After a long period of inactivity due to heavy social schedule, plus lack of energy that I have been attributing to the thyroid, I FINALLY have energy to get things done.
Sunday, my family, my boyfriend & I took both my nephew and the bf's nephew to the PA Renn Faire. I spent quite a bit, but it was so worth it. We really had a great time!
Monday, I stayed home & started in on getting things done. This mostly consisted of napping then organizing the kitchen/pantry now that my Roommate moved out. The boyfriend is moving in Dec 1st,but in the mean time, I can clean, organize & enjoy having the house to myself!
In the last week, based on some promos I found - I earned 18 Redbox credits. I used 2 over the weekend.
I am pickingup some ideas on Pinterest. Tonight,I painted my keys with nail polish to make it easier to tell them apart. I have a house key, a screen door key, key to my parents, key to my work desk, key to the mailbox and a few misc ones.
Here's a quick of the final paint job! As you can see, I love different colors
Between yesterday & today, I worked full days then:
-Cancelled lawn guy (now that the broken foot is officially healed)
-signed up for 2013 Medical from work
-Called in a prescription refill
-returned books to the library
-picked up a window sealing kit at the dollar store & 1 organizational tote for the kitchen
-relisted several items on craigslist
-Cleaned out fridge(had to - there was a big cherry limeade spill) and then cleaned the kitchen, wiped down cabinets, counters, ect and washed the kitchen floor. Also polished the kitchen table
-Cancelled subscribe & save deal that I got on Amazon
for toilet paper
-ordered a book on amazon for my mom in that same deal (she'll be paying me back)
-requested 2 $5 Amazon gift cards from swagbucks
-requested reimbursement from insurance for prescriptions paid out of pocket
-picked up prescription
-made appointment with guy of Craigslist to sell my old mower (now I use the reel mower)
-Put several items to sell on my county's Classifieds group on facebook
-obtained 40 MyCokeRewards from a friend off the Classifieds (I use these rewards for soda coupons). The boyfriend and a friend collect them for me. I am always looking for more codes though!
- started wrapping my coaster gifts for christmas
-updated new points into my coke awards
-Waiting for $10 earnings to hit my InboxDollars account so I can request my $40 payout. I earned it by ordering 3 bottles of wine for total of $15.01. These will be used for holiday partys and were already on my to-buy list
-working on swagbucks - want to get to another 450 points
-put out Halloween decorations
-watched Netflix movie
-made dinner at home
Tomorrow, I am doing a (cheap) dinner and a (free) movie with a friend. So my to-do list is much smaller:
1. 10/15 budget
2. 10/31 budget
3. 11/15 budget
4. budget after BF moves in (paying 1/2)
5. Have fun with friend!
Viewing the 'Library' Category
After a long period of inactivity due to heavy social schedule, plus lack of energy that I have been attributing to the thyroid, I FINALLY have energy to get things done.
I have been working to earn credit card bonuses, rewards points & points through rewards sites. Any funds earned will go straight to my fund for my sister's upcoming wedding. If any of the rewards (MyPOints) come in gift card form, I will get cards that I can use for necessary items such as groceries and gas and those funds (from the budget) would go to the wedding fund (And debt payoff once that wedding goal is met).
So to help me with this goal, I opened a Bank of America Amex.
-Earned a $50 statement credit for $100 in spending (used for cell phone bill & normal gas spending. [Net $50]
-Earned a $25 credit for spending $26 at a local wine store for Small Business Saturday. Wine will be for Christmas gifts. [$1.00 out of pocket for 2 bottles!]
-Earned a $25 credit for a Target Purchase. I am not heading to Target (at the mall) at this time of year, but I was able to purchase a (needed) mascara online for $5.73 (including shipping) [19.27 Net]
- ALl usage is budgeted & will be paid off within the next 2 weeks
I opened a Citi Dividends card. $200 in rewards for $500 usage.
