Home > Archive: January, 2006

Archive for January, 2006

January recap & February goals

January 31st, 2006 at 04:44 pm


~ Get the Deathmobile fixed: NO

~ Get renter's insurance quote from my auto insurance company: tried but they responded too late

~ Have $800 in emergency savings by Feb: YES

~ Pay double on my smaller college loan: YES

~ Read starting your own craft business bk: started it but got distracted by other books

Spent more than I earned (I've never had a month when I haven't, so I'm not surprised).


~ Pay double on my smaller college loan
~ Change Roth IRA setting
~ Cancel extra credit card (discovered in credit report)
~ Limit groceries/Target/eating out to $220 (was $370 in Jan)
~ Drive to work no more than 4 times
~ Have $1000 in emergency fund by March

living for the weekend

January 27th, 2006 at 09:18 pm

Friday at 3:15pm, can't ask for much better than that...except Saturday and Sunday, of course. Wink

The weather is beautiful. We're at 46 degrees, and might hit the record. Tomorrow there is a chance of rain - not really ideal for skiing, but we'll see. The forecasts have been pretty wrong as of late.

My hair really looks great, and the highlights that were already there are peeking out more than they were before. I'm trying not to get down about the fact that no one (except my SO and boss) has noticed (not even my best friend!). Or maybe they have noticed and had nothing good to say. I was a little paranoid earlier this week about it looking like early 90's soccer-mom hair (no offense to soccer moms, but I'm not one). I'm over it now. Who cares! When I have more cash, I'll go to my colorist and get big slashing rockstar highlights put in, and no one will confuse me with a soccer mom.

I went through categorizing posts, and realized a few things: I'm sick more than I should be, I spend way too much money, and things rarely turn out like I expect them to. Interesting.


January 23rd, 2006 at 10:14 pm

Spent $40 at Michaels this weekend on beading supplies. Tsk, tsk. Spent $12 at the grocery store. Another $55 used up at Target, mainly for groceries. I need to stay out of Target next month, period.

We had the in-laws over for dinner last night. That's all I did all weekend, that and beading. I made a couple of things for my mom, which I hope she'll enjoy.

I'm thinking about using part of our Ikea Christmas gift card on a dresser for myself. I've been using a tv armoire for the past 5 years, and it is starting to irritate me. The cats get inside and throw everything to the floor (plus, having no drawers makes it pretty tricky to keep things neat). We'll see if I can find anything nice. Luckily, it will be free to me.

Getting my hair cut tonight at a new salon. I decided not to go to my regular styist because she does incredible things with color and it would be way too tempting to get new highlights. I don't need to spend $90 on my hair right now. So, just a cut (most desperately needed, since I've been wearing my hair in a ponytail for weeks).

Probably more eating-out spending this week....ever feel like you are just swept away by what other people want to do? I enjoy seeing people, and it normally revolves around food, but sometimes I just can't have them over to my house (lunch dates, for example). Plus, I'm going skiing with the gang this weekend, which I'm not super thrilled about but doing anyway. I'm sure it will be fun...I'm just afraid I'll break something.

I am giving my emergency fund priority over the Deathmobile. Maybe it will get fixed sometime this spring!


January 19th, 2006 at 08:22 pm

I'm so happy with my credit score. They even have my largest student loan listed twice, so once that goes away, it should get higher (I hope). Given my age (only nine years of credit history), student loans, and no mortgage, I'm pretty pleased. Maybe once I am ready to apply for a mortgage, it will be closer to 800.

My head is feeling a bit better today...but I am going to attend a grade school choir/play thing tonight. I hope it isn't loud. Who am I kidding? More Excedrin, down the hatch. I should really buy stock in Bristol-Myers and Procter & Gamble (makers of Puffs, of which I must use a dozen per day).

I wish ING was extending the temporary interest hike to its current customers. I have nothing more to add to my account for the time being.

My outstanding loan balance is just under $14,000 now - yay! I should get it under $13,000 by the end of May. Progress.

low grade migraine

January 18th, 2006 at 05:34 pm

Head hurts today. I decided to stay home rather than inflame it further by dragging myself to work. Lying down seems to be dislodging the hatchet in my forehead, somewhat..that and a hefty amount of Excedrin (which my masseuse friend keeps telling me to lay off of because it's hurting my stomach). Sigh.

I'm invited to a friend's birthday party tonight. It's supposed to be low-key, just a few people in someone's home, quiet. We'll see how I feel later. My friend's birthday gift still hasn't arrived in the mail. I think she will be upset if I don't go.

