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Archive for January, 2008

End to my no spender streak

January 31st, 2008 at 10:20 pm

I went from Saturday until yesterday with no spending.

Today I used my HSA debit card for the first time. I went to the doctors. $20.00 copay. Got a prescription to fill, which I will do tomorrow. Probably $10.00.

Tomorrow, I have to go for a test. $20.00 copay. Then from there who knows. I am so glad that I filled the HSA account. Because if this health problem is what I think it is, its going to mean some procedures.

In the meantime, I took lunch to work and am having dinner at home. I'll be packing lunch for work tomorrow.

Tomorrow night, my sister's throwing a surprise party for her boyfriend's birthday. I'm the excuse, so I get to bring him to the bar a 1/2 hour after everyone else. No drinking for me because of my health problem. But I'll be buying a shot for the birthday boy.

Then I'm planning a low key weekend. Not feeling so hot, so staying home is a good idea. Maybe I'll have my nephew over to watch some movies and play games. He's a lot of fun Smile

My conversation with Comcast

January 29th, 2008 at 03:10 am

I moved into my house October of last 2006. When I did, I signed up for Comcast's Triple Play program, which entailed cable, internet and phone. The program lasted over 14 months and this month it ran out.

So I called them and reached a customer service rep. I explained that I am living on a budget and I need to do something about my bill going up $45.00 this month. I nicely explained that I've gotten several offers from other companies like Verizon, but I wanted to talk to them first.

The girl was able to finagle some things and give me the internet, phone and cable for $5.00 more than what I'm paying now. The new plan took away long distance & voicemail from my phone. Which was fine, because I didn't use either. Then the plan upgraded my cable from regular cable to digital, which I'm enjoying.

I really had started out the call expecting a fight. But I just started things out nicely and the call went that way. I hope the call goes as smoothly next year when my rates reset again Smile

Day 3 of my No Spend Challange

January 28th, 2008 at 02:40 pm

Today's another no spender. Its only 9:37 am, but I'm planning on not spending. I'm working 7:30am to 4pm. I packed breakfast & lunch and am drinking water provided free at work. I am going to my Weight Watchers meeting tonight, but that's prepaid. I have some stuff to do around the house tonight and I'll make food tonight for tomorrow's lunch. This is going pretty well so far. Since Saturday, I've had 3 no spenders in a row!

Challange Day 2 - No spender

January 27th, 2008 at 06:38 pm

Today is another no spender. I am bumming around the house, doing laundry, meal planning, cleaning, ect. I have set up my meal plan, which can be subject to change. But mostly, I might switch out one dinner for another.

Lunch: Meatloaf muffin & small salad
Dinner: Chicken Taco Salad w/ green beans

Lunch: Pasta salad with Turkey Pepperoni
Dinner: Egg salad w/ baked potato

Lunch: Morningstar Chickn wrap and small salad
Dinner: Sloppy Joe over pasta w/ green beans

Lunch: Leftover Sloppy Joe over pasta
Dinner: Shake n bake chicken, baked potato & salad

Lunch: Peanut butter & crackers, small salad
Dinner: Turkey BLT and salad

Dinner: Pasta w/ chicken

Dinner: Tilapia

Breakfasts will consist of the following:
Oatmeal, rice chex, all bran crackers and breakfast potatoes

Lunches over the weekend will be at whim.

My goal is to have no spenders until Friday of this week. For a total of 6 days. 2 down, 4 to go!!

Day One of Challange

January 27th, 2008 at 12:57 am

Today was a no spender. My parents generously took me out to lunch, which was not planned. But I didn't give in to temptation and pick up some videos from Redbox. I went home an am planning on watching some videos that I already own.

I have a thing for 80s horror movies. So I'm planning on watching Prom Night and Terror Train Smile

New grocery find & New Challange

January 25th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

First, I finally got my electric/gas bill. January was my highest month last year, but I did well. I recently lowered my budgeted amount and I was worried I might go over this month. But I came in under budget by $7.40!! Nice!

I have already gone over my entertainment budget for this pay period. I know my budgeted amount probably is just too low, but for now, I'm leaving it where it is. I'm taking the overage from leftover amounts in other catagories (like personal care, which I don't need anything for right now) to cover my entertainment overage.

I worked all day, brought my lunch. I stoppped by the library & picked up some books, magazines and movies because I'm making this a stay in weekend. I've been out 5x in the last 7 days, so I could use the rest Smile

I also stopped at a local produce place by my house. I've only been there once because it looks kinda sketchy from the outside. But someone recommended it and I went there today to use up the last of my grocery budget for planned veggies.

I was able to get a ton of veggies; a 10 pound bag of russet potatoes, 3 cucumbers, 5 large tomatoes, a bag of carrots, a large green pepper and celery for $12.19!

