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September 18th, 2007 at 02:58 pm

I've been really busy lately. Not spending a lot, which is always good. I've been spending a lot of family & friend time. I'm still packing lunches, but eating out every once in awhile (out of my entertainment budget).

I was paid on Friday & mailed an extra $500.00 payment to my student loan (right on schedule.

Yesterday, work had a celebration for a company acheivement. I was able to pick up a free soda & tee-shirt. I stayed away from the cake though Smile

Still working lots of overtime, but it is starting to wear on me. I maybe rethinking some of this OT soon. We'll see.

sorry I've been MIA

August 11th, 2006 at 06:05 pm

I've been finishing my 6 week training for my new job, while completing my 7 week graduate class. I've been sick too. So I spend a good portion of my time sleeping. I've been lazy & buying lunch too. So more spending than I'd like, but not too much.

Today I stopped off at the grocery store. I was very good...I got just what was on my list: chicken that was on sale, sherbert, a 2 liter bottle of soda, and french fries. The chicken was a great deal--12 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $11.00. Thats 12 meals for me. I separated & bagged the chicken to freeze. Tomorrow I'll be stopping at a different grocery store to take advantage of a sale on ground beef. I'll spend Sunday making up sloppy joe and meat pasta sauce to freeze, as well as making a pasta salad to eat though the week.

I paid back my tuition reimbursement in full as well as paid my last tuition payment to my school. So now all my money is going directly to savings for my house! Yay!

My training & class both end next week. Then I'll have to turn my attention to my living situation. My roommates are going to be moving in a few months. I have a lot more to say about this, but I'll save it for later this weekend.

One more thing---I decided to do the alternate schedule at work. Tuesday through Saturday with 10% shift diff. Thanks for your input in my previous post. It was appreciated!

August Goals

August 1st, 2006 at 05:56 pm

1. Bring all food to work and school.

2. Spend under budget in groceries, spending and gas.

3. Transfer my 401k to an IRA

4. Sign up for 401k at new job

5. Contact mortgage broker (referred by friends as being good). Get a firm opinion on mortgage payments and house prices. (Have already done the research, just want to hear it from a professional). Weigh options of starting buying process now or waiting one more year.

6. Make decision whether or not to switch work schedule from Monday-Friday to Tuesday-Saturday to get 10% shift differential. If decide to purchase house, will definately do. A few extra hundred dollars a month for doing the same job and the same hours will definately be beneficial. (The additional income is not necessary for me to support a mortgage payment, but it will be nice to put a few extra bucks to do things around the house or put in savings).

7. Pay off school bill. Last class, last tuition payment. Woo hoo!

meal planning

July 16th, 2006 at 11:15 am

I spent 43.07 at Acme today, including 2 quarts of oil for my car. I mostly got veggies, chicken, ground beef and pasta. My most expensive item was olive oil. VERY expensive. I'm going to hit Walmart later this week or next week and when I do, I'm going to price there.

Acme had their 10 for $10 on solid white albacore Tuna Fish in the can, but they were out. So I got a rain check.

Out of what I got at the store and what I already had in my pantry, I'll be able to get over 2 weeks of meals in. I would make a mid week run for more salad stuff next week though.

Here's my plan for this week:
Breakfasts will be mostly oatmeal, apples and canned fruit.
Lunches: Tuna salad, regular salads, pasta salad, mixed with leftovers.
Dinners: Sloppy joe, spaghetti with meat sauce, shake n bake chicken, and sides of green beans, peas, baked potatos & what I call baked fries (healthier version of my biggest weakness).

As a single person, I split up my portions & freeze what I can, but since I like my stuff as fresh as possible, I repeat meals in the week. So Monday & Wed I'll have Sloppy joe & probably have it for lunch one day too. The shake and bake chicken will be Tuesday dinner & Wednesday lunch and possibly Friday dinner too.

Then next week & can do them again, with some new additions--probably beef stew and some lemon chicken. My goal is to not spent any money at work for food. But I am allowing myself 1 meal out with some friends. Probably be doing Salad Works--$7 for a salad, but will be able to split it into 2 meals.

