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Snowy Week

January 28th, 2011 at 09:02 am

It's been a while since I've updated. Here's what I've been up to!

Monday - Worked & hung at home with the roommate
Tuesday - Worked & went out to my regular Tuesday outting $12.00 spent
Wednesday - Snow day - took a sick day & stayed on the couch. Watched cable movies & read library books. When the roommate came home, we watched The Other Guys, which was borrowed from the libray too.
Thursday - Shoveled a little over a foot of snow & went into work. Vegged at home
Friday - Work, library & then probably a night at home. I am exhausted due to still not feeling well.

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks every day this week. Wed & Thursday were no spenders!

Financially, I am out of my entertainment budget until payday on Monday. I have $18.39 left in the groceries budget, which I will be using tomorrow.

I recevied my sewer bill and it increased from $61.35 in 2010 to $106.35. This increase is due to increased rates as well as having the roommates in the house. Still underbudget compared to my neighbors! OUr county has the bills online for the public to see and I am one of the lowest in my neighborhood!

Tonight, I plan on finalizing my Jan 31st budget, making a meal & grocery plan and probably doing some cleaning.

This weekend will be low key, but next week and weekend are very busy, so I will be enjoying my downtime!

Back again, just in time for a new month!

March 1st, 2010 at 01:54 pm

Well, the surgery went well. Thanks to all the well wishers! It was NOT cancer, so this will be the end of it. The only process now is to treat the scar on my neck and hope that it becomes minimal soon Smile

Its been a week since the surgery. I am going back to work Wednesday. I used 5 of my own sick days and 1 day of leave, which is covered 100%. I am still tired & could stay home more (per the doctor), but I think I just need to get back in the swing of things. All in all, I'm a lucky girl!

I made my March budget. I slacked a little on tracking spending the last 2 weeks, but I'm back on track today!

I did some spending today:

$3.49 Easter candy
$25.78 Lunch with mom after doctors
$14.98 Vitamin E oil & ointment for scar
$10.24 special suncreen for scar
$2.04 Redbox movie rental
$50.30 Cell phone
$133.15 Car insurance
$20.00 Mom- money for groceries that she picked up for me post surgery
$10.00 sent to Christmas fund
$43.00 sent to Rent Increased Utilities Fund
$74.72 quarterly water bill


Because of the surgery, I'm passing on going to a concert that I bought prior to knowing I'd need the surgery. A friend is buying the ticket, so I'll get my $60.00 back.

I plan on putting $25.00 of that money towards a ticket to a beef & beer to benefit a foundation in the name of a friend's child. The rest will go to my entertainment spending (and likely be set aside for another concert in the summer)


My goals for March are the following:

1. Stay 100% on budget
2. Track 100% of spending
3. 8 No spend days
4. Review Medical HSA & medical budget. Will need to restructure monthly budget to add funds throughout the year. (I am expecting $450 in hospital bills/copays/ect).
5. Pack lunch 18 workdays of the month

Raise/benefits, roommate & part time job Stuff

February 6th, 2010 at 02:48 pm

Well, I've never really put it out there, but here goes. I got a raise & my new annual salary is $41,000.00.

Per my work information, the company's estimated yearly cost of benefits are as follows:

Retirement $1325.83
401k Match $2328
Health & Income Protection: $3817.20
Social Security & Medicare: $3037.05

TOTAL: $10,508.08

So, my total annual compensation is roughly $51.5k.

I also get tax breaks for using my HSA which arent counted in this.

So I guess I'm not doing too bad. But one of my financial goals for this year is to look for a new position in or outside of my company that will challange me more (as well as pay more! lol).

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So I re-started at the part time job last night. We were sent home an hour early, so only worked 3.25 hours. Today I would have worked 8.5, but no work due the snow. So now, my 12 hour week turned into 3.25 Smile

This week (starting tomorrow), I'm scheduled 16 hours. Then 12 hours the following week.

I like the 12-16 hours. Definately do not want to be working the 20+ that I was during the holiday season.

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As for the roommate. He'll have been here 1 month this week. Paid when agreed, is neat and courteous. He stays up in his room most of the time, but he's starting to come out of his shell. This is definately working out!

When he pays me on the 9th (the agreed upon date based on the day he moved in), I will be taking the $487 and putting:

$91.30 to pay off the vet bill.
$45.00 to home repairs
$82.00 to increased utilities fund (includes the comcast upgrade he asked for)
$39.17 to pay myself back for a grocery splurge
$229.53 to the credit card.

Personal Quirk & $8 from Craigslist

December 4th, 2009 at 05:02 pm

I am weird. I know it and tonight I reminded myself. Backstory: The night before Thanksgiving I had my nephew spend the night. Thanksgiving morning, I was running around and trying to get him ready. Someone (and I DONT think it was him) used the downstairs bathroom, washed their hands and then failed to shut off the water properly. So it ran at a small pace all day. Yes, ALL day. Thanks to me. Can't even blame the 8 year old!