Right now, in my area, the veggie prices are astronomical!

I was most excited about the potatoes & tomatoes. The 10lb bag of potatoes was $2.99, which is the same price as a 5lb bag at my nearest chain grocery store.

The same with the tomatoes, I would have had maybe 2 or 3 small ones for the amount I paid $2.74!

I'm definately going back there for now on. And I can't wait for summer to get all kinds of goodies there.

Since I'm all set on gas & groceries. I have no upcoming plans that would require spending. So, my goal is to have no spenders Saturday to Thursday. It will be a stretch for me, but I like a good challance Smile I'll keep everyone updated.

2 no spenders & snowflakes

January 23rd, 2008 at 12:15 am

Sunday & Monday were both no spenders. Today I spent about 1.10 for snax at work. We moved offices & I had taken all my work snacks home. I've learned my lesson and I have stuff to bring to the office tomorrow.

Today I received my first Cashcrate check... for $31.65. I already have over $19.00 accumulated for this month. ALl these funds go straight to my studnet loan.

I'm waiting for my electic/gas bill to show up. Any extra is going straight to my student loan as well.

I also have been paying ahead on my car insurance (there are 8 payments a year. If you pay more than the minimum (as low as $1.00), there's no charge for spreading the payments out. If you pay just the minimum, then they charge $4.00/mo for the 'payment plan'. So my last payment is next month and its $10.66 lower than the budgeted amount. So that'll be going to the student loan as well.

I'm also planning to put some stuff up for sale on craigslist. I have some chair cushions, a TI-83 calculator, a finance calculator, messenger bags, a lamp, an old wireless router and an old stereo.

Its my goal to have that stuff up for sale in two weeks. I'll put any funds from those sales to the student loan.

I am waiting on some tax info, but I can't wait to do my taxes. Because this is my first full year in the house, I'm expecting a bit of a refund. Normally, I break even, but with the mortgage interest deduction, I should get some $ back. All of which go to the student loan.

Don't forget, my goal is to pay off the loan by the end of the year.

Free lunch (for real)

January 17th, 2008 at 05:21 pm

Today, we had a belated holiday lunch at work. They served a ton of stuff, but in an effort to watch what I eat, I stuck with a very small portion of ziti, steamed grean beans, red potatoes, lots of salad and 2 breadsticks. It was really good. I also came away with 3 sodas & a bottled water by the time they were done. Nice! So now I don't have to bring soda to work next week.

Edited to add:
When they were clearing away, I was able to grab 2 bottled waters and some leftover salad, which I'm having with dinner tonight. Yummy Smile

No spender

January 17th, 2008 at 03:10 am

Today was a no spender. I stuck to my guns and ate the lunch I packed for work. I had a nice dinner at home tonight.

Tomorrow, I packed a turkey wrap for lunch. We're having a belated office holiday meal at the office, but they haven't announced the menu and since I'm watching what I eat, I decided to plan a meal anyway. Maybe they'll have some salad or veggies that I can grab to go with my wrap.

Tomorrow night a bunch of my work buddies from my old department are going out to a pub. I'll be meeting them there. I plan on having dinner at home and I think I might have a light beer with dinner and have just one out. I'm trying to keep my entertainment/eating out spending to a minimum.

Packed food, but bought lunch anyway

January 16th, 2008 at 12:30 am

Today was payday and I went a little crazy. I packed my lunch, but still managed to buy breakfast and lunch at the office cafe. Thats not what I want to be spending my spending/entertainment money on since I have a lot of things coming up in the next two weeks.

Oh well, tomorrow's another day. I did some grocery shopping to vary up my meals this week. Tomorrow, I'm having a turkey pita and salad for lunch. For dinner, I'll have the lunch I packed today, which was sloppy joe over pasta.

Part of the problem was I didn't do my meal plan this week. But I finished one tonight. I have a plan and I'm going to stick to it.

Just a reminder to myself. The reason I don't want to use my spending money for eating at the cafe are as follows:

I want to:
-Go to Work Night Out at a local bar on Thursday
-See Cloverfield in the theater on Friday
-Buy a new book

Not so lazy Sunday

January 14th, 2008 at 12:15 am

Today was a no spender. I did a lot of stuff around the house today. Did a couple of loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, washed the floor, cleaned and vaccumed the living room, balanced my checkbook and made food to take to work tomorrow. I feel like I've gotten a lot done.

It was fairly warm today, so I had the heat off and the shades up until it got dark. I've been wearing my robe & slippers in an effort to keep the heat down. Anything I can do to keep my electric/gas bill down.

