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Oh, the JOYS of Home Ownership

November 2nd, 2013 at 04:55 pm

In the last 2 weeks, I have replaced the downstairs toilet, replaced all the interior of the upstairs toilet. Fixed a leaky faucet.

And this week, a pipe leading to the hot water heater started leaking. We attempted the repairs ourselves, but without luck. So we had a professional come by $190 later, all fixed!

We are left with the problem of the pipes. The home builders used an inferior piping. I knew that buying the house (and it factored into the pricing). However, joints are gathering moisture & some are leaking. Replacing parts of the piping will not stop further issues in other areas, so I got a quote for replacing the pipes in the whole house. $5950. Yeesh. I will be doing research & certainly working out a budget & getting other quotes. We have time to plan, but its likely it will need to be done.

Electricity Savings

July 22nd, 2013 at 11:56 pm

My local electric provider is having 2 energy saving programs. Of course, I signed up for both.

One, we are enrolled in Peak savings days. When there is one, they notify you the day before. You can get $1.25 off every kilowatt hour you reduce your energy use below your base line during this period (usually 4 hours).

Two, you can have a programmable thermostat installed and during these days (usually weekday, mid-day) and they will cycle down your air conditioner (I chose 50%). There was a $40 credit for installing it AND its programmable via phone & computer, which I find to be a HUGE perk!

Updates, Updates, Updates

October 20th, 2011 at 02:14 am

Today was a no spender (yay). I packed food for work, went looking for a Halloween costume (no luck yet), went to kickboxing to find out that my training session was cancelled. The guy rescheduled the session and gave me 2 more classes for free. Great customer service!

I have several financial goals for this week:

-Budget out entertainment spending between now & the 31st.
-Stick to grocery budget
-Eat in as much as possible
-Finalize Medical Plan choices
-Make new monthly budget
-Put up more items on Craigslist
-Finish most of Christmas shopping
-Start figuring budget for sister's wedding & 2 other weddings I will be attending in 2012 plus another one I will be attending in 2013.

The air has been off, windows open & although its cool in evenings - no heat is needed yet (WOOHOO)

Freebies & Christmas Presents

December 22nd, 2010 at 01:32 pm

This week at work, we had a luncheon supplied by the business, the managers brought in donuts, I brought in cookies for the group & someone else brought in mints. Tis the season for food! lol

Yesterday, I packed my breakfast & lunch for work. After work, I made dinner at home & I went had a few friends over for a gift exchange. Afterwards, we went to the pub for our normal Tuesday night outing. I didn't stay too long as I"m not feeling well again. I spent $5.75 for 2 beers, plus tip.

Today, I packed food again. I have a couple of errands to run after work & I will spend the evening enjoying my Christmas tree & wrapping presents!

In other news - the heats been kicking on a lot. I'm going to hate seeing my electric/gas bill!

Its gonna be a long week

December 7th, 2010 at 01:00 pm

Spent $12.03 on groceries yesterday. I packed my lunch & snacks, no problem.

My health issue came back with a vengance (They still don't know what it is) and I spent the night on the couch. I didn't get anything completed. Luckily I had already prepared food & snacks to take to work today as well.

The heat has been running a lot at the house. Although I keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, we have had some NASTY winds and the house was definitely feeling them. I bundled up and was plenty comfortable.

In other financial news, the roommates next month rent is due the 10th. We will have to see if it comes in on time. She has said she's staying through December, but at this point, I'm not counting on the money until it is in my hand.

Tonight, I am getting my CHristmas tree. I still get the lives ones. I just LOVE the smell. My dad & nephew are going to help me. Then I will be pulling Christmas decorations out & going crazy with decorating Smile

Halloween is winding down

November 1st, 2010 at 01:54 am

I have turned the lights off for the trick or treaters. I have a LOT of candy left. It was a very small turnout compared to last year. I will have to find some way to get rid of the rest of it.

I am starting back on Weight Watchers for the 80-billionth time tomorrow. I am unable to workout, but I can still do the meal plan. it'll just be tougher because working out meant I could splurge a little more food-wise.

I have already pre-packed my food for work tomorrow. I am upstairs & getting ready for bed in a minute. I LOVE coming upstairs to a completely clean room & made bed. I am going to try to keep this up.

