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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!

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

Roommates, food freebies & freezer (long & probably boring)

September 30th, 2011 at 03:53 pm

Happy Friday All! It's been a stressful week and I am looking forward to some relaxing this weekend.

Today was payday, so I budgeted out everything:

In cash, I have:
$40.00 towards Wine Tour
$77.49 towards Groceries
$90.00 Entertainment spending

I paid some bills:
Mortgage
Electric
Reimbursed mom for some Halloween Decorations

And I bought Groceries
-Acme $5.49
-Farmer's Market $10.30
-Walmart $29.46

My manager let us out early (WOOO) and I was able to get all my errands done & get home by 2:30. I had time to clean my room, prep food for the wine tour tomorrow, clean the bathroom and help the new roommate move a dresser upstairs. She has her stuff here, but will start actually living here tomorrow.

Once she left, my previous roommate came by & picked up the last of her stuff. She gave me the $75.00 she owed me and the keys. I did an inspection and found that she left a couple of things:

-1/2 bottle of Pino Grigio
-1 clean tupperware bowl & lid
-a bunch of salad dressings (1/2 used)
-1/2 jar of vodka sauce
-protein shake
-1 full large, unopened bottle of V8 Splash
-3 bags of frozen mixed veggies
-1 bag frozen steamer red potatoes
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-1 lb ground turkey burgers (frozen)
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-1 bag Tyson grilled chicken strips
-2 opened 1/2 full bags of veggies

Most of it usable - I will get rid of the opened veggies (freezer burn), vodka sauce & some of the dressings - but all the freezer food is good and healthy! So Yay Freebies. I then had to move all the food around in the freeze to free up 1/2 the space for the new roomie.

And since I did that, I took a freezer inventory: (boring, I know - but its really good for planning)

-1 1/2 bags turkey pepperoni
-2 - 4packs of breaded chicken patties
-6 servings chicken breast
-4 frozen turkey burgers
-1 container lime sherbert
-4 tilapia fillets
-2 1/2 bags Morningstar crumbles
-1/2 loaf bread
-4 veggie burgers
-4 servings turkey bacon
-1 bag no sugar added strawberries
-1 bag no sugar added blueberries
-1 bag broccoli
-1 pint blueberries
-8 bagel thins
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-3 bags mixed veggies
-1 bag grilled chicken strips
-4 pack water ice
-9 meatloaf muffins
-4 servings sloppy joe
-3 cinnimon raisin bagel thins

The rest of my night will be dinner, making the rest of food for the wine tour tomorrow, cleaning up the kitchen & dusting/vaccuming the empty room. Hope everyone has a good night!

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!

Coupons/GIft cards/Groupons Inventory

September 6th, 2011 at 07:24 am

I took stock ofmy coupons, gift cards & groupons today so that I can utilize them all before expirations. I actually have quite a bit.

-Exp 9/9 - 40% off 1 item at Old NAvy(will be using for a new pair of jeans)
-Exp 9/8 AMC Theater - 50% large drink & popcorn combo (probably will go unused?)
-Exp 9/10 - 40% off 1 item at Joanne Fabrics, another 40% off 1 item at Joanne, 40% off 1 item at Michaels, 40% off 1 item at AC Moore. Will be using for some Christmas projects
-Exp 9/12 - FRee hiphuggers from Victoria's Secret
-Exp 9/27 - Coupon $15 off $25 at JB Dawson's
-Exp 9/29 - Free appetizer or desert at TGI Fridays (No purch necessary)
-Exp 9/30 - Free panty from Victoria's Secret
-Exp 9/30 - $5 off $25, Buy 1 Get 2nd 1/2 off Dinner Entree or $4 off 2 Lunch Entrees at Timothy's Restaurant
-Exp 10/10 - 15% off total TGI Friday order (waiting to see if go there for anything)
-Exp 10/21 - $10.00 off at Victoria's secret
-Exp 10/31 - $1.25 off Jollytime Popcorn
-Exp 11/11 - Wine Tasting for 2 plus wine gift (appt made for 9/11th)
-Exp 11/27 - $20.00 to local restaurant (Groupon OOP- Out of Pocket- was $10)
-Exp 11/30 - 50 cents off Progresso soup
-Exp 9/12/2012 - 10 Kickboxing Classes plus 1 personal training session, plus boxing gloves(Groupon OOP was $40)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $35 to Pats Pizza (Restaurant.com OOP $2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $35 to Pats PIzza (Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $50 to Mona Lisa Restaurant
(Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off 2 Entrees to Public House Bar
(Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-Free Trial 1 week Gym membership
-NO Expiration - $100 in Fandango cash (purchased for $80)

Today, I have to grab cat food from the vet (They have prescription food), and hit the grocery store. I have a potential roommate stopping by tomorrow - so tonight will be dedicated to cleaning.

