Home > Archive: July, 2006

Archive for July, 2006


July 29th, 2006 at 04:21 am

After four complete no spending days, I finally dipped into my cash today. No spending at work, but I did have dinner out. $6.45. Plus I got a few 10 packs of pens & white out at KMart $3.95. I bid on two sets of antique postcards on ebay (to be framed as christmas gifts--$7.00 for 8 postcards, will frame 3 & put rest in small organizer).

This weekend, I have to go to the pet store for cat food & litter and to the grocery store. On Monday, I get paid, so I'll be paying all my bills then. I'm planning on keeping up the packing for work. Its really cutting down on my cash usage.

My computer is dying quicker than I anticipated. I'm really trying to do research and shop around. Once my last class ends mid-August, I'm going to look into a part time job.

That'll help pay for the computer & put a little extra towards the house savings. I'm planning on getting some rough mortgage figures in August. See where I really stand. Then I'm going to make the decision to start the buying process, or to look into an apartment for one more year.

4th no spend day in a row

July 28th, 2006 at 02:26 am

So far so good! Fourth no spend day in a row. I already have tomorrow's food all planned out. Once I get through, its smooth sailing to the weekend.

still going strong-3rd no spend day

July 26th, 2006 at 11:45 pm

Yet another no spend day. Three in a row. Tomorrow's the toughie because I have work from 8-5 then class from 5:30-10. I'm packing all my food & planning to leave my cash at home. That way I won't be tempted. Friday will be no problem. I've had a lot of temptation, but the willpower has held strong!

Still doing well

July 26th, 2006 at 12:03 am

No spending again today. Packed everything to work. Came home for dinner. Planned my food for tomorrow. Feeling very good about this. If I can make it through Friday without buying anything food or otherwise, I'll be happy.

first day completed

July 25th, 2006 at 12:17 am

No money spent today. Packed food for work, came straight home and made dinner. I'm completely on plan for my diet.

As I said before, my goal is to not spend any money this week. So one day down and four to go. Definately not going to be a problem.

I'm waiting for my next paycheck on the 31st. It will be my first full paycheck of the new job. I have a good estimate of what my take-home pay will be after taxes, medical & 401k, but I really want to get the exact figure. I can't wait.

Well, off to study for my midterm. I'm also going to do some cleaning. Probably will end up doing the cleaning first. I'm a procrastinator. Then I'm heading off to bed early. Good night all.

a little challange for myself

July 23rd, 2006 at 10:00 pm

I went to the grocery store today, mainly for salad stuff and a few staples. Spent $20.63. I am stocked up on everything I need. So now I can make breakfast, lunch dinner & snacks from the pantry. I have no plans this week because I have a midterm on Thursday & need to study.

So I am planning my meals & sticking to it for diet & budget purposes. I haven't been doing that well with either in the last week or two.

So from Monday to Friday, I will not spend any money at all. I am filled up on gas, all my bills are paid. I can definately do this. I'll keep you guys updated.


July 22nd, 2006 at 03:30 am

Just a quick update. Packed lunches all week up until yesterday when I bought lunch at the cafe and today when we had a work outing. Both came safely out of my spending budget.

Used up my clothes budget-not only did I buy the shoes from Payless, but since my new job is much more casual and the air conditioning is not very good in the building, I decided to buy a few short sleeve shirts.

When I went in, I found some really nice shirts, knit with cute details like ribbing. They were $4.00 each. I was able to get 8 shirts for $32.00. I know 8 shirts is VERY excessive, but I have a hard time finding shirts that fit me. So I went ahead and bought extras.

I am set for clothes, except for some khaki's. However, I'm back on weight watchers & I decided to wait on buying pants til I've reached a level weight again. My current work pants are just fine until then.

Tommorrow I'm doing a library run to return some movies & get some new ones. I have to study for my midterm & I'm going over a friend's house to play cards. My contribution to the dinner and entertainment is a bottle of cheap wine...kinda a joke with us, but only costs me $6.99. Can't beat that.

Sunday will be more studying & I promised my mom to help her with some stuff on the computer & with her job search. I really hope she finds something soon!


July 18th, 2006 at 03:21 am

I was sitting in a meeting at work today when I realized that I was wearing shoes with holes in both of their soles. Well, really, it was more that there were tears in the rubber bottem, but large enough to be unfixable. These shoes have lasted me 5 years and are one of the 2 primary pairs I've worn to work. I got them at payless--genuine leather with rubber soles & definately worth the $12.99 I paid for them.

