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Archive for January, 2006

Long, but good day.

January 30th, 2006 at 07:08 pm

I started my morning at work with doing the same task I had spent the previous 18 hours doing - taking apart PODS, filling out expense reports for each POD and bubbling in the little ovals. A little before lunch my supervisor *finally* came to me with the extremely welcome news that after lunch I was to go back into the payroll office and do stuff in there! So after 22 hours of PODS, I got to go back into payroll! Smile

While I was doing my thing in payroll, I got several calls relating to the Bus Survey job. The surveyor who had done the assignments this past week/weekend called to let me know she had done all of them and that her Palms were in the office charging. Yay! Then I got a call from Marcelo (the guy from the survey company) and he told me that they had found another assignment that had some trips missing! So I called the employment agency and told them what Marcelo had told me, and that I was going to ask C to do the assignment. I also found out that R's bag still had not been returned!

While I was making and recieving these phone calls, I was getting a lot of ribbing from my supervisor and office mates. Smile I spoke to my supervisor before leaving and let her know, all joking aside, that I would not normally be taking phone calls during work hours, but this was a bit of a special situation. She told me she really didn't mind as long as it wasn't taking up too much of my working time.

After I got off at the trucking company, I headed over to the bus station. It took me about an hour and a half to do everything I needed to do. I'll be going back again on Thursday evening to download the *LAST* assignment (please, please, please - let it be the LAST one!) so that will probably be another hour or so.

The library is open late on Mondays and Thursdays. I needed to renew two books (way overdue) plus I wanted to get some more books. So, I stopped by the library. I found a James Patterson book I hadn't read before "Beachhouse" and I also found the new Jan Karon book (can't remember the name right now.)

Oh, I wore my hair down today (something I don't do very often because my hair doesn't hold a style very well, and it tangles WAY too easily.) I had so many comments - it was so funny! One lady told me that she only dreams of having her hair that long (about two inches above my tailbone.) She sounded dissapointed when I told her I was planning on cutting it to shoulder length. Anyway, I thought it was kind of funny how many people noticed my hair today - especially since I made the decision to cut it! Smile

Okay. I want to go watch Crossing Jordan before going to bed tonight, so I probably ought to get going. Tomorrow night I will probably watch 7th Heaven and Flight 93 which I Tivo'd tonight. I love my Tivo. Smile Smile Smile

Spending Log:
Bus Station - $.60 - candy bar
Library- $3.60 -- Fines
Taco Bell - $1.97 -- supper (and lunch tomorrow)

Keeping It Frugal,

Laura

Taxes Done! :)

January 28th, 2006 at 05:36 pm

Woo Hoo! I received my W-2 from the employment agency on Wednesday, and today I received my W-2 from my teaching job. I went through irs.gov , then "free file" then through "Turbo Tax."

I'm not getting back quite as much as I had thought I would, but it still will be a nice shot in the arm.

I found a website where you can enter in your payrate and find out how much in taxes will be taken out depending on how many exemptions you use, etc. I did a lot of calculating, and I think I could take up to 3 exemptions (based on what it looks like I'll be earning for the next five months) and still have some money coming back to me.

I'm going to have to see about changing my W-4 soon so I can have more money in my weekly paychecks. Smile

I talked to my supervisor at the trucking company on Friday afternoon about what I could expect as far as work hours in the coming weeks. She told me that I could count on at least 30 hrs a week, but more than likely closer to 40 hours a week due to a project the billing department is doing. That was very good news to me!

I also asked her if I could take off an afternoon next week to go apartment hunting, and she said "no problem!" I'm going to be taking off Wednesday afternoon.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to my dad that I was wanting to do something to my hair, maybe get a new cut/style. Well, he mentioned it to my grandma and to my mom, and between the three of them, I have enough money to get it cut/styled and highlighted, plus a nice little tip!! I made an appointment today for Feb 7 after work. The lady told me that my hair would be a good canidate for "Locks of Love" if I am willing to cut off 10 inches. I'm thinking about it - I still would have nearly shoulder blade length hair even with cutting off 10 inches.

