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Home > Archive: January, 2012

Archive for January, 2012

January Accounting

January 29th, 2012 at 04:43 am

Although it isn't quite the end of January, I don't plan on spending any more money this coming week, so I decided to go ahead and post my accounting. One of my goals this year was to be much more consistent with recording my spending/saving in YNAB, and to facilitate that I plan on posting my monthly spending/savings summary.

Some of the money I spent was from Christmas gifts and was spent for stocking up - also some of the money was spent on a reimbursable seminar trip - I should be getting reimbursed by March (hopefully.)

January Spending/Savings

Tithe - 150.00
Offering - 10.00
Groceries - 218.57
Restaurants - 39.10
Phone & Internet - 142.41
Household - 66.04
Office - 14.50
Prescription/Medicine - 52.21
Miscelaneous - 360.66
Kari (Pet) - 32.88
Library - 10.90
Entertainment - 11.72
Gas - 32.29
Car Repairs/Maint - 9.51

ROTH IRA - 100.00
Emergency Fund - 652.93
iPhone 5 Fund - 45.00

Groceries - I ended up getting a bit lazy with my grocery spending after coming back from the seminar trip - probably accounts for an additional $20. Also included in this amount is my Costco trip, where I used part of a gift card to stock up on food supplies. Next month I hope to keep this category to $100 or less.

Restaurants - This is all reimbursable from my seminar trip.

Phone and Internet - I somehow did not pay December's internet bill, so this represents my normal cell phone bill and two months of internet. (I now have the internet being paid automatically so I won't miss any more deadlines.)

Household - Mostly this is stuff for my dishwasher (soap, etc), stocking up on things at Costco (laundry soap, shampoo, etc.) I won't need any of this again for a long while.

Office - Ran out of black ink for my printer.

Prescriptions/Medicine - This includes my normal monthly medicine (Synthroid) which increased by $2, as well as the generics of Nyquil and Dayquil, a 5 pack of Alavert and a 10 pk of Allegra D. Ugh. I really need to find a cheaper way to handle my allergies.

Miscellaneous - This includes my dishwasher (I was given the money to purchase it), my reimbursable hotel stay, and the watch/face wash which I actually took back to the store (and added to the EF.)

Kari (pet) - This includes stocking up on cat litter (Costco) and also stocking up on wet food (Family Dollar).

Library - Two books I bought in CA on sale.

Entertainment - 4 DVDs I rented, plus $2 in fees for using a CC, and a slurpee. (Have decided to go back to Netflix.)

Gas - I don't remember the last time I spent this little on gas in a month. This represents 1 1/2 fill ups. One was here in my small town, and the half fill up was at Costco. I have about 1/4 tank left right now.

Car Repairs - Lost gas cap at fill up. Frown


Roth - This is the minimum I can send each month. Until other savings goals are reached, I can't increase this.

Emergency Fund - I lucked out this month on "finding" various amounts of money which hadn't been accounted for previously - which all went to the EF. I also redeemed some credit card rewards points for a statement credit, which I put in the EF. December was a 3 check month, so that helped also.

My goal is to have this funded to $5000 by June, and then move on to working on my car savings.

iPhone 5 - I want to eventually replace my current phone. I hope to have the $200 saved by June.

Rainy Day Funds

Car Insurance, Clothing, Doctor, etc - also all received some funds

Other Income:
Christmas money - (including dishwasher) ~$450.00
Swagbucks - $10 AGCs received

My EF and Roth savings total approximately 40% of my December income. I go by the YNAB philosophy of using last months income to generate this months spending plan. (January is the first month I've been able to allocate BOTH paychecks completely to February's budget plan since I was laid off from my oil and gas job in February 2009. What a great feeling!)

How Did I NOT Know This??

January 28th, 2012 at 05:23 am

Tonight I was reading on the YNAB forums, and found out something that I had not known previously. What was this tidbit?

Paypal started offering the ability to take a photo of your checks and deposit them into your account (via an iPhone app) back in 2010!!!!

So my keeping the Compass account, and eventually switching to BofA was really quite unnecessary! I could've been doing the check deposit thing with Paypal all along!

I don't get checks all that often, and cash on even rarer occasions, but when I do (especially where I am now) they linger for weeks (and sometimes months) before I do anything with them. Right now I *still* have the donation check from mid-December, as well as a tutoring check I found in my purse from last July ... both languishing in my purse awaiting my remembering to stop by the BofA ATM the next time I'm in big town. (that will be tomorrow ... the problem is the remembering of course since it is not part of my usual operandi!)I would just do the Paypal thing with them, but I do also have $70 in cash that needs to get deposited before it ends up getting lost (Christmas money.)

Well at any rate, it is getting late and I must be heading off for some zzzz's so I can be rested up for church tomorrow.

This bit of news will be quite helpful in the future though whenever I get the rare check.

Good Mail Day :) , etc

January 27th, 2012 at 02:30 am

Yesterday I took the day off from work - I hadn't been feeling that great since this past Thursday and had been sleeping as much as possible to try to fight it off. Finally I decided to take a day off - seemed to have helped a bit.


One of our wonderful SA family messaged me on FB a few weeks ago to ask me if I could use any of the books she was cleaning out. I received the package today (it may have come yesterday ... but I didn't get out of the house then.) Thank you!!

I called my doctor on Tuesday to see if she'd write me a prescription for generic Allegra D because buying it 10 tablets at a time OTC is extremely expensive and extremely annoying. (I can't get more than 10 tablets at a time because I get the 24 hr kind ... the kind which messed up people think are great for making meth out of - ugh!!)

So I found out today that even the generic of it is not available through prescription anymore. Frown So ... it's ten tablets at a time until the generic comes out OTC. I have been using Nyquil (generic brand) and Alavert 24 hr to try to keep my allergies at bay - but it really isn't healthy to constantly use Nyquil, and Alavert doesn't work all that well for me. I'd tried most of the other allergy meds out there, and the generic of Allegra D is the one that worked best for me. (letting my allergies get ahold of me is the main way I get sick ...)

I took my two DVDs back to the store today - two days late. I apologized to the store owner -- the nice thing about living in such a small town (and being the librarian where I am) - he forgave me the late fines. Smile (His son goes to my school.) I won't make a habit of it, that's for sure.

However, I am thinking that I am going to reinstate Netflix. Between the two movies I rented earlier, plus the two I rented tonight, I spent nearly $10 (due to a $1 charge for using a credit card.) If I do reinstate Netflix, I'll wait until I really want to watch something. Not having to worry about late fees in itself almost makes it worth it. I still do need to check and see what the library has - although they charge too, so not really that much of a deal over the video store or Netflix.

I received my W-2 today from the school. I'm still waiting for my W-2 from my summer job. I emailed one of the people I worked with there to find out how to make sure they have my new address. Maybe they'd be willing to email me a PDF. Smile

I gave all my paperwork for my travel reimbursement to SrN on Tuesday. Today she came by the library while I was just starting class with my second graders and told me it was missing a paper! I looked through my papers, and didn't see it. Thankfully, she called me later and apologized - she'd found it! So she's going to turn it in again to the right people.

I wonder how long it will take to get it? Smile

I had the opportunity to go to Baltimore, MD next month for 5 days for an Americorp convention -- all expenses paid. I declined and deferred to next year ... mainly because of one of the people going. I was very glad I had declined, because not even a few hours later on FB I saw this person stating that he was going to introduce the other two ladies going to the club scene there. If I'd have gone, I'd have been seen as a wet blanket - having NO desire whatsoever to take part in any kind of club scene. Next year I will go though, and hopefully get to see a good friend of mine who lives in D.C. who I haven't seen since 1994 or so.

Fell on the Ice Today

January 24th, 2012 at 03:36 am

We had a bit of a snow/ice storm on Saturday evening. When I went into the school on Sunday afternoon, it was a bit slushy and there was a couple inches by the library steps.

This morning as I was following the mid-schoolers to the chapel, I watched as one of the 8th grade girls slipped and fell on the ice. Silly me took her same exact path - guess I thought if I took it slowly enough ...

Nope. Slipped and did the splits bow legged. Thankfully I wasn't wearing a skirt! Also, thankfully only teachers/adults witnessed my fall! I had several people come up and help me up. Lots of people heard about it and asked me throughout the day if I was ok. Other than my hip and lower back being a bit sore, I am/was fine.

I'm just glad I didn't re-injure my tailbone. (Wincing even at the thought!)

We are supposed to get more snow/rain/ice tonight and possibly in the morning. If we do, I wouldn't be shocked to get a two-hour delay, or possibly even a snow day (ok, I'd actually be shocked for that - because we're only supposed to get a couple inches.)

Today I finally introduced my 8th graders to the remainder of the books I'd bought over Thanksgiving. I found out as I was cataloging them yesterday that we already owned two copies. Oy! Before I do my next book shopping extravaganza away from a computer, I must get our cataloging system upgraded -- then I'll be able to have a searchable book app on my phone and can avoid purchasing books we already own.

Anyway, most of the new books I intro'd went right away. One of my students did a book talk on "13 Reasons Why" by Asher. He was the second student to read it (maybe third?) but after he finished I had two girls clamoring to read it next. Big Grin They actually were trying to take it away from the student who had just renewed it that day. Rolleyes

I was really surprised that some of the boys took out titles which I'd kind of thought only the girls would go for... Sara Dessen/Rebecca Friend/Meg Cabot. Books about relationships and high-school ... maybe that was the draw, high-school. Smile These are definitely books that I won't let anyone under 14 check out. So, some of my 7th graders would qualify, and all of my 8th graders.

I've had several requests for the one Sonya Sones book we don't have - I'd almost purchased it before, but some of the reviews made me question the wisdom. However, as I've been seeing some of the other books in our library, and if I kept it limited to 8th grade ... I'm also looking at the book series that starts with "Crank" -- School Library Journal says 8th grade and up. It was requested by several students today.

Of course, I am all out of gift card money right now, so unless we get another monetary donation ... the kids will have to wait. Smile I just love seeing teenagers (especially boys!) so into books. Big Grin

One other book I intro'd to the 8th graders a few weeks ago - The Scoripo Races - was checked out for the second time today. (It helps that a fairly popular boy read it and liked it .. he's also the one who did the book talk today) -- It won the Printz Honor today. Printz is an award for outstanding literature for young adults.

The majority of the books which won the various awards and honors today, I have not read. However, as I have Scholastic Dollars or gift card money, I will be changing that. Big Grin

Oh! Today at the teacher's meeting SrN said that a donor called and was very upset at hearing about the pre-school being broken into and wanted to know what she could do to help. So SrN pulled out our wish lists and gave the donor some ideas. I'm curious to find out what (if any) items from my list will come. Smile I'd be most estatic about a second slanted book cart - although if I really do end up having an assigned assistant next year, it won't be such a big deal.

Truly though, I'd be ecstatic with anything off the list. Big Grin

So ... I've had several spendy days in a row this weekend. Saturday, Sunday and today. Not a whole lot in the grand scheme (maybe $30 worth total) but probably at least $12 of it was completely unnecessary.

I didn't go into the big town for church this weekend - ended up sleeping/resting most of Saturday and part of Sunday. I guess I was really tired (Friday morning I was 5 minutes late for work because I kept pushing Snooze.)

I really need to call my doctor about getting a prescription allergy medicine. One of the things I bought this weekend was a 5 day dosage of Alavert --- $6!! Ugh and double ugh! I don't know if it will work or not for me yet, because I had one dose left of the OTC Allegra D. Will find out tomorrow.

I also need to contact the company I worked for this summer to make sure they have my current address. Just waiting on their W-2 to do my taxes.

I have all my paperwork put together for my seminar reimbursement -- should be about $468 if they accept all my per diem receipts.

Between the tax refund and my seminar reimbursement, my EF will have a nice boost in February. Big Grin

Secret Santa gift - a month late :)

January 21st, 2012 at 01:03 am

Today SrC came back to school. She's been out most of the second semester sick. She was my Secret Santa, so she brought my gift today. It was a $20 gift card to Sizzler and a bag of Reese's Peanut Christmas trees. Yum. Big Grin Well worth waiting for. Smile

This afternoon I talked with SrN (principal) about the possibility of having a full time assistant assigned to me. She told me that she'd been considering resplitting the position into computer and library, and letting me have my pick. I told her that I enjoy doing both, but I just don't have enough time to do my best at both. If I had someone assigned to just me that I could train and *count on* and would be accountable to me ... that right there would save me hours of work. Which would make it possible for me to get much more done! It sounded to me like she was agreeable to the idea.

So ... next year I *really* may have an assistant!! (I'd love to steal the 6th grade assistant away - cuz I know he is a hard worker, very computer literate, intelligent, and we get along really well ... but I don't think that will happen.)

Yesterday I stopped at the local video store to see their prices. I ended up renting two videos - older ones - $1.99/5 days. New releases are $3.99/3 days. I don't see myself getting videos there all that often, but maybe once in a while.


I sent home overdue notices on Tuesday (well, I gave them to the teachers to send home Wednesday.) Out of about 8 books which I marked "Lost" and added the cost of replacement, as of today, 5 of them have been returned. Amazing what seeing the figure $19.99 next to a book your child checked out and hasn't returned in over two months will do! On Monday we had over 100 books overdue, and as of this afternoon, only 49 are still out. Only one person paid their fines though ... but at least most of the books are back!!


I showed the 5th and 6th graders a number of book trailers today. It got several kids interested in a book (Because of Mr. Terrupt) that I'd previously book-talked unsuccessfully.

Don't remember if I mentioned this or not, but on Tuesday night when I filled up my car, I left my gas cap at the station. I didn't realize what I'd done til I got to the hotel. So last night I stopped by the station in the off chance that someone had turned it in. Nope. So I stopped at the auto parts store to see if they had one. The lady there told me that she was getting one in Friday -- of course I remembered this about 15 minutes ago ... after they were closed!
So I guess I'll have to get it on Monday. Hopefully another 60 miles or so of driving without the cap won't hurt my car too much.

And ouch! The replacement cap will be $8.19!!

I'm going to have to get some more Allegra D OTC tomorrow. My allergies have just been awful lately. I meant to call my doctor today (and yesterday too) to see if she'd prescribe the generic non OTC version (so I could actually get a months supply for less than ten days of OTC Allegra D!) Unfortunately I got way too busy both days to do it.

I'll have to see if she's open in the morning ...

Oh, I spent my Amazon money, plus $7. One of the books actually came from the donation order, but the original seller couldn't locate a copy. Rolleyes The other two (yes, only two!) were ones recc'd by Judy Freeman -- Press Here and 10 Experiments that Failed. There were a ton of really good books I was tempted by, but these two looked to be most immediately beneficial. (And now I have to wait for my next giftcards .. Could be awhile because Swagbucks has been kind of stingy with search wins the past week or so - both few in number and low in amount. Frown )

Having fun, fun, fun Book Temptations ..

January 19th, 2012 at 04:41 am

This morning started out with a made to order omlette and a danish for breakfast. Yum. Smile Then I was off to Judy Freeman's seminar about the best children's books of 2011. A few of them I'd purchased for the library (Okay for Now, Charlie Jackson's Guide to NOT Reading, and another one ..) but most I had not heard of before. There were two or three that I'm hoping Scholastic will have so I can use some of our funds to purchase - although I saw great possibilities in numerous books. She showcased 80 of her 110 best book picks.

I didn't get any free books, but the seminar guide has about a dozen Reader's Theater's which will be helpful.


For lunch several of us ate at this Mexican resturaunt next door. I had the vegetarian enchaladia. It was good, but it was supposed to come with sopapillia's and honey - the waiter never brought them. Frown As I was checking out, I mentioned it to the cashier and she gave me a to go bag. But of course I was full by then and several hours later after the program, they were cold. Yuck.

After the program I went to Costco. I filled up with $2.79/gallon gas (about $10 worth - I'd filled up in my town on Tuesday for $3.09/gallon!) Then I went into Costco. I bought 3 containers of kitty litter, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, shampoo, oatmeal, spinach & something patties (vegetarian), broccoli soup, rasins, bean/cheese burritos, cinnamon, diced onions, and garbage bags.

Total -- $129.xx

I had 90.12 left on my Costco gift card, and then paid the remaining balance with my ING debit card. I think I am pretty well set for most things for a good while. Big Grin

Seminar reimbursable expenses:
Seminar - $299
Hotel - 89.xx
Per Diem - ~~$30.xx (only get back what I spent)
Mileage - ~$150.xx

So I estimate that my EF will soon be about $568 higher. Big Grin Just have to get all the receipts turned in. Big Grin

I got a nice little vacation out of this - stayed at a NICE hotel, day off work, eat at nice places, shop at Trader Joe's and Costco PLUS got to put more than 600 rewards points on my credit cards (food and gas places are double points.)

Sweet. Smile

The only NON-Sweet thing about my trip ... When I did my first fill up on Tuesday, I somehow got distracted and forgot to put my gas cap back on. Ooops! So, that means I need to buy a new one. Ugh. Unless by some miracle the gas station still has it! I will have to go by and check tomorrow. *cross fingers*

Just checked my Chase rewards points balance -- I had enough to redeem! So I chose a statement credit. Then I sent that money directly to my EF!

EF addition -- $23.63

I also signed up for the current points promotion - gas and Amazon. I wish I'd known gas was part of it -- already filled up (completely) twice this month, and probably won't again til Feb. Oh well - will make sure to use it in Feb and Mar, then back to MyPoints for gas. I wish now I'd waited to order my dishwasher til January too - that would've been a nice bit of extra rewards points. Really, other than gas in Feb and Mar, I don't see myself buying anything off of Amazon. Oh wait - I think there is a book I pre-ordered (5th in a series one of my 8th graders is way into) that comes out in March .. however I have enough gift card money for that already. Will have to see how the months go I guess. Smile

7 Years! Nice Day $$$

January 18th, 2012 at 05:31 am

Today makes 7 years of blogging here at SA. Who knew when I started way back then that I'd still be doing it now. Smile I've seen so many people come and go - and a few return again. Some who've gone I've really missed their insights - I won't name names because I'm sure to leave out someone! The best thing though is that the general feeling of SA blogs hasn't changed. We are a family, and even when we might not agree with each other, we support each other and defend against those who attempt to be rude or mean.

Love ya guys Smile

What a great day today was. School went pretty well. Then I was off on my approximately two hour drive with my music blasting. ( Combination of my iPhone and the portable speaker mom gave me for my birthday.) I'm sure I got some interesting comments from truckers as I zipped by singing loudly with Whitney "I will always love you" or with Bette "Under the Boardwalk" or pounding the steering wheel to "walk 500 miles". But who cares, I was having a blast. : D

I got here and checked in. NICE room. Not only do they have a fitness center, but they have an indoor pool. If I would've gone, I could've had two complimentary drinks (I wonder if they would've made me a Roy Rogers?) Big Grin. Instead though I ate at a CA Pizza Kitchen that was directly across from an Apple store. I also saw that there was a Nestlé Toll House Cafe, but resisted temptation. Smile I did however go to the Trader Joes that was across the street. I got a pkg of choclate crisps and 4 containers of soup. Cheaper than Walmart Smile. I told my dad and brother that I almost felt like I was in CA (except for freezing - wouldn't have hot choclate in CA!!)

Tomorrow I think I'll go to Village Inn across the street for lunch ( although I wonder how hungry I'll be after a made to order omelette for breakfast - complimentary.) I kind of wish I could be here for a couple days just to enjoy the hotel ammenities. At $90 night though, it's way out of my personal budget.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and learning about all the great books. I just hope it won't make me salivate to much ... Smile

Non reimbursable money spent - $11.xx TJs

Ran Dishwasher :) IRA musings

January 17th, 2012 at 01:54 am

Sheepish smile Smile After searching all over tarnation for a faucet adapter and coming close to ordering one off of Amazon, I decided to check *everything* one more time. Guess what? I found the adapter!

I hooked up the hose to the faucet. It leaked for a while till I finally figured out how it needed to be positioned. The long cycle took about two hours. Most of the dishes came out pretty clean. It doesn't do well with peanut butter, so I'll have to be sure to pre-rinse any spoons/knives with pb on it.

I didn't do too much today other than laundry and a load of dishes. I really should have gone into school for a few hours, but still am not feeling 100%.

Tomorrow straight after school I head off to Albuquerque where I'll spend the night. Then Wednesday I'll be attending a seminar given by Judy Miller about the best books of 2011 for children. I'm hoping to come away with some free samples. Big Grin

I put Netflix on hold last night. I do use it and enjoy it, however I'm not sure if I really get $9/month use out of it. I'll probably just use iTunes or maybe Voodo (sp?) for a few months whenver the urge hits to get a movie. If it starts looking like I'm running up against the $9/month average, then I'll turn Netflix back on. Otherwise, I think it may be cheaper for now at least, to go this route. Summer may be a different story.

(I would have waited til I got back from my trip to put it on hold, but my next charge date is the 16th, so I would've ended up paying for another month.)

I'll be doing a Costco run on Wednesday after my seminar. Although really other than cat litter, I'm not too sure what all I'm going to get there.

I'm getting reimbursed per Diem for my trip ... so I plan on eating out tomorrow night and after the seminar too. I get up to $35 per day.

All the money I'm spending on this trip I have budgeted from funds I already have. When they are reimbursed, they will be going straight to the emergency fund. Altogether will be around $700. So that will be a nice bit of a boost. Big Grin

I need to contact the company I worked for this past summer to make sure they send me my W-2 form here. I'm so ready to get my taxes done and over with this year. I expect a nice bit of a refund I think (all of which will go to the EF, except maybe 10% or so for some treat or another.)

I've been debating about whether or not I should continue putting my retirement savings in a ROTH or a traditional IRA. If I stay here, my salary is likely to never go up, or if it does, it would be very incremental.

The advantages of continuing to put money in a ROTH is that in cases of dire and extreme emergency, I *could* take money out. (And I do mean *dire* emergency ... I came close to it where I was just about completely out of money ... then I got this job!) However, it seems like tax wise later on, ROTHs are better for people who think they'll be making a large amount in retirement. ...Considering how much I have saved right now in retirement and stocks (roughly $30k for a 36 year old) and that for at least the next three - four years I'll be able to add *maybe* up to $1500/yr to that (until I have my EF and CarFund savings up to par) ... I don't think my income at retirement is going to be much to write home about.

So ... if I put my retirement money into a traditional IRA instead, I would get a small portion of it back each year. That money could then be either put towards cash savings, or right back into the IRA, helping to beef it up a bit.

But then if something happens where I get a job in the future that pays twice what I get here (which would be laughably easy - at least in the public schools, not necessarily getting a job, but being paid 2x++ what I make here), and I have a 401k again plus maybe be able to make larger contributions to an IRA, therefore creating a larger retirement income ... using a Traditional IRA wouldn't make much tax sense. I think.

I'd almost go with splitting my IRA funds between two types, but my ROTH fund now requires a minimum of $100/mo (it used to be $50/mo), and if a Traditional one required the same ... well, it is not feasible. Plus it would greatly reduce any immediate tax refund benefits.

I got another AGC from Swagbucks today. So far I have $20 in Amazon credit. It's nice to see it build back up again. I've been doing really well resisting the temptation to buy books for the library. Of course, the generous donations helped to get a lot of that out of my system. Big Grin

Sunday and Monday - No spend days. Big Grin

Oh, on the Per Diem, they only reimburse what you actually *spend,* otherwise I would be spending the bare minimum. But I figure if they'll reimburse me, I may as well enjoy a couple nights of nice restaurant meals. Big Grin