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Viewing the 'Savings' Category

Freebies - but also Spendy

June 15th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Today I woke up with some stomach issues & ended up buying breakfast at work. THis is the 2nd time I've bought food at work, and its been due to not feeling well both times Frown I needed a lot of carbs in my stomach to help with acid, so I got a bagel & some breakfast potatoes.

However, to make up for it, lunch was free! We had burgers (and hot dogs for whoever wanted them), potato salad, macaroni salad, cookies and water. I also got a 'free' casual day at work to use when I want, and some little toys to keep at my desk. ALl in all, freebies are fun.

THey were pushing the foodbank donations at work and last time, I brought in a ton of stuff. So am going to work on getting some in this week.

I also need to rework my budget. I'm hoping to be able to buy some stuff for the AnySoldier.com program that Elisabeth was talking about in her last post.

Tonight, I have 5 Things I need to do:

1. Eat dinner at home, pack food for tomorrow
2. Work on Budget
3. Go to nephew's playoff game
4. Clean litter box
5. Organize list for home depot trip tomorrow

Raise/benefits, roommate & part time job Stuff

February 6th, 2010 at 02:48 pm

Well, I've never really put it out there, but here goes. I got a raise & my new annual salary is $41,000.00.

Per my work information, the company's estimated yearly cost of benefits are as follows:

Retirement $1325.83
401k Match $2328
Health & Income Protection: $3817.20
Social Security & Medicare: $3037.05

TOTAL: $10,508.08

So, my total annual compensation is roughly $51.5k.

I also get tax breaks for using my HSA which arent counted in this.

So I guess I'm not doing too bad. But one of my financial goals for this year is to look for a new position in or outside of my company that will challange me more (as well as pay more! lol).


So I re-started at the part time job last night. We were sent home an hour early, so only worked 3.25 hours. Today I would have worked 8.5, but no work due the snow. So now, my 12 hour week turned into 3.25 Smile

This week (starting tomorrow), I'm scheduled 16 hours. Then 12 hours the following week.

I like the 12-16 hours. Definately do not want to be working the 20+ that I was during the holiday season.


As for the roommate. He'll have been here 1 month this week. Paid when agreed, is neat and courteous. He stays up in his room most of the time, but he's starting to come out of his shell. This is definately working out!

When he pays me on the 9th (the agreed upon date based on the day he moved in), I will be taking the $487 and putting:

$91.30 to pay off the vet bill.
$45.00 to home repairs
$82.00 to increased utilities fund (includes the comcast upgrade he asked for)
$39.17 to pay myself back for a grocery splurge
$229.53 to the credit card.

Got a Case of the Mondays!

June 8th, 2009 at 05:00 am

Here's Monday & I'm in a sleepy mood. Dont want to work today Smile

I've had a great weekend. Stayed within my grocery & entertainment budgets! Yeah Smile

I'm kinda in a financial stall right now. I'm sticking within my budget, but as things are tight, I'm not putting as much to savings as I'd like. So now I'm looking at alternate ways to generate income.

The first step I'm going to take is to list some things on Craigslist. I have:

an old desk
a scientific calculator
a graphing calculator
a wireless router
an extra DVD player.

I have a lot of upcoming incedental expenses in the next month & every little bit helps. I have the following:

Car Registration
Car repairs - check engine light is on
Dental Bills - cavity to be filled
Sister Birthday
Dad Birthday
Dad Father's Day
Mini Vacation - want to drive to the beach at least 2 times this month. Can be done very frugally, but gas will still be an extra expense.

I've decided to not renew my AAA membership this year.

In lunch news, I've packed breakfast, lunch & snacks 100% of this month again so far! Its become pretty easy Smile

And in utility news, my electric usage is low, more so than this time last year. My gas usage is at 0!

I still have yet to turn the air on, although its getting much more humid. I'm hoping to hold off as long as possible, but historically, by mid-month the A/C goes on.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Thinking about getting rid of the cable

April 19th, 2009 at 08:04 am

I love tv. Love movies, reality TV, LOST, ect. But I'm getting more and more annoyed with the cost of cable.

I have bad habits with tv. I live alone, and have the tv on a lot for background noise. SO if I did get rid of the cable, I wouldn't want to give up tv altogether.

Right now, I utilize HULU for a lot of stuff. I get movies & older shows on dvd from the library. The main shows that I watch are available for free online somewhere.

So I wonder if I could live without the cable. I'm really taking the time to think this one through. And worst case scenario, I try it out for a month and decide to take it back.

Also, if I got rid of the cable, I probably would get rid of the land line as well, depending on if I can shop around for a better price from a non-cable company Smile

I'd definately keep my high-speed internet, which would mean my bill would drop from 105.00 to about $47.00. It only cuts it in 1/2 bc of the packages I get for having phone & internet along with the cable, but every bit helps!