A lot of the stores are together either inside or outside the mall, so tomorrow night (Wed) after the potential roommate comes to look at the house, I plan on heading back out
-Joanne for Christmas item(s) - decorative boxes & cardstock
-Return shoes to DSW
-Victoria's Secret for free items & to spend the $10
-Michaels to use coupon for Christmas item(s)

Then Friday, when my coupon starts to Old Navy, I will make a return & use the 40% off coupon to buy jeans.

As for the groupons - The wine tasting will be used Sunday the 11th, kickboxing will be set up for after I come back from Germany. Free gym trial will be used at the same time. And the restaurant groupons will be used as wanted since there is no time crunch. ***I Also want to note that I only purchased at places I know I like or want to try - nothing was bought just cause it 'was a deal'. LOL

And I am working to get back to my To-Do List. Today's 5 things off that list are:

1. Pick up cat food & grocery shop
2. Make dinner/premake food for tomorrow
3. Finish laundry
4. HOA chores
5. Clean house - vac/dust living room, change cat litter, clean upstairs bathroom, clean bedroom

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!)

Ok, back for real - with some mistakes

July 18th, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hey all,
I am back again & I have missed you guys. My health is holding steady at good (Yay) but my spending was a bit out of control. I am working on creating a new budget with a strict focus on paying down debt.

Additionally, I am dating someone seriously and I find that I am spending so much more because of it. He is a gentleman and tries to pay most of the time, but I like to do my fair share. I need to start saying no to some things, lol.

And - here's the BIG money mistake - I agreed to do a trip to Germany for Oktoberfest. I was able to get an awesome deal on airfare & lodging. I am working to save funds for the rest of the costs. I only have about 2 months to do that - so part of my plan is to sell some of the furniture that is currently taking space in my basement. I inherited a full dining room set from my aunt & I will never use it, its just not my style. So I am working on cleaning it up, polishing & then selling.

I have lots of goals right now - but I am going to stick to my 5 Things lists. This is where I tackle a minimum of 5 things off my To Do list.

Today will be:
1. Grocery shop
2. Pack food for work tomorrow
3. Put up Craiglist ad for new roommate & email photos to a potential one found already
4. Clean bedroom
5. Have fun on date night with the boyfriend. Movies & Dinner out Smile

Lunches, spending & weekend!

January 21st, 2011 at 08:32 am

I"ve been good about packing breakfast & lunch for work all this week. The only outlier was going to lunch with my parents on Wednesday. But since I had taken a half day off work (only worked til 11:30), I'm not counting that, since I wasn't actually at work for lunch Smile

Wednesday Spending:
$30.00 specialist copay (paid with HSA card)
$10.00 lunch with parents

Thursday Spending:
$4.00 kitchen items from dollar store (sandwich bags, plastic wrap, ect)
$105 medical necessity not covered by HSA/Insurance. UGH. I actually got a deal on this - because the 1 I bought from a local store in November was $75 and I was able to buy 2 for $105 plus free shipping & a free care kit. This purchase should last me about 6 months

Friday Spending - Not sure yet. I will be paying a library fine, approx $0.50. I was thinking about renting a Redbox movie, but it will depend if I find anything good at the library first. Dinner will be at home & I am staying in.

Tomorrow, I might be taking my nephew to see a hockey game. Cost; $10/ticket.

I am SO Ready for the weekend. My roommate has been complaining that his room is cold. It IS colder than my room, but its the front room & I Think the wind just hits it. I sealed the vents so that no heat escaped before getting to the room. I put plastic over the window that he thinks the air is coming in from. I haven't talked to him today, but hopefully he found it to be warmer last night. If not, weatherproofing that room will be part of my weekend plans Wink

Another No Spender!

January 17th, 2011 at 04:05 pm

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

Somebody has a case of the Mondays!

January 17th, 2011 at 06:27 am

And it's definitely me! Lots of people in the office are off today, but I didn't take the day. I'm keeping the floating holiday for another day later on.

Yesterday was a no spender. I was supposed to get together with a friend, but I cancelled due to not feeling well. I stayed on the couch & watched tv and played with the internet.

Today, I packed my breakfast, lunch & snack. I am planning on hitting the library & the dollar store after work, so it won't be a no spender today.

