Home > Archive: April, 2007

Archive for April, 2007

Some great savings, gifts & April totals

May 1st, 2007 at 03:34 am

I never checked my mail on Saturday and I grabbed it on the way into work this morning. Its a good thing that I looked through it before I went to the doctors. In the mail was an offer where you get $25.00 off any purchase if you bring a new prescription into the local Happy Harrys. So I took my antibiotic in. They wouldnt allow me apply the $25.00 to the prescription (which ended up being 8.92), so I got a $20.00 gift card to the store, to use for future prescriptions. And I go some candy, a drain strainer for the kitchen sink, and a body poof for the additional 5.00. I had returned something to Lowes earlier that day and was issued a 9.91 credit on my Chase Amazon card, so that, combined with the $25.00 statement credit paid for my co-pay & prescription, so it was no money out of checking. And I still have 5.99 left on the credit 

Then, for my family birthday, we went to Texas Roadhouse. Very yummy. My sister gave me a $50.00 visa gift card (which was really too much), my 6 year old nephew gave me an XBOX game (Spiderman more for him than me), and my parents gave me a digital camera. Its pretty nice, not the one I was drooling over. But seriously, I never would have bought that one, it was way too much. I am SO psyched over the camera! I plan on taking lots of pictures & sharing!

So just to tally for April, I received a 25.00 Chase credit, a 5.00 Pinecone check, 20.00 Happy Harrys gift card, 5.00 of free stuff from Happy Harrys, and a $50.00 gift card! I also got those pillows, a couple of really nice dinners, and the digital camera! For May, Im looking at a $400.00 gift card from work (I made the 160% production), and a $10-20.00 deposit in my checking.

And heres some April Totals:

April ING interest $39.18
April Emigrant interest $9.70
April Savings Total $3328.04

I have a case of the Mondays

April 30th, 2007 at 02:15 pm

Ugh, after a real weekend off (first in quite a while), I went back to work today for some overtime. I'm working 8am to 2pm, then I'll run a few errands. I have a 3:15 doctors appointment & my family is taking me out to dinner tonight for my birthday.

I plan on being home by 8-ish. So I can premake food for tomorrow and then sit down to watch the new episode of Heros. I am SO addicted. By the way, any Veronica Mars fans out there-- the new season starts Tuesday! I love my shows Wink

I packed my food for work today, but I will be shelling out for the office visit & medicine. Oh well, I have the money for it. I'll use the 25.00 credit I have on my chase amazon credit card, and I have some money sitting in my medical fund.

I have a whole to do list for this week, entailing cleaning & organizing around the house. I also want to gather some video games and some dvds to sell in the resale shop. Due to my planned and unplanned spending for this month, I didn't put ANY of my overtime money towards savings out of my paycheck today. So I am looking at other ways to do that. Every little bit counts.

I am happy to note that I have not turned on the heat. I am using the fans some, but not a lot. My electric/gas bill went down consideribly and should be even lower for May.

I also put an ad up on Craigslist to rent my room out. I had a couple of interested parties. I'm still not 100% committed to renting the room out to somebody that I don't know, so I figure I'm going to go really slow about this Smile

More spending for April

April 30th, 2007 at 01:52 am

Well, my ear infection is back & since I didn't use my primary care for the first appointment, the only way I'm going to get antibiotic is to go in to see her, so I'll be spending $20.00 for the office visit & $10.00 for the generic antibiotic. Not fun.

I'll be heading in for overtime tomorrow, I'll be working around whatever time I can get the doctors appointment.

I have to call & set up an appointment for someone to come in & get the large bees nest in my gutter. I'm not able to take care of it myself. I'm probably looking at $100.00 for the visit Frown

Today, I bought groceries (part of the normal budget) and new sneakers. I got a pair of New Balance for 32.00 on sale. My last pair of sneakers lasted about 5 years, so I don't mind spending a little more to get long term wear out of them. My old sneakers were ruined when I mowed my lawn. (I didn't think ahead and they turned green). Well, they were pretty grungy anyway & since I wear jeans & sneakers to work on Fridays & Saturdays, so its definately time to get a new pair.

I've been shopping around for furniture for my deck. I think I found the set I like, and its a little more than I was wanting to spend, but definately less than most places. Then again, I might hold off on buying a table & chairs altogether. Mainly because I don't know what I want.

On the upside, money-wise. I got a 25.00 credit on my chase amazon credit card. They had a promotion, so I used it for some normal purchases (paid it off immediately) and got the $25.00 credit. I've also received a $5.00 Pinecone check.

Also, I'm looking at $10 to $20 for switching to online statments for my checking accounts. I'm not sure if I'll get $20.00 since I technically have 2 accounts with the same bank, but we'll see. The deposit will be made to the account by 5/30/07.

AND the best expected income is a gift card that I'm hoping to win at work. If I make 160% of my personal expected production for April, I'll get a $400.00 gift card to wherever I want. As of Thursday, I was at 174%! I'll probably ask for a prepaid visa card, so I can spend it as I like.

Well, I'm hoping that May will be as frugal a month as possible. I'm reviewing my monthly budget & I'm going to try to find some areas that I can do better. There always are Smile

Quick Birthday Update

April 29th, 2007 at 04:29 pm

I'm having a great birthday weekend Smile Friday night, my nephew came over for a sleepover. We watched movies, played video games, ate junk food... all the stuff an aunt can do before sending him home to his mom Smile

Yesterday my best friends took me out to a fabulous dinner. Italian food... I had crab dip, cavatelli pomadoro, and tiramisu. VERY Yummy!

Then we went to Pier One for some quick shopping. I ended up loving some pillows for my couch & my one friend grabbed them from me & bought them as my birthday present. Here are some pictures. I already had the all blue pillows, the striped & embroidered ones are the presents Smile

Then we went back to my place, had margaritas, snacks & watched movies. We had a lot of fun!

Sometimes it helps to hear other people's stories

April 25th, 2007 at 10:25 pm

I found my way to the blog and found an interesting post. The author asked readers to share their debt stories. It was a very interesting read. If you want to check it out, just go to

Sick, spending & more spending (LONG)

April 25th, 2007 at 06:20 pm

Well, I was sick for about a week and a half. Lots of time off work (all paid), but no overtime. This week, I'm still recovering, so I've decided to do no OT this week either. Plus, I've already scheduled off for Friday & Saturday for my birthday.

On the spending front, I've been very very bad. Being so sick, I haven't been feeling like cooking, so I had some food delivered & my mom dropped some stuff off for me (which I reimbursed her for).

Plus I ended up in the doctors office twice, once on the weekend. Since my primary doctor doesn't work weekends, I ended up in the local medical center (not hospital). I had to pay a $30.00 specialist copay instead of my normal $20.00 copay, plus all the meds, but it was necessary & I'm FINALLY feeling better.

On the planned spending side-- I bought a push lawn mower. $134.99 from Sears (with my parents retiree discount). Then I bought a bike chain & tarp to cover it since the townhouse doesn't have storage for the mower.

Although I spent most of my time last week sleeping, I did get the energy to go buy handles and pulls for the vanities on both bathrooms. They were gold, but all the fixtures on the bathrooms are silver, so I switched them over.

Then I bought some Allen wrenches ($17.99) in an effort to fix the existing towel bar that keeps falling. It didn't work, so now I have to buy a towl rack. I'm getting sick of hanging the towels on the door & over the shower curtain pole. I'm keeping the Allen wrenches though, because they'll come in handy for later projects.

And while I was sitting on the couch all week recovering, I found out that I have bees. Big ones with a nest that's in my gutter. Lucky me... why, oh why couldn't one of my neighbors get it?? There's no way I'm going to be able to get up there to spray the nest, and no spray will reach it since its on the roof, so I"m going to have to hire somebody.

AND the worst part about being sick was that my bedroom tv broke, so I couldn't lie comfortably in my bed, I had to veg on the couch for the time that I was awake.

When I first started having problems with the tv, I actually took it apart, fiddled around with some wires and it worked fine again. Then it completely blew up the other day. Definately not fixable.

So I'm in search of a new tv. I know its a bad habit, but I fall asleep to the tv and I'm having a hard time without the white noise. I think I've found a good price on one, I've been doing a lot of research. So I'm going to pick one up tonight after work.

On the upside, I haven't used my heat in about 2 weeks. All the windows are open & in the last 2 days, I started using ceiling fans. Only in the room that I am currently in. I can't wait to see my electric/gas bill this month Smile

And here's a cute story about my 6 year old nephew! Last weekend he went to TWO birthday sleepovers for friends. On Monday, my mom was telling him that it's Aunt H's birthday this week and she asked him what do you think we should do for it. He says to her "Oh, maybe she'll have a sleepover!" And I know in his head, he was picturing my parents, him, my sister & some of my friends all having a sleepover Smile It was very cute.

So I decided to have him over for a sleepover on Friday, then on Saturday I'm going out with my best friends, Sunday will be family stuff.

I'm hoping to be on track with spending. I need to hit the grocery store & organize some stuff around the house.. its gotten a bit messy due to being sick.

AAA membership- what a deal!

April 21st, 2007 at 12:32 am

Up until this year, I've always been on my family's AAA membership. I've used the services a few times & I really feel that its important to have that help since I'm a single woman who knows nothing about cars Smile

So this year, I signed up for the AAA membership on my own, since my primary address is now different than my family's. I used a link through MyPoints, saving $10.00 off the annual fee, and getting 2 extra months as part of the deal. Then I used my Chase credit card, which had a $10.00 credit from making $100 of purchases last month. I had put my gas and groceries on there and paid it off immediately. So my true out of pocket expense for the membership was $39.50! Plus I'll get points towards a gift card through mypoints.

I feel like I got a GREAT deal!

pictures and sick day

April 20th, 2007 at 07:07 pm

I went to work yesterday & ended up leaving on a 1/2 day due to being sick. I called off work today too. I'm starting to feel better, so I've been playing around with my crappy free digital camera. After some fiddling, I got it working again. (PS, I should warn you, I'm a little silly due to the cold/flu meds I've taken)

So I took pictures of the abandoned piece of lumber on my property and posted it free on Craigslist. If someone comes & takes it away, it'd be a huge help to me Smile

Then I took a picture of my cat Colbi, cause she's just so darn cute.

Then I took some pictures of my spare room. I put an add up on Craigslist earlier this week, and I wanted to email some photos to the replies.

Since todays a really nice day... the first one in a week or 2, I have all the windows open. And today I found out that I have a nest of HUGE bees. They're not the bumble variety, but the really HUGE ones! I think I see a nest on eave of the 2nd floor. Its something I'm not goign to be able to take care of by myself, safely. So it looks like I'm going to have to hire someone. Plus I think there might be a 2nd nest on the roof. I saw a dozen of those bee things today. Definately needs to be handled soon.

Oh well, I'm going back to work tomorrow, it'll be a slow day since its Saturday & I am feeling better. Then I'll have Sunday off again & if I feel like it, I'll do a little overtime on Monday.

stayed home sick today

April 18th, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Well, I won't be doing any overtime this week. I stayed home sick today and I've slept most of it. Since I'm used to working over 60 hours a week, the fact that I'll only be working normal hours should be helpful when I go back tomorrow. Instead of working a 10 or 11 hour day, it'll just be 8 Smile

So I'll get to sleep in a little & take it easy. I think I just have a virus, so I didn't go to the doctors. But I don't feel bad enough to justify staying home again tomorrow. AND I don't want to waste my sick time.

Well, I'll have to bust my butt on the OT next week. We'll see how it goes.

No heat needed

April 16th, 2007 at 03:11 am

I feel happy that, although its been pouring non-stop since yesterday & the wind is really howling, I haven't needed to turn on the heat in a couple of days. Its a litle chilly, but I just put on my slippers & the cozy robe that I bought on sale recently. I can't wait til it turns warm & I can keep the windows open.

I've been working hard at overtime, working nearly 7 days a week. Its something Big that I've been doing to meet my savings goals, but it has been taking its toll on my health. So I'm going to slow it down some & if I don't meet my goals by the time the overtime stops in May, then so be it. I'll find other ways to do it.

I worked 6 hours of OT today & originally I was going to work 7 or 8 hours tomorrow. But since my stomach problems have been acting up, I'm going to see how I feel when I get up, but if I do go in, I'm only going to work 4 or 5 hours. Then I'll doze away the afternoon on the couch Smile

I premade food for tomorrow, so if I do go in, I have food to take & lunch to come home to Smile Dinner will be a veggie burger & baked fries, both of which are in my freezer.

State of the State for all to see (long)

April 14th, 2007 at 02:37 pm

I was asked in my last post what my savings goals are for 2007, so I am here to answer Smile I also updated savings figures to the left.

First, I'd like to say that I've been very fortunate to have overtime available to me since January. This has negated taking on a second job and/or a roommate, which I originally planned to do.

I had several savings goals for 2007:

One of which is to track my spending to the cent for the full year (which I have been doing). Tracking has curbed [some] of my spending.

Another is that I put extra money towards my student loans each month (an average of $200.00 currently).

Here are some specific numbers for my savings catagories. The funds are held in ING & Emigrant Direct accounts.

Emergency Fund to: $6,500.00
Car Repair Fund: $500.00 [done]
Vet Fund (for yearly check & misc)$250.00 [done]
Christmas 2007: 400.00 [done]
New to Me Car Fund (not looking to buy for a few years yet) $2500.00 [done]
House Expense Fund includes:
-HOA fee 2008 $90.00 [done]
-Sewer bill 2008: $200.00 [done]
-Lawn Mower Fund (to be purchased soon) $200.00[done]
-Landscaping (i.e plants) 50.00 [done]
-Deck Furniture $300.00 [done]
Plus I'm using interest for Misc House Stuff: 33.55 total (so far)

I've overexaggerated the amount needed on some of the goals, just to give myself a cushion.

My savings had been good this year due to overtime, an unexpectedly large tax refund, and a small inheritance.

I figured that I'll need to work roughly 100 more hours of overtime to meet my Emergency Fund goal. Definately doable. I've already completed 24.5 hours between last week & this week.

Once I meet my emergency fund goal, I'm going to start paying down the student loans even more aggressively.

Work announced that the overtime will likely go away in late May/early June & the announcement has put me back in focus. I've been a little lax in some of my spending due to the overtime & starting today I'm going to live in my very strict budget that I have set up when there is no overtime. So I'm going to cut down on groceries, eating out & misc spending.

I plan to get a 2nd job and search for a roommate to suppliment my income once the overtime goes away, but in the meantime, I am REALLY going to buckle down. If I start now, then it won't be as much of a shock when my paycheck goes back to base pay only Smile

Also-- I FINALLY got around to playing with my colors. I like the blue, but I may keep playing around with it.

Savings & OT update!

April 10th, 2007 at 11:37 pm

They put our paychecks up online at work a few days before we get paid. So I checked mine today & my paycheck on Friday is going to have 683.90 in overtime money! All of which is going straight to savings! Plus 130.00 from another monthly bill that I only pay 8 months of the year! So it'll be a total of $813.90 to savings on Friday.

I only worked 3.5 hours of OT last week, but I"m going to do between 14 and 20 hours this week (depending if we are open on Sunday). I am $1810.86 away from my 2007 savings goal (to be completed by 12/2007). I would have been a lot closer, but I have been throwing some of the extra money at my student loan. Once the savings goal is completed, I'm going to put all extra income towards paying down my student loan.

And here's a few quick updates:
-I spent .55 today for a soft pretzel, although I packed my lunch & snacks today
-Yesterday, I had dinner out with my parents & spent $16.65.
-I had 4 no heat days and I'm back to using the heat, but I am keeping it low.

No spend weekend and a big deposit

April 9th, 2007 at 12:26 am

No spending yesterday or today. For Easter, we had brunch at my sister's work. She and I were to split the bill, but she wouldn't let me. Apparently her boss compped (spelling?) her for 1/2 the bill. So she refused to let me contribute. Which I REALLY appreciate. The brunch was GREAT!

Afterwards, my parents & I went to see The Reaping. My parents treat, they wouldn't let me contribute either.

I got some goodies for Easter- a decorative basket, some toiletries, and a few knick knacks. No candy since dieting.

On Friday, I received a $2,500 check from my Aunt's estate. I've known for a year that this money was coming, and I've planned to set it aside in a New-To-Me Car fund. I figure I've got about 2 or 3 years left in the car I have currently, so it'll come in handy Smile

I'm working 6 hours of overtime tomorrow and then I'll head to the bank to make a deposit.

I have a $5.00 Pinecone check, the $2,500 inheritance check, the cash I had planned to use today and the $40.00 found money from earlier this week. All of which is going into my savings, plus 20.00 of my bimonthly 'spending money' that I'm not going to use before I get paid again.

Tonight I'm working on a meal plan for the week. I'm planning on packing my meals for work through Saturday breakfast, lunch & dinner at work (working 9am to 8pm most days). It's easy to do as long as I plan. I have most of the stuff at home already, but I do need to pick up some veggies from the store tomorrow. I'm hoping to come underbudget on groceries for the next few weeks, since I overspent last month (stocking up on some great sales).