I'm tempted to take advantage of the Victoria's Secret online sale. I stopped in the store last weekend and they only had one style of bra on clearance, but they have everything online. Have to spend $100 to get free shipping though. I'm going to think about it for a few days. I'd rather get the sale price now than have to pay full price down the road.

I'm reading a library book, Women in the Material World, published in 1996. It's interviews and photos with women in 20 different countries. Fascinating, and disturbing. It says that in Albania, a bride's parents give the groom a bullet to show him just how much power he has over his new wife (their DAUGHTER). So many of the women walk hours each way to buy food for their families, and they scrub their clothing on rocks in dirty river water. I'm far too lucky...not only because I have a car and a laundry machine, but because I can be true to myself and not have to allow any man to dictate how I live my life. How I value my independence and freedom.

bus mishap

January 17th, 2006 at 04:23 pm

Still haven't decided about the vacation. Thanks for your input, though! I was surprised by the general consensus! Wink SO just applied for his passport, so it won't get here for a while. If we can't go in February, I'm not sure about March (spring break partiers, ish), so it might not be until April. The whales will have left the Sea of Cortez by then, so we might as well go anywhere. I'm a little bummed about that. I wish he had applied for his passport sooner.

I am so proud of Chile. They elected their first female president. Not only is she fighting for women's rights, she is agnostic, unmarried, and has two children from two different fathers. Impressive for a country that is so deeply religious! I wish that would happen here!!! When will we be as smart as Chileans and elect a female president?? Or even a person of color, for that matter?!

This morning I was all set to get to work early for once. I even caught the earlier bus, and was so proud of myself. It snowed overnight, though, so the roads were treacherous. A car gently slid into the bus, so we had to wait for a squad car. While waiting, another car rear-ended the one that hit us, and moments later a van careened headlong into the driver's section of our bus. It was moving fast. Luckily, the driver was unhurt, but there was debris everywhere and he was very upset. Everyone on my bus crammed into the bus following reminded me of riding the bus in Chile...tight quarters! I ended up getting to work 20 minutes late. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day!

vacation vs car fix & emergency fund

January 13th, 2006 at 01:00 am

Ok, this is a no-brainer for all the smart, frugal people who visit this site, but SO and I have been talking about taking a vacation next month to Mexico for a week to celebrate our birthdays. It would be great if we could find an awesome deal and not spend much. I'd like to see the sun again, get some sand between my toes, and watch the gray whales. I haven't had a real vacation in 3.5 years.


This doesn't jive with my $1000 emergency fund plan, or my need to fix my car. I should really spend the money on those things instead.

The problem is, I don't want to. I have three weeks of vacation this year. I'm going stir crazy in the frozen north. Winter is depressing. But the emergency fund and car fix are more important financial issues, right?

*sigh* "You only live once," SO tells me. Yes, but....

outrageous electric bill

January 11th, 2006 at 04:09 pm

You know you need a vacation when you wake up wishing you had some sort of ailment that would keep you at home. Maybe I'm not in the right field...maybe I'm not at the right workplace. I don't know what to do about it. My skills are not being used and I am not getting much of anything out of my work. I am the equivalent of a human grammar and spell check. It wouldn't bother me as much if the work was varied, but we are talking about the same correspondence, with the same mistakes, every single day.

Massage tonight - I'm sure she will work her magic and I will feel better. It's like stuffing a piece of chewing gum into a small hole in a giant leaking dam, but little things count, right?

I bought concert tickets for an event in a few weeks. It is an early birthday gift to myself - a bassoon concert. SO is going with me. Smile I'm looking forward to it. We split the cost, so $27.50.

I desperately need a haircut, need to get my car fixed, and need to pay for renter's insurance this month. The electric bill was WAY more than I had planned on - what is sucking up all the energy?! and how do you get your significant other to shut things OFF? I feel like I am always shutting off lights that are needlessly on. Perhaps I should try to get him to use candles more often, since we have a ton of them! I can't figure out what else it is...maybe too many loads of laundry? I have energy saver light bulbs in place where I can. I have a programmable thermostat, so I lowered the temps even more. My mom flipped out when I told her I keep it at 62 and 67, because she thought that was way too cold! Now it's lower. I hope it helps.

*blink* and it's gone

January 9th, 2006 at 04:56 pm

Ahhhhhh, the weekends. Where do they go?