The new roommate ended up not moving in yesterday due to having to attend a funeral. So he will be coming tonight after work. I should have a month & half rent in my hand by tomorrow night. (The 1/2 is a safety deposit).

Today's 5 THings To Do:
1. Call water company & set up appt to replace unit
2. Make & Print rental agreement
3. Library
4. Dollar store
5. Make dinner at home & pack lunch for work tomorrow

Out with the old, in with the new - Roommates!

January 15th, 2011 at 02:34 pm

So my roommate officially moved out yesterday. She left when I was at work, gave back all the keys & paid me what she owed me in cash. She's had a lot of drama in her life, and it didn't affect me too much, but by the end, I was just ready for her to go.

The room is clean, the bathroom is clean. She took all of her stuff, except for 2 small boxes that she put in the basement. Her parents are dropping by at some point to pick it up. I agreed to that since they live 45 mins away & she's moving wayyy out of state.

Unfortunately, she also took all but 1 roll of toilet paper. She bought the last pack of rolls, so I get that. But she even took the roll out of the downstairs bathroom!

On top of that, I noticed that she had used some of my towels & hung them to dry, but did not wash them.

And none of that is too bad compared to some of the horror stories that I have heard, but I was doing some cooking today & opened up my kitchen supplied drawer and found that she took all the bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, ect except for 1 set of sandwich bags & 1 thing of plastic wrap. I bought most of that stuff.

I also noticed she did not replace a baking tray she lent someone & never got back, several of my reusable water bottles are missing and she kept using my plastic containers & loosing them. So seriously? To actively take the tp off the roll?

LOL - whatever! She forgot the (new, nicer) shower head that she installed in the shower & I don't think I'm going to take it down unless she asks for it!

Tomorrow, the new roommate comes. I am doing some light cleaning today, but I'm all set up.

Today, I re-joined Weight Watchers, did some massive grocery shopping & borrowed a large crock pot from my mom. I made a big batch of baked potato soup & a batch of chicken tacos. Yumm!

Free Lunch! and other updates

January 13th, 2011 at 09:37 am

I had a 3 hour meeting that provided pizza for lunch, so no spending there!

I forgot the pizza, so I brought lunch today. Its sitting in my fridge at work, so now I don't have to worry about packing lunch for tomorrow!

My roommate stepped up her moving out date on impulse & there's a good chance that she & all her stuff will be moved out by the time that I get home from work. If she leaves today, she would only owe me 3 days of prorated rent ($45). I hope, but am not 100% confident that she will leave me the money, but if she doesn't, I"m not out too much. If she does not move tonight, she will be moving tomorrow for certain.

The new guy is ready to move in Sunday, and earlier if possible. So the second that I get her moved out, I will give him the ok to move in. He starts his new job Monday, so if he could get into the room on the weekend, it would really work out for him.

Budget-wise, I am finally getting together a 2011 finalized budget. I was waiting to get the net pay to make my zero-based budget. I will be doing that tonight!

Entertainment-wise, I've been eating out a bit. Blew my entertainment budget, but its all good. I am staying in most of the weekend - getting the house organized through the transition between the 2 roommates. I have borrowed several movies from the library including House (Movie, not tv show), Vampires Suck and Grownups.

Lastly, I had a nice surprise at a doctors appt on Monday. I was ready to shell out a $30 copay for the specialist, but it turned out that I had a credit on the account and owed nothing. Yay!

Today's 5 Things:

1. Call water company & set up appt to get new meter installed
2. If roommate has moved out, clean out shared spaces & her bedroom
3. Finalize 2011 monthly budget and Jan 15th budget
4. Unload dishwasher (Which has been sitting with clean dishes for a week)
5. Start reading a new book Smile

2 No Spenders, then some spending

January 7th, 2011 at 07:14 am

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

No Spender and a roommate lead

January 5th, 2011 at 05:27 pm

Today was a no spender. I packed breakfast, lunch & drinks. After work, I headed to the library to pick up some free entertainment (books & movies) and then I got to cleaning the house, because....

I have a roommate lead. It would be temporary, from Feb to September. But the reason for the temporary is good. A friend of mine works an unusual job that has seasons. This post college kid would be interning/working for the season close to my house, but lives out of state. I'm ok with the shorter time frame even though it means getting a new roommate in Sept/Oct. I get a character reference, I'm assured rent because he will have a steady job and the best thing is that he would travel with work & I would have the house to myself from time to time Smile

So after work, I did the following:

-Cleaned my bedroom
-Cleaned the upstairs bathroom
-Washed the bathroom rugs
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Washed the kitchen floor
-put away 1/2 of my Christmas stuff
-changed the cat litter
-vacuumed and mopped the basement
-made dinner
-made tomorrow's food

Tomorrow night, all I have to do is straighten, dust & vacuum the living room and vacuum the stairs & upstairs hall. The guy will be stopping by to see the place after work on Friday.

