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I Cut My Hair!

October 4th, 2015 at 01:05 pm

I bought the scissors to do this with sometime back in August I think, but for whatever reason kept hesitating.

Today though I decided, gosh darn it! I was going to do it!

I tried to take pictures of each of the steps, but it was kind of hard to make sure the angle was the same each time. But I think you still can get a pretty good idea.

I cut some off, and then checked the length, but it didn't seem like it had made any noticeable difference. So, I cut some more off. Smile

I still have quite a bit of length left, but don't plan on cutting any more any time soon.

Haircuts around here are between $20 - 25 for my length of hair. The scissors cost about $14 if I remember correctly. So they have already paid for themselves. Smile

If you click on the link to see my album, make sure to scroll down to the first one and click on the first picture. I have subtitles on all of them, and it's easier to see. (I was having trouble remembering how to do a shared public album on icloud, hence the two sets of identical pictures!)

This was actually kind of fun. Big Grin

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B07532ODWnndeF

--
I did do some grocery shopping today. Spent $13.xx for onions, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, bananas, apples, bagels and a treat. I shouldn't need to buy any more groceries until next week.

I got in the mail the renewal for Kari's tags - $21 - so I'll pay that tomorrow probably. (Due the 31st)

How September Went

October 1st, 2015 at 03:55 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 01:09 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.

Updates

September 6th, 2015 at 08:33 am

SBs awarded the monthly bonuses early and my SB cc points also came through - so I now have about 5500 SBs. There are two Swagups (rebates) going live on the 14th though, so I'll be waiting til then. I could easily redeem $75 - $100 from Swagbucks this month. Wow.

--
I took a break from Pact for a few weeks in August, but started back with it this past week. Just on a smaller scale. The break was nice, but it will be good to have another avenue of earning money again.

---
I have been using two new apps the last few weeks. Both connect to my Fitbit and to Runkeeper.

Bounts is a UK based company which rewards you for every day you go over 7000steps or do a 20 minute+ GPS tracked walk/run/etc - if you upgrade (pay pound 9.99/yr) you can also earn more points by checking in at approved gyms.

The rewards available for US residents are limited, but still worth going for. A $5 Walmart card is 700bounts/points. I have 260 bounts already.

It's a nice easy addition to all the other things which I earn money with just by using my Fitbit and connecting the various apps. (If you're interested in this - we both can get 100 bonus points if you use my referral code - I don't want to post it here because it uses part of my last name. I will email the link to you though if interested.)

The second new app I just used for the first time yesterday is called CharityMiles.

You connect your fitbit (or other tracker) and something similar to Runkeeper. Then whenever you are getting ready to do a fitness activity you open it up and choose a charity from their list. Then start your activity. When you are finished, go back to the app and stop it.

Yesterday by walking 2.2 miles I earned $.56 for a charity which helps kids get books.

I do wish it was a little bit less involved (you have to choose a charity from the list each time. There isn't a way to save favorites.) But still, it's nice to know that at the same time I'm doing something for myself, I'm also doing a little something for someone else. Smile

---
I did another shopping run last night - Walgreen's, Family Dollar, SuperSaver and Target.

Walgreen's - toothpaste and deodorant

Family Dollar - cereal (3 for 6, $1 off SavingStar app, $.20 off iBotta), new $10 Android phone

SuperSaver - tatertots, cream of mushroom soup, canned cat food (20 cans - two coupons used), can of Vegeburger, Morningstar corndogs (on sale!), misc.

Target - soda, Quaker granola bars ($1.50 iBotta, 10% Target app), Kellogs Nutri grain bars ($1 Checkout 51), Quorn ($2 iBotta), Amy's, misc.

**I discovered a new Amy's meal. Noodles w/cashew sauce and veggies. It is SO good. Target has it for 3.99. I bought that rather than getting something from Taco Bell. So much better!

I stumbled across the canned cat food at SuperSaver by accident. I'd planned on getting it at Target for $1.07 a can - coupons - but SuperSaver had them for $.98/can! They also have much cheaper frozen veggies than Walmart.

I have a ton of food and household products now in my pantry/fridge/freezer. Other than fresh fruit and veggies, I hopefully will not be spending much more on groceries / household this month.

*NE and I are doing dinner again tonight - tater tot casserole - which is why bought some of what I bought. Smile

--
NEs laptop died on him yesterday. So I erased my iPad and reset it up so that he can use it until he gets a new laptop. I'm thinking about just letting him have it. All I ever use it for is to run paid video apps. I can accomplish the same thing on a $10 smartphone (like the one I bought at Family Dollar.) I'll have to see how much he likes it first though.

If he ends up not liking it, then I may just go ahead and sell it. It may fetch $50 or so possibly.

--
I plan on hitting the gym today. We'll see though ... didn't go to bed til after 2, and then Kari woke me up about 7 ... Thanks Kari. (Thankfully it is a 3 day weekend!)

Cost of Living Raise, etc

September 2nd, 2015 at 06:45 pm

Today I got to see what my new salary is with the recent cost of living raise (2.25%). With it, I now make about $.20/hour more than I did before I was downsized from my oil and gas job in 2009.

After work today I went to Target and to HyVee (a grocery store here.) When I submitted my Walmart receipt to the Savings Catcher, it gave me money back for the cat food - saying that they found it at HyVee for $2 cheaper.

Yeah ... it was a different kind. Smile Same brand (Purina) but not Purina One Beyond. I still did buy two bags of it from HyVee because it was $.50 cheaper than Walmart (plus my $2 coupons of course.)

At Target I found the canned food (after asking for help from a store person) which was $.08 cheaper than the local grocery store - had a coupon Buy 8 get 2 free. I only used one coupon. I might go back and use my other 3. (I give Kari one can a week - her Sabbath treat.) I also bought a 3rd bag of her food ($2 coupon only usable in Target.)

I now have $12.50 in Ibotta rebates, $4.87 in Walmart Savings Catcher, and about $4 in other savings apps.
I can cash in the Ibotta anytime, but I think I'll wait til I get closer to the end of the month in case I decide to do any other rebates.