- I put the remainder of my car insurance on this (and will pay it off from savings) $480
- $29.07 gas (normal budgeted spending)
- *there is another offer I signed up for where if you spend $200 after signing up a Mastercard, by 12/31/11, you can get a $20 Mastercard gift card, but I am not making this a priority to meet
I opened a Citi Preferred card for $100 for $500 spent.
-$206.23 normal spending on card (budgeted & will be paid for in 2 weeks)
-Still need $293.77 but this will be completed by planned spending
-Also signed this one up for the Mastercard deal. I just need to meet that $200 goal by 12/31 (Which I will do since I need to get another $293.77
- At the end, I will get $100 rewards AND a $20 Mastercard gift card
I have been working my MyPoints. Reading every email sent for 5 points per viewing. I also utilized some of their deals.
- Started with 896 balance on 11/25
- Did a survey for 10 points
- Completed 76 searches using the MyPoints toolbar in Nov (earned 90 points)
- Signed up for OpenSky.com through MyPoints (earned 50 points PLUS a $15 credit on the acct for signing up)
- Used $15 credit & free shipping to purchase a soup/salad container for work lunches. $7.00 out of pocket (paid out of entertainment spending). Earned 3,500 in MyPoints for first purchase. (3700 mypoints approx = $25 gift card)
- Opened an ING Sharebuilder acct (Something I wanted to do anyway) By using the MyPoints link, I earned 200 points for opening the acct & will earn 2,000 points with the first transfer. I will be doign that tonight.
- I purchased a magazine subscription for my dad for CHristmas (Planned purchase). I bought 2 years because if the purchase was over $15, I would earn 1,000 My points.
- After all of these earnings hit, I will have 7,746 in points - approx $50 in gift cards!!
I also am working to utilize Swagbucks more. I am a new member, but have about 123 in points between searches, toolbards, daily polls and more searches. I will be keeping this up!
In other news, all my CHristmas shopping is done - except 1 gift for my boyfriend and the Christmas tree itself. So woot!
The BF's bday is this week and we are going out in town tomorrow night with friends for his bday. I will be driving about 45 mins each way for the group (Designated Driver) and using up gas (Budgeted for) plus paying for parking $20 and part of his meal (approx $40 out altogether). Wednesday, we are going out with his sister & different friends (hoping to keep the bill around $30). Thursday is dinner with his family - he chose Olive Garden. Which is great, since I have that free $50 gift card. I can cover both our meals PLUS some of the family's.
As for the Lunch Challenge, I packed all of my food for today. Breakfast, lunch & snacks. Lunch is actually pasta salad leftover from the boyfriend's THanksgiving. He even packed it up for me! LOL
Additionally - I should add that I UNFRUGALLY lost my cell phone in October. I frugally borrowed my friends old one for 2 months until my contract is up for renewal 12/28. And on Friday, there was a groupon for $25 (I had a $10 credit, so it was $15 out of pocket). For that Groupon, PLUS $35 activation, I can get a Droid X or X2 once my contract is up in December. Compared to what my friend just paid for upping her contract & getting a Droid, I am definitely making out on the deal!
Today's 5 Things: are actually more than 5
-Complete Sharebuilder trade
-update budget for 11/30
-MyPoints & Swagbucks sites
-WD40 Front Door
-Make dinner at home, lunch for Tues/Wed
-CLean kitchen, wipe counters & vacuum floor
-Pickup Living Room
-Gather library movies to return
-Finish laundry & put away
-Unclog bathtub drain
-Unclog upstairs bath sink drain
-Wipe bathroom counters, tub & toilet, vacuum floor
-Play on the internet
-Pack night clothes for BF's bday, work clothes for Wednesday
-Portion medicines to keep at work & at boyfriends (Have to take thyroid meds & vitamins &Missing them REALLY screws me up)
I ran a lot of errands last night & today.
- $17.90 for groceries at Target *used a $15 gift card
- $19.66 groceries at WalMart
- $4.95 ornament from Pier One (for a gift)
- $1.98 picture enlargements for mom
- $35.01 gas
- $3.99 for catnip (present for the cats & entertainment for me. They treat it like its crack!)
