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LOTS of Updates - Sorry!

August 26th, 2016 at 05:14 pm

It's been a while since I've posted - been super busy these last few months. We moved in July, finally got a renter into our townhouse last week, I am working OT, but not as much as before, been sick off & on and generally been living a lot.

We have had a LOT of social obligations. Never dull for me!

-My daughter turned One this month. We had a little party that my mom paid to be in a restaurant (she HAD to do my nieces and didn't want to be seen as favoring my sister's kids - that was her choice).
-Last weekend, I was at a bachelorette party.
-This weekend, my husband is going to the bachelor party.
-In September, we are attending a housewarming for friends (child friendly event)
-In September, we are attending a friend's house party (kid friendly)
-In October, we have 3 weddings - 2 out of state

We also are waiting for the rental income to come in. We have a renter, but are also using a property management company. Because of the renter starting mid-month and the PM fees, we won't see a full month's rental income coming to us until the middle of October, which will go to the 11/1 mortgage payment.

I have lots of cashflowing/savings goals -
-cashflowing budget deficit
-cashflowing wedding events/gifts/travel
-save 1 month Rental Mortage buffer
-save 1 month New Mortgage buffer
-Save 5k Rental Efund
-Cashflow tickets to an event in Oct
-cashflow new furniture

Fun stuff, people! I will say, that we are not revolving any credit card debt as we have been spending a lot. I am so thankful for overtime!

I also want to note that usually I buy Christmas gifts all year long - but not this year as I didn't want to move all the stockpile of gifts! So I need to get busy on that Smile

Getting Back into fully tracking spending is tricky

April 12th, 2016 at 06:09 pm

Tracking spending was a lot easier when I was one person. Now, we are a family and its harder. So I am tracking all personal spending for myself and all household spending. What my husband does with his personal spending won't be included. MUCH easier this way. (To be clear, we both contribute equally to the household, its just his individual checking is used for day to day expenses that I might not see).

Yesterday, I spent $1.50 on a soda at work (I know, bad!) and $40 on baby clothes.

I have been given so many hand me downs and utilized used clothing groups to supplement each new size. However, as summer gears up, my hand me down seasons are not quite matching up to my daughter's growing/size. So I am having to purchase a few things like sleepers/summer pjs and pants to supplement all the other clothing we have.

I haven't really bought new for her except once or twice, but Carters was having a great deal and I was able to buy 2 pairs of pants, 2 footie pj sets, and 2 3-piece summer pj sets for $40.00. I will 40 rewards points (75 = $10 gift card), used Ebates ($1.00 cash back) and a 3% rewards credit card.

Ugh at the price, but I am happy with the purchases as we should be all set for summer now!

The only thing we may need is some shoes towards the end of summer, but no need to worry about that yet.

Food Frugality!

March 9th, 2016 at 07:51 pm

We are hoping to sell our house & buy new this year. Unfortunately, I (single at the time) bought the house at the higher end of the market and the neighborhood has changed a lot and we are not sure how much we'll be able to sell the house for (we may take a small loss).

Because of this, and other expenses lately, we are buckling down on spending. Today, I have gotten a LOT of freebies at work and I am a happy camper.

My manager keeps a snack pile for the team - I grabbed a small bag of popcorn and a piece of candy today.

I packed my breakfast/lunch/snack:

Tuna & crackers, pasta salad, tomatoes & oil/vinegar/herb dressing.

I brought a water bottle and had a stash of soda at my desk. I also splurged on Snapples at the grocery store yesterday - 2 - 12 packs for $13.99. So for $0.58 each I can have a treat once in a while. I brought a few to keep at my desk at work. When I want a treat - I put it in the work fridge to chill.

About an hour before my shift ends, we got an email that a work meeting had a ton of leftovers & they were providing to-go containers if any of my group wanted to take some home. I got a piece of crusted chicken, some beef, potatoes and fruit salad. That and a bottle of water. The food, plus leftovers in the fridge will cover my husband & I for dinner tonight. Can't beat that!