Spending Log:

Walmart - $14.79 -- $2.13/gallon
Walgreens - groceries $1.39

Relaxing Weekend

January 22nd, 2006 at 05:52 pm

This has been a most relaxing weekend - especially compared to last weekend! I did ride the bus Saturday night - had a short one hour run. Then I went into the bus stationt this afternoon for a few hours. I had planned on wrapping *everything* up, but the person who was supposed to complete the other surveys had not left his bag, nor returned any of my numerous phone calls. So, probably I'll have to go in again tommorrow after work, or maybe the next day.

I did some searching for apartments this weekend. I found one that was ~700 sq ft for $430/mo --- best part of it though was that it was across the street from a new library! Unfortunately, they didn't have any openings. Frown I asked the lady for suggestions of other places in that area. I called the place she mentioned - they do have some openings, but the rent is quite a bit higher. They are however having a move in special - $99 total move in (first month's rent+deposit). So, if I like the place, I'm going to ask if they would prorate the special out over the 12 month lease - which would make the mid-size apartment (~670 sq ft) ~$455/mo. I'm going to take a look at it tomorrow after work. It has a dishwasher and it has a stackable washer/dryer connection - I'd just have to locate one of those. Smile Of course, this time I would be MUCH more careful about obtaining a *working* one!!

All right, I've got some coupon cutting to do. Then gotta hit the hay early. It's been just loverly sleeping in the last two mornings. Smile But, alas, none of that for the next 5 days at least.

Spending Log:
Newspaper + Snickers bar -- $2.39

Dangers of overtime dependancy

January 20th, 2006 at 06:31 pm

At the temp job I where I started yesterday, I am working in the back office in the payroll department. There are two other ladies back there, plus the manager. The three of us were talking this afternoon as we worked. The past two days I've been doing a lot of filing, sorting, and stuffing. These are all things the other two normally do. So anyway, I asked them how they got all that I was doing, plus everything else they were doing, done.

They told me that they both put in overtime. The younger girl (the one I'm training to take over for during her maternity leave) only does maybe 3 or 4 hours of overtime. But the older lady said that she averages 17 - 20 hours of overtime PER week! She told me she was worried about what she was going to do when the truckers went completely over to the scanning system - which would cut way back on the paperwork. She has been working this kind of overtime for the past three years, and has grown accustomed to living on that amount of money. She's going to be in trouble when she has to live on just her 40 hrs a week salary.

I wanted to suggest to her that it's never a good idea to count overtime money as actual income. That it's better to base your budget on the base salary, and then have set categories for any kind of extra money that comes in - whether it be from overtime or from lottery winnings, etc. etc.

Of course I didn't say anything like that to her for two reasons: 1. It really wouldn't be very helpful to her now because she's already used to living on that money... and more importantly 2. I'm new, and she's the one I'm going to have to be working with for the next few months, so want to keep a good working relationship.

Spending Log:
None

Keeping It Frugal,
Laura

Good First Day

January 19th, 2006 at 05:31 pm

I think I'm going to like working at this trucking company. What I did today was pretty mindless work, but it kept me busy the whole time. The people there are also very friendly. And I lOVE being able to wear jeans! Smile

Mom called me and told me there was a lady who wants to see my resume - she's very interested in me for a job. It would pay 2$ more an hour, but full-time/permenant - but I would have to move to Dallas, where that 2$ more isn't really much due to cost of living.

Also, two other things. One - I already gave Jan my word that I'd do this trucking temp job. Two - I can't count how many times mom has told me stuff like this before and it never actually happened.

Spending Log:
Walmart - Gas - $23.08 (2.18/gallon) I was running on fumes - 365 miles! 10.35 gallon tank. Smile

Keeping It Frugal,
Laura

Long Day

January 18th, 2006 at 07:03 pm

I figured out tonight driving home that I have worked fairly long hours 9 of the last 10 days. It is definitely getting to me. On the way home tonight I was barely keeping my eyes open. There's a stretch of road that goes from 60 to 50 to 65. I managed to slow down for the 50 and put it on cruise - but then was at least 1/4 of a mile into the 65 zone before I even realized that I was in that zone! Luckily there wasn't anyone behind me getting impatient.

I just can't express how much I hate driving. I am NOT someone who enjoys going out just to drive around for the "fun" of it.
Riding *with* someone is so much better -especially when you're tired and want to close your eyes.