- $9.34 large bad of calcium for snow
- $12.54 groceries at grocery store
*Lots of grocery shopping, because I was OUT of staples
I have paid all my normal bills & I have the following amounts left in my cash (and gift card) envelopes
- $10.00 to mail a package to England
- $105.54 Christmas
- $7.01 Cat (need litter & litter bags)
- $.66 leftover calcium funds (this will go to the piggy bank)
- $79.60 Entertainment money (I am hoping to stretch this into January!
- $56.42 groceries
Unfortunately, I have a couple of Christmas items to still pick up (UGH - hate last minute shopping!!)
This weekend, I plan to:
Do an annual Christmas trek with friends. We hit 2 specific Christmas stores & enjoy the sights. We might do lunch, which would be the only money I spend there.
I need to hit a bookstore & get some gifts.
Saturday night, I plan on chilling at home & doing some cleaning. And especially doing some wrapping of presents!
Sunday, I promised 2 hours to my mom to clean wherever in her house she needs the help. After, my sister & my nephew are coming over to enjoy the real Christmas tree, make some cookies & watch a Christmas movie. I am really looking forward to it!
The roommate is still unsure when she is leaving. She got official word of the termination, but I think she has no idea what she's doing. All I know is she's paid until the 9th of January & if she needs to move - she still has to give 30 day notice again.
Lastly - I just wanted to share that I have a bunch of stuff checked out from the library at any time. I just finished Catherine Coulter's Whiplash (I like her easy books), but what I am really into is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socity by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Its about a writer who gets a letter from a farmer on Guernesy Island in 1946, just after the Germans un-occupy the area. He had come across a book she had once owned & had her name in it. A flurry of letters commence between the author and the islanders in the society who have been cut off from the world during the whole occupation. Its really well written even with so many different voices giving their versions of events. Its something really different and I LOVE it.
Payday is tomorrow & I've already made my $0 based budget. Outside my normal montly bills, I have variable spending in the following catagories:
$129.50 groceries (need a good stock-up)
$26.00 Communion gift
$8.00 misc cheer up gift for a friend
Its going to be a tight month and I'm going to have to get creative with my entertainment. This budget takes me through to the end of the month.
I have 2 work happy hours, 1 friends happy hour, 3 or 4 of my nephew's ballgames, a wine tasting and a movie to fit into that entertainment budget. Should be fun! Luckily the baseball games are free. That helps.
Tomorrow is Friday - I've already packed breakfast & lunch. After work, I will be hitting the library, the dollar store & the grocery store. Then home for an evening in.
Saturday, I'm going to my nephew's ball game, then driving 2 hours to a Communion party, driving 2 hours back home and going to a housewarming. I already have a gift for that.
Sunday will be for the gym ($0), the farmer's market, the other grocery store & cleaning.
I have Monday off work and will be cleaning & organizing the house, hitting the gym and heading to my nephew's ball game that night.
I am hoping to list a few items on Craigslist this weekend as well. Any extra income will be welcome!
Heat went back off at hte house this morning.
Lunch challange is still going strong
Still looking for the roommate
Today was Day 2 of the Lunch Challange: Sucess!
Packed breakfast, lunch, snacks & 1 soda. Today ended up being a no spender. I'm hoping tomorrow will be too, but maybe not as I need a quick veggie run for salad stuff.
I had a homeowners informational meeting tonight (go me as VP). we're discussing some law changes that govern our maintenance organization. This is one of three meetings.
Breakfast: Granola & cottage Cheese
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: Salad with tuna
Snack: rest of popcorn
Tomorrow, I'm going to my nephews baseball game. Will eat dinner at home first and take a snack/drink with me.
Thursday night is the last HOA meeting
Friday will be movie night at a friends
Saturday I am going to a party, but have leftover beer from my fridge to bring.
Sunday I am walking the Breast Cancer walk in Philly. Already paid for - but I'll need to buy gas. Afterwards, I'll be taking my mom out for Mother's Day.
Todays 5 Things:
1. Call comcast
2. Library drop off
3. HOA meeting
4. Pack lunches
5. Catch up on personal email
Been a very, very busy week for me. I was out every night except Wednesday and now I'm beat!