What are your thoughts?

Lets Talk Numbers!

October 14th, 2008 at 04:49 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 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Payday - this month is TIGHT!

September 30th, 2008 at 06:48 pm

Got paid today. Paid my mortgage & normal monthly bills. Put gas in my car and put $237.00 in an extra payment to my student loan.

I put the extra money from the electric budget ($37.23) and a few other catagories into savings. I like to build up a small amount in a freedom account for any expected 'unexpected' expenses (if you know what I mean).

Since I have all these planned savings and planned overpayment of my student loan, I sometimes have a tight month cash/spending wise. But its by choice. I want to meet my goals and for the most part its not a hardship for me to do so.

Last month, I had a lot of events - camping, a concert, and a wedding. So I spent more entertainment/gifts wise. So this motnh the entertainment budge is a little smaller Smile

I also filled up the tank and made a BIG grocery run. I plan on doing some baking and I wanted to try making my own bread. Now I'm set except for getting some more milk and veggies later next week.

So now, after all is said and done, I've got a small amount left for discretionary spending.

From today until the 15th, I have:
-$16.02 in the gas budget (But I usually only fill up once a pay period).
-$36.96 for groceries
-$19.21 for entertainment/spending (this was already a lower amount than usual)
-$6.00 for cat litter
-$15.28 for personal items (really need to stock up in this catagory)

My goal is to stick to all of those budgeted amounts. To not go over in any catagory AND to not move funds from one to another. Its doable, mainly I just need to plan food and keep myself entertained VERY cheaply Smile

Luckily, there's a lot of good tv on right now. And what I don't watch during the week, I can catch up on with Comcast On Demand and the internet Smile

For meals,

I plan on having oatmeal for breakfast, tomato & cucumber salad & a cheese sandwich for lunch. Dinner will be pasta most likely

Thursday: Cheerios & milk for breakfast, pasta salad for lunch, meatloaf muffins for dinner.

Friday: Cheerios & milk for breakfast, salad w/ meat for lunch, tacos for dinner.

Lunch Challange and a TON phone calls!

February 21st, 2008 at 07:39 pm

Today's start to the lunch challange went well! I did stop by the grocery store tonight to pick up salad fixings. For tomorrow, I will have:
Breakfast: Oatmeal, fruit cocktail
Lunch: A BIG, yummy salad and all bran crackers
Snack: Carrots and pudding.

Then tonight, I made a TON of phone calls, all financial related.

-First, my car insurance to confirm the final payment was received to pay through July. It was. There was also a 'convenience fee nicely tacked on for $4.00, which the rep kindly waved. ($4.00 saved!)

-Second, I called a company that I had signed up for a trial with as part of a Cash Crate offer. The shipping & handling was supposed to be for 99 cents. But my card was charged for $1.89. The rep said that they only billed for the 99 cents, but since the credit card is showing $1.88, they would credit back 99 cents to the charge. I pointed out that then the amount I paid them was only 89 cents and she said thats fine, she could only credit back in the amount of the 99 cents. (so 10 cents saved!)

-Third, a RIDICULOUS phone call with Comcast. They had made a billing error last month and charged me for phone & internet, but not cable (although they gave me the $10.00credit for the special I was on). I had pointed out the error last month, but the rep told me it was a system glitch and they would fix it in the next month's statement. Well, they did find the error & decided to charge me $50.00 for it. In reality, I should have owed about $40.00.

So I called to challange the charge and talked to what had to the be stupidist person alive. It took him 40, yes 40, minutes to understand that I was being double billed this month because I was not billed last month. All I wanted was for the bill to be corrected by $10.00 and the guy just kept reading the bill to me over & over. Then he refused to get me a supervisor. So I asked him to just transfer me to one of his peers. I figured a different set of eyes on the problem would help. He also refused that. I didn't want to hang up, because the hold times were ridiculous. If I could get an in house transfer, it would be a lot quicker. But he still refused.

Just when I was going to hang up on him, he put me on hold (without my permission) and then he transferred me to the New Jersey Sales department, which couldn't help me, even though they tried. I got a 2nd rep on the phone who helped me in like 5 minutes and gave me an $18.96 credit, which was more than I was even asking for! I got to talk to a supervisor after that and the guy told me that he was going to pull the first rep off the floor right now to have a discussion about what he did. Whether the supervisor did that or not, I don't know, but I seriously hope he did. (So, $18.96 saved!)

-And as I apparently am a glutton for punishment, I decided to start calling credit cards that I am no longer using (for over a year) and wanted to close. I closed
- Gap
- The Limited
- Chase (I actually transferred the line to another Chase card prior to closing it)
- Sony Visa.

All closed me within 5 minutes, with very little hassle! I received a lot of 0% offers, but refused them all. I don't have any credit card debt to transfer anyway. (No monetary savings, but I did get a big splash of peace of mind!)

