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Archive for December, 2005

itching to go

December 27th, 2005 at 07:09 am

I'm soooooo looking forward to going to my parents' house this weekend. I had a nice Christmas with SO's family, but it was totally nuts. Loud, unorganized, and people spent WAY too much on their family members. Seriously, how can you spend $500 per person? I did not receive gifts like that, thank God, but I watched everyone else open theirs. Wow. That kind of spending makes me so uncomfortable! I am looking forward to a quiet post-Christmas celebration at my family's house, where we don't spend much on each other but we enjoy it nonetheless. Plus, the quiet...oh sweet, sweet quiet... I'll also be glad to be "home" because it's nice to be around your own family. They know what you like, you are their first priority, etc. I adore my SO's family, and I know they love me, but it's just not the same. It was an interesting experience, though. I also feel horrible because my family did not do anything for Christmas, since I was not there!

Friends are coming over tonight to exchange gifts...tomorrow I'm packing...Thursday I'm leaving! Yippee!

must...stop...spending...

December 23rd, 2005 at 09:23 am

Once I get on a spending roll, I find it really hard to stop. Let's take the holidays, for example. I bought most of my gifts two months ago. Everyone is getting more gifts than they need. I know my family is going to yell at me for spending too much (though I didn't, of course, because I get good deals). Yet I can't seem to stop browsing the web for new deals...thinking about other things I "need" to purchase (for myself)...contemplating after-Christmas sales....buying beverages in the cafeteria that I don't need to drink...etc. The gluttony of the holiday season is invading my every thought process. I just ordered chocolates for SO because I feel guilty about not being with him on New Years. Silly! Like he needs chocolates! Like I need to feel guilty! We are rolling in sweets at our house as it is (sweets we prepared, of course).

I'm fiddling around with some goals for January...like eating out of the pantry to drop our grocery bill a bit, tracking all dining out spending (mine, and his when I'm with him, anyway), and throwing as much money as possible into my emergency fund. I am putting off the car fix until January (who gets their car fixed the week of Christmas? I realized that was ridiculous). So I have that to take care of as well. The car hasn't been driven since December 12. It is interesting living without it when it is still sitting in the driveway, perfectly driveable, apart from it being a cancer machine.

so tired

December 22nd, 2005 at 06:20 am

I don't know what my problem is - the winter? the holidays? working overtime? I couldn't get out of bed this morning, yet again. I barely have my eyes open now. It really makes me wish I had a freelance business, so I could sleep until I felt better again!

I have a lot to do tonight. We're going over to a friend's house tomorrow night, so I have to get everything done tonight. Ugh. There are not enough hours in the day to accomodate my sleeping and what I need to get done. Stick Out Tongue

Bought more beads last night, for the sole purpose of making my MIL a necklace. It turned out pretty, but I'm worried that it might be a little too flashy for her. I will reevaluate it tonight.

Looking forward to a five day break next week! Big Grin

2006 Financial Goals

December 19th, 2005 at 12:12 pm

1. Pay off smaller college loan by August 2006 (current payoff balance=$1528).

2. Pay $250+ to other college loan each month, after smaller loan is paid off.

3. Save 20-25% of my salary:
- save $525 for holiday gifts
- put $500+ into family savings fund
- put $1500+ into Roth IRA
- put $1500+ into emergency savings
- continue to contribute 6% to 401k (company match)

4. Have $1000 in emergency fund by March 2006.

5. Continue to look for a better-paying job that utilizes my skills.

brrrr

December 19th, 2005 at 07:40 am

It was something like -25 F with the windchill this morning. A chilly walk to the bus. You know it's cold when your eyes start to water and the tears immediately freeze to your face. Ick! Yet there are still adults walking around in light polartech jackets and no hat, no scarf, no gloves. I don't understand it. I am freezing to death in my parka, heavy duty gloves, hat scrunched down to my eyebrows and scarf wrapped up to my eyeballs. I need to move - I can't stand this weather. SO and were talking about it again last night, and we need to come up with a timeline for moving out of the tundra.

Mailed the package on Saturday and the cost was very close to what I expected, not too bad. They will still get it before Christmas.

We did a lot of shopping this weekend, and then found out that none of the nieces and nephews are supposed to get any gifts other than homemade. Half of what we got will have to go back to the stores, and we will still have to make things for them. *sigh* I wish we had been told this a little sooner than yesterday (they decided this at Thanksgiving when we weren't there, and then never told us). I am worn out.

Still waiting for several packages from overstock.com that I ordered weeks ago...not sure if they are just in transit, or if my landlord has them held hostage downstairs. Mail carriers tend to drop things off at their door instead of ours, and then they take a while to give us the boxes.

I got an awesome wholesale bead catalog in the mail...wish I could order everything!!! Their merchandise is absolutely gorgeous. I am going to show it to a friend and see if she wants to go in on an order with me.

what do I love? PAY DAY!

December 15th, 2005 at 12:14 pm

Ahhh, pay day. Yes, my check is already spoken for, but it's nice to have it in the bank, if only for a few moments. About half of it will go toward my car repair, depending on what is wrong with it and what it will take to fix it.

Speaking of which, last night I had a weird dream about going to a muffler shop. Hmmm.

Everyone came to the party I hosted last night. It was very relaxed and fun. We made homemade eggnog, and that turned out to be the hit! It was like slushy nutmegy ice cream. Yum.

Working late tonight. Need to mail a Christmas package. Hopefully I will have time to do that before it gets super expensive.

I seem to have misplaced my winter hat (or dropped it somewhere)...I hope I can find it! It's supposed to get super cold this weekend, with lows in the single digits and a high of 16 degrees - and it's planning to stick around. eep!

better

December 14th, 2005 at 06:35 am

Ok, not so crabby today. Sorry for the rant. Thanks for your comments, they helped. Smile

We are getting socked with snow! They have forecasted 7 inches by tomorrow. I wore my very warm (and free) boots down to the bus stop and my feet stayed warm and dry. Last night I prepared for the storm a bit by stopping at Target and picking up several jars of Classico pasta sauce on sale (my favorite). That will go well with the umpteen boxes of Barilla pasta I bought when it was $.69 per box. We made stuffed shells for dinner last night. If we get trapped, we have plenty of food, a camping stove, and fuel. The chances of that happening in the city are minimal though...I guess I still have the living-in-the-country mindset!

I have been prepping and cleaning for a holiday party I'm hosting tonight...but I'm wondering if anyone will be able to come with all this snow. If not, we have a lot of deviled eggs to eat (what a problem to have)!

Funny, Russell...I don't consider myself single. This is the first relationship I've been in where I don't feel that way. I guess legally I am, but not in any other way. Interesting. I hadn't really acknowledged that shift in mindset until I read your comment.

I have this funny feeling that when I go home in a few weeks (without SO), I will get asked why we haven't gotten married yet and when we plan to. I hope I am wrong about that feeling. I don't particularly want to try to justify my lifestyle choices. If we get married, we get married. I'm happy with things they way they are now. I don't need a signed, legal contract to be happy. Isn't that enough? Well, not for some people, I guess. It will only be a five day trip...and hopefully I am wrong about that feeling... Wink

really tired of working

December 13th, 2005 at 08:18 am

Yes, I know, at the mere age of 26 I should not be so fed up with the working world. But I am. I am so tired of working. I took yesterday off, and all I could think was, "I SO do not want to go to work EVER AGAIN." I wish there was some way for me to stay home and make money. The only way it is really socially acceptable to stay home and not work is to have children and become a stay at home mom (and even then, they don't get much respect). However, I don't want the children piece, so that foils that idea!

It would be so nice to be able to sleep in until 11 if I had a headache. It would be so nice to take a nap at 2 if I had a headache. A lot of wanting to stay at home has to do with my constant headaches.

My job is uninteresting and I have not made any friends. I miss the social aspect of work. At my last job, people talked to me. Wacky things happened. I had a few close friends to talk to. At my new job, I am lucky if someone says "hi" to me in passing.

Maybe if I was doing something remotely interesting at my job, working wouldn't be so bad...but editing this subject matter is like gnawing on old, dry toast. I think I am going to have to move if I want an interesting editing career.

The other thing that's bugging me is that all of my friends are getting huge raises and promotions. I have yet to hit $35K, almost 5 years out of college. I have friends in my age group making twice that.

*sigh* just sad, crabby, and sick of working today (and yes, I have a headache).

On the spending front, I've spent way more than I had budgeted. Car is not fixed yet. Enough said.

obsolete iPod mini

December 9th, 2005 at 07:50 am

So, my beautiful, blue, 6-month-old iPod mini is already obsolete. They are no longer making them anymore - in fact, they are practically a taboo topic with employees in the Apple store. I have found deals on overstock.com for accessories and am tempted to buy, simply because I know they will be impossible to find in a matter of months. I am already overbudget this month, though, if the car repair will be $500. I am waiting for my credit card cycle to end so I can put the charge on the next one, just in case it is a lot more than $500. So the car probably won't get fixed for a little while longer. Until then, I am affectionately referring to it as the Deathmobile. Wink I'm riding the bus most days or getting rides.

This time of year is so hard! Everything is on sale and it is hard not to buy buy buy. *sigh* Especially for the people I love. I bought much-needed althletic socks for SO last night, total impulse buy, but they are good socks and his all have holes in the heels. Not a good thing when you live in the tundra.

My sister is coming again tonight. Tomorrow is going to be very busy and very tiring. Sunday I will have to bring her back to school. I am taking Monday off of work to recuperate. I'm also throwing a small holiday party on Wednesday night, so Monday will be my day to prep.

This month's electric bill was $112. Last month it was only $76 (we had a very warm fall though). I lowered the programmable thermostat settings a bit, and haven't noticed much of a difference, but I haven't been home much lately, either.

cutemol hand cream?

December 5th, 2005 at 02:13 pm

I spent a lot of money yesterday and today. Yesterday was on general household things, cat food, and groceries, all split with SO. Today was holiday gifts online. I only have two more gifts to buy and one package to mail. I don't think I have ever been almost done with my shopping this early. I don't think I will be sending the gift basket to my family. Maybe I'll make some fudge and a nice card and send that instead. I have an amazing recipe for Snicker's Fudge - it's time consuming but totally worth it.

I bought a few things for myself too (bad bad bad). A down alternative comforter that I think will look and feel awesome in our bedroom came back into stock on overstock.com, and I just missed it last time, so I bought it. I'll split the $50 charge with SO. I bought six soy candles for $6 from Crooked Mile Candle Co and a tube of Cutemol hand cream for $8 (it's supposed to keep fingers from splitting, we'll see). Anyone ever heard of it? It was in this month's issue of Allure magazine.

It took an entire bottle of lock de-icer to free my driver's side door. I haven't tested it since Saturday, so who knows, it might be frozen shut again. I need to take it in.

I am weary of work. I need a vacation. I'd like to take the $500 I have budgeted for the car repair and go south to warmer waters!

resisting the urge to spend

December 2nd, 2005 at 10:13 am

I've been browsing cookbooks online today and had to fight hard to resist the temptation to buy. I'm not sure what that's all about. Whenever I get a little down, and I'm buying stuff for other people, and things are on sale, I think "MUST BUY." However, I put them all on my amazon wishlist instead, and reserved what I could from the library.

I'm supposed to meet friends for dinner tonight. That might be a little tricky, considering my car doors are still frozen shut.

Yesterday I bought breakfast at work, had lunch with a friend, and dinner with another friend. I bought breakfast this morning, brought my lunch from home, and am supposed to have dinner with friends tonight. I'm looking forward to eating at home this weekend (although it is fun to eat out).

I have upped my holiday gift budget a bit. I want to send a gift basket to my family for Christmas, since I won't be there to enjoy it with them for the first time ever.

I have also upped my car repair budget to $500. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be enough to fix all the problems that beast has, but it should fix some of them.

Just found out that SO and I have his brother and brother's wife for the Christmas gift swap. $25 per person limit. I have absolutely no idea what to get.

I've been looking at DivaJen's website and contemplating a little handmade jewelry business. I think I could do pretty well. I'd just have to have the motivation and the time to make lots of beaded jewelry. An interesting idea. It seems like there are tons of websites out there with the same idea, though, so I'd have to find a niche (and a good photographer). Hm...

relaxed back

December 1st, 2005 at 06:22 am

November 30
$80 massage
$1.38 bagel and egg sandwich

Not a bad month. I was still way over budget, as usual, but I managed to put some away into savings. The grand total for gasoline was only $17.06, and groceries were only $182.85.

I have about $125 left to spend on holiday gifts. I'd like to buy a light therapy box this month (jointly, with SO), get my hair cut (but not colored), and pay double on both of my college loans.

The massage last night was so awesome. Probably the best one I have had from her. She won't be back until January, so that will save me $80 in December (although my back might protest).

On to December!