Monday I went to the movies with a friend. We saw Watchmen. My friend bought my ticket before I even got there & refused to be reimbursed. So next time I'll try to get there first! Spending $0
Tuesday was St Paddy's and I went to the dive I hang out at, which we call the Pub. Bought a few drinks. The poor bartenders, who I know fairly well, were running ragged. I left a good tip because I knew they were working their butts off. Spent roughly $30.00
Wednesday I had the day off. Waited around for the electric guy to change the meter. Thought they were taking the whole thing out, but apparently it was just the gas portion. My dad came over & repaired the downstairs toilet & my dryer. I paid for the dryer part & lunch for him and my mom. For a total of $50.00. But completely worth it!
Thursday I had planned on staying home. Ran some errands after work, then was called by 2 friends for impromptu dinner. Went to a local mexican place. We had a margarita and some good food. Then our 1 friend paid for everything. Apparently he had been at the Casinos & won a lot. He wouldn't even let us leave tip.
On my way home from there, another friend called and asked me to meet him at a local bar. A friend of his was working there as a rep for a vodka company. We were given some comped drinks & caught up for an hour or two. So this was a completely free night, which was a surprise. Spending $0
Yesterday I went to the library. Picked up a few movies, couple of books. Some of the books were impulses, some not:
The Art Theif by Noah Charney
The Simple Life by Amy Dacyczyn, Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin
Cents & Cents-abilities by Kathy Bradford
Good Housekeeping's The complete Household Handbook
The Frugal Gardner
Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs & More by Earl Proulx
Friday was happy hour. A few friends had taken 1/2 days for March Madness. We met up after work & had dinner. They were ready to continue for the rest of the night. I was ready to go to bed. Made it home by 8, watched tv til 10. Then bed. Total spent $8.00.
Got a great nights sleep & now I'm refreshed! Gonna hang out with a friend today. Our big plans are a shoe store where I have a $20 gift certificate, the Farmers Market for veggies, she's gonna help me pick out some glasses & we'll possibly go shopping for some stuff for container gardening. We may end up doing none of that if she still has a cold. In that case, we'll be watching April Fools Day, a movie I own already that she & I loved as teens. Low key & low cost day!
I know container gardening won't be that frugal a hobby this year since I'm just starting out & a complete novice to anything gardening related. If anyone has any info, please feel free to share!
So I did my taxes & it turns out I owe a bit. I was expecting that and I have the savings to pay them, but I feel the need to go into SuperFrugal mode and try to cashflow it back into savings within the next month or so.
In SuperFrugal mode, I look for both big and small savings. I am going to limit entertainment spending, limit grocery spending, work to find additional sources of income and basically do anything I can to conserve spending and earn more.
The hardest thing for me, will be entertainment. Lately I've been a lot more social at work, with friends and dating. All of which entails spending. So this will be the trickiest.
Today was a no spender, which is good.
Tomorrow will not be one, as I have a date and will be offering to pay for dinner this time around. (Expected Entertainment spending $25.00?)
Wednesday, I'm having friends over to watch LOST and plan on offering them dinner. I will stop at the produce stand for veggies for the week, but will make dinner out of my freezer/pantry. (Groceries $10.00)
Thursday, my work group is going out to lunch. I'm hoping we can keep it really, really cheap, but as there's 10 of us, I'm only 1 vote. Worst case scenario, lunch will be about $10.00. I'll be staying in Thursday night. (Entertainment $10.00)
The weekend is up in the air, we'll have to wait and see what social things I have going on.
For frugal entertainment, I plan on doing the following:
Playing Wii with the nephew
Watching Library movies
Reading Library books
All of these I've said before, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of them and free is always good!
I just updated my request list at the library. Plenty of movies for me to watch as they become available.
Oh and to keep track of freezer food: I used 1 ground turkey with onion for pasta sauce for dinner. I used another to take to work for lunch. (2 ground turkey w/ onion used)
Hope everyone had a good weekend! I did Friday I went to a happy hour & then to a friends to play cards. A guy I'm seeing met up with us at the friends and he & I ended up watching a movie at his place.
