I've done it again - spent too much on books. It's an interesting pattern I have going here (Clothes, Books, Personal Care, Hobbies). I've spent $140 on books this month, and only a small fraction of that was a gift. Yikes. Good deals, yes. Necessary? No. I get a little overzealous with book shopping sometimes. Yes, I visit the library, but when the library says it won't order a book for me and it will take a month to get it from another library, and I can't renew it....that places me square in Half Price Books. Oh well. I need to clean out my bookshelves and pass on those books that have already been read.
Last night I cleaned up my coupon mess and organized it all. My coupon train packet is bulging and will hardly close! Can't wait for the train to come so I can pass on some good deals.
Anyone need Silk soy milk coupons? I have about a billion, and can't possibly use them all.
Also picked up a new CD - Be a Bright Blue by Saxon Shore. Really mellow. Good for listening to while you do something else (clipping coupons, for example).
Doctor's appt this afternoon...not looking forward to it. Hoping the results come out ok. Also have to deal with the fact that they billed the wrong insurance company last time and now I have a big bill sitting in my purse - not cool, and they haven't returned my phone calls. It's been a month of struggling with people to get things right!
Viewing the 'spending' Category
It's a good thing, knowing what's in your stockpile, right? I've realized that I've got mine stashed in all four corners of the house. A couple of days ago I bought an enormous container of laundry detergent...turns out I already have one sitting upstairs. Last night I bought a pack of Q-tips with coupon...turns out I already have one stashed in the closet. It's not really saving money if you're just duplicating stuff that you didn't know you had.
Next challenge - make a household stockpile list!
Also, I need not hang on to any more hair product coupons. We have enough to wash, condition, and style us into next year. It's a weakness of mine, trying new hair stuff - anything to tame this mane.
I just got a lovely email from a coworker (via my boss) praising my work. How nice! Some recognition and appreciation! Definitely made my day.
I blinked, and a whole week flew by. I had a great time...shopping, sewing, taking photos, brushing the 28-year-old horse, rubbing the 15-year-old cat's belly...wish I could go back already. Wishing I hadn't left, actually. Spending time with my family and being back in my hometown really reminds me of the dreams and goals I've had. I'm not meeting any of them here, unfortunately. I feel stagnant. I'm not happy. I think big changes may be on the horizon. Time to break out the tarot cards again.
My sewing...well, let's just say it didn't turn out so well. I found that I can sew in a straight line, but the pattern I chose was not at all flattering on me. It seems I think I'm a wispy, willowy woman, when in fact, I have hips. Large ones. *sigh* My mom and sister claim that I have the same body type as my sister. Hard to imagine, considering I have about 60 pounds on her. I always thought she had my mom's body type, given that she has always been within five pounds of my mom's weight. The last time I weighed what my sister weighs, I was 16, and it lasted all of 15 minutes... In any case, I clearly need to be more realistic when choosing patterns.
Band starts next week...and I'm not going back. I've found I'm happier without it. Perhaps I'll change my mind and go back in the spring, but not now. I've had my fill of playing boring holiday music for four months out of the year. I'll save $30, too.
I spent way too much money in the past two weeks - so much so that I have to dip into savings. I picked up lots of things for my family at Ikea, a few thing for my sister's birthday, developed some photos, bought some books and beads... Ugh. I'll have to have some no spend weeks soon to make up for it.
It seems no medical doctor can figure me out.
I'm having symptoms similar to an episode from a few years ago (I'll spare you the gory details), so I went to the doc this afternoon. Still a mystery. He prescribed antibiotics and I'm hoping they magically clear it up again. If the sample I provide them shows evidence of something bad, well, there will be plenty of specialist visits in the future. Please, no. I've just about maxed out my sick time this year, and it's only August.
It's like this with so many things. The eyeball I shouldn't be able to see out of...the mind-numbing headaches that no one can melt away...and now this thing is back in all its glory. I just have to remember that I can see out of my eye, there are plenty of drugs I can take to alleviate the headaches, and antibiotics should help. Plus I'm not disabled, my mind is fully functioning, and I have lots of people who love me. Hard to remember all that when you're hugging the toilet, though.