More Roommate News

December 30th, 2010 at 05:11 am

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

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

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

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

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

January Budget Will Be Challanging

December 29th, 2010 at 05:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spendy, Spendy 2 Days and Weekend To Dos

December 17th, 2010 at 05:54 pm

I ran a lot of errands last night & today.

I spent:

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

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

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

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

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

This weekend, I plan to:

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

I need to hit a bookstore & get some gifts.

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

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

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

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

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

Best Laid Plans :)

December 14th, 2010 at 06:24 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frugal Weekend and Christmas stuff

December 12th, 2010 at 06:54 am

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

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

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

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

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

In other financial news:

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

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

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

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

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

Its gonna be a long week

December 7th, 2010 at 05:00 am

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

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

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

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

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

Productive & Lazy Sunday

December 5th, 2010 at 11:14 am

Contradiction, I know Smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I only have a few things I want to accomplish:

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

Good News Roommate-wise

November 29th, 2010 at 01:53 pm

My roommate came home today after being away for Thanksgiving since Thursday morning. First thing she tells me is that she is planning on holding off on the moving, until January at least. I will take it! Last thing I wanted to do is get a new roommate at the holidays.

So as long as I have the full rent in hand on the 10th, we will be good. Because of this situation, I plan on continuing with my bare bones December budget and will put the extra Rent funds into my Emergency fund instead of heavily to debt.

Hey - I will take any good news I can get! lol

More Roommate Woes & December Budget

November 24th, 2010 at 03:15 pm

My roommate tried to get out of paying me any more rent other than what she's already paid (which would get her through December 9th).

Basically, as of this weekend, she told me she did not have a move out date nor did she know exactly what was going on. I have been patient and said to just let me know when she's ready to give 30 days notice. All weekend she never said another word on the topic.

I was off work Friday & Monday, which she knew. She had sent an email to my work on Friday, stating that she didn't know when she'd be moving out, be it the '1st, the 15th or whenever' and that she did not see in the rental agreement where she needed to pay through the 30 days notice.

I was outraged when I read that at work yesterday. At NO point did she say anything to me about this face to face. I went home & found the signed rental agreement, told her I read the email, that the 30 day notice WAS in there and that I would accept Fridays email as her 30 day notice.

I followed up this conversation with an email confirming what we spoke about:

-that she is paid through the 9th
-she owes me 30 day notice payment of $150.00 to cover the 10th through the 19th (the last of the 30 days)
-and I also (GENEROUSLY) provided that if she (or any of her belongings) stayed any time after the 19th, then she would pay the rent divided by 31 days ($15) per day.
-I also clearly stated that that offer of extension on the rental agreement was good until the end of December & that I would be looking for a new roommate to start January 1st.

I just truly hope she pays me. And I'm kinda hoping she'll be out by the 19th.

However, this leaves me with a problem with my December budget. I will stop my aggressive repayment of debt & only pay the minimum. I have the new car payment to account for in a new budget without a roommate. I also have about $200 of upcoming medical bills to still be paid between now & the end of December.

I am doing what I can to make a budget where I do not have to use any savings & still pay all the medical & Christmas expenses in cash. Fun, oh fun. And I am NOT counting on any additional rent from her until its in my hands.

BUT today was a start, I sold a DVD set for $15.00 off Craigslist. I will be putting a LOT of new listings up tonight.

And in terms of good things - the craigslist sale happened, work let me out 1.5 hours early for the holiday, I got a nice haul of books & movies from the library, my parents brought me leftovers from their lunch out at a restaurant right by my house & I got a free dinner that I did not have to cook!

Roommate & Money update

November 20th, 2010 at 07:05 pm

Still struggling medically. Unfortunately, they STILL do not know what is wrong with me. I had a good week, but today was really bad. I basically spent the day on the couch. My mom did drop my nephew off for a bit & we spent 2.5 hours watching cartoons & playing Monopoly. It was his first time playing, so it was fun to teach him Smile

Staying on the couch means that today is a no spender. I plan on running out tomorrow for fruits/veggies. But other than that, there will be no more spending.

The roommate still has not given official notice of leaving. She has another interview on Monday & I think the second that she finds a new job she's out. But in the mean time, each day that she stays (and hasn't given her 30 day notice) is an extra $15/day for me.

