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Archive for October, 2008

Not such a relaxing vacation day

October 28th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Today was really busy. I went to lunch with my parents and some family friends. I ran errands, returned some clothes, took movies back to Redbox, got some groceries and bought a new cat carrier (last one was broken and not fixable).

I took the cat to the vet, where she had some shots and her nails clipped. Then she went to the bathroom in the brand new carrier, poor thing. I must have grabbed her to go right before she would have hit the litter box.

So I came home, I had to give her a bath...not a fun experience. Then I washed out the carrier with vinegar & water. Then I had to put all my smelly clothes (from holding her at the vet) into the washer.

I ended up doing 3 loads of wash and only 1 load went into the dryer.

Tonight I'm planning on playing around with budgets for November, for paying off the student loan & for building up my emergency fund.

I was planning on catching the end of the Phillie's game 5, but it was postponed until tomorrow night. So instead, I'll be watching tv & vegging.

Tomorrow is my do nothing day. I plan on staying in, making my own food, watching a bunch of horror movies, having a big bowl of popcorn, and maybe doing some stuff around the house if I feel like it. So basically, just being lazy!!

Spending & Saving... plus horror movies

October 27th, 2008 at 07:46 pm

Did some clothes & Christmas shopping this weekend. I splurged on myself and got a lot of clothes, shoes & accessories. Got some great deals and a lot of stuff! I had the money in my clothing fund, so it was all paid for by cash.

I had a $20.00 mall gift card, a $10.00 coupon to Victoria's Secret, a coupon for free undies from V.S., and a $10.00 of coupon for Yankee candle. I was able to get a lot of gifts for low cost. Very nice!

I previously mentioned turning on my heat. It stayed on for 2 days, after which I turned it back off since my sinus & ear infections cleared up and the temps went back up a little. I'm hoping to keep it off again, at least until the end of the week (November).

I received the electric bill today... $55.60 down from last month's $61.77. Woohoo!

This week, I'm on vacation. My plans are to do some decorating around the house, maybe some painting. I want to do some organizing, some cleaning. And with the remaining time, I want to rest. Just give myself some down time.

Its been stressful at work lately and I was really sick the last few weeks. I wasn't even able to take a sick day to get myself healed. Nobody would have stopped me from taking one, but I was really needed at work.. so I just pushed myself. Now I'm paying. So I plan on catching up on my sleep, recharging my batteries and getting ready for the holidays.

I have books to read, movies (from the library) to watch, and a bunch of projects that I want, but do not need, to do.

I love this time of year & have been on a big horror movie kick. I've been utilizing the cable and the library to watch a bunch of horror movies, and today I picked up 3 from Redbox for free with a coupon code. I love free!

Hope everyone has a good week. I'll try to post this week, but I make no promises Smile

Had to turn on the heat.... booo!

October 23rd, 2008 at 09:30 pm

Had to turn on the heat tonight. The living room has been 61/62 in the afternoon/evening, probably a little lower in the night. Outdoors has been about 45-50 degrees. Tonight temps are supposed to go WAY down and while I've been pretty comfortable, I'm sick right now and the cold is messing with my sinuses. Sinus AND an ear infection. Lucky me.

So, I'm going to turn on the heat to 65 and I'll turn it down when I go to bed. I've put the down comforter on my bed, have pulled out the sweaters and I'll be setting the programmable thermostat to kick in right before I get up for work, to go lower during the day & kick back in right before I get home from work. Hopefully it won't turn on too much.

Anyway, I'm just trying to make it through work tomorrow and then I'm on vacation for 9 days! I have plans for Christmas shopping and doing some stuff around the house. But first I have to rest up and get better.

Tonight, I'm watching The Strangers. I love, love, love horror movies. A friend had rented it from Blockbuster & offered it to me to watch. All I have to do is return it to the Blockbuster, which is right near my work. Easy to do & I got a free movie out of it!

Lets Talk Numbers!

October 14th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Got a nasty cold and am feeling down right yucky. If there wasn't so much going on at work, I'd stay home tomorrow. So to cheer myself up, here's some numbers!

Today, I spent:

- $3.70 on breakfast & lunch at work because I was feeling too sick to make anything myself.

I received:

- 1 large box of Snowcaps candy from a coworker
- $20.00 gift card to the local mall from my employer

The mailman brought:

- $25.00 Pier One gift card from My Points
- $10.00 off $25.00 purchase to Lowes coupon

My current healthcare plan is:

- Going up $12.00/paycheck or $288.00/year for 2009

A similar healthcare plan option is:

- $10.50/paycheck LESS than my current plan for 2008
- Which is $252.00 LESS than my 2008 plan
- And $540.00 LESS than my current plan for 2009

My current Dental plan is:

- Increasing $0.25/paycheck. In 2009

The alternate Dental Plan is:

- $1.90/paycheck LESS than I am currently paying

(I would like to mention that the two plans are pretty much identical, just with two different companies – both of which prominent in my state)

My Health Care Spending Account will save me an estimated:

- $226.50 Tax Savings

Total Student Loan Payments this paycheck:

- $169.06

And the best number yet...........


Total paid to student loans in 2008 to date:

$8475.20 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Little Spending, No Heat & Work is Tense

October 10th, 2008 at 12:37 am

I packed breakfast & lunch for work. On the way home, I went to the grocery store and picked up romaine, cucumbers & tomatoes for $6.50. Not too bad.

No heat on right now. My goal is to keep it off at least til November. It helps that the temps have increased a little.