Since all the work shoes I have now are heels and I really need flats since this job is so much more casual, I went online to I found 2 pairs of ballerina type flats & 1 pair of loafers. I used an online coupon for free shipping and $5.00 off the order. So 3 pairs of shoes were $42.00 with free shipping.

I already was aware I needed shoes & was planning on going shopping. I had stopped at the local Payless last week, but they didn't have any of the styles I liked in my size (that's why I went with the online). If I wear these shoes & find that I REALLY love one of them, I may get a 2nd pair. I really loved the ones I wore today & didnt think to get an extra pair for when they ran out. Oh well, I'll plan ahead this time.

I find that Payless shoes last a long time for me, so paying a little more than I might elsewhere for shoes seems worth it.

dollar store & birthday presents

July 17th, 2006 at 11:43 pm

Stopped by the dollar store to pick up some batteries. Ended up spending $8.00 instead of the $2.00 I planned on (1 pack of AAA & 1 pack of AA). I got a bag of chips and a bag of french fries. But the BIG surprise was the sports mugs that I found.

My roommate's birthday is in August and I wanted to get him some beer mugs. I've been shopping online for a nice set. The ones I've found (within my budget) range between $20-30. I found 4 mugs very similar to the ones I found online, also glass, for $1.00 each. (Savings, a minimum of $16.00!!)

Great find!

Library kick & funny cat story

July 17th, 2006 at 03:28 am

I've said before that I'm on a library kick. I borrow a few movies a week. I watch at night instead of watching tv...except for The Closer, Monk & Psych. Those I watch religiously.

Anyway, I've been obsessed with Agatha Christie's Poirot ever since I saw Murder on the Orient Express. There are a few full length movies and several episodes of a show/specials from A&E. There are a LOT of movies and episodes. So I've been borrowing a lot of them.

I also watched Hitchcock's Notorious for the first time. It was a very good movie. Plus Carey Grant is a hottie.

Sometimes I'll pick up random movies to watch. I grabbed Mind Hunters as my random pick this week. Surprisingly good. More horror than mystery, but with just enough cheesiness to be funny.

I just want to share a quick story about my cat Colbi. She's a little weird. Thinks she's a dog---comes when she's called, begs for food, will fetch toys to play with. But she's also very needy to the point of neurotic. I can't go to the bathroom without her crying outside the door because she can't get to me. Its a bit pathetic in a sweet way.Hey, she loves me and thats nice Smile

Anyway, today she was spazzing out because I was in the shower & I couldn't stand the crying anymore, so I let her in the bathroom. Then she sits outside the shower and cries because she can't see me through the shower curtain. Next thing I know, she's climbed into the shower with me...gets herself completely wet, which freaks her out and she runs out of the tub and runs herself right into the bathroom door, which is once again closed.

So my cat has codependancy issues or she's some kind of a weirdo. Either way, she won't be allowed in the bathroom again while I'm in the shower, its just too dangerous Smile

Prescription update

July 16th, 2006 at 06:23 pm

Thanks to everyone who commented about my prescription problem. I appreciate the support very much. I definately am looking into all options & I'll be calling my doctor tomorrow. No matter what, the medicine is working for my problem, which was pretty severe (ie gross stomach problems). So I would rather pay that amount and be healthy, then not.

I have enough of a supply to last another almost 3 months. So I have plenty of time to weigh all options. I'll let you all know.

On the upside--Loving the new job. Its so much better in the day to day than my previous one. The training itself is boring & I have another 5 weeks of it, but the job itself will be interesting and much less stressfuly, which will be another bonus for my stomach Smile

Hope everyone had/is having a good weekend. We have a heat advisory here, so my roomies have the AC cranked up (luckily I don't pay utilities to them, so when they turn the AC up, I just enjoy it). Hope everyone's staying cool & comfortable!

meal planning

July 16th, 2006 at 06:15 pm

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.

spending while upset---and the awful reason I'm upset!

July 12th, 2006 at 11:43 pm

Ok, so I recently wrote about not needing to buy Money Magazine, even at the price of $10.00 per year. Well, I impulse bought a subscription to Kiplinger's Personal Finance. 2 years (24 months) for $6.90. I can't believe I did that. I'm totally having buyers remorse. I definately know I got a good deal and that I will read the magazine, but Geesh! I need to learn to control myself.

I'm having a bit of a pity party. We received our medical benfits info today & I signed up for the best plan for me. But the prescriptions stink. I previously paid $80.00 for a 3 month supply of Protonix. (AND I thought that was a lot). Now I'm going to tell you how much a 3 month supply will cost me now, but first I must warn you....

...don't read further if you get upset easily...

