So Thursday after work was spent riding/driving to O city and back. Why? NE had found a 2000 Chevy Prizm for $1200 which he decided to buy.
There is some work that will need to be done to it - brakes, driver side window, etc., but mechanically it is in good shape.
I am SO glad to have my car back now (he filled up my gas tank and treated me to dinner at Hardee's as a thank you for letting him use my car this week.)
I convinced my boss to let me have a 3rd school event in August. That'll make 4 different events I'll be doing.
I figure I can do more than my fair share now since I won't be able to help with any of the football games (they all are on Saturdays or Friday nights. Except for the one after Thanksgiving, which I'll be in CA!) (We run a shuttle service from multiple locations in the city to the local public uni's football stadium.)
The last two weeks have been a bust financially and health wise. The numbers aren't going to be very pretty .. not as bad as May's, but definitely not as nice as June's. You can probably guess where a lot of the budget busting came from.
I bought two $9 Net 10 phones from Family Dollar today (sale ended today.) I'm going to be using them for the sole purpose of playing paid videos. I think they'll pay off soon enough to be worthwhile.
I also read this article posted on FB:
Many of the things I knew about already, but I did see one thing which interested me. Send Dollars - almost exactly like Inbox Dollars. I signed up for it and already have about $6.80 (out of $30 to cash out.)
I did this horrible survey yesterday morning which turned out to be mainly about coffee. I somehow managed to complete it - mainly because they didn't ask the one question which would have saved both them and me a lot of time .... Do you drink coffee? Nope - they just assumed that everyone drinks coffee. Yuck.
I managed to complete the Survey Soiree for SBs this week - 150 SB rebate. I only was able to do this due to waking up around 4 a.m. 3 out 5 mornings ... not on purpose. At all.
I don't know if my tiredness affected my viewpoint today at work or not, but MAN were people ever crabby and argumentative. There were a couple of times I wanted to ask - why are you even asking me this question if you won't take my answer?
The local community college is looking for a Learning Resource Director. Gulp. They aren't requiring a specialized higher education librarian degree (like most universities would ...) It pays $4/hour more than what I'm making now. I'm not sure what the benefits are.
I'm thinking seriously about applying.
My two big qualms .... 1. It would put me WAY out of my comfort zone dealing with CC students; and 2. It doesn't state what the expected hours/days are.
2 is probably the bigger issue. I checked on the website for the LRC and it shows it is open on Saturdays.
I have the feeling that my stating that I can only work M-F probably would get my application thrown in the proverbial trash without further reading. But, still, it probably wouldn't hurt to try. Who knows how many other ALA certified (well, expired certified?) librarians are here AND know about the job offer. I might have a slim chance.
I do want to see what the benefits are though first - because if I got the job, my commute would change from 6 or 7 minutes to more like 20minutes + - and definitely not walkable. (but would be bussable.)
(And yes, the not working on Saturdays is completely, unequivocally, non-negotiable for me. This is partly why I've hesitated to apply for any of the various public librarian jobs - all of which require weekend hours. As a newbie, I probably wouldn't be able to say - I want Sundays only!)
Ok, I'm now off to catch up on your blogs. (This is actually a second rendition of my post... thanks to accidentally hitting the backspace button instead of the arrow to move over tabs ...)
Archive for July, 2015
So Thursday after work was spent riding/driving to O city and back. Why? NE had found a 2000 Chevy Prizm for $1200 which he decided to buy.
NE got the news today - his transmission got water in it. The mechanic is suggesting rebuilding it = to the tune of $3100. That's more than the car is worth.
NE is considering selling the car and getting a cheap $1200 car he found in O city to get by until he has enough to get a more decent car.
I'm almost to 5k SBs - mainly due to doing surveys and actually qualifying for a few this week. (Working on the Survey Soiree thing.) Can hardly wait til August 3 so I can cash them in (and get the discount.)
Walked to work Monday and Tuesday so far this week. NE's picked me up both days - kind of fun getting picked up. He's gotten to see some of the coworkers I talk to him about from afar.
The project at work that never ends may be actually getting close...r to ending. I worked on the table of contents today, and fixing some formatting issues. Of course all I did may be for naught if decision makers decide to change some of the content. Oh well, it was something to keep me busy.
Why do people argue with you when they call in for information? I just don't get it.
NE and I ended up not going to see Antman on Sunday. All the theaters are owned by the same company, so all the Matinee priced showings were before noon. Way too early for NE (he works nights.) We watched a movie on Netflix instead - something that took place in WW2 on a submarine - a bunch of US soldiers were captured by a German Uboat submarine. Very interesting (can't remember the name of it though.)
My latest Ting bill closed yesterday. I managed to keep the non-tax part of it to $15! I think now that NE is also on Ting, he's gotten the idea of being very conservative with phone minutes. (Before, he just didn't get why I would get frustrated when he'd talk for 30 minutes before coming over for 3 hours ...)
Compared to my old cell bill of $75/76/month ... I love Ting!
Tomorrow, and probably on Thursday too, I'm going to have NE pick me up later so I can use the gym at work. This also helps him so he can get up later. (His Wed. shift starts later, and he doesn't work Thursday nights.)
Yesterday when I got home from work I called Vanguard yet again. I'd been waiting for a return call from the person I was told I was being assigned to since Tuesday and was tired of waiting.
So I worked with someone different. Roughly 90 minutes later we had all my accounts from TROWE and Scottrade switched over, and had started the process with Empower Retirement. (I have some paperwork I have to print and mail for that.)
Once all the account transfers are finalized, I'll have retirement accounts at two places - Vanguard and the one my current employer uses. That'll definitely be much nicer for tracking, and the expense ratios will be much nicer as well.
I decided to go with an 80/20 Lifestyle? investment strategy for my 403(b) rollover. I can always change it later to something less aggressive. I'm also putting my Trowe Roth into that same kind of thing.
Hopefully the funds will show some better movement with less ER being taken out.
I got an email from NE this morning. His second car - a Honda - broke down around 2 a.m. He had to wait an hour for someone to come get him. (He was out in the northernmost part of town - the pizza place he works at is kind of in the middle of town.)
So he is now down to 0 working cars. He's working tonight, so I've let him borrow my car again. He's going to come by around 5 a.m. to pick me up and we'll try towing his car 2 miles to a place that can possibly fix his car.
