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Stress, Sickness and Job Search, Oh my!

February 18th, 2018 at 03:20 pm

I have been putting so much pressure on myself. The job is ending in May, I currently have unlimited overtime and I personally pressure myself that every hour unworked is $31 (after tax and 401k) 'lost'.

I have been working between 10-20 hours of OT a week, but it just isn't always possible or healthy for me to do.

Two weeks ago, I worked 24 hours of OT. This last week, I was planning 20, but life kept popping up. I started stressing myself out and my anxiety and health made it known.

Monday - I worked 4 hours of OT (because I was able to work remote that day). I also had a panic attack - my first real one versus just high anxiety in about 6 years. Not pleasant.

Tuesday - I worked 2 hours extra. I was fighting a cold and was also prepping for a last minute interview on Wednesday

Wednesday - My very flexible boss let me start work at 6am and end early so that I could go to physical therapy (for a reoccurring issue) and for a 2+ hour interview and still have an evening with my husband for Valentines day. He made steaks at home and it was so nice!

The interview was strange (its been a while) and stressful and I definitely feel that neither of us (the job nor me) were good fits with each other. Still - good practice!

Thursday - I had a horrendous day at work (high maintenance people). My husband was trying to help me and wanted to use a gift card for dinner out. I wasn't feeling my best, but thought getting out was a nice idea, so we had dinner out and when I came home, I couldn't force myself to do any overtime. At this point, I definitely had a cold or something.

Friday - My work announced a 3 hour paid early out for the holiday weekend. Payment of OT changes with this type of perk, so I was already sick and just said "for my health, I am abandoning any goals of OT for this week". My husband was happy to hear that. I was still sick, was able to get out of work at 12 and since I was to pick up my daughter from daycare in the afternoon, I chose to go to the movies.

Took 2.5 hours for myself and watched Black Panther. It was such a good movie!

Brought my daughter home after, my husband made dinner & I went to bed early.

Saturday - I spent the day on the couch or in bed sick. I still was feeling like it was more of a cold/bug than anything else, but I wasn't feeling any better.

Today, I woke up and it was like a truck hit me. I went to the urgent care up the street. An antibiotic and steroid later, my severe sinus and ear infections are being taken care of. $7.50 for copays for the meds. I will get a bill in the mail for the visit later.

Tonight, my husband is going with friends to see the same movie I saw on Friday. My daughter and I are having girls night. That means my behind is planted on the couch watching old episodes of Monk and my 2 year old is playing with some of her Little People toys. I broke out some resale ones I had bought at a deal and was saving for such an occasion. Hours of independent play for her!

Tomorrow is a bank holiday. Technically, we are off work. However, I will likely do a little OT - the only OT I will do this week though. I need to get healthy.

Still on for the job search - Work has given us access to a company that helps with the process and I was able to have my resume reviewed. I also am doing some webinars regarding personal branding, etc and am getting that resume out there!



Payday & Countdown to Christmas

December 14th, 2012 at 05:43 am

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 17th, 2012 at 06:45 pm

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 03:13 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 06:34 am

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 06:57 am

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 12:35 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 08:38 am

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!)