Still working on the prescription issue. And I don't know if I've mentioned it, but when I left my previous employer, I was to pay back my tuition reimbursement. But since this is a new policy for them since they were bought out, they don't know how to go about having me pay them back. Its been over 3 weeks since I've resigned and I've had dozens of phone calls, but they have yet to let me pay them back. I'm getting very fustrated and very worried. They're handling this very badly & I could see them saying that I wasn't going to pay them back & putting it on my credit bureau or trying to charge me interest. The only thing that I have to combat that is a letter & several voicemails from my previous manager stating that they are still working on the situation. I just want it handled right away. UGH.

House plans

July 9th, 2006 at 12:10 pm

I'm hoping to start looking for a mortgage and house soon, so I've been making lists. Since I'm single, I'm very worried about getting in over my head & I'm trying to think of all the possible things that I will need to do/buy up front.

Currently, I know I will need funds for:
-earnest money
-down payment
-moving costs (for the inherited furnature)
-emergency fund (3 mos income),will also
have some funds in the form of cds and 401k
-money for deposits on utilities (this can be costly in my area)
-appliances (depending on the house deal, I might need washer/dryer, fridge)
-groceries, cleaning supplies
-lawn mower
-paint & supplies
-small fund for minor repairs
-carpet cleaning (necessary due to allergies)
-blinds(if not left by prev owners)
-furniture for family room--most immediately I would need a sofa, tv stand & tray tables to be used as end tables--all else can wait)

My current savings total is $20894.09 (not including 401k).

I've decided that I'm going into deep frugal mode. I need to get in that mode because when I do buy the house, my cash flow will be tight (not strained, but I do not want to take away from any money going to savings during that time).

I plan on taking on a roommate after the first few months in the house. Having a roommate will give me some extra funds to do upgrades, create a larger savings and will give me someone to hang out with Smile

During the next week, I begin training at my new job. I'm also in the middle of my last graduate class. I will not be looking into mortgages, but once the training & class are over, I plan to start.

In the meantime, I'm taking a look at my lists, prioritizing things, really digging into wants versus needs, and looking into ways to save on my list.

Today is a no spend day. I need to go to the grocery store, but I'm waiting until tomorrow to check out the work situation-is there a fridge? A cafeteria? Any supplied lunches? (thats been known to happen with this company). Once I get a feel, I plan to go to the store tommorrow night. I'll stock up and take all my food---no eating out.

spending today

July 6th, 2006 at 09:55 pm

Since I've been off work this week and last week, I have really been watching my spending. Not doing too bad either.

Today I indulged a bit, though. I went to the Thrift store to look for some Christmas gifts, found a nice stocking. Since mine ripped last year, this will replace it. It was knit, just like my old one. 99 cents spent there.

I spent 6.50 on vending machine snacks and a sandwich for dinner at school.

I also applied an extra 161.50 to my credit cards. Normally I carry no balance, but I have a small one (from tuition expenses) that I'm trying to pay off before the due date without touching my savings. So far so good.

I revamped my budget to new paydates on the 15th and 30th. Everything will run smoothly. Once I have the paydates down, I'm going to have to shave a few things to put more to my 401k.

Tomorrow, I will get a haircut. Normally I go to a salon, get highlights and a nice cut. But tomorrow, I'm going to a local Hair place. Much cheaper, we'll have to see how the cut fairs. I'm forgetting the color for now.

July Spending Plan $355.00 for the month

July 4th, 2006 at 05:40 pm

Since I won't be receiving a full paycheck from my new job until July 30th, I used my 'extra' paycheck from June to pay all of my July expenses. This checked included overtime & incentive, which was why I was able to do this.

I paid ahead everything that I could. I put the amount to pay things at certain times of the month in my savings account. I have a set amount in my checking for a full month of gas, groceries and spending money.

Since I'll be starting a 6 week training program at the same time that my 8 week class starts, I know I'll be busy for the next month or two. So while I'm off and have free time for the rest of the week, I'm planning on stocking up on some things like groceries, cat food & litter.

I'm taking the rest of this week to do all of my laundry, ironing, mending and planning of my work wardrobe. I will also be doing my meal planning & heading to the grocery store this weekend for a big trip.