I am SO set on cat food right now it's ridiculous. I always buy the 3lb bags even though they probably aren't the best value money wise, but they also don't go stale before Kari gets through a bag. (I keep it in a plastic container .. but still, I think by the time we get to the bottom of it, it's starting to get stale.)

On my way home I almost stopped at Taco Bell. In fact, I did. But after waiting 6 minutes and still not being at the order board ... I decided to just go home. For the best.

---
With SBs giving out the monthly bonuses early today, I have over 3200 SBs! I'm going to wait til the 14th to cash out so I can use my 50SB rebate.

---
I'm not sure what is going to happen with my mom's planned trip out here. Brother told me yesterday he'd reimburse me for the hotel if I really can't get it refunded. (It can't be. It was prepaid.) So if mom ends up not coming out here, I'll still have a paid for hotel room here. Hmm ... maybe go and stay there anyway with NE for one night, and/or by myself for the other nights (at least Friday and Saturday.)

I hope we get this figured out soon because mom's supposed to be coming on the 17th!!

Brother says he doesn't want to nail down another date until "he doesn't feel like he's being manipulated." I'm tempted tell him that I already have plans for October and November, and so would rather not change the September plans. If he wants to come out and visit some other time, great, if not, that's up to him. But I can't keep my plans in limbo until he "feels not manipulated" :roll eyes:

Sorry for the venting. Just feeling so frustrated by this situation. I kind of wish he'd never suggested the idea in the first place .. back in February???

Hefty Trasbags Deal on SBs, updates

August 30th, 2015 at 09:47 am

If you like free trashbags, and even making a little money on them ... then check this out. On Swagbucks right now there is a deal where you buy 1 (any) Hefty trashbags and get 400 SBs or buy two (any) and get 1000 Swagbucks. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and a picture of the product(s) and email them to iredeemedhefty@swagbucks.com. 60 days later you will get your SBs.

Now here is how you can make money on this deal. Currently in the coupon section of SBs there is a $1.50 off ANY Hefty trashbags. Use two of them, and add in the $10 of Swagbucks, and you can purchase up to $13 worth of trashbags for free! Not too shabby if I might say so. Smile(The 1000 SBs could actually be worth more than $10 if you use them towards one of the discounted gift cards. I don't get them, so for me it's worth $10.)

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Last night I did a September shopping trip. Yes, I know it's fudging things a bit, but 1. I won't have the time or energy to do this kind of shopping trip on Tuesday, and 2. Some of the rebates/offers I wanted were expiring on the 29th.

So I went to Walmart, Target and Walgreens. I used the shopping apps: iBotta, Shrink, SavingStar, Checkout51, Snap, Walgreens Balance Rewards, and the Target one. I also used ReceiptPal and ReceiptHog.

I spent $88 at Walmart after coupons, $16.10 at Target after coupons and discounts, and $43.31 at Walgreen's after coupons and discounts.

I earned $9 in rebates from iBotta. I will be getting $10 back from Swagbucks (Hefty deal). I also earned about 1.60 in cashback from the other shopping apps.

I am now set for toilet paper, peanut butter, jelly, trash bags, flaxseed, dry cat food, frozen veggies, etc. for a good long time. At Walgreen's I got Claratin D and Flonase - am going to try Claratin to see if it works any better than Allegra ...

I do plan on going back to Target (the SuperTarget this time)to get another bag of cat food with a coupon they gave me, and canned cat food. (Purina One Beyond)

I was supposed to earn a 6k point bonus from Walgreen's for a $30 purchase - it printed on my receipt, but the points aren't there. I'm going to give it a couple days and then contact customer service.

---
Yesterday afternoon I was FINALLY able to get into my hotmail account. So I was able to get my $5 AGC from Bing, and do all but one Mypoints emails (it expired.) I also was able to resign into Bing (and changed my main email address.)

---
Today I ordered from Amazon my pea protein powder, two wall plate hangers, and a pair of haircutting scissors. After the $30 in AGC credits, plus $2.68 in Discover cashback, it cost $12.98.

The plate hangers are to hang two decorative plates I have. The scissors are ones I saw recommended for DIY ponytail haircuts ... which with a bit of trepidation I am going to try.

I'm trying to decide whether to take the $12.98 from the Household category or the Beauty category, or maybe split the amount between the two.

---
If you're interested in any of the shopping apps and would like to try them out (and help me out Big Grin ) just let me know and I'll send you my referral link(s). Ibotta has a team thing where you can earn extra bonuses depending on how much rebates/earnings your team does. All of them do have fresh fruits/veggies, and non-branded items options (not a lot ... but some.)

---
This morning I am finally back to the weight I was at before my little staycation. Amazing how quickly the pounds go back on, and how much more time it takes for them to come off again.

---
Something pretty cool on Thursday -- a delivery person from Jimmy John's came by the office to give us free sandwiches. She asked something I never thought I'd hear ... any vegetarians? Sweet! The sandwich was pretty good too. Smile

Updates

August 23rd, 2015 at 01:23 pm

I got my new to me phone on Tuesday (managed to have them hold it at the main Fed Ex place and miraculously managed to find the place without GPS without getting lost.)

Had some trouble getting it set up and almost thought I was going to have to send it back and get a different phone (my computer wasn't wanting to recognize it - several hours later it suddenly decided to recognize it ...)

---
Talked to my mom today about hotels for when she's here (in 3 weeks!) She's going to check if she can find a better deal than the one I found (she has a special number or something for the particular hotel.) If not, I'll book it with Orbitz which will give me a $10 rebate through iBotta.

3 nights will be about $300 with taxes and fees ... gulp. Plus one more night in O town (going to stay there Sunday night and then spend the day in O town before taking her to the airport there.)

----
Did some grocery shopping today. They had bananas for $.33/lb - I bought a little over a pounds worth. Kept 6 out for this week, then broke up the rest and put into baggies in the freezer - enough for two weeks of smoothies.