Hopefully we won't have to do the car thing too long ... I can probably walk to work okay in the mornings, but there's no way I want to do it in the afternoons (too hot!) So he'll have to pick me up each day. It also means no gym those days. At least I'll be getting exercise walking to work. Maybe do bodyweight exercises at home.
I have more than enough SBs to cash out for a $25 PP - but I'm going to hold off til August 3rd. That way I can use the 150 SB rebate I earned (doing 20 special offers - all freebies.)
I need to figure out the latest matinee showing of Antman tomorrow. NE and I'll be going to that.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some energy and can get myself to do some cleaning (desperately needed) and possibly some decluttering too.
Next Sunday is NEs birthday celebration (actual birthday is the 3rd, but he's working) so I won't have much time to do things that day. (We're going to Nebraska City - eat at a Chinese buffet place and then possibly go to the Arbor Day place??) He's going to be 49 - so for about 4 1/2 months we'll be ten years apart in age.
It's weird ... I had bought several loaves of the Orrowheat Everything bread - the one that is smaller in size - because it was cheaper than the regular sized Oatnut bread. I loved it because it perfectly fit my black bean burgers with no leftover edges.
But the last time I bought bread, Oatnut was on a good sale = so I bought 3 loaves of it. The Everything bread was $4.29 (nearly $1 more than when I bought it.)
So this week when I ate my burgers for lunch, it felt like SO MUCH bread. In fact, I only used two slices on Monday. The rest of the week I only used one slice and broke my burger in half. Ate part of it mixed in with my veggies. The other part wrapped like a hot dog.
I've never thought it was too much bread before - not until I experienced the difference between a bread slice that perfectly fit and one that doesn't.
Anyway ... just some rambling miscellaneous thoughts from this week.
Tuesday night I had my 3rd shift at the parking garage. This time there was a WWE event going on. I got there about 7:40 - 20 minutes early. We didn't end up getting sent to our spots til nearly 9:20 (I clocked in at 7:55.) It seems kind of wasteful to have 8 or so people standing around for an hour+ on the clock waiting for an event to actually end. But oh well, it's more money in my pocket. (I clocked out a bit before 11. So about $33 before taxes.)
Once the cars started coming out, time went by pretty fast. Before I went, I had no energy nor desire to go. By the time I got home though, I was pepped up and couldn't go to sleep for a long time. (Still woke up about 4:45 a.m. ....)
Before I left for the shift though, I tried calling Vanguard again. I was being transferred to someone when the call ended suddenly. So I called back and got the name and number of the person I was being transferred to. I called and left a voice mail - more than 24 hours later, and I have not gotten a call back.
I'm going to try again tomorrow night (when I don't have to run off to Vacation Bible School like tonight, or have a shift to work.)
Hopefully, third time will be the charm.
Work. Ugh. Still ongoing saga of 268 page document and the perfectionist who believes there is only one way to do things (she tells me to make a change, I make the change, she insists I should do it her way instead ...) My boss is also frustrated with this person (they had to do a presentation to the other co-workers yesterday - some book the staff is reading.) My boss has told me that if I want off this project, all I have to do is say so. Part of me wants to say OFF, but a larger part of me does not want to do that - kind of feel like being a quitter.
Lady sat up front with me today going over some cross-referencing in the document. I was logged off the phone. Still had at least 6 calls and 7 people come by to buy passes. She got so frustrated with all the interruptions that she told me we'd keep working tomorrow if my boss could cover the not logged in phone calls. She asked me if it always was this busy.
Ummm... the phone wasn't even logged in. Yes, it can sometimes be that busy x50. Other times, not so much. One never knows.
DMV - $175 - Car registration
Taco Bell ... $4.19
Walgreen's - $20.xx (junk, locker lock for gym, deodorant, real food)
$16 from Pact cashed in
Okay, it is now 11:08. I am going to try to go to bed and see if I can get more than 4 1/2 hours sleep ...
I called Valic tonight to find out about consolidating everything. Once the rep heard how much I had to move, he was trying to move mountains to get me to the right person. The wait time though was at least 7 or 8 minutes, and I had to leave for VBS. So I'm going to try again tomorrow (with the direct number & notes on my account to speed things up.)
I am beyond frustrated at work. The document I spent a large portion of Friday afternoon working on fixing? 70% of the changes I had made did NOT stick! I KNOW I saved as I went. So this morning I had to endure yet again being told .. you remember we talked about such and such ... OMW!! YES I REMEMBER! Even though for who knows why the document doesn't show it! UGH!
I am really wishing I hadn't agreed to help out with this project.
I got my $250 bonus from Amex yesterday. $125 of it goes towards paying NE's medical stuff that he let me put on there (what we agreed to prior, since I was not going to be able to make the $1k spending requirement.) The other half I put towards mainly two categories - Personal Training and Education. I need to save up $350 for PT and $500 for Education (will be reimbursed for classes I take, but only after I receive a passing grade.) The rest of it went in dribs and drabbles to other funds needing a little plumping.
NE and I watched "The Theory of Everything" last night about Stephen Hawking. Very good movie.
Funny story. Last week NE was telling me that it was my turn the last week of July to treat for a meal. I told him that it was - treat once a month, not every 4 weeks (back and forth.) That a meal out in July wasn't in my budget.
So last night we were talking about what we'd do next Sunday. He said something about maybe going to a movie .. then was like, Nope, that's not in the budget.
(This was all very lighthearted/teasing.)
I almost told him that what's gotten me to where I am now financially is actually having and paying attention (usually ...) to a budget.
Tonight I helped out at our church's VBS at the registration table. While the kids were in their various groups I also helped out with a few little projects. Otherwise it was a lot of standing around with my thumb in my pocket... I'll be helping out again on Wednesday, but I think I'll leave once the registration rush is over.
Tomorrow night I have my 3rd parking garage shift. It'll be from 8 p.m to hopefully no later than 10:30 p.m.
Last time I had a shift someone recognized me - but I wasn't sure HOW I knew them or they knew me. Today on of the ladies from a local agency came by to pick up passes - that was the person who recognized me. We thought it was pretty funny.
Ugh. Just no motivation to do anything today.
I did make my pancakes this morning (banana oat greek yogurt), but other than that .. just can't get going.
Part of it probably is my allergies kicking up again (like CB ... sinus headache ..)
