Home > Archive: August, 2006

Archive for August, 2006

tightening the belt even more

August 29th, 2006 at 01:56 am

Right now, every penny counts. I really am trying to save up for a laptop & I don't want to dig into my house money.

Today was a no spend day. Packed all my food at work, watched a movie from the library tonight. Will make another library stop tomorrow. And I already pre-made lunch for tomorrow. All I have to pack in the morning is snacks.

My goal is to spend NOTHING until Saturday. I keep making these kind of goals and then completely blowing them. But I WILL keep up with my non-spending. The only thing I will spend on is gas. I know I won't make it to the weekend without refilling. So I am planning on filling up tomorrow. But thats it, nothing until Saturday.

Here's my meal plan for the week:

Tues Lunch: tuna sandwich & salad
Tues Dinner: shake n bake chicken, baked potato, salad
Wednesday Lunch: shake n bake chicken & salad
Wednesday Dinner: pasta with meat sauce
Thursday LunchStick Out Tongueeanut butter sandwich, salad
Thursday Dinner: blt & baked potato
Friday Lunch: salad
Friday Dinner: lemon chicken and baked fries

working the vision care system

August 27th, 2006 at 12:17 am

I wear glasses, but I prefer contacts. However, I haven't worn contacts in about a year due to general laziness and cheapness. With my new job, my vision insurance runs per calander year. So what I plan to do is go to the eye doctor in october, november, get the eye exam, the contact exam, and get contacts. Then in january, I will order glasses. That will carry me through the next year. I will be so happy to have contacts again!

Recap of this week: spent more than I wanted, but am working on my eating habits & losing weight. So I've 'invested' in some healthier foods, which can be a bit more expensive. On the upside, I've lost 3.5 pounds this week. I'm hoping to average about 2-3 pounds per week. My goal is to lose 45 pounds. So off to a good start.

Warning: Bragging ahead

August 24th, 2006 at 01:57 am

Just wanted to write a quick note...and brag...the mortgage company pulled my credit bureau as part of the application process

and ..............................................................................
it was...................................


I'm VERY excited!

Self control and a good tip if you live near a Happy Harrys

August 23rd, 2006 at 01:23 am

I'm from the northeast and here the big pharmacy is Happy Harrys. It's been a local institution for decades. However, it recently got bought out by Walgreens.
HH's has always had its own generic brand of over the counter medicines and personal products. With the sale of the company, all of their store brand products are 50% off.

When I was picking up my prescriptions today, I wandered the store and filled up a basket full of stuff. Then I realized I was buying a lot of stuff that I don't need. Since I couldn't control myself, I just put the stuff back and walked away. No products bought.

I plan on making a small list of things that I use regularly & would be thrifty to buy at 50% off. Then I will go back with a specific list and just enough cash to cover the purchases. Some of the things I am planning on getting are shampoo, conditioner,body wash, nail files, makeup wedges, body lotion, vitamins, cough syrup and their generic version of sudafed. Actually, I think thats the full list.

If anyone lives near one, check it out.

shampoo and conditioner samples

August 23rd, 2006 at 01:09 am

just a quick note--I put all my free samples in a plastic bag to be used as needed. I was going through the bag today and counted 23 samples of shampoo & conditioner. I guess I'm set for quite a while!

not quite a no spend day

August 23rd, 2006 at 01:03 am

I spent unexpected money today, but I was prepared. I've been feeling sick and I finally went to the doctor. I thought it was allergies, but apparently I have an ear & sinus infection. Well that explains why I've been so tired lately.

On the upside, since I was already there, I discussed my migrane problem with the doctor. I just switched primary care physicians last year & haven't really talked the problem over with the new doctor yet. Mainly because when I first met her I was dealing with kidney stones & stomach problems. But since I was in there for a sick visit, I talked over the migranes with her and she gave me a prescription for percocet for the pain.

So I paid:
$20 copay for the office visit.
$28.06 for the antibiotics
$4.98 for the generic percocet.

It all came out of my medical budget, which is plenty padded, given my bad luck in the last 2 years.

On the upside--no spending on food or drink or anything else today. I plan on going the rest of the week without spending.

updates and plans

August 21st, 2006 at 10:55 pm

Met with a realtor and applied for a mortgage in last 2 weeks. Everything looks good--no surprises. The hard part is going to be finding the right house in my price range. Housing is outragious in my area, and there are few listings in my price. So its just waiting for something to open up. My realtor is keeping an eye out & so am I.

Things have been crazy for me the last few weeks...I took my final for the last graduate class I will ever have. Got an A...yay. Now I can truthfully say I have 2 MBAs! Plus, I just finished my 6 week training at work on Friday. I had a whole bunch of family stuff go on this weekend too. Not so fun.

I made it to the grocery store sunday & planned my food out for the week. I'm limiting myself to 1 soda a day which has both health and financial benefits.

Today I had oatmeal for breakfast, salad with a few chicken strips for lunch, pretzels for a snack and sloppy joe and wheat pasta, with salad for dinner. Yummy. I premade pasta salad to take to work tomorrow and Wednesday. And I"m having chicken tomorrow night for dinner.

I spent no money today & my goal is to not spend at all this week. Definately doable.

starting the home buying process

August 13th, 2006 at 02:16 am

I've been doing lots of research, online, through other people and through library books on buying a house. I've made the decision to go ahead with the homebuying process.

Today I met with a real estate agent, who went through all the local first time home buyer programs with me, helped me pick one. The house prices and mortgage payment he came up with based off my income and debt (which only consists of my student loan) is almost exactly what I had come up with through my own research. But the program has a better rate than I expected! It is based off credit, but according to the program prerequisites, as long as my FICO is more than 680, I qualify for that rate. (My FICO is over 700).

So Monday I will be calling that program to get a preapproval started. Next Saturday the agent & I are going to tour some houses.

I was very nervous about going to meet with him! I had several referrals for him and his company, so I was comfortable with my choice. But, I think I was afraid he'd tell me that I couldn't do it...unfounded fear, but mainly due to doing this by myself. We talked about some of my concerns and he was very patient with my questions. He also gave me some very good information--some I had alredy found out in my research, but its very reassuring that he is saying things I knew to be right for me.

So I am in super frugal mode. I don't want to spend any uneccessary money. I'm making lists of things I have for the house, things I'll need and things I want.

Tonight my nephew is sleeping over. My roommates are out of town, so he's enjoying running around without bothering anyone. We watched XMen (a movie I already own). I made spaghetti (his favorite meal other than McDonalds). Now he's sleeping and I finally am sharing my good news!

Tomorrow I'll clean the house (make it nice for the roommates to come home to). I have laundry and schoolwork. I'm going to make some of my premade meals. I have to skip the sloppy joe & spaghetti sauce that I was going to make and freeze. THe advertisement for the cheap ground beef was misleading. I'll wait til there's a better deal. After all that, then I plan to watch a few library movies & relax.

I'll keep you updated on my progress. I'm happy & nervous about my decision. I did talk to my parents about this and they've been very supportive. It means a great deal to me. Plus, its nice to know that they think I'm making the right decisions.

sorry I've been MIA

August 12th, 2006 at 01:05 am

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 2nd, 2006 at 12:56 am

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!