I am thinking of restarting my Lunch Challange - so today is the 1st day of it. I spent nothing and packed or received free food today.

Since today is the 9th and I have 16 more work days in the month, (3 of which will be remote work), I am pledging to pack breakfast, lunch & snack for 15 of those 16 days. Wish me luck!

Expensive and dramatic week

February 18th, 2016 at 03:26 pm

Lots of expenses.

Monday, we had a plumbing issue and called a plumber($561.81)

Tuesday, my car wouldn't start & my husband had to buy & install a new battery ($95.99)

While that was happening, because it was his late night, I chose to work from home and keep the baby with me as I might not have a car to pick her up from daycare.

He did get it installed & working (yay). However, by that way, we were smelling gas in the house. So made a call and 3 fire trucks, a fire marshall, and 2 power company guys later, it was determined that the idiot next door left an uncapped gasoline can on their deck and it was knocked over and got on the grass between our houses. Our basement windows let the fumes in & caused them to go all over the house through the vents.

My parents had to pick up the baby so that I could let the house air out. It's taken care of now.

Lastly, that night, the hot water heater wasn't working because although it was electric & not gas, they had turned it off & didn't turn it bac on.

I was noticing my older cat (almost 15 years old) was having more issues walking. She has lost a dramaatic amount of weight in the last few weeks.

So I made an appointment at the vet for yesterday (Wednesday) where we determined she was incredibly ill and because it was more humane, we put her down. I was with her through the end and cried like a baby. But it was the right thing to do. We are having her creamated. ($374.85 vet bill).

So LOTS of sad, frustrating, riduculous things happened this week. Some costly to the wallet and some costly to my emotions.

But we have made it through and I will be utilizing OT to cover those costs!

2016 Spending

January 2nd, 2016 at 11:54 pm

So far, 2016 has been spendy. However, all entertainment/food spending has come out of the entertainment budget & is not out of line for the budget.

Jan 1st Lunch for both of us: $16.22
Jan 2nd Soda stock up $8.00
Jan 2nd Breakfast for both of us: $12.75
Jan 2nd BJs - groceries, diapers & formula $144.21
Jan 2nd Babies R US - humidifier for baby $54.99 (used $50 gift card)
Jan 2nd Amazon - 2 baby books, 1 baby toy & a replacement Wub-a-nub for the baby as the dog ate her current one $30.72

Splurged on a DSLR Camera - not in budget, but don't feel badly

June 12th, 2015 at 12:27 pm

I ended up spluring on a Nikon DSLR camera. I found an awesome deal, with an upgraded lens and accessories. I utilized a rewards credit card and will be able to cash flow the purchase before it even bills.

I am paying it off with Overtime Hours.

I calculated how much I net per each hour of overtime. To pay myself for this camera, I need to work 31.5 hours of overtime.

In today's paycheck, I had 11.5 OT hours that went to the camera balance.

Monday, I worked 4 hours of OT
Tuesday, I worked 3 hours of OT
Thursday, I worked 1 hour of OT

Total OT I have completed towards this goal: 19.5

This weekend, I will put in at least 5-7 hours of OT between Friday & Sunday.

Total OT to the goal at the end of this week: 24.5 to 26.5

Next week, I will need to have to do at least 5-7 hours of OT.

Savings/Sinking Funds Update & a CC payoff!

February 8th, 2015 at 09:35 pm

I sent $193 to a credit card, paying it off! Only 2 more to go Smile

Savings/Sinking Funds Balances:

New Home Fund: $5829.92
Holidays/Gifts: $297.56
EF: $366.31
Sewer/HOA/AAA: $281.77
Home Upkeep Sinking Fund: $151.12
Jewelry Insurance Sinking Fund: $14.80
Vet Sinking Fund: $60.53
Medical Sinking Fund: $140.99
Vacation Sinking Fund: $20

Financial Doings

February 6th, 2015 at 03:31 pm

Lots of things to update! First, my personal retirement accounts have totaled above $75k. $75,844.51 to be exact! My husband’s 401k is approximately $32,000. I am waiting on access to his 401k to really take a look.