I have been doing some research into a getaway in Kansas City - doing World's of Fun and possibly the zoo and/or Powell's botanical garden. The least expensive hotel I found was $47 for two nights - with taxes $116. Ugh. (would be a 2 hour bus ride to avoid $15 parking fee.)
So I looked at airbnb. Found a place for $25/night which would be an hour's drive from WOF and would have to pay parking fee.
... I'm honestly starting to think about just maybe staying here and not going anywhere, but do touristy stuff around this area. Go to some of the places that are only open on weekdays. Maybe eat at a couple interesting restaurants I haven't been to here yet, take in a movie or two.
I think that actually sounds more appealing to me. Sleep in, move at my own pace, explore, then back home in my own space. Limited driving needed.
Last night I was thinking about trying to cut down on my closet clutter/clothing. I found a great app called Closet+ which allows you to take pictures of all your clothes, and then create outfits. It also tracks how often you wear things so that you can tell which things are not being utilized easily.
I like this idea because then I can also bring it when I go shopping - can show someone a particular pants/skirt/top to see if it works with what I'm looking at. Also it will help me keep track of what things do go together that aren't your basic solid/solid mix. (So like when my mom is here, she can tell me what tops work with one particular skirt I have, and I can record them in the app so I remember later!)
Anyway, maybe that's a project I could do during some of my off time in August too.
I'm going to need to ask for some hours off this week so I can go to the DMV. I went to renew my registration online today, and found out I couldn't because they'd sent it to my previous address. (I can't remember if NE brought it here, or how exactly it got to me.) Fun, fun, standing in line. Gotta be done.
So I'm thinking about combining all my investment accounts. I think I want to put them all in Vanguard, but I'm not sure if it is possible.
I currently have two stock/brokerage accounts at Scottrade.
A stock/brokerage account and target fund at Trowe.
A defunct 403(b) account from teaching at some place called Empower Retirement? (used to be at Valic AIG, but my former employer switched companies this year.)
A traditional ROTH at Vanguard.
Almost forgot - another stock account at Cap One - formerly Sharebuilder.
And then of course the accounts I have with my new employer. (These I plan to leave alone.)
The 403b and the TROWE target fund I think can be moved over with no problem. It's the stock accounts I'm not so sure about.
I want to consolidate these accounts as much as possible for two reasons - 1- ease of tracking/accounting, and 2 - less maintenance fees eating into profits.
I know I need to just call Vanguard and ask if it's possible to move stock only accounts over to them, but I seem to think about these kinds of things on the weekend or after business phone hours.
I don't want to sell my stock holdings, just move them to another ... holder? I'm not even sure if that is possible??
Anyway, I have this on a reminder note for the August business days I'll have off to call and get the ball rolling on as much as I can.
Oh get this! I just got a message from J of airbnb fame ... the "friend" found an apartment and doesn't need her room after all. Too bad, so sad. :roll eyes:
I've been on a bit of a junkfood binge the past few days. All that stuff I bought Thursday ... I had thought about returning some of it before I actually ate it ... Oh well. It was a good reminder that I actually like how I feel *without* eating all that junk *much* better than the opposite.
I cashed out Bing for a $5 AGC yesterday. Today I am within less than 600 SBs of my second $25 Paypal for July. (Ngage is back ... which can be "watched" while doing stuff in another window at the same time ...)
I've set my fitbit sleep thing on sensitive this last week. It sure has shown me why I'm so tired! For example, last night out of 6 hrs 30 minutes "asleep" 85 minutes of that time was "restless" or moving enough to shake the fitbit. Other nights had less hours of "sleep" with roughly the same restless minutes. I wish I could figure out how to change this. Consistent exercise doesn't seem to be the answer. Eating better doesn't seem to be the answer. (the little hours sleep / restlessness are similar for before Thursday's junk food binge - so really made no difference.)
Getting TO sleep isn't the issue - it's once I'm asleep that there are multiple periods of restlessness, and then waking up at WAY too early hours (WAY before my alarm is set, and not being able to go back to sleep very well.)
This coming week my sleep issues are probably not going to be helped much ... Monday and Wednesday evenings I'm signed up to help out at the local VBS. Tuesday night I'm doing a parking garage shift from 8 p.m. - ?? And of course Sunday and Thursday nights are NE's nights. Somehow I'm going to fit in regular exercise into that schedule.
I just typed up a huge rant about the last few days, but then decided it probably was overshare.
So, long and short .. big project I'd worked on a few weeks ago that I had to send on before it was finished, got published to the public. Meeting yesterday with coworker and boss was about it. Me explaining what happened. Ended with me going on a junkfood spending spree after work.
*This project I worked on was helping out coworker with something. She was out for a week with surgery/recovery while I was trying to finish said project. Was told to send it on to head boss even though I told them it wasn't ready.*
This morning wasn't much better ... but got better once I got working on actually finishing the document. (got pulled from the public)
Am way overtired and hormonal which is probably affecting my reactions to this, as well as Airbnb thing. (Haven't heard anymore from customer service.)
I've decided to look into other places to go for my getaway. Possibly Kansas City - something called Water World I think NE said is there. I may just do one night away instead of two though, then have two days at my place to r&r. Maybe take in some things around here too.
No spend day #14 I think
So today as I was heading to lunch I took a look at my phone and saw I had a couple text messages from my Airbnb host. I got a bad feeling ...
Then I read the entirety of the messages.
Apparently this person has a friend who needs to stay in the room, and is coming over to check it out. She'll need it for a month. Which of course falls into my reservation.
J says"I just want to give you a heads up so you can make a backup plan."
I was livid.
I didn't respond right then because I wanted to cool down and also get the opinons of a few others - so I posted a question on FB asking how others would react.
Cancel reservation and contact admin were the two main responses.
So when I got back from the gym tonight (another way to cool myself down more before responding) I got on Airbnb and started looking for a way to contact admin. I'd been planning on just contacting them first to ask their opinion.
IMPOSSIBLE! They make it nearly impossible to contact them with all these "choice" trees - none of which have an option for "other."
So I left a message for J telling her that I was cancelling and why. I was very polite, but very clear.
Then I canceled and found out I won't get my $7 in fees back!!!
I finally figured out how to actually send them an email (chose a choice that didn't really work - but it got me to where I could send an email.) Now I'll wait to see what happens.
In the meantime, I'm going to be looking for a hotel room!!