I also bought a book for my new class for 121.50. I was unable to buy it cheaper online since it is a bound notebook, not a copyrighted textbook. So I bought the book & workbook, but I'm planning on making photocopies of it and then returning the book. I've had this professor before, we don't even use the book all that much. So photocopying would be a lot cheeper. Theres about 200 pages, so at 10 cents per copy, I'll be paying $20.00 instead of $121.50. I'm very excited by this idea. Big savings!!

So after the spending tomorrow and Thursday, I'll only be spending on gas and groceries and some spending cash for the rest of the month: a total of $355.00 unil July 30th. Definately doable!

updates

June 30th, 2006 at 10:52 am

Since I've been 'unemployed' this week, I've indulged myself with sleeping in, watching movies, reading books, napping and generally being very lazy. I had a followup on my colonoscopy...the good news is that my polyp was not pre-cancerous. So now I'm on meds for my stomach & I don't have to go back to the doctor for a year. Thank goodness!

I've got my 3 month supply for meds to last me between the job change. My new medical coverage will start up in mid July. My original doctors appointment was for next Wed, but when I realized that my current insurance would end today (the 30th), I called and asked them to move my appointment, and they fit me right in yesterday. So I paid a $25.00 coapay instead of a $110.00 appointment fee. Good move!

I'm waiting for my 401k rollover information from my employer. I want to get that started right away. I'm eligible for my 401k with my new employer right away, but company matching doesn't start until 1 year of employment.

My check engine light came on in my car. I have no check oil light, and my oil is very low, so I'm going to fill it up today. Hopefully, thats the reason for the check engine light. Please, Please!

I've been taking advantage of the library a lot recently. I probably sound like an addict, but I recently rediscovered the Library & its a great way to entertain myself for free.

I've been reading recent posts about soda specials. I love both Coke & Pepsi & will only buy soda when its the 4 for $10 special for better (of 12 packs). My grocery store had a special of 5 for $10, so I got 5 & I'll be going back tomorrow. I'd rather stock up now, then pay 4 for $10 again in a month.

Money is tight right now, because I don't want to dip into savings and my first paycheck from the new job won't come until the 30th of July. With my last paycheck from my previous employer, I was able to pay all my expenses for July and leave money for gas, groceries & spending. I just have to be good---no big restaurant bills. So my goal for July is to not dip into my savings. Easier said than done, but I'm going to really try.

medical procedures and other good stuff

June 20th, 2006 at 12:42 pm

First, I had a colonoscopy yesterday. (Ima Saver, I really feel you on that junk we had to drink as prep...it made me sick to my stomach). They found one polyp and hemmoroids. Nothing too scary.

Now for the REALLY good news!! I had my interview today & they offered me the job within hours of the interview. The pay isn't much different than what I am currently making and there is no oppurtunity for incentive, but the job is more interesting, less stressful and has much more oppurtunity for advancement. I'm really excited that I got the position.

I start July 10th, but will take a few vacation days from my current position to get my background check, fingerprinting and drug test taken care of. Lots to do when applying for a position with a bank. Then I'll put my notice in late next week. Since my current employer has a noncompetative policy, when I announce that I will be working for a direct competitor, they will ask me to leave and give me my two weeks paid. It'll be a mini vacation before starting the 6 week training.

There's lots to do now. I'm really watching my money since I'm not 100% sure yet when my pay days are going to be yet. I also have to move money from my ING account to my checking so when I put my notice in, then I can write them a check for my tuition reimbursement for this year. I have to pay it back under a new policy that began 2006. Even for that short a time, its been beneficial to use the Tuition Reimbursement. It was basically an interest free loan. I took the money that I would have paid to school and earned interest in my ING account instead. Now I will pay it off.

The only downside is that my final two classes will have to be paid directly by me. I'll either have to pay for it out of my house money, or put it on my credit card and pay it off within a few months. I really hate to touch that house money, but we'll see.

I stopped off at the library today & picked up a few movies. I got Jarhead, Tristan + Isolde, Murderball, and Glengarry Glenross. I have yet to see any of them.

I didn't need books as I'm rereading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series since I should be getting the newest book in the series soon. I ordered it on Amazon. I highly recommend the books, they're very well written and funny.

I would also like to mention that I recently borrowed Murder on the Orient Express from the library. Its a very clever movie based on an Agatha Christie novel. It has a lot of familiar faces and is very well acted. So if you want something different to watch...I definately recommend it.