Today was payday. I paid household bills – Car payment $230, Car insurance $97.10, electric/gas $133.45. Some bills aren’t due yet, but the funds are designated to pay them when ready: Water $35, trash $20, Cable

I paid off one of my last 3 credit cards ($193.07) and put an additional snowball of $121.83 to the 2nd to last credit card on the list!

My sinking funds will automatically deduct in the next few days:

-$20 Vet fund
-$10 Jewelry Insurance
-$20 Vacation Fund
-$30 Sewer/HOA
-$20 Medical
-$25 EFund
-$20 Clothing

I have also designated funds for gas $40, groceries $200, personal items $20, beauty $25, Netflix $8 and entertainment $259.11; Entertainment is high because I have rolled over extra from last month.

An update on my Sinking Funds/ Savings with Capital One 360:

New Home Fund: $5829.92
Holidays/Christmas $297.56
EF (being replenished) $366.31
Sewer/HOA/AAA: $281.77
Home Repairs $151.12
Jewelry Insurance: $14.80
Vet: $60
Medical $140.99
Auto expenses $0.04

I have free money pending that will go into my Gifts sinking fund.

- Ebates check $36.23
- TD CC Rewards: $88.05
- $5 Credit card credit from a promotion (asked for a credit balance refund on it)

Fun Note: My Car payment will be paid off in August! I am not including it in my snowball because its being paid off so soon and its 0%.

Pay Day and Debt Payments Day!

December 14th, 2013 at 02:31 am

Today was the first paycheck as an hourly employee (as opposed to being exempt). I am happy to report that I had OT that netted me an additional $487 in this check!

None of this includes my mortgage, but here's some great news!

Debt/Savings Payments earlier this month include:

1. A min pay to Card DSC $238
2. A min pay to Card ELN $53
3. A min pay to CTDV $83
4. A payment to my wedding fund savings account $500
5. A min pay to my car loan $230
6. $20 to ING Vet slush fund
7. $40 to ING Medical slush fund
8. $50 to ING House Upkeep slush fund
9. $10 to ING Holidays slush fund

Between cash flow and the OT, I paid off:

1. A small balance card that is being paid before the statement hits $172.94 BALANCE NOW $0!!

2. Old Navy balance - includes medical bills 551.22 BALANCE NOW $0!!

Overall, I paid $1948.16 towards savings & debt repayment.
-$1828.16 to debt
-$120 to savings


My next paycheck should have an estimate of $800 in Overtime (NET) and that & cashflow will payoff my small 2nd mortgage/First time homebuyer's loan. The balance is now at $949.07!


Oh, the JOYS of Home Ownership

November 2nd, 2013 at 04:55 pm

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

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

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

New Year Frugal Updates

January 3rd, 2012 at 05:23 pm

Still out of work for the wrist until Thursday. I go to the doctor's tomorrow and will probably work from home for a week.

My work switched insurances on January 1st, so I had to call yesterday to confirm there would be no problems with my 2012 appointments with the ortho guy.

In the new year, I have a few goal - specifics are drawn up, but here is the overview.

2012 - Goals

1. Pay for Christmas from cc rewards an rewards sites
2. Limit lunches bought to 4 times a month
3. Pay down debt (more specifics to come)
4. Downsize cluttter in home (more specifics to come)
5. Upgrade Health *several areas included
6. Track 100% income and spending
7. Track freebies (like that someone else on this site tracks them)

2012 Freebies to date:
free kindle book - Secret Holocaust Diaries
free kindle book - Dead-ish
free 2012 calander from mom
$5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks
$5 Amazon gift card from Bing Rewards
2 wrapping paper inner rolls made of heavy craft paper (for crafts later)

CC rewards to Christmas: $140
$20 mastercard bonus
$20 Serve.com (depositing today)
$100 from Citi Thank You (in WM gift cards which will be used for groceries & the grocery cash will go into the Christmas ING acct)

Typing is hard right now, so posts will probably be short from now on Smile

Lots of Bonuses & Deals (LONG - sorry!)