Had an 8 hour bus ride today. I'm so tired of riding on the bus. Only one more assignment on Saturday night and then I think I will most likely not care to step foot on a bus again. Well.... maybe in a few years.

Have to be at my new job at 8am tomorrow. I wish I had told Jan I would start on Friday so I wouldn't be going in there on the first day totally tired out. I've got bags - and not the kind you can pack! Great first impression - not!

Spending Log:
Snickers from vending machine - $.60
---I had money for a sandwich, but the sandwich machine didn't have anything I could eat -- so I went with a snickers.

Keeping It Frugal,
Laura

One-Year Ago Today

January 17th, 2006 at 07:46 pm

One-year ago today I decided to bite the bullet and see what this online savings journal thing was all about. I remember I wrote a HUGE entry, and then got timed out and lost it all. Rolleyes That taught me to not write such lengthy entries. Smile Smile

One-year ago today I was employed as a teacher and was getting ready to announce to my colleagues that I was leaving teaching at the end of the year.

One-year ago today I had a healthy savings account in ING and a zero balance on my credit card.

One-year ago today I had really good health insurance.

Today I am making my 220th entry in my savings journal.

Today I am struggling to find a long-term job and have accepted another short term assignment which starts Thusday and will last till May. But, it will probably not be enough to cover rent and bills, so I may have to do some drastic measures (taking money from 401b.)

Today I have one-months expenses in my savings account in ING and almost a month's expenses on my credit card.

Today I don't have any insurance. But, I do think I may have found a doctor I can go to for a reasonable fee.

The comparison kind of looks depressing doesn't? But (people who don't believe in God may want to not read further) I believe strongly that God has been providing for my needs all along this past year. I was so fearful of how I was going to have money for my February budget, and what happens? The survey project gets dragged out and I'm able to get (including this week) close to 80 hours worth of work. I flubbed up my interview royally, and then am told by Jan that she has something else for me that I don't have to interview for - although it is short term. You know what? I'm not worried. God keeps coming through for me, and I know he will continue to do so.

I'd really love some ideas on how to get by on less than 1k a month (especially when rent is at least 535 of it, plus another 100+ for gas to get to work)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Lazy Day

January 16th, 2006 at 07:11 pm

Spent today relaxing and rejuvinting from the last three days. Also caught up on a bunch of shows I had recorded on my Tivo.

Dad and I worked together preparing some things for me to say in my interview tomorrow. Then I looked the company up on the internet to see if I could find anything to mention. Two things stood out for me. One was that it is a relatively young company, founded in 1999. Two is that one of it's products is allergy medicine. Maybe I'll be able to get a company discount on their allergy medicine. Smile

I need to give myself a manicure tonight before I go to bed. My fingernails wouldn't make a very good first impression right now! Smile Oh my word! I just thought about something - I'm not sure if I have any pantyhose without runners! Ahh!!! Will have to check on that one!

Spending Log: None

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Got an Interview!

January 16th, 2006 at 02:47 pm

This afternoon while I was training a surveyor on the bus, I got a call from Jan at the employment agency. She told me there was an available interview time at 9 or at 11 a m on Tuesday. I asked for the 11am slot. Yahoo! I'd really appreciate good thoughts, prayers, etc from anyone reading this. The interview is for an HR assistant position, temp to possible hire. Smile

Today I went into work at 11 to try to figure out what was going on with the data from some assignments. I ended up not pulling out of the parking lot till 6:15 tonight! I think my hours this week are going to be going into overtime - that would be a first in my life. Wonder what 1 hour of overtime would equal?? Hmmm.... Smile

This was really the kind of day I enjoy most. Almost the whole time I was counting my time as at work, I was actually doing something productive - rather than sitting and surfing the internet all day. I like feeling like I'm actually doing something that is profitable to the company.

No spending today. I had been thinking of getting a haircut this afternoon, but it was after 7 pm when I got home, so I'll probably get one on Sunday.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Thanks All! Saturday update

January 16th, 2006 at 02:47 pm

Thanks everyone for your good thoughts and well wishes. I think I'm going to be a bundle of nerves Monday night trying to prepare for the interview! Smile


Looks like I am going to get at least 12 minutes overtime this week. Smile It also looks like we are going to have to do at least two Saturday assignments next week! I can take one of them that's after sunset.