Luckily, only a $15 copay and $10 for meds.
No word from the job interview front yet!
My cat got two shots and a microchip last night. He's not feeling so hot this morning. He wouldn't eat a morsel of food, which is completely unlike him. I hope he starts feeling better...I'm worried about him.
The bill? $115. Ouch. I suspect it was worse for him than for me, though.
I just cannot sleep well anymore. Every night this week has been filled with nightmares. I'm not sure what is going on with my pysche, but I'd like to get a good night's rest already! Blood running from faucets, snipers trying to kill me, bears attacking...I've about had it. I'm always a vivid dreamer, but enough is enough.
So glad it's Friday...
After such a great no-spend week, I can't say I'm too proud of the weekend.
Our dinner with friends on Friday was probably one of the most expensive nights out I've had. SO has this thing for insisting on paying for other people when we go out...admirable, but not when the bill is astronomical. Sushi plates galore, not cheap. It ended up being double what I'd budgeted for the month...all blown on one meal. Sigh. SO probably would have paid for it fully himself, but he forgot his wallet, so it went on our joint credit card.
Then I went clothes shopping and found a beautiful blue-gray suit, originally $200, on sale for $80. I bought it, a pair of pants, and a few shirts. I have an interview this week, so it will be nice to wear something other than black from head to toe. I hope the interview goes well - the job is at an actual publishing company, and it would be a pay increase.
I saved $20 at Target with my fat stack of coupons. The cashier was impressed, and a bit envious!
Our electric bill this month is astronomical. I should have expected it, given the 100 degree temps and our use of the air conditioner, but it is still a bummer.
My plump black cat is going to the vet this week. We were quoted $75 for shots and his checkup. Uh...I don't think so. He had all of his shots last year, and I don't think they all need to be administered yearly. If it truly is $75 for one cat, we'll be switching vets pronto.
I picked up two newspapers yesterday for the coupons. It's interesting to see which coupons are in our two major papers. They weren't the same. There's also this ridiculous city rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul, which makes me laugh a little when I can't find the Minneapolis paper in a St. Paul gas station for the life of me. There were huge displays all over the front of the store for the St. Paul paper, but the tiny Minneapolis stand was tucked away in the middle of the store, at knee level. Bizarre.
I can't afford to eat out for the rest of the month, so we'll be cooking! We'll have onion roasted potatoes and perhaps a lentil loaf for dinner tonight. I made up another loaf of cinnamon bread yesterday, which reminds me - Ima Saver, my bread maker is a Regal Kitchen Pro model K6725. I don't usually bake bread in it because I don't like the shape, but it makes fabulous dough for buns, breadsticks, pizza, cinnamon bread, etc. I bought my mother the same model on eBay a couple of years ago, and she loves it too!
About a week ago, I checked out the Coupon Train forum and read all about it. It sounded really interesting...but I thought to myself, "I don't even use coupons as it is! How can I join a coupon train?" So today, I did my best to pull out the coupons I've saved up and use them.
Today I saved $33.05 using coupons, and got $10 back in rebates!
That's not much compared to some of the coupon greats around here, but they are inspiring me to do better. Perhaps I'll dip my toes in the Midwest Coupon Train the next time it rolls around.
PetSmart is giving $5 rebate gift cards if you buy certain items in-store. Mostly big bags of cat and dog food qualify, but since I had a $5 off Science Diet coupon, I used it and saved! Yippee!
I also used a ton of coupons at Target and came away with a lot of pop (thanks to those Coke Olympic coupons). My stash of soda is nowhere near the quantity of ImaSaver's, but it will do.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased. The only thing I splurged on this weekend was a stack of books (a trip to Half Price Books set me back $42). I have a penchant for novels about the Tudor family, Elizabeth I in particular, and they had a couple of thick books I couldn't pass up. Also got a cookbook, Vegetarian Cookbook for Cheese Lovers. Mmmm, my kind of cookbook.
