So to help me with this goal, I opened a Bank of America Amex.
-Earned a $50 statement credit for $100 in spending (used for cell phone bill & normal gas spending. [Net $50]
-Earned a $25 credit for spending $26 at a local wine store for Small Business Saturday. Wine will be for Christmas gifts. [$1.00 out of pocket for 2 bottles!]
-Earned a $25 credit for a Target Purchase. I am not heading to Target (at the mall) at this time of year, but I was able to purchase a (needed) mascara online for $5.73 (including shipping) [19.27 Net]
- ALl usage is budgeted & will be paid off within the next 2 weeks

I opened a Citi Dividends card. $200 in rewards for $500 usage.
- I put the remainder of my car insurance on this (and will pay it off from savings) $480
- $29.07 gas (normal budgeted spending)
- *there is another offer I signed up for where if you spend $200 after signing up a Mastercard, by 12/31/11, you can get a $20 Mastercard gift card, but I am not making this a priority to meet

I opened a Citi Preferred card for $100 for $500 spent.
-$206.23 normal spending on card (budgeted & will be paid for in 2 weeks)
-Still need $293.77 but this will be completed by planned spending
-Also signed this one up for the Mastercard deal. I just need to meet that $200 goal by 12/31 (Which I will do since I need to get another $293.77
- At the end, I will get $100 rewards AND a $20 Mastercard gift card

I have been working my MyPoints. Reading every email sent for 5 points per viewing. I also utilized some of their deals.
- Started with 896 balance on 11/25
- Did a survey for 10 points
- Completed 76 searches using the MyPoints toolbar in Nov (earned 90 points)
- Signed up for OpenSky.com through MyPoints (earned 50 points PLUS a $15 credit on the acct for signing up)
- Used $15 credit & free shipping to purchase a soup/salad container for work lunches. $7.00 out of pocket (paid out of entertainment spending). Earned 3,500 in MyPoints for first purchase. (3700 mypoints approx = $25 gift card)
- Opened an ING Sharebuilder acct (Something I wanted to do anyway) By using the MyPoints link, I earned 200 points for opening the acct & will earn 2,000 points with the first transfer. I will be doign that tonight.
- I purchased a magazine subscription for my dad for CHristmas (Planned purchase). I bought 2 years because if the purchase was over $15, I would earn 1,000 My points.
- After all of these earnings hit, I will have 7,746 in points - approx $50 in gift cards!!

I also am working to utilize Swagbucks more. I am a new member, but have about 123 in points between searches, toolbards, daily polls and more searches. I will be keeping this up!

In other news, all my CHristmas shopping is done - except 1 gift for my boyfriend and the Christmas tree itself. So woot!

The BF's bday is this week and we are going out in town tomorrow night with friends for his bday. I will be driving about 45 mins each way for the group (Designated Driver) and using up gas (Budgeted for) plus paying for parking $20 and part of his meal (approx $40 out altogether). Wednesday, we are going out with his sister & different friends (hoping to keep the bill around $30). Thursday is dinner with his family - he chose Olive Garden. Which is great, since I have that free $50 gift card. I can cover both our meals PLUS some of the family's.

As for the Lunch Challenge, I packed all of my food for today. Breakfast, lunch & snacks. Lunch is actually pasta salad leftover from the boyfriend's THanksgiving. He even packed it up for me! LOL

Additionally - I should add that I UNFRUGALLY lost my cell phone in October. I frugally borrowed my friends old one for 2 months until my contract is up for renewal 12/28. And on Friday, there was a groupon for $25 (I had a $10 credit, so it was $15 out of pocket). For that Groupon, PLUS $35 activation, I can get a Droid X or X2 once my contract is up in December. Compared to what my friend just paid for upping her contract & getting a Droid, I am definitely making out on the deal!