November 28th, 2011 at 02:34 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reasons to read and keep receipts!

November 14th, 2011 at 01:58 pm

I have noticed lately that there are a LOT of reasons to read/keep a receipt.

-The most obvious is returns. Makes returning an item easy and quick.

-Keeping them helps with tracking spending

-They are good to keep for warrenties (Bigger items)

-Reading them thouroghly ensures that the prices were correct and that any coupons/discounts are applied properly

-Many companies these days do surveys for chances to win, coupons, or free items. And this is something I seem to see more & more of. For example:
- I got 10% off my next purchase at Old Navy for going online and filling out the survey
- I got a code for a free sandwich from Burger King for a survey on the breakfast I bought him
- I was able to enter to win a year's worth of free haircuts from Haircuttery
- I entered a weekly drawing for an Acme gift card
- Entered a sweepstakes for $3,000 for Walgreens for completing a survey.

I realize that the sweepstakes are not that likely, but the coupons & freebies make it worth it. AND you never know, maybe I WILL win that Acme gift card Smile

Coupons/GIft cards/Groupons Inventory

September 6th, 2011 at 02:24 pm

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

Lots of Deals and To-Dos!

August 30th, 2011 at 03:54 pm

I have had a lot of online 'savings' I have been working on recently - to lead up to some Christmas deals/gifts.

-My boyfriend & I Are movie nuts and go a few times a month to the movies. In an effort to control spending, I purchased Fandango dollars through my work employee benefits at 16% off. Not too shabby.

-Snapfish emailed me a deal where I send my online photo album to 5 friends & they will credit me 100 4x6 prints - this is great for a little photo book I was preparing for my mom. Will just have to pay shipping, I think.

-I found a deal with Amazon Video on Demand where if you tweet about the deal, they give you a $5 video on demand credit. This is great since I have a Roku box & can use Amazon VOD.

-I found a deal for a small Yankee candle $1.49 plus free shipping, then $1.49 rebate through a site that I use

-I have been maximizing my MyPoints offers by reading emails, signing up for newsletters (to my junkmail hotmail account for sign ups like this). I am at 3104 points & want to get to 3500 quickly!

- I plan on pausing my Netflix for the month of September. I will utilize the free (But mostly lame) channels on my Roku box & the library for my entertainment. I can pause my subscription for a few months, I think

- I am heading to Rite-Aid today. I found a deal on their Always pads/panty liners (sorry if TMI!) I have two $1 off coupons that expire today. Will essentially be getting them for 1/2 price

- I am utilizing a groupon I purchased a while back for a local Wine Shop. I stopped by yesterday & they were out ofth e wines that I wanted - so the owner personally extended my offer (it is set to expire) and invited me back today after the shipment comes. I plan on taking them up on it. I will be able to buy 3 very nice wines with the groupon. These are slightly higher quality & will go to my wine obsessed friends only Smile

- I am running back to Victoria's Secret. I have a coupon for a free pair of undies AND $10 off a purchase

So lots of savings today! I am working on my budget as payday is tomorrow and my Germany trip is in about two weeks. THings will be REALLY tight. I have to get on financial lockdown between now & the trip and for a while after!


***Edited to add the following***
-I also requested online a free sample of foodstorage. We will see if it comes in the mail
-Same with a free Welches fruit snack
-I registered to win a party for JOhnsonville Pizza. It would be awesome to win!
-I also found a deal with a new (to me) website much like Groupon except on a smaller scale. They have a $10 credit for joining & the daily deal today was a collapsable water bottle. I was able to buy FOUR bottles for $4.00 after using the credit. I have 4 specific friends in mind who would love this gift!

If anyone is interested in getting this or a similar deal through the site, let me know. I would only need your email to send you a link. I got my referral from a friend & she really recommends the site.

Getting back into the swing - $ odds/ends

August 18th, 2011 at 07:24 pm

Well, yesterday I paid all of my bills and I am now left with entertainment & grocery spending between now & the 31st. Fun!

