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Archive for January, 2011

Weekend update & February Goals

January 31st, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I had a very low-key weekend. Unfortunately, I am not feeling good again. Doctor's sending me for more tests Frown

So Saturday, I bought veggies & fruit & Sunday was a no spender!

As for today, I spent $16.99 for a large bag of calcium (we're about to get another 2 storms) and I spent about $14 at the grocery store.

My goals for February are as follows:

1. Succeed at the Lunch Challenge (packing 18 out of 20 workdays).
2. Keep to $80 grocery budget for each pay period
3. Keep to entertainment budget $40.00 for first half, unknown for 2nd. This is low due to some medical expenses.
4. Do taxes
5. Redo debt repayment plan to include raise (once the paycheck for the 15th shows up online)
6. Try not to use medical problems as an excuse to spend Smile
7. $70 to Efund (rest of extra funds will be used to pay off a medical expense of $100.00).

And although the lunch challenge doesn't start til tomorrow, I packed my lunch for today. Since PJ mama suggested it, I am going to list all the food I pack for breakfast, lunch, snacks. I should note that I am doing Weight Watchers & because of some of the meds I'm on, I seem to need a large volume of food.

Breakfast: 1c fat free cottage cheese; banana
Snack: 1c celery sticks, 30g pretzels, 3 tbsp fat free ranch dip
Lunch: Large salad, 3 oz tuna, with Healthy Option creamy Caesar dressing. 30g animal crackers
Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs

Dinner tonight is shake N bake chicken, roasted potatoes & some type of vegetable.

Anyone want to join me for a February Lunch Challenge?

January 31st, 2011 at 02:27 am

I am planning another Lunch Challenge for myself. I am looking to make healthy meals to bring to work instead of buying food while there. This is to help me with my Weight Watchers as well as with my eating out budget.

So there are 20 work days in the month of February. My goal is to pack breakfast, lunch & snacks for 18 of them. My stretch goal would be to pack for 20 & that might be doable since my work is providing me pizza one day & my manager is taking us out to lunch on her dime another day.

Anyone else who'd like to join, just let me know what your goal is! This is for fun Smile

And to get a jump start, I packed all my food for tomorrow, even though its still a January date.

Til Debt Do Us Part - anyone remember this episode?

January 30th, 2011 at 02:56 pm

I'm watching the 'Single Mom Shake-up' episode from last night and they keep saying over & over that this is the first time that Gail has ever suggested bankruptcy. However, I remember an episode where she suggested to a couple that they look into it and they determined that it wasn't an option for them because family had cosigned loans with them. Does anyone else remember that? Although the couple didn't file bankruptcy, Gail still suggested it as an option.

Random, I know, but I hate when there are inconsistencies in a show I'm watching.

Challenger Anniversary

January 29th, 2011 at 03:03 am

25 Years ago today, the tragedy of the Challenger occurred. I remember sitting in the school gym, watching the event on televisions sitting on carts and all the kids and I becoming upset as the explosion occurred.

I may not have fully understood what was happening at the time, but I learned more about the event later on & it is an event where I will always remember where I was when it happened.

I just wanted to share my memory and acknowledge the event as important to our history.

Snowy Week

January 28th, 2011 at 05:02 pm

It's been a while since I've updated. Here's what I've been up to!

Monday - Worked & hung at home with the roommate
Tuesday - Worked & went out to my regular Tuesday outting $12.00 spent
Wednesday - Snow day - took a sick day & stayed on the couch. Watched cable movies & read library books. When the roommate came home, we watched The Other Guys, which was borrowed from the libray too.
Thursday - Shoveled a little over a foot of snow & went into work. Vegged at home
Friday - Work, library & then probably a night at home. I am exhausted due to still not feeling well.

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks every day this week. Wed & Thursday were no spenders!

Financially, I am out of my entertainment budget until payday on Monday. I have $18.39 left in the groceries budget, which I will be using tomorrow.

I recevied my sewer bill and it increased from $61.35 in 2010 to $106.35. This increase is due to increased rates as well as having the roommates in the house. Still underbudget compared to my neighbors! OUr county has the bills online for the public to see and I am one of the lowest in my neighborhood!

Tonight, I plan on finalizing my Jan 31st budget, making a meal & grocery plan and probably doing some cleaning.

This weekend will be low key, but next week and weekend are very busy, so I will be enjoying my downtime!