So in penance and because I had just gotten my quarterly water bill & wanted to try to beat it this quarter, I have been handwashing 100% of my dished. Its amazing how much water I save. I really was getting lazy & using the dishwasher an awful lot. It was so not necessary.

So yeah, I am kinda punishing myself with dishes to make up for leaving the water run Smile

Second point of the post - I sold a duvet cover & 2 pillowcases that have pretty much remained unused since bought. I think I paid $20.00 for it a few years ago. Got $8.00 cash for it tonight

Tomorrow, I am selling a desk to someone from Craigslist. Its been used by me since my early teens, but has been sitting unused in the spare bedroom. So I figured I'd earn a few bucks & have someone else haul it out. I underpriced it, but I'm ok with that Smile $10.00

And now for tonights 5+ Things (which I previously listed). I've gotten pretty much nothing accomplished!

1. Send pics of birthday party to friend (ON HOLD)
2. Laundry (ON HOLD)
3. PIckup house. Already clean, just a little cluttered again due to a busy week (DONE)
4. Set aside 2 items for pickup from Craigslist (DONE)
5. Adjust budget. Need to rebalance checkbook, I'm off somewhere (ON HOLD)
6. Change sheets (ON HOLD)
7. Do nails (ON HOLD)
8. Pull out dresses for Christmas party tomorrow (WILL GET DONE TONIGHT)
9. Meal plan for upcoming week (WILL GET DONE TONIGHT)
10. Wardrobe Plan for the upcoming week (WILL GET DONE TONIGHT)
11. Catch up on Sons of Anarchy, Monk, Fringe and Supernatural (DONE)
12. Put out Christmas decorations (WILL PARTIALLY GET DONE TONIGHT)

Free Stuff This Week

November 18th, 2009 at 05:14 am

Well, I've been lucky enough to get a few free things this week.

- Several books/movies from the library
- Borrowed movie from friend
- 2 Hershey bars from work as a promotion
- Gummy lolli-pop (friend's leftover Halloween) Am giving to the nephew.

Other updates:

- Heat kicked back in last night. Woke up to a living room of 62 degrees. That was tough this morning as the last week or so has been 67-70!

- Made it out of the pub on $3.00. Had fun, didn't drink a lot and basically spent nothing!

- Water bill came in for the quarter. It went up a bit, but I haven't looked it over to see if increased rates or usage caused it. Roughly $6.00 difference.

- Am working to use the dishwasher less and handwash dishes. Managed to do that the last 2 nights.

- I am working hard on Christmas shopping. I'll share my status on gifts and spending - maybe tonight.

- My goal for the rest of the week (Wed through Friday) will be no spenders. Definately do-able!

Got a Case of the Mondays!

June 8th, 2009 at 05:00 am

Here's Monday & I'm in a sleepy mood. Dont want to work today Smile

I've had a great weekend. Stayed within my grocery & entertainment budgets! Yeah Smile

I'm kinda in a financial stall right now. I'm sticking within my budget, but as things are tight, I'm not putting as much to savings as I'd like. So now I'm looking at alternate ways to generate income.

The first step I'm going to take is to list some things on Craigslist. I have:

an old desk
a scientific calculator
a graphing calculator
a wireless router
an extra DVD player.


I have a lot of upcoming incedental expenses in the next month & every little bit helps. I have the following:

Car Registration
Car repairs - check engine light is on
Dental Bills - cavity to be filled
Sister Birthday
Dad Birthday
Dad Father's Day
Mini Vacation - want to drive to the beach at least 2 times this month. Can be done very frugally, but gas will still be an extra expense.

I've decided to not renew my AAA membership this year.

In lunch news, I've packed breakfast, lunch & snacks 100% of this month again so far! Its become pretty easy Smile

And in utility news, my electric usage is low, more so than this time last year. My gas usage is at 0!

I still have yet to turn the air on, although its getting much more humid. I'm hoping to hold off as long as possible, but historically, by mid-month the A/C goes on.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Utilities and Medical

May 19th, 2009 at 06:50 pm

Today was a very busy day. I worked, took a 2 mile walk, went to my nephew's ball game, did 2 loads of laundry, made dinner and premade food for tomorrow.

I spent $2.89 for a drink for my mom & a soft pretzel for me at the ball game.

In the mail, I received my water bill - $68.82 for 3 months. The water bill went up from last year. I can attribute it to two things - using more water for the garden and being lazy and using the dishwasher more often. So today, I went back to handwashing for meals and using the dishwasher when doing big cooking.