The weather warmed up in the afternoon, but got chillier again at night. I have made it all the way through the month of October without turning on the heat. We will have to see how it is going forward. The house is a little chilly and any more drop in temp & I will definitely want the heat on Smile

Tomorrow, I will be posting November goals and will be working hard to stick to them. I can already share that I am doing another Lunch Challenge. I get so easily distracted from packing my lunch Smile The threat of layoff will definitely be a motivator.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Happy Saturday

October 30th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Well, I survived my vacation from work, but had a wealth of health problems. The doctor still does not have a diagnosis for me, which is frustrating. Where is Dr. House when I need him? lol

This week was not too spendy, but today was. Yesterday was payday. I spent $20.00 on a copay to the doctor.

Today, I am having a great day health-wise, so its just a great day in general. I woke up this morning paid my loan at the bank ($98), went to another bank to meet the other members of the Homeowners Association and transfer ownership of the HOA account.

The HOA's bank is next to the Farmer's market, so I stopped there for veggies & fruit. ($15.76)

I stopped & grabbed gas ($30.44)

Afterward, I went to lunch with my folks and they paid. I gave my nephew a Halloween card with some money in it ($5.00).

We then went to my nephew's ball game & froze our butts off. The ball league was having a sale on a bunch of their stuff and there were some 2009 t shirts they were giving away for free. I took 2 in my size and intend to use them as workout or housecleaning clothes. (Yay free!)

After the game, I stopped at the library & picked up some new books. Then headed to the Dollar Tree Plus which no longer has stuff only $1.00. I got a 30 piece set of plastic containers for food storage for $5.00, a 5 pack of toothbrushes, hand soap & dish soap. ($8.00)

Now I am home and am working on a meal plan for the week. With my current health, it is really important to plan for the days when I'm too tired to cook, but still be able to remain healthy.

In unhappy news, I heard from a very reliable source that my work is looking to lay off around a third of the departments in the next 2 weeks. Its pretty scary. I really need the health insurance as well as the income. So I hope I make it through this.

Cash Budget Balances to last until the 15th:

Entertainment: $55.00
Groceries: $64.24
Cat litter: $10


And another Heat update - its still off Smile

Plan for the week

September 12th, 2010 at 07:30 pm

Well, to help me with my lunch challenge, entertainment spending & with weight watchers, I have a weekly plan set up. I've set a meal plan, workout goals and my social commitments to a calendar.

Money-wise, I've been able to have the a/c off & windows open. My roommate's rent was due on Friday (the 10th) but it is still unpaid. However, I have not seen her since Thursday since she's been away all weekend. That may be why I haven't received it. She's always just handed it to me instead of leaving a check. Hopefully, I will get it tonight when she comes home.

As for my schedule - I would like to note that my exercise activities have been modified for the next week or so due to tendinitis in my foot. Booo to that.

Today, I am home doing laundry, planning my weekly wardrobe per our new dress code, and watching movies from the library. I have The International, Black Christmas and When a Stranger Calls. Yay for free movies!

Monday:
$0 spending.
Gym - bicycle 30-45 minutes, plus weight training.
Entertainment - no commitments
Breakfast: oatmeal, apple
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snacks: goldfish, microwave popcorn
Dinner: pasta with spinach and a salad

Tuesday:
$10 spending
Gym - off day
Entertainment - Nephew's ballgame (free); Pub night with friends ($10)
Breakfast: apple, animal crackers, cereal
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snacks: goldfish, microwave popcorn
Dinner: pasta salad (to be taken to ball game)

Wednesday:
$15 spending
Gym - 30 mins bike, 15 mins strength training
Entertainment - Dinner out with friends
Breakfast: oatmeal, apple, animal crackers
Lunch: Pasta salad w/ turkey pepperoni
Dinner: Medallion salad from restaurant

Thursday:
$0 spending
Gym - 45 mins bike
Entertainment - no commitments
Breakfast: to be determined (after grocery shopping!)
Lunch: Salad with meatloaf muffin
Dinner: shake n bake chicken/potatoes

Friday:
$15 spending - happy hour dinner & drinks
Gym - 30 mins bike
Entertainment - Happy Hour with coworkers
Breakfast: to be determined
Lunch: pasta salad
Dinner: Salad at happy hour; tuna sandwich at home after

Sat -
Spending: $10 at Delaware Park races (can bring own food). Then $10 Oktoberfest with sister to celebrate her anniversary

Sunday - Day at home; groceries shopping for spending; movies from library (free)

No Spender, but definitely not due to doing nothing all day

September 4th, 2010 at 08:40 pm

I planned today to be a yard work day as I just borrowed my dad's weed whacker and hedge trimmer. The temperature has lowered significantly & I was able to open up the windows and turn off the a/c. I woke up on my own this morning (as opposed to an alarm) and was outside in the yard by 9:15 am.

