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First Month Fully Integrated Finances

July 31st, 2016 at 11:03 pm

Although we've now been married just over 3! months, July was the first month where we followed a joint budget and I completely took over the bill paying. It also was the first full month where we only had one household - although we were paying the final bills from our former apartments.

Whenever DH wakes up, we're going to have a quick budget meeting for August. One thing we've kind of had to hash out this month is the when/how of him giving me the cash tips to deposit. He was used to to just going by the bank once or twice a month to make a deposit. I want to make a deposit every Friday (when the lobby is open til 6.)

He didn't see why I wanted to do that since our account balances have more than enough for our daily expenses. I explained to him that all my money is directly deposited and that helps me be able to guage what the next month's budget will be like. When I showed him how much was available to budget for August from my contributions versus what he'd given me so far ... he started giving me the tips as he got them. Smile (He's a delivery driver - makes a small hourly wage, but averages 2x that in tips/delivery charges.)

So ... since we were putting everything together this month, it is difficult to say what our "income" really was - our budget was based off of all moneys from various checking/savings being put together. Expenses include final bills and deposit charges for new accounts. In other words, this isn't a typical month for us by any means. Smile

So .. expenses:
Mortgage (loan only) $526
Extra Principal: $25
Natural Gas: 69.20
Electricity: 382.44 (includes June bill that got misplaced!!)
Phone: 239.04 (last month of DH needing to use phone as a hotspot for Internet - our bill for August is less than $60.)
Water: 51.43 (2 month bill)
Internet/Cable: 150 (deposit, extra house visit)
Groceries - Fast food: 29.81
Groceries - 265.08
Auto Fuel - 241.87 (delivery driver ....)
Tithe: 130 (DH isn't on board with tithing, but is ok with me continuing my same level as before)
Giving: 30
Car Maintenance: 14.97
Car tax/licenses: 421.69 (Tags for 3 cars, 2 new licenses)
Clothing: 20.40
Computer Replacement: (DH) 249
Garmin Replacement: (DH) 142
Household (blanket, toiletries, paper goods, fan, etc.) 148.36
Medical - Non-deductible (allergy, etc) 64.53
Medical FSA Reimbursed- 80.48 (copays, meds, heating pad)
Pets - Cats - food/litter -$80.97 (a LOT of litter/food)
Pets - Cats - Medicine(flea meds) $77
Pes - Non Cats - Food - 13.50
Pets - Non Cats - Medicine - 16.61
Fitness - 41.83 (my gym membership, hopefully can cancel soon)
Date Night: 14.77 (although will be getting pizza tonight)
DH fun money - 16
Laura fun money - 79.22
Student loan (DH) 55
Medical debt (DH) 372

Whooh! I think that covers it! Besides the money put into the above categories, there was also money put into a variety of other holding categories.

August will be spendy for car maintenance, and I just got approved for a new AE card which I'll be using to make a $1k payment on the medical (get back 250!)

I'm looking forward to what our first month of spending will be like without deposits and final bill fees. Smile (also without needing to replace electronics!)

I have around 6 hours of overtime in August, and I think September will be a 3 paycheck month. DH is working on putting together some speaker sales. (To help fund his boat and tv wishes.)

Mortgage Principal Balance:
Start 7/1/16 - $112,000
As of 7/31/16 (2 payments) - 111,619
Medical Debt:
As of 7/1/16 - 3,668
As of 7/31/16 - 3,296
Student Loan - TBD

What To Look For?

February 18th, 2016 at 01:45 am

So tomorrow night Mr FT and I will be doing our first walk through of the house which we think we want.

My boss was telling me to make sure to flush the toilets, run the sinks and showers, look under cabinets, etc.

What else should we look for?

The driveway has a crack going up the middle and looks like it goes into the garage. Could that be a foundation issue?

---
I got stamps today to mail the invitations, but won't get them mailed til tomorrow - some of the sticky stuff wasn't holding, so I'm going to tape them tomorrow before mailing.

I also stopped at Walgreen's and bought some Valentine's candy at 50% off - some kiss shaped ferraro chocolates in gold packets = two boxes of them. (table favors!)

I also got $10 worth of gas.

---
I decided to book the photographer I met with Monday night. He'll be charging $500 (his wife will assist him.) Sometime soon I'm going to have him and Mr FT meet so Mr FT will feel comfortable with him.

I also booked a videographer. She'll do the ceremony and reception (with highlights) for less than $100.

On Friday I have a hair trial appointment. (Yes, I found someone to do my hair!)

---
Need to work on my homework for the pre-marital counseling tonight, but otherwise am just going to take it easy. Smile

Starting the NY off with some Spending

January 2nd, 2016 at 01:19 am

After getting a nice sleep in (sort of - Kari wasn't having me sleep in tooo long) and doing some relaxing computer activities ... I finally got off my duff and productive.

ETA - One of the things I did was set up my budget in the new YNAB program I really kind of like it. The goal setting especially. I'll wait til my trial is up to decide for sure, but I may spring for the $45 subscription. Even if I decide not to yet, I'm still locked in for that discount price if I ever do decide to go to it.

I needed 8k more steps for my 50k step challenge, plus I needed to do a GPS tracked 5k walk for another challenge.

So .. I headed to the park. Brrr!! I foolishly wore my Keds instead of the slightly sturdier tennies. My Keds are starting to get really well worn. As in coming apart at the seams in places worn ...

I got the mileage/steps in with frozen feet and wet/dirty jeans legs.

Got home and changed into something dry and headed out again.

This time to Dollar Tree to stock up on frozen fruit. They were out of most of their other frozen vegetarian options - the freezer section was pretty decimated. $11 (Also got a battery for my smoke detector.)

Then on to Walmart - bananas, apples, PB powder*, Ragu sauce*, Amy's! Chinese Noodles!!, etc. $25
*Had iBotta rebates

On the way home I realized my gas was blinking. So I decided to go a little out of the way to the cheap station - $1.89/gallon - and also get a car wash!
My car hasn't been washed since .... ??????

$19.25 gas; 5.44 car wash (undercarriage+)

Had a weird interaction at the gas station. I pulled into a parking spot to make sure the car wash was operating (doors were closed on both sides.) When I came out this lady annoyedly says "Thank you." I'm like, huh? She tells me that she can't get into her vehicle. I wasn't parked outside the lines, in fact, I was parked fairly close to the line on the driver's side. Just weird.

---
Now I'm finishing up a dryer load of sheets and towels (my jeans are hanging dry.) It's been awhile since they've been washed ... I do laundry every Thursday when NE is here, but that's usually only clothes - and definitely not enough space for two pairs of jeans. So I've decided that the first weekend of each month is towels/sheets/jeans washing time!

Ok - off to get my clothes and then eat my surprise find of Amy's Chinese Noodles from Walmart. Big Grin

Happy New Year everyone!

Ten Days off! :D

November 21st, 2015 at 04:00 am

When 4:30 hit today I was SO SO happy. My boss isn't too excited about me being gone (she's going to have to do some of the things I usually do.)

From 4:30 today til 8:00 a.m. December 1 I will not have to answer the question of, "Where's the bus?"

Yahoo!!

---
I got my $15 Pinecone payment today, and yesterday cashed out for $10 from Pact. I'm still waiting for my $25 from Swagbucks (PayPal.)

---
I think I figured out why my sinus/allergy issues flared up badly again this week. My flonase was just about out! IOW I hadn't been getting any really good sprays.

Yesterday I opened a new one, and it worked wonders! (not that I got much more sleep ... but at least no horrible head splitting sinus headache at 3:30 a.m.!)

I am looking at that MyPurMist thing CB mentioned. Have to decide how to fund purchasing it if I decide to. I have more than enough in AGC, but really don't want to use those for that. But ... there is the AmEx deal of getting $15 back if you spend $60 on Amazon .. or the Chase thing of 10% back of what you spend. (Although AmEx is the better deal by far.) The AmEx deal is good through the end of December I think, so I have time to decide what to do.
---
NE and I have decided to do homemade pizza for our early Thanksgiving Sunday night. Since I already have the cheese, mushrooms, and cream cheese, he's going to buy the pizza kit and his hamburger (for his side of the pizza.)

My plane leaves at 7 a.m. Monday morning, and from what I'm hearing it's being suggested to be at the airport 2 hours early. So ... that means leaving here by 4 a.m. Yuck and double yuck. I can at least try to sleep on the plane though.

---
I haven't spent any money since Monday I think - except for gas on Thursday. $2.17/gallon ... not bad. Smile (Although I've heard in some places it's under $2/gallon!)

I only bought $15 worth since there's really only a few days left in November where I'll be driving my car. I sent the remainder of my gas category to my Remote Starter fund. Smile A whole $4.66. Yep, I'll get that sometime this century. ($350 needed.)

I am planning on buying some sweet potatoes this week. They are $.36/lb at Aldi's and one of the apps has a $.20 rebate on them. Smile

Ibotta has quite a few real food rebates for November. When I get back from CA I plan on a grocery trip to make use of them. Smile (Probably go to Walmart - have around $20 in gift card money between Savings Catcher, Bounts, etc.)

How September Went

October 1st, 2015 at 10:55 am

Sigh. Like I've mentioned before, September was SPENDY. I did manage to not spend anything except one grocery visit of $12 in the last 10 days of September. So yeah, all this spending happened in the first 21 days.

I logged in to the CU account this morning - the one I am supposed to be getting 2.5% interest ... $.44. Jaw drops. I KNOW I met the requirements. A message has been sent to customer service.

