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I Cut My Hair!

October 4th, 2015 at 01:05 pm

I bought the scissors to do this with sometime back in August I think, but for whatever reason kept hesitating.

Today though I decided, gosh darn it! I was going to do it!

I tried to take pictures of each of the steps, but it was kind of hard to make sure the angle was the same each time. But I think you still can get a pretty good idea.

I cut some off, and then checked the length, but it didn't seem like it had made any noticeable difference. So, I cut some more off. Smile

I still have quite a bit of length left, but don't plan on cutting any more any time soon.

Haircuts around here are between $20 - 25 for my length of hair. The scissors cost about $14 if I remember correctly. So they have already paid for themselves. Smile

If you click on the link to see my album, make sure to scroll down to the first one and click on the first picture. I have subtitles on all of them, and it's easier to see. (I was having trouble remembering how to do a shared public album on icloud, hence the two sets of identical pictures!)

This was actually kind of fun. Big Grin


I did do some grocery shopping today. Spent $13.xx for onions, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, bananas, apples, bagels and a treat. I shouldn't need to buy any more groceries until next week.

I got in the mail the renewal for Kari's tags - $21 - so I'll pay that tomorrow probably. (Due the 31st)

How September Went

October 1st, 2015 at 03:55 am

Sigh. Like I've mentioned before, September was SPENDY. I did manage to not spend anything except one grocery visit of $12 in the last 10 days of September. So yeah, all this spending happened in the first 21 days.

I logged in to the CU account this morning - the one I am supposed to be getting 2.5% interest ... $.44. Jaw drops. I KNOW I met the requirements. A message has been sent to customer service.

The main budget busters this month were groceries and vacation related categories. The whole mess with the apartment also sure didn't help. I had to take money from the slush fund to cover the hotel costs and other vacation expenses, so I WAM from any category that I could, including sadly, the EF. Frown

It would have been far worse though without some of the extra income that came in this month.

Next month WILL be better.

So without further ado, here is the not so pretty picture:

Tithe - 10%
Charitable - $60
Rent - $430
Gym - 41.73
Groceries - $345.19
Internet - $82.61
Gas - $21.68
Electricity - 52.21
Fuel - $23.49
Medical - 105.46
Kari - $104.20
Health - $15.71
Clothing - 73.65
Electronics - $10
Household Goods - 219.15 (cleaning, supplies)
Vacation - 420.96
Treats - $43.77
Restaraunts - 123.13
Misc. 4.35 (library late fee)
ROTH - normal contribution

Savings Categories:
EF - $0
Slush - -$153.56

Extra Income:
$10 Bing AGC
$100 AGC YouGov surveys
$75 PP Swagbucks
$200 - Bank bonus
$10 - Pact
$27.61 - Ibotta
$200 - Reimbursement from Mom

Decluttering and hanging shelves and shopping

September 13th, 2015 at 01:09 pm

So far today I:

*cleaned out litter boxes and refilled

*took out trash

*decluttered my kitchen drawers

*put together a box of books and other things that I had been planning on selling on eBay, but have just been sitting there for a year on a shelf ... and took that box plus stuff from the kitchen drawers to Goodwill

*cleaned out my car - found $1

*figured out how to hang the shelves I got a few weeks ago without buying a drill bit (like NE said I'd have to do) Hmph! Girl power!

*moved boxes from beside the back door to behind my bed

*moved suitcases from beside back door and put into my closet (this only made possible because of KonMari'ing my clothes a few weeks or so ago - otherwise would not have had the space in the closet!)

*attempted to put plate hangers on my two deco plates, but found out the hangers were TOO big! (plates I think are 8" and the hangers are for 10-14")

*Went to Walmart and spent way, way too much ...

but ... got two bathroom rugs to go under litter boxes
.... got a new shower curtain w/hooks that *I* like (not the drab brown the guy who lived here before had left)
... got a new hand towel and washcloth to spiffy the bathroom up
... a lot of other stuff (mostly groceries)

*got home and got everything scanned to my various apps ($3.70 Ibotta, $2.75 SavingStar, $.25 Shrink, $.25 Snap)

*got everything put away, and just finished a late lunch. Now am going to relax a bit until it's time for NE to come over (we're going out to a place called Pizza Ranch tonight - his treat!)


Yesterday I went for a 4.5 mile walk with some people from church. Overall, I got in over 14k steps!

I used the Charity Miles apps and earned $1.06 for a charity, and I also earned 40 bounts points - 20 for fitbit (14k steps) 10 for RunKeeper, and 10 for a weekend activity. I'm up to 590 bounts already. Sweet!

Now I just need to get my extra key to the cleaning lady so she can clean my place tomorrow.


