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Archive for August, 2005

pleasant trip

August 31st, 2005 at 12:11 pm

August 26 Spending
$21 gasoline
$11 lunch for two
$500 credit card payments
$25 emergency fund
$25 family savings fund
$50 Roth IRA

TOTAL: $632

August 27 Spending
$0

August 28 Spending
$0

August 29 Spending
$7 beads

August 30 Spending
$10 lunch for two

August 31 Spending
$0

What a nice visit to my parents' house. We came back with the kitty so now we have a furry buddy to play with! He is the sweetest little thing, and hardly made a peep all the way home. My mom gave us all the necessary items for him, so we are set for a while. She also gave me a bunch of stuff for my new cake decorating hobby, and I'm really excited about that. I bought more beading supplies at half off the regular price, so I'm going to start fiddling with that again. Band starts up next week. Looks like hobby season has arrived! My mom gave me $60, completely unnecessary, but I have to pick up a bunch of things for my sister's dorm room this week, so it will be helpful.

Goals for August:
$150 to emergency fund: not quite - only $50
$50 to family fund: CHECK
$100 to Roth IRA: CHECK
$100 to Christmas gift fund: Put $125 in!
$100 to smaller college loan (twice the payment due): CHECK
get my car fixed (the main part, anyway): CHECK

GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER:
Pay off current American Express=$138, charge no more.
$100 to smaller college loan.
$50 each to Roth IRA, family savings, and emergency savings.
$75 to Christmas fund.
Keep spending at less than income. (sounds so easy, wish it was!)

Friday!

August 26th, 2005 at 08:15 am

August 25 Spending
$15.25 lunch with coworker

Is anyone else shocked that it is the end of August already? Summer always flies by sooo quickly!! I wish it was the other way around -- short winter, long summer.

Looks like an inexpensive end-of-the-month ahead...gasoline should be the only real cost. There are no good restaurants where my parents live, so we'll probably be eating in the whole time (mom's cooking! yeah!).

SO and I have been watching a Mexican soap opera on Univision for the last few months, so I can brush up on my Spanish. He never studied Spanish but is learning. I translate what is happening for him with the help of closed captioning (it's easier for me translate quickly when I'm reading rather than just listening). Mexican telenovelas only last about six months, though, unlike our never-ending storylines in the USA. The one we've been watching is wrapping up, and it is so exciting! It's like watching an extended movie and now it is getting to the really good parts. We're going to miss it for the next few days, but TIVO has us covered. Watching it really is helping me regain my Spanish skills, though...I find myself thinking and dreaming in Spanish more frequently. I'll have to find a replacement after this one ends on September 5.

crafty stuff

August 25th, 2005 at 09:26 am

August 24 Spending
$23 Michaels

I brought my 40% off coupon and got some good advertised deals. I am going to make a bracelet for a friend's Christmas gift, so I spent $10 on supplies (MUCH better than the $35 a similar bracelet would cost online). I got some sticky alphabet letter sheets on sale, $.88 rather than $1.50. I bought a small trinket to add to my sister's birthday card, $1.50. A color wheel jumped into my hands, as did two bags of river rocks for $.99 each. I put the rocks around a candle in our living room, and it looks great! Overall I got 13 items, so I was pretty pleased.

My new goal is to have a new job by October. I don't want just any job - I'd prefer one that was a little less secretarial (ok, not at all secretarial) - and I hope I can find one. I just can't take it anymore.

Looking forward to getting out of here for a few days....

makeup

August 24th, 2005 at 06:28 am

August 23 Spending:
$115 makeup
$12 dinner
TOTAL: $127

1/3 of that makeup is my sister's birthday gift, 1/3 is my mother's Christmas gift, and 1/3 was for me. I am completely done with my mother's Christmas and birthday gifts, and done with my sister's birthday gift. Now I just have to figure out what to get everyone else for Christmas. My mom is always the easiest for me. I had a great time shopping and chatting with my friend, too...definitely worth the $12!

I woke up with a headache this morning...never a good sign. I took painkiller immediately upon waking up. I hope it kicks in soon!

We may be getting a free cat this weekend! My mom has one that she rescued, and she says he's very sweet. If we're not allergic to him, we may take him home with us. We'd want to get another one to keep him company during the day. I miss having a cat. I wonder how he will take to a seven hour car ride...?

itching to go on a trip

August 23rd, 2005 at 08:54 am

I don't know what my problem is lately, but I have been dreaming about going on a trip. Oregon or NYC. Anywhere, really, that requires me to get on a plane and fly away from here. Tickets to Portland are $199 right now. I can't afford it...just have to repeat that mantra to myself. *sigh* I AM getting out of town this weekend again, through Tuesday, to see my family. That qualifies as a trip, but not the kind I'm itching to take.