---
I cashed out on the following this week:
$10 - Receipt Hog
$25 - Swagbucks PayPal (makes $75 this month!)
$5 - Bing AGC
$25 AGC - PerkTV
$100 - AGC from YouGov (survey site)

The $100 one I won't get for a few weeks (in the mail??) If you're interested, I have a referral link in my sidebar. Smile It did take me about a year to get to the $100 cashout, but the surveys are all pretty easy.

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I have about $1.55 til the 1st. (in my August budget) So that means 8 days of NO SPEND DAYS! must happen.
I think the only thing I'll need next week will be apples, and maybe I can figure out something else for my lunch fruit - or just buy $1.55 worth of apples. Smile

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I'll be leaving in about 90 minutes to go to the big University welcome thing. I'm going to get around 4 hours of overtime for it. Smile I might see CreditCardFree's daughter while I'm there. Smile

That overtime money is going to come in handy for paying for my mom's visit here in September! (I unfortunately have had to use the OT money from the school events and most of my vacation fund to pay for the new phone.)

I will most likely be going into my slush fund for the hotel/whatever else we do while she's here. That can be refunded in October when I've got a 3 paycheck month.

More Phone Updates, Cr. Union Deal!, etc

August 12th, 2015 at 05:09 pm

So I got the SIM card from Ting today. I remembered from last time how to change it out. So I did that. Then I restarted my phone.

It's still locked to ATT!

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I sent an unlock request to ATT ... says it'll take up to two business days.

Sigh.

BTW - I have had absolutely NO RESPONSE from Ting to the email I sent on Saturday about losing my phone. None. I hate to say it, but I'm getting less and less enthralled with Ting's Customer Service.

----
My boss today handed me this card she got at an event she went to last week. It was a deal for opening a checking account at a local credit union.

$50 within 45 days of opening with a $50 deposit. That's the only requirement. Big Grin

It gets better though. If you have a direct deposit sent to that account, do one bill pay per month (free), and 12 debit transactions ... you get ... (drumroll please) 2.5 % interest on up to $25k !!!!

Um .... somehow I think 2.5% interest would be worth the hassles of doing 12 debit transactions a month. I could put all my money into that account. Have savings and checking all in one nice big account. I'd actually earn some real money for interest!

That'll have to wait til I get my Nationwide bonus though. Smile

The Credit Union is Liberty First CU - I'm not sure what the residency requirements are for it though.

---
At work today I did the FINAL touches on the 200+ page document which has been causing so much stress for the last six+ weeks. It is done and over with!

My boss let me log off the phone, and took all the window customers so I could 100% concentrate on it. Good thing too, otherwise there's no way I would have finished it on time.

The calls have been insane this week - with school starting today.
---
Oh ... speaking of insane ... I have to tell you what came in today to lost and found. Inside of a bus pass folder was a baggie of what looked like .... weed! At least 4 other people agreed that it was very much similar to weed.

I called the police and they sent someone over. He said he thought it was either an organic herb or K2, but not weed. Then told me to just throw it away. ??? So ... I did. Seemed pretty bizarre to me.
---
Tuesday after I was done with my school event (went well, kept pretty busy) I stopped at Supersaver again and picked up $20 worth of stuff that was on pretty good sales.

I rarely get to a Supersaver since I have another grocery store just less than a block from me .... so that was fun. Smile

---
I got a text from my brother (texting on iPad still works at least ...) I have the feeling that he is wimping out on the September trip. ARGHH! So, it'll just be mom and I.

Hopefully I'll have phone service soon so we can talk and I can find out what is going on.

---
Tomorrow is my Friday for this week. Big Grin I'm SO ready for my 4 days off. SOOOOO ready.

---
I cashed out for another $25 PP from SBs today. That makes $50 for August (plus the $25 from July I cashed out in August.) I did the Visa thing for 500 SBs, (connected to a card I don't use, but monitor easily), so am back to nearly 800 SBs towards my next one. Maybe I'll make another $25 in August? Smile

NEs Birthday, Feeling Ugh

August 3rd, 2015 at 12:04 pm

So today is NEs actual birthday, but we did the celebration yesterday.

We drove out to Nebraska City to a Chinese buffet. There wasn't much selection of veggies not mixed with meat ... in fact I accidentally took some mushrooms which had meat mixed with them. Frown NE found plenty to eat though ...

Afterwards his GPS unit took us on a merry chase finding this state recreation area he wanted to check out. We finally did find it - it has a really nice access point for boats to the Missouri river.

When we got back we ate some of the cake I had made earlier (who knew the Jiffy mix was for layer cakes, and not full sized ones? Oh well.) He also drank some of the koolaide he'd asked for ... (said it wasn't quite like he'd remembered - I had him make it himself actually so he'd know how much sugar, etc. was in it.)

I guess I was kind of not in a great spirit because earlier that day I'd had to buy a pitcher in order to make the dang koolaide and was kind of annoyed to be adding all these extras on top of dinner out.

Then of course he's not in the mood to do anything when we get back because he ate way too much. UGH.

---
Earlier in the day after my grocery trip and making the cake, I spent a few hours working on the application for the library job. On the background check form they want address history for the last TWENTY years! Um.... I can give you city and state for that time frame, but I barely remember the name of the roads I lived on five years ago (3 different places while going to grad school) let alone 8 or 9 + years.

I tried finding a way to search public records to get that info, but couldn't find a way to do it without paying for it. Ugh.

I have until August 12 to submit all my documents/application. Need to put together a cover letter and update my resume, scan my transcripts (find them first .. they're somewhere around here), scan my certifications (after I locate them ..)

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I cashed out for a $25 paypal from SBs today - got the 50SB swagup. Apparentally there's been some kind of mix up- the special offer swagup should've been up first for 150 SBs. Hopefully that'll get sorted soon - I have enough to get a second $25 PP once that is fixed.

I also cashed out for a $25 AGC from PerkTV - that should come sometime today.