...a 3 month supply is $315.00 !!!!
I almost cried. I really wouldn't have taken this job if I new the prescriptions would be so expensive. I'm planning on talking to my doctor about alternatives and calling the prescription company to see if there are any exemptions (which I highly doubt). There are no generics for this medicine & no other medication that close to it. So I'm kinda stuck on options.

I really could cry though. Its so fustrating. If I stop taking the medicine, then my stomach will start deteriorating, I'll start throwing up all the time again and I'll end up with more medical bills than before.

At this rate, I'll have to take a part-time job just to cover that medication. In the meantime, I am seriously considering reestablishing my job search again in September.

I'll think things through when I've calmed down a bit, right now I'm very upset

quick laugh

July 9th, 2006 at 08:54 pm

I've been getting a lot of solicitations for Money Magazine. I was given a subscription a few years back & apparently they REALLY want my business. I haven't been able to justify purchasing a subscription, although I do enjoy the publication.

Today, they offered a 1 to 3 year subscription at $10.00 per year. The offer gave me pause. I kept thinking, wow, this is a good deal. Then I realized I don't need the subscription at all. Duh. So I reminded myself that I can read the magazine at the library & tossed the offer.

I have to watch being so overwhelmed by savings, that I'll buy a product that I don't need.

House plans

July 9th, 2006 at 07:10 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 7th, 2006 at 04:55 am

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 5th, 2006 at 12:40 am

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!

230th Birthday

July 4th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

Today is America's 230th birthday. Took me a few minutes to do the math, which got a lot of laughs from my friends today.
It is over 90 degrees here. Luckily the air is on in my house (my roommates control the dial & they LOVE it to be cold).
We had breakfast out--$10.00. But worth it. Then we braved the humidity today to see a ballgame. My nephew's ballteam was able to run out on the field with professional players. A bunch of 5 year olds trying to keep up with the players, very cute. Since the tickets were free, I bought my roomies some water---it was desperately needed. Ended up spending $11.25 for 3 bottles of water and an order of fries. RIP OFF.

Now my parents are having a small barbeque. I was asked to pick up hot dog rolls. Cheap contribution for hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, veggies and baked beans. And the upside is that since my mom has a medical condition that makes it impossible to take the heat, we'll have our barbeque indoors. Its 90 degrees today, but with the high humidity, it feels like 120 degrees. The air conditioning is very welcome.

Well, off to barbeque, enjoy your holiday everyone!

atm conned me!

July 1st, 2006 at 11:30 pm

So I stopped at the atm in the Walmart to get some cash. I requested $200.00. It gave me the money in five dollar bills, but only gave me $195.00. There was no way to prove that I was given less than the receipt said. That totally bites.

On the upside, my roommates rented Grandma's Boy. Very funny movie. My roommates also are having surf & turf for dinner and I'm invited...Steak, Alaskan crab legs, shrimp, and corn. Yummy. I have very generous roommates.

Home Buying

July 1st, 2006 at 05:46 pm

Since I'm just starting a new job, I'm going to wait until early September to start shopping for a mortgage/start looking for a house. I want to get the new pay periods under my belt first. Since the new job is in the same field as the old, the job change shouldn't hurt me. In the meantime, I'm making some lists.

-Things I have for the house
-Things I want for the house
-Things I will likely 'need' for the house

I have been saving money for the deposit, the closing costs, initial start up (utility deposits, initial grocery & pet expenses), an emergency fund of 3 months, and for initial furniture costs.

I have stuff for the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, but nothing for the living room. I'm going to want a sofa, chair, end tables, coffee table, tv & tv stand.

The way that I"m approaching these wants is to search thrift stores & used furniture places. When I find something I like, I will buy it. If I don't, I will go without until I do find something I like and I can afford it.

My sister recently bought a sofa and love seat from a company that leases furniture for the show homes in new neighborhoods. The furniture is practically brand new, maybe not the nicest patterns, but certainly usable for a few years. I might check that place out.

I also want a new bed, but thats something that isn't immediately necessary. I can put that off for another year or two, so I'm setting up a small savings in the mean time. I have serious sleep problems, so having a good bed is very important to me.

I'm talking to friends and family, trying to get a feel for everything that I'll have to prepare for in buying a new home, but suggestions are already welcome.

My main goal is to not go into credit card debt while buying a new home. I would rather wait before buying new things than put myself into debt.

When I buy my house, I'm probably not going to get cable or internet right away, although I use both regularly, I want to get a handle on the necessity utilities before getting involved in the wanted ones.

If anyone has any suggestions or comments on the things that I need to prepare for when buying my first home, please share!