I had a most interesting day riding two different busses. Sometimes I think that I should try to write down some of the things I see into a short story or book - "Riding the busses: Humor and Drama" Smile

I broke down last night and bought a snickers out of the vending machine. I had eaten everything I brought with me, and was still very hungry. It was OH SO GOOD! Smile Even though it was SO BAD for me. Smile Smile

Spending Log:
$.60 - Snickers bar from vending machine

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Not Quite Done

January 16th, 2006 at 02:46 pm

Well, as luck would have it, we still did not manage to complete all the Saturday assignments. Rolleyes There are 2, possibly 3 assignments that will need to be done next week. I am looking at it this way - it will give me at least another 15 - 18 hours pay to go towards February. Every bit helps.

Over the last 3 days I have worked nearly 27 hours. I have been in my car for at least another 6 hours. I am beyond tired. This morning I could barely make myself get up and go to the bus station. I got the yuckies. Frown I MUST be feeling better by Tuesday though. It wouldn't make a very good first impression to be dragging in to an interview feeling and looking tired and unwell.

Tomorrow I am going to catch up on sleep, tv shows, and exercise! Smile

Spending Log:
Taco Bell: $1.97 (bean burrito & Pinto's Cheese/Rice)
Walmart: $1.99 (newspaper)
Gas: $20.32 (2.18/gallon w/card)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Wasted Gas; labs; and a debit puzzle?

January 12th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

Well today I wasted ~$5 worth of gas for one hours pay. I got to the bus station and was waiting for the person I was supposed to train, then found out that they hadn't been able to reach him to confirm the time, so they'd try to get him the next day. Ugh! 45 minute drive there, approximately one hour at the bus station, then a 45 minute drive back. Not exactly my idea of fun.

Got my bloodwork results back today. As I expected, my TSH levels were high - indicating hypothyroidism. However, I wasn't expecting how high my bad cholesterol would be, or a couple other things. So, my initial plan of having my doctor uncle write me a script for synthroid is out the door. I'm going to have to do a face to face with a doctor to try to figure out what is going on. Ugh!

At least the somewhat good news is that I'm getting more hours than I had planned on this week, which is good.

Dad was in one of his moods tonight. I wonder if he thinks that all of his negativity towards other people is helping him or hurting him?

About 10 months ago I signed up for an extended warranty plan. I paid a downpayment, and then agreed to 12 payments. The payments have been going out like clockwork since then - always on the 3rd or the 5th. Until this month. I called them on Monday to find out if maybe I had misunderstood how many payments - maybe I was finished?? They told me no, that I still have two payments left (until March.) It still hasn't gone out. I have it in a seperate checking account. I guess I'll just leave that money in there, and if it's still there at the end of the month, I'll add another payments worth in case they all of a sudden do a double debit.

Spending Log:
None

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

What a day!

January 11th, 2006 at 06:41 pm

Wow. Today I went into the office expecting to train a surveyor, go out and buy packing materials, and then pack up most of the materials to mail out. I did train a new surveyor, but I also spent several hours searching for a lost data file (which was never found.) Then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out how we were going to take care of yet another Saturday assignment and making sure I had enough Palms for me and the two extra surveyors.

I also talked to Jan again today. I told her that even if the Pharmacutical company couldn't go higher with the payrate, that I'd like to go ahead and interview for it. So, either Friday or Monday I should have an interview. Dad was so sweet tonight when I got home - he and I sat and discussed what questions I should ask and how I should word some of my answers to possible questions. I really hope that I get this, even if it is only for 6 weeks or so, it still could be a door opening to another opportunity.

It looks like this week I'm going to end up with close to 33 or 34 hours. That will make a nice addition to my February budget - quite a bit more than I was expecting. February is going to be tight, no doubt about it, but I think as long as I keep to just the bare mininum on everything, I won't have to borrow more than $100 or so from savings.