No Lazy Sunday for me!

January 23rd, 2011 at 04:49 pm

I woke up this morning with some energy, so I am planning on getting a lot of stuff done.

I already went to the store for light yogurt, fat free cottage cheese & low fat sour cream. I've had breakfast, ran the dishwasher & made my today's To Do list!

I plan on being lazy about it, but I want to get things done Smile My reward will be to watch a library movie after everything is accomplished.

Today, I plan to:

1. Prep food for the week
2. Make all food for Monday
3. Clean kitchen & floor
4. Water plants
5. Clean living room
6. Dust & vacuum living room
7. Unload dishwasher
8. Light clean downstairs bath
9. Light clean upstairs bath
10. Change kitty litter
11. Change sheets on bed
12. Clean bedroom
13. Plan work outfits for week
14. Make mealplan for week

Lunches, spending & weekend!

January 21st, 2011 at 04:32 pm

I"ve been good about packing breakfast & lunch for work all this week. The only outlier was going to lunch with my parents on Wednesday. But since I had taken a half day off work (only worked til 11:30), I'm not counting that, since I wasn't actually at work for lunch Smile

Wednesday Spending:
$30.00 specialist copay (paid with HSA card)
$10.00 lunch with parents

Thursday Spending:
$4.00 kitchen items from dollar store (sandwich bags, plastic wrap, ect)
$105 medical necessity not covered by HSA/Insurance. UGH. I actually got a deal on this - because the 1 I bought from a local store in November was $75 and I was able to buy 2 for $105 plus free shipping & a free care kit. This purchase should last me about 6 months

Friday Spending - Not sure yet. I will be paying a library fine, approx $0.50. I was thinking about renting a Redbox movie, but it will depend if I find anything good at the library first. Dinner will be at home & I am staying in.

Tomorrow, I might be taking my nephew to see a hockey game. Cost; $10/ticket.

I am SO Ready for the weekend. My roommate has been complaining that his room is cold. It IS colder than my room, but its the front room & I Think the wind just hits it. I sealed the vents so that no heat escaped before getting to the room. I put plastic over the window that he thinks the air is coming in from. I haven't talked to him today, but hopefully he found it to be warmer last night. If not, weatherproofing that room will be part of my weekend plans Wink

Another No Spender!

January 18th, 2011 at 12:05 am

Today was a no spender! I packed food for work & came straight home after to put my feet up. Tomorrow will be a spend day as I need gas & to pick up some groceries.

The new roommate moved in today. He didn't have a lot of stuff, but will be moving the rest in this weekend. I helped him carry stuff in & he set things up & ran to the store to get some supplies.

While he was gone, I made a tuna sandwich & packed some food for tomorrow.

Financially, I am doing ok. I have $59 and change left of the grocery budget. This has to cover this week's food, this weekend, next week & next weekend. Unfortunately, I am spending more on veggies & dairy & other healthy stuff, so I have to really make that budget stretch, but its doable.

In the entertainment budget, I have $40. I plan on doing my normal Tuesday outing ($10). I might try to see a movie with my mom next week ($10) and who knows what else.

I also have LOTS of upcoming medical expenses. I have tests & need to see a specialist on Wednesday. Next week I see my family doc. The week after that, I have a dentist appointment and the week after that I have a follow up appointment to do another test. Ugh, just thinking about all of those copays! Oh well, I have my HSA replenished Smile

Somebody has a case of the Mondays!

January 17th, 2011 at 02:27 pm

And it's definitely me! Lots of people in the office are off today, but I didn't take the day. I'm keeping the floating holiday for another day later on.

Yesterday was a no spender. I was supposed to get together with a friend, but I cancelled due to not feeling well. I stayed on the couch & watched tv and played with the internet.

Today, I packed my breakfast, lunch & snack. I am planning on hitting the library & the dollar store after work, so it won't be a no spender today.

The new roommate ended up not moving in yesterday due to having to attend a funeral. So he will be coming tonight after work. I should have a month & half rent in my hand by tomorrow night. (The 1/2 is a safety deposit).

Today's 5 THings To Do:
1. Call water company & set up appt to replace unit
2. Make & Print rental agreement
3. Library
4. Dollar store
5. Make dinner at home & pack lunch for work tomorrow

Out with the old, in with the new - Roommates!

