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Archive for January, 2011

January Extra Money Tracking

February 1st, 2011 at 04:19 am

This is my monthly update on what extra money I make via websites, selling things, etc. My goal is to earn $800 by Nov 11 and use that for a new computer (at least part of it).

Swagbucks -
$25 in Amazon Gift cards
Cashed in for a $50 about a week ago, and have enough Swagbucks for my February $25.

Beezag -
Received $8 cash.
Have almost 3,000 points towards next cashout.

Mypoints -
Received $50 Amazon Gift card. Have nearly 3000 points towards next goal.

Inbox Dollars - at $10.29 Need another $15 for cashout.

Sidetick - At $20. Need $5 for cashout

Irazoo - cashed out for $5 Amazon Gift Card. Need 1500 more points for next card.

Zoombucks - SLOW going. Have 619 points of 2000 needed for first cashout ($20 Amazon Gift card)

Half -
Sold two textbooks
Profit of about $77

Hmm ... I think that's it. I decided to drop several sites I was doing.

This weekend was my certification test. I don't think I did very well. There were several areas that had not been covered in classes or any practice materials. Oh well, if I have to take it again I now know what areas to study.

I stayed at a hotel that was five minutes away. That was awesome. What was not awesome though was leaving my iPhone headphones there.

I replaced them today for $33. Frown
It sounds like the bad weather has started. I wonder how much snow we'll get?

100 Day Challenge - bike seats

January 30th, 2011 at 06:24 pm

Note - my Internet does not seem to be working right now, so I'm typing on my phone. Once I get past a few lines, I'll be typing blind. So, there may be typos.

In thinking about my life and how I do best, I realized that I tend to rise to the occasion of challenges. Short challenges are good, but the changes don't seem to last. So in thinking about that, I decided on a term of 100 days. It's long enough to hopefully set in stone new good habits, but also short enough to see a deadline ahead.

I plan on beginning tracking as of tomorrow, and then posting a weekly update on Mondays. If anyone would like to join in, please feel free to do so.

Choose one - two goals. Each day the goal is met is worth .5 or 1 pt. At the end (around May 9) 90 and above is Gold, 80 and above is Silver, and 70+ is Bronze.

Okay, so here are my two goals.

Goal 1: buy no sweets or junk food except brown sugar (for oatmeal.)
Reason: this is both a financial and a health goal. Way too much of my grocery money goes towards sweets. If I limit myself to eating only sweets that are given to me, that will greatly reduce the amount of empty calories I consume.

Goal 2:
I was going to make this related to exercise, but my post yesterday on what changes I'd like to make, and the comments I received, has led me in a different direction.

So my goal is to write down every daysomething positive about myself. So if I feel stinkin thinking coming on, I will divert it by changing it to a positive This is kind of like what Thrifty Ray has been doing. It seems to be working well for her. Smile
What goal or goals would you like to work on?

On an unrelated note ...
I was at walmart on Friday waiting for a tutoring session. In the bike section I noticed a wide variety of bike seats ranging from 10 - 26 dollars. If I'm going to ride my bike, I need a very comfortable seat, but have no clue about how to choose one. Any ideas or suggestions?

What I Would Change?

January 30th, 2011 at 06:07 am

Overall I have really tried to be content with my life the way it is right now. It is when I think about the things that I wish were different - especially the things I have no control over - that I can get really depressed.

So ... that said ..


I have a wonderful family. I feel very blessed to have the mom I have, even when she drives me to utter frustration sometimes. My dad, who is actually my adoptive dad, is a major blessing to me. We had a hard time getting along while I was growing up - butted heads constantly - but he has ALWAYS been my #1 supporter. My brother - words can;t express just how awesome he is. Growing up we fought like cats and dogs - actually coming to blows more than onces - but now if I see I'm getting a phone call from him, there are very few places that I *won't* answer it! He's helped me survive some of the toughest times in my life, and I've done the same for him. We may not talk very often, but we text each other fairly frequently just to let each other know we're thinking about each other.

I also have my ex stepdad. He is really a pretty good guy. We get along well. Most guys would throw out their ex stepdaughter as soon as they realized that there was no chance of the marriage working. It's a little awkward with him now dating someone seriously, but we still get along quite well.

So, that above is the good stuff. What I am blessed with. What would I like different? I could write pages on this one subject. To sum it up -- A home of my own with a husband and children - either children of my flesh, or of my heart. A home where I can feel comfortable truly putting down roots because I'd know that I'd actually BE there long enough for them to stick and grow.

I'd like animals of my own. Cats and dogs and maybe some fish too.



Well ... I currently bring in a little less than $1k a month on average with my tutoring. My mom tells me that I could and should charge more. My fees range between $20 and $25/hr. A large part of the reason I don't charge more is because I don't really feel confident about my tutoring ability. I feel guilty as all get out when asking parents/older students for the money they agreed to give me.

That lack of confidence I think is also playing into my job search for a librarian position -- or should I say the complete lack of real job searching as of yet. I may have aced all of my classes, but I poo poo myself and the knowledge I've gained by telling myself that the classes weren't all that hard - the professors probably gave everyone who even half-@ssed it an A. I have such little confidence in my ability to do a good job as a librarian, or to do well in interviews. Very afraid of falling on my face.

At 35 I still think I haven't completely come to terms with the fact that a career as a mom and homemaker is probably not going to happen. That I have to get over it and figure out a way to make myself into a "career" person.

I would also like to change my procrastination. This affects me adversely both in work and school. There's a million other things I'd rather be doing (reading a book, surfing the net, sleeping, playing with the dog) than preparing for tutoring sessions or getting my schoolwork done. I somehow seem to have managed to get by - though there have been a couple of really close scrapes.

I think my ideal job would be in a private Christian school focused on grades K - 3 as a librarian where I could do lots of storytime and teach the basics of research. Have as little politics and infighting as possible to deal with. Just have a happy and comfortable place for kids to learn to love the joys of reading and learning. A place where I don't have to provide books with themes I heartily disagree. Oh yeah, good benefits too.


I try to convince myself that I am happy and content as a single person. I know that being in a relationship does not mean instant happiness or contentedness. I know that being single can be better than being in a bad relationship. I know all that, but then at the end of the day when I have something I'm worried about, or excited about, or sad about ... I have no one to share it with.

Sure, I can make my own decisions, and my finances are my own - good or bad. But I also have no reason to go out of the house other than for tutoring or church or shopping. So ... I tend to do a lot of nothing and get tired and sad and ... eat or sleep.

Like with work, my lack of confidence has a profound affect on my personal life. I feel like there is no point in getting out there because who would want to give a fat lady like myself a real second look. And I tell myself that even if they *did* give me that second look, there must be some reason that they think I must be desperate for attention because obviously no one would want to be seen with me.

Then lets talk about me in a roomful of people - even people I know. Sure, I can smile and acknowledge others and maybe even engage in a little small talk. But I never ever seem to be part of any of the "groups" or the people that get invited other places. I end up eventually by myself in a corner of the room.

Today at church I was waiting for the lady who was going to help me count money. I was sitting at the back of the sanctuary -all by myself. One of my Primary students came over. We'd talked about Jesus and the Lost Sheep today in class. When I asked her what was up, she told me she'd seen me sitting by myself with no one to talk to. I hugged her and told her she was a sweet girl. Smile She truly is a precious child - 10 years old and has truly given her heart to Jesus. It is so evident in so many ways. I hope life doesn't beat that out of her.

My eating habits are something else I'd like to change. I'm not bulimic nor anorexic, but I think I have definite tendencies of the overeater. I can be very dishonest with myself about what I've actually eaten. Not in the so called "normal" food, but in the junky sweet type food. I'd like to be able to handle not eating junk food for awhile, and then having it as a real treat without it evolving back into bad habits. I've managed the going without for a long while, but then when I let myself start having the little treats, it ALWAYS manages to ratchet back up to the extreme.

Sometimes I think I'm okay with the way my body looks - weight, etc., but then I catch a glance at my back side in the mirror getting out of the shower, and am disgusted. But until I can get my eating habits somewhat consistently under control AND exercise consistently, that image isn't going to change much - except to get worse. And of course this image I see once in awhile makes me even more sure that there's no point in getting out there.

Something that kind of goes along with the procrastination is the laziness. I can be very, very lazy. My room is almost constantly a mess. When I worked at the oil and gas company and had a desk in full view of everyone, I worked very hard to make sure that all visible areas were neat and organized. Just so they didn't check the drawers ... My room is picked up once in awhile, but never really neat. I tell myself that I'm going to get this or that done ...but then let other things push it off and push it off, and it doesn't get done.

Something else that I would like to change is how alone I feel.I used to have friends that I would call or they'd call, at least once a month. I also had one friend in the area who I'd get together with once in a while. Now ... most of that has been relegated to short messages once in a blue moon on Facebook -- and that area friend, I haven;t heard from since .. September???


Great. I've been put on notice. Ex stepdad just came home and basically told me that his new flame is NOT happy about me and Buddy and some of mom's stuff still being here. So, I basically have a move out date of May 15, or earlier. I'm not going to panic right now. That still gives me four months to find a job. It just means that if I DO find a job, that I'll have much more expensive housing costs between graduation and moving to wherever the job is. Which most likely ensures me having to borrow from the bank of dad till a paycheck starts coming. Something I'd like to avoid at ALL costs.

Swaggers! Check Payment Wall!

January 30th, 2011 at 02:57 am

right now I'm on video number 20! Check and see if you have it too. Some people reported up to 31 videos! Easy peasy swagbucks. Smile

Will return to do a post on Ceejays thought.

Cha Ching! Beezag deposit and DL FINALLY showed up!

January 27th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

This afternoon I got a lovely email letting me know that my $8 from Beezag had been deposited in my account. I checked it out, and wala, there it was!

Right now I'm still waiting on my $50 Amazon card from Mypoints and Swagbucks, and a $5 Amazon card from irazoo.

I'll do a summary post probably on Monday for all my extra money earnings for January.


Remember the hassle I went through with getting my Driver's License renewed in December? Well, as of yesterday (Day #46) it had still not shown up. My temporary was to expire on the 29th. I had started to get quite worried, because I didn't really relish the idea of driving around with an expired license! Thankfully it showed up in today's mail. Whew!


I told my mom about my 100 day challenge idea last night. She decided to run with it ... her goal is going to be doing 15 minutes or more of some form of exercise everyday. She already started on it today - go Mom!

3 days, Redemption, Challenge Idea?

January 26th, 2011 at 03:56 am

As of now it is just three days until I take my certification test to be a school librarian. The closer it gets the more nervous I become. All I have to get is an 80 - but judging from some of the questions on the practice tests, some of the questions will come from out of the left field.

All I can do is prepare as much as I can, get a good nights sleep, and then do my best!


Today I took a deep breath and redeemed 5900 Swagbucks for a $50 Amazon gift code. That leaves me with 1800+ SB's. I'll need to earn another 450 SBs to have enough for my February 5 $5 cards.

I bought a deal off of Living Social - $50 for a haircut and highlights at a nice salon here in the DFW area. It's good till the end of July. Considering the fact that my haircut/highlights in CA (Christmas gift) cost $110+ tip at a Fantastic Sams .... My stepdad forgave me January's rent for my birthday/Christmas gift, and wants me to use it for interviewing expenses. That's what this will be for - keeping my hairstyle/highlights looking professional. I'll probably use it near the end of March, or perhaps a little earlier depending on when I have interviews/state of my hair.

I'm thinking about starting a 100 day challenge beginning on Sunday, January 31 and ending on Sunday May 8. The challenge will involve one - two goals you want to set, along with any exceptions (up to 3 total. ) For example, one goal might be not buying any sweets. An exception might be that you can buy brown sugar to use in your oatmeal. Points would be counted as 1 per day where the challenge is met. If you do two goals, then it would be .5 point per day per goal. Maybe have anyone participating report in by Monday 8 a.m each week. We could have three places - Gold (90 - 100 points); Silver (80-89) and Bronze (70 - 79.)

So ... does this sound like something anyone might like to participate in? Any suggestions?

Beezag Cashed In! Baby Shower

January 23rd, 2011 at 07:47 pm

This weekend

Text is Beezag and Link is
Beezag is doing a special where every video is worth 500 points! I just needed 2000 more points to do my first cash out, and cashed out a few minutes ago. I had it sent to my paypal account - it says it should take about a week. $8 here I come! Big Grin

*Full disclosure: The Beezag link is my referral link. If you'd prefer to check it out and sign up some other way, just go to beezag . com. Beezag is a site where your view short videos and input two numbers that are flashed during the video. 8000 points equals $8.00.


This morning I went to a baby shower. I wasn't really all that thrilled about going because 1. it meant I had to buy a gift; 2. I had been planning on doing an intensive day of school work and preparing for my certification test, and 3. it meant I had to drive to the church a second day in a row (45 minutes one way.)

I bought a box of wipes, a 4-pk of baby washcloths, and a 6-9 mo onesie for a total of $10. This is actually this particular mom's second baby girl, but she tragically lost the first one to SIDS about 18 months ago at about 3 months old. Frown

I'm glad I went, even though it turned out that it was part Women's Ministry meeting and part baby shower. I left after the opening of gifts and the first two games - I'd been there two-hours already.

I'm currently reading "Don't Blink" a murder mystery by James Patterson. It's due at the library tomorrow ... so far I think it is one of Patterson's better ones. Although I usually enjoy his books. Smile

Half Com Sales, Health Center, Good Mail Day!

January 18th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

While I was waiting for my Junior tutoring student today, I got two email messages letting me know I had sold both of the textbooks I'd put up on half . com! That'll be roughly $80 towards my extra funds goal when the money is transferred. Nice!


This morning I finally made it up to the student health center. After I got up there I found out that since I wasn't going during one of the "lab specials" time period, that I *had* to see the doctor first! Miracle of miracles, I was able to get an appointment right away. I told the doctor I'd been out for four days, so she just went ahead and wrote me a prescription for two months. That way I can come back and have the blood work done during a lab special. Even better, when I went to checkout, I didn't have to pay anything! I thought I was going to have to pay a $15 copay ... but there was no charge!

I'm glad to finally have this at least partially taken care of, so inexpensively.


Today in the mail I received my box of books from Barnes & Nobles. My brother gave me a $25 gift card for my birthday - I bought 5 books with it. Big Grin Gotta love them sales!

I also received a package from my dad and grandma. They were walking around Macy's last week waiting for something, and found two tops that "had my name on them." I really like one of them, but am not too sure about the other one. Still, that was pretty sweet of them. Big Grin


My new class started this morning. Whoo boy! It sure looks like it is going to be a doozie of a class for 3 credits.

My procrastination in getting gas yesterday cost me $.13/gallon. After finishing at the health center, I was completely out of gas. Gas cost $2.95/gallon. I could have gotten it at Walmart for $2.82/gallon. Frown
Hopefully, lesson learned.

Two in a Row! Blogaversary!! Considering something ...

January 18th, 2011 at 01:51 am

This afternoon I went to the dollar theater with the lady I help count money at church. We went to see Burlesque (excellent!). I was telling her about my adventures with my mom yesterday attempting to see Social Experiment ... when the movie stopped! It had just finished the previews and was doing the screen asking you to silence your phones. We sat there for at least five minutes and the screen didn't move. Finally, I got up and told one of the workers. As I was coming back in, a couple other people were getting up to do the same thing. Smile A few minutes later our movie started - thankfully perfect sound quality!

I just realized that today is my Blogaversary! Six years! Wow!! When I met up with MonkeyMama in CA, we talked a little about some of the SA bloggers we've seen come and go, and those we'd so love to meet for different reasons. (It would be so great to have a whole SA bloggers get together some day!)

I don't think there's very many people still blogging here that were around when I started. Miclason was here ... Ima I think started a little after I did ... I'm not really sure who else! (Could be my Swiss Cheese Memory at work here.)

Of course, Jeffrey and Nate were around back then Big Grin The blogs and the site have definitely evolved in the passing years.

I for one am very thankful that I stumbled across SA, where I have found such a wonderfully caring group of people.
I'm considering doing something that may or may not be fruitful or smart. I am considering joining Match . Com for one month as kind of an experiment. My profile headline would be something like "Busy Graduate Student Wants a Break from Studies." I'd be point blank blunt about what I want (friendship/fun) and what I don't want (fwb!). Since I very well may be moving in the next six months, I'm not interested in a relationship ... unless of course I met someone who was completely over the top right for me. Smile

I'd also include my definition of respect: When I say that I don't drink, smoke, eat meat, etc., respect means that you accept that and don't try to "change my mind" or "trick" me into it. I'd also be blunt about the fact that I can't afford to pay for anything more expensive than Taco Bell and the dollar theater. So, if they want to do free or inexpensive activities (like hiking/picnics,playing board games, watching videos, or hey, come help me out at Sabbath School) - great! If they want to do things like musicals, first-run movies, plays, rollercoasters! etc., -- great! as long as they're treating me with the only expectation/reward being the pleasure of my company. And more along those lines. Smile

I'm curious if I were to post a profile like that, how many responses would I get, and if I got any, how many of them would have actually read and comprehended AND understood what I'm saying ... and then still contact me? Big Grin

Most likely would be a waste of time and breath ... Maybe if I was 140lbs one or two might bite (but then even less likely that they'd read the profile ... )

--- My mom has a profile on Match, and she told me that she has an income criterion of $150k/yr+. She has at least 6 guys she's corresponding with right now.

When I was in college, I met a wonderful man on Match who I ended up dating for about a year. My longest relationship. (Sad, I know for a 35 year old.) So I do know that there are possibly quality men on these sites. But my mom's ability as a multiple-divorcee to attract the interest of these supposedly well-off men, makes me wonder ...

I'm at the age where I realize I'm probably not going to have a flesh and blood child. I'm not totally okay with that idea yet, but the realization has also made me think ... why the hey not - put on a profile what you really think and want. If someone actually reads, comprehends and understands it AND contacts you ... he may be someone you actually want to get to know better. If not, oh well. Keep on living life like always.

Well, I'll probably not do it for real. Just some of the thought processes going through my head tonight stuck in traffic coming back from the movie. Smile See, it's dangerous to have no radio in your car (especially if your phone is about dead, so you can't play music from it either!)

On a completely different note. Big Grin

I downloaded two new aps last night on my phone - one for Ebay, and one for Half-com. I then preceded to list two of my textbooks on Half, using the nifty barcode scanner, and an unused gift card I'd redeemed from Mypoints a few years ago (I think I'd meant it to be a gift for my brother's then wife ...) was put up on Ebay.


The school health center wasn't open today. So I'm going to have to go in the morning. I really can't keep putting this off. Frown I wish I could've done it today, because tomorrow is going to be hectic trying to get everything done.


I figured out how to use the scholarship money today. It had been sitting in my refund account since October because I couldn't figure out how to transfer it to ING. I didn't want to have to withdraw sums of money over several days from an ATM. So I figured out today that I could link the account on the Chase CC website to pay the CC! Perfect! So I went ahead and paid my balance three weeks early. Big Grin

Tomorrow is the first day of the new semester. I'm curious and nervous about what all this one class I'm taking will entail. I'm just SO glad its the LAST class! Smile

Something else I'm considering is getting a hotel room the night before my certification test near the test site. From where I live, it would be about a 40 minute drive - which is not bad, but it could be an extra 40 minutes of sleep ... The test is at 8:00 a.m., and I have to be there by 7:30. So I'd have to leave the house by 6:30 a.m. Whereas if I got a hotel 5 minutes away ... I've already posted to see if there's anyone who might be willing to split a hotel room. Big Grin

Interesting Day

January 17th, 2011 at 04:51 am

this afternoon Buddy and I made the trek over to moms apartment. Buddy was estatic to see her. I showed her again how to do swagbucks - including some of the games Smile - and also Beezag. Then we ate - she had this really good veggie quiche from Costco.
After that we went to the dollar theater to see Social Network. The sound quality was terrible, and we ended up leaving less th
an ten minutes into it after speaking with a manager. On the way back we stopped at a Redbox. They didn't have Social Network, but they did have Eat, Pray,Love.
Moms DVD player/tv was being very finicky. After pausing it once to take Buddy out it wouldn't unease. So we gave up onvthe movie ( wasn't really liking it all that much anyway.)

Then we tried to watch some tv. Five minutes of The Family Guy reminded me of why I pretty much don't watch tv anymore.

Next we tackled putting away her Christmas tree. That was an experience ...


Tomorrow I hope to get to the university and have my thyroid test done so I can get my new prescription. I didn't get it done before vacation because of the whole fiasco with the drivers license and I didn't get up there since I was back due to catching up and extra tutoring. So, I'm completely out. Not good.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm meeting a friend from church to see Burlesque at the dollar theater. Hopefully the sound will be good.

I finally made it to 7400 redeemable Mypoints AND amazingly the $50 amazon reward was available (it's been disappearing off and on). I'm curious to see how long it'll take to arrive. This is the first redemption I've done in about a year. (Mypoints)

Okay I can't see what I'm typing because I'm on my iPhone and ran out of screen awhile ago. On my desktop I have Swagbucks tv running. So apologies for any typos Smile

Exciting MyPoints news! 4 day weekend, phone call/dating

January 14th, 2011 at 05:14 am

When I logged in to my MyPoints account today, there was a popup saying that I was preapproved for a MyPoints Visa card!! I had a MP Visa when Washington Mutual was still solvent, and earned many, many gift cards that way. (thanks mostly to being able to put my rent on my card each month - paid off in full each month of course!) So now, I don't have the opportunity to put a large amount on it each month, but it still will be much more lucrative than either Chase or Citi rewards points. This quarter Chase is doing the extra rewards for groceries and convenience stores - which is similar to Citi and MP - except Citi is also fast food. So for this quarter at least, Citi will be in my wallet all the time, and Chase for two weeks, then (once it gets here) MP for two weeks. Spread the love. Big Grin --- I may end up canceling Citi actually. I'm having a difficult time figuring out how to get an acceptable copy of my grades - it'd be worth 2000 points for this past semester (and hopefully this coming semester as well ...) And the grade rewards points is one of the big reasons I went ahead with this card ... (plus the 25 rewards points for paying on time :roll eyesSmile

My 5th Amazon card came in from Swagbucks today. So I'm now up to $75 in my Amazon account. I also have enough Swagbucks for my 5 cards in February, and 3 in March (close to the 4th one.)

This is a true 4-day holiday for me this weekend. I'm not even losing tutoring money! How does that work?? Well ... I worked with my one student this past Sunday, which will count towards tomorrow's normal session. Then today, I worked with him an extra two-hours which will count towards our normal Monday session. Big Grin Extra work this past week, but makes for a nice PAID break. Big Grin

Tuesday night I got a phone call - blast from the past. Guy I dated for about five months or so back in 2008. I hadn't heard from him in about eight months, give or take. He wanted me to come over to his place and "hang out." He was of course "in-between" relationships and was lonely. I told him that I wasn't interested. He asked me if I'd been on any dates lately. I laughed and told him "where exactly would I meet anyone?? -- church? with maybe 300 members where I spend half my time there in a sabbath school classroom or in a back room counting money ... my various tutoring jobs??? maybe at the main school I tutor at, but not very likely ... grocery store/gas stations/library ... been "hit on" at those places, but not by people I'd even consider giving my number to ... so he asked me why didn't I try online dating sites ... LOL! sure, where can I have a free profile and respond to people for free, and have people who actually read the profile information to see if it matches them AND are honest in ALL their responses?
(and no, I didn't say all that to him) Smile

Extra monies, Practice Test, Disapointing Letter,

January 11th, 2011 at 02:19 am

This will be much shorter that it was - submitted the orginal post and was told *you are already registered as frugaltexan75* --- so post was gone. Ugrh!

Received $20 in Amazon gift cards today from Swagbucks for January. Waiting on the 5th card.

Only 7 points away from my first Amazon card on irazoo!


Took the practice test for librarian certification today for the third time. 1 - 79; 2 - 81; 3 - 81. 80 is passing. The real thing is on the 29ths. So, I need to hit those flashcards hard!

Letter from my bank today telling me that they're going to start charging $8.95/month for checking starting in February. Two main ways to avoid it is direct deposit of $300/mo or maintain a balance of $1500. Can't do #1, so am considering #2 just so I don't have to go through the hassle of switching banks. However, at some point in the next four or five months I would not have that much to maintain - so would get the charge anyway.

Will have to think some more on this.

Extra Monies :) Practice Test - Disapointing Letter

January 11th, 2011 at 02:11 am

Today I received the codes for $20 of gift cards from Swagbucks. The 5th one should be coming very soon. (If it happens like last month, it'll probably be there by morning.) So right now I have $70 in my Amazon account.

I am 7 points away from being able to redeem for my first Amazon card with irazoo - thanks to a 33 point search win this evening. Big Grin

Today I took another practice test - the last one I can take before the real thing on the 29th. The legalese said to expect it to take 5 to 7 business days to find out how I did -- the score came back in less than two hours. Smile I did *exactly* what I did on my last practice test. An 81%. Ugh! It's passing yes, but by a very slim margin. I really need to hit the flashcards hard the next two weeks.

Only one week till classes officially start for me. (Should I say ... class.)

I got a letter from my local bank today. Essentially it said that starting in February, I will be charged $8.95 a month for my checking account with them. Unless: 1) Direct Deposit of $300+; 2) Maintain a balance of $1500+, or 3) Student under 25 years old.

I'm going to have to do some checking around to see if I can find anything less. Or, I may just put my scholarship money in that account - that would hold off the charges for 3 or 4 months maybe ... If it wasn't for the fact that I need a local bank to make cash deposits at, I'd go totally online. But I get paid mostly in cash ...

Chase at one time only charged $6.95/month. Before I look into changing banks though, I'm going to talk to the ladies at my branch and see if there are any other options there.

I filled up today for $2.829/gallon at Walmart using the shopping card for the 3cent discount. $29.29

On Saturday I had to get gas at this little expensive station on my way home from church - was running on fumes. $2.99/gallon gulp! (3 gallons)

If I would have filled up on Friday at Walmart, it would have been $2.78/gallon. I thought I could hold out til Monday, and the price might be better ... oh well.

Snow! Referral, AZ Shooting

January 10th, 2011 at 01:02 am

This morning I headed over to work with the Junior boy. He had a writing assignment where he had to watch a pre-70's sitcom and compare it to a current day sitcom. It was pouring rain and cold.

By the time we had watched an episode of Dick Van Dyke (via Netflix on the iPhone) and written about it, the rain had turned to snow! It was still snowing after we finsihed watching and writing about an episode of 30 Rock.

When I got home to let Buddy out, he got his very first experience in snow! I didn't let him run free in it though, because the backyard was too muddy. I also didn't get a picture ...

Two hours later I came back downstairs (again, to let Budster out ...) and the snow was already melted. Frown

Oh well ... that's pretty normal for Texas snow. Here for a short while, and then but a memory.

I may have my first referral for a number of my extra money sites. On another frugal forum I visit, someone asked about other money making sites. So I mentioned the ones I'm doing, and offered to send my referral links. They asked me for them ... and I sent them. Big Grin This is someone who might actually DO something with them (unlike my mom and dad ...). Big Grin

My $400 scholarship went through sometime this weekend! Yay! The second part of the $2000 scholarship should go through in early February.

Only a few weeks till I take my certification test. I'm a little bit nervous about it. I'd hate to waste that $120 test fee! Not to mention having to wait till the next test date!

I've become way addicted to Cityville on Facebook. The only reason I even looked at it was for the Swagbucks. Now I constantly find myself going to "check in." I think I could have left it if it hadn't been that people I know added me as a neighbor within less than an hour!

Yesterday after church I was running on fumes, so had to stop and get some gas. I only got 3 gallons worth because it was $2.99/gallon!! Tomorrow I'll fill up at Walmart for $2.78/gallon - Ugh!

The story of the shooting in AZ just makes me so sick. That little 9 year old girl, just barely starting out in life. And the other people killed too - none of them deserved to die. Sometimes I really wonder what this world is coming to. It just makes me long all the more for that day when I look up in the sky to see Jesus coming.

This Christmas while I was around my family, I had to keep my mouth shut about my own political views. To put it mildly, most of my family in CA have different viewpoints than I do. There was no point in getting into a heated discussion - neither party would change their minds. That's our right though - to think differently. It's not our right to act violently towards those we disagree with - no matter what we think of their position.

Crazy couple of days!

January 7th, 2011 at 02:10 am

So Tuesday afternoon I had my first session with the pre-school girl. It went fairly well, even though I was uber tired and not as prepared as I would have liked. Then I had my session with the senior girl. She has decided to drop back to two sessions a week - although this week we ended up only having one. (We'd mainly been working on college essays, and are pretty much done. I'm thinking that I may tell her that we can just get together on Sunday mornings when she has writing homework to do and drop our afternoon sessions. That way it will make that time slot available for me to put other people in it.)

As soon as I got home from working with the Junior boy, I literally crashed. Laid down on my bed, and the next thing I knew it was after 9 p.m. I got up and did some searching on the net in prep for my Wed. night students and the pre-school girl. Went to bed around 11:30 - couldn't sleep. Finally about 2:15 a.m. I went downstairs and fixed a cup of hot cocoa.

SD was awake talking on the phone (otherwise I wouldn't have banged around in the kitchen.) Turns out he was talking to my mom. She'd been making hot cocoa in her microwave, when the door of the microwave exploded!! It hit her on the forehead, knocking her into the fridge, and the water splashed all over her. Luckily, other than a bump on her forehead, she was unhurt.

Wednesday morning after finally getting some sleep, I woke up feeling much better. I spent a few hours doing more prep for my students, and managed to have less than 15 minutes to eat something before having to leave. After my morning appointment, I stopped at Walmart to pick up groceries and some organizational things for my new student. Then I stopped at the teacher store to get materials - I just wasn't finding what I needed online (i.e. free.)

By the time I got done at the teacher store, I was running really late. Thankfully, when I called my SD he was home and willing to put in the oatmeal I'd put together (other than the water) that morning, but hadn't had time to actually eat. Ate quickly, and did one more printout, then off to my Wednesday afternoon and evening appointments. Ended up getting home about 11:00 p.m.

Today I did the same thing - I still needed to do some prep for my pre-school girl (the things I'd bought yesterday) and ended up with 10 minutes to eat breakfast/lunch. By the time I was finished with my Junior boy, my belly was sticking to my backbone!

Whew! I don't need to do any prep for tomorrow, so I've been taking a bit of a breather tonight. Tomorrow though I need to prepare for Sabbath School, and I still need to unpack!

I need to work on my 2011 goals, but am just too tired to even contemplate them right now. Maybe on Saturday afternoon ...

I'm Back!

January 4th, 2011 at 05:02 pm

Hi everyone! I have my first tutoring appointment today at 1:15 p.m. so I don't have a lot of time right now, but I just wanted to stop by and say hi!

My stepdad and I arrived back home at 2:40 a.m. this morning! Boy, was it good to get back to my own room again. Smile

I had a great trip and did a lot of fun stuff. I'll try to post a bit more about that soon.

Today though I worked on updating my sidebar with one of my financial goals for this year -- tracking my earnings with the various rewards sites. My goal is to earn $800 by November 11. I'm including the $50 I earned from Swagbucks in 2010 towards that goal.

I made a financial leap of trust (or stupidity, depending on what happens ...) today. I took out some money from my Roth IRA and used it to purchase shares of one particular stock. I read a lot about this particular company over vacation, and all of my California family members have put money into this particular stock. This could turn out to be a fantastic decision, or one where I lose most of what I put into it. Either way, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't a lot of money. (There won't be tax consequences as the money I took out came from my own contributions.)

I am starving right now, so I probably ought to go get something to eat, and then get ready for my first session with my new student.