Yesterday, I went to a local wrestling show. Kinda like WWF or whatever its called now. A friend was participating in it and a group of us all went to show our support. It was kinda cheesy, but really fun. There were a lot of people, including kids. They have another show in the beginning of March & I think I'll take my nephew to it. And possibly my friend Mike. It would be right up his alley $15 to get in, but the show was worth it.
Today I'm heading to the movies with my mom. Its been months since I saw a movie in the theater. She wants to get out of the house and there's a small independantly owned theater where matinees are still under $6.00. Not too bad!
When I come back tonight, I have a to do list waiting: Do laundry, make a meal plan, clean the kitchen, pack food for work tomorrow. All easily done!
On Thursday, I was given my raise for 2009. 3.13%. Not too bad considering most companies in my industry stopped raises alltogether for 2009 and some are stopping their company match program. I also know that I was at the high end of the scale for raises.
And I inherited a free tv from my sister and nephew. After Christmas, my sister bought my nephew a new 13 inch tv for his bedroom. I took the one that he previously had, with a built in vhs and am putting it in the spare room. I also have a spare dvd player, so I'm going to use it for work out tapes. Plenty of room to work out in the spare bedroom. And when summer hits & it gets too hot to work out upstairs, then I can easily carry the tv down to the basement to set up shop down there
I've been utilizing the library a LOT again. Movies & books, with some magazines thrown in for good measure.
For February, I have 2 mini goals:
1. Pack all meals/snacks for work for the month, with 1 time eating out option
2. Attempt to use as little as possible out of my entertainment budget, but still be well entertained. We'll see how creative I can get!
Its a happy Friday for me because I have a day off from work and the only goal I have is to do nothing I have the windows open and its almost chilly in the living room.
I'm still in my pajamas. I already made breakfast and lunch and am watching an Agatha Christie movie "Murder Most Foul". I REALLY love mystery movies.
Its been a busy week for me, and the down time is much needed. And as a side benefit, today will be a no spender because I am staying home all day.
A/C is still off. I've up to 13 days of no A/C this billing period.
Yesterday, I stocked up on books, cookbooks and movies from the library.
I got a TON of free stuff from our work outing on Wednesday. In addition to the free lunch and fun that we had, I took home a bunch of leftovers. 3 cans of soda, a bottle of water and a HUGE catering pan of salad. With all the good greens, peppers, cucumber, and more.
Stopped me from having to go to the produce stand for a full veggie trip. I just quickly grabbed tomatoes (1.46) and carrots (2lbs for $1.49). Saved approximately $6-8 dollars.
And I had a nice big salad for lunch and am planning another with dinner
I did some grocery shopping this week and was able to get some good deals. I've also had to change the way I buy some things due to packaging downsizes and/or prices.
Doing Weight Watchers, I consider 8 oz yogurt a serving. Only Acme carried the individual 8 oz yogurts. but they just downsized to 6oz. So I have switched to the 32 oz Dannon container and am just portioning it out into plastic containers for easy travel to work.
At the Acme, I was able to get a couple of good deals, including .... 101 oz Olive Oil for $9.99!!! A good deal around here is 50 oz for 9.99, so this was a steal!
I spent some time at the Dollar store yesterday. I needed to stock up on cleaning supplies, hand soap, and food storage containers.
I also scored with large bags of hashbrown potatoes at the dollar store. Its tough to find any frozen potatoes where the only ingredient IS potatoes. So I bought two!
On my grocery list was popcorn kernals. Acme had a 2 pound jug of them for... get this... $6.99! Walmart, where I usually get the popcorn was $3.99, up from $3.49. But now they carry a 2 lb bag of generic kernals for $1.50. Great deal compared to Acme's $6.99! And I just put the kernels into the old jug from my last purchase.
Soda prices are increasing and since I already have an unhealthy addiction, I'm working hard to cut back on my soda use. I'm drinking more water and I made a pitcher of generic crystal light fruit punch. No soda today so far.