Oh, and because I just got around to totalling my March spending, here's my March savings total! $1179.45

interest updates

April 6th, 2007 at 03:10 pm

I have accounts with both ING & Emigrant and I've decided to start tracking the monthly interst on savings.

March's total : $42.12
Year to Date: $106.84
Month to Date: $6.46

I'm drooling over a camera!

April 6th, 2007 at 03:08 am

A digital camera has been on my wish list for a long time. Its definately not something I could put on my birthday wish list (too expensive), so its been sitting on the sidelines. I have no camera at all. The crappy one that I got for opening an account with a local bank died after the first use. And the bank was crappy too, so no shock there.

its sad, but I google cameras on a daily basis. I REALLY want a Sony Cybershot. The version that I like (not the most extravagent) retails for around $150.00. I have been looking at alternatives, so if anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

I've earmarked all my overtime money to savings and when I meet that goal, then its going to my student loan. So I've been thinking of ways to come up with funds for the camera without using the OT.

So I've decided to take the $40.00 of my 'found' money (see today's earlier post) and start off my camera fund. We'll see how it goes from there.

Ironically, one of the things I'd like to do with the camera is take pictures of things I'd like to sell on Craigslist. I defintately wouldn't make enough from the sales to justify the camera, but I'd like to get rid of some stuff since its clutter.

I am SO anti clutter. I came from a home overrun with stuff and junk and space-wasting crap. Its REALLY bad. And I just can't take it. So while I may let a pile of clothes grow in the corner of my bedroom, and I may leave the sales inserts on the coffee table for a few days, for the most part I am organized. And that comes from being clutter free. Now I just have to get rid of some stuff from the basement and I'll be all set Smile

1 year Blogiversary!!

April 5th, 2007 at 08:53 pm

I just realized that today is my 1 year Blogiversary! Its great to see what's changed in the last year. I've taken a more active approach to finances, bought a house, changed jobs and much more!

I've learned a lot from the people on this site and I've gotten a lot of support. So thank you all! This is a great group to be a part of!

AND as a nice surprise, I found $40.00 today! I was cleaning out some old photos/memorabilia that I had taken from my great aunt's house and I found the money tucked into an envelope. (She was known for hiding money all over the place). Since my mom is the beneficiary of the estate, I called her to let her know I found the money & she told me to go ahead & keep it. I'm turning around & using it as part of my contribution to Easter Sunday brunch. It was a planned expense, but now I'll be putting that $40 I had planned to use into savings.

Also, in an effort to be more healthy, I've been walking some. But on rainy days I've been doing nothing. Since I'm into video games, I've been toying with buying this game called Dance, Dance Revolution, which requires you to step around on this dance pad (its a VERY active game). My friends had bought the game a year ago & never play it, so I borrowed the game and the dance pad from them. Well, the pad was broken, so I sucked it up and bought a new pad online for $13.00. I'm taking the money out of my 'Entertainment' budget. As soon as it arrives, I'm going to use it as an alternative to walking! I'm very excited because the game is fun Smile

I've taken a break on the overtime this week (just to give myself some 'time off'). I'm started back today and will get in enough next week to make up for the time off this week. I still have that goal of an average of 10 hours of overtime per month.

Oh, and one last thing! While yesterday was a no spend day, today was not. I ordered that dance pad and I had lunch out. All within my budget. My mini goal is to have no spend days all next week!

10 degree difference in temperature !

April 3rd, 2007 at 08:44 pm

I spent all day yesterday enjoying 70 degree weather. I had all the windows open, a nice warm breeze flowing through the house. But when I got up this morning, it was about 60 degrees! I am SO glad I was off yesterday to enjoy the weather.

I got some cleaning done, took care of all my laundry, and watched back episodes of Lost. Now I"m all caught up. And I feel all happy and organized Smile

Today, I packed my lunch, so its a no spend day for me!

Starting April off right!

April 1st, 2007 at 05:48 pm

Today is a no spend day! And I'm working 6 hours of OT. When I get home tonight, I'm going to be premaking food for the week and cleaning. I feel better when I'm organized, so I've been working hard at keeping my house clean & planning my food.

I've made a meal plan for the week. Since I'm pretty much working 7 days a week, I'm planning a lunch out each week. Just to give myself a break from working 10 hour days then coming home to cook. Its all within my budget, and my diet. As long as I plan ahead Smile

I'm going to get my March totals together. I've been keeping up my goal of tracking ALL spending for the year. 3 months down, 9 to go!