Just a quick update on my February #s. I'm still totalling the spending, but I've already calculated the amount I've transferred into savings: $1,344.61!
Some of this was my state tax refund (122.00) & an inherited insurance dispersement ($470.00). The rest is all from my overtime and any misc. savings. This is a great number!
I know I way overspent on eating out this month. So my goal for March is to make up for it.
I'm continuting with my overtime, I did 21 hours in January & 40 hours in February. I'm trying to do about 10 hours a week through the end of March. Every little bit helps!
Archive for February, 2007
Just a quick update on my February #s. I'm still totalling the spending, but I've already calculated the amount I've transferred into savings: $1,344.61!
Got my electric/gas bill today. Its the first month in the house that I had the heat on the full month. WHEW it was high. $149.00. UGH! I have the money in my budget, but its really the principle of the thing!
Part of the problem is that the thermostat the house came with was unreadable. I couldn't tell if the temp was at 65 or 75. I had to go with my comfort level as a guide. So I'm sure it was higher than I wanted. Plus, the heat was on at higher levels when I wasn't home.
So last night, I installed the $29.00 programmable thermostat that I bought at Lowes last week. Now I have it set at 60 when I'm not home & 65 when I am. I'm planning on bundling up & we'll see how that goes for my bill for March. I should see a big difference.
We got a few inches of snow, then it turned into sleet. But it was over after about 3 hours. I was able to clean off my car, as well as shovel & salt my walkway & a path to my car. Unfortunately, we had sleet again afterward, so my driveway is a sheet of ice.
I am going to try to go into work tomorrow for some overtime. Becuase people around here seem to have a mass hysteria over snow, I am going to wait and go in around 9 or 10 when there are less people on the road.
Tomorrow, my family is coming to dinner. We're having spaghetti. And my dad is going to take a look at my icemaker & hopefully help me install the programmable thermostat.
I spent a good part of my afternoon cleaning my house. I deep cleaned the kitchen, the living room and the downstairs bath. My major accomplishment though, is that I installed my kitchen clock radio all by myself. Its one of those ones that hang under a cabinet. I am so proud of myself over such a little thing, but hey... I did it by myself!
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about things to do around the house. I'm trying to do a little at a time and to use the most out of what is already there.
Well, the ice storm is headed this way, set to start a little after 1pm here. I'm at work (yes, on a Sunday). I leave at 1. I'm hoping to stop at Lowes right before the storm to pick up some salt. Then if it hasn't started snowing, I'm going to the grocery store. I just want a few veggies, so I'll be able to go through the quick lane.
Its a miracle, but my work is still offering overtime & will continue to do so through the end of March. I'm hoping to do 10 hours a week during that time.
I will have 357.00 to add to savings from Wednesday's paycheck. I also have $478.32 from an inherited insurance payment, which will also go directly to savings.
When I have my taxes back, that will also go directly to savings ($936.00)
I've roughly figured that if I continue to do overtime through march and I put all the overtime into savings, then after that,I will have less than $1500.00 to save by the end of the year to meet my goals. Which would be awesome.
However, I am not going to let myself get burnt out. If I can't do the 10 hours without overstressing myself, then I won't. But I am really going to try to do so, with the minimum amount of stress.
I just transfered $16.52 to savings as overage on my water bill. I'm working to get the water usage down, but first I have to fix a sometimes running toilet. Its on my to do list. Since I'm not too familiar with fixing things, I'm going to ask a friend to help.
Well today was a spender, but not too bad.
I packed my lunch, but part of it kinda got ruined (long story), so I ordered a salad with some people from work. $7.00, but I ate 1/2 today & I'll have the other 1/2 tomorrow. AND I'll pack the rest of my food too.
On my lunch break, I went to Boscov's. I've been wanting a big fluffy robe, but have been putting it off. I figured now was the time to check out the sales. I found one just like I wanted at 75% off. I ended up paying 13.50 for a $54.00 robe! NICE. And I paid cash from my clothing budget.
One of my coworkers lives in my neighborhood & she waved me down on the way to work today. She had shut her front door with her house & car keys inside & therefore couldn't drive to work. So I brought her and she presented me with at $5.00 lunch voucher for our work cafeteria. So I'm going to hold onto it. I'm planning on packing my lunch for 3 weeks starting tomorrow. When I make it through the 3 weeks, I"m going to treat myself to a free lunch!