I got a message today that I have a meeting with my boss and her other supervisee about contracts. I don't know for sure what it is about, but I do know that the current union contract ends sometime in August. So I'm guessing it's to go over the revised one and have us sign it or something. If that's so, then I'll also get to see what my new payrate will be (probably not starting til September.)
NE is going to change out our cars tonight after work (he has a key to my place, so won't have to wake me up.) He'll be taking his Honda to get the air fixed on Thursday afternoon. Then he'll decide what to do with the Subaru.
CCF - (or others who know Des Moines) - please give me suggestions as to what hotels/streets/areas to avoid. And if possible, which ones might be good deals & decent? All I care about is cleanliness, working plumbing and a bed (and that there isn't a big chance of my car getting broken into overnight ...) Hotels.com
The cheapest hotel they have is $60/night - Extend a Stay - 5220 Northeast 14th Street. It has a very poor rating. The next one is $70/night.
Whatever happened to the $30 and $40 rooms??
No spend day #12
ETA - Hmm... I just got a response from my email. Basicaly saying the CS person was going to pass my message to the "right" people. Let's see what happens.
Today during lunch I was browsing FB and my eyes just about bugged out. There in front of me was a 1334 sq ft house for $30k!
Everything I usually see on there is 3x+ as much. So I inspected it a bit closer to figure out why it was so inexpensive.
The main thing I could come up with was that it is a mobile home. From the pictures it looked well kept, it included a yard and a screened in back porch. It didn't sound like it was in a bad part of town, nor too terribly far from work.
I couldn't click on the link for more info, and it seems to have disappeared. However, it gave me hope that I might be able to afford something without taking on a huge mortgage or waiting ten years ... as long as I can find a mobile home in good condition and in a good / well taken care of park. And apparently there is such a thing here!
I could do 20% down on this thing with only my EF savings. Give me a few more years (and more time to research areas/mobile home conditions) and this might just be the way to go.
I ended up walking to work this morning even though I really had not planned on doing it (so HOT yesterday morning.) It was a little warm, but much cooler than Monday a.m.
NE picked me up after work today and took me over to his place so I could use his car to go to the gym.
The drive without a/c wouldn't have been too bad if it hadn't been for the horrible traffic! It took me nearly 30 minutes to get to the gym! (In comparison, it took me 12 minutes to get home.)
NE is planning on getting the a/c fixed in his Honda, and then taking his Subaru in to see what is going on with it. If it's more than a $1k fix, he's probably going to get rid of it. If the a/c gets working in his Honda, that'll give him until October or so to get another second car (for winter driving.)
We're trading cars again tonight after he gets off work (11 p.m.) I'll be glad to have my car back.
I figured out that my digital scale just takes AAA batteries. I have some around here somewhere ..
No spending today (Day #11)
Tonight I was just sitting back relaxing and getting ready to enter my receipts from my Walgreen's shopping trip when I got a call from NE telling me his car had broken down just a few blocks away.
The end result is that I'm letting him use my car for at least the next few days. I'll take the bus to work, and he'll pick me up tomorrow and then I can use his second car (no a/c) to go to the gym. (He delivers pizza, and it is WAY too hot to be driving around for hours without A/C - I can survive 20 minutes to the gym and back.)
He's going to have a mechanic friend look at it, but it'll eventually have to get towed and fixed. It doesn't sound like it will be an inexpensive fix.
He's had so many troubles with his two cars (both are 2002/3 models - Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza I think.)
This of course had to happen in the midst of our first major heatwave this summer.
After work today I went to the UPS customer center and picked up my 2" washers (IOW cheap fractional plates.) Then I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up some more Allegra D ...I also picked up some candy bars ... and a folding chair in a carrying bag. All came out of budgeted categories.
By the time I got home I was pretty hungry, plus this morning I saw I'd lost another pound and was thinking it was going a bit too fast. So I decided to treat myself to Burger King. Again, budgeted. (but no more left for the month in that category!)
My digital scale died this morning - just after I weighed myself. I was wondering if maybe the reason the numbers had been going down on it was due to a weak battery - so I weighed myself at work. It was only a difference of 5lbs - which made sense (eaten breakfast, drunk water, work clothes, shoes, etc.)
I need to figure out how to get the scale going again.
(It's a Wahoo fitness wi-fi scale, about two years old.)
NE paid me back today for the two things I put on my Discover and American Express cards. So as soon as that money is available, I'll send it on to the cards.
Just a month from now and I'll be on my mini-vacation!! Woo hoo! I can hardly wait. 4 whole days in a row away from the phones! (If you're calling for directions, it's a good idea to have something to write on/with, and know the address of where you are and where you want to go ... just saying...)
Almost forgot! Saturday night I worked my part time job at the parking garage. It was only supposed to be for 90 minutes. But the concert lasted until well after 11 pm. They finally told us to go home about 12:30 a.m.!! That definitely won't work for me on a weeknight ... But I can thank ND (performer) for 2 extra hours worth of pay!
So this past week I kept checking my SBs Shop & Earn ledger to see if my shoe purchase had posted yet as pending SBs. It never showed up, so I wrote to customer service asking where it was.
They replied back to me that I need to wait 5 to 7 business days. I was very annoyed.
Then last night I did my ten videos on Mypoints and then took a look at my points ledger. Guess what was showing as pending?! A purchase from Amazon!
Somehow I must have made the purchase through a Mypoints link rather than a Swagbucks one. Although I thought I'd been pretty careful to go the Shop and Earn tab on SBs, and then to Amazon.
Oh well, either way, it looks like I'm getting points for it.
Speaking of The Shoes .. They arrived on Thursday afternoon. I have tried them on, but not worn yet (Friday is jeans day.) I'm not sure I'm going to like them as much as my falling apart ones, but I can live with them until Sear's gets the shoes back in stock!!
(they are much firmer material, and the over strap is very thin.
Remember the 2" washers I ordered to use as fractional plates for weight lifting? They arrived on Monday! Or at least that is when I first got the UPS notice on my door. I love how they come at times when the majority of adults are .. at work!
Tuesday afternoon I called to arrange to have them hold it at the main facility - but first I had to jump through the hoop of the automated scheduler thing. The only option offered to me by it was to have it sent to an "outlet." The outlet would have been WAY close to my work, but cost $6! I was very annoyed, and had to be very persistent to get a live person.
I'm planning on going there on Monday to get them.