I still have two store cards & 4 major credit cards open. Although I am not going to be using credit cards, I am keeping those few open for the time being.

I plan on keeping it a low key weekend this week. I have been fighting a migrane, we're in for a big snowstorm and truth be told, I'm just stressed about some familiy stuff.

I have some library movies & books and I've taken to pulling stuff from my dvd collection that I haven't seen in awhile.

Also, I put up an add for a roommate on Craigslist. Last time that I did it, I mostly got scams and scary people. So hopefully, I'll do better this time around.

My conversation with Comcast

January 28th, 2008 at 07:10 pm

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

Electric bill and electric deposit

October 25th, 2007 at 06:55 am

When I got my house, the electric company made me put a $180.00 deposit on the account. They told me that after a year of on-time payments that I would get the amount credited to the account. So since last month, Ive been literally begging them to send me a check for my money.

Ive never even had an electric bill over $100.00, so why should they get to keep my money for an extra couple of months. They said it would take about 6-8 weeks to get a check out to me, which is ridiculous, but even with some excessive begging, I couldnt get them to commit to doing anything quicker.

Anyway, today is the day that the electric company bills me. Normally, I just go online, where they will show the balance due. But of course it was $0.00, since I now have that large credit on the account. So I called them and I found out that I had my best electric bill so far!!! $50.58!!!! And that in the next 2-3 weeks, I should be receiving a check for the difference of $129.42.

So Ill be waiting for that check, which will go towards my student loan. And the $120.00 that Ive budgeted for electric & gas for this month is going towards a birthday gift for my nephew. I wanted to give my sister some money towards his Karate Lessons. The kid has WAY too many toys, but loves his Karate. And my sister just had a big financial setback in that my nephews father is no longer willing (not able, but willing) to pay child support even though the courts ordered him to. So I know $120.00 will go a long way to help her and my nephew

End of month updates

July 30th, 2007 at 07:40 pm

Some quick updates:
-I made my 12 no spend days for the month!
-I ended up working 20.5 hours of overtime last week
-Yesterday, I bought 4 deoderants, 1 V05 shampoo and 1 conditioner, and 3 Aquafresh toothpastes for 8.33 (or 88 cents each)
-Today, I bought hair products with a gift card to the local pharmacy
-I'm looking for another prescription transfer offer to another pharmacy to get some kind of incentive gift card. Every little bit helps
-I worked 6 hours of overtime today
-I put my car back in the shop because of the check engine light coming back on. Total cost was $135.59.
-My overtime goal for this week is to do 16 hours between now & Thursday. I have vacation time for Friday & Saturday. I plan on using the 4 day weekend as a mini vacation. I'm not going anywhere, but I am going to get some much needed rest.
-I lost another pound this week. I'm down 4.8 lbs so far!

And one random thought---does anybody else get annoyed at those Visa commercials where everyone is paying with their debit card & its going smoothly, then everything grinds to a halt when one guy wants to pay cash? I can't stand those commercials. Which is ironic, because I use my debit card more than cash Smile

Frugal things I'm doing & my to do list

June 8th, 2007 at 03:53 pm

I opened up a trial size toothpaste this morning that I had gotten as a free sample. I have another one somewhere in the drawer. Its berry flavored, with a hint of mint, which is a little weird, but it was free & it'll last me a good long while Smile I'm going to organize & use all my free samples, before they get lost.

I'm going to be putting together an organizer for my card collection. I keep a stock of cards for birthdays, sympathy, congratulations, ect on hand. But when I go to find them, I can't because they've been shoved into some drawer in the spare room. So I cut the top off a tissue box & I'm going to organize the cards in it tonight. This means cleaning out my desk drawers, but that needs to be done as well.

I'm in the process of reading Green with Envy: Why keeping up with the Jones is keeping us in debt by Shira Boss. I got it from the library awhile ago, but I'm making time to finally read it this weekend. After that, I'm re-reading the last few Harry Potter books so when the new one comes out July 21st, I'll be refreshed!

I am holding off on my impulse to pre-order Mean Lean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. I LOVE this series. I have all the other books in hardback. But I"m really trying to hold off on it, get it from the Library and just put it on my Christmas list in December. We'll see.

I've been listening to back episodes of Dave Ramsey's show & heard his guest Henry Cloud. I put two of his books on my want list at the library. Boundries, and Integrity. Both should be good reads.

For the weekend, I plan to:
-Deep clean the house
-Finish cleaning the basement after the repairs
-Clean out my car, including vaccuming
-Start updating my resume
-Put some stuff up on Craigslist (I keep putting this off)

Next week I plan to:
-Finalize my car insurance decision
-Work any OT available to me
-Pack breakfast, lunch & dinner every day next week, no exceptions!
-Work on prescription billing issues