I've started thinking about Christmas and plan to make my list this weekend. I have rough ideas, but I'm going to nail down gifts for each of the people on my list. Also, my Mom's birthday is coming up. I got her a book for $7.99 and I plan on cooking dinner for her and my dad.
This weekend, I have to get a wedding gift from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I have a 20% off coupon and plan to spend about $25.00.
So lots of spending, but a very tight budget. I'm hoping to save money any way that I can, including coming underbudget in my entertainment catagory. Time to get creative!
I think its fun to share what I currently have borrowed from the library. Books are borrowed for 2 weeks, movies for 1. I'm planning on a sitting in front of the tv day on Sunday, so I planned accordingly
Agatha Christie's The Moving Finger
Bones Season 1, Disc 4
Lady in the Water
Next (With Nicholas Cage)
Poirot: Dumb Witness
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien [Ficton]
Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money by Daniel Lapin
You're Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget
I'm always open to suggestions on movies & books. Feel free to give me ideas.
For February, I have been able to put a lot of extra funds towards the student loan.
$18.00 State Tax Refund
$393.00 Federal Tax Refund
$3.21 Leftover from car insurance
$63.73 Savings Account Interest
$478.32 Metlife Insurance Inheritance
WooHoo! Plus the balance is down so much that most of my payments are going directly to the balance.
As for the Februrary-March Lunch challange, this week is going well. I have moved around some meals in my meal plan. So tonight I had sloppy joe instead of Friday, but its all working out
Plus, today, I had a bit of free food from work. Some of the people I work with made snacks for the baby shower. I had a cookie & a small bit of fruit and pudding. It was good
Today was a no spender. I came home from work, did some laundry, worked out, made dinner. Now I'm going to veg out & watch Mr Woodcock, which I borrowed from the library.
I only have a few bucks left in my entertainment/spending budget, so I'm planning a frugal weekend.
I'm planning on getting through some paperwork, cleaning, organizing, ect. I have a couple of movies from the library. I'm so into Agatha Christie movies-- Poirot, Ms Marple, ect.
Tomorrow's big plans are to take my cat to get her hind nails clipped. I had her declawed (where they take the front claws), but the back ones are still there. And they're long. My cat gets too freaked out for me to try to clip them myself. And of course, it creeps me out. So I'm happy to schlep her over to Petco and pay them $10.00 to do it. Its not something that has to be done regularly, but its budgeted into my petcare budget.
Then I may go over my sisters. She's been ill and her bf just broke up with her (what a jerk). So if she's still sick, she'll be staying home from work. IF she does, I'm going to head over with comfort food & movies.
If not, I've rented Saw IV and Sydney White and I'll be chilling at my house. Maybe heading to my friends for dinner and video games. (boy, its like college all over again)
Sunday is going to be fun. Dorky, but fun About 5 or 6 friends of mine decided we'll be having a movie marathon of the Lord of the Rings movies. We'll all be contributing food and drinks and we'll watch the movies in our pjs.
My contribution will be corn and blueberry muffins for breakfast, a big salad to go with lunch, and sodas. It looks like we'll be having wings, meatballs, beef and more. We'll probably talk through most of the movies, but it'll be a fun and relaxing day.
I am working on my mealplan for the upcoming week. I have been trying to make one freezable meal each week, so that I have a mix of options in the freeze.
Two weeks ago, I made sloppy joe. Last week, I made meatloaf muffings. This week, I'm going to make meatballs for meatball subs. And maybe I'll make some chicken taco filling. I am looking for new recipes, so if anyone has any suggestions, please share!
And I've decided to start sharing my library list. At any given time, I have several movies, magazines and books borrowed from the library.
So here's what I have at home right now:
-Agatha Christie's Ms Marple: Sleeping Murder
-Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse
-Bones Season 1, Disc 1
-Cooking Light Annual Recipes
-Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Incredible Theft
-Agatha Christie's Poirot: The King of Clubs
-Mission: Impossible III
-Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
-Weight Watchers 365 day Menu Book
-Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
-You're Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget