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Quick Spending Check In

September 2nd, 2010 at 02:46 pm

$2.02 for limes for Margarita Girls Night In
$17.98 tequila for the margaritas plus vodka for the jello shots I am bringing to a party this weekend.

Not too shabby... but I had to pare down the grocery budget even more to cover it! lol.

Late Night Update

September 1st, 2010 at 07:16 pm

Well, I packed food 99.99% today as I bought a soft pretzel. I will be getting rid of that habit starting tomorrow Smile Breakfast, lunch & snacks are already packed for tomorrow.

Today, I worked 7:30 to 4pm. Then I stopped by Joann Fabrics and picked up jeans patches. Unfortunately, my favorite jeans got worn in the inner thigh, so I used the $2.99 iron on patches and tried them out. Worked ok although they weren't an exact match. I'm just hoping to get the jeans through the next month or so of weight loss, when I have slightly smaller jeans that will work just fine.

I ate dinner at home & then met my parents at the movies to see Piranha 3D. My dad & I share a love of cheesy, over the top horror movies - the more crudeness the better. My mom was not as thrilled as we were, but we all had fun. $12.25 ticket.

My parents also followed me back to my house and dropped off a weed whacker and electric hedge trimmer that I asked to borrow. I am planning on taking care of the yard this weekend. I have a very small lot and can get around doing major yard maintenance too frequently. As long as my parents don't mind sharing, I see no point in buying those items myself.

Tomorrow, I am having some girls over for girls night in. We plan on making margaritas. My buddies are bringing stuff to make nachos and I am picking up some tequila and supplying the margarita mix. We should have a blast!

Today's spending:
$0.55 pretzel (from spare change in desk)
$12.25 3D movie ticket

Cash Envelope Balances:
Groceries: Start $110/ Current $64.82
Entertainment: Start $65/Current $43.90
House/Lowes: $40 plus coupon
Kitty Litter: $10

First Day of September! (Long)

September 1st, 2010 at 07:53 am

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

Update on the week

August 27th, 2010 at 07:47 am

I havent been around much this weekend, but I have been checking out everyones posts!

This week, I stayed on plan with my August Lunch Challenge. I have stayed on plan with my weight loss and exercise plans. And actually, the extra activity has helped with me spending less for entertainment/eating out.

Monday I worked 7:30-4, then walked 4.75 miles with a friend near the University FREE

Tuesday I worked 7:30-4, then went to the gym for strength training Paid subscription to gym

Wednesday I worked 7:30-4, then went to the grocery store & home (no unplanned spending)

Thursday I worked 7:30-4, then walked 2.9 miles at the local reservoir. Was supposed to meet a friend, but he got stuck at work FREE

Friday I work 7:30-3, then I will be meeting friends at a local bar to sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather. I have $10 to spend. That will be 2-3 beers plus tip. NO food. I will eat dinner when I get home

As for weekend spending, I have $24 left in my grocery budget which I will spend on veggies, fruits, and dairy. No crazy spending there!

Saturday, Im planning on getting up early & hitting the gym. That afternoon, I will be going with a friend to his company picnic. I know a lot of people he works with, so it should be fun. This will be free.

Sunday, will be a walk in another park (Possibly with a friend), then a small bbq at a friends house. I have offered several times to bring something, but shes refused it. Shes not a drinker, so I cant show up with a nice bottle of wine, so Im kind of stumped. I hate to show empty handed, but I also dont want to show up with food and duplicate something they already have. Spending should be $0-$5?

Staying on track - now with more Health

August 24th, 2010 at 05:57 pm

I have been sticking to my strict entertainment & grocery budgets. I have also been staying on plan with my August Lunch Challenge & look forward to doing another one in September.

Money-wise, not much is going on. I use cash only for my discretionary spending & I have very little left between now and the 31st. Its doable. I have $20 in entertainment left. $10 will be to the movies with my dad and $10 for a work happy hour.

Last post (and I know its been a while), I mentioned the Wellness program at my work. Jump through a couple of hoops for points. Points turn into dollars and I can improve my wellness and earn up to $200 for the year.

I have been a week and a half back on Weight Watchers. I also have started weekly activity goals. One of the wellness options (hoops) is to engage in physical activity based on the CDC's standards.

CDC recommends '150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity OR 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (or a combination of moderate & vigorous activity) per week. PLUS muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups'.

My Wellness program offers $20 a month that you meet the guidelines weekly for up to 5 months ($100 total). There are other goals I could meet much more quickly, but health and exercise is something that I'm personally working on. So I decided to make this half of my Wellness goals. I will take the $100 I've earned after the 5 months & buy myself some (hopefully) much smaller clothes.

This is all money related because:

-Good health means less medical costs
-watching what I eat means I plan (and therefore budget) food more carefully
-Getting more activity in means more free or semi-free activities.

Last week, I had 253 minutes of moderate exercise and 40 minutes of strength training. This included a hike in the state park with friends ($3.00 entry fee), a walk into a private park near work with some coworkers/friends(free), 2 gym trips (monthly fee $19), and a walk around a county park with another friend (free).

This week, I have already taken a 90 minute walk with friends (free) and hit the gym (no extra funds out). I figure by the time the whole 5 months end, exercise will be a HABIT Smile

Back From Vacation and a Payday!

August 14th, 2010 at 10:32 am

I came back from my beach vacation last night. I unpacked and crashed on the couch Smile I paid cash for everything, except the room, which I put on a card. But I transferred the funds for payment to the credit card this morning.

I had a great time, we stayed in a a very nice hotel. The weather was fun, and I am reallllly relaxed. Great week!

This morning, I am right back on the frugal wagon. I sold an extra wireless router I had lying around - $20 cash. Then I stopped by my parents & brought them the sugar free fudge from the beach. They treated me to breakfast at IHOP. Thanks Mom & Dad!

I paid some bills, got some groceries and headed back home. All of this was done by noon.

I am now watching a movie and when its over, I will be doing some laundry, cleaning & decluttering. The cats definitely missed me, as they are following me room to room. And I now have 2 additions to my pet family - 2 hermit crabs. I haven't had any of these since childhood. They were a total impulse purchase. But boy, are they fun!

For my envelopes this pay period, I started with $40 for gas, $100 in grocery money (need to stock up on some stuff), $10 personal items, $5 car washing supplies and $45 in spending money). I plan on sticking with it!

I was able to turn the A/C off today. Its a little hotter than I like, but with ceiling fans, its very comfortable in here.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, I know I already am!

Nice Weather for a Saturday

August 7th, 2010 at 03:09 pm

Today, I got up, went to the Farmer's Market $5.25 spent for salad stuff. Then I returned some books/movies to the library. I was expecting a $0.25 fine, but the person who returned the dvd to the system made an error and I ended up with no fee Smile My lucky day.

I then went to the Grocery store where I spent $4.48. I picked up a movie at Redbox, $1.02 and headed home.

I have eaten breakfast, lunch and soon to be dinner at home. I had someone come pick up a cookie press that I had put up on Craiglist - $10.00 paid by a very excited pre-teen girl, LOL.

I've been doing a bunch of cleaning and laundry. And then I spent 4 hours dealing with a nasty virus on my computer. I purchased an anti-virus package, but they couldnt help me, so I cancelled the package (and will get a refund), then actually found a free program (from a reputable site) that was able to fix the problem. Yay Smile Took a lot of time and patience, but my computer is working again!

Today has been great weather - I've had the windows open and ceiling fans on. I'll definitely take the electric savings!

All in all, a frugal day. I had a very social night last night. Took some beer to a friends house for a game night. We got a little rowdy Smile So tonight, I'm having a movie night in.

My total Craigslist profit has been $40.00 for 3 items sold. A lamp $5.00, a calculator $25.00, and the cookie press $10.00. Woohoo

Cash-strapped, yet taking a small vacation

August 4th, 2010 at 05:12 pm

I've had plans in place for a year to take a couple days down at the beach with my best friends. We will rent hotel rooms for 2 nights and unfortunately because of scheduling conflicts, we've changed the date around and are not really getting a good deal on prices. But this is really important to me (isn't everything that I WANT? lol).

I have cash to pay it, but thats a few hundred dollars that really could be going to my debt. So I am working to sell some things on Craigslist to help suppliment the debt.

I have listed about 10 things & have sold 1 so far. None are truly big items though. What I sold today, was an Ikea lamp that I paid $15.00 for and got a good 7 or 8 years out of. I sold it for $5.00 cash.