Well, off to pack dinner for work. I'm going in for a half a day. I took the 'morning' off for my interview. The hardest part about going to work now is just being able to keep my mouth shut until I'm ready to actually give my notice.

old goals and new

May 19th, 2006 at 02:59 pm

Couple of good things today:
-Received a $10.00 gas rebate in the mail
-Got a $19.25 credit on my credit card from a disputed item.

I have made the decision to look for a new job, even though I'm not done school yet. I applied for 4 jobs, all similar. One is really perfect for me, the other 3 all have possibilities. I already have an interview with one of them, but not the Big one that I'm hoping for.

I have redone my school goals again.

The new School goal is $7100.00
Current School savings: $4732.09

Current House savings: $17,276.00

I also have a new goal: Computer
My laptop is slowly dying, so I'm going to hold out as long as possible & just start saving now.

Work if finally offering overtime again, after 6 months without it. I'm going to try to do at least 5 hours next week. Normally I'd do around 10, but I'm having some health issues, so adding an hour a day is not bad, but anymore could cause me some problems.

I'll spend all weekend hoping for an interview at that one place. It has the perfect job description, benefits, hours, location and salary. I can only hope for it.

I'm trying to stay as frugal as possible, but I need to put myself on a strict diet due to health issues. I'm anticipating a bigger grocery bill to start stocking up on certain types of staples, but then things should be back to normal. At least by eating well, I will potentially save in terms of medications and visits to a specialist.

been missing lately

May 14th, 2006 at 02:16 pm

Things have been very frugal lately, but I have so much going on. I finally have a chance to catch up todcay.

Yesterday we moved all the furniture that we're keeping from my aunts house. My storage unit is packed.

Today, we had a Mother's Day Brunch, it was my sister's treat to all of us. My sister works at a nice restaurant & got us reservations. The food was DELICIOUS. I was able to get VERY stuffed and enjoy my family for free...thanks sis.

I used some of my free gift cards from My points for my mom's gift. She wanted to buy some books from Barnes & Noble, so I gave her some gcs & she was very happy.

Also, I went to the Dollar Store this morning to get cards for my sister & mom for 50 cents each. While I was there, I found a brooch that matches most of my mom's jewelry. She has a very specific style that she likes and thats it. She loved it, and it was only a $1.00.

I went to the library on the way home. Got a couple of novels & 1 movie. I have a huge addiction to movies, but have been trying to curb my renting and buying them. My roommate has netflix & a huge movie collection, so he's been sharing...between that & borrowing from the library, I've been doing very well.

I was supposed to go the grocery store today, but I was too tired. So after the library, I came home for a 2 hour nap. My roomies are making hotdogs for dinner and I have food for lunch tomorrow, so I'll hit the grocery store after work tomorrow. Its a great time to go anyway, no one is there at 9 in the evening.

My goals this week are:
-To plan and buy groceries to eat/pack all meals from home. No spending money for food or drink
-To call my car insurance about lowering my rates. Never hurts to ask.
-To redo my resume. I'm going to send out a few this week.
-To apply for 2 positions that sound interesting to me.

cost of free furniture: A LOT

May 9th, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Given my current living situation, I am unable to house my ineherited furniture at the townhouse I'm currently living in. My parents don't have the room either. So to keep the furniture, I've had to rent a storage facility. I've chosen climate control because of the delacacy of the furniture. I called around, checked costs & availability and went to my top choices today to make a decision.

The storage facility will cost me approximately $650 for 6 months. This will put a serious dent in my budget, but thanks to my mom's generous graduation gift, I won't have to take money out of my house or education fund to do it.

So I'm buckling down on the budget.
I posted last week that I have to redo the budget, but I never got to it. So today, after running errands all day & heading off to go see my nephews tee-ball game, I'll be home tonight to redo my resume and budget. I saw a position that I might be interested in. Its pretty much the job I'm doing now, but at a different company. If I get my resume together today, I think I'm going to take a chance and apply for it. Otherwise, I was trying to hold off til late June to apply for anything. We'll see how it goes.

I'm really trying to buckle down now. I have $50.00 for gas & groceries to last me to next Thursday. I can do it, but it'll be tight. I'll hit the grocery store on the way home today.