I went to Acme with some coupons - 1 manaufacturer and 2 Acme (for their rebranding of Everday Essentials pasta & sauce).

I purchased:
vinegar
1 jar EE pasta sauce
2 boxes EE whole wheat pasta
4 cans Progresso soup
1 large bag of chips
1 box Barilla pasta
...
For a total of $8.27 after coupons. And when I got home I realized that one of the soups didnt get bagged. So I will be going back for it!

I have $28.66 left in my grocery budget (which is fine because I will only need veggies/fruit/dairy.

I have $59.27 left in entertainment. I am definitely looking to add to this - I have a weekend at a friend's house next weekend. But thats plenty of time to list & sell some stuff on Craigslist!

I am packing my lunch and will continue to do so through September. I am working to sell a bunch of things to add cash to my spending money for Germany next month.

I also have another potential roommate coming to look at my place today. SHe's a friend of a friend & needs a new place as our friend is getting married. SHe would move in around the beginning of October.

Additionally - I received an Ebates check for $9.10. This is going to the Germany fund!

PayDay Woohoo!

December 16th, 2010 at 01:42 am

Today is payday. I spent $8.10 on lunch - losing my lunch challenge, but oh well Smile I went to the doctor ($20 copay) and then out to dinner with a friend, and she treated. I will reciprocate next week. I spent $1.00 for parking.

I am now home, snuggled under an afghan and enjoying the cats & the Christmas tree and paying bills and transferring funds to my various savings accounts including the efund.

I upped my grocery budget this pay period because I need a lot of staples. $106.50 cash/gift cards into the envelope.

I started with $72 for the entertainment budget & am already down to $62.90. I am looking to put some stuff up on Craigslist & add to my entertainment budget because I have a lot of social obligations (or social wants) in the rest of the month.

Tomorrow is our work holiday lunch - so YAY FREE FOOD! We also have a work holiday happy hour after work. I'm debating about going because it means spending money. BUT it would also mean schmoozing, which is always good for the career. I will figure it out Smile

Productive & Lazy Sunday

December 5th, 2010 at 07:14 pm

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!

Payday!

November 30th, 2010 at 04:12 pm

Today is payday. I have already paid all of my normal bills online. I have withdrawn cash for Medical (60), Groceries (60), pets (55) & Entertainment spending (40). Pet food is high because I buy the REALLY REALLY large bag from the vet (one of the cats has crystals). The bag will last about 6 weeks & then I still need to buy litter & litter plan bags.

Today's spending: $0.55 soft pretzel. This will be my last one because I start my December lunch challange starting tomorrow!

Yesterday's 5 Things did not go as planned. Instead of what I listed, I did the following:

1. Put air in tires (Free)
2. Sort through all paperwork
3. Finalize December budget
4. Put together loose meal plan
5. Go to bed early! lol

Todays 5 Things:

1. Get free oil change (Coworker went with me to drop the car off & another coworker will drop me off at the end of the day to pick it up)
2. Pay Bills, organize cash for cash budget (DONE)
3. Finalize grocery list/meal plan since some things changed with my schedule
4. Prepack food for tomorrow
5. Organize library books to be returned

Happy Cyber Monday!

November 29th, 2010 at 05:11 pm

I am not doing shopping, as I am almost done my Christmas shopping. I have to update the sidebar, though.

Today, I spent $0.55 on a soft pretzel & $30 on a specialist copay. I am feeling better (Although not perfect) and I want to get back to my normal stuff as much as possible.

So, today, I am starting back on my 5 Things list. This is the 5 things off my to-do that I plan to tackle today. I can never seem to do EVERYTHING off the list, but if I can accomplish 5 a day, its definitely worth it.