September 6th, 2015 at 08:33 am

SBs awarded the monthly bonuses early and my SB cc points also came through - so I now have about 5500 SBs. There are two Swagups (rebates) going live on the 14th though, so I'll be waiting til then. I could easily redeem $75 - $100 from Swagbucks this month. Wow.

I took a break from Pact for a few weeks in August, but started back with it this past week. Just on a smaller scale. The break was nice, but it will be good to have another avenue of earning money again.

I have been using two new apps the last few weeks. Both connect to my Fitbit and to Runkeeper.

Bounts is a UK based company which rewards you for every day you go over 7000steps or do a 20 minute+ GPS tracked walk/run/etc - if you upgrade (pay pound 9.99/yr) you can also earn more points by checking in at approved gyms.

The rewards available for US residents are limited, but still worth going for. A $5 Walmart card is 700bounts/points. I have 260 bounts already.

It's a nice easy addition to all the other things which I earn money with just by using my Fitbit and connecting the various apps. (If you're interested in this - we both can get 100 bonus points if you use my referral code - I don't want to post it here because it uses part of my last name. I will email the link to you though if interested.)

The second new app I just used for the first time yesterday is called CharityMiles.

You connect your fitbit (or other tracker) and something similar to Runkeeper. Then whenever you are getting ready to do a fitness activity you open it up and choose a charity from their list. Then start your activity. When you are finished, go back to the app and stop it.

Yesterday by walking 2.2 miles I earned $.56 for a charity which helps kids get books.

I do wish it was a little bit less involved (you have to choose a charity from the list each time. There isn't a way to save favorites.) But still, it's nice to know that at the same time I'm doing something for myself, I'm also doing a little something for someone else. Smile

I did another shopping run last night - Walgreen's, Family Dollar, SuperSaver and Target.

Walgreen's - toothpaste and deodorant

Family Dollar - cereal (3 for 6, $1 off SavingStar app, $.20 off iBotta), new $10 Android phone

SuperSaver - tatertots, cream of mushroom soup, canned cat food (20 cans - two coupons used), can of Vegeburger, Morningstar corndogs (on sale!), misc.

Target - soda, Quaker granola bars ($1.50 iBotta, 10% Target app), Kellogs Nutri grain bars ($1 Checkout 51), Quorn ($2 iBotta), Amy's, misc.

**I discovered a new Amy's meal. Noodles w/cashew sauce and veggies. It is SO good. Target has it for 3.99. I bought that rather than getting something from Taco Bell. So much better!

I stumbled across the canned cat food at SuperSaver by accident. I'd planned on getting it at Target for $1.07 a can - coupons - but SuperSaver had them for $.98/can! They also have much cheaper frozen veggies than Walmart.

I have a ton of food and household products now in my pantry/fridge/freezer. Other than fresh fruit and veggies, I hopefully will not be spending much more on groceries / household this month.

*NE and I are doing dinner again tonight - tater tot casserole - which is why bought some of what I bought. Smile

NEs laptop died on him yesterday. So I erased my iPad and reset it up so that he can use it until he gets a new laptop. I'm thinking about just letting him have it. All I ever use it for is to run paid video apps. I can accomplish the same thing on a $10 smartphone (like the one I bought at Family Dollar.) I'll have to see how much he likes it first though.

If he ends up not liking it, then I may just go ahead and sell it. It may fetch $50 or so possibly.

I plan on hitting the gym today. We'll see though ... didn't go to bed til after 2, and then Kari woke me up about 7 ... Thanks Kari. (Thankfully it is a 3 day weekend!)

Cost of Living Raise, etc

September 2nd, 2015 at 06:45 pm

Today I got to see what my new salary is with the recent cost of living raise (2.25%). With it, I now make about $.20/hour more than I did before I was downsized from my oil and gas job in 2009.

After work today I went to Target and to HyVee (a grocery store here.) When I submitted my Walmart receipt to the Savings Catcher, it gave me money back for the cat food - saying that they found it at HyVee for $2 cheaper.

Yeah ... it was a different kind. Smile Same brand (Purina) but not Purina One Beyond. I still did buy two bags of it from HyVee because it was $.50 cheaper than Walmart (plus my $2 coupons of course.)

At Target I found the canned food (after asking for help from a store person) which was $.08 cheaper than the local grocery store - had a coupon Buy 8 get 2 free. I only used one coupon. I might go back and use my other 3. (I give Kari one can a week - her Sabbath treat.) I also bought a 3rd bag of her food ($2 coupon only usable in Target.)

I now have $12.50 in Ibotta rebates, $4.87 in Walmart Savings Catcher, and about $4 in other savings apps.
I can cash in the Ibotta anytime, but I think I'll wait til I get closer to the end of the month in case I decide to do any other rebates.

I am SO set on cat food right now it's ridiculous. I always buy the 3lb bags even though they probably aren't the best value money wise, but they also don't go stale before Kari gets through a bag. (I keep it in a plastic container .. but still, I think by the time we get to the bottom of it, it's starting to get stale.)

On my way home I almost stopped at Taco Bell. In fact, I did. But after waiting 6 minutes and still not being at the order board ... I decided to just go home. For the best.

With SBs giving out the monthly bonuses early today, I have over 3200 SBs! I'm going to wait til the 14th to cash out so I can use my 50SB rebate.

I'm not sure what is going to happen with my mom's planned trip out here. Brother told me yesterday he'd reimburse me for the hotel if I really can't get it refunded. (It can't be. It was prepaid.) So if mom ends up not coming out here, I'll still have a paid for hotel room here. Hmm ... maybe go and stay there anyway with NE for one night, and/or by myself for the other nights (at least Friday and Saturday.)

I hope we get this figured out soon because mom's supposed to be coming on the 17th!!

Brother says he doesn't want to nail down another date until "he doesn't feel like he's being manipulated." I'm tempted tell him that I already have plans for October and November, and so would rather not change the September plans. If he wants to come out and visit some other time, great, if not, that's up to him. But I can't keep my plans in limbo until he "feels not manipulated" :roll eyes:

Sorry for the venting. Just feeling so frustrated by this situation. I kind of wish he'd never suggested the idea in the first place .. back in February???

Hefty Trasbags Deal on SBs, updates

August 30th, 2015 at 09:47 am

If you like free trashbags, and even making a little money on them ... then check this out. On Swagbucks right now there is a deal where you buy 1 (any) Hefty trashbags and get 400 SBs or buy two (any) and get 1000 Swagbucks. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and a picture of the product(s) and email them to iredeemedhefty@swagbucks.com. 60 days later you will get your SBs.

Now here is how you can make money on this deal. Currently in the coupon section of SBs there is a $1.50 off ANY Hefty trashbags. Use two of them, and add in the $10 of Swagbucks, and you can purchase up to $13 worth of trashbags for free! Not too shabby if I might say so. Smile(The 1000 SBs could actually be worth more than $10 if you use them towards one of the discounted gift cards. I don't get them, so for me it's worth $10.)

Last night I did a September shopping trip. Yes, I know it's fudging things a bit, but 1. I won't have the time or energy to do this kind of shopping trip on Tuesday, and 2. Some of the rebates/offers I wanted were expiring on the 29th.

So I went to Walmart, Target and Walgreens. I used the shopping apps: iBotta, Shrink, SavingStar, Checkout51, Snap, Walgreens Balance Rewards, and the Target one. I also used ReceiptPal and ReceiptHog.

I spent $88 at Walmart after coupons, $16.10 at Target after coupons and discounts, and $43.31 at Walgreen's after coupons and discounts.

I earned $9 in rebates from iBotta. I will be getting $10 back from Swagbucks (Hefty deal). I also earned about 1.60 in cashback from the other shopping apps.

I am now set for toilet paper, peanut butter, jelly, trash bags, flaxseed, dry cat food, frozen veggies, etc. for a good long time. At Walgreen's I got Claratin D and Flonase - am going to try Claratin to see if it works any better than Allegra ...

I do plan on going back to Target (the SuperTarget this time)to get another bag of cat food with a coupon they gave me, and canned cat food. (Purina One Beyond)

I was supposed to earn a 6k point bonus from Walgreen's for a $30 purchase - it printed on my receipt, but the points aren't there. I'm going to give it a couple days and then contact customer service.

Yesterday afternoon I was FINALLY able to get into my hotmail account. So I was able to get my $5 AGC from Bing, and do all but one Mypoints emails (it expired.) I also was able to resign into Bing (and changed my main email address.)

Today I ordered from Amazon my pea protein powder, two wall plate hangers, and a pair of haircutting scissors. After the $30 in AGC credits, plus $2.68 in Discover cashback, it cost $12.98.

The plate hangers are to hang two decorative plates I have. The scissors are ones I saw recommended for DIY ponytail haircuts ... which with a bit of trepidation I am going to try.

I'm trying to decide whether to take the $12.98 from the Household category or the Beauty category, or maybe split the amount between the two.

If you're interested in any of the shopping apps and would like to try them out (and help me out Big Grin ) just let me know and I'll send you my referral link(s). Ibotta has a team thing where you can earn extra bonuses depending on how much rebates/earnings your team does. All of them do have fresh fruits/veggies, and non-branded items options (not a lot ... but some.)

This morning I am finally back to the weight I was at before my little staycation. Amazing how quickly the pounds go back on, and how much more time it takes for them to come off again.

Something pretty cool on Thursday -- a delivery person from Jimmy John's came by the office to give us free sandwiches. She asked something I never thought I'd hear ... any vegetarians? Sweet! The sandwich was pretty good too. Smile