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!
Archive for May, 2006
Month of May things I'm pleased with:
~ Pay double on smaller college loan: YES
~ Limit groceries/Target/eating out to $300: NO, $320
~ Drive to work no more than 5 times: NO, 8 times
~ Put $100+ into savings: NO, $50
~ Donate $25 to charity of choice: YES
As you can see, my progress in May was minimal. I'm not posting any June goals because I can already see that the month is going to be rough. I'm also sick of posting goals and not being able to attain them.
Calgon, take me away (and bring lots of money)....
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.
I'm seeing a doctor tomorrow to discuss my headaches (and the potential CT scan). It took a lot for me to call and make the appointment, and I still can't quite figure out why. The receptionist was rather rude after I stated that my emergency contact is my domestic partner (and I'm single, since the only options were single, married, divorced, separated, and widowed). I couldn't quite figure it out - how does my living arrangement affect her? I was irked at first, but now I'm thinking whatever, my life is my life, and if I don't want to get married, that's my business. It's just too bad that they don't provide an option for "in a happy relationship but not married" and that there are more negative options than positive ones.
Looooong weekend...I'm so looking forward to it! I feel like I could sleep for a week.
I just stumbled upon a interesting travel blog on the New York Times page. The writer is traveling the world in 90 days, frugally, and updates every Wednesday.
He links to several travel-related websites. I'd never heard of this one before - couchsurfing.com. Check it out.
I finally remembered to call my previous landlord and ask him for a 2005 certificate of rent paid. Once I get that, I should be able to file for a property tax refund. It kept slipping my mind (by law, though, he was supposed to send it to me in February). Last year I received $291 back - this year will most likely be less, but something is better than nothing.
I agree with what Thrifty Ray commented on in my last post. The thing is, I find it difficult to be a model employee when I'm unhappy with my job. It's hard to stand out from the crowd and tap dance my way to a better salary when I have to pry myself out of bed to trudge into work every day. Part of it is perspective - I could force myself to love it! - but that's not really authentic. If going to a private college taught me anything, it's that faking it makes me nauseous. It's not as if I make it obvious that I'm unhappy, but I find it hard to go above and beyond.
Well, we'll see. I'm still looking for a job that makes me happy (or at least doesn't require a tractor trailer to pull me out of bed in the morning). I do appreciate the suggestions.
In other news - tonight - more authentic Mexican food! I've been corresponding with a friend of a friend via email in Spanish. Tonight we are all going out for dinner and I'll get to meet her in person. Mmmmmmm Mexican food.... (sorry Jeffrey!)
I need some anniversary gift ideas. SO tends to buy me really expensive electronic equipment and then my gifts seem silly in comparison. We have some cash back coming to us from our credit card...maybe I will suggest we go to a nice bed and breakfast and use that cash to pay for it. Hmmm....
Had a weird thought this morning as I groggily got out of bed. It will take me five more years to reach the $40K mark at this job, assuming I get another raise in December, and the same raise each year after that. Ick. Five years? I'll be 32.
I attended a benefit concert last night and talked to an acquaintance. She is probably about 10 years older than me (as many of my friends seem to be) and has had several high-paying, high-profile management jobs. She is seriously dissatisfied with her current position, though. I felt a small amount of comfort when I asked her what she really wants to do, and she said she has no idea. She has the luxury of taking a long sabbatical to figure it all out, though.
I just started reading No Parachute Required. It's geared toward recent college graduates, but hopefully I will get something out of it.
I'm going to start a "Musts Before 30" list...
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 $$ to make the trip!)
- Parents might visit
- Sister will most likely visit
Yesterday's job review went pretty well. Suddenly my nice boss was nice again. I decided to express my frustration with the office environment, and now she is on a mission to help me make friends. I told her that was unnecessary but that I wanted her to know that it's been a difficult transition for me. To go from one environment that was generally very warm and chatty (almost too much) to an environment that's cold, sterile, and silent....well, it's been tough. I went from a place where my boss was yelling for me every two minutes to only talking to SO all day long. Very strange.
I have two bosses - one did my review, and the other one is doing my raise. I find that odd. I won't find out what my raise is until Monday morning.
This morning I made roti (aka chipati) bread. It's like a thick, whole wheat tortilla cooked on a dry skillet. The only ingredients are whole wheat flour and water, but it's delicious. I had never made it myself before but it turned out pretty well. I'll have to make a nice soupy Indian dish to go with it. However, tonight we're going to a Greek restaurant for a friend's birthday, and then to the Da Vinci Code movie (if it's not sold out).
Headache today, a carryover from last night. SO pulled out the Mayo Clinic medical handbook and read the entire CT scan section to me this morning. I'm feeling a little better about it. I'll call the doctor's office on Monday. I'm going to have to take out more $$$ from my emergency fund to pay for it, though.
Today is my favorite aunt's birthday. She is an amazingly strong, capable, sweet woman, and I have always adored her. Hopefully she and her partner will come visit next month. I haven't seen them in several years. They will both finally be retired this summer, so hopefully we will see more of them. Off to make a happy birthday phone call!
My chiropractor thinks that I should have a CT scan done because of my headaches. The chiropractic treatment is not really helping them and she is concerned.
I have an irrational fear of that machine. I didn't even realize I had this fear until she told me I should have the test done.
I have no idea if my insurance covers CT scans, and I have to call to find out. Their website will tell me that the estimated cost for a CT scan without insurance is $350-400, but it won't tell me what my actual coverage is with insurance. I have to call a doctor to make an appointment as well.
Thanks for your well-wishes! I had a job interview today (the one I was hoping for). I had to do an hour-long pre-test which analyzed my personality, and then today I had a three-hour interview. They required me to take three tests today and do two interviews. The last interview was the most absurd interview I have ever done. It was with two people, only one of which was actually there (the other was on speakerphone from Texas), and every single question was, "Tell me about a time when..." Awful. Truly awful. These questions weren't just like, "Tell me about a time when you had a big project to finish and how you did it." They were like, "Tell me about a time when you had a big project to finish, and the person you were working with made it difficult, and you had trouble finishing it, and what you learned from that experience, and what you would do differently, and and and..." Every single time I answered a question, I had to ask what the rest of the question was, because there was no way I could remember every variable they set up. It was insane. I think the actual work might be interesting, but I didn't click with anyone I met, especially not the boss. So, in short, no way.
The nice thing is that I took the rest of the day off (since they had me block off 4.5 hours of time for the interview - yeesh!) and it is a gorgeous day. I had a picnic lunch with SO and now I'm going to see if I can meet my friend who is on maternity leave for a walk.
My job review is tomorrow...I'm going to take it with a grain of salt (or maybe a boulder of salt) like you've all said.
I feel like I'm way overqualified for these jobs and starting to feel like I'm a little old too, since everyone is fresh out of college. More brainstorming about where to go next, coming up!
BTW, thanks for the ideas with the cats. I could close off the spare bedroom. The strangest thing about it is that I have TONS of plants in the house - I just counted, and there are 40. The cats only touch the spider plants (and seedlings, apparently).