So today's 5 Things are:

1. Finalize December budget
2. Make meal plan & grocery plan for the next pay period
3. Do emails for HOA
4. Laundry
5. Clean bedroom (including vacuuming)

I also have set some goals for December:

1. Complete Cash only Christmas
2. Pack lunch all days but 1 (my personal December Lunch Challange)
3. Stick to budget 100%
4. Continue to put up stuff to sell on Craiglist
5. Look for new roommate
6. Keep heat low & sweaters on Smile

More Roommate Woes & December Budget

November 24th, 2010 at 11:15 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 21st, 2010 at 03:05 am

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.

Happy Saturday

October 30th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

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

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

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

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

I stopped & grabbed gas ($30.44)

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

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

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

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

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

Cash Budget Balances to last until the 15th:

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


And another Heat update - its still off Smile

Hello Again - Into Fall

October 26th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Hello again. Its been awhile, health problems are still here and its been rough.

So here are some quick updates.

- The HSA has run out - all other medical expenses will be paid in cash.

- I found some of my medical needs online was able to buy 3 of something for 21.22 instead of the $9.99 each at the local pharmacy. I'm really glad for that deal

- I am in the middle of my week long vacation from work. My goal was/is to rest up and help with my health

- I had a horrible migraine that completely incapacitated me over the weekend. My parents were able to help take care of me & I bought lunch $20.00 one of those days

- My mom's birthday was yesterday & we took her to dinner. My portion of dinner was $15 & I planned on buying her tickets to a play $38.00

- I have been reading TONS of library books and spending time with my family.

- Today, I rented a Redbox movie to watch with my dad $1.02

- I had a new key to my grandmother's house made $1.33. I then headed over & had her gas meter read.

- I also made copies of some photos for my mom & sister, roughly $9.00

- I haven't been home a full day since my vacation started Friday night, so tomorrow, my whole goal is to have to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I CAN do things around the house if I WANT to, but nothing is required. And I have a LOT of horror movies on my dvr to watch. I LOVE tv during the month of October!

Currently, I have $44 left in my checking to last me until payday (Friday). I need to buy a book of stamps. I also want to spend as little as possible so that the extra funds can go to make up for some stupid spending I did last week - purchased some clothes - but they are very useful for work, so I am going to finagle the budget to make it work Smile

Well, I am off to make pasta for dinner & sit on my butt & watch Rocky Horror Glee Show (Glee's doing Rocky Horror! I can't wait!)

To do this week (but not necessarily tomorrow):

- Budget for the next pay period
- Meal plan for next pay period
- Food plan for next pay period
- Work on Christmas shopping
- Find items to sell on Craigslist
- Clean kitchen
- Clean bathroom
- Do laundry


P.S - forgot the best news! Still no heat! In fact, we have the windows open tonight!

Hey Everyone!

October 10th, 2010 at 01:44 pm

I'm still struggling with my health, no exact diagnosis made. I will say that I am on a lot of medications to deal with symptoms and I am VERY thankful for my insurance and HSA card. I have another test coming up, its a nuclear scan and they are looking at my thyroid again, however, its kind of 'just a guess' at this point.

I am at the point where things are manageable. This upcoming week will be the first week in a month where I won't have to take a day off for my health (as long as nothing changes). My manager at work has specifically told me that since I am still managing to make my projects/goals (and still being a top performer), the time off is not a concern and that she and her manager are NOT concerned about anything and that I have full job security. It was REALLY good to hear that. Probably it helps that I look like poo lately and its plain to see I'm not faking.

In other news, my spending had been a little crazy. My parents have had to put up with me spending the night, late night calls for help, driving me around and taking care of me. In exchange, I have been paying for meals for 3 people - eating out because nobody has time to make meals.

This week, I am back on a budget. I finally have a small bit of energy and I plan to put it to good use cooking healthy meals at home and at work.

I get paid on Friday again & will be working on my budget this week. My lunch challenge went out the window this month, but I hope to do better the 2nd half Smile

Medical Spending & Emotional Spending

September 27th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Well, today I went to the doctors for a medical condition I was having. Long story short, I left work with the intention of going back after the appointment, but ended up being send for tests. September is not my month, I can't wait for October.