Tomorrow I'll have enough Bing for a $5 AGC.

Once I have the $30 AGC, I'm planning on ordering a flea/tick collar for Kari from Amazon. She's picked up fleas somehow - I've tried a variety of other things which haven't helped much. So I'm hoping this collar will. (Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar) It supposedly is supposed to work for 8 months. It better for how much it costs! ($43.xx)

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So I'm posting in the middle of the day here. Called in sick from work - I think something I ate at the buffet didn't agree with me. In a major way.

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I'm going to see about making an appointment at Brakes Plus on Wednesday to get my oil changed and see if they can do an alignment too. If I get that appointment I'll be near the mall where I can return my shoes.

Then Thursday I have my first school event from 4 - 6:30. Can you say 90 minutes of overtime?!

---
I checked my FSA balance. I have just enough for 3 more Synthroid prescriptions. Then the FSA year starts over. I'm planning on upping my contribution by $10/month. I didn't use my dental insurance at all this year, and my Syntrhoid ended up being more than I had thought it would be. I still need to find out if I can do a prescription for Allegra D to have it covered by the FSA - if so, I'll need to up the amount by $30-40/month. (Our FSA year runs November to October.)

---
August Spending:
1st - Fazoli's - $13
2nd - Grocery store - $57.xx (groceries, cat, NE birthday stuff)
Chinese buffet - $25 for two
3rd - hopefully none!

July Accounting

August 1st, 2015 at 07:02 pm

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.

Parking Garage, Work, Vanguard

July 22nd, 2015 at 09:09 pm

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. Smile (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. ....)

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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.

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Tuesday -
DMV - $175 - Car registration
Taco Bell ... $4.19

Wednesday:
Walgreen's - $20.xx (junk, locker lock for gym, deodorant, real food)

Extra Income:
$16 from Pact cashed in

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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 ...

Rough Few Days

July 17th, 2015 at 04:20 pm

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.)

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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.

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No spend day #14 I think

NE Car Troubles, Spending ...

July 13th, 2015 at 06:42 pm

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.

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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. Smile Again, budgeted. (but no more left for the month in that category!)

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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.)

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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.

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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...)

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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! Smile

Lodging Booked! etc.

July 10th, 2015 at 06:14 pm

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!!

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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.

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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.

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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. Big Grin

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)

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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.

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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)

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Thursday - No spend day #8!

Friday - spend, spend .. but all within budgeted categories Big Grin

I ADORE Dollar Tree!!

July 3rd, 2015 at 04:53 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.

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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

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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!)

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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

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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!)

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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

Starting with a Spend

July 1st, 2015 at 04:33 pm

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 ...)

So ...

Wednesday Spending:
Walgreen's - 19.xx - Allegra D
1.00 - candy
Burger King - $4.63 - dinner

Groceries, Drama at the Bus Station

June 26th, 2015 at 05:36 pm

After working out today I was trying to make a right hand turn from the parking lot, and ended up sitting there for five minutes because a lady in a huge SUV was trying to make a left hand turn. I couldn't see over her and she made no attempt to let me know when I could go. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it would seem to me like if you are in an oversized vehicle you might be aware that you are not see through ...

Ugh.

Anyway... I stopped at the grocery store today and spent $10.71. My last shop for the month. It does put me over my goal of $100 by about $3, but I'm okay with that. SO much better than the $350+ I spent last month on food/junk, etc.

Bananas, apples, frz. veggies/fruit and 1 candy bar. So, 5 items. Smile

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This afternoon I got a call from a man who was wanting us to see if his father was on one of our buses. His dad is an 80 yo and very frail - he'd said something about wanting to go to a particular location in our city, and then later was nowhere to be found.

I got a physical description of the man and the time he was possibly missing since. At first our bus driver supervisor said the man should contact the police first. But then the asst. living home where the father lived called asking the same thing and confirming that someone saw him get on a bus.

There followed a bunch of bus drivers getting descriptions of the man, and a confirmed sighting of him being left off downtown, but not having gotten a transfer. I received a third phone call from someone else looking for him after we had the sighting confirmed.

By about this time it was time to close up, so I don't know the ending of the story.

I really hope they found this mans father though.

Sunday Outing and Resisting Tempation

June 22nd, 2015 at 05:44 pm

Sunday afternoon NE and I went on another little joy ride into the country. We went out as far as Hickman (for those who know NE area) and visited a couple lakes there. We stopped at the local "grocery store" called Jack and Jill and each got a drink. (He treated Smile )

We also stopped at a large hotel that had a lot of brochures for tourist attractions in the area, and took a number of them to look at further.

It was a nice way to spend a few hours. Smile

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Right now it is looking as though I'm going to have about $300 in "extra" money this month. That is .. if I continue to resist temptation til a week from tomorrow. Smile

That means I'll have $150 or so to put towards my little get away. That will pretty much cover lodging and gas. So July will be all about getting the money for food and entertainment.

I have $11 left of the $100 I allocated for my groceries category. Must resist temptation. (SO wanted pizza this weekend -- delivery pizza! But resisted!)

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I'm trying to make the Allegra last a little longer by not taking it on the weekend ... not sure that is such a good idea. Because I have a bad sinus headache right now. Wasn't bad Saturday or Sunday, but maybe it was because I'd built up over the previous 5 days ...

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I checked the Dollar Generals here, and :**( no frozen fruit. So I had to get the frozen fruit from the local grocery store - $3.29 for 1lb.

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Spending: Saturday - none
Sunday - $13.33 - frozen fruit, etc. (groceries)
Monday - none

Sold and Bought Some Stock Today, etc.

June 19th, 2015 at 05:59 pm

I have a good amount of stock in an electric car company - mostly inherited, but some that I personally bought with my own cash or with money rolled over from a company 401k fund. I've been wanting to diversify it a bit with another single stock, but hadn't found anything cheap enough or interesting enough.