Several family members are popping in and out over the next couple of weeks. I should really plan menus. I have a lot of cleaning to do, too.
I didn't scare the birthday girls too much yesterday, and they were really excited about our present to them - time with us. I need to remember that time together is often so much more valuable than a book or a trinket.
I'm cat-sitting for a friend of mine who is out of town for a couple of weeks. I've known her cats since they were kittens...in fact, I lived with them for two years. So no problem, right?
Wrong. Last night I picked up one of them and within four seconds, she swiveled around and slashed a nasty cut in my eyelid. No hissing, no growling, no squirming to get away - no warning. Just slashing. Totally psychotic.
I skipped work today and went to the doctor because the cut hadn't stopped bleeding. He said he couldn't put stitches in at this point, so he taped it back together as best he could and now I cross my fingers, hoping that it doesn't get infected (Neosporin at the ready).
What baffles me most is that the cat has never been anything but loved - never abused, always been indoors, lived a pampered existence. I'd expect that kind of behavior from a wild outdoor cat, not a spoiled indoor cat. It surely makes me appreciate my sweet little beasts! My previously-outdoor cat has far better manners.
Not looking forward to sharing this with my friend when she gets back. The only saving grace is that her other cat is quite sweet and was very happy to see me.
Tomorrow I'm going to SO's nieces' birthday party, looking like Igor with my puffy, bruised, taped eye. SO has taken to calling me a prize fighter. I should thoroughly frighten all the 6 year olds.
So, $15 more dollars down the drain for today's doctor's appt. I'm so thankful that the cat didn't scratch my eyeball, or I'd probably be blind.
Signing off for now - stay clear of vicious house-pets,
I visited Aldi this past weekend, with high hopes and expectations based on all the rave reviews here...and I'm sad to say, I was disappointed. There wasn't much in the store, and all the produce I picked up had mold on it. I bought a few mold-free things, and I will try them out in the coming weeks. A gallon of milk was a pretty good deal, but not worth driving to the store. Perhaps it's because the Aldi I visited was in a sketchy part of town? or because it was a Saturday? but I wasn't impressed. I may try another store at a different location, just to compare.
I also didn't realize that it was a cash-only kind of place. Oops! Had to use the cash machine and pay the convenience fee. I was ready with bags from home and a quarter for the cart, but not enough cash.
Next up, find a discount bread store nearby. Paying $3.00-$3.50 for a decent loaf of wheat bread is lunacy.
Six month averages
Savings: $171 per month
- Definitely not as high as it could be!
Normal bills: $788 per month
Medical bills & prescriptions: $118 per month
- Much higher than usual with all this chiropractic/headache care stuff
House/Pet needs: $168 per month
- Not as high as I expected!
Food (including eating out and snacks at work): $260 per month
- Way too high. My grocery bills may put me in the Thrifty Plan of the USDA chart, but eating out is busting my budget.
Entertainment: $175 per month
- Pretty high, what with all the crafting, photo-taking, and anniversary celebrating.
Gifts: $88 per month
- Not as high as I expected!
Personal products/Clothing/Haircuts/Massages: $158 per month
- Pretty high for not having had a massage for half of those months - it's the spring/summer clothes.
Gasoline/Parking/Car Maintenance: $213 per month
- So high only because I finally fixed the car in March! Without that, only $63 per month.
The worst part about this? The average total spent is more than I take home per month. *sigh*
It's easy to feel like this!
(taken at the Como Zoo in March)
and I was doing so well...
SO and I went out for ice cream on Saturday night. If anyone living in or visiting the Twin Cities has not yet been to Grand Ole Creamery in St. Paul, GO! It's a little pricey but so worth it. It's delicious, rich, homemade ice cream, and they put a little malted milk ball in the bottom of your waffle cone to prevent ice cream leaks. So cool! It's a good thing I don't live nearby. Afterwards we stopped by Walmart and $65 spontaneously flew out of our hands and into their cash registers.
