So ... I had lots of ideas and plans for year 39. Those plans and ideas worked about as well as most New Year's resolutions.
Nevertheless, a new decade of life means maybe plans and ideas and goals can be a bit better off than just another set of resolutions. We'll see I guess.
Financially I did okay. As of now I have quite a few LTP (long term planning) funds fully funded and have started on the Car and House funds.
Health/weight wise ... um ... If I remember what I started at last December ... Well ... I pretty much maintained I guess. I pretty much haven't been to the gym in at least 3 months (although I have been exercising - just not at the gym.)
Friendship wise ... While I still don't have anyone here I "hang out" with outside of church activities, I am a little more involved. Maybe eventually that will lead to something. Someday.
Relationship wise .... Mostly good, with some frustrations that rear themselves at times overly much. But that generally tends to happen when I'm way overtired.
Job wise - Most days/most of the time it's ok. I have a great boss, and a couple co-workers I also like. The co-workers who were causing drama before have pretty much completely laid off. So ... it's tolerable.
It's definitely helping being able to take time off now and then to get away. Like today - I took off to have a long weekend as my birthday present to myself. Although I might have taken today off anyway because Sunday I did something to my back, plus feeling miserable cold/allergies. (My back is feeling better tonight, as are my cold/allergies.)
Yesterday NE and I went to the local urgent care place because NE had a finger infection. (Most likely from him biting off a hang nail ... When I asked him if he was going to stop doing that - Why? 1st problem in 49 years? - Ohhhhkaaayyy.)
While we were waiting for his prescription to get filled, we went over to SuperTarget. I had $2 coupons for cat litter (Scoop Away 25lb) plus the Savings Catcher had 25% off it. I unfortunately forgot my Red Card though - asked at the front desk and was told to bring my receipt the next time and they'd make an adjustment.
Of course ... I wasn't used to having NE along on a shopping trip, so I also spaced using the coupons (but not the savings catcher!)
I went back to Target today and was able to get both the 5% adjustment and the $4 in coupons! (I also bought a 3rd box with a coupon. Kari is SET for litter for a long time!)
While I was out today I also stopped at Walmart - mainly to pick up a few iBotta items - definitely things I'll use, but didn't need right now. I also was really wanting to find a Terry's Chocolate Orange .... no luck. Stopped at a few other places too. All sold out.
I cashed out for $20 from iBotta today, and also for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks.
I got a postcard from my doctor letting me know that I need to schedule a baseline mammogram .... Oh the joys of my new decade. I was going to do it today, but then realized that I don't know what my bosses schedule is like ... so need to get that info first.
My aunt (who Thrifty Ray has met) has really gotten into knitting since retiring. While I was in CA over Thanksgiving she made me slippers, and had me pick out the yarn for an afghan. She texted me today to let me know that it was finished! I might have it here by Friday. So cool! (Or should I say, so warm!)
Now that we can post pics again, I'll post a picture of it when I get it.
If I'm on the upward mend of this cold on top of allergies thing, then hopefully within the next few days I'll have the energy to get my apartment back into shape. I'd really hate for the property manager to come in right now ... (not dirty, just really, really cluttered/messy)
Oh! I almost forgot. I logged in to restaurant . com today to buy the gift certificate for the fancy place NE and I will be going to on Thursday night. Only to find out that my $200 credit seemed to have completely disappeared!! I checked on Living Social to make sure they hadn't reversed the offer I'd purchased or something ...
I wrote customer service and got a form reply telling me how to redeem an offer. Ugh! I replied ... nothing back yet.
SO VEry Aggravating. (I bought a $200 r.com gift certificate for $35 from Living Social. I hadn't used any of it yet!)
Viewing the 'Year 39' Category
So ... I had lots of ideas and plans for year 39. Those plans and ideas worked about as well as most New Year's resolutions.
Well it seems like I have developed a cold on top of my allergies. Ugh. So having Allegra D (24 hr) and Flonase in my system daily, and STILL sneezing, sniffling and coughing ... not much else to do but tough it out.
I've been incredibly tired and having a hard time getting myself to do anything I don't absolutely have to do. So ... the robe that I was asked to mend near the end of November ... which was needed by today ... guess when I actually started on it? This morning about 5 a.m. I finished it about 8:30 a.m. (Reattaching braiding on edges in places the cloth had pulled away, and sewing armholes together to a less huge gap.)
I took it with me to church today and gave it to the lady in charge of costumes (it's for a drive through Nativity tonight.)
Church was awesome - it was the spoken/musical Christmas story week. I think this year's story was based on a TransSiberian Orchestra musical? (One of the songs was Music Box Blues, the rest were normal Christmas sonts - i.e. Silent Night, etc.) I wish I'd been a little more with it/not so sleepy - but still very much enjoyed it.
I did not go to the Friday night concert. I realized by Wednesday that I just would NOT be up to it -plus I had that darn robe to do! Part of it also was that I didn't have any money set aside in a concert category - my fun money had pretty much been spent between the Groupon pizza deal and the Living Social Restaurant.com deal. I need to make a separate category for concerts which is NOT to be whacked from for other things. Even if I just put a few dollars in it each month ...
I was looking on Amazon for a purse (mine is getting really shabby.) While on there I looked at my gift card balance. Ouch! I've been buying ebooks $.99 and $1.99 here and there ... and it's really cut into my balance! So ... back to my old rule of only "buying" the freebies!
I did find a purse that I think will work, but I'm going to wait until I have something else to order with it - free shipping. (The purse is $14)
Year 40 is quickly approaching. (Like ... Tuesday quickly. Yikes.) I'm thinking about some changes I'd like to make. Some health wise, some financial, one other possible major change ...
I found a house which would be so perfect ... $55k! Has a one-car garage, enclosed front porch, backyard, fence, basement (990 sq ft, 2 br, 1.5 bath)... If there's one out there now, then maybe in August when I can seriously start looking, there's bound to be another one - maybe even more perfect.
I got my $25 Walmart card from SBs on Friday. So ... I printed it out and went shopping. I had been thinking of getting an Ampore Pedicure device (had a $5 coupon plus a $5 rebate) but just couldn't do $20+ after coupon/rebate. Especially when I found something similar for $10.
After coupons I spent $44.xx total. Minus the giftcard, it was about $19.xx. I got $4.75 in rebates from iBotta, $.60 rebate from MobiSave, $.20 from Snap, $.25 from Checkout 51, and $1 from SavingStar. (None of which I've actually cashed out on yet though.)
I'm $.30 away from cashout on iBotta. I would have been over the cashout limit, but didn't realize one of the items required 2 purchases. Ugh.
I cashed out for another $25 AGC from Perk today. Will get that on Monday.
I did some more messing with my YNAB budget this weekend. I realized that my health insurance OOP is $2000, but through my FSA I have about $800. So ... I reduced that category to $1200 and spread the $800 into other categories.
I also eliminated another LTP category, which added $65 into the budget.
What this all means is that I'll now focus my LTP savings on 3 goals - House Downpayment, Car Replacement, and the Remote Starter.
Speaking of the Remote Starter - On Groupon there was a deal to get it done for $170 in O town. Less than half of the price I was quoted here. Unfortunately, there was only $23 in that category. Maybe that deal will come around again when I have the money ready for it.
Oh! If you remember me talking about the vegge hot pockets I made last Sunday? Well I had a good amount of veggie filling leftover.
Finally on Thursday night I managed to do something with the leftovers! I added a couple eggs, some more flavorings, and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix. Then I formed "patties" and baked them for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
They are YUMMY! Even NE liked them (he wasn't too sure about my adding the Jiffy mix to the batter - but turns out it worked out just right!)
I really need to get the remaining hot pockets and patties frozen though ...
I almost forgot a funny from my grocery shopping ... two of the rebates were for loose carrots. It didn't specify a quantity. So ... I bought ONE loose bulk carrot. It cost $.10. 1 rebate was for $.50, and the other was for $.20. So ... I made $.60 profit.
NE and I went out for pizza Sunday night. I found a Groupon deal for $9 for $20 worth of food. The waitress was a little bit ... not with it. She wasn't very attentive to us, but when I got the check and was looking it over, I noticed a handwritten $1.75 on the bottom. Not even loudly, I said, "What's this $1.75?"
From across the room, waitress shouts out that it was the drink (NE's.) I figured that out almost as soon as I said it - but it being handwritten had thrown me.
(She'd forgotten to include it on our ticket at first because she thought we were getting the special which included a drink.)
I also bought a deal from Living Social which I think will be really good. It was $35 for a $200 Restaurant.com gift card. I already used $10 of it to buy a $25 gift certificate for a local fancy restaurant we're going to for my birthday. (It will be pretty easy to spend $50 there.)
There's a Steven Curtis Chapman concert here this week. I was really, really tempted to buy a ticket. $25. But ... I really didn't want to go by myself. Plus I just haven't seemed to pick up any energy - in fact I went home early from work yesterday.
I've decided to not go.
I did some shopping on Sunday - made back around $7 between ibotta and MobiSave. Spent about $35 grocery money and $20 cat money.
I also did some cooking. I've been buying single carrots and red peppers, etc., because there've been iBotta rebates on them - so wanted to use them.
I chopped up the zucchini, carrots, onion, broccoli, (actually put in the food processor ... )and then took two cans of Pilsbury's Grands and a can of Pillsubry Croissants (coupon/rebate deal) and made veggie hot pockets! Yummy!
Of course ... I still haven't gotten started on fixing the robe for the Nativity drive through that is happening on the 12th. It really shouldn't take too long to do, just have to DO it!
Other than Sunday, I haven't spent any money this week.
Hard to believe there is only one week left of my 30's. If what happened at work yesterday is any indication - my 40's won't find me being any less klutzy. (Dropped one of those big calculators and broke it completely. Offered to pay for a replacement - my boss told me not to worry about it.)
How many of you actually wear robes? I keep being given robes as gifts ... and well, I've never seen the point of them really. So ... they end up hanging around somewhere in my house for years, and then get given away. My mom is sending a robe for NE ... he isn't a robe person either.
Maybe if I was someone more into fixing up my face, etc. before getting dressed or something? Or if I had other people (other than partner) living with me?
Really, what is the purpose of a robe? Just curious really if I'm the oddball out on this one or not.
We had our first real snow last night/today! It was so beautiful this morning when I finally made myself get out of bed and going.
I wasn't sure I wanted to go out driving in it however .. so settled in for a relaxing morning. One thing I ended up doing was signing up for a 3 month Spotify trial for $.99 on Swagbucks - 300 SBs. I gotta say .. I like it so far. Not enough to justify $10/month after the trial, but I do like it.
Early this afternoon the snow started melting ... so I made myself get out and do some errands.
First thing I did was deposit the money my aunt gave me for my airplane ticket. (cash) Then I went to a credit union I'd opened an account at when I first moved here and closed out my accounts - $37.
That $37 wasn't accounted for in my budget (in fact, I thought I only had $35.) So I decided I'd let myself play with the money a bit.
That sent me to Walmart. The first thing I did was take a sample video cassette of each type to the photo counter. I found out it would cost $25 for each 2 hour length DVD -- plus I wouldn't be able to do any editing before hand.
I got the name of two other places in town where I might be able to both watch/edit beforehand AND transfer to DVD. If memory serves me correctly, the videos are going to need a LOT of editing ...
My first priority really are the slides though. The cost at Walmart for 40 slides/DVD was about $25. Ouch. I'd be roughly guessing here, but I think I have at least 3 or 4000 slides. And I only took the ones starting in 1977 - the year my parents got married (I was 2 yrs old.) I don't plan on using ALL the slides, but even if I culled 10% ... this may be a multi-year project. Multi-year Christmas gifts ...
I bought about $20 worth of groceries, etc. at Walmart (3 of which work for iBotta rebates.) It won't come out of my grocery budget though, since it was unbudgeted money.
I had about $13 left. Then I stopped at the library to return some overdue books. I walked out with about $2. Darn you library fines!
Question ... how would you react?
Every week I do NE's and I's laundry. He only has a few pieces of clothing he wears all week. So I add in my own stuff to make a full load. He provides the quarters. I provide the detergent and labor.
Last night after he collected his clothes from where I'd left them, he made a remark about our socks being mixed together. I was a bit miffed, and told him all it took was 2 seconds for him to pick out his own socks. He replied something about "should do laundry right." I told him he was more than welcome to do his own laundry if he thought I wasn't doing it right.
He thinks I was making too big of a deal of it. Notice - no where in there was any thanks for doing my laundry, etc.
To me, I don't mind doing the laundry. What irks me to high heaven is being told I'm not "doing it right" - especially when coupled with no expression of appreciation for my doing it in the first place. (He thinks he shouldn't have to tell me thanks since he's providing the quarters and I'm doing my laundry at the same time. Notice - he didn't do his laundry while I was gone - even though he had a key to the laundry room here and could've used my soap ...)
Anyway .. just curious about how other's might react in this situation.
So not excited about going back to work tomorrow. At least I have several holidays to look forward to this month.
Two weeks left of Year 39. Yikes!
Today at church our pastor started a sermon series about "reasons to believe the Bible" Today's was about scientific facts in the Bible. Such as the Bible writers talking about the Earth being round - centuries before the idea had even been postulated.
Anyway, it was pretty interesting and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
After church one of the ladies I have gone walking with in the past asked if I wanted to go today (the official group is disbanded for the year.) So we set a time and a place.
About an hour or so after I got home, I got a hip call from my mom. It was kind of funny because she was talking to someone about what movie to go see - I kept trying to get her attention to no avail.
As soon as I hung up, the phone rang again. It was a high-school friend of my mom's who was in town and wanted to meet me.
So I got going earlier than planned and went and met the lady/husband/son/son's girlfriend. They seemed like nice people. I couldn't stay very long though because I had to get to the park.
We had a good walk - about an hour. My allergies are really acting up right now though. I'm so sleepy and am thinking about going to bed even though it's just past 7 pm!
I redeemed for a $5 Walmart gc from Bounts today.
I also received $2 in rebates from MobiSave.
I haven't done very well with my moratorium on spending on sweets/fast food this week. I just have to say NO! Not an option!
I talked to my Grandma today. It doesn't sound like my brother will be there for Thanksgiving. I'm not shocked, but I am disappointed. It actually kind of sounds like it might just be me, Grandma and my aunt there. That'll be interesting.
When I was talking about my car service a few days ago, I forgot to mention that I found out how much it would cost to have a remote starter installed. $349.
Yeowch! I ... made a category for it. I'm going to throw "leftovers" from groceries/gas into it. If there ever are "leftovers" in the groceries category ... Maybe by next winter I can get it.
One month left in my thirties. Yikes.
So I realized that I was about out of allergy medicine today. I remembered that I'd gotten an email from CVS a few days ago offering me $5 off $15. Usually they won't let you use those on psueduedorphine (SP?) products ... So I looked to see what else they had.
Toilet paper .. buy $15 worth and get $5 in ECB. Ok, I'm down to my last 4 rolls (from about a year ago or so ... big pkg from Sam's.)
So I go to CVS planning on doing the toilet paper deal, use the $5 coupon on the toilet paper, and then the $5 ECB get some chocolate. (Technically NOT spending money on it ... )
Well when I get there I ask at the pharmacy for the cost of the Allegra D and my Syntrhoid just in case it's cheaper than Walgreen's. The Allegra D is cheaper! (Synthroid is the same.)
So I buy the Allegra D - the lady uses the $5 coupon on it! I tell her that I didn't think it could be used for that .. but she says, "it worked" shrug. O....kay.... So instead of $16.96 ($2 cheaper than Walgreen's) it was $11.96.
I have a coupon on the MobiSave app to save $5 on Allegra D 24hr 10 count. So 2 weeks worth of Allegra is ending up costing me about $7! Suh-weet!
I also decided to go ahead and transfer my prescription to them. (CVS)
Then I picked up $15 worth of toilet paper (actually, $17 after taxes.) That should last me a year.
I did end up spending $2 after the $5 ECB for chocolate. I was really hoping to find a chocolate orange ... but they only had a dark chocolate version. So I got some other items.
It made me happy to do everything I wanted to do in one store. (The cheaper Allegra D also definitely made me happy! Here's hoping the MobiSave coupon keeps repeating indefinitely!!)
I also paid my tithe/charitable giving today for October and November.. Oops. Totally spaced doing it last month. It works out though, because I put it all on my Discover card and it puts me close to the required $500 spend for November. If I use it while in CA, I should have it easily covered. Then I can stop using it!
(I'll have completed the spend $500/mo for 5 months get $75 deal.)
I have Wednesday off. I was thinking about seeing a movie Tuesday night ($5 all day Tuesday) but just don't see any I care enough about to see.
I'm thinking of doing a cooking / freezing / cleaning day on Wednesday. So today I'm taking it easy. It will be so nice to have a 4 day work week.
Then not too long later, I'll have TEN days away from work in a row! Oh my, I won't know what to do with myself ... (5 of those days I'll be here, 5 I'll be in CA.) Not looking forward to that at all, nope, not at all.
Redeemed $5 AGC from Bing
Redeemed $25 AGC from PerkTV
Spent $45.xx AGC for 2 canisters of protein powder (bought 2 to get free shipping - instead of trying to figure out something else to get to $35 for the free shipping - will last a LONG time.)
Today makes 4 days of no spending! Of course it helps that I still have a bit of a stash of chocolate from October ... When that runs out, things will get more interesting ...
I kind of realigned my budget last night. I decided that instead of putting all my savings into one lump EF sum, etc., that I'd divide it out a bit more. I also changed the name from "savings" to "Long Term Planning."
My categories are: Income Replacement (Expenses only) - $6k; Car Replacement - 10k; House Downpayment - 7k; Health deductible - 2k; Car Deductible 1k; Vet Emergency - 1k; and Travel Emergency - 1k.
I downgraded my slush fund to $200, and moved the $800 into Long Term Planning categories. Income Replacement, Car Deductible, and Health Deductible are fully funded. Vet and Travel Emergencies are 1/2 funded. At the moment, there is just a bit more than $10k in the Long Term Planning category.
I think I like this structure better than having a huge amount just labeled EF.
*Vet emergencies are for things not covered by the Kari category - over and above shots, etc.
*Travel emergencies are for sudden trips - such as attending a funeral, or other unplanned but necessary travel.
So far so good. No spending at all so far this month. (Said on day two ...) Of course I still have some chocolate left over from October ... the real crux of the moratorium (on buying only) will come when I've run out of all chocolate sources ...
NE and I have begun a challenge with each other. Lose 10% of our weight by May 1. Each month we lose weight we each will put in $50 into the pot. At the end of 6 months (May 1) if we've both lost at least 10%, then we'll use that money to take a trip together somewhere. We're going to have a monthly weigh in (as close to the 1st as possible.) Last night was our first one.
$600 could be a pretty nice trip.
At my dentist visit today I did end up having a filling done. It was going to cost $84 after insurance. Zoinks!
I handed over my FSA card thinking there was maybe $5 or $6 left on it at most. Nope! There was over $50 left! Yay!
So since I was in a celebratory mood ... (ya ya sure ... I was using any excuse) I headed to Target and got my fave Amy meal x 3. Plus a few other things.
Spent about $24.
BUT .. today I saw my last October paycheck. Which is the second one going to November.
After entering it in, and filling in the numbers in my various categories ... and knowing that I'll be getting reimbursed for the plane tickets to CA for Thanksgiving ... and knowing that December should also be a 3 paycheck month ...
I came to the following conclusion --
I will be able to meet my $10k in my EF goal by the end of this year!
This goal originally was $12k, but I realized that I wasn't funding some categories properly (i.e. car tags, etc.) and so reduced it to $10k. With some of the larger medical expenses I had this year, I wasn't sure I'd even make that one.
But it (knocks on wood) looks like I just might!
Then in January I can start aggressively saving towards the house downpayment! YES!
I have decided (once again ...) that I am going cold turkey on purchasing soda or any junky food for November and December. (Not saying I won't EAT any junk food - just I won't purchase it myself.)
I've let myself get way too lax with the junk, and I'm hoping by putting forth this moratorium, I will both save money (since many trips to the store are merely disguised trips for junk ...) and help me get back to LOSING weight. Maybe help with my lack of energy too.
Okay, so now for the funny ...
Our bus system has a number of routes which are interconnected. This means that when Bus A is South of O street it is for example #46, but when it is North of O Street, it is #45. A rider could get on Bus A when it is the #46 and ride it from the North to the South and get off of it as the #45.
So ... today I get this call from a woman who was at first and O St. She wanted to know when the #45 bus would be coming by.
After checking to make sure if she was wanting to go downtown or outbound, I told her that the #46 bus would be going by her in about ten minutes.
(The #46 bus goes out from our transfer center west along O St from 11th to 1st, and then the numbers start going back up (Nw 1st, Sw 1st) When it gets to NW 48th and O it heads North. This happens from 6:10 a.m. to 6:10 p.m. Monday thru Friday.)
She then started arguing with me that the #45 bus came by first and O in the morning, but not the #46 bus.
As she was hanging up I heard her say to someone nearby ... "The lady doesn't know her buses very well." LOL
I filled out a comment card at the restaurant the other night. Today I got an email letting me know that I'd won a $15 gift certificate!
I wonder how long that will be good for ... cuz' I'm guessing it'll be a long time before I'll be getting back that way.
I checked yesterday with our HR person about whether my union had any other retirement plans available other than the one the city contributes to for us. He told me he'd send me info.
I got the info today! There are three different companies offering 457 plans. Contributions are pre-tax, and count towards the tax savers credit (although I *think* my 401(b)contributions do that too ...)
So ... I decided to open a 457 with Ameritas (had the best options = lots of Vanguard Index funds) and put in there the amount that I'm currently putting in my ROTH right now. Of course, since this is pre-tax, it won't actually be the full amount.
So, I'm going to take the "leftover" amount plus a bit more, and continue to add $50/month to my ROTH. That way I'm still adding $600/year to an account I can access penalty free if an absolute emergency occurred before I'm 55 and retired ... but in effect increasing the total amount being saved towards retirement with very little effect on my actual net income. Then when I get my next raise in February, I can add a little to the 457 contribution amount very easily.
Overall, I think it adds maybe 1% to my retirement savings amount - 17% employer/employee match; ~10% to 457, ~.75% to ROTH. I have it set to start in November since my October ROTH contribution has already been set to go.
I love how it says "contribution limits per years are $18k" Hah, hah, ha ...... I'd be rolling in it if I made enough to contribute $18k a year .... Shoot, I'd be retiring in 5 or 6 years instead of 15 or 16 if I made that kind of money ...
I was wishing I hadn't checked my electric car stock today. Ouch. My net worth dropped by ... oh .. $5k or so thanks to stupid Consumer Reports.
Anyways ... I redeemed for a $5 Walmart card from Bounts today - got it in my email oh about 30 seconds later.
Between the Bounts cards and Savings Catcher I have a little over $15 to spend at Walmart. I'm probably going to save them up til I have more like around $50 or so. Or enough for a manicure and pedicure. Nice way to treat myself for doing lots of walking.
Got an email today telling me my Lane Bryant order is at the store! I'll probably go pick it up tomorrow after work. (I was walking home today, so once I got home, just wanted to cool off - not go drive to the store ...)
I found my lanyard with my library card and ID badge! You'll never guess where it was ... if it were a snake it would've bit me. Right under my keyboard on my desk. :roll eyes:
I joined a rewards program for the local Internet company. You can redeem points for cash or gift cards or money off your bill. Works for me. Whatever I can do to get that horrendous bill down a bit is good.
This afternoon as a colleague was heading out the door ... she let slip the S word. No .. not a four letter word. A five letter word. Strep.
As soon as she said it, my radar pinged wildly.
I am someone who catches strep almost at the mere mention of the word.
I have been feeling more and more run down this week - which I thought was due to maybe overdoing it with the walking.
I really, really, really hope I do not have strep. In any case, I plan on taking it very easy this weekend. Which is kind of disappointing because there is a free concert at my church tomorrow night I wanted to go to, plus I've missed 3 weeks now of walking with the church group on Sabbath afternoon.
I redeemed 5k Swagbucks for a $50 PayPal card on the 14th - mistakenly thinking that was the day the swagups went into play. (They don' til the 19th.) I have about 1700 towards the next one, so hopefully will be able to make use of the swagups I earned (I think I earned 200.)
I also redeemed Bounts points for a $5 Walmart gift card which I have already received (ecard.)
I am considering making an extra trip out to CA in December. No, I can't really afford it without missing my savings goals for the year, but ... family is more important than savings goals sometimes. I'm going to call my aunt tonight and see what she thinks.
NE told me he's surprised I'm even thinking of going because his family experience is such that his sister didn't do more than call him when he was in the hospital for shoulder surgery in March (she lives in the same town, but we were in a town an hour away.) But he also said he'd fully support me if I decided to go.
My boss has also told me that she'd make it work if I needed to take a few days off to do this.
Pricing tickets, it looks like somewhere around $375, plus I'll probably have to do a hotel room ... in San Francisco....
If my dad were alive, I know he wouldn't let money keep him away from his kids who needed support.
I just don't know ... Part of my hesitation is that nothing is in stone yet. So dates could change.
All I can say about all this is ... I hate alcohol.
I participate haphazardly on the Mr Money Mustache forums and a few weeks ago there was a thread on there asking if anyone in this city wanted to get together for a meetup. I said I would like to.
Tonight was the first meetup! Including myself, there were three people. Someone who works for the city, and someone who works for the college CCF's daughter goes to!
We chatted and got to know each other for a little over an hour. (We met at a beautiful park near the zoo.)
We talked about maybe making this a regular thing. That'd be great I think.
They both were a lot younger than me, so I am a little envious that they've gotten started on the good path so much earlier than I did. Not really though ... without the path I took, I'd be a different person today. We all have to take our own.
I ended up walking to work today - barely. If I'd left any later I would have had to drive. Just as I was getting breakfast, I got a text from my boss telling me to wear jeans today - we were going to clean the schedule room!
I was glad to hear that because the last time I was down there, it was a mess! (I had told her that.) It made it a royal pain to get what I needed.
So today we spent nearly two hours cleaning, discarding and reorganizing the schedule room. It was so DUSTY and full of spider webs, etc. But now it looks marvelous! We jokingly bet each other how long it would take for it to get back to the way it was ...
So with the walking to work and back, the cleaning out of the schedule room, and then the meetup tonight ... I got in 14k steps! I can't remember where I was at yesterday, but I think I just surpassed 50k steps for this week.
Here's hoping this will mean a really good nights sleep tonight. Only got in maybe 4 1/2 hours last night.
So yesterday after going to the grocery store, I decided to go to the park and do some walking. This partly was because I wanted to rack up some steps for the challenge (50k steps by Friday) and partly because I just wanted to get out into the fresh air.
About this time I got an email from Bounts telling me that they'd reduced the time between GPS tracked activities from two hours to one hour.
This got my wheels turning.
So, in total I spent two hours at the park.
I did a GPS tracked walk for 20 minutes at 2.5 mph+ and then set my timer for 62 minutes and ... kept walking. It was pretty hot yesterday - in the low 90s! I was really feeling it by 40 minutes in to the 62 minutes. But I kept going. Finally it was time for the second 20 minute GPS tracked walk. I ended up walking around my car in circles (in the shade) for the last 3 minutes or so ...
But between walking to the grocery store, the walk in the park, plus a little bit more walking in the evening with NE (IHOP, Dollar Tree) I got in over 15k steps!
I also made lunches for the week - quinoa w/mushrooms/onions/tofu and 3 baked sweet potatoes which I divided up into 4 meals. (tomorrow we are supposed to have a free employee appreciation meal ... we'll see if I can eat any of it or not...)
Today I managed to get in another 10k steps = nearly 6k of them at work. I went down to dispatch twice for lost and found items (people were leaving so many wallets on the university buses today - it was ridiculous!) I also walked on the treadmill during my 15 minute afternoon break. Plus going up and down the stairs multiple times more than necessary to refill the brochures in the lobby.
So ... I'm at 33k steps out of 50k. I think I'm going to make it.
After work today I called Empower Retirement to find out why my 403b STILL hasn't been transferred to Vanguard. The person who I talked to told me that they had received notification of my termination date, but there was a 45 day hold. He saw the ridiculousness of this statement as he said it ... given that said termination date was on June 30, 2005!
So ... that should be set in motion (finally!) tomorrow.
I also called my Swagbucks card provider and after a bit of back and forth, they are sending me a check for the overpaid amount. (I had my paid in full amount taken once from ING and once from the CU account.) 7 - 10 days from now .... the check should arrive.
I also called the bank that had my Mypoints card - which I haven't used in 15 months ... mainly because the SBs card is a better deal, but also it doesn't have the option of automatic payments. I'd gotten a letter saying they were going to close it if I didn't make a charge. Well, I couldn't find the card (probably shredded it) so I called to claim it as lost and have a new one sent. In our discussion though, I realized that the deadline was the 14th to make the charge ... so I said go ahead and close it.
This will probably have a negative effect on my credit score since I think this is one of my older cards. But by the time I'm ready to do house hunting for real, it'll be right back up there I'm sure.
(Anyway, an article I was reading today said something about how if you're score is above 740, you really don't need to care too much about what the number is. Because it doesn't really matter at that point other than being a number.)
I got my Pinecone credit today so I was able to cash out = $15.00.
I got an okay night's sleep on Friday night, but ended up getting up and going an hour or so before my alarm because .. well, I was awake.
Then I went to Sabbath School and church. After I got home and ate lunch I goofed around on the net for a bit, but was really sleepy. So I laid down to take a 30 minute nap. Even set my timer on my phone. I wanted to make sure to get up in time to get ready to go walking with my church group.
We usually do around 4.5 miles or so. Lots of steps!
Next thing I knew it was 5:05 p.m. Oops. I was over an hour late.
So instead I decided to walk to the library to return a couple things and pick up some holds. Got 2.5 miles in, and got my steps for the day to a bit over 8k. So have 42,000 steps to go by Friday .... I WILL do it!
Talked to my grandma and to my mom this afternoon. Also texted with my brother a little bit. Grandma's pretty excited about me coming out for Thanksgiving (although hopefully she won't be looking for a plane coming from Colorado where she thinks I live. She's 94, so I humor her.)
My brother is going through some really tough life lessons right now. Our choices do have consequences. I hope that the consequences are as light as possible, because I think just what is going on right now has been a good wake up call for him. Some of the choices he'd been making was making me wonder if I was going to get a phone call with about the worst possible news ever. A phone call I hope to never get.
NE and I are going to the Sprint store tomorrow to see if him getting a WiFi card thing would be a good idea. He has been using my old Android phone as a hotspot with Ting, but used over 12 GBs of data .... He had the same Internet service that I do, but the modem(s) / Internet stopped working and multiple service calls didn't get anywhere with the stupid company. So ... he's trying the alternatives.
After that we're going to eat at IHOP. It's my treat this month (so also my choice of place to eat. )
I think the Sprint store we're going to is near the mall with the photo booth - if so, I'm going to get him to get in there with me.
My last order of clothes from Schoola came today. I absolutely ADORE two of the items. The third one unfortunately doesn't fit. So that'll be going in the goodwill bag.
So overall of the 6 items I bought from there, 4 of the 6 turned out to be WONDERFUL. And I paid a total of $11.26 for the 6 items shipped. A fifth shirt I really like, but unfortunately its design emphasizes my tummy too much.
I'd planned on watching a couple of my DVDs tonight, but I don't know if I will really do that or not. There's two that NE watched and told me were really good (he borrowed the DVDs from me which I had borrowed from the library ... weeks and weeks ago.) The Ultimate Gift and Rudderless. I've already renewed these several times... I just don't watch movies or even videos on the Internet that much anymore.
Oh, I also want to share this youtube video:
It is a style of music I usually won't touch with a ten foot pole - rap music. But for some reason I decided to give it a chance and listen to it today (while doing my Bing searches) and ... it is simply beautiful. When I See You Again by Wiz Khalifa. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a chance - I think you'll like it.
This past weekend I had a chance to talk to my Aunt and confirm my dates and her dates. She has offered to pay for my tickets. At first I told her I appreciated it, but she really didn't need to do it. She insisted she really wanted to. So ...
I'd checked ticket prices a few months ago, and for leaving on Monday morning and returning on Saturday or Sunday it was around $450. Apparently all the cheap return flights on Saturday and Sunday are gone. Returning either of those days added $400!! to the ticket price.
Returning on Friday though kept it to $460. So .. I'll be returning on Friday. Keep me away from the Black Friday sales. (Not that I do them anyway ...)
I'm looking forward to seeing my grandma and aunt again - it'll have been nearly two years since my last visit there. Grandma is 94, so who knows how many more times I'll get to see her. (Just as feisty as ever though!)
Today at work our accountant passed around a document that made me feel pretty panicked. It was a spreadsheet delineating the costs of having bus passes.
IOW it showed how much money / time would be freed up if we stopped doing passes and just did free rides. Relied totally on Federal funds I guess.
40-50% of my job is bus pass related.
So you can guess where my head was going with that.
My boss told me not to get too worried, that they are always coming up with ideas/plans that never get off the ground.
Still though ... All the more reason to have a beefy Emergency Fund!
If it were to come to that, they'd first have to try to place me in a similar positon/pay grade. Failing any openings (for people with less senority than me) there is some kind of severance package.
Stopped at Walgreen's today .... $13.xx later (meds, treats)
I'm now topped out at my $20/week spending. So no more money spent this week (other than bills, or stuff like the airplane ticket.)
I got my Schoola clothes! They all are in beautiful shape, and I LOVE two of them and like the third. I have $30 to spend today there ($15 + the code for 50% off - good through today.) I am going to see what I can find!
I also got the letter for Kari's license renewal - $21. Will pay it today.
Oh, another PANIC today ...
I have my credit cards set up on auto pay so I don't have to think about it.
Usually that is no issue.
However, with the new 2.5% checking account having the majority of my money ...
I paid my Swagbucks card in full on Thursday from my new checking account - thinking that would cancel out the auto payment for today from ING/Cap one.
I was wrong.
So this morning I applied for and was gifted a $1000 overdraft on my account. (Instantly!) Why did I need this? Because my rent check will be coming out from that account in the next day or two!
I've already set up a transfer from new account to old account to cover whatever isn't covered. So hopefully if I go into overdraft it won't be for more than a day or two.
Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!
(I also contacted my CC to ask them for my money back!)
Most of today was trying to catch up on sleep, then surfed the net for a bit, and general laziness.
I did see I had some items at the library which had to be picked up today, so I stopped by the library. On my way home I dropped off my rent check.
When I got home I guess I had a second wind or something, because I did an inventory of my pantry, my freezer, my fridge, and the cupboard above my sink!
Then I mapped out a meal plan for the whole month of October, along with listing the items I'd need to buy each week.
I also checked all my grocery apps to see what had rebates right now, and included the ones I would actually use in my meal planning/shopping.
Even after making all the food for my meal plan for the month, I'll still have a fairly good food stock.
I'm hoping that this is going to help me keep my food spending to a minimum this month.
I did include one meal out with NE (my turn this month) and one meal that we'll make together at my place.
M - F - Breakfast - Fruit smoothie, 1/2 English muffin w/ peanut butter
Lunch - Sandwich of some sort / veggies / apple
Dinner - varies
---- spaghetti w/spinach, Morningstar crumbles
----- spaghetti squash w/crumbles (if still good)
---- Cottage Cheese loaf , veggies
---- Corn pudding, veggies
---- Sweet potato w/ baked beans or greek yogurt
---- Quiona w/veggies and tofu
---- Couscous w/ veggies and crumbles
----- Fried "rice" quinoa w/veggies/tofu
---- last Friday night --- Amy's frozen meal
Snacks (Weekday) - fruit, snack bar
Weekends - Sundays -
-----------Brunch: Greek Yogurt/banana pancakes, egg
-----------Dinner: One of the dinners or eating out, making pizza with NE
Saturdays - Breakfast - Bagel w/cream cheese, egg, banana
----------- Lunch - leftovers
------------Dinner - cereal, egg
------------Dessert - ICE CREAM!
So far the spending fast is going well. I haven't spent a penny Tuesday - today.
There's been a number of times driving home, etc. where I get the thought in my head "let me just stop and get a drink (soda)" and then I'll remind myself that #1 I can drink water when I get home, and #2 I am NOT spending any money unless I absolutely NEED to. So far, so good with that. (It kind of helps that thanks to my major overspending, I have a stash of not so healthy food in my place ... so when I'm overly stressed the food is already there ... no need to buy it ... good for the pocketbook, not so much for the waistline)
NE and I did some more talking last night. He wants me to go ahead and do the research/get started on figuring out how to get pre-approved for a home loan. From the various calculators, based just on my income debt/income ratio, we should be able to get something around $75k - or about $600/month total cost (mortgage, insurance, taxes, PMI) That'd be nearly $400/month less than what we're paying in rent currently.
By combining expenses we'll eliminate one Internet bill ($80/month Gulp) and probably cut utilities by 1/3 or so (depending on how big the house is of course.)
He's on board with the idea of a 15 year and paying extra to it so as to get it paid off as quickly as possible. I've also stressed to him that we need to have money set aside for repairs/maintenance/improvements.
I asked a lady at church (at women's ministry meeting) what Realtor she'd used when buying her recent rental property - she gave me the info for her and said she'd highly recommend. Before going with a Realtor though, I want to get the pre-approval thing done. Not sure if I should try through an online place like Cap One or through a local credit union. I'd really like to try to see if I can get the 2.75% rate ....
I read somewhere that some of the first time buyer programs that offer downpayment assistance have clauses such as they get your profit when / if you sell your home later?? I'd kind of get that if they asked you to pay back the money they assisted you with, plus maybe a little extra ... but all the profit? (Not that I think I'd really need to worry too much about that, because whatever house we buy, we will be staying put in - not planning on doing the whole "starter" house thing.)
Like I said though, still need to do some research on this whole thing.
So ... possibly a little prematurely and presumptively .... based on some conversations NE and I have had recently plus the house talk getting more serious (and him knowing my viewpoint for MYSELF about living with someone I'm not married to) ... my mom and I went to a dress shop while she was here. Yes, that kind of a dress shop.
I found *the* dress. $847. GULP. THE dress. It fit nearly perfectly. (I could possibly get the price reduced, as it is a stock dress. Alterations would be less than $50 ... Sigh.)
I can't do it. I won't do it. But me oh my ... if I had the budget for it ... and a venue/large enough prospective guest list for it ... and didn't want a house more than THE dress ... It would be mine.
Even though I'll more than likely end up getting something off the rack at Macy's or JC Penney's etc., it sure was fun to have the experience and to know that there really IS that experience of finding something that really IS THE Dress. Even if you don't actually get it.
(When/if it happens, it'll be just family and a few local friends. NE only has a sister and a close friend here, possibly a nephew that might come. We have a mutual friend here. I have a slew of family that'd come. Still, the total guest list would probably be under 20, maybe 15. So something *really* simple. Maybe even a courthouse one. My recent experience has made me rethink whether that is totally out of the question or not.)
I am at home today. Woke up feeling pretty miserable. Yesterday at work was pretty miserable (plus stressful .... Why oh why would someone ask you to do something for them, and then while you are doing what they asked, they go ahead and make their own version? Which of course is *exactly* what they wanted/pictured. And this is the person who's always talking about how she is SO behind and SO overwhelmed. Of course you are - even as you supposedly delegate tasks to me, you are either doing them yourself, or spending 20 minutes plus explaining it ...(whereas a note telling me what labels she wanted created would've been more than sufficient ... I don't have ANY interest in her job, so the explanations have ZERO interest to me ...)
So anyway ... since I am at home today during regular business hours, I plan on calling the horrible company that holds me hostage to their prices for Internet. My "promo" expired and went from $67/month to $82/month. Cannot comprehend spending that much money on Internet. (A phone line is included in the cost - it is required for whatever reason. Believe me, I have tried to tell them I refuse to have the stupid phone line. Didn't work.)
First though I'm going to call the *other* company here and see if they have a better offer. Last time they didn't.
It just galls me to pay this much for it, when in NM and TX I paid less than $40/month, and even less than $30/month (in TX.)
I got credited for my hotel stays on SBs - 2888SBs. Of course I'd seen they had a credit pending for just the first hotel stay, and I wrote CS an email asking what was going on ... CS credited me with 2888SBs. Only in my ledger it shows as for Groupon. Not Expedia. I wrote them back to let them know they made a mistake, but so far I still have the SBs. So I have enough to redeem for a $50 PayPal with plenty left over ...
Will give it a few weeks though to see if they take the SBs back or not.
I forgot to mention this in my last post.
Saturday was a bonanza for things in the mail.
I received my $100 AGC from YouGov (a survey site - link in the sidebar.)
I also received my order from Amazon - my pea protein powder, two plate hooks and .... my hair cutting scissors!
The scissors arrived in a plush little zip up bag. I'm kind of looking forward to trying to cut my own hair. Kind of. I will try to take before and after pictures to let you all know how it goes.
Hopefully I won't botch it too badly and still have to go pay for a haircut.
If this works, then I may never need to pay for a haircut again. Then I'd just need to figure out how to do my own highlights at home ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. (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.)
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 ) 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.
Some things that have amused me recently:
1. Got a call from the call center/medical survey place I worked at for about six weeks when I first moved here. They were wondering if I'd be interested in working for them again ... LOL! Only if I was uber desperate.
2. I was able to log in to my new credit union account tonight - and found out that my $50 bonus has already posted! (I'd been told it would be 45 days after opening.)
I made it to the gym again today. Did 30 minutes of stronglifts, and 25 minutes of walk/jogging. I was trying to get to 7k steps.
I can't remember the name of it, but I heard about a website/app based in the UK that pays for steps activity in the US (gift cards - Walmart is one of them.) You have to get over 7k steps to earn 5 points. A $5 gift card is 700 points. So ... it'll be awhile. LOL But, every little bit counts, right?
I haven't heard back anything from Microsoft regarding my hotmail troubles yet. I really hope they can figure it out so I can get into my account!! I want my $5 AGC from Bing! (Plus I can't Bing anymore ... - every day I can't Bing, I lose 25+ points.) Pooh!
I decided to go ahead and book the hotel rooms for my mom's stay. I'm counting it as a spend for September though. I was just worried that if I waited much longer, we might not be able to get what we wanted.
Gulp. 4 nights at the hotel we compromised on .... $420.xx (3 nights x $86, 1 night at $103 + taxes and fees - last night we are staying in O city.)
But .... I booked it through Expedia via the Swagbucks site. That means I'll get about 3200 Swagbucks back as a shop and earn, plus around 650 more for using my Swagbucks credit card. So, nearly $40 back.
My mom and I decided that we'd split the hotel cost, and then after all is said and done, add up all the other expenses and divide it.
Otherwise though, no spending has been done by me!
I did confirm that my salary should be getting a 2.25% bump this coming paycheck. It's the annual cost of living bump via the union contract. I sure won't refuse it!
I'm going to let myself play with the bump for a few months, but in January, I'll probably have to lower my deductions, and so the bump will go away. (I'll decide for sure after I do my taxes.)
September is going to be expensive ...
So I tried logging into my hotmail account today to get my reward from Bing, but it wouldn't let me log in! I tried resetting my password - two times! It still wouldn't let me log in, even with the new password.
Next I tried creating a new account so I could email customer service. No good! I got to the part where they test you to see if you're a zombie or not, and I couldn't get the captcha to work - I even tried the audio option, and it wouldn't play.
I accidentally left my phone at home today ... playing SB Mobile TV. I had forgotten to turn it off (which is also partly how I forgot to bring it with me ...) When I got home I had 240 points - mostly from bonus rounds. Oops. (not complaining!) This weekend I got tons of bonus rounds too. I have the feeling this is some kind of glitch.
I went to the gym today for the first time in a month! After I got there I realized I hadn't downloaded my Stronglifts app. So I did my workout from memory (reducing the weight though since it had been awhile.)
Kind of like how when I was at church this weekend and realized that I didn't have my Bible app or my hymnal app ...
I wonder how most apps got redownloaded, but a few didn't (and how did I not notice this?)
Oh well, being fixed now.
I tried setting up my online access to Liberty First CU yesterday, but kept getting an error message. I'd planned on calling them today during my break, but of course, I didn't have my phone with me.
I'll have to do that tomorrow.
I have a seed stuck in one of my teeth from my smoothie this morning. It's been bugging me all day!
You could definitely tell it was the first day of classes for the major university here. We had at least three wallets and two sets of keys left on buses today. One of the wallets created a good bit of drama - I called dispatch about it and was told that the driver HAD the wallet. I checked that the name matched.
The kid stood out there (missing his first class) waiting for the bus. He checked with all 4 of the buses on that route. None of them had it. His mom calls me - I find out the name of the driver who has it - and again, double check the name.
Still no wallet for the kid.
Turns out the wallet the driver had was for another person who'd lost their wallet. The kid's wallet had been taken by another student and turned in to campus police.
It ended well, but was the source of multiple and more frantic phone calls ...
Word of advice. Whenever you ride a bus, make sure you #1 know the intersection you got on the bus, #2 know the route #, #3 know the TIME you got on it, #4 know some kind of description of the driver, #5 a bus number would also be a really good thing to know.
Then if it so happens that you leave something on the bus, you can give someone really good detailed info - making it much more likely we'll be able to locate your item!
You would be shocked at how many people who call in know NONE of that info.
Ahhhh.... Can you hear the sweet sound of relaxation and stress relief? Nearly two days away from the phone calls, the endless, relentless phone calls (especially this past week ....)Two more full days away to come - all to fill with what I want to do.
Friday I got a late start on it, but I DID manage to KonMari ALL of my clothes - the only exceptions being what was in my laundry baskets.
I completely filled a medium sized box and a smaller box with clothes/other items to give away. This is after having let go of at least 3 large trashbags full of clothes before I moved here a year+ ago. I probably could still let go of more...
Funny thing is, I think it will stick.
Today after church I immediately hung up my dress (after passing the sniff test), folded and put away my slip, folded and put away my shrug, and replaced my shoes in their place. Granted, it wasn't anywhere near second nature, but that will come if I keep repeating the gestures.
I have taken some pictures of my drawers and my closet, and may post them later. I'm just too much into my vacation mode right now.
The rest of today is for napping (check), reading, watching movies (later tonight), and anything else I feel like doing.
Sunday will probably start out with my earned movie (Inside Out I think.) Then brunch out at a new to me restaurant that serves crepes as one of its mains. Possibly a pedi/mani.
Then it will be time to earn my Monday fun. I plan to KonMari my kitchen and bathroom. Then probably also clean them too. The pedi/mani maybe should wait til Monday ...
Oh yes, it will end with making dinner with the SO.
Monday will begin with Mission Impossible, eating at CiCi's, shopping at Dollar Tree and Walmart, figuring out the best way to organize/put together smoothie packets so I know how many days worth I have of various ingredients, perhaps cooking up some freezer batches of food for lunches/suppers. Then more rest and relaxation. Hopefully also setting up my new to me phone!
Either Sunday or Monday I want to go to the gym and use the pool - since thanks to KonMari'ing my clothing, I found my long lost swimsuit!
I may also add in there doing a major KonMari of my car too. NE is putting me to shame in the way he is keeping his new to him car free of clutter and trash. Mine used to be much cleaner, now it is definitely not.
Mom will be here in less than 5 weeks .... I wonder what she is going to think about my drawers of folded up clothing?
PS - I know all of this doesn't sound like a very frugal way to do a vacation. But it is all being done with money I'd specifically set aside to do a vacation with. Circumstances made it so that it became a staycation ... so I decided to play and splurge much more than I normally would within a 4 day period.
I almost scrapped my play/splurge plans due to the unexpected phone costs, but I just couldn't do that. I REALLY need this break. Desperately. I can whack the phone cost from other categories, and if necessary the slush fund. That's what it is there for anyway.
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. 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 ..)
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)
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.
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.)
1st - Fazoli's - $13
2nd - Grocery store - $57.xx (groceries, cat, NE birthday stuff)
Chinese buffet - $25 for two
3rd - hopefully none!
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
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.
NE got the news today - his transmission got water in it. The mechanic is suggesting rebuilding it = to the tune of $3100. That's more than the car is worth.
NE is considering selling the car and getting a cheap $1200 car he found in O city to get by until he has enough to get a more decent car.
I'm almost to 5k SBs - mainly due to doing surveys and actually qualifying for a few this week. (Working on the Survey Soiree thing.) Can hardly wait til August 3 so I can cash them in (and get the discount.)
Walked to work Monday and Tuesday so far this week. NE's picked me up both days - kind of fun getting picked up. He's gotten to see some of the coworkers I talk to him about from afar.
The project at work that never ends may be actually getting close...r to ending. I worked on the table of contents today, and fixing some formatting issues. Of course all I did may be for naught if decision makers decide to change some of the content. Oh well, it was something to keep me busy.
Why do people argue with you when they call in for information? I just don't get it.
NE and I ended up not going to see Antman on Sunday. All the theaters are owned by the same company, so all the Matinee priced showings were before noon. Way too early for NE (he works nights.) We watched a movie on Netflix instead - something that took place in WW2 on a submarine - a bunch of US soldiers were captured by a German Uboat submarine. Very interesting (can't remember the name of it though.)
My latest Ting bill closed yesterday. I managed to keep the non-tax part of it to $15! I think now that NE is also on Ting, he's gotten the idea of being very conservative with phone minutes. (Before, he just didn't get why I would get frustrated when he'd talk for 30 minutes before coming over for 3 hours ...)
Compared to my old cell bill of $75/76/month ... I love Ting!
Tomorrow, and probably on Thursday too, I'm going to have NE pick me up later so I can use the gym at work. This also helps him so he can get up later. (His Wed. shift starts later, and he doesn't work Thursday nights.)
So I'm thinking about combining all my investment accounts. I think I want to put them all in Vanguard, but I'm not sure if it is possible.
I currently have two stock/brokerage accounts at Scottrade.
A stock/brokerage account and target fund at Trowe.
A defunct 403(b) account from teaching at some place called Empower Retirement? (used to be at Valic AIG, but my former employer switched companies this year.)
A traditional ROTH at Vanguard.
Almost forgot - another stock account at Cap One - formerly Sharebuilder.
And then of course the accounts I have with my new employer. (These I plan to leave alone.)
The 403b and the TROWE target fund I think can be moved over with no problem. It's the stock accounts I'm not so sure about.
I want to consolidate these accounts as much as possible for two reasons - 1- ease of tracking/accounting, and 2 - less maintenance fees eating into profits.
I know I need to just call Vanguard and ask if it's possible to move stock only accounts over to them, but I seem to think about these kinds of things on the weekend or after business phone hours.
I don't want to sell my stock holdings, just move them to another ... holder? I'm not even sure if that is possible??
Anyway, I have this on a reminder note for the August business days I'll have off to call and get the ball rolling on as much as I can.
Oh get this! I just got a message from J of airbnb fame ... the "friend" found an apartment and doesn't need her room after all. Too bad, so sad. :roll eyes:
I've been on a bit of a junkfood binge the past few days. All that stuff I bought Thursday ... I had thought about returning some of it before I actually ate it ... Oh well. It was a good reminder that I actually like how I feel *without* eating all that junk *much* better than the opposite.
I cashed out Bing for a $5 AGC yesterday. Today I am within less than 600 SBs of my second $25 Paypal for July. (Ngage is back ... which can be "watched" while doing stuff in another window at the same time ...)
I've set my fitbit sleep thing on sensitive this last week. It sure has shown me why I'm so tired! For example, last night out of 6 hrs 30 minutes "asleep" 85 minutes of that time was "restless" or moving enough to shake the fitbit. Other nights had less hours of "sleep" with roughly the same restless minutes. I wish I could figure out how to change this. Consistent exercise doesn't seem to be the answer. Eating better doesn't seem to be the answer. (the little hours sleep / restlessness are similar for before Thursday's junk food binge - so really made no difference.)
Getting TO sleep isn't the issue - it's once I'm asleep that there are multiple periods of restlessness, and then waking up at WAY too early hours (WAY before my alarm is set, and not being able to go back to sleep very well.)
This coming week my sleep issues are probably not going to be helped much ... Monday and Wednesday evenings I'm signed up to help out at the local VBS. Tuesday night I'm doing a parking garage shift from 8 p.m. - ?? And of course Sunday and Thursday nights are NE's nights. Somehow I'm going to fit in regular exercise into that schedule.
Today during lunch I was browsing FB and my eyes just about bugged out. There in front of me was a 1334 sq ft house for $30k!
Everything I usually see on there is 3x+ as much. So I inspected it a bit closer to figure out why it was so inexpensive.
The main thing I could come up with was that it is a mobile home. From the pictures it looked well kept, it included a yard and a screened in back porch. It didn't sound like it was in a bad part of town, nor too terribly far from work.
I couldn't click on the link for more info, and it seems to have disappeared. However, it gave me hope that I might be able to afford something without taking on a huge mortgage or waiting ten years ... as long as I can find a mobile home in good condition and in a good / well taken care of park. And apparently there is such a thing here!
I could do 20% down on this thing with only my EF savings. Give me a few more years (and more time to research areas/mobile home conditions) and this might just be the way to go.
I ended up walking to work this morning even though I really had not planned on doing it (so HOT yesterday morning.) It was a little warm, but much cooler than Monday a.m.
NE picked me up after work today and took me over to his place so I could use his car to go to the gym.
The drive without a/c wouldn't have been too bad if it hadn't been for the horrible traffic! It took me nearly 30 minutes to get to the gym! (In comparison, it took me 12 minutes to get home.)
NE is planning on getting the a/c fixed in his Honda, and then taking his Subaru in to see what is going on with it. If it's more than a $1k fix, he's probably going to get rid of it. If the a/c gets working in his Honda, that'll give him until October or so to get another second car (for winter driving.)
We're trading cars again tonight after he gets off work (11 p.m.) I'll be glad to have my car back.
I figured out that my digital scale just takes AAA batteries. I have some around here somewhere ..
No spending today (Day #11)
So this past week I kept checking my SBs Shop & Earn ledger to see if my shoe purchase had posted yet as pending SBs. It never showed up, so I wrote to customer service asking where it was.
They replied back to me that I need to wait 5 to 7 business days. I was very annoyed.
Then last night I did my ten videos on Mypoints and then took a look at my points ledger. Guess what was showing as pending?! A purchase from Amazon!
Somehow I must have made the purchase through a Mypoints link rather than a Swagbucks one. Although I thought I'd been pretty careful to go the Shop and Earn tab on SBs, and then to Amazon.
Oh well, either way, it looks like I'm getting points for it.
Speaking of The Shoes .. They arrived on Thursday afternoon. I have tried them on, but not worn yet (Friday is jeans day.) I'm not sure I'm going to like them as much as my falling apart ones, but I can live with them until Sear's gets the shoes back in stock!!
(they are much firmer material, and the over strap is very thin.
Remember the 2" washers I ordered to use as fractional plates for weight lifting? They arrived on Monday! Or at least that is when I first got the UPS notice on my door. I love how they come at times when the majority of adults are .. at work!
Tuesday afternoon I called to arrange to have them hold it at the main facility - but first I had to jump through the hoop of the automated scheduler thing. The only option offered to me by it was to have it sent to an "outlet." The outlet would have been WAY close to my work, but cost $6! I was very annoyed, and had to be very persistent to get a live person.
I'm planning on going there on Monday to get them.
I ordered a bunch of books about MS Office/Word 2013 from the library. Most of them were in yesterday. I need to browse through them and figure out which one will best meet what I'm wanting (something to help me with learning intermediate/advanced skills.)
A couple DVDs came in too - Theory of Everything, and When Calls the Heart (a Janette Oake series movie)
So I now have 3 movies to watch (Boyhood) .. I have SO gotten out of the habit of watching movies/television. (I bought Season 4 of Downton Abbey on Amazon streaming ... quite awhile ago ... and still have not watched any of it ..)
I've agreed to help out with the local VBS program for two nights (July 20 and 22) ... That means I'll have to change my workout schedule that week because I have to be at the church by 6. I really considered saying NO because I didn't want to change my gym routine which is still in its infancy .. but realized that I probably would enjoy doing this, and it is only one week.
The 21st I have a shift at the parking garage - 9 to runoff. I found out that runoff means about 10:30. I can handle that once in awhile on a weeknight.
I have a 9 to runoff shift tonight, so I'll get to see firsthand what it involves.
I got very little sleep last night. Went to bed a bit after 11, and woke up about 4. My fitbit sleep thing showed I had about 15 minutes of restlessness during the night. I am SO tired. I will probably try to take a nap before going to the parking garage tonight.
Looking forward to when the good diet and good amount of exercise is going to equal a good nights sleep!
On YouGov surveys I am only 8k points away from a $100 Amazon gift card!! That is about 16 surveys. (They have smaller denomination ones for less points, but the $100 one is 1 point per dollar value, whereas the others aren't.)
I almost forgot one of the reasons I wanted to post today!
This morning I got my loaf of bread out because I was going to do toast and a fried egg for breakfast. However when I counted how many slices were left, I realized I only had enough left for 4 lunches this week. I don't think I used any for toast last week (although I may have.)
What this means is that one loaf of the Orowheat Everything bread is NOT enough for two weeks of work lunches. I had thought it would be enough, plus a little extra. I really like this bread because of its size - it perfectly fits my black bean burger patties and is cheaper than the full sized bread (obviously because it is smaller.)
I'm thinking lunch on Friday I can cook some quinoa or something and crumble a burger patty into it, along with my regular veggies. Kind of a burger bowl. That might just work for lunches the rest of the month too so I don't have to buy any more bread. (Especially since the grocery budget is so thin right now.)
I have English muffins I can use for toast (although my PB and my J are running low.)
My diet/lifestyle and exercise seem to be working. I am within 3 lbs of where I was a year ago. (I have lost/gained/lost/gained ~16 lbs since then.) This is the lowest I've been in 7 months or so. Another 4 lbs and I'll be in a decade I haven't been in since ... ???? (I did briefly flirt with the top of the decade maybe a 1 1/2 ago, but that was all of two or three days.)
It still may be possible for me to be down 30 lbs (from Jan 1 weight) by my 40th birthday (Dec 15). That would be another 18 or 19 lbs. If that happens, I'd be at my lowest weight in at least ten years. Within ten pounds of when I first met NE. Wow.
I'm not really eating that much less of real food... just not buying/eating much junkfood. Amazing how that works, huh?
Saturday spending: $0 Day 10! (I know I won't be spending anything since I'm not going anywhere til tonight for my parking shift.)
This morning I decided to check the airbnb site again to see if anything new had come up. Guess what! I found a place for $29/night! Previously the best I had found was $45/night. I booked for two nights, so my lodging costs will be $65. Right now I have $176 set aside for my getaway, plus whatever I can add this month.
I'm thinking I will be coming in under budget!!
I booked the lodging with my Amex card. Between paying for a portion of NE's medical bill (he's paying me back minus $125, which is half of the cash back reward) and then booking the lodging, I finally have my Amex finished! I doubt if I'll ever use it again unless some offer comes up again like the Sam's Club one, or some kind of Amazon deal. Too much of a pain.
I also finished out my $500 for July spending on my Discover card. (Actually I just realized that I might need to do one more grocery trip with it - because once I take the shoes back, then I'll be under $500 again.) I've put all my recurring bills on it - electric, gym, Internet, etc. I also used my card to pay for the final treatment of Riddles (again will be paid back.)
*Working on spending $500/month from July to November on my Discover card for a $75 bonus. I am not spending anything I would not normally to get this.
I have no debt, and pay my balances in full every month.
August looks like it will be easy too, between trip expenses and car insurance renewal. September should be easy too - mom/brother visit, purchase airplane ticket for Thanksgiving, etc. November I'm not sure what all I'll be able to do to get it.
Went grocery shoppigng today after the gym. I walked over there, totally forgetting til I passed the pet care aisle that I needed cat litter ... Oops. At least the cat litter and the grocery bag weighed fairly the same.
I bought: apples, bananas, egg salad sandwich, eggs, green bell pepper, Boca crumbles, candy bar, paper towels, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, cat litter.
Total of $28.70
There are 3 more grocery Friday's in July, and I have $39 left in my grocery budget. I'm going to have to try to keep my next 3 trips to $13 or less to stay within budget. That means probably forgoing the sandwich and/or Amy's meal.
(paper towels and cat litter come out of non-grocery categories)
On the way to the gym today I was nearly sideswiped! There were two left turn lanes. I was in the far right one. I turned into the corresponding lane. Luckily out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the person on my left starting to come over! I beeped my horn and swerved into the extra lane to my right (for right hand turn people.) My adrenaline sure was pumping!
CCF you might know the intersection I'm talking about -- 27th and Hwy 2 heading towards Walmart.
I had two people at work argue with me today. One was someone wanting directions. I even gave him to the bus driver supervisor, and the caller argued with him!! The other person was someone who came to the window with commuter checks. I told him he needed to fill them out. He told me that "NO, it's your responsibility to fill them out! The lady who I've always dealt with before never asked me to fill them out." I told him that in the year I've worked here, anytime someone's brought commuter checks, that they had them filled out already. He didn't believe me. Finally I just took the checks and gave him his passes.
(We hate commuter checks! They give them two checks for every pass AND the check numbers are LONG. Such a pain in the patookus!)
Before the arguers, I'd been thinking that this had been a pretty calm week - nothing really of note. (at work at least)
Thursday - No spend day #8!
Friday - spend, spend .. but all within budgeted categories
As part of our contract we are able to take credit classes as long as they have something to do with our job responsibilities. We get reimbursed up to $1200/contract year.
So today I was thinking about the recent project which I tried to help out our purchasing agent. There was a big time crunch, and what she wanted me to do was something I hadn't done before - create a clickable table of contents. So I was on a huge learning curve under a time crunch. Then had to send it on to the main pa before I was finished.
That felt very stinky to me. I absolutely hated sending on a document which I knew wasn't finished.
What could I do to change that for the next time?
I figured out that I could take classes on the various MS Office products and then take the certification tests! That way I'd KNOW I had a very good/advanced grasp of all the inner workings - plus it might be helpful if later on I decide to try for a higher level position.
So I checked with the local community college. I saw they had a program focus for those wanting MS certification, but there was no list of required classes.
I sent an email to one person, then got a friendly response with the name/email of who I needed to contact. So I contacted the first person.
Their response seemed like they hadn't read my email very well. So I sent another polite email repeating one of my questions.
What I got back totally blew me away:
I DON’T KNOW BUT YOU CAN CONTACT OUR OFFICE PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ....
The rest of the email was in normal writing (not all caps.)
Is it just me, or does that seem like an uber unprofessional response? I can't imagine ever responding to someone in all caps like that in an email. Especially a business email. I kind of feel like emailing the person she mentioned and suggesting that they may want to make sure that the people answering emails know it is impolite/shouting to write in all caps.
Anyway .... while I was waiting for responses I kept looking for other avenues. I am almost thinking that I'd rather just buy the MS Word Study Guide ($14.29) for the certification course and go through it on my own pace. Then take the certification test for it. Then do the next one (Excel probably.) and so forth.
I still want to take some classes though - so maybe Spanish (we have some Spanish speakers that come by), or ASL (had a mute person come by today!) Or something else that I can figure out how to make it fit with my job.
On FB today I read an article that Amy's is opening a fast food restaurant in CA near San Francisco!! I LOVe Amy's food! (vegetarian/vegan) Next time I'm in SF, I will have to make a point of going there.
Today at the gym I talked to one of the personal trainers. I first asked him about the barbel weights - he told me that the barbel in the Smith machines was lighter than the one in the power rack - which explained why when I tried to use the pr one, I couldn't do it. He gave me a couple ideas on how to get a barbel that was weighted between decade amounts (I'd been using the fixed barbel weights after realizing I couldn't do the regular barbel.)
I also asked him about Pilates classes. He basically told me that they don't have very many because there isn't much interest. He suggested Yoga. No thank you ... (although maybe I should try one class of it to see if it is all new agey, or just straight poses and no nonsense.)
I got home pretty late due to having talked with the pt guy. I made a pot of spaghetti with a bunch of kale and 1/2 cup of Morningstar crumbles. It was SO good. I had in my meal plan that I was going to eat the pie that I'd bought at Dollar Tree on Sunday (one slice frozen) but after eating my spaghetti I was so full that it doesn't even appeal to me. So I'll save it for another night.
I'm reading Judy Beck's Diet Trap Solution which is all about retraining your brain - CBT or cognitive based therapy. I'd heard of an earlier version of it (this is a 2014 or 15 copy) but never checked it out. It's pretty interesting so far.
So I asked my boss today if I could have the Friday and Monday off of the weekend my mom and possibly brother are coming. She said yes, but then reminded me that I had signed up to work an event that Sunday!
It's a 4 hour event.
What would you do?? Should I ask my boss if I can get out of it, or have my mom/brother drop me off and do whatever, then pick me up later? I kind of feel bad either way.
No spending day #6!
One more question -- How do you easily measure 1/2 cup of dry spaghetti?
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