Anyway - doctors appointment was a $20 copay (used the HSA card). I spent about $9.49 on an item for my condition, but was unable to use the HSA card for it.

I also spent $32.37 for gas & $4.99 for Wendy's. The fast food was my emotional spending after a stressful afternoon.

I am now home. Tomorrow, my boss is having us go out to lunch. However, we will have to pay for ourselves. I have $15 cash for that.

Lunch Challange

September 7th, 2010 at 07:33 pm

I'm working a personal Lunch Challange for September. My goal was to pack my breakfast/lunch/snacks all month with 2 exception.

I used the first exception on Sept 1st for a soft pretzel ($.55) and the second today for a bottle of water & a pretzel ($1.90). I forgot my reusable water bottle as I took it home Friday to watch. I will NOT be forgetting it for tomorrow! lol

Additional spending for today - I will be stopping by Acme for some lettuce & some ground turkey if it is on sale. Other than that, no extra spending.

I am passing on my weekly pub night with friends as I saw most of them yesterday at a friend's bbq. I plan on spending the time getting my bedroom cleaned & organized.

Today's 5 (Well, really 6) Things (to get done)
1. Library
2. grocery store
3. clean bedroom, dust & vacuum
4. pack food for tomorrow
5. call for wellness appointment by phone
6. pay electric bill - locked myself out & need to reset my password from my home email account

Sooo Sore today & cash envelope totals

September 5th, 2010 at 05:21 pm

Well, thanks to all the physical yard work yesterday, I woke up with a VERY sore back. I'm taking some anti-inflammatory meds and trying to walk around to loosen up the muscles Smile

Well, today will be a day of rest instead of a day of cleaning cause there's no way I'm going to be able to handle picking up stuff for scrubbing the bathtub.

I went to the farmer's market & got some veggies. Other than that, there is no spending for today. I am heading to my sisters for a bbq.

My cash envelope totals are now as follows:

House Stuff - $0 bought items on Friday
Groceries - $25.52
Entertainment- $31.13

Tomorrow, will be a no spender as well. The only thing I have planned is another bbq at a friends and I already have the items needed for veggies & dip.

Quick Spending Check In

September 2nd, 2010 at 09:46 pm

$2.02 for limes for Margarita Girls Night In
$17.98 tequila for the margaritas plus vodka for the jello shots I am bringing to a party this weekend.

Not too shabby... but I had to pare down the grocery budget even more to cover it! lol.

Late Night Update

September 2nd, 2010 at 02:16 am

Well, I packed food 99.99% today as I bought a soft pretzel. I will be getting rid of that habit starting tomorrow Smile Breakfast, lunch & snacks are already packed for tomorrow.

Today, I worked 7:30 to 4pm. Then I stopped by Joann Fabrics and picked up jeans patches. Unfortunately, my favorite jeans got worn in the inner thigh, so I used the $2.99 iron on patches and tried them out. Worked ok although they weren't an exact match. I'm just hoping to get the jeans through the next month or so of weight loss, when I have slightly smaller jeans that will work just fine.

I ate dinner at home & then met my parents at the movies to see Piranha 3D. My dad & I share a love of cheesy, over the top horror movies - the more crudeness the better. My mom was not as thrilled as we were, but we all had fun. $12.25 ticket.

My parents also followed me back to my house and dropped off a weed whacker and electric hedge trimmer that I asked to borrow. I am planning on taking care of the yard this weekend. I have a very small lot and can get around doing major yard maintenance too frequently. As long as my parents don't mind sharing, I see no point in buying those items myself.

Tomorrow, I am having some girls over for girls night in. We plan on making margaritas. My buddies are bringing stuff to make nachos and I am picking up some tequila and supplying the margarita mix. We should have a blast!


Today's spending:
$0.55 pretzel (from spare change in desk)
$12.25 3D movie ticket

Cash Envelope Balances:
Groceries: Start $110/ Current $64.82
Entertainment: Start $65/Current $43.90
House/Lowes: $40 plus coupon
Kitty Litter: $10


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