Dad talked to my Aunt Ni today. She thinks that my uncle who is a doctor might be willing to read my results for me. She said that I need to get a copy of my last results so they can be compared to my new ones. I'll have to see if I can find my old doctor's number tomorrow.

No spending today, which is a good thing after yesterday having money fly out the door.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Spendy Day, Maybe a job?

January 10th, 2006 at 07:58 pm

This morning I went to a lab and had blood drawn. On the net, it said the price was $105. The lab technician/receptionist showed me on the paperwork it was $115. But then she directed me to a coupon which made it $95. Smile I'd brought along a book prepared for a lot of waiting time, but I was in and out within 15 minutes!

Dad and I went to Kroger's. We bought shelf price $108.xx worth of groceries, but only paid $68.xx after store coupons an manufacturer coupons.

After Kroger's I went to Walmart and filled up my car. Gas was $2.21/gallon, but with my card it was only $2.18. Ugh -- "Only". Rolleyes

I got an email from a Pathways classmate confirming that he and anotehr classmate will be coming for the Lifesong concert (Casting Crowns and Nichole Nordemon.) So, I went ahead and purchased 3 tickets. $15 per ticket, plus a %6.75 convenience fee, plus about $6 in taxes and other fees!! Yikes!

I talked to Jan at the Employment agency this afternoon. She told me that there is a possibility of a temporary job which could become a permenant job. It is as an HR assistant with a Pharmacutical company. The person who does it now is going on maternity leave. She is going to set up an interview for me with them. Whether or not I am made a long term employee, it will at least give me antother 6 -8 weeks of pay. Jan also told me that when it comes time to renew my lease, or get a new one, that all I need to do is to put them down as my employer and they will verify that I have been employed by them since September. That was a bit of a relief.

Spending Log:
$95 -- Labwork
~$78.xx 3 tickets + fees
$20.52 -- Gas

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

4 out of 6

January 9th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

Well at work today I found out that 4 out of the 6 surveyor's did their weekend assignment. Of the two who didn't, we were not able to get in touch with one - and the other, well she waited until 4:35pm (after I was supposed to have already left) to call me. She told me that she hadn't wanted to be at the bus garage for the 4 hour split just to get paid for 6 hour of bus riding (2 assignments.) I asked her why she didn't let me know that WHEN I gave her her assignment?! It turned out that that was just an excuse - that she had been kicked out of her apartment and had only that weekend to get out. Ok, I can understand that. But why the heck didn't she CALL me or one of the other ladies?? Why the stall tactics??

To compound matters, I got a call from another surveyor. He told me he was at the airport getting ready to fly out. Apparantally his grandfather had died, and he was officiating (theology student) and wouldn't be back till Sunday evening. So where that left us was with two assignments with no surveyor. I decided to see if we could get that one surveyor to do one of them - but that still left us with one. After much hesitation, I decided that this was an "ox in the ditch" situation, and am going to do one of the assignments myself. Much better than hiring, and training a new person who may or may not show up, and who may or may not do a good job.

I stopped by the Employment Agency before heading home and spoke to Lynn for a few minutes. She told me that both she and Jan were still looking for me, and I should call Jan tomorrow to see if she had come up with anything. She also offered to look at my resume and make suggestions on how I can get it to be less teachery focused.

I found a lab clinic where I can go get a whole slew of bloodwork tests done for $105, including thyroid. So, I plan to go there tomorrow morning. Then I can have an uncle who is a doctor "read" the results and hopefully give me a prescription for synthroid. That'll save me the cost of a doctor's visit. All I really need is the TSH level so my uncle will know what dosage to prescribe for me. Once I can get back on that again, it will help me in many ways, not just in my weight loss journey.

I did 45 minutes strength training and 20 minutes on my Gazelle today (while watching the Tivo'd West Wing.)

Spending Log: None Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Sunday, Sunday wish tomorrow wasn't Monday

January 8th, 2006 at 08:47 pm

Overall a pretty laid back day today. Spent way too much time on the computer (again!!) Did finally manage to break away to go get the paper + a few groceries.

I bought a box of No Pudge Fudge bars - 60 cal, 0 fat, 0 fiber. Pretty good if I do say so myself, and they are incrediably, 0 points! Smile

I looked at my electric bill from the new company. I was going to call them to find out why the bill was so much higher than I was expecting. Unfortunately I kept putting it off, and putting it off. I realized today when I looked at it, that the payment was due on Friday. Major oops! That'll be my first late bill in over four years. Ugh!