The next day we went to the Arboretum...such a gorgeous place. I had never been. Next time, we'll bring a picnic basket and lie in the shade of the trees. Even with a full parking lot, it was easy to avoid the crowds. Afterwards, we went to Target, The Bane of My Existence. Yes, we needed cereal and yes, we needed a wedding gift. But $206? *sigh* We'll see how long we can go without visiting the grocery store/Target again.
I had made some financial goals for June, simply because I couldn't not make goals. Unfortunately the eating out/Target/groceries goal is a distant memory. I am happy to report, however, that I have only driven to work three times this whole month. Rock!
SO and I made our anniversary B&B reservation. I'm soooo looking forward to it. Four years together certainly flew by.
Also looking forward to the chiropractor tonight! I think my new headache meds might be helping ever so slightly, so it will be nice to report an improvement.
And now for my latest career thoughts...I like researching people. I can find things on the internet like nobody's business and it's fun for me. I think it would be fascinating to do geneology research or work in a history museum doing research. I found a MA program in Milwaukee that sounded interesting - a double degree in Anthropology and Library Science. Still tossing it around in my head. It's 51 credits and about $9K per year if I'd get Minnesota reciprocity. I don't know that a degree is necessary, but it certainly is difficult to get a job at the Minnesota History Museum. and...Milwaukee??
I have contemplated being a private investigator, since that deals with researching people too. I just couldn't be the one sitting in the car for hours staking out the cheating husband, you know? I'd much rather be in the office, looking up information.
Not spending is going fairly well here. Every time I think about going shopping, I remind myself of the fact that I will most likely only have $12 left in my account at the end of this month. Not much wiggle room.
Free lunch today, courtesy of my employer. Can't complain!
On Sunday we went to a friend's barbeque and swam all afternoon. It was lovely and fairly inexpensive...just had to buy a few groceries. Last night we visited SO's parents and had dinner with them for a belated Father's Day gathering. Free food and lots of love, as always. I'm dragging today, since we didn't get home until around midnight.
This week I'm meeting a friend for dinner (hoping it won't be too expensive) and maybe going to the zoo with another friend. Next week I have a chiropractic appt, and we both took our anniversary off from work. We'll hopefully be going to a bed and breakfast (SO has yet to make reservations, so we'll see about that). We both agreed not to give each other gifts, but what did SO's parents do? Bought us something! I have no idea what it is but I am a little afraid of how much it cost. Every time we see them, it's like Christmas.
Have to make a vet appointment for one of the kitties...dreading the cost of that. Perhaps that's why I've put it off all month?
I'm going camping this weekend!! Yeah!!! First camp-out of the season for me. I am soooo excited.
I'm amazed by how expensive camping is, though...$18 for one campsite for one night, and $8.50 to reserve it (a must around here, if you want a campsite!). Luckily we already have a yearly parking pass. Yikes.
Fresh air, being closer to nature, hiking around and taking photos -definitely worth it. It's supposed to be perfect camping weather, 75 degrees and sunny.
I sent a gift box of grass-fed beef jerky to my dad for Father's Day. Not exactly homemade, but I know he'll like it.
I finally called the doctor's office today, and the CT scan was perfectly normal. YAY! and *whew*. I'm so glad.
The only thing is...what's up with these headaches? The daily ones are getting worse, not better. I'm going to give this med another week, and if it hasn't improved by then, I'll be going back to the doctor. Has anyone tried antidepressants to treat headaches? That may be my next step.
My family visited this weekend, and we had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect, so we grilled fresh peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and salmon (for the fish-eaters). I made trifle for dessert. I baked a wonderful banana bread for breakfast, too. I felt good about their visit, since they didn't have to buy any meals. I spent a bit on groceries, but it was worth it.
I'm trying to come up with a homemade Father's Day gift. Any ideas? I'm well past the point of drawing cute pictures for him and I don't have any kids to do it for me. I don't think the kitties would like me to dip their paws in paint...