January 15th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

So my roommate officially moved out yesterday. She left when I was at work, gave back all the keys & paid me what she owed me in cash. She's had a lot of drama in her life, and it didn't affect me too much, but by the end, I was just ready for her to go.

The room is clean, the bathroom is clean. She took all of her stuff, except for 2 small boxes that she put in the basement. Her parents are dropping by at some point to pick it up. I agreed to that since they live 45 mins away & she's moving wayyy out of state.

Unfortunately, she also took all but 1 roll of toilet paper. She bought the last pack of rolls, so I get that. But she even took the roll out of the downstairs bathroom!

On top of that, I noticed that she had used some of my towels & hung them to dry, but did not wash them.

And none of that is too bad compared to some of the horror stories that I have heard, but I was doing some cooking today & opened up my kitchen supplied drawer and found that she took all the bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, ect except for 1 set of sandwich bags & 1 thing of plastic wrap. I bought most of that stuff.

I also noticed she did not replace a baking tray she lent someone & never got back, several of my reusable water bottles are missing and she kept using my plastic containers & loosing them. So seriously? To actively take the tp off the roll?

LOL - whatever! She forgot the (new, nicer) shower head that she installed in the shower & I don't think I'm going to take it down unless she asks for it!

Tomorrow, the new roommate comes. I am doing some light cleaning today, but I'm all set up.

Today, I re-joined Weight Watchers, did some massive grocery shopping & borrowed a large crock pot from my mom. I made a big batch of baked potato soup & a batch of chicken tacos. Yumm!

Free Lunch! and other updates

January 13th, 2011 at 05:37 pm

I had a 3 hour meeting that provided pizza for lunch, so no spending there!

I forgot the pizza, so I brought lunch today. Its sitting in my fridge at work, so now I don't have to worry about packing lunch for tomorrow!

My roommate stepped up her moving out date on impulse & there's a good chance that she & all her stuff will be moved out by the time that I get home from work. If she leaves today, she would only owe me 3 days of prorated rent ($45). I hope, but am not 100% confident that she will leave me the money, but if she doesn't, I"m not out too much. If she does not move tonight, she will be moving tomorrow for certain.

The new guy is ready to move in Sunday, and earlier if possible. So the second that I get her moved out, I will give him the ok to move in. He starts his new job Monday, so if he could get into the room on the weekend, it would really work out for him.

Budget-wise, I am finally getting together a 2011 finalized budget. I was waiting to get the net pay to make my zero-based budget. I will be doing that tonight!

Entertainment-wise, I've been eating out a bit. Blew my entertainment budget, but its all good. I am staying in most of the weekend - getting the house organized through the transition between the 2 roommates. I have borrowed several movies from the library including House (Movie, not tv show), Vampires Suck and Grownups.

Lastly, I had a nice surprise at a doctors appt on Monday. I was ready to shell out a $30 copay for the specialist, but it turned out that I had a credit on the account and owed nothing. Yay!

Today's 5 Things:

1. Call water company & set up appt to get new meter installed
2. If roommate has moved out, clean out shared spaces & her bedroom
3. Finalize 2011 monthly budget and Jan 15th budget
4. Unload dishwasher (Which has been sitting with clean dishes for a week)
5. Start reading a new book Smile

Craigslist Sales and a new roommate!

January 8th, 2011 at 03:00 am

The meeting with the potential roommate went really well. Seems like a very nice guy and I have references from his work. The only downside is that he only wants to rent through mid-September. Thats ok with me though. I also need to get with the current roommate to confirm a day that she is moving out. The new guy would love to move in around the 17th, but technically the old roommate has to the end of the month. She comes back from her cruise Monday & we will sit down & talk then.

After my meeting with the new roommate, I went to a McDonalds a few minutes away and met a Craigslist contact to sell 2 dvds - $8.00 earned. I then turned around and went another 5 mins down the road to a 2nd McDonalds where I met a 2nd Craigslist contact & sold approximately 15 of my old dvds for $40.00. I might have made more on ebay or whatever, but I personally don't have the patience for all that Smile

So, I made $48 AND I managed to escape McDonalds without buying anything, although the french fry smell was making my mouth water! The $48 is going to my January budget. I am still $199.30 short for the month, but I am pretty much guaranteed to see rental income later this month, so it's not too much of a problem. I will take the money out of savings to make sure my bills are paid on time. Then I will replace the savings with the rental income when I receive it.