Special Day

May 5th, 2006 at 09:04 pm

Today I had my graduation ceremony. I'm pursuing 2 MBAs, one in Financial Management and one in Human Resource Management. Since they only hold the ceremony once a year, I was able to attend the ceremony, but I still have 2 classes to complete before officially receiving the degrees. Can't wait to finish everything in August!

My parents, sister, and friends took me out to dinner after the ceremony. My parents and sister are SO proud. They've been very supportive and I'm very thankful for them.

My parents gave me a huge surprise...a $1000.00 check to go towards my house. A huge and unexpected gift. This means a lot to me. And it's had an added benefit-I have become more motivated towards saving. I plan to take some time tomorrow and run through a new budget, cutting as much of the extras as possible to save as much as I can.

I feel very blessed, having my friends and family. This is a step in a new direction. I will complete my last 2 classes, look for a new position that will utilize my new degree and hopefully provide me with more income.

I'll keep you posted on changes & my new totals for my house & school goals.

Sunday, we go to my Aunt's house to finish cleaning it out. We have movers coming next weekend for the furnature. The sale goes final the next weekend after that. Dealing with the sale has been stressful, as well as time and money consuming, so the sale will give my family a much needed rest.

$100 left till next Thursday

April 26th, 2006 at 10:15 pm

$100 is no sweat, all my bills are paid for the month, the car is gassed up. I have a big lunch tomorrow which I'm planning on spending about $40.00. I'll pick up a few veggies & stuff for lunches next week (estimated $20)& I'll probably have about $40.00 left to go to school savings.

Things are starting to get tight in terms of income. My work quit offering overtime & they've changed our incentive plan so that the average 1500-2000/mo I received as a top performer is reduced to 200-800/mo. This month, which will appear in my May paycheck, I might get around $300.00 give or take.

I have NEVER budgeted based on my incentive or overtime, but in the time I've been in my department (8 months) I've saved $9000.00 from incentives, paid for a small vacation, bought some much needed bedding and moved. So it was good while it lasted.

Now I REALLY need to buckle down. I've re-evaluated my school savings plan. I miscalculated a little bit on my tuition reimbursement and I definately miscalculated on my books, so I looks like I have to scrounge up more.


My current school savings is $4055.53
My current school goal is $7614.00
My planned savings will bring me to 7485.53 by August, leaving me to find an additional $838.47

I can do it such a short time frame, I just have to buckle down, maybe pick up some extra income...we'll see.

controlling impulses

April 20th, 2006 at 09:03 pm

Today was not the best spending wise. I planned to eat lunch out & budgeted for $10.00.

I spent:
2.59 at Burger King for breakfast
7.49 for lunch at work
1.25 for soft pretzel at school.
I did have a late dinner at home after class.

Tommorrow I have all my food planned. I will not spend for food or drink. However, I'm stopping at the pet store for cat litter...its desperately needed.

I received a small bonus in this paycheck that I wasn't prepared for & I ended up putting another $120 towards school. I have a certain amount of savings budgeted for each paycheck...so now I only have to find an additional $506 to meet my August goal. Definately doable.

Saving money, now need to make money

April 18th, 2006 at 08:43 pm

No money spent for food or drink at work yesterday or today. Already have my food planned & made for tomorrow. So far so good.

I get paid tomorrow night & I'm looking to put as much as possible into savings. I'm leaving only enough for gas, food & spending in my checking. That way I'll think twice about splurging on anything. I am heavily motivated to save as much as possible so I can quit my job.

Part of the reason I want to find a new job is the income and the lack of career opportunities. I just want to leave, but I want to have money to pay back my tuition reimbursement when I leave. At the same time, I think it would make more sense to wait until August when I graduate with 2 MBA degrees, before finding a new job. So I've set my savings goal to be completed by August.

Total School Goal:
$3311 Tuition for my last 2 classes
$4000 Tuition Reimbursement
$150 Books for last 2 classes
$7461 Total

Current Savings: 3400.00
will deposit 625.00 4/20

On my planned budget, I will have a total of $6835 in savings at the end of August, missing my goal by $626.00.
So my goal is to find that money through
incentive at work, overtime & saving on normal expenses.

I'll keep a running total of what I've saved and how much to goal.