As soon as she gives notice, I will start on Craigslist for a new roommate. I already have put out the word to friends, family & coworkers. But lets be honest, its the holiday season, its going to be hard to find a roommate before the new year.

And on top of everything, I have about $200 in extra Medical expenses between now & the end of the year. But I will be paying cash for it. And for Christmas, so I am happy.

Spoke Too Soon

November 16th, 2010 at 04:55 am

Well, I was all happy yesterday that I was paying cash for Christmas & my medical bills while still being able to pay down debt. Only to come home last night & find out that I would probably be losing my roommate in December. And I only found that out because I asked her how work is going.

She's likely to lose her job. And when she does, she's decided to move to another state. She apparently looked at apartments there last weekend. The lease is month to month with 30 days notice & she said she will give me official notice for sure at the end of the week. If she does, since her rent starts on the 10th, she's paid through December 10th and I'd likely only get another 7-10 days of rent out of her for December.

This has put me into super frugal (read PANIC) mode as I have had higher expenses due to Medical AND this would be the first time I would be roommateless with the car payment.

Its managable, but it will be VERY tight and I will have to cut out a lot of things. As soon as she gives me her official notice, I will be putting an ad on Craigslist. I already sent out an email to friends/coworkers letting them know I'm looking for a roommate. I also put something up on Facebook. Hopefully I would be able to get a friend of a friend, but I will also be reviewing Craigslist applicants.

Wish me luck! I hope to find a roommate by January.

Plan for the week

September 12th, 2010 at 12:30 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)

Quick Stop In

August 2nd, 2010 at 07:14 pm

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.

Rainy Lazy Saturday & Roommate security

July 10th, 2010 at 11:04 am

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!

What I'm doing with the Rent Money

June 30th, 2010 at 08:05 am

Well, now that I have a roommate again, I thought I'd talk about what I'm doing with the rent money.

June 9th, I was paid $475 for the month.
- $100 went into a rent utility fund in my savings. None has been spent so far.
- $50 went into a savings account for 'fun' money. None has been spent so far.
- $325 went to credit card payment. ALl of which was paid to the cc

July 9th, I will be getting another $475.

- $75.00 will go to the rent utility fund. I will already be using $10 of that to go to the increase in the electric budget billing
- $75.00 will go to fun money savings, to be used on my beach vacation
- $275.00 will go to a credit card payment
- $50.00 will go to house repairs.

Tons of Stuff Done Before Noon & Food Inventory

June 26th, 2010 at 09:43 am

Well, its in the 90s today & has been since about 10am. Ugh. Good thing I woke up early this morning. I went & ran my errands - Grocery store #1 for ground turkey, Farmer's market for fruits/veggies, Walmart for cat litter, the bank, and gas station. I also picked up a few movies from Redbox at $1/day, its a good deal!

I came home & put a chicken breast covered in chicken broth in my mini-crockpot. Perfect for single size & I plan to shred the chicken and put hot sauce in it for some buffalo chicken salad later.

After that, I have taped off & painted the bathroom ceiling. It will need a second coat, which I hope to get to late this evening.

The new roommate is working out well. Apparently she will rarely be around on weekends. She left last night & won't be back until Sunday evening. She finally did some grocery shopping and with her stuff now in the pantry, fridge & freezer, I thought it would be a good time to take inventory & make meal plans to use up some of the older (and the new) food.

Forgive me if this is dull for you, I just wanted to lay the list out there - it does not include condiments and/or spices.

Freezer -
2 fudge pops
1 and a half packs turkey pepperoni
2c frozen strawberries
1 pint blueberries
5 servings sloppy joe
1/2 loaf wheat bread
8 bagel thins
1 banana
2 packs diced chicken for salad
12 meatloaf muffins
1 lb chicken breasts - need to invite family over to use up
3 flat out wraps
6 individual serving chicken breasts
1 lean cuisine

Fridge -
1 pitcher water
1 pitcher pink lemonade
lots of beer (leftover from party)
pasta sauce
salad fixings
plum tomatoes to make homemade bruschetta
cottage cheese
3 individual puddings
grapes
3 bananas
spinach
snap peas
scallions
Weight Watcher mexican cheese
1 lb ground turkey - to be browned with onion & frozen in individual servings

Pantry -
pasta sauce
pretzel chips
pasta - penne, spaghetti & shells
fat free croutons
popcorn
peanut butter
sugar free jam
ff chicken broth
diced tomatoes
green beans (2 cans)
canned pears
tuna pack
4 cans tuna
shake n bake
stovetop stuffing


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