Today's 5 Things: are actually more than 5
-Complete Sharebuilder trade
-update budget for 11/30
-MyPoints & Swagbucks sites
-WD40 Front Door
-Make dinner at home, lunch for Tues/Wed
-CLean kitchen, wipe counters & vacuum floor
-Pickup Living Room
-Gather library movies to return
-Finish laundry & put away
-Clean bedroom
-Unclog bathtub drain
-Unclog upstairs bath sink drain
-Wipe bathroom counters, tub & toilet, vacuum floor
-Play on the internet
-Pack night clothes for BF's bday, work clothes for Wednesday
-Portion medicines to keep at work & at boyfriends (Have to take thyroid meds & vitamins &Missing them REALLY screws me up)

To Do List, Finanacials, Goodies, Updates

November 11th, 2011 at 02:57 pm

I have to confess, I have been financially irresponsible lately. I have to get back on track. So part of that is being on this site more & being accountable to myself Smile

So in random form, here are some thoughts/lists.

-I am having a game night tomorrow night. Total out of pocket approx $50 as I am stocking up my liquor cabinet and making lots of food. Utilizing my freezer/pantry for the food as much as possible. Games already owned and a good time will be had by all Smile

- Sunday, for the friends dinner that I have, I am in charge of the sides. I will be supplying a salad, so out of pocket approx $8 (including bringing over some dressings)

-I just received a free gift from Clinque for a purchase I made. I have been having terrible breakouts, so I am going back to buying Clinique face wash. Worth it if my skin calms down Smile The free gift included a makeup bag (Very cute), a mini makeup bag, a 1oz cleanser (perfect for travel & can be refilled), .5 oz moisterizer with SPF20, regular size lipstick (In a color I like), regular size eye liner (on my to-buy list anyway), a travel mascara (in the color I wear), a full size eye shadow kit in colors I can wear, and 4 perfume samples (again perfect for travel). Over $50 value & I just restocked most of the needs I had for makeup Smile

- I received a call that Olive Garden is sending me a gift card (Amount unknown) for the trouble with a pre-authorization of $99 going onto my account. The charge never went through, but it was inconvenient.

- I am reinstituting my Lunch Challenge for myself, although I did terrible this week. My goal is NO out of pocket spending for food/drink at work for the rest of the month

-I plan on finishing Christmas shopping in the next two weeks. All in cash!

-I scored some deals from Acme. They have a little Holiday Book by their ads in the store. In it are coupons for things like $1.00 off 1 Acme brand (Everyday Essentials) pasta and 1 EE pasta sauce. I was able to snag both for $1.89 after coupon. I will be going back today for another set. Its never bad to have pasta stuff in the house! I also got 3 cans of Acme fruit for $2.00 total (After $1 off coupon). They have also had a lot of register rebates lately & I will be using them as I have about $3-4 left of those.

-I have a few returns to make - a non-working alarm clock to Target & a pair of shorts to Walmart

-The roommate situation is working out great. She actually contributes to things like paper towels & tp and CLEANS. None of the previous roommates did any of that Smile

-I got a $15 parking ticket for not feeding the meter enough when I got stuck inside the pharmacy earlier this week. I will have to pay it

-Dyed my hair at home instead of paying for color in a store. I have gotten SO many compliments, I am definitely going to keep this up. $4.99 for the box after coupon.

-Used a Deals Voucher for $10 to Fulton Paper. I make jello shots on a regular basis for parties, ect and use a particular type of plastic cup. I was able to use the voucher for 4 sleeves of the cups, 2 gift bags and 4 boxes to be used for gifts of fudge. I still have another $10 voucher to be used by next year. OOP for the 2 vouchers was $10 (and bought months ago)

-Itemized all of my stockpile in the bathroom cabinet. I have a ton of freebie samples of bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body washes and lotions. I am trying to use up most of them as well as some of the travel sized stuff I have recently scored for free. I do plan on leaving enough to carry me through a few weekends of travel though!

-I itemized any freebies/rewards that have to be used. Did the same with coupons Smile

-Plan on looking into cheaper cat food. The cats have crystals and one is overweight, so I have them both on Hill's Prescription Weight Diet. But its expensive. Will be looking into non-prescription alternatives.

- I just got a 20% off ANYTHING at Kohl's. Might hit up their clearance for some gifts. (Will use Christmas cash - no additional unplanned spending)

- I need to be in a financial lockdown. So the budget is getting tightened. I want to pay down debt, control spending and just get back to my financial goals. I am a little ashamed I have gotten out of hand. But I can say for sure that I am turning a corner Smile

Back from Germany!