With the recent IPO of Fitbit, that changed. Smile

I love my Fitbit, and from the many articles I've read, it seems to be a pretty healthy company (ha ha - no pun intended, really) with good growth potential. I'd forgotten about the initial IPO date, so unfortunately wasn't ready to pull the buy card at the start of the bell Thursday.

So I pulled it this morning. Smile I had $170.00 cash in my brokerage account which was leftover from the rollover where I purchased electric car stock. So I bought 5 Fitbit shares. I want to buy more than that though, so I went ahead and sold 5 electric car shares, which netted a bit over $1k after the trade fees.

I tried buying more Fitbit after work today, but I got a popup saying that if I put the new order through, my other one would be canceled. ???? So I guess I'll have to wait til Monday and hope the price doesn't go up too much by then.

All of this trading and selling and buying was done in an IRA account, so whatever tax consequences there will be won't happen for another 20 years. Smile

When I put my own cash money into the electric car stock, it was roughly around $1k. Enough to buy a good amount of stock, but not enough to hurt if I happened to lose money on it. That's kind of how I figured how much stock I'd go with for Fitbit.

I'm curious to see where this will go. Big Grin

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Hectic afternoon at work today. Have a new story for my bus chronicles - might do one tomorrow. Smile

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Did some grocery shopping this afternoon. bread, fruit (bananas and oranges), cheese, frozen vegges, chocolate, soda ... $18.41

Also stopped at a local green grocer type place (OH) and treated myself to some stuff from their deli - curried tofu, cajun yams, and a spinach/lentil, etc. patty. $6.31 It was either that or give in to my strong desire to order pizza ...

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I'm reading a really good book by Elizabeth Musser right now - Swan House. I've read other books by her, and they were also very good. (Christian, romance, historical, major issues like racism, poverty, etc.)

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I got paid for my part time parking garage job! $73.65 - that is one 8 hour shift (although it wasn't actually a full 8 hours, because I left 30 minutes early after being told I could if I wanted to.)

I don't know when I'll have another shift though, because it seems like all the available ones are on Saturdays. Frown Sometimes having beliefs that are so different from the mainstream can sure make it hard to find the extra income (and sometimes the main source of income too ... so many jobs I've had to turn down over the year due to Friday night/Saturday issues ...)

Note - I am an Seventh-day Adventist. Similarly to Jews, we celebrate Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

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I think I have settled on what my August trip is going to be - Des Moines -- Friday - Living History Farms; Saturday - Memories Day (visit church my dad was pastor of, visit various places we lived, etc.); Sunday - Adventureland!; Monday - drive home and recover. Smile

I still need to get the addresses from my brother - our dad kept a list of all the places he lived his entire life. My brother has it somewhere. We lived in three different houses in Des Moines. I'm most curious about the house we lived in where my bedroom was in the finished attic, we had a lake within close walking distance, and I had an awesome friend named Tara who lived across a hayfield from us that had a small stream running through it. Lots of good memories there.

I was in 3rd grade when we moved from there to New Mexcio.

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On Sunday I plan on going to Dollar General to buy frozen fruit, and also stop at Sears to see if they have the shoes I want. (dress shoes for work to replace ones that are falling apart) I'm going to try to hold off til July to actually buy them though so I can put it on my Discover card and have it count towards July's $500 spending.

I've also been thinking more about the Nationwide thing of using the debit card 8x in a month to avoid fees. If I give myself a budget of $20/month for treats (which would be much less than I have been spending) that would mean 2x a week I could get about $2 worth of a treat. So in reality it would be money I'd spend anyway (realistically) and $20 not put on the Discover or Swagbucks cards isn't going to be that big of a deal. And it's only for 3 months + 2 weeks.

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A good friend of mine and her family are doing fundraising to pay the fees to adopt a baby boy from Papau, New Guinea. They were missionaries there this past year and were asked to adopt this particular child, but before it could happen, they had to come back to the US. I'm thinking that this might be where my charitable giving will be going starting in July.

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So that's all for now folks ... (bet you thought it was never going to end ...) Smile

Fun Afternoon :)

June 13th, 2015 at 05:48 pm

This afternoon after church a group of about 20 of us participated in a Kids Against Hunger event. It was a blast! Within the space of two hours we were able to put together enough food packages to feed 6000 people!

It's setup in an assembly line fashion - each part of the food bag is supposed to be manned by one person, then one person weighs the bag, one person seals the bag, one person puts a sticker on the bag, and another person puts it in the box.

At my table we had a 7 yr old and an 8 yr old. For the first hour they were pretty good, but after that they started goofing off a bit. We put them to different tasks and that seemed to help - but for the last half hour or so their grandma and I were doing 5 jobs between us - it actually went a lot faster and smoother with just the two of us doing those jobs. Smile

I didn't get much sleep Friday night (again) and almost decided to not go today. I'm SO glad I went!

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Stopped by the library on my way home and dropped off 4 more entries for the Adult Reading program, and picked up the movie "Boyhood" which was on hold for me. I might watch that tonight.

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Tomorrow I'll be doing my first shift for the parking people - from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Afterwards NE and I might be going to eat at HuHots (with my gift card.)

I'm hopeful today was the last day Walgreen's has their candy on sale 2/$1 .... $3.89 gone again. Sigh.

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Talked to my grandma tonight and found out my brother has been interviewing for a different position. If he gets it I have the feeling that will put a crimp on him having vacation time to be able to come out here in September. Supposedly it's a good bit more money and he won't have to move. They came to him.

Good News AmEx :) and other stuff

June 12th, 2015 at 05:13 pm

So NE has still has a large amount he owes for his surgery over what insurance covered. He's been paying what he can each month. I asked him a week or so ago if the place took AmEx, would he be good with the idea of my paying a portion (maybe $500 or so) and then sharing some of the cashback.

Last night he told me he got a new bill ... and drumroll please .... they take AmEx! So my dilemma about how to get the spending requirement finished is done! Even if I only keep 1/2 of the cashback, that is better than none (or purchasing grocery gift cards from future months grocery budget money.)

We're going to work out the details more on Sunday night.

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The above news is especially good since I'm planning on attempting the Discover deal of spending $500/month for 5 months for $75 starting in July (I think.) If I put everything on the Discover, I should be able to do it pretty easily.

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I forgot my lunch at home today. Frown Luckily I had a tortilla and vege refried beans in the fridge at work. Still, I wasn't sure that'd be enough, so I bought some things from the vending machine. Yikes! SO expensive. $1 for a standard sized Snickers.

After work I went grocery shopping - English Muffins ($1 each!), eggs ($1.99 for 1/2 dozen OMW!!), Brownie mix (for treat day when I'm on - $1/each!), canned sweet peas ($.89), oranges ($1/lb), bananas ($.59/lb), Morningstar pizza and corndogs ($2.99 each), Amy's Black Bean enchailadia ($4.15 - cheaper than going out to eat or most take out -which I was sorely tempted tonight), 20 oz Cherry Pepsi

Total - $27.18

Two more items I "bought" with rewards points - a can of Pilsbury crescents (YUM!) and a 1/2 gallon of Mint Chocolate Chip Gelatto. I've never had gelatto, and have always wanted to try it. This sounded SO good. Especially for free. Big Grin

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Edited.

Summary - Rant about bad day at work.

I told my boss that some people here must have gotten ahold of the grumpy sauce this week. She told me she thinks people are just sick of the rain. Smile

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Redeemed Bing points for a $5 AGC today

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My rent check was cashed today, and I heard from the property manager that I can put my keyboard box in the laundry room (big box that I can't break down and will help make my bedroom look a bit more ... finished.)

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

June 5th, 2015 at 07:30 pm

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

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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

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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

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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

Riddles Update (NE's cat), Flooding, Mom

May 9th, 2015 at 10:35 am

Riddles is still in the land of the living. The past few weeks or so NE has been taking him to the Vet to have fluids and Vitamin B? injections. The first week it was nearly daily, the last two weeks was two or three times each. Each visit costs $50

The fluids definitely seem to be helping. Riddles is eating some again, and hasn't had another seizure since about two weeks ago. NE is very happy about that, although not so happy about how much this has cost. I suggested he ask about whether he could do the fluid injections himself at home (and that I'd be willing to assist) but he hasn't asked. Oh well ... it's his money. (I had a neighbor once who had to give her cat daily or weekly fluid injections, so I know it can be done at home.)

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We had some major flooding here Wednesday/Thursday. Some have called it a 50 year flood. Thursday was incredibly crazy at work - so many bus routes had to have detours because of the flooding. Most people were understanding, but some were outright jerks. One person got mad when I told him that he'd have to walk eight blocks to catch the bus - "YOU are making me late for work!" Uh, yeah sure mister. We made the roads on the route get flooded and be closed, just so you could be late for work. Yepppers. A few others asked me to get out my crystal ball and predict whether or not the bus was going to be on time two hours from then or the next morning ... I'll get right on it buddy!

Thankfully by Friday morning the waters had gone down all over for the most part, and by noon all the flood related detours were done. Of course I had one caller complain about a bus that didn't arrive at the scheduled time after our office was closed and wanted to know why. I explained that since I wasn't there at the time I didn't know exactly why, but the best I could guess is that it was related to the voluntary evacuation of the area that bus route goes through!

Wednesday night I was walking through my hallway in my bare feet and stepped on a wet spot. At first I was worried that maybe Kari was having bathroom issues (never has before) but after smelling it, I knew that wasn't the issue. I found quite a few more areas of carpet that were quite wet.

As I was trying to figure out how this happened, I realized that the dripping sound I'd been hearing off and on the past few days might have had something to do with it. So I called my landlord. He said he'd send somebody by the next day.

Of course with all the rain/flooding issues on Wednesday/Thursday it wasn't til nearly 6 p.m. that somebody came by (I shut Kari in the bathroom in case they came by while I was out) The problem was the condensation pipe? for the a/c units in the apartments above me being blocked. (I haven't turned my a/c on yet, but apparently my upstairs neighbors have.) The guy that came by couldn't get it unblocked.

So I had to shut Kari in the bathroom again on Friday. The A/C guy came again and the carpet cleaners came while I was gone at work - so Kari didn't have to be shut in the bathroom the whole day. I think she actually didn't mind it too much because I gave her canned food both days ... Smile

The carpet is pretty much all dry now - although now I need to figure out how I'm going to move my dresser back - don't know if NE will be able to help me with his shoulder issues.

We're supposed to have another major storm come through tonight. Our creeks and lakes can't take too much ...

---
Tomorrow NE and I are doing a little roadtrip to Greenwood Iowa for our anniversary. We'll probably go out to eat somewhere around there. He was in that area a couple years ago for some speakers and thought it was really beautiful. It will be nice to get out of the apartment and do something together (doesn't happen often ...)

---
Texting with my mom last night I found out she'd been in a fairly major car wreck three weeks! ago. It was her fault -- she and a friend were traveling to San Antonio and had gotten off the highway for gas or something. As they went along the frontage road there was some construction and hard to figure out how to get back on the highway. Her friend spotted a way and told her to go ... there was another road that criscrossed the pathway and a car coming - which my mom did not see. The car clipped the front passenger side of my mom's car.

Nobody was seriously hurt - banged up knees, elbows and wrists. But my mom found out she only has liability insurance - apparently someone talked her into changing her insurance plan a few months ago to save a bunch of money and didn't explain HOW she was saving that money. (As she's telling me this, I'm wondering HOW IN THE WORLD did she not know this???)

So ... her insurance company told her that her 6 month premium was going up to $5k! She's had a number of not-fault and at-fault accidents in the last six years or so, and is now considered high-risk. She kept looking and now has insurance through USAA for $165/MONTH!!!! She also has been without her car for the last 3 weeks.

It sounds like it's going to be around $2500 to fix it (and that is a long time family friend who has fixed our cars many multiple times over the years - the shop her car was towed to estimated $5k+ to fix.)

She just last night got a letter from an attorney for the person who hit her suing her for damages.

She's in a mess.

----
I finally got my $25 AGC from PerkTV.

I was really craving delivery pizza last night ... and gave in to it. $17 for the pizza, $5 for my "Zone", plus delivery charge and tip ... $28 .... Ouch! The pizza was good at least.

Spendy Weekend

April 12th, 2015 at 03:23 pm

I've been way too loose with the pocketbook so far this month, especially considering I have some large bills coming up (medical expenses.) Fast food, junkfood, Trader Joe's, Goodwill, WalMart, Family Dollar .... Over the course of the past few days I've spent at least $150. Ugh.

Trader Joe's, GoodWill and Walmart are at least shopping trips which were mostly necessary. I think part of what spurred the fast food visits was being really tired of what I had in my house (and my pantry was starting to get pretty empty ..) So I bought some ready made dishes at Trader Joe's, and a few at Walmart. Hopefully that'll curb my inclination to get something out instead of from home.

At Walmart they were having a big clearance sale on all sorts of stuff - an asst manager was there and if there was something you wanted, you made an offer and if he ok'd it, you got it. I bought an ice scraper (more heavy duty than my other one) for .50, a long handled snow brush for $1 (something I'd really wished I had this winter a number of times), and a mandolin for $13 (had a $50 one on my Amazon wishlist for at least 6 months ...) They didn't have a potato masher (something I've been looking for, but not wanting to pay $8 for!)

I also bought a few things for something that the bus company I work for does in partnership with the local women's shelter - called "Stuff the Bus" - about $8 worth of items (paper towels, hairbrushes, etc)

----
Wonder of wonders, my brother actually called me today! (We'd set up a time for him to call Saturday night ... which of course didn't happen.) He's talked to mom and told her about our plans, and also told her that he'd try to get the 3 of us on the phone either Monday or Wednesday night. He's also said he has another weekend free - one in June - so I told him I'd really prefer the June weekend over the May one.

So ... we'll see ... Is this really going to happen? At least there's some movement forward - and now mom knows ... (Of course she called me after talking to him and never let on that he'd told her - she was going on and on about wanting the 3 of us to get together sometime, and I was being all non-committal. The turkette!)

---
So much for my weight loss ... along with the spendiness the last week or so, there's also been a lot of junkfood consumption. Frown 3 lbs found their way back. Sigh.

So my goal is for the remainder of April - no more fast food purchases and only 1 serving size worth of candy/junk on a regularly scheduled grocery trip.

---
I did get in 3 exercise sessions this week. 2 x walking on the track at the gym (today I actually did a bit of walk/jogging) and a 4 mile walk with some ladies from church yesterday.

The indoor lap app I'd found was worthless. (tried it today) So hopefully I can find another app I used to use on my other phone - it won't count laps, but it does the timing thing (run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds, etc.) and estimates distance. (I think it was called iTreadmill)

On that walk one of the ladies who runs Women's Ministries and knows I've been a librarian, asked me if I'd be interested in being the Women's Ministries librarian. I told her that sounded like something I'd be interested in doing. Smile

---
Oh, at Goodwill I bought 4 t-shirts. With exercising at the gym, I realized I needed some oversized short-sleeved t-shirts to work out in. Spent $7.47 on the 4 shirts ($3.99 for one, then $1 each for the others.)

--
Got $25 PP from Swagbucks today.

Le Weekend

March 22nd, 2015 at 01:50 pm

So Friday night when NE came over we went out to pick up his prescriptions and also got Chinese food. (I'd eaten earlier, but he was hungry ... I went ahead and got veggie fried rice - which I ate on all weekend.)



---
Anyway ... I went to church Saturday (had missed the last two weeks due to sick and overtiredness.) Saturday afternoon I joined a church group doing a bike ride in a local park. I went there to walk ... one of the ladies walked with me instead of riding. We had a nice time talking and walking for 4.4 miles!

--
Saturday night I spent some time updating YNAB. Ugh. I will not be making my $300 goal this month. If it weren't for some of the extras coming in, I probably wouldn't even have $100 to put in extra to the EF. Gas is one of the major budget busters this month - 4 roundtrips to O does not make for a happy gas tank.

--
I got my $75 Discover CC bonus on Friday - have already requested a check (total of $80.xx)

I also cashed out for a $25 PP from SBS today.

---
This morning I went to the church exercise class - cardio/pilates combo. It was a tough workout! I think it will be good for me though - both the exercise and possibly making some connections.

---
Went grocery shopping this afternoon (walked to the store) - bananas, apple (free w/coupon from health fair), broccoli salad, cat food, 3 cartons of Rice Dream on clearance, etc. $30.29 (after coupons)

--
Brother called this weekend - supposedly mom has big bad news that she has to tell us in person. I called her yesterday (not letting on that I'd talked to brother) and she didn't mention anything about BBN. So .... manipulation anyone?? Ugh. If so, she's shooting herself in the foot because he and I were already in the process of planning a weekend here for her and him and I. This whole thing kind of puts a sour taste on it (esp. for brother - who only started talking to her again maybe 18 months ago or so.)

--

I'm going to be making the oatmeal cookies again fairly soon. I think I'll add applesauce to the batter though. I have two fairly ripe bananas, so will be making more. They'll make great after work / before workout snacks I think.

Cooking Day Adventures

March 8th, 2015 at 04:09 pm

I'm not totally sure what got into me today. I still wasn't feeling very good, but I also wasn't feeling like sitting around being lazy.

I contemplated walking to the library - especially with the beautiful weather we're having, but ended up not doing it. Why? Because I spent most of the day cooking! Smile

The first two things I made today were black bean/oatmeal burgers and quinoa/spinach/mushroom burgers.

The black bean burgers recipe I doubled (1 recipe made 4 burgers.) They could be baked in the oven. So while those were baking, I fried up the quinoa burgers. The recipe supposedly makes 14 patties, but even with adding a can of mushrooms, I was only able to make 10.

While I was frying them up I had to keep contending with my smoke alarm. Thankfully it is a beautiful day, so I opened my windows. Smile

I forgot to take pictures of them before I put them in the freezer - they don't look all that pretty, but they are good. Smile

---
Now I was off to the grocery store within walking distance of home.

I picked up eggs, a bag of broccoli slaw, a bag of frozen diced onions/g & r peppers, zucchini, cornbread mix, swiss cheese slices, shredded cheese and cat food. Total of $23.xx after a $2 cat food coupon.

---
When I got home I put 8 eggs, a bag of shredded cheese, 1/2 a bag of the frozen onion mix, and after shredding the slaw in my handy dandy food processor (Ninja blender sidekick) put that in too. I call it my Veggie Galore Egg Bake. Here's a picture of it (hopefully)


Then I put together my cornbread casserole (cream corn, regular corn, green onions, shredded cheese, 2 eggs, cornbread mix) Here it is:


----
Finally I decided to make the zucchini recipe I found on FB yesterday. It's directions were to cut up a zucchini into thin slices, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle paprika. Bake for 25 minutes at 450.

So ... I thinly sliced my zucchini. I attempted to drizzle the olive oil (ha!) and miraculously found out that I actually have paprika!

Into the oven for 25 minutes at 450.

I go to my computer to rest my aching feet. 25 minutes later I head out to the oven to check on my creation .... This is what I found:


S'pose I should have checked on it a time or two ....

All this food is going to provide lunches for me for the remainder of March, and some might be dinners too. Smile

I'm thinking that the black bean burger will be a staple product for me though - so very easy.

Here's the link for it: http://happyherbivore.com/2011/08/easy-black-bean-burger/ Although I did add diced mushrooms to it. Smile I love mushrooms.

February Accounting

February 28th, 2015 at 06:28 pm

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!

Nice Meal Out, etc.

February 24th, 2015 at 05:04 pm

Sunday night NE and I went out to a Chinese buffet with his friend/wife. It was nice to spend some time with them, and NE was able to have his will witnessed.

I ended up only getting one semi-sweet food - mainly because I was stuffed! (I ate way too many corn nuggets - yummy!)

---
6 days out of 40 are down now in my 40 day challenge! So far I'm not finding it too difficult to stay away from the temptation of buying junkfood ... of course I also haven't had any majorly stressful days this past 6 days. That's when the real test will come.

---
I read "The Mockingbird Next Door" this past week at work. It's about Nelle Harper Lee - the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was REALLY good. Towards the end of the book it mentioned the movie Infamous with Sandra Bullock (based on the Clutter family murder in the early 60s in Kansas - which Truman Capote wrote the book In Cold Blood about.)

NE and I watched it on Amazon IV last night (only $2 to rent! paid out of my Amazon credits). I liked it, although I think NE was slightly bored because it was mostly talking/interacting and not too much action.

--
Today I started reading "The Cat Whisperer." I am *really* liking it so far. Ceejay, you might want to check it out if your cats are still having issues.

No spending since Sunday - groceries and dinner - roughly $48 total. With 4 days to do, I think I'll be putting over $1000k to my EF! Big Grin Wish every month could be like that. (I'd have to earn a whole lot more!)

Sinus headache + Hectic Day = Money Spent

February 10th, 2015 at 08:52 pm

Today was a very hectic and chaotic day at work.

One thing I do is mail passes out to people who send in order forms/money. TWO different people I mailed passes out to last Wednesday/Friday have not gotten them yet. One of them is a mentally challenged person who can be quite abrasive. The other one is an older gentleman who is frustrated, but polite.

I feel very frustrated because I did my part - got the passes out in the outbox as soon as they came in ... now it's the post office's part. But I'm having to deal with the mail not getting there on time. Ugh.

I also found out I made some really stupid mistakes on Friday - totally forgot to make a receipt for one of the mailed out passes (thankfully had a record of it in the mop book!) plus a couple other things ... my boss jokingly? asked me if it was because I was off probation now ...

It sure didn't help things that by about 1 pm I had a horrible headache - most likely sinus.

By the time I got off work my head hurt so badly that I felt nauseous. I thought maybe food would help ... so I stopped at BK and at Family Dollar ... $13 later ... the food didn't really help, nor did the soda. What did help was a Dayquil and taking a 90 minute nap.

--
Tomorrow I have a doctor's appt for bloodwork at 8:30 - TSH and cholesterol, etc - so no breakfast before going.

I had planned on getting a breakfast crosanwich from BK on my way to work after the appointment as a treat (LOVE them, but very rarely get them) but now I don't know if I should since I spent so much tonight. Sigh. Plus I'm not sure how NE and I are splitting our early Valentine's meal (Friday night) - we've talked about getting a heart shaped pizza from a local pizza place and maybe cheesecake from a local place .. we'll see what actually happens.

---
I'd planned on checking out the US Bank offer this afternoon, but because of the headache/nausea didn't do it. There is a branch right near NEs place, which is also near the PO I have a box at (which I need to cancel soon before it renews again!)

I found out at work today that my raise doesn't actually go into effect until my March 5 paycheck. Boo! I understood why, just was hoping to get it sooner.

---
I really hate my allergies. You'd think in winter they'd be non-existent ... They affect my sleep (as in lack of sleep) .. they affect my day at work (as in huge headache can't concentrate) .. they affect my time with NE because if the headache is bad enough that I take some non-daytime medicine, then I get so sleepy / out of it while he's here - but if I *don't* take it, then I can barely stand to hear him talk ..

Ugh!

It used to be I took Allegra D when it was a prescription - reasonable price for a 30 day supply. As an OTC, NOT reasonable price and NOT able to get a 30 day supply (get ten at a time and only once every two weeks ...) Allegra D was what seemed to work best for me without making me so darn sleepy.

Now I have found other stuff that works, is somewhat reasonable, but most of it makes me really drowsy. So .. can't take it during the day.

January Spending Recap

February 1st, 2015 at 04:06 pm

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.)


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