Overtime is still available at my work thorugh the 28th. I never made it in on Monday due to a fall on ice. I was really sore, so I stayed home and had a no spend day. Since then, I worked 2 hours OT yesterday, I did 1 today & I'll do another 2 hours tomorrow.
Then next week, I"m going to do 8 hours Monday, 2 hours Tuesday & Wednesday, getting in as much as possible before it ends. All that money is going directly into savings.
I"m having my family over for dinner Monday night and I've asked my dad to help me fix my ice maker & help me install my programmible thermostat. I'm afraid to do it totally by myself.
They usually read the meter around the 20th, so I start looking online for my balance. I'm obsessed this month because this will be the first month where I had the heat on the full month. I REALLY can't wait to see what its like at the worst part of the year. They actually cover electric/gas, so we'll see how it goes. I'll let you all know as soon as the bill gets posted online!
Here's an update on some of my goals in no particular order.
1. Track all expenses for the full year [done so far--down to the penny]
2. Limit soda intake/purchase [very limited- also switched to generic soda for the few purchases]
3. Stick to weight watchers [fell off the wagon a bit due to stomach problems, getting back on track with a modified version]
4. Find part time job/ find roommate for additional income. [Pending due to unlimited overtime being offered at work]
5. Increase 401k witholding [pending for annual review, will increase with raise]
6. Maintain $0 balances on credit cards [done, will continue]
7. Use library for entertainment. [done, also using free subscription to Netflix]
8. Cancel XM radio [pending, gave myself 3 month extension as a reward for large amounts of overtime]
I'll admit it, I'm a little obsessed with personal finance and especially PF blogs. I check out Saving Advice daily, plus I have a few individual blogs in my favorites and I pretty much daily check out pfblogs.org.
I came across an article at stopbuyingcrap.com entitled 'What If... Your Net Worth Is Public?' Very interesting idea. Money is such a taboo subject in some ways & so easily talked about in others. It'd be a shock if our net worth was out there for all to see. And the fact that its public would probably change the way we do things. I know for sure that I would. I know I have changed a lot of my habits since I've joined this site.
This blog & site helps keep me grounded. I am really honest in my writing and there are times where I think about doing something (spending money-wise) and then I think how would I explain that to you guys? It also motivates me to find new ways to save money or earn money & put it into savings instead of spending it. I LOVE being able to say I added another $300.00 to savings instead of buying that new beadspread that I want, but do not need
So check out the article & let me know what you think!
Today was a no spend day. I had a goal of packing my lunch for 3 weeks straight, but I'm going to break it tommorrow (not even a full week in). Our work team is haveing a little lunch out. At one of my favoritre restaurants. So I'm going to get a fried chicken salad (which is HUGE) & have 1/2 for lunch & the other 1/2 for my dinner tomorrow. I'll bring breakfast & snacks to work & I"m planning on having water at the restaurant.
Then I'll be sticking to my packing lunch resolve for the rest of the 3 weeks, adding 1 day on at the end.
I worked 12-5 yesterday & am working 5 hours today. So I made my 10 hour overtime goal for this week after all. I am working 8-5 tomorrow & I'll put in another 2-4 hours of ot later this week. I packed my food again yesterday & today.
I'm preplanning my meals for the week & after I get home tonight, I'm going to make some spagehetti sauce for dinner & to freeze. I'm also going to make some blueberry muffins to freeze as well. I'm going to premake tuna for sandwiches, and salads for the week. The easier things are to grab and go, the better.
I FINALLY have all my tax info together. One of my w-2s never 'arrived' so I had to wait & request a copy. Normally I break pretty much even on my taxes, but due to the job change, house purchase & tuition expenses, I'll be getting a little over 900.00 back. ALL of which is going to my savings goals.
I had bought a programable thermostat, which I am going to attempt to install tonight. The directions make it look pretty simple, but who knows!
I didn't find a cabinet knob that I liked with the wood on the cabinets, so I'm going to hold off. I want to pick a paint color before I make a final decision anyway, so I'm going to walk through Lowes later this week to get some ideas.
I haven't had a no spend day in a while, and the only reason that I didn't yesterday was because I stopped by Happy Harry's with my mom and while I was waiting for her to make her purchases, I found some panty hose on clearance for 19 cents each. They only had 2 pairs in my size, but I got them both. GREAT deal! Worth breaking the no spend day for.
I've got a couple of movies from my Netflix Trial, so I'll be having a movie fest tonight while I'm doing all my cooking--I have an old movie I"ve been wanting to see, plus GridIron Gang, and the Illusionist.