Spending Log:
Walmart: Newspaper + groceries -- $6.05

$.95 to my change jar.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

A Good Day :)

January 7th, 2006 at 08:03 pm

Well, the first thing that was good about today is that I had my second weigh-in since starting weight watchers, and I lost 2 lbs!! Smile Smile Smile

The second good thing that happened today is that I got a call from my brother. He was talking seriously like he was thinking of getting married to his long time girlfriend. She is such a great person, and doesn't let him get away with anything. Smile I hope he truly does move forward in that direction. Even if it would be kind of weird to have my brother married before me. Oh well.

The third good thing (or perhaps not such a good thing!) was that I watched "Injustice". I had Tivo'd it last night to see if it was any good. It is. I added a Season Pass for it.

I also did not spend any money today. I was very tempted by an e-book, but talked myself out of spending the $30.xx for it. It think it's pretty crazy that someone thinks they actually could get $30 for an e-book - especially on that particular topic. But, more than likely he'll have a few takers. I might have gone for it if it was more like $20, though. Oh well. Smile

I was reading the Change Jar thread. I'm going to have to count how much change I have. I have my quarters seperated from the rest of the change. The last time I counted my quarters I had ~$24. I'm estimating that I have around $30 in my Apple Bank (teacher gift.)

I'm still debating on when I should join the challenge for this year. I still have my challenge money from last year sitting in paypal earning interest. I'm not quite sure if I want to do the same thing as last year - Ebay and coupon savings. I really don't have much left that I can Ebay, and since I'm not the one actually paying for groceries (yet) the coupon savings really aren't mine (although they wouldn't be there if I didn't find them.) Will ponder it some more.

On one of my other boards today I read about an interesting work at home job. I pm'd the person for more information. I haven't heard back from her yet, but she may be away from the computer.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Friday

January 6th, 2006 at 09:33 pm

Not much to say today really. I talked to Jan again today about job prospects. She said that they'd been looking for something for me, but keep running into roadblocks. I wonder what they are.

Didnt' spend any money today. Just went to work and came back home.

Got my water bill. $52.37 - that's down a $1. So .... my water bill keeps going down, but my electric bill jumped almost $15. How does that make sense?

Oy Vey! Very tired. Am going to head off to bed.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

More expenses

January 5th, 2006 at 08:35 pm

Today while I was at work I got several phone calls from my dad. He was at Best Buy working with one of the salesmen in the computer area trying to figure out what was needed to get my Tivo functioning in a way that I wouldn't have to constantly be moving it back and forth. I spoke with Jack, the salesperson several times. The last time I spoke with him he quoted $80 for either installing a wireless card in my PC, or something else (which I can't remember) which would have also cost $80, along with a couple other items, totalling over $100. When I heard those figures I told him that I needed to speak to my dad. I told dad that I'd like to see the stuff in person to make sure we were really getting what we needed. He agreed.

After work I met him at a different Best Buy (more on our way home.) I explained to a saleslady what the problem was and what solutions we'd thought of. She quickly told us a different (and much easier/less $$) solution -- Extended antenna's!!!
So for ~$70 (instead of over $100) I got my Tivo functioning properly!! Now the really nice thing about all this, is that dad bought it. He told me that I had already put out a lot of money for the router and the adapter (no kidding!) I think he may have been surprised by my lack of protest at his offer. Smile So all told, my birthday present cost over $210 + the cost of the machine/gift subscription. Yikes! I'm glad that I REALLY like the money eater!!! Smile Smile

I did a new strength training routine this morning. Wow! Did it ever kick my rear! I barely managed to finish the last set.
Tonight there was a new CSI and a new ER. Yay Abby!!! Smile Smile Kovach just looked stunned (happily) at her decision. Smile

Ok, better sign off now because I have work to go to tomorrow. Smile

Spending Log:
None Smile -- Was really hungry after lunch, and was SO tempted to get something from the vending, but somehow held out. Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Worth slogging through to the end

January 4th, 2006 at 07:23 pm

Today was day one of five days to finish out the Survey project. My main goal today was to make sure we would be able to have all of the 11 assignments that were left, completed between this weekend and next weekend. I was starting to get worried, but about 3 pm I got a call telling me that the last person we'd been waiting to hear from had called, and would be able to do both weekends! Woo Hoo!! I believe that the people we have doing the assignments ARE reliable and have good work ethics, so I have faith that we will actually get this finished! FINALLY!!

I think I mentioned before that I'd started back with Weight Watchers. Well, today was the weekly breakfast out with my dad and his good friend. I normally get a 3-egg omlette w/mushrooms and cheese, two pieces of wheat toast, and grilled potatoes. And, I normally eat it all, which fills me up most of the day. Well, that meal comes out to about 24 pts, and I only have 30 points for the entire day. So I decided to cut the cheese Smile and only get one piece of toast (dry). Then I asked for a to go box, and proceded to halve all my food. I ate my to go food for lunch. So, in that way, I cut out something like 9 points, and I had a ready made lunch for free. Smile

We had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for supper tonight. I felt slightly silly having such a hot type meal when it was in the low 80's today. But if we want to eat wintertime foods, we're just going to have to plain eat them, cause if we wait for it to get cold - who knows the next time we'd get a chance to eat them!!

I finally finished reading Scott Turrow's "Ordinary Hero's." At first I thought I wasn't going to like it. But I didn't have anything else to do, so I kept plodding away at it. By the last 3/4 of the book, I wasn't able to put it down. It definitely is very different from his usual books, but in the end, it was very worthwhile reading.

Spending Log:
Library Fines: $1.50

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Prospects

January 3rd, 2006 at 06:47 pm

Well, Marcello called back and I committed to working for them W - F (18 hrs), M ( 7 hrs) and the following Sun (6 hrs). That way if a job comes up for me in the next week, I could still start it on Tuesday and not have to take a day off the next week. And it also makes it so that they have someone who knows what they're doing finishing up the project.

Before the holidays I filled out a form to have the Employment Agency mail me my check. When I checked the mail today, my check for the week before Christmas was not there. So I called and found out they hadn't mailed it. Since I'll be at the bus office tomorrow, they're going to send someone over with it as well as the last surveyor's bag. While on the phone, I asked if any possibilities had come up. Jan told me that there is a possibility that Lynn is looking into for me as an assistant accountant. I asked her if it required a person to have any accounting background, and she said that it was an entry level position. So . . . we'll see where it goes.

I was checking out some of the ads from the Sunday paper and noticed the ad for QuikTrip, which is a gas station. I went to their website and was quite intrigued by the information. I almost even applied except for one thing - assistant managers/assistant relief managers are required to work both Saturday and Sunday every weekend.

I also checked out an ad for an inventory company. I tried calling, but the number was busy. Thankfully they listed a website. I went ahead and filled out a job application. They also require weekends, but specified Saturday evenings/nights - but not Saturday days -- so .... that could possibly work.

I'm going to have to try to remember to wear the necklace that I was given as a good-by gift tomorrow. Wonder what would go with it??

After messing with my Tivo last night trying to get it to connect to the service, as well as more time this morning, I finally moved it into the computer room and reset it up. It took two full download times. The first download was a service update making it so when you have two shows on a season pass that meld into each other, you can now record them both. For example: Desperate Housewives 8 - 9:01; Crossing Jordan 9 - 10. It will clip one minute from either DH or CJ depending on their priority ranking in your Season Pass manager. That was a great update!!

I told my dad that I'd probably have to do this Tivo shuffle once a week in order to get the updated programming. He thought that was too much hassle, so suggested that we see if we can get extensions for the cords hooked into my router so that I can just pull it way out into the hallway whenever I need to make a connection. It'll be interesting to see if we can find anything like that. The cost my my birthday Tivo continues to rise.