I ordered a bunch of books about MS Office/Word 2013 from the library. Most of them were in yesterday. I need to browse through them and figure out which one will best meet what I'm wanting (something to help me with learning intermediate/advanced skills.)
A couple DVDs came in too - Theory of Everything, and When Calls the Heart (a Janette Oake series movie)
So I now have 3 movies to watch (Boyhood) .. I have SO gotten out of the habit of watching movies/television. (I bought Season 4 of Downton Abbey on Amazon streaming ... quite awhile ago ... and still have not watched any of it ..)
I've agreed to help out with the local VBS program for two nights (July 20 and 22) ... That means I'll have to change my workout schedule that week because I have to be at the church by 6. I really considered saying NO because I didn't want to change my gym routine which is still in its infancy .. but realized that I probably would enjoy doing this, and it is only one week.
The 21st I have a shift at the parking garage - 9 to runoff. I found out that runoff means about 10:30. I can handle that once in awhile on a weeknight.
I have a 9 to runoff shift tonight, so I'll get to see firsthand what it involves.
I got very little sleep last night. Went to bed a bit after 11, and woke up about 4. My fitbit sleep thing showed I had about 15 minutes of restlessness during the night. I am SO tired. I will probably try to take a nap before going to the parking garage tonight.
Looking forward to when the good diet and good amount of exercise is going to equal a good nights sleep!
On YouGov surveys I am only 8k points away from a $100 Amazon gift card!! That is about 16 surveys. (They have smaller denomination ones for less points, but the $100 one is 1 point per dollar value, whereas the others aren't.)
I almost forgot one of the reasons I wanted to post today!
This morning I got my loaf of bread out because I was going to do toast and a fried egg for breakfast. However when I counted how many slices were left, I realized I only had enough left for 4 lunches this week. I don't think I used any for toast last week (although I may have.)
What this means is that one loaf of the Orowheat Everything bread is NOT enough for two weeks of work lunches. I had thought it would be enough, plus a little extra. I really like this bread because of its size - it perfectly fits my black bean burger patties and is cheaper than the full sized bread (obviously because it is smaller.)
I'm thinking lunch on Friday I can cook some quinoa or something and crumble a burger patty into it, along with my regular veggies. Kind of a burger bowl. That might just work for lunches the rest of the month too so I don't have to buy any more bread. (Especially since the grocery budget is so thin right now.)
I have English muffins I can use for toast (although my PB and my J are running low.)
My diet/lifestyle and exercise seem to be working. I am within 3 lbs of where I was a year ago. (I have lost/gained/lost/gained ~16 lbs since then.) This is the lowest I've been in 7 months or so. Another 4 lbs and I'll be in a decade I haven't been in since ... ???? (I did briefly flirt with the top of the decade maybe a 1 1/2 ago, but that was all of two or three days.)
It still may be possible for me to be down 30 lbs (from Jan 1 weight) by my 40th birthday (Dec 15). That would be another 18 or 19 lbs. If that happens, I'd be at my lowest weight in at least ten years. Within ten pounds of when I first met NE. Wow.
I'm not really eating that much less of real food... just not buying/eating much junkfood. Amazing how that works, huh?
Saturday spending: $0 Day 10! (I know I won't be spending anything since I'm not going anywhere til tonight for my parking shift.)
This morning I decided to check the airbnb site again to see if anything new had come up. Guess what! I found a place for $29/night! Previously the best I had found was $45/night. I booked for two nights, so my lodging costs will be $65. Right now I have $176 set aside for my getaway, plus whatever I can add this month.
I'm thinking I will be coming in under budget!!
I booked the lodging with my Amex card. Between paying for a portion of NE's medical bill (he's paying me back minus $125, which is half of the cash back reward) and then booking the lodging, I finally have my Amex finished! I doubt if I'll ever use it again unless some offer comes up again like the Sam's Club one, or some kind of Amazon deal. Too much of a pain.
I also finished out my $500 for July spending on my Discover card. (Actually I just realized that I might need to do one more grocery trip with it - because once I take the shoes back, then I'll be under $500 again.) I've put all my recurring bills on it - electric, gym, Internet, etc. I also used my card to pay for the final treatment of Riddles (again will be paid back.)
*Working on spending $500/month from July to November on my Discover card for a $75 bonus. I am not spending anything I would not normally to get this.
I have no debt, and pay my balances in full every month.
August looks like it will be easy too, between trip expenses and car insurance renewal. September should be easy too - mom/brother visit, purchase airplane ticket for Thanksgiving, etc. November I'm not sure what all I'll be able to do to get it.
Went grocery shoppigng today after the gym. I walked over there, totally forgetting til I passed the pet care aisle that I needed cat litter ... Oops. At least the cat litter and the grocery bag weighed fairly the same.
I bought: apples, bananas, egg salad sandwich, eggs, green bell pepper, Boca crumbles, candy bar, paper towels, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, cat litter.
Total of $28.70
There are 3 more grocery Friday's in July, and I have $39 left in my grocery budget. I'm going to have to try to keep my next 3 trips to $13 or less to stay within budget. That means probably forgoing the sandwich and/or Amy's meal.
(paper towels and cat litter come out of non-grocery categories)
On the way to the gym today I was nearly sideswiped! There were two left turn lanes. I was in the far right one. I turned into the corresponding lane. Luckily out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the person on my left starting to come over! I beeped my horn and swerved into the extra lane to my right (for right hand turn people.) My adrenaline sure was pumping!
CCF you might know the intersection I'm talking about -- 27th and Hwy 2 heading towards Walmart.
I had two people at work argue with me today. One was someone wanting directions. I even gave him to the bus driver supervisor, and the caller argued with him!! The other person was someone who came to the window with commuter checks. I told him he needed to fill them out. He told me that "NO, it's your responsibility to fill them out! The lady who I've always dealt with before never asked me to fill them out." I told him that in the year I've worked here, anytime someone's brought commuter checks, that they had them filled out already. He didn't believe me. Finally I just took the checks and gave him his passes.
(We hate commuter checks! They give them two checks for every pass AND the check numbers are LONG. Such a pain in the patookus!)
Before the arguers, I'd been thinking that this had been a pretty calm week - nothing really of note. (at work at least)
Thursday - No spend day #8!
Friday - spend, spend .. but all within budgeted categories
As part of our contract we are able to take credit classes as long as they have something to do with our job responsibilities. We get reimbursed up to $1200/contract year.