I went to the new lowes by my work today. I wanted to check out any grand opening sales/presidents day sales. I picked out a couple of different knobs for the kitchen cabinets. I figured I'd check them out in the kitchen, pick the one I like return the others and then get enough for all my cabinets. Little details to spruce up the kitchen
I also bought a programmible thermostat because I can't even begin to tell the temperature on the really OLD one that the house came with. I think I'm keeping the heat low, but I can't really tell if its at 60 or 70 right now. Really. Its THAT bad.
I also bought some windshield wiper fluid, which I desperately needed given all the salt on the roads right now.
I leave work at 8 tonight & I'm heading about 15 minutes out of my way to the Walmart. I'm picking up most of the groceries. I want to do some stocking up, so I'm using some of my spending money on top of my grocery money. I'll make up the spending money by packing my lunch instead of buying.
I also have been offered more overtime, including Sunday hours. So I work my normal hours tomorrow & I"m contemplating going in from 12-5 on Sunday & 8-5 on Monday (my days off). The sunday hours would offset my cabinet knobs, the thermostat & I could still reward myself with the Harry Potter preorder. We'll see how I feel
I'm only going to make 5 hours of overtime this week. Mainly due to snow issues. So I will not be getting to preorder Harry Potter 7. I'm going to hold off on that mini reward for next week. There is overtime available again next week. So if I do 10 or more hours of overtime next week, I will let myself preorder. I like these mini-rewards. This system seems to work for me
On the other side of things, I couldn't bring myself to pack today. I haven't been to the grocery store in a while. So I bought food, but I'm DEFINTATELY going to pack tomorrow & I'm going to hit the grocery store on Saturday. I'm hitting Walmart to stock up on my snacks & veggies. The Walmart has the best veggie prices in the winter & always has the best prices on muffin mixes, microwave popcorn, generic Dr Pepper (2 liters for 49 cents), and other goodies. I also need ketchup, worstershire sauce, some salad dressing, and wheat pasta. I'm trying to make a list & STICK TO IT. I tend to go overboard at Walmart. But at the same time, its a little out of the way, so when I go, I really want to stock up on the cupboard stuff.
I went to the dollar store today, I was looking for a toilet bowl brush, which they were out of. But I found really cute socks & snack cakes and some bath stuff! I came very close to buying all of them... but then I put the basket down & walked away. I didn't NEED any of it. Except maybe the socks...but I'm sure I can find a better deal. Just because they were in pretty colors, doesn't justify buying them at $1.00 each pair.
I'm really going to buckle down with the eating out. I have been doing really badly this month. I made it 3 weeks in a row with packing my lunch in January, so thats my goal---starting tomorrow, I want to go 3 weeks of packing all food, snacks & drinks. Definately doable!
I get paid tomorrow I'll be putting 387.86 towards savings for this paycheck. In January, I put 300.97 toward savings. So I've already beat last month. And I still have another paycheck with lots of overtime coming on 2/28.
With this paycheck, I'll meet sever mini savings goals. I had moved some around from my original plan, so bear with me if its a little off from what I previously said.
I've met my mini goals for:
-2008 HOA fee
-One Time Lawn Service (for 1st mowing since the grass is overgrown since I bought the house)
-and some partial savings will go to outdoor furniture
Well, last night our snow storm turned into an ice storm. I can only open one of my car doors, my trash can is iced over. Today was the scheduled pick up, but they won't be able to get to my trash I tried shoveling my steps again, but the snow is covering about 2 inches of ice and the temperature is still dropping. So I gave that idea up.
I haven't been to the grocery store in over a week, so since I'm stuck in the house, I'm going to have to use up whats in the pantry and fridge. I have a little salad stuff left, and plenty of pasta and tuna fish. So I'll be set.
I get paid at midnight tonight. But I kinda doubt I'll make it to the grocery store even if I make it to work tomorrow. So I'll probably eat the pantry stuff through Friday.
Yesterday, I left work early. I felt a little foolish leaving early, so when I got home I decided to be productive. I cleaned the kitchen, cleaned, dusted and vacuumed the living room & organized a lot of my paperwork. Then I went upstairs and FINALLY put away my clean laundry and cleaned my bedroom.
I'm going to lay around this morning, but this afternoon, I'm going to change my sheets, and finish up the paperwork.
I really need to organize my basement, its like Christmas exploded down there, but I'm putting that off for a while. I REALLY need to be motivated to do that.