I went to Walmart & picked up yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, salad dressing & hashbrowns ($9.61 from my grocery budget).

I have $8.58 left in the grocery budget and $33.35 left in my entertainment budget.

Tomorrow, I am taking the Christmas tree down (decided to skip this one of my 5 Things for today) & driving it over to be recycled. In the afternoon, my nephew is coming over. We have games to play, a library movie to watch (Sorcerer's Apprentice) and there is fun to be had!

2 No Spenders, then some spending

January 7th, 2011 at 03:14 pm

Yesterday was a no spender as well. I had planned on going to my book club & buying a drink while I was out, but I wasn't feeling good, so I cancelled.

I stayed home & watched cable movies & cleaned the living room. The bonus for having to clean the house prior to the potential roommate coming this afternoon is that all my weekend cleaning is already DONE! LOL

Today, I woke up to snow! I knew we might get some, but I wasn't expecting a couple of inches to already be down when I woke up. Because I was unprepared for the snow, I spent the time I would have spent putting my lunch together, shovelling snow. So I brought lunch, but bought breakfast when I got to work $2.05. Not too bad, but its so early in the month to have used my 2 Lunch Challange freebie days.

After work today, I am running to the library (have to pick up stuff & pay fines). I am showing the house to the potential roommate at 4:30 today then I have a completely free weekend!

Tonight, I am staying in with library movies.
Tomorrow, afternoon & evening, I have my nephew coming over
SUnday will be a laundry day. I might see if my mom wants to go to the new JB Dawsons for lunch. I have a $15 off $25 coupon there.

Today's 5 Things to do are:

1. Go to library
2. Set up Craigslist meets to sell dvds
3. Show house to potential roommate
4. Organize stuff for HOA meeting Monday
5. Take down all Christmas ornaments & prep tree to be taken to be recycled tomorrow

No breakfast/lunch bought: 5 of 7 days.
No spenders: 2 out of 7 days

Lunch Challange Update & Today's 5 Things

January 6th, 2011 at 02:36 pm

I have done pretty well with the lunch challange this week. If you don't remember, my goal is to pack my breakfast, lunch, snacks for work 19 of the 21 workdays in January. Today is day 4 and I have packed 3 of 4 days. I'm happy with that Smile

Today's 5 Things are pretty simple.

1. No splurging on snacks at work
2. Clean, dust & vac living room
3. Clear out facebook per friend request (She's divorcing and he's stalking, so I am going to take down any pictures of the 2 of them together)
4. Pack food for tomorrow
5. Go to book club (FUN!)

No Spender and a roommate lead

January 6th, 2011 at 01:27 am

Today was a no spender. I packed breakfast, lunch & drinks. After work, I headed to the library to pick up some free entertainment (books & movies) and then I got to cleaning the house, because....

I have a roommate lead. It would be temporary, from Feb to September. But the reason for the temporary is good. A friend of mine works an unusual job that has seasons. This post college kid would be interning/working for the season close to my house, but lives out of state. I'm ok with the shorter time frame even though it means getting a new roommate in Sept/Oct. I get a character reference, I'm assured rent because he will have a steady job and the best thing is that he would travel with work & I would have the house to myself from time to time Smile

So after work, I did the following:

-Cleaned my bedroom
-Cleaned the upstairs bathroom
-Washed the bathroom rugs
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Washed the kitchen floor
-put away 1/2 of my Christmas stuff
-changed the cat litter
-vacuumed and mopped the basement
-made dinner
-made tomorrow's food

Tomorrow night, all I have to do is straighten, dust & vacuum the living room and vacuum the stairs & upstairs hall. The guy will be stopping by to see the place after work on Friday.

Tuesday Lunch Challange Update

January 4th, 2011 at 03:03 pm

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks today. However, I am not feeling well & bought breakfast at the cafeteria along with a caffeine soda to help me get through the day. $4.35. So today will be 1 of the 2 days I've alloted for buying breakfast/lunch.

Packed Lunch total: 1/2

Day 1 of Lunch Challange, Meal Plan & Entertainment budget

January 3rd, 2011 at 07:34 pm

I packed my breakfast, lunch & drinks for work today. 1 down, 20 to go! lol

I made a mealplan for the week.

Breakfasts will consist of one or more of the following: yogurt, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs and animal crackers.

Snacks are animal crackers, popcorn, veggies & dip or pretzels & drip

Monday - salad with tuna
Tuesday - peanut butter & crackers
Wednesday - salad with tuna & pasta
Thursday - salad with pasta
Friday - tuna sandwich
Saturday - tuna sandwich
Sunday - pasta salad

Monday - Baked potato & salad
Tuesday - Sloppy joe over egg noodles
Wednesday - meatloaf muffins & baked fries
Thursday - Pasta with meat sauce
Friday - pasta with meat sauce
Saturday - to be determined
Sunday - to be determined

I also have an entertainment plan for this pay period. I have a strict budget of $40.00 to last me until January 15th.

Monday 1/3 - no money spent except for gas and poss groceries
Tuesday 1/4 - $5.00 - 1 beer out with friends at the pub
Wednesday 1/5 - no spender
Thursday 1/6 - $5.00 - book club at restaurant. Will eat dinner before I go & just have a beer there
Friday 1/7 - Nephew spending the night and watching library movies
Saturday 1/8 - Up in the air. Likely to be taking tree to be recycled & deep cleaning the house
Sunday 1/9 - Up in the air.

Next Monday 1/10 -
Next Tuesday 1/11 - $10.00 pub night
Next Wednesday 1/12 - Dinner with friends $10.00
Next Thursday 1/13 -
Next Friday 1/14 - Horror movie night with friends (FREE)

And lastly, today's 5 Things are:

1. Confirming referral for doctors procedure this month (DONE)
2. Get gas (DONE)
3. Compile Price list of items donated to GoodWill in 2010 (SKIPPED)
4. Pack food for Tuesday and Wednesday (DONE)
5. Make eye doctor appointment (DONE)

January Goals

January 3rd, 2011 at 12:50 am

1. Put up Craigslist ads for items to sell. Repeat after the 15th.

2. Put up roommate ad on Craigslist. Also put a status on Facebook & spread word through friends & family. Goal is to have new roommate move in by February 1st.

3. Pack lunch 19 of the 21 days (January Lunch Challenge)

4. Stay within strict budget for January

5. Start making calls about selling Aunt's dining room furniture that is in the basement. Sell if possible

6. Pull credit bureau & check for information

7. Update resume

8. Keep up with Daily 5 Things (5 things off my never-ending To-Do list)

And in keeping with my goals, today's 5 Things were:

1. Pick up groceries (DONE)
2. Pre-pack foods for work Monday (DONE)
3. Work on Homeowners Association items (DONE)
4. Clean bedroom (DONE)
5. Plan out clothes for week. This is to help with the looking more professional at work goal (DONE)

2011 Goals

January 2nd, 2011 at 08:24 pm

Well, I am ringing in the new year with a lot of uncertainties, making specific goals a little hard. My health is still an issue, so there are irregular medical expenses to be accounted for. Also, I would like to get a part time job, but with my health have not been able to. And lastly, the roommate situation is up in the air. I expect her to be out this month, but I still have not solidified a new tenant.

In the meantime, my January budget is in the red since I cannot include any rental income. I have the funds in savings, but am hoping to get a new roommate in quickly so I don't have to use it.

I listed 17 items on Craigslist and attempted to post the room for rent. However, there was an error & I have to wait to have it clear before I repost.

So, without further ado, here are my goals:

-Continue to figure out my health condition
-Start back to the gym the second I am given the doctor's ok
-Restart Weight Watchers

-Host 7 social events this year
-Volunteer at 3 events, in addition to my volunteer position with the homeowner's association
-Try to have 1 outing a month with the nephew

-Update resume
-Job search within the company
-Start dressing more professionally. The job is pretty laid back, but I want to visibly show that I am serious in my role

Financial: (Each month, I will have a more specific time line on the goals)

-Track 100% of all spending!
-Get new roommate and keep for 1 year
-Fully fund baby efund ($1000)
-Fund car efund ($500)
-Fund medical fund ($500)
-Pay off cc #1
-Pay off cc #2
-Meal plan weekly
-Pack lunches 90% of the time

-Put baseboards in the downstairs bathroom
-Insulate attic in spring
-Clear brush at back of the property

Happy 2011 To All!

January 1st, 2011 at 01:51 pm

Just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone! I have a big to do list for today, including making my 2011 goals, which I will update here soon Smile