Also, my electric usage has been down. No air or heat usage this month. So hopefully my usage will be really really low Smile

I also received my car insurance renewal in the mail. It went up again - third year in a row. I'll be doing the usual calls for quotes before making a decision. I like the company I'm with, but I also need to make the best economic choice. In the past two years, I still was getting the best deal with this company, but who knows what this year will bring.

Tomorrow, I'll be calling Comcast about downgrading the cable. I'll probably cancel my phone service with them & switch it to Verizon who can give me a local only plan for about $12 per month. When I had the cable, phone & internet package, it was the most frugal choice. But changing the cable will stop be from being able to use the package. By itself, the phone is $24.95/month.

I also went to the dentist Thursday last week - I have 2 cavities. They say they'll need $285.00 after insurance, but this dentist is not in the plan that I have. It never mattered before because the dentist's office always gave me a discount, and I used to pay just an additional $5.00 after the insurance. But now, they have a new office manager & that went away. And with the needed fillings, its too costly to continue to go out of plan. I'm going to have to finally make the leap to an in plan dentist. Its a shame, I really liked the dentist that I was with.

Tomorrow should be a no spender - I plan on coming home after work & heading straight to the park or get on the elliptical. Thursday, I'm going out with some friends, I have $10.00 to spend, thats it. Should be doable.

Thinking about getting rid of the cable

April 19th, 2009 at 08:04 am

I love tv. Love movies, reality TV, LOST, ect. But I'm getting more and more annoyed with the cost of cable.

I have bad habits with tv. I live alone, and have the tv on a lot for background noise. SO if I did get rid of the cable, I wouldn't want to give up tv altogether.

Right now, I utilize HULU for a lot of stuff. I get movies & older shows on dvd from the library. The main shows that I watch are available for free online somewhere.

So I wonder if I could live without the cable. I'm really taking the time to think this one through. And worst case scenario, I try it out for a month and decide to take it back.

Also, if I got rid of the cable, I probably would get rid of the land line as well, depending on if I can shop around for a better price from a non-cable company Smile

I'd definately keep my high-speed internet, which would mean my bill would drop from 105.00 to about $47.00. It only cuts it in 1/2 bc of the packages I get for having phone & internet along with the cable, but every bit helps!

What are your thoughts?

Been a long week!

March 21st, 2009 at 06:39 am

Been a very, very busy week for me. I was out every night except Wednesday and now I'm beat!

Monday I went to the movies with a friend. We saw Watchmen. My friend bought my ticket before I even got there & refused to be reimbursed. So next time I'll try to get there first! Spending $0

Tuesday was St Paddy's and I went to the dive I hang out at, which we call the Pub. Bought a few drinks. The poor bartenders, who I know fairly well, were running ragged. I left a good tip because I knew they were working their butts off. Spent roughly $30.00

Wednesday I had the day off. Waited around for the electric guy to change the meter. Thought they were taking the whole thing out, but apparently it was just the gas portion. My dad came over & repaired the downstairs toilet & my dryer. I paid for the dryer part & lunch for him and my mom. For a total of $50.00. But completely worth it!

Thursday I had planned on staying home. Ran some errands after work, then was called by 2 friends for impromptu dinner. Went to a local mexican place. We had a margarita and some good food. Then our 1 friend paid for everything. Apparently he had been at the Casinos & won a lot. He wouldn't even let us leave tip.

On my way home from there, another friend called and asked me to meet him at a local bar. A friend of his was working there as a rep for a vodka company. We were given some comped drinks & caught up for an hour or two. So this was a completely free night, which was a surprise. Spending $0

Yesterday I went to the library. Picked up a few movies, couple of books. Some of the books were impulses, some not:

The Art Theif by Noah Charney
The Simple Life by Amy Dacyczyn, Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin
Houseplant Basics
Cents & Cents-abilities by Kathy Bradford
Good Housekeeping's The complete Household Handbook
The Frugal Gardner
Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs & More by Earl Proulx

Friday was happy hour. A few friends had taken 1/2 days for March Madness. We met up after work & had dinner. They were ready to continue for the rest of the night. I was ready to go to bed. Made it home by 8, watched tv til 10. Then bed. Total spent $8.00.

Got a great nights sleep & now I'm refreshed! Gonna hang out with a friend today. Our big plans are a shoe store where I have a $20 gift certificate, the Farmers Market for veggies, she's gonna help me pick out some glasses & we'll possibly go shopping for some stuff for container gardening. We may end up doing none of that if she still has a cold. In that case, we'll be watching April Fools Day, a movie I own already that she & I loved as teens. Low key & low cost day!

I know container gardening won't be that frugal a hobby this year since I'm just starting out & a complete novice to anything gardening related. If anyone has any info, please feel free to share!