I also have someone coming to pick up 2 dvd sets tomorrow night and a graphing calculator. They would be worth more on ebay, but I have a definite hate on for ebay after being scammed. So I will take the cash & if the person who purchases makes a profit, so be it Smile I should get $16 for the dvds and $25 for the calculator.

The calculator was an expensive purchase in 1996. I used that thing through high school, college and grad school and its been sitting in a drawer for the last 5 years. So I definitely used up the original cost!

I also have a duvet cover set, more dvds, a scientific calculator, some picture frames, a wireless router and a cookie press. I have a bite on the cookie press, so hopefully I can sell that tomorrow too ($10.00).

I have made a budget for the mini-vacation. We are planning on doing some costly activities - renting jet skis and doing parasailing. I have researched & found the best prices and coupons, but I hope to still be able to do both. At the very least, I'd skip the jet skis and just do the parasailing.

In the meantime, I have $5.00 in my entertainment fund & roughly $25.00 in grocery money.

Book club is tomorrow night (which is always held in a restaurant), I plan on ordering a soda and with tip, that will take most of my $5.00

Lots of Bargains today!

July 31st, 2010 at 11:37 am

Today, I met up with a friend and we headed to some local Goodwill for Super Saturday. 50% off all clothes. I came home with some GOOD deals.

- 2 pairs of jeans. I currently own one pair & they are getting a hole in them.
- 2 pairs of work pants

- 6 long sleeve shirts
- 1 short sleeve shirt

- 1 pair work shoes (brand new condition)

- 1 pair snow boots (brand new condition)

- Christmas decoration (to be a gift for mom)

- 3 Clue puzzles, 2 board games

Total Spent: $35.00. $7 of that was the games -a splurge since that wasn't 50% off

We went next door to a farmers market (diff than the one closest to me) and she bought a gift for a party & we both tried tons of yummy free samples

Next we hit a liquor store, where I scored a GOOD sale on a wine that I like. Ended up with 3 bottles at $6.99 each (normally $11.99).

And at the liquor store, they were providing wine & cheese samples. Between this & the farmer's market, we didn't even have to stop for lunch.

It was a great day and I am very happy with ALL my purchases.

Hottest Summer - and vacation plans

July 16th, 2010 at 03:01 pm

Where I live, the temps have been on average about 90 degrees this summer, without having a real spring. According to the paper, 'June and the three-month period from May to June were the hottest in 116 years of record-keeping'. So yeah, its hot. I've been utilizing the programmable thermostat and ceiling fans, but the A/C is still running... a LOT.

In other news, as of 3pm today, I am officially on vacation for a week! I am not going anywhere specific and I am looking to not spend a lot of money. But I am planning on having fun.

I have the weekend and Monday to just hang out and have some down time. I am hanging out at home with some friends, reading & watching movies. I might have lunch with my mom Sunday, but its all open to what I feel like doing. Which is definitely different than what I have to do, or what I already committed myself to doing. I am only going to do what I feel like doing Smile (I hope to keep spending to about $25)

Tuesday, I am getting a mani/pedi with a gift card (free) and attending a birthday party in the evening ($25 budgeted).

Wednesday, I am heading down very early in the morning to go to the beach. My sister & her boyfriend rented a house with their kids for the week. I plan on bringing mid-week groceries in exchange for a night on their couch. We plan on going on a Pirate Ship ride ($20), hanging at the beach (free), having dinner & hitting the boardwalk.

Thursday, I will hit the beach alone (which I LOVE) & head back home at a reasonable time. For the 2 days at the beach, including gas & dinner out, I'm looking at at budget of $145.00

Friday, I am attending an all day concert. With food & drinks we will be bringing, parking & emergency water for the 100 degree weather, I have budgeted $90. I hope I am WAY overestimating. But if water inside the complex is $10/bottle, I will be forced to buy it becuase Heat exhaustion is no fun.

Saturday, I am heading to the state fair with friends, we will be seeing Paramour. Entrance into the fair, plus some fun stuff $40 budgeted. Hoping I overestimated here too.

I have cash for all of these activites, but am definitely looking to shave off spending anywhere I can. Tonight is a night in by myself. Roommate is out and I am planning on laying around and enjoying the house to myself. $0 spent for that!