So today I was thinking about the recent project which I tried to help out our purchasing agent. There was a big time crunch, and what she wanted me to do was something I hadn't done before - create a clickable table of contents. So I was on a huge learning curve under a time crunch. Then had to send it on to the main pa before I was finished.
That felt very stinky to me. I absolutely hated sending on a document which I knew wasn't finished.
What could I do to change that for the next time?
I figured out that I could take classes on the various MS Office products and then take the certification tests! That way I'd KNOW I had a very good/advanced grasp of all the inner workings - plus it might be helpful if later on I decide to try for a higher level position.
So I checked with the local community college. I saw they had a program focus for those wanting MS certification, but there was no list of required classes.
I sent an email to one person, then got a friendly response with the name/email of who I needed to contact. So I contacted the first person.
Their response seemed like they hadn't read my email very well. So I sent another polite email repeating one of my questions.
What I got back totally blew me away:
I DON’T KNOW BUT YOU CAN CONTACT OUR OFFICE PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ....
The rest of the email was in normal writing (not all caps.)
Is it just me, or does that seem like an uber unprofessional response? I can't imagine ever responding to someone in all caps like that in an email. Especially a business email. I kind of feel like emailing the person she mentioned and suggesting that they may want to make sure that the people answering emails know it is impolite/shouting to write in all caps.
Anyway .... while I was waiting for responses I kept looking for other avenues. I am almost thinking that I'd rather just buy the MS Word Study Guide ($14.29) for the certification course and go through it on my own pace. Then take the certification test for it. Then do the next one (Excel probably.) and so forth.
I still want to take some classes though - so maybe Spanish (we have some Spanish speakers that come by), or ASL (had a mute person come by today!) Or something else that I can figure out how to make it fit with my job.
On FB today I read an article that Amy's is opening a fast food restaurant in CA near San Francisco!! I LOVe Amy's food! (vegetarian/vegan) Next time I'm in SF, I will have to make a point of going there.
Today at the gym I talked to one of the personal trainers. I first asked him about the barbel weights - he told me that the barbel in the Smith machines was lighter than the one in the power rack - which explained why when I tried to use the pr one, I couldn't do it. He gave me a couple ideas on how to get a barbel that was weighted between decade amounts (I'd been using the fixed barbel weights after realizing I couldn't do the regular barbel.)
I also asked him about Pilates classes. He basically told me that they don't have very many because there isn't much interest. He suggested Yoga. No thank you ... (although maybe I should try one class of it to see if it is all new agey, or just straight poses and no nonsense.)
I got home pretty late due to having talked with the pt guy. I made a pot of spaghetti with a bunch of kale and 1/2 cup of Morningstar crumbles. It was SO good. I had in my meal plan that I was going to eat the pie that I'd bought at Dollar Tree on Sunday (one slice frozen) but after eating my spaghetti I was so full that it doesn't even appeal to me. So I'll save it for another night.
I'm reading Judy Beck's Diet Trap Solution which is all about retraining your brain - CBT or cognitive based therapy. I'd heard of an earlier version of it (this is a 2014 or 15 copy) but never checked it out. It's pretty interesting so far.
So I asked my boss today if I could have the Friday and Monday off of the weekend my mom and possibly brother are coming. She said yes, but then reminded me that I had signed up to work an event that Sunday!
It's a 4 hour event.
What would you do?? Should I ask my boss if I can get out of it, or have my mom/brother drop me off and do whatever, then pick me up later? I kind of feel bad either way.
No spending day #6!
One more question -- How do you easily measure 1/2 cup of dry spaghetti?
I decided to walk to work today. The weather was perfect for it - 55 in the morning, and in the low 70s in the afternoon.
On my way home today I was about ten blocks away from work when a woman standing at a corner waved at me. I went over there and she asked me "Aren't you the person who works at ....?" I told her that I was. She thought it was funny that I was walking instead of taking the bus. So I told her that I only live 1.5 away from work, and enjoy the walk. However, next week (if I decide to walk) I'll probably take the bus on the way home because it's supposed to be in the 90s in the afternoon.
She told me that she calls me all the time asking for directions. She must have come by to buy passes too, although I didn't recognize her.
On the way home I thought of another way I could possibly take the bus for my return trip. It still would mean walking about 8 or 9 blocks, but then I'd be dropped off within a block of my apartment. I might try that next week.
My mom has bought her tickets to come here in September - $137! Awesome price! Now we wait to see if my brother actually buys tickets .... or it it'll just be me and her.
I redeemed for a $25 PP from SBs today, and thanks to my SBs Visa, I am about 300 towards my next one.
I got an email from the place I ordered the 2" washers from - total cost with shipping is $18.48. SO much cheaper than Amazon's fractional plates. They are already here in the city, so maybe I'll get them tomorrow before I head out to the gym for my next weight lifting workout.
I was reading "In the Unlikely Event" by Judy Blume today at work (Great story so far!) when a lady came by to buy a bus pass. She asked me if I liked to read. There followed a nice 5 or 6 minute conversation. (She also is an avid reader.) That was fun.
No spending today. (I think that makes 5 NSDs for July?)
So today the world lost a special person and a special cat.
You might remember me mentioning about NEs cat Riddles and how he'd been doing pretty poorly. NE took him to the vet and for about 4 or 5 weeks had the vet give him fluids 3x a week. Then NE started doing the fluids himself.
Up til about 4 days ago, the fluids seemed to have made him much better, nearly like his old self. Then he started getting worse. Failing rapidly. So much so that as of Sunday he stopped eating completely and didn't have the strength to jump up on NEs bed. (his favorite place)
Today NE made the decision to let Ridz go in peace. I was able to get off work a couple hours early so I could be there with them. I hadn't seen Riddles since September (long story.) He was literally a skeleton with skin and fur. It was bad.
Hopefully I can put a picture of him here in his better days:
I also found out today that the woman who I learned ASL from when I lived in Texas, and who helped me to do an ASL interpretation of Kevin Henke's "Kitten's First Moon" had died from ALS complications.
This was a very special woman. Someone who loved God, loved her family, and loved the deaf community.
After dealing with Riddles taking a trip to the Rainbow Bridge, I really did not feel like going to the gym for my workout. But I did it anyway. Kind of a shortened one, but at least I kept in the habit.
No money spent today.
On the local FB sales group, sometimes people list houses for sale. I've seen houses on there for anywhere from 94k to 489k. Mostly they are between 110-40k.