I've already packed food for work tomorrow. I'm heading out to happy hour after work. Expected spending (bringing cash), $15.00.

Saturday, I'm probably going to head into work to get ahead on some stuff. Then Sat night I'm going to a party. Just have to bring some beer with me.

Sunday will be a complete stay at home day. I'm thinking I might try a hand at making pizza dough. I can freeze what I don't eat.

Work is tense right now. The people I work closest with are all competing for a limited number of positions. Not pleasant since I consider them all hard workers.

Tomorrow's happy hour is with people at work, but not directly in my department. I'm interested in hearing their take on things.

Lay offs today - I was spared

October 7th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Layoffs at work today. I don't really want to talk about it, but just to say that I spent most of today waiting to hear my status.

Some were let go, some were given options to do different things (in a lesser position) or to take severence. I am one of the few in my area whose position remains unchanged. I will take on different responsibilites, but in a good way.

I'm fairly new to this position (compared to others) and people who had been with the company MUCH longer were not spared. I feel relieved and guilty at the same time.

They rolled out of the situation in a way that was secretive. So rumors flew and I was left at my desk for hours waiting for my turn to get info. They were doing things one by one.

I have a plan if I was laid off, but I know there are people in my office that don't have plans or emergency funds. I am sad for the whole situation.

In other news, my heat is STILl off, today was a no spender. I've already packed all my food for work tomorrow.

I am heading to my parents house to fix my sister's computer and just to talk things out with my dad. I've never been in a layoff position before, but he has. And I think it would be good to get some perspective.

Awesome dinner - Leftovers

October 6th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Its chilly here and I wanted something warm for dinner. So I thawed spagetti sauce with ground beef, mushrooms, peppers and onions that I had made last week and froze. Then I made a single serving of spaghetti, and took 2 slices of wheat bread and turned it into garlic bread. It totally hit the spot!

I've noticed that when I am focused on Weight Watchers, that I save money because I eat a true portion size, instead of overeating. Which, in turn, helps my grocery bill!

Otherwise, bought some veggies and cat food today. All budgeted. No entertainment spending/eating out today.

Still no heat on Smile

Why I Want to Pay off the Student Loan

October 5th, 2008 at 06:22 pm

Fern had a great comment/question in my last post. And I thought I'd address it in its own post. (Hope you don't mind, Fern!)

Fern's Comment:

"I love your methodicial and ambitious plans for paying off the loan (sounds like me). But let me ask you this, just to double-check: what's the rate of your student loan vs. your mortgage? Don't federal student loans have fairly low rates?"

First, there's actually not much difference between the two rates. I have a good deal on the mortgage rate and the student loan rates were slightly higher at the time I was in school. So the student loan is only 0.125% less than the mortgage.

And for me, a lot of this is mental. I graduated high school 11 years ago and college 7 years ago. I don't want to still be paying for a school I went to almost a decade ago!

Plus, paying off my mortgage is not something I will be able to do in the immediate future (like in the next year or two). I plan on paying it down as quickly as possible, but in the short-term, I'd just love to be debt free, but the house! And I can be there in about 6 months!

Goal of paying off Student Loan by age 30

October 4th, 2008 at 02:38 am

So I have this goal of paying off my last student loan by age 30. My 30th birthday is April 27th. And if I work really, really, really hard, it just might happen.

Currently, I pay an extra $263.00 to the student loan each month. I have a plan for coming up with the rest of the funds for doing this.

Its seemed like I could easily pay off the loan by the end of 2009, but I would miss my birthday. However, I made a VERY detailed spreadsheet and I can do it by...

1. Trimming other budget catagories and putting the extra funds to the loan.

2. Lowering my 401k percentage TEMPORARILY (but still making the company match) to add an additional 45.00 per paycheck in take-home pay.

3. Trimming my Christmas budget by $159.00 to put towards the student loan.

4. I have 3 months of the year where I don't have a $125.00 car insurance payment. Those 3 months (Feb, Mar & April) will go to the loan.

5. I have an annual inheritance that I should receive in March. $475.00

6. Taking funds from my vacation, house and When-I-Make-My-Weight-Goal clothing budgets $300.00. None of these catagories are needs, just wants.

7. Cashing out savings bonds that my parents had given me. $1144.92.

8. Selling an extra wireless internet setup and my TI-83 calculator. Expected $45.00

All of this should get me within $35.00 of my goal. I just need to stick to the budget and come up with the additional $35.00.

Knowing its that obtainable, I will work hard to get it done. Anything I can do to keep this goal!!!

Baking and Cold Weather

October 3rd, 2008 at 01:57 am

I baked 2 dozen Blueberry Banana muffins last night. Yummy. Ate a few & froze the rest.

Tonight I made 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Most of which, I'll be taking into work tomorrow.

Its cold in my house right now. 49 degrees outside, 63 inside. Not too bad with the heat off. But I'm chilly. The stove kept the kitchen warm for awhile, but now I'm freezing again. I'm layering up and am cozying up on the couch with a blanket. My goal is to keep the heat off as absolutely long as possible. I get cold fairly easy, so I have to work hard to stay warm Smile

And since my entertainment budget is blown with a work lunch out today, I am making plans for the weekend. Watching my nephew for a few hours tomorrow night. Doing some computer work at my parents on Saturday. Saturday night will be movie night in. Sunday will be a cleaning day.

I have to pick up cat litter and some veggies after work tomorrow, but after that, except for going to my parents (who live 10 minutes away), I really don't have a need to leave the house. No heat, no gas, no spending Smile