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Home > Archive: January, 2006

Archive for January, 2006

Long, but good day.

January 31st, 2006 at 03:08 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal,


Taxes Done! :)

January 29th, 2006 at 01:36 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spending Log:

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

Relaxing Weekend

January 23rd, 2006 at 01:52 am

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

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

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

Spending Log:
Newspaper + Snickers bar -- $2.39

Dangers of overtime dependancy

January 21st, 2006 at 02:31 am

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

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

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

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

Spending Log:

Keeping It Frugal,

Good First Day

January 20th, 2006 at 01:31 am

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal,

Long Day

January 19th, 2006 at 03:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal,

One-Year Ago Today

January 18th, 2006 at 03:46 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,

Lazy Day

January 17th, 2006 at 03:11 am

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

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

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

Spending Log: None

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,

Got an Interview!

January 16th, 2006 at 10:47 pm

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,

Thanks All! Saturday update

January 16th, 2006 at 10:47 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,

Not Quite Done

January 16th, 2006 at 10:46 pm

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,

Wasted Gas; labs; and a debit puzzle?

January 13th, 2006 at 04:15 am

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

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

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

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

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

Spending Log:

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,

What a day!

January 12th, 2006 at 02:41 am

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,