The main budget busters this month were groceries and vacation related categories. The whole mess with the apartment also sure didn't help. I had to take money from the slush fund to cover the hotel costs and other vacation expenses, so I WAM from any category that I could, including sadly, the EF. Frown

It would have been far worse though without some of the extra income that came in this month.

Next month WILL be better.

So without further ado, here is the not so pretty picture:

Spending
Tithe - 10%
Charitable - $60
Rent - $430
Gym - 41.73
Groceries - $345.19
Internet - $82.61
Gas - $21.68
Electricity - 52.21
Fuel - $23.49
Medical - 105.46
Kari - $104.20
Health - $15.71
Clothing - 73.65
Electronics - $10
Household Goods - 219.15 (cleaning, supplies)
Vacation - 420.96
Treats - $43.77
Restaraunts - 123.13
Misc. 4.35 (library late fee)
ROTH - normal contribution

Savings Categories:
EF - $0
Slush - -$153.56

Extra Income:
$10 Bing AGC
$100 AGC YouGov surveys
$75 PP Swagbucks
$200 - Bank bonus
$10 - Pact
$27.61 - Ibotta
$200 - Reimbursement from Mom

Decluttering and hanging shelves and shopping

September 13th, 2015 at 08:09 pm

So far today I:

*cleaned out litter boxes and refilled

*took out trash

*decluttered my kitchen drawers

*put together a box of books and other things that I had been planning on selling on eBay, but have just been sitting there for a year on a shelf ... and took that box plus stuff from the kitchen drawers to Goodwill

*cleaned out my car - found $1

*figured out how to hang the shelves I got a few weeks ago without buying a drill bit (like NE said I'd have to do) Hmph! Girl power!

*moved boxes from beside the back door to behind my bed

*moved suitcases from beside back door and put into my closet (this only made possible because of KonMari'ing my clothes a few weeks or so ago - otherwise would not have had the space in the closet!)

*attempted to put plate hangers on my two deco plates, but found out the hangers were TOO big! (plates I think are 8" and the hangers are for 10-14")

*Went to Walmart and spent way, way too much ...

but ... got two bathroom rugs to go under litter boxes
.... got a new shower curtain w/hooks that *I* like (not the drab brown the guy who lived here before had left)
... got a new hand towel and washcloth to spiffy the bathroom up
... a lot of other stuff (mostly groceries)

*got home and got everything scanned to my various apps ($3.70 Ibotta, $2.75 SavingStar, $.25 Shrink, $.25 Snap)

*got everything put away, and just finished a late lunch. Now am going to relax a bit until it's time for NE to come over (we're going out to a place called Pizza Ranch tonight - his treat!)

Smile

---
Yesterday I went for a 4.5 mile walk with some people from church. Overall, I got in over 14k steps!

I used the Charity Miles apps and earned $1.06 for a charity, and I also earned 40 bounts points - 20 for fitbit (14k steps) 10 for RunKeeper, and 10 for a weekend activity. I'm up to 590 bounts already. Sweet!



Now I just need to get my extra key to the cleaning lady so she can clean my place tomorrow.

July Accounting

August 2nd, 2015 at 02:02 am

Well, I updated my numbers for July. Groceries and treats were my problem areas. For August I have decided to increase my grocery budget to $150 for two reasons - 1. There are more grocery trip days; and 2. One of the reasons I think I went a bit overboard with the treats and grocery spending overall this month is because I kept looking in my fridge at dinner time, and nothing appealed. So, I'm giving myself the room to be a little more lenient with my groceries in order to not spend so much on the junk.

--
I did get a full refund from Airbnb for the money I paid for my reservation. So all of that is back into my Vacation funds.

---
Extra income included:
Swagbucks - $50
Pact - $16
Parking Garage - $33
Amex Cash bonus - $125
Interest - $8.36
---
Spending in areas other than fixed amounts:

Car Fees - 175 (registration/wheel tax)
Groceries - 145.91
Phone - 26.26
Internet - 67.61
Gas - 21.97
Electric - 37.88
Auto Fuel - 28.48
Medical - 40.64 (Allegra D)
Kari - 12.57

Clothing - 37.31 (two pairs of shoes - will be taking back one pair)

Toiletries - 7
Electronics - 19.45 (two android phones)

Household Goods - 20.45 (folding chair, off spray, paper towels)

iTunes - 6.41 (clothing app)
Treats - 42.70
Restaurants - 8.82
-------------------
Savings:
PT (Personal Trainer fund) - 60.15/350 (funded by extra earnings)
EF - 10% of net income + $68 = 8449.91/10,000
ROTH - $200

----
August will have car insurance (funded) and some spending from my vacation fund for a staycation.

I anticipate a good amount of extra income in August, due to overtime from my main job, and getting paid for the last parking garage shift. (I'm not scheduled for any in August yet.) That money will be split between PT, Vacation and EF funds.

I ADORE Dollar Tree!!

July 3rd, 2015 at 11:53 pm

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 Smile ) had mentioned awhile ago.

The first Dollar Tree I ventured into did not have anything other than ice cream. Frown 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 ...) Smile 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:
http://www.sears.com/i-love-comfort-women-s-mary-jane-girly-black/p-05487533000P?prdNo=22&blockNo=22&blockType=G22

---
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! Smile

--
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! Big Grin

Happenings at the Bus Station, More About the Adult Reading Prizes, etc.

June 6th, 2015 at 02:30 am

Today at work I was talking with the Office Manager about yet another frustration which occurred due to my not knowing about a detour. She suggested I talk to the transit manager about it, but should have an idea in mind to solve the issue. We talked a bit more, and then came up with the idea of using a Google spreadsheet like what we do for the Lost and Found items. That way detours, accidents, delays, etc., can be updated quickly by whoever hears it on the radio .. and I can then see them without my first knowledge being a phone call from a bus rider wondering where the bus is at!

So .. I did talk to the transit manager. He told me he had had a similar idea, and that he would be working on getting something put together. I really hope this does truly happen, because it would mean a lot less having to deal with one particular dispatcher ... I also pointed out to him that my being able to know this stuff would help to make our bus company look better. Smile

---
I already have two entries for the Summer Adult Reading Program. Smile The Life List - Lori Spielman and Two Testaments - Elizabeth Musser. Both very good books.

I was asked what some of the prizes were:
Weekly branch drawings - giftcards to various places
Booklover's Gift Bag - filled with goodies and a bookstore giftcard
Grand Prize - Booklover's Gift Bag and a Paperwhite Kindle

Ooo la la! Big Grin

----
Thursday spending: Nada Smile

Friday spending:
Gas - $25.xx
Groceries - Apples, cat food, cat litter, bread, Morningstar Corndogs, frozen veggies, frozen fruit, Apples, Bananas, treat -- $31.19 -- My ten things. Big Grin

---
I had someone ask me something strange on Thursday. An older man came to purchase a bus pass. As I was helping me he asked me what church I went to. I told him which church. He then told me that he'd thought I was a Pentecostal because I seem to like to wear long dresses/skirts and have long hair. Ha!

I told him that I just like to wear those kinds of things sometimes, and that I like long hair. (Although my hair is hardly what I consider "long" right now! He should've seen it before I cut it in September!!)

I just thought that was so funny. Most of the time I wear dress pants or on Friday's jeans, but once in awhile I'll wear a dress or a skirt. And yep, the ones I wear at work anyway are fairly long (my skirt was barely mid-shin on Thursday) - but there is a good reason for that! I never know what kind of bending, stretching, etc. I might have to do ... hence a skirt that only reaches my knees would just not do unless I want to put on a show for other people .. Smile

It's been a week, and it's only Wednesday ...

May 7th, 2015 at 03:40 am

Monday was one of those days you can be so glad to not have to repeat.

Work was awful. People calling in very crabby and impatient ... getting told that the cash was $19 off over a 4 day period last week (person who reconciles it was out sick for 4 days ..)

Then I go to the gas station to get gas. First pump doesn't have the cheap gas, so I cancel my card and go to a different pump. Put my card in, and my rewards card ($.42/gallon off) and it shows that I lost the $.42/gallon. I go inside ...by the time I get back to the pump my card has been canceled. I redo it, and my card is rejected. Am about ready to scream like a banshee.

Go inside again, guy runs my credit card and my rewards card. Both work! I fill up for $2.09/gallon.

Then I go to Walgreens to use my $50 cashback. What an ordeal it was to use that money! I'd tried over the weekend in store and online with no luck. Then Monday I decided to see if I could buy ink - of course they were out of the ink I needed. Finally did end up buying a huge thing of cough syrup and a huge container of extra strength pain meds, plus a few miscellaneous items.

--
Tuesday was ok at work. Had a different project to work on along with my usual. Balanced cash box myself to reassure myself. (Can I just say how I think the cash box is almost worse than the crabby callers?)

Came home just so tired and didn't accomplish anything.

I take that back ... I stopped at Goodwill and bought something I can use as a bean masher for my black bean burgers (it's actually a pastry cutter I think) and ... a 3rd chair for my dining table! (I didn't have any cash on me, and hated to charge just $.99 for the pastry cutter ... so was very happy to find a chair that worked for $6.99!)

Oh, I also voted in the city elections.

I also got $25 PayPal from Swagbucks
---
Wednesday was good at work. Was given another different project (after finishing the other one.) One that will be ongoing. Also got away from the office for the last 2 1/2 hours making a presentation to the public librarians - actually got up front and talked a little without totally losing it. Impressed myself.

Was heading out to the grocery store when I noticed a wet spot on the carpet. At first I was worried maybe Kari was being naughty ... but then after moving a chair I realized that the furnace was leaking ... Called my landlord and they'll send someone out in the morning to fix it and clean the carpet. (said something about something or other being blocked)

Tonight we're having heavy rain, lots of thunder and lightning and I've gotten an Emergency Alert on my phone about flash flooding. NE is out delivering tonight ...

---
I've been reading up a storm the last few weeks. Last week I read a series of 9 books by Marta Perry (Amish stories) and this week I've read around 4 or 5 various books. Instead of getting anything really done with my extra time (while NE is working 5 nights a week ... ) I seem to be spending most of that time reading. Smile

--
I better hit the ol' bed soon otherwise I'll be way tired tomorrow!

---
Sunday is NEs and I two year anniversary. Hard to believe it's been that long. A few weeks after that and it'll have been one year since I moved here to NE. Wow. (And I still haven't gotten the necessary stuff to put my front license plate on my car ... thankfully no cop has decided to pull me over )

This and That

April 8th, 2015 at 02:01 am

On Sunday I decided to not do a Sam's/Walmart run and instead just filled in with what I needed from the grocery store I could walk to. This was partly because I didn't feel like driving all the way out there, and partly because I thought they'd have my large rewards card ready.* (they didn't)

*I got two rewards cards from this grocery store - a keytag and a large card. I've misplaced the large card - which you have to have in order to use for gas savings. I went to customer service a week ago to ask for a large card (with my points) - they told me it'd be ready by Sunday. So I waited to fill up my car, and of course it wasn't ready. The lady I spoke with said something about them being months behind ... ugh!

I have 11cents/gallon savings currently on my card which I can't use. Frown

---
Monday I had a recheck on my Vitamin D levels. Got the call Monday afternoon letting me know my levels were in the normal range.

I don't know if it is because of this or not, but somehow I'm all of a sudden being able to actually lose weight! Even with eating fairly normally. And low activity level.

I'm down 14lbs from my high in January, and almost 2lbs down from my low when I was so sick a few weeks ago. Whatever the reason, I'm NOT complaining! Smile

--
I filled up at the gas station for $2.31/gallon (would've been $2.20/gallon if I could've used my card!) I don't forsee any major driving this month, so hopefully that will be it for April's gas.

--
After work today I went to the gym for the first time in over 2 weeks. I walked on the track for 30 minutes. I need to figure out a way to keep track of laps or distance - 1 lap is 1/16th of a mile. I didn't push myself too hard, but still felt like I got a good workout in.

Afterwards I stopped at Walgreen's and picked up my Vitamin D and some Easter candy (on sale.)

I have just over 1000 points to get my $50 cashback at Walgreen's. That's just two prescriptions, or a prescription plus a month's worth of walking/logging weight. So I'm starting to ponder what I'll get with my $50 ... Smile

---
Tomorrow I get to be away from the office most of the day. Smile My boss and I will be manning a booth at an event at the local university. It would be better if it wasn't going to be rainy and cold ... but still, it's a day away. Smile Plus I get to wear jeans. Smile

I wonder how much free junk ..er...stuff I'll walk away with from the event .. all the vendors give free stuff out - pens, notepads, cups, food, etc.

February Accounting

March 1st, 2015 at 02:28 am

I was waiting to make this post until I could know for sure whether my third $25 PP would deposit before March or not ... it didn't, so it'll go for March.

Extras:
NM tax refund - $87
NE tax refund - $142
Fed tax refund - $540
Swagbucks PP - $50
FB sale - $30
PerkPoints - $25 AGC
Pact - $16
Pinecone - $10

Total: $900

Expenses:
Tithe: 10%
Giving: $30
Rent: 430
Car Insurance: Pd 215 6 mo. premium, added 36
Groceries: 69.30
Internet: 64.96
House Gas: 39.36
Electricity: 44.53
Auto Fuel: 14.53
Restaurants: 39.24 (2 ff and Chinese buffet for two)
Kari - 22.66 (stocking up on food w/coupons)
Treats - 23.21 (before starting 40 day challenge)
Gifts - $12.13 (NEs Valentine's)
Tax Prep - $34.98
ROTH - $200
EF - 10% + $1,068

-------
So ... for this month it gives me an approximate 70% savings rate (I'm not including the car insurance payment in this calculation because it was previously accounted for in expenses only in monthly "installments")

My groceries category is way low this month mainly because I was eating the food I purchased in January from the store that went out of business, plus the frozen fruit I bought from Sam's in December managed to last til Friday (supplemented by two bags of ff I'd bought from closed store.)

I expect my grocery bill to be much higher for March, but that will be countered by no money spent on treats (until March 31 ...) Smile


--
March is going to be interesting. I'll not only have my 2.5% raise going into effect, but I'll also have the 7% retirement contribution be taken out AND I changed my deductions from 2 to 3. Of course that income won't factor in til April, but I'll at least get to see what it's gonna look like. Big Grin

--
After factoring in what I know I'm going to spend in March and estimiating some other expenses, my goal is to put $300 extra into my Efund in March. (above the 10% minimum)

However, there are some items I'm contemplating ...
Shoes - $20 x 2 (my work shoes are pretty much shot - I am planning on ordering two pairs so I have an extra pair on hand in case this style goes away before I need it again - good, comfortable dressy shoes .. worth their weight in gold.)

Kari supplies - ala Cat Whisperer - second litterbox with high sides ($12), one or two mechanical toys to help with boredom while I'm at work ($30-40), food puzzle ($10) automatic food dispenser ($50)

The litterbox and food puzzle are the only two items I'm sure I'm going to get, the others I'm still contemplating. I have roughly $90 in AGC, which would easily cover what I want, plus some. I'm also hoping my reward from Achievemint will arrive soon ($100 visa gift card)

Gym - $39/month ... I won't have a chance to check it out this weekend, but I plan to next Sunday. I also want to see how my paycheck pans out for March to see if I'll feel comfortable deducting $39 from it ...

Fitbit upgrade ... I love my Zip, but the cheap batteries I got from eBay don't last more than a month or two. They were 5 for $2. To get a battery that lasts 4-6 months, it'd be $10+. So ... I'm thinking about upgrading to the next level where you don't have to have a battery - you charge it via usb cord. This would be approximately $100, although I saw a mention on YNAB forums today of someone seeing it at Walmart for $29!! If I see it for that, I'm grabbing it, no question!

January Spending Recap

February 2nd, 2015 at 12:06 am

January up til the last week or so looked like it was going to be under control ... sigh. I will do better this month.

Tithe: 130
Giving (other) 70 (hadn't put it towards anything for a few months)

Rent: 430
Natural Gas: 36.97
Electric: 37.97
Auto Fuel: 15.48
Internet: 65.60 Sigh...
Groceries: 256.xx Huge sigh (a lot of this was from a local store closing ... at least $120 worth)
Restaurants: $16.64 *hardee's twice*
clothing: $4 (washing clothes/ drying)
Kari - $3.61 (canned food)
Toiletries: $6.49 (hairspray and deodorant)
Treats: 36.13 (I think the number is higher than this .. I just didn't track as carefully out from groceries the whole month.)
Beauty - $25 groupon for highlights/cut for future
Tax Prep: 34.98 (federal + two state efiled)

Savings:
EF: 471.91
ROTH: 200

Extra Income:
Swagbucks: $50 PayPal
PerkTV: $25 AGC
Pact: $17
Pinecone: $5
eBay: roughly $16 after fees/shipping

Will be coming -- $100 Visa ecard from Achievemint (cashed in about two or three weeks ago.)

Twenty Minutes to DeSnow the Car!

February 1st, 2015 at 10:19 pm

When I went to bed Saturday night I knew it had been snowing a good part of the day - but it mostly hadn't stuck. Apparently it snowed all night.

This afternoon I went out to go to Sam's Club and Walmart and it took me at least 20 minutes to clear my car off enough so I could see out the windows. That was not even removing the ice - that I had to wait another ten minutes for because my hand was frozen.

The roads were pretty slick. Getting on to the road towards Sam's, there was a semi-truck stuck trying to turn right on the other side of the road. It still was there an hour later on my way home! There were stuck cars all over the place on the side of the road.

I made it out to Walmart with only a little slip and slide at the traffic lights. Of course I didn't write my list down, so I forgot to get the PB2 at Walmart - Sams of course didn't have it. Gas was $1.85 at Sam's, which was only a few cents cheaper than the corner station here.

Walmart - $28.xx (cat food, Fage - coupons for both, 5lb frozen veggies, bananas, etc)
Sam's - $13.28 cat food for NE (he'll pay me back- put on Discover card towards the 1k spending)
Sam's Gas - $14.48 (Discover card)

I now have a load of laundry in the dryer. I need to empty the dishwasher. I'd planned on walking over to my landlord's to deliver the rent check today ... but yeah, no. I'll take it over after work tomorrow - hopefully the roads will be more clear.

I can just guess how many times I'm going to hear the phrase "I'm freezing out here! When's the bus coming?" tomorrow .... Or my favorite - Tell me EXACTLY when the bus will be here ...

First Spending day of 2015!

January 5th, 2015 at 12:32 am

We got a good bit of snow last night (Saturday) so I wasn't really sure I wanted to go out shopping today or not. However, once I got out on the roads around 4pm they were all fairly clear.

If you would like to see a more detailed breakdown of my grocery trip, go to this link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11GJKzDizNZEKsSYZIS4CgdhNBmVXf2dqXIMyU19VHfE/edit#gid=0

I set out with the goal of not purchasing more than ten items. And I did it! (with one caveat - I made one purchase for NE which he'll reimburse me for later - he ended up not coming with me.)

The total of the ten items I purchased for myself is roughly $56.46. Of that, two items were not grocery category items.

So grocery spending today: ~$51.20
Spending Money - ~$1.28
Toiletries - ~$3.43

I also filled up with gas at Sam's for $1.93!!!
Total - $15.58 for 8.037 gallons.

---
I did laundry, dishes, cleaned the kitchen, did a trash run, and got my lunch ready for tomorrow. Smile

I've also watched the first part of Labor Day ... wow, so not what I was expecting. I'm anxious to finish it. Smile

---
I also posted a couple new items on eBay as well as relisting some.

When I got home from shopping though I had an awesome email from eBay -- I sold a DVD for the BIN price! $6.99. I've already got it packaged up ready to go tomorrow.

---
NE will be coming over in a bit, so I'm going to enter my receipts into YNAB and then maybe read a bit on the forums - hopefully not getting lost in a rabbit hole like I did last night ... Smile

OH! I forgot. I also did 30 minutes of stepping while watching Labor Day today. Smile (I have a step I got from freecycle years ago.)

---
Next time I go shopping I'm going to make sure I eat something before I go, even if I'm not really hungry. I got so hungry while shopping that I got a Payday bar - technically not chocolate. Smile But still kind of stretching it a bit.

Happy New Year! Dec Spending/Jan Budget, etc. :)

January 1st, 2015 at 06:01 pm

Happy New Year everyone!

NE and I had a relaxing evening at my place. He picked up a pizza for us, and we had the final two slices of Rum cake. We also watched part of Armageddon - we didn't finish it because after stopping it to ring in midnight, we both realized we were ready to call it a night. Smile

----
So ... December spending.

I'll just highlight the non-fixed categories -

Spending:

Phone: 202.76 (Pro-rated December bill from ATT and final ETF bill)

Groceries - $148 out of $150

Auto Fuel: $23.51 (budgeted $30)

Spending Money: 90.80 Frown (lots of room for improvement here - this is money spent on unnecessary food mainly and replacing a PO box key)

Restaurants - $15.81 (fast food - came from budgeted spending money)

Clothing - $3.20

Household goods: $21.17 (two chairs from goodwill, bundt cake pan, etc)

Kari - 22.70 - cat food, litter (bought several bags on sale with coupon)

Savings

Snowflakes and Windfalls! $279.35 (Swagbucks, Pinecone, GymPact, Class Action suit, Christmas money, etc.) This money was distributed to my other savings goals in my January budget.

EF: 200
Car Replacement/Repair: 200
Vacation: 150
ROTH: 200
Electronics: 79.77 (spent 5.30 on a new charging cable)


----
Other:
Received $50 in AGC from Swagbucks and PerkTv (not included in Windfalls amount)

Had a previous balance of $27

Spent: $26.37 on pea protein powder for morning smoothies and $1.99 on an ebook.
--------
January Budget
Tithe: 125
Giving: 25
Rent: 430
Phone: 0 (covered by Ting credit)
Internet: 65.60
Electricity: 40
Natural Gas: 45
Groceries: 150
Auto Fuel: 30
Spending Money: 95.80 (20 budgeted plus 20% December Windfall money)
Medical: 25
Kari: 30
Car Insurance: 45 (I think my 6 month premium is due in January)
Life Insurance: 16
EF: 150
Car Replace/Repair: 75
Vacation: 151.60 (budgeted plus windfall)
ROTH: 200
Electronics: 40
House: 163.67 (budgeted plus windfall)

----
Per Patient Saver's Weight Loss Challenge ...

I plan to lose 15lbs by March 31. That averages out to about 1lb per week.

My plan is: Reducing my junkfood intake by only purchasing it one time per month.

Getting at least ten minutes of movement everyday outside of any other normal exercise.

Joining the weekly exercise class at my church starting on Jan 11 ($20 for 10 weeks)

Being more careful about logging what I *really* am eating on MFP.

Checking in here at SA once a week with my progress report.




Shopping Today

December 7th, 2014 at 09:11 pm

I got back a bit ago from my shopping excursion.

On the way to Walmart I stopped at Family Dollar and picked up:
phone charging cord ($5) and a bottle of flavored water ($.85)

Electronics: $5
Spending Money: $.85

Then I stopped by the PO. It looks like my mailbox keys for the PO came off my key chain while they were missing. I'll have to see if I can make it over there tomorrow before 5 to see about getting replacements. Ugh.

Next I got to Walmart.

I got everything on my list, plus a few other things (of course) Smile

Sweet potatoes - 2.3lbs for $1.50
Carrots - $1.98 (16oz)
Pumpkin Puree - 1.43
eggs (1 doz) - 1.98
PB2 Powder (pb aisle) 4.68
Welches Strawberry Jelly (no HFCS) 2.98
2 Rice Dream milks 2.24 each (-$2 cpns)
small bag kitkats - 1.28 (spending money)
Smart Balance butter w/flaxseed - 2.98
Wild Roots Flaxseed (2lb bag) - 3.50
Snappeas Ceasar (2) 1.50 (-$1 coupons) (spending money)
Fage Greek Yogurt large cont. - $3.47
3lb frozen fruit - 9.28
Frozen Mixed veggies 5lb - 5.98
frozen papaya 2lb - 5.98
1.69 lb bananas - $.61
Purina Beyond Grain Free 3lb -9.67 ($3 cpn)
Tyd Bowl cleaner - .97
Clorox Bowl fresh - 1.97
2 items I'm not sure what they are - 7.38

Total - 74.79 before coupons
After coupons and tax - $68.16

Kari - 9.97 - 3 = 6.67
Spending Money - 4.28 - 1 cpn = 3.28
Groceries - 58.21

---
Then I went over to Sam's Club and got gas

2.61/gallon - spent $23.41 to fill up

Auto fuel - $23.41

---
finally I hit up the local health food store for pumpkin seeds. They have a $5 min for credit cards ...

So, 1 lb pumpkin seeds - $6.31 (will last a LONG time)

Groceries: 6.31 + 58.21 = 64.52

-----
And that should conclude my spending for this week. Smile

Got my Sprint iPhone 5S from Glyde

November 1st, 2014 at 07:38 pm

My phone arrived in the mail on Friday. I got it out of the mailbox and then headed out to Sam's Club.

At Sam's I was planning on using my voucher to get my one-year membership plus freebies - but they said I had to have a printed voucher - not a mobile one! Ugh!
They did however give me a temporary one day shopping card.

So I purchased an Otterbox cover ($30) and an extra charger cord ($14) to use in my car. I also picked up toilet paper, quinoa, frozen fruit, cat litter and a few other things - to the tune of $100 total.

When I got home I opened up the box with my phone and realized it needed to be charged - it was 100% dead. So I waited while it charged ... 30 minutes later I realized it did not have a SIM card!

I called Ting's customer service and found out that iPhone 5 and up had to have a SIM card. News to me. So I tried to purchase one on the Ting site for $9 - but couldn't because my previous account had been closed.

Call Ting again - they reopen my account (send me a code to my email to tell them) and I am able to purchase a SIM card - $4 shipping. It's guaranteed to be here in ten business days, but most likely will be here much sooner (could've gone with the $14 shipping method and had it here Monday. Not that desperate.)

I have my new phone all set up and ready to go - once I have the SIM card I'll be able to activate it and make sure it works well in my apartment. Once I know that for sure, then I'll be calling ATT and letting them know it is the end for us. Smile (and porting my number)

I ordered a couple more charging cords for the 5S so I can charge my phone at work if needed or by my bed at night. Only $4 each.

Oh, after I started playing with my phone, I realized I'd gotten a 32GB one! I thought I was getting a 16 GB! So cool! Smile

I need to order a new charging cord to go with my 4S in order to sell it on Glyde - the one I use now is ... um... frayed to say the least.

I have a $50 credit on my Ting account from somebody using my referral link, so that will cover the SIM card and probably the first month's phone bill.

I am truly looking forward to seeing my phone bills go down to $30/month or less. (Currently pay $75/month)

It may take awhile for me to break even (not sure what my ETF is going to be) but eventually it will be a money saver.

---
I'm going to do a separate post on my budget, since this one got so long.

===
I did just want to say that I was shocked at Sam's Club gas prices - $3.35/gallon!! I hope I just misread it, because that is at least $.36/gallon more than any of the local gas stations here. Kind of defeats one of the supposed benefits of a club membership.

Quite the Adventure

October 31st, 2014 at 07:54 pm

So Thursday night around 6:15 I get a call from NE. He had gone to Kansas City, MO to pick up some electronics for his eBay business. Before he got to where he was going, his car broke down! Not only that though - as he tried messing with it, he majorly wrenched his bad shoulder and also landed on his back very hard.

So there was no question in my mind but that I had to go get him. (He didn't ask, but I know that is what he was hoping I would do.)

I called my boss K and told her that I might be a little late to work because of a short night. After she heard why, she told me that if I needed to, I could use one of my PCH days even though I wasn't arranging it a day ahead of time. I am SO glad she was willing to let me do that.

I managed to find NE about 9:30 - about the same time the tow truck driver arrived. He was in *such* pain. Frown He got in my car and we followed the tow truck over to the nearest Wal-mart. I was kind of baffled at why we were taking it to a Wal-mart - I was pretty sure all they did was oil changes/batteries and tires.

Turned out I was right. Just after the car was unloaded, a police officer drove by and let us know that Wal-mart wouldn't be able to do anything for his car. Thankfully the tow truck driver didn't charge to rehook the car.

I found a car garage nearby and we took the car there. (about 4 miles) In all, it cost about $120 for hooking the car up and towing. Ouch.

By the time we had dropped the key and note in the garage drop box and was ready to head out, it was nearly 11:30.

I was totally beat, but managed to drive back. NE needed some stuff from the store, so we stopped in there, and then I dropped him off at home. It was about 2:43 a.m. by the time I walked in my door.

I used up a full tank of gas plus more - need to fill up again.

NE was supposed to work tonight and tomorrow night - but with his arm the way it is, there is no way. He doesn't have health insurance which is why he's just basically lived with a bad shoulder for five+ years. He told me last night that his arm pain was worse than the pain he was in after a car accident about six years ago.

This definitely was not how I planned on using one of my two PCH days, however I am sure glad I had it available and had such an understanding boss! If I would have tried going in to work today, I would have been pretty beat.

---
I got an email that my $9 payment from Pinecone came through just fine to my PayPal account, and I also have the $90.xx echeck from Bubblews in my PayPal account.

Today I cashed out for another $55.xx from Bubblews. I'm going to take a break from Bubblews until at least December while I work on my NaNoWriMo project. Hopefully I won't lose all my connections.

How My 60 Day Challenge is Going, etc

September 27th, 2014 at 07:19 pm

So I'm now five full days into my no eating out challenge. And the news is ... I have been successful at it so far! Smile The really interesting thing though is that other than needing to buy bananas on Wednesday, I have managed to do it with just food I already had on hand.

On Friday I picked up a couple quick/easy/fast vegetarian cookbooks that I plan to look over and pick out a few things from for this week. Then I'll be making my meal plan and doing whatever shopping needs to be done.

I think I have saved at least $30 this week from not eating out or stopping somewhere for a soda/candy/etc. Probably more. It was getting pretty bad. (Especially since when I would stop in for a soda/candy, etc. I would get something else so it wouldn't look like I only came in there for the junk ...)

---
I had an interesting Friday night with NE - towed my first car! You can read more about it here if you want to: http://www.bubblews.com/news/8128150-friday-night-towing-adv...

We also had an interesting situation happen here with regards to tailgating last Saturday - I've been hearing some sirens today, and am hoping it is not part of the fallout; http://www.bubblews.com/news/8078503-tailgating-woes

I have now been at my new job for 8 weeks. Most of the time I really like it. I definitely like my boss K. She is such a fun person to work with. I've had the office manager C tell me she's really glad I'm there - that I have such a good attitude. Smile This definitely is not something I want to do for 25 years, but if it is what makes it possible to retire in 10 - 15 years, I think I can handle it. Smile

Oh, I was wondering if anyone has tried Bing Rewards today. What do you think? {url]http://www.bubblews.com/news/8130036-what039s-happened-to-bing[/url]

My first sewing class is on Tuesday! A needle and thread will be on my shopping list tomorrow. Smile

What is the price of gas where you guys are? I was reading about how prices are expected to fall below $3! It's around $3.20 here right now. Do you think they'll really fall that low?

Pickle Update and etc.

February 1st, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Well I finally called the company that is not named today Smile and ... was told that I need to keep looking for the box with the scanner for the next two weeks, and if I don't find it, call back on the 17th and they'll mark it as a "lost asset." I will not be held liable for it!Here I've been stressing about it for *months* and it was as simple as this. Ugh!

Thanks everyone for your advice/suggestions/commiseration. Smile

----
I got my January Internet bill on Thursday. It was almost double the normal bill - so that means that whatever promotion I was under is over again. I was going to call them today, but they're only open M-F, so will have to call them on Monday. Hopefully I can get it lowered by quite a bit. (Especially considering how slow/spotty the service can be sometimes!!)

--
NE was here visiting this past week. I used the third of my four personal days to be able to spend a whole day with him. I'll be using the last personal day near the end of this month to go out there to NE. Smile Feb 10 will make 9 months! We went out to eat Thursday night, and I managed to forget to bring my purse! Luckily he had his wallet, so he paid (and luckily I didn't get pulled over - no driver's license!) We have the agreement that whoever is "hosting" the other generally drives and pays for meals/entertainment. (I paid him back when we got back home.) He drove home through the Denver area so he could purchase some stereo equipment (he resells on Ebay) - as he was walking out the guys door, he missed a step and fell. Frown Luckily, his pride was the most damaged in the fall.

I can hardly wait til the end of May when we will no longer have to make a huge trip to see each other!!

---
Speaking of the move .. NE accessed the stuff that I plan on moving with me (I'm planning on donating my elliptical and probably my computer desk/hutch .. and debating about my stereo system.) He thinks that I should be able to fit everything in to one of the larger rental trailers along with our two vehicles. I *think* that even with adding in gas costs for two vehicles, this would work out somewhat cheaper than renting the small truck and car dolly.

---
I was going to fax my cover letter and resume on Friday for that tech job in NE - but got way busy during the day, and then after school I helped the 3rd grade teacher select photos for the Americ@orps conference she and the first grade teacher are going to in a few weeks (the same one I went to last year.) By the time we were finished, the office was locked up (where the fax machine is.) So .. will do it on Monday - have everything printed out and ready to go (including a cover sheet.)

---
Getting gas on Friday evening in big G was a nightmare! My tank was on the last flashing button so I HAD to get some, otherwise I would've driven off and done it later. I pull up and there is a sign on all the pumps saying that they were out of regular fuel, but that the mid-level fuel was the same price. So just as I'm about to swipe my card, someone comes out and takes off the sign and says they have regular fuel again. Okay... I swipe my card and am about to remove the pump, when I get the message the transaction was cancelled. Huh? I hadn't even typed in my zipcode - and I knew the card was good - had just used it at Walmart. So, I tried it a second time. It was canceled again, and given the message to see cashier. I went inside, and there was a line of 20+ people! Finally I get up there and ask for $35 on my pump. Go pump, and it comes out to $32.01 - am told to go inside for refund. UGH! 20+ people again in line. Finally get my refund.

A transaction that should have taken maybe 5 minutes tops, ended up taking over 20 minutes -- all with frozen groceries in the car. At least I wont' have to fill up again for awhile.

---
I recently downloaded a new app (new to me at least) called Receipt Hog. You take a picture of your receipt and earn coins which eventually you can redeem for gift cards or Paypal cash. So far it seems to work pretty well, and an added bonus is that you have a digital record of your receipts. You get bonuses for referrals, but I think the only way to get referrals is via FB/Twitter or email. Too bad they don't just have a link I could place on my sidebar. Smile

---
Another new app I *just* downloaded last night is Achievemint! I've been using the website for the past year, but they just recently came out with an app. I've earned almost $40 from it just from connecting GymPact, Fitbit, Monitor Your Weight and My Fitness Pal. Now with the app, I am able to set up "habits" which correspond with the apps I already have connected and earn even more points! I'll be cashing out when I get to $50 (which shouldn't be too much longer at the rate I'm earning points now!)

About GymPact - I can't remember if I mentioned it or not - but they have expanded the ways you can earn money. It's made it so I've been able to cash out for $10 TWICE since December. They added connectivity to My Fitness Pal - you can bet how many days you'll log your calories and then get paid for it (if you make your bet.) You also can bet how many servings of fruit/veggies you'll eat in the week (up to 35) - take a picture of what you eat, and the community votes on whether it's acceptable or not. (They have renamed themselves just Pact, but I think you still can find it searching gympact.) New users might still be able to get a $5 starting code (was MFP, but I'm not sure when that one expires.)

---
I have three months left to be able to do ten regular pushups -- or pay NE $100. Um .... I still can't do one regular pushup. Part of the problem is that I haven't been terribly consistent doing my pushup workout routine .. really need to get on that. Smile

As for diet@bet -- I have a *small* possibility that I may be able to win Round 3. I'm within 1 - 2 lbs of my round 3 goal weight - Feb 5 or 6 is weigh in day. I think I'll definitely make it for the Round 4 weigh in (March 5/6) and 100% sure I'll get the final weigh in (May 5/6.) I've had several people who did not know I was working on losing weight recently comment that I looked like I'd been losing weight. Big Grin (About 23 lbs lost since September.) My Lane Bryant corduroys that I got on clearance for $5 years ago are getting to the point where I need a belt to hold them up (well, they stay up fine, just kind of ride down to where if I don't have a long top on and raise my arms .... belly button assault.)

---
I cashed out about a week ago for 500 SBs from Bing - I'm going to use the code probably on Monday so I don't have to worry about making the goals that day. Although it might be better to save it for the birthday bash day, since the goal that day will probably be pretty high and be time consuming to reach. Hmmm..

---
I think I've got most of the tax documents I need now. I plan on finishing my taxes this weekend. I'd forgotten about the money from summer school - so I'm not sure how that will affect my refund - I *think* I'll still be under the tax saver's credit limit (so I'll still get a credit for putting money in my ROTH.) I'll also be able to do my state taxes, so I can find out what kind of refund I'll get from that. Smile Whatever refund I get will be going to the Moving/NE fund. If I get that tech job, it'll make the move SO much simpler - (i.e. renting an apartment with a contract in hand is much easier than trying to rent an apartment without a job already ... plus since it's a Catholic school, they hopefully would be on the same salary schedule - so I might only have to go for July without a paycheck. Oh, I also checked out the salary schedule in that town for Catholic school teachers ... Big Grin Big Grin the *starting* salary is a good $10k more than I make right now - assuming that's for people with only a degree and no experience.)

Coupons I Can't Use + fitbit update

December 13th, 2013 at 05:06 am

So I was going through my emails in my hotmail account where I have all my MyPoints mail sent. In amoungst the MP emails there were about 7 emails from various restaurants for free food - a number of years ago I'd joined a bunch of birthday clubs. Of course they were all places located in the DFW metroplex area, none of which are less than 90 miles from where I am now (the closest one is Schlotsky's (sp?) ) I really would love to go to Blue Mesa again, or to Cheesecake Factory or .... Oh well, that's the choice I made by coming here.

--
My fitbit was giving me fits yesterday - not counting correctly at all. So today I sent an email to customer service. They replied promptly and told me that my fitbit is defective and I could either return it to Walgreen's, or send them my receipt and they'd replace it. So I headed off to Walgreen's after work today and they exchanged it with no hassle! So I now have a beautifully working fitbit.

I currently have it connected to Walgreen's Balance Rewards, My Fitness Pal, GymPact, Achievemint and something else too I think.

I got in almost 5k steps today ... and that was *after* getting the new one.

---
I got approved for the Judy Freeman seminar in February!! This will be my third year going. It makes for a nice little mini-vacation. I stay in this fancy hotel the night before, eat breakfast for free at their buffet with a made to order omlette, go to the seminar and eat lunch out (reimbursed) and then head on home again. Smile I wish the per diem was a flat rate and you didn't have to prove you spent however much on food ... but still, it makes a great paid for mini-vacation. Big Grin (plus getting to see all the great new books for kids!)

---
I made $6 with Pinecone this week, and am within a few days of cashing out for a $5 AGC from irazoo again (thanks to their coupon deal - 60 pts a day!)

---
I had to fill up with gas today - $30.59 for 10.xx gallons ($2.595/gallon)

I also spent $60 at Albertson's. Not all of it was food (I bought a bottle that will be good for shaking protein drinks in.) I found these individual vegetarian split pea soup bowls - 220 calories, 24gr protein!! $1.29 each. I bought all 5 they had on the shelf ... That's one thing I'm trying to up - my protein intake. So that is almost pure protein calories! (a vegetarian source of it too!)

Saved Some, Spent Some

November 3rd, 2013 at 09:28 pm

On Friday I printed off 5 coupons from Swagbucks - 2 for $2 off Lindt chocolate, 2 for $1 off Rice Dream and a $.50 Crest coupon. I didn't get into town until Saturday.

So after church I stopped by the library to pick up some additional books on spiders (2nd and 3rd are doing spider research.) Then I stopped at Albertson's (usually shop at Walmart, but Albertson's is right next to Walgreen's, which was my final stop.) Albertson's had Rice Dream on sale 2 for $5, and Lindt bars 2 for $5. Crest was also on sale. Sweet! Going in I had no idea of the sales - I just lucked out. Smile The $1 (after coupons) isn't really saved money, because I didn't *need* Lindt ... but it sure was nice. Smile The other coupons though were for things I needed/use, so are a definite savings.

Oh, I did stop at Taco Bell, so broke my streak of no fast food. I think it's my last time stopping there though. So frustrating. First, they raised the price of the 7 layer burrito to $2.99. Second, what happens too many times happened again -- I asked for NO guacomole or tomatoes. Guess what my burrito had? Ugh.

I spent $16 at the grocery store, $6.37 at Taco Bell, and $24.xx at Walgreen's (prescription.)

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I was down to my last bar of gas on Friday, so I filled up in T for $3.23. ($32.47). I was really annoyed when I got into G on Saturday because I saw gas as low as $2.94!! I really should have just gotten a gallon in T - enough to get me into G and around. Will do that if it happens again.

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So if you remember, I started a diet **bet about a month ago - betting that I'd lose 4% of my starting weight. Well, that didn't happen, but I did lose about 3%. I also saved a bunch of money on not buying as much junk as I had been starting to do, AND am almost ready to cashout again on GymPact, and am *really* close to cashing out on Achievemint. So, even though I'm out the $20 of the bet, I think I more than made up for it in other savings.

Well, I'm about to start another diet***bet - this one though lasts for six months. The goal is to lose 10% of your starting weight by month five, and then maintain it for a month. You can either do $25/month * 6, or pay $125 up front and get one month free. I went ahead and did the $125 up front, plus paid $20 for "weigh-in tokens" which makes it so you can compete for weekly/monthly prizes. I think I'm much more likely to be successful at a more long-term bet than trying to lose 4% in one month.

As of now, I'm back on NOT eating at fast food places, and limiting junk food purchases to one item a week. This will both save me money, and save me calories. I downloaded two apps which I think will also be helpful - My Fitness Pal (free), and a Couch to 5k program ($.99.) I'm probably going to repeat each week of the the 5k program 3 times to really take it slowly.

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We are supposed to get a snowstorm here on Tuesday - no idea if it's going to be enough to cause a snow day. That would be nice if it did though. Smile Then we'd have two 4 day weeks in a row. (Veteran's Day)

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I signed up for Bing Rewards - mainly because I wanted to earn free months of Hulu+ so I could watch Once Upon a Time. But then I've since figured out that you can already watch OUAT for free on Hulu. Then today I discovered that you can redeem your Bing points for Amazon cards! If you're not already a Bing Rewards member and would like to do it, please consider letting using my referral link (check sidebar links) - I get 50 credits once you reach Silver level. I use the AGCs to buy books and other supplies for the school library I work at. (In fact, I am probably going to need to purchase some headphones for the computer lab very soon - ours are breaking rapidly or going missing - am thinking of getting the kind like you have for iPhones so they'll have a built in microphone.)

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Ugh. I was going to cancel Amazon Prime and Netflix. Unfortunately I didn't set reminders to do that, and just remembered I was going to do that ... Checked - and they both already renewed. $79 for Amazon and $8.53 for Netflix. I haven't really been using Netflix much lately, so thought I'd cancel it for awhile. Amazon Prime is nice, but too much at $79 (I had a Student Prime account the past 4 years, but since I'm not taking classes this year ...)

Six days :) A Bet and other spending

October 5th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Only six days til I leave on a jet plane for a quick NE trip. Smile Here's hoping it won't snow this coming weekend!

I have decided to not get a hotel room Thursday night. It's the time of the balloon festival, and hotel rooms are NOT cheap (when available!)

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So I've been trying to figure out how to get myself remotivated to exercise and eat better (and cut out the fast food / cut back on junk food.) On Monday I came across this website called diet bet. Essentially you make a bet (anywhere from $10++) that you will lose 4% of your starting weight in 28 days. I decided to join one of the groups - the start date was Friday, and the end date is Nov 2. My bet was $20. I figured that whether or not I lose the 4% and get my money back (and possibly more - the pot is almost at $20k now!) I'll still save at least that much by not buying so much junk food and not eating at fast food places. So, either way, it's a win-win. Smile

So far I've been doing pretty well! I'm making money also through GymPact and am only 5k points away from my first $25 check from Achievement.

The big test will be this weekend - leaving early Friday morning for the airport, then spending the day with NE - he wants to eat at this mom and pop diner on the way to his house. Then Saturday night I'll be riding with him all night on his delivery shifts - so, that will probably mean stops at fast food places ..

I'm thinking of bringing along some bags of baby carrots and almonds to snack on - any other ideas of things that are non-meat and not too processed that would travel well?

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Other spending this last week:

Toll charges from summer NE trip: $17.40
Renewed professional memberships: $150
Groceries - $6.61 local shop; $40 - Walmart
Health - Bet - $20; Pilates equipment - $20
Gas ($3.07!!!) - $32
Misc. - $5 (bought a cupcake from a little girl peddling them - threw it away after she was gone. I only had a $5 ...)

Upcoming spending:
$65 - doctor (Must get by there this week!!)
??? - NE weekend
$10 - cupcakes for cakewalk
$5 - candy for Halloween party (debating about going this year...)

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I cashed in SBs for my 5 $5 AGC's. I almost have enough for November's 5 5's (definitely will once the monthly bonuses credit and my SBs from the credit card.)

I have a Pinecone survey to complete today, so that will be another $3 fairly soon.

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I have been updating YNAB *every* time I make a transaction. Hopefully I'll keep this up!

Home!

July 22nd, 2013 at 05:15 am

What a summer it has been. Summer school, CA trip, and finally a long sojourn in NE. Now about three weeks til the first day to report back to work.

I have so much to catch up on, I'm not really even sure where to begin.

Finances - Oh boy. I really am not sure how much I spent between CA and NE, but to put it mildly ... it was way too much. Gas and lodging I have hard numbers for the NE trip -gas $237.xx; 2 hotel stays - $105.xx. I averaged 35.8 mpg (that's including around town driving in the average - otherwise it would probably be closer to 37mpg.)

I went a little nuts with the close proximity of fast food places and other shopping places. Seriously, a little nuts. NE treated for most of the meals we ate together - but that was just one meal a day. I bought groceries for myself to supplement, and ... the fast food ... Less than a block from his apartment - McDonald's (smoothie anyone???) and Pizza Hut (personal pan pizza???) Amazingly I seem to have only gained a pound (maybe it was due to all the walking I did as well?)

Then of course there was the Adventist Book Center (or ABC as Adventists know it.) I restrained myself on books (only 2! both on sale) but the veggie foods?? Total spent $71. I also checked out a Goodwill store and came away with 20+ books for the library (one, a brand new hardcover 2006 Guinness World Record book!!! Score!!) as well as a few other items (such as a pretty casserole dish, a pannini maker and a glass container for NEs change.) All for ... $28.xx!! (less than the cost of the WR book alone brand new!) I also went to the mall ... it was SO hot ... and I wanted to see if my gym pact anywhere function really worked ... It did. I also managed to spend money at JC Penny's (super clearance sale!) and then at Dress Barn (lace skirt/white blouse for $30.)

I messed up with one of my credit cards. I thought I had them all on auto pay full bill - but I left one out. Ooops. Thankfully when I got the notice that my payment was late, I was able to call them and get the finance charge and late payment fee dismissed. Thanks to my history of no late payments and always paying in full. Smile
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As I mentioned, I did a lot of walking. NEs place is less than 3/4 of a mile from Wilderness Park. There are some really fantastic walking/biking trails there. Most nights when NE was working, I did 3 - 5 mile walks (usually 4 miles.) It was SO beautiful! (and HOT!)

Other things NE and I did together - spent a lot of time at various area lakes with him showing me some of his favorite fishing spots as he was growing up. We also went out to Tuttle Creek where he caught a lizard, took a picture of it, and then let it go. We saw Man of Steel - loved it! Went out to eat at a lot of fast food places - mostly that are only NE/Lincoln places (Runza, Gregs, Tastee's --- all for Cheese Frenchies! Yum!!) I ate more fried foods in the three weeks I was there than I usually do in a year! We did eat at a few sit-down restaurants - IHOP, Olive Garden and a local place Beacon Hill Bar and Grill. I treated for IHOP.

NEs aunt died while I was still out in CA, and the TN family held the memorial service for her without inviting NE or his sister ... so we didn't do any big road trips.

Kari and the five cats ... Kari eventually settled down enough to where she was comfortable being out and about in the apartment -but not without hissing and batting at the other cats. The five cats just kind of tolerated her I think... Kari knocked down a 5 gallon aquarium (empty thankfully!) which shattered all over the place. She also took a great liking to a pair of expensive speakers as a scratching post ... Ugh. I hope when NE comes here to visit, that he and Kari will be able to like each other without the other 5 cats running over every time .. NE just barely got to the point of being able to touch her without being hissed at.

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I attempted to hook my computer up to NEs modem, but could not get it to work. Until tonight I was slightly worried that I had jostled the modem or something in it during the trip to NE - but it is working perfectly. So, I was pretty much without a computer (although NE did let me use his laptop .. I didn't do too much on it because of its small size.) I really did not accomplish much at all - other than reading several books, watching stuff on Hulu and Netflix (and getting a warning notice from aTT that I'd gone over the 3 GB limit and my service will be slow next month ... ummmm thought I had unlimited data??) I forgot some books I needed to do stuff for my elective classes (from the six=month class.) Still, all in all, I kept pretty busy/occupied while NE was at work.

I am happy that I went. The time there definitely helped me see some things more clearly, and see some things that need to be addressed. He really tried to be thoughtful and do things he thought I would like. One thing that was clear is that I won't have to worry about him complaining about my housekeeping ... Smile We did a lot of talking about different things - from current events, past events, views on issues, to possible future scenarios. It was definitely a good thing.

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So ... in other news... my great Uncle (my grandma's sister's husband) died this past week. I wasn't close to him or anything, but I did like him from the times we'd interacted. Then in other big, but not really surprising news (sadly) ... my mom and the man she married in December are getting divorced - his idea. Basically he decided that he couldn't handle her health issues (more later), that she drove him nuts always wanting to go do things instead of sitting and meditating for eons of hours, etc. She is coming out of this pretty badly ... gave most of her furniture away when she moved in with him, gave up her tutoring students/business, gave up Buddy her dog, etc.

Her health issues --- about 15+ years ago she had a pituitary tumor which was removed by them going through her nasal cavity. It has returned, bigger than ever with the addition of lesions. She's going to need surgery to get rid of it, but due to the larger size and the legions, they are having to figure out the best course of action. She is staying at an extended stay place right now, and last week slipped and fell hard on her back/neck. She has had multiple back and neck surgeries ... So far it doesn't appear to have caused any more damages, but still not good.

Oh the REALLY big news?? My brother called my mom today!! (He had cut off contact with her in June after our dad died due to a number of reasons.) He told me he decided that it was time to let go and get past it. I was completely ecstatic!!

In mixed news ... I am now without any walking partners. Both of the co-workers I walked with this past year have gotten different jobs. Frown Frown One of the former teaching assts is taking one of the positions, another vacant position is being taken by someone who I don't think will be living here, and I don't know what's going to happen with the third one. The third one is my only hope for a new walking partner...

I have more I am thinking about, but this is already way too long. Smile Tomorrow - what I found when I arrived home ... and lifestyle/diet thoughts/plans/thinking.

Counting Down :)

June 9th, 2013 at 01:45 am

So ... in 5 weekdays my part of summer school will be over. In 11 days I head out to CA to see my brother, aunt and grandma. Then Big Grin in 19 days I head out to NE to see my NE man. Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Can you tell I'm excited and ready? (especially for the last one!!)

Today was build day for the new playground sponsored by our school and our health insurance company. Hot, tired, sweaty just barely begin to describe how I felt when I got home. I took a 30 minute COLD shower, and still didn't feel that much cooler. At least I felt cleaner! Smile

I spent part of the morning at the registration table, and then a few hours in the afternoon putting water in the wheelbarrows where people were mixing cement. I wouldn't have minded the job too much if it hadn't been for this one guy (who I guess was in charge) constantly telling me I was doing it wrong and then grabbing the hose out of my hand to start doing it himself ... Ugh. When we reached a breaking point where we had more cement ready for the mixer than could be easily/quickly mixed, I left and went back to the registration table.

The playground is very nice, although using mulch as the ground cover is pretty questionable here - especially considering how very windy it can get. I also heard that the flowers that the students/neighborhood kids had planted about 4 or 5 weeks ago and that had been left outside the science building at our school to grow, had been killed by someone pouring bleach on them. Twice. I hope whoever did that doesn't decide to mess with the new playground.

I'm thinking of renting Tiger Eyes from iTunes tonight. I doubt it'll come out in any theaters around here, plus seeing it on iTunes would be cheaper. I heart Judy Blume and am so happy that one of her books finally became a movie! (especially this one - one that I read at least a dozen times when I was in elementary school (7th/8th grade.)

Tomorrow I'll need to go into big G to pick up a memory card reader for our preschool director. She'd had our IT person buy her a brand new computer so that she could print pictures off her memory card ... but the computer doesn't have a memory card reader!! She asked me to look at it on Friday after school, and that's when I told her about the usb memory card reader. Oh, UGH UGH UGH - the computer has Windows 8 OS. It is HORRIBLE. For a smartphone, it'd be fine, but for a desktop? UGH UGH UGH! And this is coming from someone who feel way comfortable finding their way around a computer AND a smartphone. (She'll reimburse me for the purchase.)
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I recieved 3 of my 5 $5 AGCs from SBs yesterday. I'm just waiting for the last two now. I missed the daily goal on Thursday I think.

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I picked up my NON-generic Sythroid prescrip yesterday - along with sunscreen (from the clearance box!), sunglasses (to replace the ones I broke recently), and a few other items. Hopefully within a couple weeks this NON-generic will do the trick and I'll have my energy back. (I also read somewhere that sometimes you can get dizzy spells due to thryoid issues ... which might explain some of the dizzy spells I've had.)

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I also filled up my gas (had two bars left - so didn't wait for fumes!!) The first gas station I went to - tried two different pumps and they wouldn't work. After the first pump didn't work, I canceled the transaction. At the second pump it told me to "see attendant" - he tells me that I have to leave my card with him and he'll turn the pump on for me. UGH! I do this, and of course it doesn't work. I went back in and told him "nevermind, I'm going somewhere else." Next place I went to the first pump worked with no problem - and it was for the same price! ($3.29/gallon)

Lazy Weekend

May 27th, 2013 at 02:37 am

Haven't done much this weekend. Yesterday I went to church in the morning, but was so tired that I went straight home (didn't stay for potluck.) I slept pretty hard for a few hours, and then gave J a call (the lady I lived with for a few months two years ago.) She's a month out from her second knee surgery and is recovering pretty well from it. She was happy to hear about NE and I. Smile Then it was time for my weekly call to grandma. Pretty much same conversation per usual. Big Grin

I slept a bit more, then got up and caught up on about frugal forums (hadn't read in over a month!) Did some laundry too.

** Oh, I had to fill up before heading to church. I was on fumes again. Last tank was 34.4 mpg, even with the fast driving. $37.39 for 10.489 gallons

This morning I was supposed to go walking, but both people wimped out on me. I was going to make ableskebers for my two sometimes walking partners this morning, but shortly before heading over to Ns place to make them, I realized I didn't have buttermilk, good butter (all my tubs were dried out ...), salt or sugar!! So I had to go to the expensive mom and pop store and pick that stuff up (no buttermilk, but did get lemon juice --- didn't quite achieve the right results using rice milk ...)About $10. Ouch.

The first two batches didn't turn out great, but luckily by the third batch they were working out better. The ladies told me that it was my practice run for making them for NE. Smile (I hadn't made them in practically 3 years .. so was a little rusty.)

I redeemed swagbucks for a $15 AGC yesterday. Now have enough for my June 5 $5's.

Tomorrow I have a babysitting gig. The mom wrote me to let me know that her dh won't be going on the trip he was thinking about doing, but they'd like to spend some quality time together tomorrow. Smile

I can't seem to shake this tiredness, no matter how much I'm sleeping/lazing. I will be seeing my doctor again on Friday for retesting bloodwork (thyroid.) I'm hoping she can offer me some ideas on what is going on. Tired of being tired.

Almost forgot - got a call this pm from one of my walking partners about the loose neighborhood dog who always comes with us on our walks. She (the dog) has been accused of biting a child. Witnesses (all kids under ten ..) say that it was actually the child's dog that bit her after being sat on by the child ... but the child claims it was neighborhood dog. Frown Only consequence right now is that nd is going to have to be tied up all the time (which her owners have tried to do, but she constantly gets off the tie out.) The owner asked if we'd write a note to animal control stating that nd is NOT aggressive. She isn't - so I will be doing that.

Almost to the End of Second Year

May 24th, 2013 at 03:16 am

This week has been busy with end of the year activities and trying to recover all the checked out books (with one day left, still have 43 out!!)

I am still sad about my coworker leaving and my other coworker finding out about cancer, not to mention a third coworker who has decided to look for another job as well. Both of my walking partners may be gone next year. Frown However, a 3 hr Skype convo with NE and a sweet ecard the next morning, did a lot to lift my spirits. Smile

NE ... I knew he was a gem before, but he's showing himself to be a diamond. I had no idea what to expect with rekindling our relationship, but I am SO glad I jumped off the ledge and helped it along.

Today was field day. I got a bit of a sunburn supervising the Great Wall of China station (two kids stand in the middle of the playing field and try to catch all the other kids as they run back and forth.) It went pretty well from what I could see, and the kids had fun. TG our principal had told the kids yesterday that if they had books still out that they would miss one event for every book. At that time there were 30 kids with books still out! Today 22 kids had to sit out. I hated to do something so negative like that, but come on! It isn't like the kids aren't aware that the books belong to the library. I have a plan for next year which will hopefully alleviate this problem.

After work today I helped 3rd coworker scan a bunch of documents to apply for a different position. Then I went into big G and stopped at Walgreen's to pick up a thank you gift for my assistant. I ended up getting a few other things as well (of course.) About $24.xx or so altogether.

I had to get gas as well (both because I was running on fumes by the time I got to big G and because I'm taking the school nurse to the airport tomorrow.) I was truly on fumes - 10.458 gallons it took (at $3.49/gallon.) I had to switch pumps though because the first pump I was at wouldn't start fueling, even after I had one of the cashiers come out and look at it.

Well the past two nights the trailer has been very warm, almost uncomfortably. That's better though than last year where it became this way by the first week of May. I'm hopeful they'll set up the swamp coolers soon so I won't have to swelter too much. (I do have a fan, it just doesn't work that great.)

I am planning on taking it pretty easy until Tuesday. Then I'll have to go into uber prep mode for summer school. I'm totally refusing to spend any money on it this year. Just cannot do that again.

Home :D

May 15th, 2013 at 12:19 am

I got back last night from my weekend adventure. Boy am I ever tired!!

The way to Colo Sprgs is pretty much a straight shot - 25 to 40. Unfortunately I ended up taking a "shortcut" which led me through the mountains of Taos, etc. on the way there. I was able to cut 30+ minutes off the drive by sticking to 25 to 40 on the way back. I am going to need to get cruise control installed in my car sooner than later though, otherwise that route is probably going to cause me to receive some speeding tickets sooner than later ...

(filled up w/gas a total of 3 times at a bit under $100 total)

Yes, I will be making the trip again, although this next time all the way to where NE lives. Big Grin We talked a lot about a lot of things and cleared the air about other things. Friday night a few hours after I arrived, we officially agreed that we were back together. We are both determined to be more open and forthcoming with any concerns or issues - this is especially on my part. So far, so good. Smile

We visited Pike's Peak, although we weren't able to get all the way to the top due to a recent snowstorm. It was quite beautiful, and even snowed for a short while. (It was outrageously expensive though - $12 per person just to drive the road!!) We also went through the Cave of the Winds. It was good, but I don't know if it was quite worth $18 pp for a 45 minute excursion. We also saw Iron Man 3 Big Grin -- It was his first 3D movie in a theater. ($12 pp!) I took care of the meals and outings, and he took care of the hotel. It was pretty even.

He's asked me to come spend a few weeks this summer with him in NE. It really makes a lot of sense. If he came here, he'd have to stay in a hotel, and would only be able to here for a few days at most. While if I go out there I can stay at his place and stay for a few weeks. The longest we'd ever had together in person previously was about a week, so it'd be good to have some length of time in the same zipcode!!

I figure I can bring my desktop and some planning books and work on the website/activities, lessons and Swagbucks while he's at work. That way I'll still get stuff done. Maybe I can also check out the local university library for book ideas, etc. I'm thinking of taking Kari .. it'll be a test to see if she can get along with other cats. He has 5 (two of whom he had when were together before.)(Will need to get some kind of sleep aid/relaxing agent for Kari. She can barely tolerate a 30 minute drive - can't imagine how overly stressed she'd be with a 16 hr one!!)

He was so sweet. Smile The first time he asked me to be his gf back in 2005, he met me with a rose. I'd mentioned to him in an email that I still had that rose (dried.) He gave me a new rose this weekend. Roses aren't my favorite flowers (snapdragons are) but they are still a special flower. Smile

My car ran with no problem (other than not having a lot of horsepower on some of the mountain highways.) I listened to my music off my phone via the mp3 plugin on my radio most of the way there and back. It was SO nice. Big Grin

When I got back here, there had been some drama due to a decision made by the mission office/principal. Of 50 staff members who said they were coming to a barbeque (staff appreciation) only 20 came. This was some lame protest. Ugh. I'm actually kind of glad now that I wasn't here, it would have just made me sad.

Oh! I also got a cool email from the lady who's asked me to babysit her girls a number of times this year. She is needing someone to take the girls to and from summer school because her mother in law is doing poorly and her husband is going to be going out to be with her for a few weeks. She told me that she'd prefer to have me do it over any other babysitter in the area. Smile That made me feel pretty darn good.

The yearbooks are selling pretty well - nearly 40 sold out of 76. So maybe we'll be rid of most of them ... (Somehow some of the staff/teachers got the idea that they get a yearbook for free. I have NO idea how they got that idea - didn't last year!! NE got to hear me be annoyed at the idea when I got the texts from my asst. about the whole thing. He was impressed at how seriously I took my job. Smile )

I forgot to take a camera with me to take pictures. Luckily NE took his. He's going to email me the pics we took. It was funny thinking back to 2005 - he'd taken pics back then too (and he had kept them! He brought them along to show me.) Only back then he sent me copies of the photos after having them developed, and now they can just be emailed.

I am so tired - haven't got much sleep this past week or so. Either too excited/anxious, too much to talk about, or overtired. I need to give my brother a call, as well as my aunt - they both want updates. Smile Probably will hit the hay as soon as I'm done with those calls. (Am going to attempt to catch up on blogs here too.)

Making plans and spending money

May 5th, 2013 at 05:02 am

This coming weekend will be doing Pike's Peak and Cave of the Winds for sure, and perhaps something else.

NE found a hotel for $40/night which is within walking distance of Old Colorado Springs. When NE first mentioned CS as a location, I thought the name sounded familiar, but wasn't sure why. After reading some of the hotel reviews and seeing the name Old CS, I am thinking that it may be near where I attended a Pathfinder Camporee (similar to Boy/Girl Scouts) in 1985. My favorite memories from that camporee include seeing the "Huxtable" kids, the obstacle course, seeing an old friend from Iowa, and walking around in the downtown area of the nearby town - where I found an awesome fancy hat (but didn't buy). I also lost a camera there. If it is the same place, I wonder if the hat shop is still there? Big Grin

(At first NE found one for $70/night and I thought I could find a cabin or something at a KOA campground or the like for less. But everything I was finding started in the $90 range. Neither of us have any camping gear, so that wasn't an option either.)

I got a pedicure on Friday afternoon. The lady doing it asked me if I wanted her to use the slougher (not sure of exact term, thing that takes off dead skin). I told her that was the main reason I was going for a pedicure!! Wink With tip, it cost $33!!! I usually don't pay more than $30 for a mani & pedi combined. If I do this again, I'll have to do more research on other places (with hopefully better prices!)

I stopped at the grocery store afterwards and picked up 5 items - bananas, orange juice, treat, and two other things I can't remember. $15.xx (forgot my savings card for Safeway)

I also had to fill up with gas - $33.xx. According to my Gas Cubby app I got 34.2 mpg this last tank. Nice. Smile

I was SO tired this afternoon when I got back from church that I took a 4 hour nap. I didn't really want to get up, but I knew I needed to if I was going to get a good nights sleep.

Funny Smile When I was walking with my two co-workers this morning, one of them told me that the preschool director (who is a Sister) had asked her about how my Sabbath works - because she'd seen me out walking at 9am on the past 4 or 5 Saturdays. My coworker let her know that my church service doesn't start til 11:30, so I have plenty of time in the morning for a walk! (Just a taste of what it's like living in a neighborhood where 30+% of the residents are co-workers, and about 30% of the student population are also residents.)
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Tomorrow I'll be volunteering at the free portrait event at my church in the afternoon, and also need to put together 4 days worth of morning worship activities (my 3rd morning breakfast/worship duty this year.)

I also need to find a place that details cars in big G (and work on getting my car cleaned out ..) Smile

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Six days. Big Grin


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