On my income it has taken me roughly a year to save about 5k in my EF (the balance was already there, leftover from my moving fund/EF from NM.)
I pay $430/month in rent, plus between $50 - $100 in utilities. I put about 15% of my post-tax income in a ROTH (which doesn't even get close to maxing it out.)
So if I ever want to buy a house and have the payments be something I can manage on my income, I will probably need 40k+ for a downpayment, plus another 10 - 15k for closing costs, House EF/fix up.
At my current savings rate, that might happen ... oh 9 or 10 years from now? And that's assuming that the simple, not fancy houses (1000sq ft w/basement home for $138k type places) will not have gone way up in price.
And I'll probably be needing another car about that time too ...
I don't make minimum wage - but maybe close to 2x minimum wage. I don't have much in the way of extravagances - no cable tv, watch my pennies. I do have my iPhone and my Internet (which I cringe paying for - so expensive!) I'm also only supporting myself and my cat.
So ... how do people with families do it? How do they buy houses???
I was looking at the calculator for the 138k house, assuming a 20k down payment at 4.5% interest. My payment would be something like $900/month!! No way on God's green earth I could afford that and still save for retirement, or for car replacement, or have any extra left for once in a while vacations, or for home repairs ...
I guess it kind of makes me a bit discouraged. I know, I know ... I could get a teaching job making twice what I make here (or close to it.) But as stressful as the bus job is sometimes, it is only 40 hours a week and I'm done. Teaching .... just not the case. Plus a WHOLE nother level of stress.
PS - I have an ad for Sam's Club below. They just have to be advertising that they have Nutella on sale this month. Note to Laura - DO NOT ENTER Sam's Club this month.
I love fireworks, really I do. However, I will be glad when the people in my neighborhood run out of them. Really? Firing off something at 3 a.m.? (It had finally gotten quiet around 1 a.m. so I thought it was safe to try to go to sleep, then got rudely woken again.)
Got up this morning, made my SBs daily goal, then made my oatmeal banana greek yogurt pancakes (no mishaps this time!) Spent a little more time on the computer.
Unloaded the dishwasher (finally ... been clean since Wednesday.) Reloaded and started it.
Headed over to the gym. Did about 30 minutes of walk/jog/run intervals. Then went upstairs and used the stretching contraptions (need to ask how they work when there's someone actually there.) and used the thing where you place your feet under something, and bend forward and up (back strengthener thingy.)
Got home and started my laundry. Took a shower and then got started on making a quadruple batch of my black bean burgers.
Put the laundry in the dryer. Put the black bean burgers in the oven to bake. Boy does the oven make the house heat up!
I made a total of 20 burgers. I think I added a little "too" much liquid this time because they aren't sticking together very well (even after I added a little extra oatmeal.) That's how it goes when you're not really measuring. Once they're frozen and then reheated, they should be fine I think. (I'm waiting for them to cool off enough for me to put them in the freezer now.)
Just had an apple and a piece of pb toast. I didn't want to eat too much because I'm not sure where we're going for dinner tonight. It'll probably be a Chinese buffet - NE loves those places. If so, a plate full of veggies and fruits first, and then a second plate with some of the other things I like in small amounts.
I'm just 200 SBs away from being able to get my next $25 PP. Kind of tempted to do some surveys to see if I can get any. Did a few last week? whenever they were having the Survey Soiree thing that I actually completed (shocked!)
Laundry - $2
Dinner will be NE's treat.
So yesterday I talked a bit about my car registration expense of $170 and how I was thinking I'd pay it in July, but not count it til August's budget. The more I thought about doing that, the more I didn't like it.
I knew the expense was coming up (couldn't remember exactly how much, but I knew it was probably a July expense.) So ... I could have set money aside for it. I think I didn't do that mainly because I was working off the idea of just "cash-flowing" these kinds of expenses. Which would work fine if it wasn't for the fact of my making a new goal/challenge of taking half of "extra" money for June and July and putting it towards a getaway.
When I thought about having to subtract $170 from my extra amount for the month, it made me not want to do it!
But the more I thought about "cheating" the budget, the more I didn't like that idea.
So I spent some time today reworking my budget. And putting the $170 for car registration in July's spending.
I then figured out that even with taking that out of the equation, if I was really careful this month, I should still have at least $200 for my getaway. $102 for two nights lodging. $36 for park admission, $15 for living history farm - leaves about $50 for gas and food. Might still be doable. Plus maybe in August I can just budget an extra $30 or so to the Vacation category to give me a little leeway.
I also decided that maybe I should just go ahead and go back to setting aside monthly amounts for known, or possibly known expenses which don't occur regularly. So, I readjusted my July budget to reflect that. It drastically reduced my "extra" funds, but I think it probably is also a better reflection of reality.
My system worked for six months, but now some of those "irregular" expenses are coming up and like with the car registration, I almost feel resentful taking them out of my extra cashflow. If it's set aside already, then it won't (maybe) feel so painful/annoying.
Oh about the shoes! I was almost ready to bite the bullet and purchase the DSW shoes when I decided to give Amazon one more try. (I'd looked on there several months ago when first looking.) I found a pair that aren't *quite* the same, but very close. In the size I need. $37.98. I had $26.xx in my gift card balance (thanks Perk and Bing!) and $1.xx in Discover cashback. So my final cost was 11.78. They'll be here sometime this coming week. (Womens shoes also just happen to be in the 4SBs per dollar category right now.)
If they work, then I will return the other shoes. If not, then I will return them to Amazon and go back to DSW for that pair.
Doing Stronglifts the weight increments go up by 5 - 10 lbs a workout. That is a lot of increase for a woman. What is suggested to make the increase go a bit slower is to use fractional plates. I checked at the gym on Friday and they do not have them.
On Amazon they have a set for about $50. That's not too much, but of course I wanted to check first to see if there was a cheaper alternative. There is. I bought 6 2" washers for a total of 11.67 (don't know shipping yet - but probably about $7.) They'll be shipped ground, so might be a week or two before I get them. Until they get here, I'll probably just stick with only using the barbell (the barbell by itself is 45lbs.)
People were shooting off fireworks til at least 1 a.m. last night. Then for whatever reason I woke up about 6 and could not go back to sleep. Got up, but was so tired I ended up skipping church and church picnic/ walking group. Still feeling really tired.