August 22 Spending:
$0
Washed two loads of clothes, made dinner at home, resisted a take-out coffee. Oh and I went to work too, but that doesn't mean I did anything.

I'm going shopping with a friend tonight and I'm planning to pick up some birthday/Christmas presents. Will probably have dinner with her, too.

great weekend!

August 22nd, 2005 at 06:44 am

What beautiful weekend weather! We got poured on on Friday night, but we stayed mostly dry, and the rest of the weekend was gorgeous. It's funny how tired you can be after a weekend of camping, though!

August 19 Spending:
$25 camping groceries & supplies at Walmart
$10 more camping groceries
$11 beer
$25 year-long state park parking sticker
$3 firewood
TOTAL: $74

August 20 Spending:
$0

August 21 Spending:
$6 chocolate shakes at a fair

quiet day

August 19th, 2005 at 07:08 am

My workplace is like a tomb today. It's like this every Friday in the summer, because half the staff isn't here. I wish I were one of them.

August 18 Spending
$45 messenger bag online - this is the one I chose - thanks for the link to ebags!
$1.50 ice cream sundae from Sam's Club - good lord, that thing was huge
$26 gasoline
TOTAL: $72.50

I found another fish baby! Now there are four in the little tank. The bigger fish are really enjoying their aquarium within the aquarium.

We didn't go shopping last night for camping stuff - we'll have to do it on the way out of town. Still looking like ominous weather. Unfortunately there is an 80% chance of rain tonight where we are camping. Saturday and Sunday look beautiful and dry, though, so all we'll need is an extra tarp under the tent and we should stay dry tonight. Probably no fire tonight, so PB&J for dinner...hehe. That's fine...we can cuddle in the tent and read our books by flashlight.

Have a good weekend, all!!

cash is evil

August 18th, 2005 at 07:11 am

I can't keep cash in my wallet. It pours out like water.

August 17 Spending:
$6 Target
$4 Petsmart
$58 bassoon reeds
TOTAL: $67

I bought a baby saver for my fish tank. There are already too many fish in there...I know...but I can't stand the thought of the little babies starving to death in the tank (they don't seem to be eaten by the bigger ones, just don't get any food). I captured three of them and put them in the baby saver. It's so fun to watch them grow up! They are too cute! I'm going to have to figure out what to do with all of them, though. I wonder if the pet store will take fish from people's homes. SO and I are tossing around the idea of getting another tank, but I'm not sure where we'd put it.

Tonight we have to pick up some camping supplies. Hershey's bars for sure. Wink I hope it stops raining. I'm excited about being out in nature and getting away!

coffee

August 17th, 2005 at 07:28 am

August 16 Spending
$20 coffee beans and two mochas

Not a no-spend day after all. We biked to the library, checked out a bunch of books, and picked up coffee along the way.

Thanks for the bag ideas! I found some that were nice, but not exactly what I am looking for. I'm being kind of picky about it, I guess.

I'm also debating about getting my hair cut and colored. My roots are something awful and I really need a cut (short hair really can be a pain in the butt!). I don't feel like spending $90, though. Maybe if I ask her to dye it closer to my natural color, I can stop having to go in every other month. It was fun for a while, but I'm growing tired of it.

Have to buy some bassoon reeds tonight...I haven't bought any for years, and band starts up again next month. Probably about $45.

SO and I are going camping all weekend - I forgot to include that on Monday's spending! Whoops. Campsite, $30.50. We'll have to buy a parking permit ($25) and I need a fishing license ($18).

I'm starting to feel guilty about my car. It cannot possibly be within emissions standards...not that I have to worry about that in MN...but I hate feeling like I am doing my part to harm the environment. Since practically all the dealerships have those "you pay what we pay" deals going on, I'm thinking about going to look at the trade-ins. Maybe I'll start by looking online.

trying to lie low

August 16th, 2005 at 11:03 am

August 15 Spending
$54 car insurance (automatic)
$3 ice cream
$15 copay
TOTAL: $72

Tonight I'm going to the library via bike. I resisted going out to lunch with a coworker and ate what I brought to work instead.

I just canceled an order I placed for a hemp messenger bag back in July. They had it backordered until mid-August. Ok, it's mid-August, and they haven't returned my email from last week asking what the status was. I wrote to them today and canceled the order. $91 saved. I really want a messenger bag, though. It would be nice to consolidate my lunch, purse, and exercise clothes into one bag rather than several plastic bags. Maybe I will go out into the frightening world of pre-school sales and see what they are offering.

This might turn out to be a no-spend day!

more testing to be done

August 15th, 2005 at 08:57 am

August 11 Spending
$11 restaurant dinner with my girlfriends (kind of spur of the moment)
$64 credit card payoff
TOTAL: $75

August 12 Spending (payday)
$25 to family savings fund
$25 to emergency savings fund
$50 to Roth IRA
$125 to Christmas gift savings fund
$135 college loan payment
$100 college loan payment
TOTAL: $460

August 13 Spending
$100 ATM (but only about $20 spent - didn't go to the Irish Festival as we had planned)
$64 Target
$11 Petsmart
$150 Ikea (two more barstools, two DVD racks, and a birthday gift for my sister)
TOTAL: $325
Got my rental return in the mail, $291 to deposit.
SO paid for groceries, $62. We went out to a movie with his parents, and they paid. Very sweet.

August 14 Spending
No spend day!

I have decided not to go with the first Lasik place I went to. The doctor didn't bother to call me back until today. I'm pretty irritated about their lack of customer service, especially about something so important - MY EYES. I went to a new optometrist today and had a bunch of testing done. He referred me to a retinal specialist to have a look at something odd in the back of my right eye, just to determine if I really can have Lasik done. Apparently I have a scar in the back of my eye, which could be adversely affected if I have Lasik. As in, I could end up with a blank spot in the center of my vision. Not cool. I can't believe that other Lasik clinic was so hellbent on getting my money that they didn't want to explore this issue further! I'd much rather play this safe than sorry. The doctor today said something rather disturbing - after seeing that scar in the back of my eye, he is surprised that I can see as well as I can. YIKES. So, we'll see what the specialist says next week.

SO and I were both feeling rather crappy all weekend. We couldn't pinpoint anything bad that we had eaten..maybe it was just viral. Feeling better today! Smile

still debating

August 11th, 2005 at 07:47 am

August 9 Spending
$0
earned $3.21 from half.com

August 10 Spending
$30 Indian restaurant lunch buffet for three

I'm waiting for a doctor at the Lasik clinic to call me back so I can ask some questions. I'm going to make my decision after I talk to her. I am getting so sick of wearing my glasses!! Today I put my contacts in. I will take them out tonight and leave them out if I decide to do the surgery next week. I'm meeting some friends for dinner tonight, and wearing my glasses is giving me a major headache, so I put the contacts in.

Today feels like Friday. All day yesterday I thought it was Thursday! Payday can't come soon enough, I guess.

Lasik

August 9th, 2005 at 10:34 am

I'm really not sure what to do. I went to my appointment today and it went fairly well. It's just going to be rather expensive...like $3300. I can get a $0 down 0% interest for one year thing, but that will still be $275 a month if I don't want to pay interest. I'm really not sure. I want to get the procedure done but the payments don't sound appealing at all. But when do they ever? Stick Out Tongue My eyes are dialated and it's giving me a headache. I will have to consider this more when I can think straight. I scheduled a tentative surgery date, though, and it's next week, so I need to do some quick thinking.

August 8 Spending:
$7 mochas for SO and me

He bought some groceries at the whole foods market, about $24. I offered to pay but he said he would!
We made an Indian dish for dinner and I made a raw dessert (interesting).

weekend flew by...

August 8th, 2005 at 07:00 am

I just read about Peter Jennings in the paper. How sad. It scares the crap out of me too, because I know the smoker in my life will never quit (my father). Everyone has tried talking sense into him for years, but he'll never quit...he's too stubborn. *sigh*

August 5 Spending:
$0!!!
SO and I went to the art fair, where everything is beautiful but way too expensive. He bought dinner for us both, ~$8.

August 6 Spending:
$35 Super Target (saved approx $3 with coupons)
$27 Walgreens (prescription was finally filled)
TOTAL: $62
SO bought groceries, ~$50.
Saturday was the most productive day I've had in quite a while. I baked four loaves of bread and a peach pie and made hummus, and we washed three loads of laundry and one load of dishes. We also bought groceries, some things at Target, and picked up both of our prescriptions. In the evening, we watched a movie that we had checked out from the library, and had a frozen pizza for dinner.

August 7 Spending:
$21 Gasoline
I took a drive to have lunch with friends. It was a nice, mellow (and low-cost) day. I paid my half of the electric bill too, but I'm not going to track regular bills like that here.

what luck!

August 5th, 2005 at 08:57 am

I went to pick up my car last night, expecting the checkbook blow....and it didn't come. The part they thought was bad was not, so they only replaced a gasket, to the tune of $65. My car is a LOT quieter now and I am so happy about the price!!! I think the healthy money tree is still helping me out! hehe. I'd better go home and give it a thorough watering.

August 4 Spending
$124 concert tickets
$65 car repair
TOTAL SPENT: $189

This daily spending log thing is an eye-opener.

Dinner last night was grilled corn on the cob, grilled eggplant (not good..I wish I knew how to prepare it properly), and vegetarian chicken burgers. Yum.

Tonight I think I'm going to an art fair, tomorrow I'm baking bread and cleaning, and Sunday I'm taking a drive to meet old friends for lunch. Laid back weekend!

car fix *gulp*

August 4th, 2005 at 10:59 am

I dropped my car off at the repair shop last night, and SO and I walked home from there (about a mile). On the way home, we stopped at the bookstore.

August 3 Spending:
$15 on a book I've been wanting to read that the library doesn't have, and I can't wait to start it!
$5 on a bookmark for a dear friend that I've been out of touch with lately - "The road to a friend's house is never long" - although the road between Louisiana and Minnesota IS rather long, it's the thought that counts.
TOTAL SPENT: ~$20

I think I am sufficiently supplied with reading material for a while. I have seven books waiting to be devoured. I wish I could stay awake a bit longer before bed so I could read, but maybe I should start reading right after dinner instead.

Dinner last night was delicious. My sweetie made a great fresh-vegetable stir fry.

I am dreading the repair shop bill tonight, but at least I have a good idea of how much it will cost. I also bought concert tickets to Gwen Stefani for me and SO (he says he will pay me back, but it all works out in the end). The concert is in November - I'm excited! Totally unnecessary splurge, but I only go to a big-name concert about once every two years.

Yesterday afternoon I had a 1/2 hour phone interview. They asked some strange questions, so I'm not sure what they thought of me. The job I applied for was not a computer tech position, yet the questions were about how I would diagnose problems in PowerPoint. uh....might be useful if I was sitting in front of the computer looking at the problem, people.

Tonight I'm picking up the car, forking over half a paycheck, and going home to read. Smile

appt made

August 3rd, 2005 at 07:36 am

Thanks for the bit of encouragement! I made a free consultation appointment with the Lasik people for next week. I know it will be expensive. I've worn glasses for 19 years and contacts for 12 years, and I think I'm ready for a change. The procedure seems a little scary to me, but maybe that will be cleared up during the consultation. I also have this other funny thought in my head...my eyesight is really pretty bad, so without correction, everything is blurry unless it is about three inches away from my nose. There is something oddly comforting about having the world be a blur when I go to sleep (maybe because my sight has been so bad for so long?). But, there are lots of good reasons to get the procedure done. I can't imagine being able to swim and see. I've never had that luxury, unless I've had my contacts in, and then they get all crunchy and stuck to the eyeballs.

August 2 Spending:
$5.45 grocery store for lunch
$3.57 soy mocha coffee

We went to Super Target after work for a few groceries and home things, but SO paid (I've decided to stop calling him BF because he is obviously much more than that). For dinner we grilled delicious corn, peppers, onions, and zucchini. I battered and fried an eggplant as well. Delicious. Tonight we'll be grilling again, because there's still a ton of veggies, and I don't want them to go bad!

Aug 1 spending

August 2nd, 2005 at 07:42 am

$15.86 gasoline
$12.18 three used paperback mystery novels (one was signed by the author! how crazy is that?)
$18.34 dinner with a friend (good company but bad food, won't be going back to that restaurant)
$14.99 cute skirt

Total: $61.37

I'm not taking the cake decorating courses this month. I'm sure I won't have any problem finding things to spend the money on, though.

Last night I really had the desire to give up on trying to save money and trying to get thin. I'm obviously not very good at either, so what is the point of pretending? I'm still here showing everyone how much I'm spending, though, so I guess I haven't given up yet.

I'm thinking about going in for a Lasik vision correction consultation. I got a card in the mail saying that it's $0 down and 0% interest until 2007, but only for the rest of the month. It's tempting. I'm really getting sick of wearing contacts and glasses.