I wish I knew exactly how much the CT scan is going to cost...it could be anywhere from $40-$90, depending on how they bill it. That will determine if I have any wiggle room in my budget.
Month of May things I'm pleased with:
- Electric bill only $53 total (split between two of us)
- Paid double on smaller college loan (chipping away)
- Gasoline, only $50
- Target expenditures, less than $90
- Made a charitable donation
Month of May things I'm not so pleased with:
- Groceries, $300 total (split between two of us)
- My eating out costs, $75
- Medical costs, $185
- Clothing and shoes, $270
- Gifts, $200
- Savings only $50
Clothing, gifts, and medical costs really took a big chunk out of this month's budget. I have no idea why we spent so much on groceries.
To answer a comment from Thrifty Ray a while back, yes, I have been using my new camera. It's great. I've been cutting back a little bit only because it's expensive to get the film developed. It's really fun to learn how to use the camera and play with all the dials!
In an effort to celebrate our anniversary frugally, I requested a rebate check from our credit card (we get money back from purchases). It should pay the bulk of whatever we end up doing (camping? B&B?). We also have a couple of restaurant gift certificates that we could use.
My family is visiting this weekend, so we need to make another trip to the grocery store. Using a list this time!
Visited the doctor this morning and came away with prescriptions for Inderal and Imitrex, and a CT scan scheduled for next week. My blood pressure is just fine, but Inderal is sometimes prescribed for headaches. We'll see how it goes.
Inderal will be inexpensive but Imitrex is pricey. Luckily I shouldn't need the latter too often. I haven't had a migraine in a while, just the persistent daily headaches. New prescriptions mean more money taken out of my dwindling emergency fund. This has been an expensive month.
The doctor and his nurse were both wonderful. It was worth putting up with the appointment-setter to see them.
Still nervous about the CT scan...still not sure why.
Apparently my employer does not offer percentage raises, but dollar amounts. I got a $1000 raise, which essentially amounts to 3%. I'm not complaining; just slightly disappointed. It makes me miss the yearly 6% increases I received at my last job (except for that year when no one got a raise).
I'm still making a full $2000+ less than I would be had I stayed at my previous job. I don't miss it at all, but I am still envious of my friends of equal standing who are making waaaay more money than me.
At this rate, it's going to take forever to pay off my student loans. The current total stands at $13,054. *sigh*
I revamped my budget a bit, and I'll have $1000 back in my emergency fund in September, and pay off my smaller college loan in October. Here's hoping nothing goes wrong between now and then!
Potential Upcoming June Expenditures:
- CT Scan/doctors appts/chiropractor
- Cats need to see the vet & get microchipped
- Donation to friend's double marathon event
- Anniversary gift for SO
- Landlords are getting married (gift)
- Father's Day gift
- My favorite aunt's partner is retiring (wish I had enough $$ to make the trip!)
- Parents might visit
- Sister will most likely visit
I have to cut back on chiropractic appointments. I had to pull $75 out of my emergency fund to pay for them this month already, and my fund is down to $125. I'm not going to be able to contribute anything to it this month, unfortunately.
Tonight I have a neck-cracking appointment and I'm going to have to tell her that I need to cut back to every two weeks or longer. I've been feeling a lot better...not 100%, but a lot better. She wants to solve the mystery of my headaches...I don't have the money to do that right now. I'd rather keep up with monthly massage appointments, which definitely help my body overall, rather than spend all I've got on weekly cracking.
I'm way overbudget this month. If I can stay out of Target until June, I'll be doing ok. I've only budgeted about $40 for groceries ($80 combined) for the rest of the month, but I think we can swing that.
My mom loved her Mother's Day gift. I got to see my parents for about 24 hours last weekend, which was nice. I hadn't seen them since Christmas. They paid for way more in that 24 hour period than they should have - lunch, dinner, breakfast, gasoline, a new rain jacket for me - but fighting it just makes them more adamant. I guess since I so rarely see them, I should just try to enjoy it. I love my new rain jacket (essential in MN in the monsoon seasons of spring and fall). My old one was a men's size XXL and came down almost to my knees! This one actually fits.
I have tried three times already to grow basil, tomatoes, and pepper plants. The cats are fascinated by the grow light and the little seedlings underneath it. I have the seedlings covered up with a tupperware container but the cats work to pull it off. Every time, they have managed to make off with one or more of the dirt pods. Last night I came home to dirt spread all over the kitchen and dead seedlings. I have to start all over again. I'm not sure where else I can put the grow light and the seedlings...I'm about to give up on this. I don't understand the fascination! I have a hard enough time trying to grow plants from seed - I don't need their interference!
Tomorrow is a big day in job-world...please send good vibes my way! I'll update tomorrow.
I have a love/hate relationship with Minneapolis/St. Paul. While driving along the freeway this weekend I remembered all the reasons I love it here...lush trees, beautiful spring weather, flowers everywhere, lovely vistas of the Mississippi River. We went for a walk last night and the weather was just gorgeous. Walking to the bus stop this morning was wonderful...lots of rabbits scurrying about, fresh air, warm temperatures. Why can't it be like this year-round? Why can't I pick up the Twin Cities and move them to a more hospitable climate? There's so much to do, so many places to shop, lots of great restaurants, wonderful libraries... I just wish I could stand the winters!
Hoping, hoping, hoping that I get an interview call today or tomorrow.
I had a busy weekend...lots of shopping, a basketball game to attend, and a haircut/color. My hair color looks awesome. I don't know how my stylist does it, but she is amazing! and she charged me $10 less than I thought she would, so that was a great deal, too.
I had to take some money out of savings for my chiropractic appointments. It's worth it, though - pain-free moments are slowly becoming more frequent.
I got my second free credit report for this year, and everything looks normal, except for a few weird address things. I can call and get those fixed, though. They removed the duplicate student loan, so that's great.
The only thing I'm a little bummed about is my credit score. According to Equifax, it's 765. Experian said it was 779 in January. I know they are different companies, so they're bound to be different...I was hoping it would be higher rather than lower, though.
I'll get the next one in September and see what it says! Equifax was a whole dollar cheaper for the score.
I have another potential job opportunity on the horizon. It's in the hiring manager's hands now, and I won't hear more until next week. I really hope I get called in for an in-person interview, but there is a ton of competition! It would be a fascinating editing position and I would get paid more, I think. Keep your fingers crossed for me!! I am so sick of reading the material I'm editing now. Boring with a capital B.
Upcoming spending: Chiropractor tonight ($25), haircut and color this weekend ($90). I don't have anything else planned yet.
I've been meaning to go walking for the last few evenings, but my neck has been bothering me so much. Last night I had a massive headache and it has slithered over into today. Ugh. Sometimes I'd like to remove the pain receptors in my head.
I gave up diet pop and anything with aspartame in it. Every time I drank it, I noticed I developed a rash down the front of my neck. Not good! I don't drink regular pop either because of the calories, so I am straight up water now. Not a problem, since I've always loved water and usually drink about 100 fl oz a day. Having a full 32 oz water bottle on my desk is essential! At least I know that my headaches aren't caused by dehydration.
Here's to a pain-free weekend!
This morning I went to the dentist. I hadn't been in about a year and half since my insurance changed and I had to switch dentists. I had a very nice Russian hygenist who was more gentle with my gums than anyone, ever. I liked her a lot, and now I have sparkling teeth!
Groceries last night = $49 for my half
Target last night = $8 for my half
I browsed through some cookbooks over the weekend and found recipes for low-fat apple zucchini muffins and tofu sloppy joes. Planning to try those out this week, now that I have the ingredients.
May is an expensive gift month.
- Dad's birthday: $57
- Mother's Day: $41
- Friend's birthday: $10 gift, dinner??
- Aunt's birthday: $25 donation to charity (I wasn't planning to spend anything, but she's my favorite aunt, and it corresponded with one of my goals)
- Mom & Dad's anniversary: $31
I spent $30 last night on 4 new t-shirts, since I regularly manage to slop something on myself, no matter how hard I try not to.
The sun is shining today!! A high of 70 degrees is predicted...perfect.
Last night I dreamt that I attended Princess Perky's oldest son's birthday party. It was held at an enormous church. Her family had just joined the church and the entire congregation was there. I remember that her son's name did start with a G (like it does in real life!) but I can't remember what it was in the dream. It was a surname of some sort. I sidled up to PP and said "hi! I'm kashi!" but she was too busy to talk. Clearly, I spend too much time on this site.
Payday tomorrow - too bad my check is already spent. It's a bad habit.
I'm soooo looking forward to my chiropractic appt tomorrow night, but I'm going to have to cut back. At $25 a pop, it is getting expensive. I'm sure the doctor will want me to come back frequently, but I just can't afford it. SO is gently but persistently trying to persuade me to go to a medical doctor. It's week three, and although my headache has greatly diminished, my neck and shoulders still feel like they are in a vice grip. Maybe he's right...but I have a tendency to have more faith in alternative medicine.
May is almost here! The year is flying by.
I had an upper rib out of place on my right side! I suspected as much, since my shoulder was aching in the exact same way. My chiropractor popped it back in, and my neck is starting to feel better. As long as I don't touch that bassoon or do any heavy lifting for a while, I think I'll be ok. Whoo hoo! The pillow is definitely helping, too.
My dad called last night because he was so concerned about the state of my head...it was nice. My parents rarely call.
I am ecstatic to have Tuesday nights free again. I'm planning to take my camera out tonight and get some springtime shots!
May is another ridiculous birthday month - six people, plus Mother's Day. I'm only buying gifts for two people (plus Mom's gift!) and sending cards to the rest. My parents are also celebrating a big anniversary, so I sent them a box of chocolates.
I am so proud of April's grocery total - only $182 (split between SO and me)! That must be a record!
Thanks for all of your migraine support! I am going back to the chiropractor tonight. I am considering making an appt with a medical doctor. The weirdest thing about this is that it was affecting the left side of my head, neck and shoulder, and now that's fine and it's affecting my right side. It makes no sense to me, but maybe my chiropractor can get it all sorted out.
Last night I tried tennis balls under my neck, heat, cold, massage, pressure points, stretching, everything. It didn't do much. I had a massage and acupuncture on Friday night and that helped a lot. I can't wait for my appt tonight.
Band is over! Thank God! I am so glad. I can hardly believe that I made it through.
Yesterday we went to Target and spent $117 on groceries, $10 on cat litter, and $67 on miscellaneous other stuff (including a new ergonomic memory foam pillow for me). I also had two rolls of film developed, $15 (expensive!!). We spent way more than was planned, but I still think I can make my goal this month. My Groceries/Target/Eating Out goal was $300, and I'm currently at $294.
My first roll of 35mm photos turned out fairly well. There are a few that I am rather proud of! I need to work on lighting, because several of them are dark. I think I can scan them in and fix them up a bit with Photoshop. All in all, I'm pleased with my camera purchase, and I can't wait to take more photos. My head and neck just need to cooperate!
I went back to the chiropractor last night after a day of trying not to throw up and/or cry from the pain. She snapped my neck back into place, mostly, and it is a lot better today. I am going back tomorrow, again either Friday or Saturday, and twice next week. I'm not too keen on spending $25 a pop for this, but if it makes me feel better, it's worth it. A minimum of six visits this month will be $150.
No April haircut and color for me! Another month of ponytails, I guess.
I have to play for 2.5 hours tonight...we'll see how that goes. If the pain comes back, I'll just have to get up and leave.
My federal tax return and a survey savvy check came yesterday! Yippee!
On Friday night I went to the chiropractor. My shoulder was still killing me and seemed to be getting worse, so I broke down and went in. I had an upper rib out of whack (right below my shoulder). I had no idea that ribs went that high! She popped it back in for me, but couldn't get my neck back in place. I am going back tonight. I hardly slept at all last night because my neck hurt so much...I was up icing it at 2:30am. Needless to say, I'm gazing at the computer through half-open eyes today.
I picked out new glasses frames and only ended up paying $170 (I was expecting $220). Excellent! They might be done this week. I'm so excited. No grocery or summer clothes shopping this weekend - I've just been in too much pain. I don't know how on earth I am going to play for seven hours this week. After this, though, I won't have to again.
My camera looks great! Only one small problem with one of the lenses (a dent that was not mentioned in the listing), but I'm working with the seller. I took a lot of shots this weekend, and I can't wait to see if they turn out.
Indian Easter dinner was fabulous. I don't think my FIL realized how much work it would be! He made five different dishes. It was wonderful. I brought leftovers for lunch today.
My little nieces are only five and already very concerned with weight and looks. That disturbs me so much. A five year old should not be worried about whether or not she looks fat. No wonder there are so many anorexic young girls out there. I didn't start worrying about weight until I was about 12 (still too young, IMO).
Last night I met up with a couple of girlfriends and we went to a really authentic Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food was excellent! The neighborhood, not so much. I was a little concerned about my car getting jacked even though it was still light outside. It's unfortunate that the really good Mexican restaurants are in a horrible part of town. I would not go down there by myself. Really awesome, fresh tortillas, though, and a delicious, authentic Mexican drink! Only $10.
I've been messing around with my digital camera more lately, trying to master all of its features. I finished reading one library book about 35mm photography and have several more waiting for me at home. Today I brought "Photographing People" to read during lunch, as I am heading over to take more photos of the new baby tonight.
Anyone notice the gorgeous full moon? I was playing around with my digital camera's night mode last night.
Reasons why April's budget is just not working out:
1. My glasses disintigrated. I don't wear them all the time, just around bedtime and on weekends, but they need to be replaced. My current pair is 8-10 years old - no wonder they fell apart! I've been wearing them like opera glasses (one arm missing, one nosepad missing), so they're a bit crooked. I'm not sure how much the replacement pair will cost, but I'm guessing in the $200 range.
2. $83 eye appointment cost. Way more than the $20 copay I expected.
3. Camera purchase. This is offset by my church service gig, but I could have saved that money instead. $125 with shipping and film.
4. Aquarium needs. Fish need clean water to swim in and to get fed regularly when we're out of town. $88. Cheaper in the long run, because I bought a huge vat of water purifier. Plus, I won't have to ask SO every day if he fed the fish (priceless).
5. Allergy prescriptions, $21. It's spring. (YAY!)
6. Potential frivolity. I'd like to get my hair cut and colored (it's been six months since the last color). I'd like the masseuse to come over (she hasn't been since January, and my shoulder is killing me). A friend's birthday is this month, although I don't know if we are celebrating or not.
7. I've driven to work four times already! It's April 11!
Good things: Only $28 spent on groceries so far. Only $42 on eating out (most of which was used to take my sister out).
I'm still going to save $175 this month...but that's nowhere near $600!
I won a camera on eBay! It's an older Nikon (and by older, I mean the same age as me, but that's what I wanted), and it comes with three lenses, a flash, a motor drive, and three filters. The price? $100! I am sooooo excited!!! I hope it is in good condition. So far, the seller has not tried to charge me extra for shipping - a plus! I bought some film last night and I am reading all about my new camera. I can't wait.
Thanks for the tips on photography classes!
I played the church gig last night and made enough money to even out my camera purchase. Very exciting. The ensemble was very nice...baroque Mozart music...I enjoyed it. I ended up rehearsing/playing for five hours this weekend though (between this gig and my other band practice), so my shoulder is killing me today!
SO and I went on a date on Saturday night. We went to a fancy restaurant and then to a play (Hamlet). It was fabulous. We had such a great time. He even bought me roses and wore a suit.
Spring is here! I can't tell you how excited I am about that! I can't wait to get my new camera and start snapping spring blooms.
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