(eating the chocolate desert bread meant for the picnic probably didn't help my tiredness .... no more junk food for me this week!)
So today was the day. I finally made the trek to Dollar Tree to find out if they had the frozen fruit deals like Laura (other Laura ) had mentioned awhile ago.
The first Dollar Tree I ventured into did not have anything other than ice cream. It did however have a mom who was being incredibly rude to her daughter and the mom caught me giving her a dirty look while pressing my lips together to keep from saying something.
So I headed on to the next Dollar Tree - the one that is about 8 miles from my home. (It's a LONG way when you work only 1.5 miles from home and have a grocery store within 1/8th of a mile!) That one had the frozen section!!!!
I bought ten bags of frozen fruit (mangoes, strawberries, peaches, and pineapple), 3 bags of mixed frozen veggies, two vegetable samosa thingys that looked good, a little Hershey's pie, and a bag of chocolate covered pretzels. (I was getting really hungry at this point ... my earlier shoe expedition took WAY longer than expected.)
In all ... I spent $17!! The frozen fruit should probably last me a good 6 weeks, maybe more. The veggies should be enough for July. I'm thinking about taking the frozen fruit out of the bags, putting one cup servings (mixed up) of them in sandwich baggies, and then putting those baggies into a large freezer baggie. That way I'll really know how many servings I have (and it will save me ten or 15 seconds in the morning ...) Maybe I'll do that with the veggies too, that way my servings of them are a little more ... even. (somedays I have a lot more than other days.)
Next time I go up there I'll need to stop at Walmart and/or Sam's first to get non-freezer items to help make the trip a little bit more gas friendly.
I did buy shoes today. They're not exactly what I'm wanting, but they're the closest I could get at the mall. I spent over an hour going into every store that had a shoe section in the mall. Sears had the shoe I wanted, only not in WW. Online they HAD it in WW, but it was out of stock!! ARghh!!
If anyone knows where I could find black MaryJanes with medium/low heels and a rounded/box toe, in an 8 1/2 W or 9 W, PLEASE tell me or buy two pairs of them for me and I'll paypal you the money and shipping! Seriously.
Why do stores make it SO darn difficult to find WW shoes?? With as many ... larger ... people as there are, you'd think there'd be an incredible market for them.
I SO hate shoe shopping! When I got my last pair, I KNEW I should have gotten two pairs right then and there.
Here is a link to the exact shoe I'm wanting:
Okay, so besides Dollar Tree and Mall walking, I also got my library books dropped off, filled up with gas, did some more grocery shopping (at the store 1/8th of a mile from home) and got in a great workout at the gym!
Groceries: $27.80 -- canned black beans (for black bean burgers for lunches), loaf of Orowheat Everything bread, bananas, big bag of washed/cut kale, bag of apples, zucchini, Amy's frozen entree (my Friday night treat), loaf of chocolate bread (for church picnic tomorrow) and a can of Off! spray. (holy cow! Nearly $6 for the Off! spray!!! it better last a good long time!)
Gas: $25.70 - got .07/gallon discount from local grocery store loyalty card.
Shoes: $26.73 (am going to hold off on wearing them until I just can't possibly wear the other ones ... in case I find the ones I really want and can take these back!)
Workout! I did my second Stronglifts 5x5 workout today - first one using the app. Even though I did it only using the barbell (not adding weights) and it didn't *feel* like it was very hard ... I was sweating majorly by the end.
When I was done though, I did about 15 minutes more of walk/jog/run intervals. Was *really* sweating by the end of that!
Now I think I'm going to finish my Alex Cross book (Hope to Die by James Patterson) and just have a nice relaxing evening.
Tomorrow is church, church picnic, and the church biking/walking group. Might finally watch "Boyhood" tomorrow night (borrowed from library.)
Sunday will be my oatmeal banana/greek yogurt pancakes, making a triple batter of black bean burgers to freeze, laundry, another workout, and then going out to eat somewhere with NE (his turn to treat this month!)
Almost forgot! On the way to the gym I stopped by my PO box (need to close it - was about to close it this last time, but got charged for it before I'd sent in the forwarding order.) I got my bill for my car registration. I knew it was either July or August. Apparently it is July. $170.
Oops. I kind of forgot to budget for that. I'm kind of thinking of cheating just a little bit ... I'll put it on my Discover card for the July spending requirements, but I won't actually count it out of my budget til August. (the CC won't be paid til then anyway, especially if I wait til July 20 or so.)
The reason for this of course is that if I take it out of July's budget, then I'll have very little to put towards my getaway or extra for the EF.
In August I know I'll be getting at least ten hours of overtime (which would count as at least 15 hours of pay) so that would pretty much cover it.
Note -- I will be making sure to set aside $15/mo for next years registration!
I almsot posted this on FB today, but then decided not to.
What I did post: Enjoying my day off!
What I almost posted: It's so nice to have a day off where I can get up when I want to, do what I want to, and not have any phones to answer! Makes me look forward to retirement all the more!
I almost have my first daily goal finished for SBs. Once that's done I'm going out shopping. Dollar Tree for frozen fruit, and Sears possibly for my new dress shoes (for work.)I may also hit up an oil change place that's in that area to see if they still have oil changes for $19. Also need to get gas and drop off my rent check.
Once all that's done, I plan on putting some time in at the gym and doing laundry.
Off to finish up my daily goal!
I closed a credit card and a checking account today. I'll have to wait til August when I have a day off during the week that isn't also a holiday to consolidate a couple investment accounts.
Speaking of investments ... Thanks to the surge in the electric car stock yesterday, my networth increased nearly $14k from the beginning of June. Keep it up electric car stock, keep it up!
I did so well all of June with no fast food ... but today at work I was SO tired and out of sorts. It didn't help that a project I was working on was giving me fits and caboodles (ever try making a table of contents in a document that already has a TOC? Yeah, me either til today.)
The phone calls were hopping (with some cranky people) and the window sales were pretty busy too.
So by the end of the day I did NOT want to make my own food, and I WANTED chocolate. I did NOT want to go to the gym.
So .. I did, and I didn't.
I think I may have been a bit overambitious to say I'd do strength training 3x a week right away. 2x a week plus 2 or 3x more going for walks, etc., I think is a better start. (It'd probably also help if I got better sleep ...)
Walgreen's - 19.xx - Allegra D
1.00 - candy
Burger King - $4.63 - dinner