September 25th, 2011 at 07:35 pm

The trip to Oktoberfest in Munich & to Amsterdam was phenominal. Came in under 'budget', but unfortunately some of the trip still went on a card. This was a splurge that I financially shouldn't have done, but mentally/emotionally, I needed.

I am home now & back to living frugally. I did buy fast food dinner on the way home from the airport Friday night.

Saturday, I had lunch with my parents at Olive Garden ($10) and completed some grocery shopping (approx $27).

Today, I went to the Farmer's Market and spent about $17 on TONS of fresh produce. I went to an Arbonne party at my sister's house (free food) and may buy 1 item at 50% off ($9.00). I will make the purchase tomorrow. And for going to the party, I received a set of make up brushes (which is actually needed).

As for the trip, I did come home with some toiletries. I found the complimentary body wash & shampoos in the (CLEAN/EMPTY) trash can in the hotel room - so I took them. All brand new, no reason to toss!

I am eating at home today, catching up on DVR'd shows & enjoying getting the house in order.

My roommate is moving out today & the new roommate is moving in Thursday-ish. She already gave me the deposit money & will provide the rent on her move in date.

I have goals for this week: $20 in entertainment money & I plan on packing breakfast/lunch/snacks for each work day this week. NO uncessary spending!

I plan on getting pictures uploaded tonight - expect some fun ones!

Coming off a 10 day Staycation!

August 15th, 2011 at 03:38 pm

So I was on vacation all last week, plus the prior Friday. My big vacation trip is next month (Oktoberfest in Germany!) So this vacation was very low key.

Friday the 5th, I had lunch with my parents (free) & my nephew, mowed their lawn & vegged at home that night. WAtched a few movies off Netflix/from the library

Saturday the 6th - I went to a winery for an event. $10 to get in, $8.00 for a specialty drink & $15 to purchase a bottle of wine. I packed food and my friends & I shared a picnic, enjoyed the band & scenery.

SUnday the 7th - BBQ at the boyfriend's and then watched True Blood with friends.

Monday the 8th - Lunch with my college roommate and her daughter (free - Since her daughter's 3, I went to their house for sandwiches. I brought cookies leftover from the winery picnic). In the afternoon, I went canoing with my nephew (age 10). It was a very uncoordinated, but FUN effort ($3 to get into the park, $8 for the rental.) I Stayed in that night & did some cleaning.

Tuesday the 9th - Went for a 2 hour hike & picnic with 3 friends & a dog Smile It was beautiful weather. THat evening, I met another friend for 2 for 1 tickets at the movies ($6.00 total for both tickets) and then half price burgers at a local restaurant ($5-ish)

Wednesday the 10th - Saw the Help with friends. Read the book, loved the movie ($8)! We went out to lunch after ($15). THat evening, my boyfriend came over & we watched a movie from the library.

Thursday the 11th - Ran errands, packed & left for the beach. My boyfriend's roommate had invited 8 of us down to his parent's beach house. BF & roommate had to work Friday, but it was from home, so they could do that at the beach. I spent about $35 on alcohol to contribute to the parties. The host's mom had been at the beach house earlier in the day & had left us chicken & beef stew for diner, so no cooking!)

Friday the 12th - while the boys worked, the rest of us had a light breakfast, then played tennis at the community's court (Free). We then went to the pool (free), ordered lunch ($8 for a sub) and hung around. THat evening, we made tacos & played board games (I had brought 2). We made some drinks, played some music, danced around and just had tons of fun. We had several cameras & videos going Smile

SAturday the 13th - We made a big breakfast, slept in. After breakfast people split up - some went to the beach, some the tennis courts, I stayed and had a much needed nap! Haha. Afterwards, I went to the pool & read for a while. That night, we got dolled up & went to the resort town at the beach. Cabbed it in & back, but had a blast!

Sunday, we had a leisurely breakfast, then all headed home except for the boyfriend & I. We were meeting one of his friends for lunch about a half hour away. We had a drink at the bar while waiting, then we got a call that the friend & her husband were stuck in traffic. So we ended up having lunch & leaving. It was nice ($40)

That night, we went back to the boyfriends for our weekly True Blood Dinner. We were all too tired to cook, so we ordered in. BF paid for dinner as I picked up the lunch tab Wink

Today, I am back to work with a HUMUNGOUS to-do list. Instead of 5 THings, I need to get about 15 done. And I am going to make it work! haha.

1. HOA chores (Est 1/2 hour of time needed)
2. Rent free movie from redbox promo [DONE]
3. Email about mypoints to friend, email friend of a friend about possibly renting the spare room when this roommate moves out at the end of next month [DONE and DONE]
4. Budget (today was payday)
5. Grocery shop [DONE]
6. Make meal plan [DONE]
7. Find passport in paperwork
8. Laundry-wash bathroom rugs [DONE]
9. Clean bedroom
10. Clean, polish furniture in basement. take pictures for sale
11. Xmas plan (Update budget)
12. Pack gym bag & library bag
13. Make lunch for tomorrow and prep for other lunches [DONE]
14. Change cat litter
15. Watch Redbox movie [DONE]
16. Grab coupons & magazines from Mom's house [DONE]
17. Post mail
18. MyPoints - get points, refer friends [DONE]
19. Clear Home Email [DONE]
20. Research breadmaker
21. Sort stuff for GoodWill [DONE]
22. Take inventory of stuff roommate left behind
23.
Lastly: Get to bed early (Ha!)

Been a Long Time, My Friends!

May 19th, 2011 at 12:58 am

Hello everyone, I am so sorry I've been MIA. A lot has happened in the last few months. Some good, some bad. Most recently:

My health has gotten better (YAY)
My finances have gotten worse (BOO)
I am now seeing someone (YAY)
Work is getting stressful because of pettiness (BOO)
I bought a roku box - so now I can stream netflix - which was really important when I was practically stuck in bed every day. (yay)
Netflix has a monthly fee (boo)
I just had a birthday (the big 32) and a party (YAY)
I am overall happy (YAY)

I plan on taking stock of my finances - but I know that my debt has increased instead of decreasing. Partially due to medical expenses, partly due to not dealing with things while sick and partly due to laziness. So I am getting back on track!

I hope everyone is doing well - I see some new names around here & am glad to be back on board with frugality and to be working to payoff debt. I am mad at myself for letting it increase, but I will not dwell on it. I just plan to move forward.

I also have a HUGE list of to-dos. So I am going to be reinstating my 5 Things rule. I will knock 5 things off my list a day, no matter how big or small Smile

Today's 5 Things:
1. Post on Saving Advice (done)
2. Pay bills (done)
3. Pick up stuff from library (done)
4. Make dinner at home (done)
5. Meet with HOA secretary & sign some checks (DONE)

Another No Spender!

January 18th, 2011 at 12:05 am

Today was a no spender! I packed food for work & came straight home after to put my feet up. Tomorrow will be a spend day as I need gas & to pick up some groceries.

The new roommate moved in today. He didn't have a lot of stuff, but will be moving the rest in this weekend. I helped him carry stuff in & he set things up & ran to the store to get some supplies.

While he was gone, I made a tuna sandwich & packed some food for tomorrow.

Financially, I am doing ok. I have $59 and change left of the grocery budget. This has to cover this week's food, this weekend, next week & next weekend. Unfortunately, I am spending more on veggies & dairy & other healthy stuff, so I have to really make that budget stretch, but its doable.

In the entertainment budget, I have $40. I plan on doing my normal Tuesday outing ($10). I might try to see a movie with my mom next week ($10) and who knows what else.

I also have LOTS of upcoming medical expenses. I have tests & need to see a specialist on Wednesday. Next week I see my family doc. The week after that, I have a dentist appointment and the week after that I have a follow up appointment to do another test. Ugh, just thinking about all of those copays! Oh well, I have my HSA replenished Smile

2 No Spenders, then some spending

January 7th, 2011 at 03:14 pm

Yesterday was a no spender as well. I had planned on going to my book club & buying a drink while I was out, but I wasn't feeling good, so I cancelled.

I stayed home & watched cable movies & cleaned the living room. The bonus for having to clean the house prior to the potential roommate coming this afternoon is that all my weekend cleaning is already DONE! LOL

Today, I woke up to snow! I knew we might get some, but I wasn't expecting a couple of inches to already be down when I woke up. Because I was unprepared for the snow, I spent the time I would have spent putting my lunch together, shovelling snow. So I brought lunch, but bought breakfast when I got to work $2.05. Not too bad, but its so early in the month to have used my 2 Lunch Challange freebie days.

After work today, I am running to the library (have to pick up stuff & pay fines). I am showing the house to the potential roommate at 4:30 today then I have a completely free weekend!

Tonight, I am staying in with library movies.
Tomorrow, afternoon & evening, I have my nephew coming over
SUnday will be a laundry day. I might see if my mom wants to go to the new JB Dawsons for lunch. I have a $15 off $25 coupon there.

Today's 5 Things to do are:

1. Go to library
2. Set up Craigslist meets to sell dvds
3. Show house to potential roommate
4. Organize stuff for HOA meeting Monday
5. Take down all Christmas ornaments & prep tree to be taken to be recycled tomorrow

No breakfast/lunch bought: 5 of 7 days.
No spenders: 2 out of 7 days

Day 1 of Lunch Challange, Meal Plan & Entertainment budget

January 3rd, 2011 at 07:34 pm

I packed my breakfast, lunch & drinks for work today. 1 down, 20 to go! lol

I made a mealplan for the week.

Breakfasts will consist of one or more of the following: yogurt, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs and animal crackers.

Snacks are animal crackers, popcorn, veggies & dip or pretzels & drip

Lunches:
Monday - salad with tuna
Tuesday - peanut butter & crackers
Wednesday - salad with tuna & pasta
Thursday - salad with pasta
Friday - tuna sandwich
Saturday - tuna sandwich
Sunday - pasta salad

Dinners:
Monday - Baked potato & salad
Tuesday - Sloppy joe over egg noodles
Wednesday - meatloaf muffins & baked fries
Thursday - Pasta with meat sauce
Friday - pasta with meat sauce
Saturday - to be determined
Sunday - to be determined

I also have an entertainment plan for this pay period. I have a strict budget of $40.00 to last me until January 15th.

Monday 1/3 - no money spent except for gas and poss groceries
Tuesday 1/4 - $5.00 - 1 beer out with friends at the pub
Wednesday 1/5 - no spender
Thursday 1/6 - $5.00 - book club at restaurant. Will eat dinner before I go & just have a beer there
Friday 1/7 - Nephew spending the night and watching library movies
Saturday 1/8 - Up in the air. Likely to be taking tree to be recycled & deep cleaning the house
Sunday 1/9 - Up in the air.

Next Monday 1/10 -
Next Tuesday 1/11 - $10.00 pub night
Next Wednesday 1/12 - Dinner with friends $10.00
Next Thursday 1/13 -
Next Friday 1/14 - Horror movie night with friends (FREE)

And lastly, today's 5 Things are:

1. Confirming referral for doctors procedure this month (DONE)
2. Get gas (DONE)
3. Compile Price list of items donated to GoodWill in 2010 (SKIPPED)
4. Pack food for Tuesday and Wednesday (DONE)
5. Make eye doctor appointment (DONE)

Spendy, Spendy 2 Days and Weekend To Dos

December 18th, 2010 at 01:54 am

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.

Frugal Weekend and Christmas stuff

December 12th, 2010 at 02:54 pm

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

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)

Busy Weekend, gonna be a busy week!

August 30th, 2010 at 02:08 pm

Well, this weekend was busy. In addition to all the social activities that I had planned - picnic Sat & BBQ Sunday, I also managed to get some things done around the house.

I also want to share that I went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with life actors, yelling things at the screen and throwing toast. Its a weekly tradition for years at a small movie theater near the university. I have never gone, but impulsively, a friend & I decided to go.

Paid $5.25 for the ticket, $1 for a bag of goodies to throw and $2.00 for a drink. There was lots of audience participation, weirdos to watch and general craziness. Very fun and unique experience.

Sunday, I did some cleaning and yard work. Managed to pull up some weeks in between my deck & my neighbors. I let it get out of hand this year. Ended up with several bags of yard waste, which I promptly took to the yard waste drop site (Free). By state law, I would have to have paid extra to have yard waste picked up by my garbage company. Dropping off is free, but messy. So now I need to vacuum out the trunk of my car Smile

This week will be busy. I have scheduled at least 4 days this week of working out/walking. I have plans to see a movie with my dad, go to my weekly pub night and have a girls night in with an old friend. And all of that is BEFORE next weekend starts!

I packed lunch today, breakfast & snacks. I'm hoping today will be a no spender.

And I am going back to my 5 Things list. To recap, I always have a large TO-DO list going. It seems never ending, so I have determined that getting just 5 things done of the list is an accomplishment and managable

Today's 5 Things:

1. MAke call to wellness program for a free 'session'
2. Finalize budget for payday. This includes a grocery budget and meal plan
3. Change sheets on bed
4. WAlk or hit the gym depending on weather
5. Pack food for Tuesday, eat dinner at home.

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!

Cash-strapped, yet taking a small vacation

August 5th, 2010 at 12:12 am

I've had plans in place for a year to take a couple days down at the beach with my best friends. We will rent hotel rooms for 2 nights and unfortunately because of scheduling conflicts, we've changed the date around and are not really getting a good deal on prices. But this is really important to me (isn't everything that I WANT? lol).

I have cash to pay it, but thats a few hundred dollars that really could be going to my debt. So I am working to sell some things on Craigslist to help suppliment the debt.

I have listed about 10 things & have sold 1 so far. None are truly big items though. What I sold today, was an Ikea lamp that I paid $15.00 for and got a good 7 or 8 years out of. I sold it for $5.00 cash.

I also have someone coming to pick up 2 dvd sets tomorrow night and a graphing calculator. They would be worth more on ebay, but I have a definite hate on for ebay after being scammed. So I will take the cash & if the person who purchases makes a profit, so be it Smile I should get $16 for the dvds and $25 for the calculator.

The calculator was an expensive purchase in 1996. I used that thing through high school, college and grad school and its been sitting in a drawer for the last 5 years. So I definitely used up the original cost!

I also have a duvet cover set, more dvds, a scientific calculator, some picture frames, a wireless router and a cookie press. I have a bite on the cookie press, so hopefully I can sell that tomorrow too ($10.00).

I have made a budget for the mini-vacation. We are planning on doing some costly activities - renting jet skis and doing parasailing. I have researched & found the best prices and coupons, but I hope to still be able to do both. At the very least, I'd skip the jet skis and just do the parasailing.

In the meantime, I have $5.00 in my entertainment fund & roughly $25.00 in grocery money.

Book club is tomorrow night (which is always held in a restaurant), I plan on ordering a soda and with tip, that will take most of my $5.00

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!

Rainy Lazy Saturday & Roommate security

July 10th, 2010 at 06:04 pm

Its pouring out and after 2 weeks of 90-100 degree weather, its much needed. Because of the extreme heat, the ground is not prepared for so much rain & I will be checking the basement for water. Although my basement is pretty well sealed, it never hurts to keep an eye on it.

Since its raining, I decided to put my errands on hold & will be going for veggies tomorrow. Tonight I'm heading to a friend's house for movies & bbq. I will bring some type of side, but it will be from the pantry and today will be a no spender!

As for the roommate situation - she paid her 2nd months rent early (yay) and she's been an awesome roommate. I don't have to worry about her moving out too quickly (last roomate stayed 4 months) She's brought a lot of furniture & worked to make the bedroom hers. I'm glad to see she's settling in and it appears for the long haul. So this way, I have steady rental income. Makes me feel VERY good, espectially with the added car expense.

Hope everyone enjoys their Saturday!

Don't Want the Weekend to End!

June 27th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Had a good relaxing weekend! Got a lot of things done yesterday, including finishing updating the downstairs bathroom. I still have to put baseboards on, but I'm waiting to have a little more cash to do that. It really won't cost much, but I have a lot of one-off expenses in the next month. I hope to put up pics of the bathroom tomorrow.

In addition, to what I already accomplished yesterday, I watched some movies, created a budget for the next payday (Wed), made cookies, made a big thing of pasta salad, planned my meals, did some gardening, cleaned up the cat area and got my hair cut.

My mom stopped by to see the bathroom & the hair - I got about 7 inches off. Not loving the cut, but the hairdresser did what I asked - I just impulsively asked her to cut it to my shoulders.

Tonight, I'm watching redbox movies (to be returned before 9 tonight). I will catch up on True Blood at 9 & am in bed by 10.

Monday, Tuesday & Wed should be no spenders. I'm hoping anyway Smile

Weekend $$$ Plans

June 25th, 2010 at 01:21 am

I have a tight budget for the weekend. I'm going to a girls only product party Friday night. I have $20 and a bottle of wine (recycled gift). I will buy 1 small item to support my friend, but thats it. Afterwards, I'm staying behind and we (my friend, her daughter & I are watching a horror movie).

Saturday & Sunday, I have absolutely NO plans. My goals are:

1. Walk or hit the gym each day (FREE)
2. Finish painting the downstairs bath - have to paint the ceiling (FREE - have all the supplies)
3. Put up toilet paper & towel racks as well as mirror in downstairs bath (FREE - already purchased)
3. Replant some basil plants from medium to larger pots (FREE- reusing pots, using leftover soil)
4. Clean the house (FREE)
5. Grocery shop - Budgeted
6. Hit Barnes & Noble - still have not spent my gift card & I want to pick up the new Janet Evanovich book if its out (FREE with bday gift card)
7. Watch movies from library (FREE)
8. Read books from library (FREE)
9. Make a few new recipes (FREE-ish)
10. Organize all the junk in my bedroom closet (FREE)

What I am currently borrowing from the library

June 21st, 2010 at 06:43 pm

I am a library lover. The librarians know me by sight, one knows me by name. I wore out the keychain library card I had - they have been unable to scan it for 6 months and then it fell apart altogether 2 weeks ago. I even had my library card # memorized. And I've already done the same with the new card #. So yes, I use the library a lot!

I like to borrow books, movies, books on tape, cds, all kinds of fun things. I"ve heard some libraries have video games to borrow, but I haven't seen that in my library yet.

What I currently have on loan:

DVDs -

Agatha Christie's Seven Dials dvd
Angel Season 3 discs 3 & 4 on dvd
Jennifer's body on dvd
The original Stepford Wives dvd

Books -
Good Housekeeping light and Healthy cookbook
Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

Free ballgame

June 18th, 2010 at 01:06 am

I went to my nephew's Little League playoff game. They had lost the last one and this is a double elimination tournement, so it was very important they win tonight.

The game was really cut-throat. The other team's managers were actually being a little shady - trying to influence the ump and insisting that a base coach pushed a kid when in reality, he patted him on the back to keep running (causing the kid to be out). I understand there are rules, but the coach - a grown man- practically had a hissy fit.

Still, the game was close, tied 8-8, went into an extra inning, we went up 3 points & then our pitcher closed out their batters, winning the game.

It was great! I took a chair & a snack and sat with my mom and my sister, screaming my head off. Very frugal outing.

And I found out my nephew is doing baseball camps this summer. 2 weeks for 5 hours a day for a total of $330. I pledged $15 towards it since I'm on such a tight budget this month.


Oh, and as a lunch challange update - I am holding steady - 1 breakfast bought & 1 snack. Woohoo

Payday

June 16th, 2010 at 03:12 am

Today was payday. I paid my car insurance, funded some savings accounts, paid for my gym membership & set up the rest of my budget.

I have a $49.24 Entertainment budget to last from today until the 30th.

Today I went to my nephew's baseball game (free) and met some friends at my Tuesday Pub night. Played darts & had 1 beer. Total $5.00 for 2 hours of fun.

Tomorrow - I am meeting friends for a walk at a local park (FREE)

Thursday - I am meeting different friends for a walk at a different park (FREE)

Friday - I am going over a friends for horror movie night. I'll need to bring a snack & we already own the movies. Expected spending ($5.00?)