So today, I:

-Mowed the lawn
-Weed whacked around deck and air conditioning unit
-Weed whacked walkway in backyard
-Raked and bagged the yard
-Cleared the deck of debris blown onto it.
-Trimmed shrub in front of my house. This was a BIG task as 1/2 of the bush is dead on the inside. Its not the prettiest now, but I need to borrow a saw from my dad to get rid of the bigger dead branches.
-Weed whacked grass growing in crack in driveway.
-Bagged up all trimmings (4 full bags full).
-Piled all the yard waste into the car, as well as my 2 big tomato planters full of dirt and dead plants. -Took it all to the free yard waste disposal site.
-When I got home, I vacuumed out the car VERY well.
-I took the hose & rinsed out all planters that are now empty
-Did 2 loads of laundry.

And that was by 1pm.

Then I:
-made lunch
-made jello shots for a BBQ tomorrow
-unloaded the dishwasher
-cleaned the kitchen
-vacuumed and mopped the floor
-polished the kitchen table
-watered the plants

I have a few more things on my to-do list, but I made myself a nice margarita first & sat down to take a break Smile

The rest of my list is to:

-replant a plant (DONE)
-bring up last load of laundry
-clean the living room (DONE)
-vacuum and dust the living room (DONE)
-take cleaned out planters to the basement now that they are dry (DONE)
-vacuum upstairs bathroom floor (DONE)
-take a shower (DONE)
-make a yummy dinner
-PLOP MYSELF ON THE COUCH, watch some movies and/or read a book. No other work for the rest of the night. Even though my bedroom is a mess and so is the upstairs bathroom. That could be tackled tomorrow.

At least I knocked off a TON of stuff of my to-do list! hee-hee

First Day of September! (Long)

September 1st, 2010 at 02:53 pm

Welcome to September! I'm looking forward to cooler weather where I can keep my windows open and not run A/C and therefore save some money. Unfortunatley that isn't happening this week. Its in the mid to high 90s here.

Yesterday was payday, I spent 8.85 on pub night with friends (entertainment budget) and $42.19 at the grocery store to get most of my staples for this pay period (thru the 15th).

I have been working hard to make my money work for me. I paid some bills - bought gas, paid cell phone, car insurance and my cable bill with my Old Navy cc. They are doing triple rewards points and that plus the balance I already had, will yield me a $10 gc. Which I will use with another gc I already have to get some fall pants Smile I am paying the cc off as soon as the charges post to the account, which will leave a $0 balance.

I also reduced my 401k contribution (while still keeping the company match) and all that extra amount is going straight to my credit cards.

I have lowered my entertainment budget to $65 per pay period and my grocery budget is $110 for this pay period and about $70 for my next pay period. I am going to work extra hard to stay within these budgets.

I also have finagled $40 in funds to use with a $10 off $50 coupon for Lowes. I need a new basement window cover, some weather stripping, carpet tape & CFL bulbs. And purchasing all at once will save me $10 Smile

I an reinstituting my Lunch Challange for myself for September. I went off plan a little at the end of August and really want to be back on track. So my goal for Sept is to pack breakfast, lunch, & snacks 100% with 2 exceptions for the month. One exception is today where I bought a 0.55 pretzel.

I would like to state that I don't mind the lunch challange because 1. I save money 2. Its easier to stay on my WW plan and 3. I'd rather spend disposable funds on being social Smile

Finally, I plan on lowering my gym plan from 19.99/month to $10 a month. I can switch on the 24th of Sept and already have it on my calander. I also am returning a cable box that I have in my bedroom. Promo ran out & returning it will save me $9/month.

Cash Envelope Balances:
Groceries: Start $110/ Current $67.81
Entertainment: Start $65/Current $56.15
House/Lowes: $40 plus coupon
Kitty Litter: $10