Friday night: Stopped at a craft store and picked up yarn on sale and a few beads at 40% off. I plan to crochet a new hat. Mine is looking a little ragged. Also stopped by the grocery store to grab a few things I forgot, and spent about $17. Won't shop at that grocery store again - way too expensive.

Saturday: Cleaned, did laundry, made vegetable noodle soup from scratch, and baked the best brownies ever. Went to bed early. Didn't leave the house!

Sunday: SO wanted to go out to breakfast, so we did. Also spent a fair amount at Target. I crocheted for a while, cleaned more of the house, and made vegetarian stroganoff for dinner. We played Scrabble (no keeping score, but I did great!) and again, went to bed early. I sent in a rental insurance quote request, so we'll see what they come up with.

I could NOT get out of bed again this morning! What is up with that??? The bus was very late on top of it, so I was 15 minutes late for work. The good work news is that I will be getting an evaluation and potential raise before mid-year, and then again at the end of the year! I guess I'd better start getting to work on time.

Not one piece of jewelry made all weekend...I'm rather bummed about that. Won't have time to try again until Thursday.

will the sun ever return?

January 6th, 2006 at 03:23 pm

Looks like lost of people went grocery shopping yesterday - me too! I spent more than I meant to, and good grief, we have a lot of food now. I need to do some meal planning. Didn't buy a lot of fresh produce because it all was either ridiculously expensive or looked nasty. Ahh, winter.

SO went to the doctor yesterday and he just has a viral infection. I am glad he went. I half-expected the doctor to send him off to the ER, but he didn't, thank God. He should be over this illness soon, which is good, because I've discovered I'm not a great caretaker! I can be for a few days, but after that, I can't take it.

Yesterday I ordered the latest Spanish-language Shakira CD and the book DivaJen mentioned from amazon. I love, love, love Shakira, but only when she sings in Spanish. I am so happy that she put out a new Spanish-language CD. I'm also interested in trying the migraine/SAD therapy book - maybe it will help. Seriously, winter in the tundra sucks. I haven't seen the sun in weeks, and it is really getting to me. I take Sam-e, which helps, but doesn't replace the sun! I'm not the only one who misses it:

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I bid on a couple of beading magazines on eBay, but lost. I'm not too disappointed. I don't need to spend the money anyway! I started reading the book about starting your own in-home craft business last night. It is pretty good, and should help me make a decision.

Quiet weekend in the forecast! I just want to stay home, catch up on laundry, cook a little, bake a little, and make jewelry. Shouldn't be too difficult! Smile

I enjoyed 2005

January 5th, 2006 at 03:43 pm

More 2005 accomplishments:
~Paid off smallest college loan
~Paid $200 extra to middle college loan
~Paid $545 extra to largest college loan

Things I liked about 2005:
~I moved out of my one bedroom apartment and into a larger, better, and ultimately cheaper one with my sweetie
~I donated a ton of excess stuff before the move, making things clearer and fresher
~I adopted two adorable kitties
~I got a new job, one that is a small step closer to my ultimate goal
~I had no medical issues resulting in large bills

I could go on. I liked 2005. It was one of my better years so far. Humorously enough, my 16th year was my 26th year was one of the better ones, too. Maybe 36 will be rockstar quality? Wink

My sweetie has the flu. I wish he had gotten the flu shot like I had asked him to. He is diabetic, which makes it much more complicated, so I have been watching him closely. He seems to be improving a bit, but I am ready to take him to the ER at any moment.

LOVE the new Avon Headache Relief. It really makes a difference. I ordered more tubes of it so I can carry it everywhere!

2004 vs 2005

January 3rd, 2006 at 05:25 pm

Spent $470 more in 2005 than in 2004.
Earned $2,625 more in 2005.
Had $820 more in savings at the end of 2005.
Put $950 into retirement in 2005 (2004=$0).

Not too bad. This year will be better.

Goals for January:
~ Get the Deathmobile fixed
~ Get a renter's insurance quote from my auto insurance company
~ Have $800 in emergency savings by February
~ Pay double on my smaller college loan
~ Read a book about starting your own craft business

My long weekend was fun, but not long enough, as usual. Sometimes I wish I lived a bit closer to my parents. My flight was four hours late yesterday, so I didn't land until midnight. We didn't even get a decent explanation from the airline, much less any compensation. I'm glad I didn't have to miss work today, but I'm irked about the airline.

Need to figure out what I am going to do with my life. Reading this article

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here reminded me of that yet again. I've always thought I should do what I'm good at...but that perception of what I'm good at has always come from what other people think I'm good at. Need to reevaluate.