Saturday or Sunday, I might see a friend in a local company's rendition of Willy Wonka. I think tickets are like $18.00, and I'm not 100% sure if I'm going.

I'm hoping to buy paint for the downstairs bath tomorrow and start the painting this weekend. I really can't wait for the 'makeover' to be over!

Recovering this morning :)

June 6th, 2010 at 02:36 pm

Last night was a blast. One friend bailed, but the other & I went out and had an awesome time!

I provided snacks ahead of time. Made my own bruschetta with stuff from my garden & the farmer's market. And put out some crackers & had beer leftover from the party. So we had a pre-event party with no money (outside normal groceries) spent, nice!

The event itself was awesome! We had a great time and had a few beers and split some fries. With tip, I spent $31.48. So I went over my entertainment budget for this month, but took $5.00 from my grocery budget, so I now have $0.08 to last me until the 15th. This should be fun!

I'm going to put up a couple of things on craigslist. If I get extra money, then I can use 1/2 for entertainment!

Today will be a lazy day. I plan on taking a walk, doing some laundry, and prepping food for this week's lunches. All will be free!

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

June 5th, 2010 at 03:25 pm

Haha - now I have that song in my head! Well, today is Saturday and I have a big girls night out planned. My two good friends conned me into going to a male review at a local bar. Tickets were $14 and there will be drinks to buy when we are there.

To help keep spending low, I invited them over for some pre-event drinks. No money out of pocket since I have beer & margarita mix left from my last party.

I have exactly $22.56 left in my entertainment budget. This is tough becuase that could all be spent tonight & then I'd have nothing again til the 15th. So even though this is against my goals, I'm probably going to have to finagle some funds from my grocery budget to put a little more into enteratinment. Boooo.

Tomorrow should be a no spender, I'm planning on doing some yardwork & hanging out around the house.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Great start to the weekend!

May 29th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

So I found some extra money in my budget & upped my entertainment budget from 5/28-6/14 to be $104.19. Which is good, because 2 days in & I've already used a LOT of it.

Last night, I had dinner at home, then met friends at a bar for drinks. They had dinner, I stuck to my one beer. Total $6.00.

Today, I got sandwiches from Subway ($10), waters & snacks ($3.17) for my friend and I, grabbed some beer leftover from my last party, packed a cooler and headed to some horse races. $15 to get in, we set up a table, had our drinks and sandwiches in a cooler, sat on a blanket and watched horse races, while playing games in the sun.

There were some promotional tents set up and I scored a small reusable grocery bag and 2 travel size sunscreens. Fun!

Tonight, I am watching tv/dvds that I have at home. I declined going out and am ready to enjoy a nice meal at home.

It's been very hot out and I've been able to resist turning the heat on with the help of ceiling fans. Yay!!

Upcoming social expenses

May 27th, 2010 at 05:47 pm

Well, I had hoped this weekend was going to be a total stay at home and get stuff done weekend. But of course, its not. Darn me for being so social! ha

Tonight, I have a work happy hour for a higher up that is being promoted. Should be fun & it doesn't hurt to schmooze. (Estimated spending,including some food, $15.00)

Then off to a 2nd bar where my sister is hosting a little birthday celebration for her boyfriend. I am planning on buying them both a shot. (Estimated $15.00)

Friday is a friend's birthday at a local brewery. PLan on eating at home, but will have a beer or 2 ($10) Also need to get a bday gift ($25)

Saturday, I'm driving to the next state with some friends for horseraces. All day event, $15 to get in, plus food/drinks that we can bring as well (estimated $30)

Sunday, my sister is having a bbq. I'm brining a veggie tray - (est spending $7 for veggies & dip)

Monday - a TRUE day off! I plan on hitting the gym & maybe starting to get my downstairs bath ready to paint. Hopefully no spending is needed.

Next week, I have another happy hour (I swear I don't drink a lot!) on Wednesday and a potential date Thurs or Friday.

Also, thanks to those who commented on my June Lunch Challange post! I will repost an invite on Monday to see if anyone else wants to join, or comment!


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