I actually went & got new slippers from Boscov's yesterday for $6.97. My old ones were ripped on the side, which wasn't a bit deal to me, but then the cardboardy stuff on the bottom started flaking off all over the house. Thus the need for the vaccuming Smile

I've had a $25.00 gift card to Linens n Things for awhile now. I orginally was going to use it for a Christmas gift, but I didn't. So I'm thinking of getting a bathroom rug and some hand towels for my downstairs bathroom. Or possibly using it for a birthday gift for my friend in February. It depends on what I end up deciding to get for my friend.

$4.00 price adjustment from Old Navy

January 11th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

I bought 3 shirts from Old Navy online recently. I got an email today for a clearance sale. I browed the items and saw one of the shirts was on clearence for $3.99. So, I called and now I'm getting $4.00 back!

No spender & $25 from Capital One

January 9th, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Today was another no spender. It was definately needed.

I've been spending a lot of my entertainment/eating out money on eating at my work cafe. Mostly this is due to laziness.

Well now I have $5.81 left in my entertainment budget until the 15th. Oh well, lots of eating in and watching movies. I plan on doing some deep cleaning at the house this weekend. I want to sort some stuff to sell on Craigslist.

Also, I just got a statement from my Capital One Money market Account. I received a $25.00 bonus just for signing up and funding a small amount ($40.00). Woo hoo.

In other news, my MyPoints balance is over 1000 points! I took it to zero just before Christmas and now its already up to 1k! Very nice!!

2007 Goal Met! Student Loan is under 5K!

January 8th, 2008 at 04:54 pm

Student Loan # 1:
January balance was $12,512.40
Current balance is $ 4,650.35

In 2007, I paid off $7,862.05 of Student Loan # 1!!!

My goal for 2008 is to pay off the rest of the loan, which will be a challange.

Utilizing the Library

January 8th, 2008 at 02:22 am

I love to use the library for entertainment. In addition to fiction and non-fiction books, I utilize it regularly for dvds. It helps that there is a library 5 minutes from my work and another location is 5 minutes from my house.

At any given time I have a running list of requests for the library. I update the list every week or two, getting on the wait list for newer movies. Then I suppliment my dvd selection with older tv shows.

My county has several locations and they all have inter-library loans. So if my work or home library doesn't have what I want, I can get it from one of the other ones. And I can return books and movies at any of the locations. Our system is really well run.

I am a HUGE movie watcher. I cut out my Netflix membership two months ago and I use the library to fill its void.

Now, not every movie I want to watch is available from the library system. So I keep a list of things that I want to watch, but can't get at the library. When I have some time off from work later in the year, I plan on starting up the Netflix for a month and watching the dvds from the list.

And through the magic of the library, I have discovered many different shows. I have been watching classic movies, 70s tv shows, A&E specials and more.

I also use the library for workout dvds. I've tried pilates, Leslie Sandsone, Tae Bo, Pilates and move. Its been a lot of fun.

I know I'm lucky to have such a great library system, but I encourage everyone to check theirs out. You never know what your library has to offer.

No spender and laid back weekend ahead

January 5th, 2008 at 12:05 am

Today was a no spender, so was yesterday. I packed food for work and didn't buy any thing else from the cafe even though I was tempted to several times Smile

This weekend, I am watching a bunch of dvds that I borrowed from the library. I'm fighting being sick, so I really don't plan to do much this weekend, except maybe de-Christmas the house. I had grand plans of recycling the Christmas tree again this year, but the State Park that I dropped my tree off last year to is not accepting recycled trees this year. So now my trash company will be taking it.

So anyway, I've been watching the first season of Hitchcock Presents, which I like a lot. I also picked up the first and only season of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I had never heard of the series (I think it was from the 70s), but its really very funny. Its about a reporter to investiages strange occurances. Think zombies, vampires and werewolves.

I have a meal plan set up for this weekend and other than going to the grocery store on Sunday for salad stuff, I don't think I'll be leaving the house this weekend.

Hope everyone has a good one!


January 2nd, 2008 at 04:10 am

I haven't had time to sit down and set any goals, personal or financial. I've been having some health issues and its kinda thrown things up in the air for a little while.

I have been feeling better, so I'm trying to get back into a good routine.

I purged some stuff in the house over the last few days, which made me feel better. I have a few things that I want to put up for sale on Craigslist.

Today, was a no spender. My mom did treat me to a movie. We saw National Treasure 2, which was cute.

I made my meals at home today. I premade food for tomorrow. I am really going to work on not spending money at the office cafe. With being sick, I've been relying on it a lot instead of packing. But I've made a meal plan for the rest of the week and I"m going to stick with it.

I do plan on getting some goals together this weekend. I already have an idea of what they are, I just want to sit down and define them before sharing.

Good luck to everyone in the New Year.