Spending Log: None - stayed in the house all day

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Job Dilemma

January 3rd, 2006 at 11:44 am

I just got off the phone with Marcello from the survey company I was working for the past few months. He asked me if I'd be willing to be in charge of handing out assignments and collecting them for the next two weeks. I asked him how many hours he thought it might be - he said as many as it took. I told him that I really did want to help them out, but I feel conflicted because if something comes up for me that's full-time/long term, it wouldn't make sense to pass it up for 20 - 40 hours spread over two weeks. He asked me if we could just play it on a week to week basis. I told him I would need at least the 20 hours - he said he'd have to talk it over with Jean (the lady in charge of money.)

I really am conflicted. Here is a real possibility of up to 40 or so hours of paid work for the next two weeks. But, if I go for it,and all of a sudden get a call for a full time/long term thing that needs to start right away, then I might have to pass on it becuase of this short term, maybe 40 hours.

I wonder if the surveyors who slacked off so much have any clue just how much their lack of work effort/ethics affected other people? Because of them, this is costing the survey company a lot more money than they had planned which means a lot less profit. It also made it so I couldn't start looking for a full time other job until now - who knows what opportunities I might have missed?

February is not looking like its going to be a very good month for me financially at all.

I really want to help them out and see the job to its completion -- I'm just so worried about risking only having 40 hours or so worth of pay to put in my February budget -- then of course comes March when I HAVE to have a job so I can either renew my lease here, or move somewhere else -- but I have to have enough income to pay rent + other bills by then!!

ARGHH!!!!

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Not feeling great

January 2nd, 2006 at 05:29 pm

I guess it's really a good thing I haven't had any work the last week and so far this week since I haven't been feeling great. If I have to be sick/not feeling great, may as well be during time when I'm not having any assignments.

I washed my car this afternoon. It needed it badly. Dad and I shopped at Kroger's and got a few good deals.

Did 20 minutes on my gazzelle and 20 minutes Pilates. I was actually pretty surprised at how well I was able to do the various Pilates exercises. I guess I am really getting stronger in my core muscles. Smile

I haven't eaten all my WW points for today yet. I still have 4 Target points, plus the 4 AP points, so I could have quite the midnight snack if I wanted to. Probably will just have a Sunburst Granola bar (4 pts) and a cup of grapes (1 pt) MMM MMM!

Tonight I called Tivo for the 3rd or 4th time about getting my service activated. It *finally* worked!!! I'm downloading Tivo Desktop right now. Wink

Spending Log:
Car Wash: $1.75

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Haze in the air.

January 1st, 2006 at 05:28 pm

When I went out tonight there was a lot of haze in the air. I guess it's from all the wildfire's in the area.

Didn't really do much today except play on the computer, and watched some tv.

I did go to Walmart and picked up a double newspaper for the coupons and the job listings. There is one coupon for deoderent I'll be using tomorrow, and there were a few other good ones that I'll use later. There were one or two possibilities in the job listings which I'll call about tomorrow.

I also stopped at Walgreens and picked up some Walatrin - sinus and allergy tablets, and a bottle of Rest Easy Nighttime cough and congestion cold medicine. When I was getting teh Walatrin, I noticed that of the four boxes, three of them had one end opened. I bought the one that wasn't opened, but took the other three to the cashier in pharmacy. Would hate to think that someone tampered with any of them.

Spending Log:
Walmart: $1.50
Walgreens: $7.48

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

2006 Goals

January 1st, 2006 at 07:35 am

Hmm ...
Financial
#1 Goal - Find a permenant, full-time job.

#2 Goal - Rebuild my contingency fund.

#3 Goal - Rebuild my Long-Term Savings (replacement fund)

#4 Goal - Credit Card: A - Pay $30 above finance charge. B - Pay any new charges within that same month.

#5 Goal - Find out what I can do with my various retirment accounts - see if I can consolidate them.

#6 Goal - Use half of tax refund to pay down Credit Card.

#7 Goal - Research possibility of a Computing for Senior's type business (My grandma suggested this. I could go to retirement homes and offer to do various tasks on the computer for seniors who either aren't able to do them themselves (due to vision, etc) or just don't want to bother learning how to do it.)

Personal:
#1 - Keep on track with exercising a mininum of 4 x a week.
#2 - Eat more healthfully using Weight Watcher's Flex plan.
#3 - Find some kind of volunteer work.
#4 - Contact at least one friend each week either by email or phone.
#5 - Get out of the house at least once every weekend.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura