Home > Archive: December, 2014

Archive for December, 2014

Ting Doings

January 1st, 2015 at 02:07 am

I emailed Ting with my final ETF bill from ATT on Monday. Today I received the 50% credit - The ETF was $155 +$30 in taxes and fees!! So I got a $77 credit.

I also on Monday saw my first bill from Ting. Right away I realized something was off - they charged me for two activated phones! (Over a year ago I had tried them out with an Android phone, and that didn't last long. Not because of Ting, but because of the phone.)
I received a $6 credit for that today.

So right now I have a $99 credit which will get me 3 months of free phone service, with a little left over (if my usage remains steady.)

I used to pay about $77/month to ATT. So I'm saving around $47/month. Between the new phone and the ETF (unrefunded part) I spent about $450 to switch.

In the first three months I'll save $77 x 3 (231), then in the next 5 months I'll save $47 x 6 (235). So ... it'll take about 8 months to break even from switching. Possibly less if I can find people to refer and switch. Smile The savings will be going to my electronics fund - I need roughly $400 for a new computer, and roughly $350 for the next phone. Once those are funded, the savings would go to other saving goals (i.e. EF/House)

Snowy cold day

December 30th, 2014 at 12:59 am

I looked out my window at 7 and it was nice and clear - thought to myself - good! won't have to scrape my windows. Then at 7:40 I headed outside to find my car covered in snow!

It snowed pretty much all day today. The temp is supposed to go in the negative tonight/today. Brrr!!

Last night NE and I went to Walmart and did some shopping for the week. I spent $14 on two bags of cat food for Kari (using 2 coupons) and $7 on groceries.

After that we happened across another area of town that was beautifully decorated, so of course we meandered around there for a bit. Smile

I totally spaced on getting my eBay item out today. Will definitely have to do it tomorrow to keep within my two day turn around time. Oops.

I plan on taking workout clothes with me to work tomorrow and using the bus gym after work. I haven't been *quite* as exhausted lately, so maybe I'll actually be able to make myself do it.

I stopped at the library today - had a book to return and a book to pick up.

On FB today I saw someone in a YNAB group post say they managed to feed a family of 5 on $25/week!!! Um.... I can't even imagine. That's not even $1/day per person. I was feeling kind of good that I got my grocery spending (minus junk food) down to less than $150 for the month...

I'm thinking of letting go of my crockpot and rice cooker/steamer. I bought them two? years ago and they both are still in their boxes.. I keep meaning to USE them but it just doesn't happen.

Can you cook sweet potatoes in a toaster oven? If so, then I could let go of my toaster too and get a toaster oven. It seems really silly to get my oven going for just one potato - but I just don't feel comfortable cooking more than one at a time (botulisim or whatever it's called that can happen in baked potatoes in the fridge ...)

I'm wondering ... I'm getting emails about replies to my posts, but I'm not getting notices about responses to other people's posts. I've noticed a few posts with new responses by pure chance ...

My hands and feet are SOOO cold!!

Ting and 2015 Resolutions

December 28th, 2014 at 08:53 pm

My first monthly bill with Ting ended yesterday - $21.00 +taxes. So that will be covered by my $50 credit. I don't forsee my January bill being any larger, so that will also be covered. Nice. Smile

I need to log in to my ATT account to see if they've posted my final bill yet so I can get that sent off to Ting for the ETF fees reimbursement.

I talked to my brother yesterday for a bit. He told me that he is preparing for a 40 mile race for the diabetes cure (bicycle) and has decided to stop drinking for at least four months starting Jan 1. Possibly for the entire year!! He wants to really focus in on getting as in shape as possible for the race.

I know how difficult this will be for him, so told him that I would do something equally difficult for me -- only purchase chocolate ONE time per month in 2015.

My diet is fairly healthy otherwise if you take away the chocolate ... so by doing this, I'll hopefully be able to lose some weight. Especially considering that as of this morning I'm now back to my highest weight ever. Frown

We also talked about tentative plans for him and our mom to come out here in May as kind of a Mother's Day thing - the last time the three of us were together was nearly 4 years ago when I graduated with my Masters.

I finally made a sale on eBay again! It's been at least two months since my last sale. Only $4.99 (roughly $2 profit after shipping and fees) but still, a sale! Smile Just got the payment, so I can get it out in the mail tomorrow.

I have $22 left in my grocery category for December. That is even with spending a good bit on Christmas dinner food (leftovers for two meals worth after ..) There are a few things I need for this week, and possibly doing a Chef Boyardee pizza for New Years. Otherwise, I think it's safe to say, I'll actually have underspent my grocery category for the first time in forever! (Of course, it has helped to take out the junk food spending and put it in my spending category ... hopefully that category will go down significantly in January.)

I'm going to wait til New Year's Day to do a definitive post on my December budget, but let's just say that I'm very happy with how much came in for my windfall category this month. I don't see the same for January, unless I can make some eBay sales (need to post some more items to help that along!)

Making Rum Cake and other Christmas doings

December 27th, 2014 at 07:07 am

Christmas Eve was very special. NE and I went together to a Christmas Eve program at my church. That was hugely special to me because it was the first time he's agreed to go to any kind of church function with me since the first time we dated in 2004.

Afterwards we drove around looking at Christmas lights for nearly 3 hours! There were some pretty amazing displays, and one particular neighborhood off a street that CreditCardFree mentioned that was really well done.

On Christmas Day NE came over around 5 and we worked together to make dinner - mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, vegetarian dinner roast, and crescents. It didn't take a lot of time, especially with both of us working together. We both ate too much and decided to make the cake on Friday night.

So tonight (Friday) we made the rum cakes *before* eating leftovers. One cake we made according to the Pillsbury box directions and the other we made according to the Internet recipe directions.

The second cake had us pour rum into the actual batter. The other cake only had us pour the rum infused glaze mix on the cake.

Of the two, we both definitely preferred the one with only the rum infused glaze.

After we each had some of both cakes, we went to the local grocery store and picked up some meds for NE (pain meds dealing with his shoulders.) I had a coupon that was in the newspaper a few weeks ago -- it made one of his $42 prescription only $12!!!

Then we took a huge portion of the rum infused batter cake to his friend B and to his sister. Friend B talked for 30 minutes straight without hardly taking a breath ...

I received a Christmas card from someone in Texas ... I have NO CLUE who they are. The card was addressed with my name, spelled correctly and everything ... Weird/neat/mysterious ....

Tomorrow I need to go to the library to pick up a few items on hold. Other than that though, I plan on being a homebody this weekend. Going nowhere and doing nothing (other than minimal grocery shopping.)

Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2014 at 11:45 pm

I hope everyone has a very good Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate.)

We had a pancake and egg breakfast at work today - they have a rotating grill that a couple of bus drivers were making made to order pancakes and eggs. I was so full that I didn't eat my lunch til 3 p.m.!

Redeemed $9 from Pinecone and $17 from GymPact today. Will go into my Snowflakes fund.

Also got a Christmas card from my mom with $50! I'll put half of that into my spending money (for a treat) and the other half to my savings goals.

Chairs, etc

December 22nd, 2014 at 04:28 am

This afternoon I stopped by the Goodwill store that is almost directly across the street from me ... I was looking for a bundt cake pan to make the Rum cake in for Christmas dinner.

They had one for $2! It was the kind without a removable bottom - which a lady there told me was better than one with a removable bottom.

When I got home, NE was waiting for me. We headed out to another Goodwill - a larger one with furniture and more household goods. While there I saw a couch that I really liked for $40 - but it would need a lot of cleaning (I didn't buy it. I'm not sure what material it was made of, nor how difficult it would be to clean it.) I also found two chairs for my dining room table - $6 each. I'll take pictures of them later.

NE bought a bundt cake pan with a removable bottom and a can opener. (Hee decided we'll make two cakes ... and see which one turns out better. One with rum in the cake mix and one with it only in the frosting/sauce.)

Then we headed over to SuperSaver. The rum cost $15!!!!! It was the smallest bottle they had, but will be enough for four rum cakes ... Our total came out to $41.80 (we both got some other stuff too besides stuff for the dinner.) He gave me $20 cash (I paid with my card.)

I stopped at Russ's and picked up a bottle of soda for NE that was on sale so that I could get quarters for laundry. The lady could only give me three quarters though because they had forgotten to buy change?? Luckily with the two I had, and the 4 NE had, we had enough to wash and dry a load.

It sounds like NE might have made another Craigslist sale! He's happy because eBay has kind of been dead for a few weeks on sales.

The last two days I've made a lot of SBs from the videos on the website alone. Somewhere close to 450!! I'm not complaining Big Grin I just need 300 more for my 5 $5 AGCs in January.

I saw this neat video on FB showing all the different things you can do with a waffle maker besides just waffles. The two that caught my interest the most was making a brownie waffle (using brownie batter) and making an omelet. Kind of tempts me to get a waffle maker ... though I kind of doubt I'd really use it. Smile Although maybe I would ... esp for making omelets ... probably taste a whole lot better than my usual microwave "omelet" concoction. Smile

This and That - Two Short Work Weeks Ahead!

December 21st, 2014 at 01:01 am

*are pictures not working anymore? I tried to upload one of Kari and it's not giving me the usual link to add.

I am happy that this coming week is a 4 day work week. (And so is the next week!!)

Christmas Eve NE and I will be going to a program at my local church. I was bowled over when he said he'd be willing to come with me ... He wants to come late and leave early - I told him that would be fine with me. Just having him there with me at a church event will be all the Christmas gifts I could ever want (well, ok, maybe one other thing could be as good or a little bit better ... Big Grin )

Christmas Day we'll be cooking a meal together. He really wants to have Rum Cake which is something his mom made for Christmas when he was growing up. I've never had it - never even bought any kind of alcohol before in my life. It's going to feel really weird checking out with a bottle of rum ... (Yes, I know the alcohol cooks out .. still, it is out of my norm.)

We'll be going shopping for the missing ingredients tomorrow. One thing we're going to check the local Goodwills for is a bundt cake pan. For some reason he thought I had one already ... hopefully we can find a cheap one.

He'll have to stop by a local ABC store to pick up the dinner roast on Tuesday. It's only open Mon-Th from 8 to 5, so no way I can make it there before it closes. (It's the only store in town that I know sells the vegetarian dinner roast.)

The local paper has a running list of good places to look at Christmas lights. A running tradition in my family has been to go light looking on Christmas Eve. NE has accommodated me on this last year, and will again this year. Smile

NE surprised me by getting me a birthday gift! I had told him that dinner and a movie of my choice was a great gift all by itself. He got me a pair of thermal socks all the way from England! (I'm always complaining about my feet being cold.)They are so nice and warm. Smile

I cashed out for a $25 AGC card from PerkPoints on Friday and had it in my email the same day! Sweet!

I also cashed out for a 500SBs code on Bing today and had it in my email two hours later. Sad though that it's gonna take a LONG time to build it back up at 25 points a day ... Frown

I had some good news today about one of my banking accounts - Barclay's has raised their interest rates to 1% and 1.05% (savings/dream account) So I decided to keep my money there and not move it like I was thinking about doing. I wonder if Cap one will be raising their rates soon too?

I spent some time updating my YNAB ... oops. It looks like I spent $68!! on fast food/non-essential food already this month. That is totally ridiculous. I only got fast food 3 x, the rest of it was soda and junkfood (chocolate, banana bread, etc.)

I think I'm going to limit myself to one fast food treat stop per month, plus eating at a restaurant one time per month (if invited/asked.) I'm also putting a moratorium on going into Walgreen's, CVS, Family Dollar and SunMart unless there is a *specific* non-junkfood item I'm getting - if it is just a prescription, I'll go through the drive through!

I walked to the library today to return a book (Switch) and checked out a couple more. When I got home I checked my email and saw that a book I'd put on hold had come in! It will still be there next Saturday, so I'll get it then (good excuse for a walk!)

I started using my space heater again yesterday. I hadn't turned it on since I rented the room from the Craigslist landlord from double hockey stick. Kari was so funny - so afraid of it at first, then curious, then fell absolutely in love with it. She's barely moved from in front of it (as long as I have it on.) Guess my lap isn't as warm as in front of the heater! Big Grin

I watched a fabulous show recently - The Librarians on TNT. I'd loved the movie trilogy with Noah Wylie, and they brought him back for the tv series. I was sad though to find out that TNT website only let me watch the first one - after that I had to have a cable subscription to stream it. Frown Frown

Wow! Surprising news from doc

December 18th, 2014 at 12:00 am

Today at lunch I called to find out the results of my bloodwork from Monday.

As expected, my TSH (thyroid) was not in the normal range. I asked what my number was .... 15!! Normal range is something like .03 - 5.0.

This is what happens when you are off your thyroid meds for nearly six months (I had *some* meds, but they were all over the place as far as mcg level, plus I only took those every other day to try to stretch them out as long as possible ...)

This news explains so much about how I've been feeling the past few months esp. Brain fog, fatigue, depression, anxiety, dry skin ... go on and on and check, check, check!

I picked up my new prescription after work today and will start taking it tomorrow morning. It'll take 5 or 6 weeks for the effect to really take place. I'm looking forward to it!! (It was $36! I wonder if I can up my FSA contribution ...)

Thanks again for all the moral support yesterday. I am feeling much better today about life, etc.

Not a great day

December 17th, 2014 at 01:35 am

I'm not totally sure why, but today I've just kind of felt down.

Work was pretty busy, especially with me getting the orders out from yesterday and today (I took yesterday off.)This was good - I liked being busy.

But then towards the end of the day my boss asked me something and I was like HUH? All I could think of was it was politically motivated (not by her, but by the person saying I wasn't doing something.)(Not something that is even really a job function - just a nice little extra I can do when possible when people ask.)

Then I get on Bing and find out that they switched me to the 15 points a day instead of 30. Frown Stinkeroo!

I got some meds at the doctor yesterday and took them yesterday afternoon ... so far they don't seem to be doing a darn thing. Ugh. (except make me super bloated)

I got a voicemail from the doctor's PA about my bloodwork, but by the time I was off work, they had their answering service on. So I'll have to call back during my lunch break.

My birthday yesterday =
The good - day off of work, finally got into see a doctor, dinner / movie with NE, talked to mom a few minutes

The not so good - other than my mom and brother, no one on FB posted on my wall. This was so bizarre because in years past at least 35+ have posted. Today I've gotten some belated postings ... I know its stupid to let that bother me, but I pretty faithfully post HBs on people's walls. I also didn't get any calls other than my mom, although my brother did text me a few times.

Coming home tonight I did something I haven't done in a while ... did my two Cs stop - coke and chocolate. Not exactly helpful in regards to my 30lb goal. Frown

Goodwill and birthday gifts ...

December 15th, 2014 at 12:31 am

Today I actually managed to go through 3 boxes AND then took 3 boxes of stuff plus a trash bag of other stuff to Goodwill!

The stuff included a number of dolls/stuffed animals that I've been hauling around with me ever since I moved out on my own. Hanging on to it for future kids ... I kept one doll, my favorite, but the rest ... no point in holding on to them. I also let go of a bunch of books, a steamer thing I used once in six years, and quite a few odds and ends.

There's more I could and probably will let go of, although some things I think I may try listing on eBay. I did also relist some items on eBay.


I also stopped at the grocery store for bananas .. got a few more things than just bananas, but after putting a few things back, got out of there for only $13.

On the way back home I checked my mail. I got my gas bill - $42.83. That is almost twice what last month's bill was - I need to turn my heat down I think.

I also got a birthday package from my mom. First of all let me say how much I appreciate her thinking of me and remembering me. However ... this gift demonstrates how over the top she can be.

In my wish list I'd put snow shoes/boots (not meaning both .. just kind of describing what I was thinking of), warm socks, iTunes gift cards, mani/pedi gift cards or a groupon haircut/highlights deal type thing.

She sent me a pair of snow shoes and a pair of snow boots. Both look really nice. PLUS she sent me three books. I hate to think how much she spent on all this (plus the postage) - she's not in the position to spend much! Now I feel kind of bad for what I got her (a groupon deal.) I would have been more than happy with JUST socks, but she asked for five items ...

When she calls me tomorrow I'll be sure to be appreciative of course ... just feels frustrating. I think maybe she's trying to match what I gave her for her birthday - a $50 gift certificate for one of her favorite high end stores -- I told her I didn't pay $50 for it! (groupon deal!)

Tomorrow I have my doctor's appointment (finally!) in the morning. In the afternoon I am thinking about going to a movie - one that NE probably wouldn't enjoy, but I want to take advantage of matinee pricing. (I took the day off work.)

Then NE is making his spaghetti dinner for me and we'll watch a movie or play games. Smile I might try to get through a few more boxes too.

Changing / Adding to Year 39 goals / This and That

December 14th, 2014 at 01:14 am

I have been doing a lot more thinking the past two weeks about my Year 39 goals. As much as I'd like to save up for a house downpayment, I think it would be smarter to get a larger EF in place. I currently have roughly $5100, which I could stretch out for 4 or 5 months. I have decided to make my goal to be a 1 year EF - or $12,000. So that means trying to save around $7900 this year.

Partly how I'll do this is reduce the amount I put toward my car repair/replace fund. Instead of $150/month, I'm going to put $75/month. My car is a 2010 model, so I don't expect any big expenses beyond oil changes and tires, etc. for awhile. If something bigger comes up, then I'll use EF funds.

It is looking more and more likely that there is going to be a high school reunion. The place I graduated from in 1993! shut it's doors in 2006? I went to my ten year reunion, but that was the last one we had. Members of classes from 1992 - 2006 have been talking and organizing on FB about getting together. This is something I think I would really like to do.

Of course I also have my mom (TX) and my CA family clamoring for me to come visit them as soon as I have vacation days available (Feb 1!)It's highly likely that my CA family would probably pay for my ticket ... but I don't want to assume that. (Nor am I sure I really want to accept that ...)

So I'll have around 12 vacation days accumulated by next December. (I have 3 right now I think.

I really would like to go to CA - mainly because my grandma is getting on in years and I just hate to not see her as much as I can while she's still alive and lucid. But ... I haven't been back to TX since my mom got married Dec 2012, and I know she's feeling like I've kind of abandoned her.

May and July are probably the best months for me to go anywhere since I could tack my vacation days to paid holidays, thus helping to stretch them a bit.

I think I'll wait to make any final plans until I see how the plans for the reunion flesh out. In the meantime though, I need to put aside money for trip expenses.

The third goal is kind of related to the reunion Smile I'd like to lose at least 30 lbs. Smile By June would be nice. Big Grin

Right now my weight fluctuates up and down two or three pounds for seemingly no reason at all ... So hopefully once I get my thyroid back under control, I can make progress again.

So for my two financial goals .... Windfalls/Snowflakes will be allocated like this:
60% to EF
20% to Spending Money
20% to HS Reunion/trips

My boss K lent me this fantastic book - Unbroken - it is a movie that is either coming out soon or has already come out. I finished it today. It's about Louie Lamperini(sp?) who was a 1936 Olympian, and then during WW2 was shot down, survived 40+days adrift on the ocean, and then was captured by the Japanese and terribly tortured. Amazing story!

I have spent some of my spending money this week ... gave in to temptations. Chocolate ... BK ... banana bread. But not *too* bad.

I received my last Bubblews payment (from October earnings) $55.xx - that will be going into my Snowflake category

I also cashed out for another $25 PP payment from Swagbucks. When that comes, it'll also to to my Snowflake category.

By Tuesday I think I'll have enough Bing points again for a 500 SB reward (thanks to the double points weekend!) Might be able to do a second one this month too - especially if they have another double points weekend this month. Smile

I'm at about 20k PerkPoints - need another 4500 to get a $25 AGC or iTunes card. Hoping I'll be there by Thursday.

I entered a 12 days of Wellness contest at work. Basically it's self reported - do one different activity from one of four categories daily. It ends on Dec 23rd. One of the items was "take the stairs twice." I laughed loudly at that one ... the first day of the contest I went up and down the stairs at least 7 times ... Big Grin

I have started walking in circles for the last 10-15 minutes of my lunch each day. Once I finish the main portion of my lunch and just have my treat left (usually a granola bar) I can walk and read. Big Grin It's adding around 2k steps to my day so far.

Tomorrow I need to go to the library to pick up a hold (and return Switch.) That'll be a good 2.5 miles round trip. Big Grin

NE and I *might* be making a trip to Independence, MO tomorrow if the speaker he's evening isn't sold by then. Since I'm taking Monday off, I can go with him on the road trip without worrying about being overtired for work. (His car is in good working order now, so I'm not worried about a breakdown. Also, no snow in the forecast!)

I am thinking about couch/chairs again. NE would like to invite his friend and family to dinner. His place (NEs) isn't an option ... would take a LOT of work to get it company ready (a LOT LOT LOT.) My place ... need to finish unpacking/decluttering - but main issue is seating. I have my office chair, my bed and two decrepit wood chairs (one of which has a broken seat - can sit on it with a pillow on top of the seat.)

Last weekend I finished up my bathroom. Tommorrow/Monday I'd like to get at least three boxes unpacked / settled. Then have a goal of three boxes per week. Once that's done, then I'm going to look seriously again at Craigslist, etc for couches/chairs.

It isn't just for this one time dinner I'm thinking of ... it would be nice to just have my place in a state where I *could* invite people over if I wanted to. Right now I would not want to invite anyone over because there'd be nowhere for them to sit.

Ting - Sweet Deal until Jan 5 and GSM!

December 10th, 2014 at 02:33 am

If you were not wanting to switch to Ting because you have a GSM phone ... great news! Early 2015 Ting will be adding a GSM network to their plan! (If I would've known this, I could have waited a few more months and kept my ATT phone. Oh well.)

If you are on the fence about switching - here's a sweet deal for this month (good til Jan 5.) Instead of just 25% of your ETF (up to $75) now Ting is paying 50% of your ETF up to $100!

Today I found out that my 6 month ETF with ATT is 181.81. So Ting will pay $90.91 (in Ting credit) of my ETF. My final bill for ATT is 21.24, and I have a $50 Ting credit so won't have any charges.

I budgeted $200 for phone charges this month so will need to add a little bit to it, but then the next 5 or 6 months at least I will have no phone bill due to the Ting credits on my account! That's money that can go to my savings goals!!


Shopping Today

December 7th, 2014 at 09:11 pm

I got back a bit ago from my shopping excursion.

On the way to Walmart I stopped at Family Dollar and picked up:
phone charging cord ($5) and a bottle of flavored water ($.85)

Electronics: $5
Spending Money: $.85

Then I stopped by the PO. It looks like my mailbox keys for the PO came off my key chain while they were missing. I'll have to see if I can make it over there tomorrow before 5 to see about getting replacements. Ugh.

Next I got to Walmart.

I got everything on my list, plus a few other things (of course) Smile

Sweet potatoes - 2.3lbs for $1.50
Carrots - $1.98 (16oz)
Pumpkin Puree - 1.43
eggs (1 doz) - 1.98
PB2 Powder (pb aisle) 4.68
Welches Strawberry Jelly (no HFCS) 2.98
2 Rice Dream milks 2.24 each (-$2 cpns)
small bag kitkats - 1.28 (spending money)
Smart Balance butter w/flaxseed - 2.98
Wild Roots Flaxseed (2lb bag) - 3.50
Snappeas Ceasar (2) 1.50 (-$1 coupons) (spending money)
Fage Greek Yogurt large cont. - $3.47
3lb frozen fruit - 9.28
Frozen Mixed veggies 5lb - 5.98
frozen papaya 2lb - 5.98
1.69 lb bananas - $.61
Purina Beyond Grain Free 3lb -9.67 ($3 cpn)
Tyd Bowl cleaner - .97
Clorox Bowl fresh - 1.97
2 items I'm not sure what they are - 7.38

Total - 74.79 before coupons
After coupons and tax - $68.16

Kari - 9.97 - 3 = 6.67
Spending Money - 4.28 - 1 cpn = 3.28
Groceries - 58.21

Then I went over to Sam's Club and got gas

2.61/gallon - spent $23.41 to fill up

Auto fuel - $23.41

finally I hit up the local health food store for pumpkin seeds. They have a $5 min for credit cards ...

So, 1 lb pumpkin seeds - $6.31 (will last a LONG time)

Groceries: 6.31 + 58.21 = 64.52

And that should conclude my spending for this week. Smile

A Week with No Chocolate Purchases!?

December 7th, 2014 at 03:50 am

I didn't go into this week with the goal of not buying any chocolate, although I did really want to limit my sugar intake. Oddly enough, both times I went to a store this week, I totally and completely passed up on all the junkfood. My normal SOP is if I'm at a place that sells chocolate ... I'm getting some.

Maybe it is because if I buy it I'll have to take it out of my spending money category? Because that money is so finite and encompasses so many different categories, maybe that is what is stopping me from stopping for a coke and a bar or two. Whatever it is, I am liking it!

I'd been thinking of getting a candy bar today for a treat, but then Friday night when NE came over, he brought me a brownie. Smile Nice surprise (better than flowers!)

So far in December I have spent less than $10 total (outside of regular bills) Tomorrow I do plan to go to Walmart and possibly Sams, so will have grocery and gas expenses.

Friday night I was feeling really stuffed up, so took two night time allergy relief pills. I went to bed shortly before 11 and woke up about 9a.m.!! Whoah Nelly! Kind of made up for waking up at 4 a.m. on Friday ....

My main goals for tomorrow are:

1. Completely finish the bathroom - that means all boxes/bags unpacked and organized. Floor swept, tub/sink cleaned. Pictures hung.

2. Make something for work lunches - cottage cheese roast or quinoa vegge patties or bean/quinoa tortillas

3. Grocery shop - Fage (greek yogurt), bananas, carrots, frozen fruit, jelly, chocolate chips (for lunchbox treats - protein cookies), frozen veggies, sweet potatoes, allumn. foil, ground flaxseed, PB2 powder, pumpkin seeds, phone charger (from Family Dollar)

4. Take out trash

5. Scrub counters/sink in kitchen

6. Laundry (when NE gets here, I'll do both of ours. He pays for it and really only adds a few pieces - so it's mostly my laundry.)

7. Walk to the library (must start no later than 3:45 or else will be in the dark!)

Saturday I rested and relaxed - did a lot of reading (mostly MMM forums and soon may read a book on my Kindle app). Tomorrow I need to actually DO stuff.

NE made an interesting observation on Friday. He wondered why I was baking my sweet potatoes one at a time (one a day.) I know it would be much more energy (and time) efficient to bake 5 of them at one time, I just worry about properly keeping them until I'm ready to eat them. (food safety)

I *think* if I mashed it up and put it in a container (not in its foil wrapping from the oven) that it should be okay? Not grow any bacteria, etc.?

Ting Changing My Habits, etc.

December 5th, 2014 at 02:28 am

So I've been using my Ting phone as an actual phone now for about a week. One thing I did in the settings was to turn off the celluar data. This way I only use data when I *REALLY* want to.

I find it funny how often I have automatically reached for my phone and clicked on email or FB, etc only to get the message 'Data is turned off' I am glad I have that option turned off, or it might not even hit me that I was using data!!

I'm going to have to figure out how to get NE to realize that we can't have 30 minute conversations *before* he comes over to my place on the phone. Monday night he didn't come over, and we talked for over an hour. When you know you're paying in buckets, you're much more aware of how many minutes you're going through. (he has a dumbphone, so other than skype, I'm not sure what the best solution is)

Almost forgot! If you are on the fence about switching to Ting right now due to paying ETF fees ... they are paying 50% of your ETF fees in December! I hope I get my bill from ATT soon!

My landlord changed the locks on my doors today. NE and my boss K are happy about that. He did it at no charge to me, which makes me happy. Smile

I talked to my boss K today about whether there is any gift exchange, etc. at the office. I loudly proclaimed (in my head) "Yahoo!!!" when she told me there wasn't. Big Grin

I have made a new rule for myself. If I want to watch an episode of Person of Interest (on DVD) I have to exercise during it. So ... I watched episode two tonight. Big Grin

I also have decided that if I want to buy the $70 year subscription to the Piano Maestro app, that I will have to "earn" the money. I'll earn $1 every time I play at least 15 minutes, with a $5 bonus after 10 15 minute sessions. This way I'll hopefully build up the habit so that by the time I have "earned" the money for the subscription, I'll actually be able to put it to good use.

I heard about this great book on the YNAB forums called Switch - it's about how making changes in our life (or in companies) is hard.

I am about halfway through it. I absolutely love it! I would highly recommend it to anyone here looking for a book to help you make changes in your habits - of any kind.

I would love it so much if a good number of us read it at the same time so we could discuss it, and maybe help each figure out "switches" for personal scenarios.

Here's the title: Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by the Heath brothers

Is anyone else not getting notices of replies to their blogs? I didn't get emails for any of the replies to my last post. I only saw them because of visiting here.

The Lost Returns! etc.

December 4th, 2014 at 05:02 am

This morning as I opened my door to head to work, I heard a jangle. When I looked down on the ground .. there were my keys!!

I was deliriously happy to have my car fob back. Smile

My boss wanted me to call my landlord right away and have him change my locks. I didn't have his number in my new phone ... and couldn't remember his last name. (I've been having a good bit of brain fog lately .. the key incident is just one of many ... NEED to get my thyroid medicine going again. Badly.)

I did call him when I got home from work. He had no problem with rekeying the doors at no charge to me. He's going to do it in the morning.

Last night a bit after 9 I heard someone messing with my door lock. It got both Kari's and I's attention, but both of us were way too comfy to get up. Now if the door had opened ... it would have been a different story.

NE tonight was really getting on my nerves telling me all about what he would have done if he'd heard someone turning a key in the lock... He couldn't understand why I didn't get up to look out the window or open the door .. Um yeah, that wasn't the thought running through my head at the time, thanks.

Anyway ...

I talked to my boss K about the 15 minute break thing. Apparently it is a hornet's nest and part of the drama drama drama ... I told her I would be fine either way - with or without. Oy vey.

I also had a day off approved .. the 15th. Big Grin Make for a long birthday weekend.

Of course, it won't be all fun and games ... I finally called the doctor today. (forgot my phone yesterday at home .. yet another brain fogggggg) The first time they could get me in was --- the 15th!

I stopped at a local health food store today to see if they had anything papaya. No luck. I'm considering ordering seeds online - add them to my morning smoothies. I'd rather find a local source though.

While there I did pick up a container of Kale for $1.40. I've thought of trying Kale before, but it sounded like so much work. Will try it in my smoothie tomorrow. Smile

I got my gas bill for November - $30.41. I have $40 budgeted, so that means $8.59 goes into the savings categories. Smile

Lost and Not Found Yet :(

December 2nd, 2014 at 01:59 am

So I ended November quite well ... by losing my keys! On the key ring is my car key fob, apartment key, mailbox key (x2 also for PO box), and laundry room key.

They have to be in here somewhere. I had to have them to get into my apartment on Saturday afternoon when I came back from walking to the library. I didn't realize they were missing until Sunday afternoon when I was about to leave to go walk to my landlord's house and drop off my rent check. I looked everywhere! When NE came later, he helped me look again.

Nowhere to be found!

Thankfully I somehow found my spare car key - so I was able to drive to work this morning. However, I had to leave my apartment unlocked!

Tonight I called my landlord and explained what happened, and he had an extra key for my apartment - as well as ONE laundry room key (which he'll get tomorrow from me.)

I can't check my mail until I get the keys back - normally I wouldn't care too much .. but in a couple weeks I may have some cards and such coming ... Smile

I went to Russ's (grocery store) tonight. I spent $8.57 and NONE of it was junkfood. You have no idea how RARE it is for me to stop in a food store of any kind and NOT leave with some form of chocolate.

I felt really proud of myself. Smile

However, while I was checking out, I had my arm resting on the top of my cart while I waited for my card to go through. All of a sudden the ?manager? jerked the cart away from me and left with it!! I only had two bags and I hadn't put them in the cart yet, but still!! It made it pretty difficult for me to get my gloves and hoodie back on for my walk home.

I thought about saying something to him after my startle was over, but decided to let it go.

Today at work I found out that I should be able to take two fifteen minute breaks on top of my lunch break. I know it worked that way when I was at the oil and gas company in TX, but since my boss didn't mention anything about it ... I just kind of figured that the 30 minute lunch was it and then just use the bathroom when I needed to quickly. My boss will be back tomorrow, so I'll have to talk to her about it. I'd love to be able to go into the fitness room and walk on the treadmill or something twice a day! Great way to increase my steps.

I got a $25 windfall in my PayPal account today from Swagbucks. (Which I'll be adding to my tally page on my sidebar.)

I also cashed in for two $5 AGCs.

I cashed out for a 500 SB code on Bing on Saturday, and should have enough for another one by Thursday thanks to the double points weekend. Smile

On PerkTV I have nearly 12,000 points and have made tons of entries for giftcard sweeps with my tokens.

I have 43,000 points on Yougov - a survey site. It's enough for a variety of $25 giftcards, but the best value I think is waiting til I have 100,000 points for a $100 AGC. That's the only one that is point per dollar value. (I have referral links to YouGov, Bing, Ting, Swagbucks all in my sidebar if you're interested. Big Grin )

I was going to call to set up a doctor's appointment today, but I forgot I had the number on my old phone. I'd only brought my new one with me to work today.

I'm a burping garlic and pumpkin seeds gal at the moment ...