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Jan 23

January 23rd, 2017 at 12:28 pm

I've successfully avoided shopping for over a week! I attended the local women's march on Saturday and went home afterwards rather than to Costco or Target. It was actually decent weather for January, but still chilly enough to make me want to go straight home and warm up! The march itself was really fun.

I'm trying to eat down my overstuffed pantry and freezer, so yesterday I made my weekly supply of soy yogurt, a lemon blueberry cake loaf, and a peanut sauce stir fry with mock duck. I need to get better at batch cooking for the week, but I've found I'm much less motivated to cook for one. Today's lunch was soup from my freezer, which I love having on hand. I'll need to make another batch of soup next weekend.

I'm waiting on a refund from The Limited of about $20. They recently filed for bankruptcy so I really hope I get my money back. I'm also waiting on a $60 rebate check from 1-800 Contacts.

I started my taxes and it looks like I'll get about $100 back...if I submit them manually. The online tax services are so expensive. I haven't filled out a paper tax return in years, so I'll have to stop by the library!

I watched Stuffocation on Netflix and now I'm about halfway through the book. My long-term goal is to buy a house, and I think changing my mindset about "stuff" will help me get there!

hi all!

January 18th, 2017 at 01:55 pm

I've been terrible about blogging but I promise I'm still lurking (as several of you know).

SO! 2017.

The two cats and I are living in the duplex I mentioned in my last post. After a few necessary changes done by my landlord (new carpeting, new dishwasher, etc) it's a pretty decent place. My eventual goal is to have a house of my own, but before that, I'll have to replace my 16-year-old car.

My job is great! I have a fantastic boss and coworkers, and I've learned so much. I received a promotion late last year (just a salary boost and recognition for all the work I had already been doing), which was so appreciated. I'm still not as challenged as I'd like to be, but I'm happy to be well employed.

One of my older single lady role model friends emphasized my need to ensure that I'm protecting myself financially from here on out, because all I've got is me. Admittedly, I haven't been great at that since I started on this new journey, but saving as much is possible is my main goal for 2017. The somewhat terrifying political climate we're about to enter into solidified that for me.

2017 Financial Goals:
- Continue to send 6% to retirement plan
- Continue to send $25 a month to Roth
- Save $2000 in emergency fund (and don't touch it unless it's an actual emergency)
- Save $200 a month for eventual car payment
- Get my age of money to 30 days in YNAB

Other Goals:
- Reduce grocery bill
- Get out more (meet some new people via meetup.com or elsewhere)
- Read 15 books
- Lose weight/more yoga/climbing gym

good news!

May 21st, 2007 at 09:15 am


Text is photo credit and Link is http://www.wrotniak.net/gallery/fireworks-05/index.html
photo credit


I paid off my smaller college loan! *happy dance*

My remaining college loan is finally under $11,000! I like that the figure starts with a 10 now. Wink

To date, I've paid off $12,217 in student loans, not counting interest!

And, this isn't financially-related, but I can fit into my favorite jeans again! I've lost 11 pounds, and am consistently losing about a pound a week. It's a nice little side perk of my vegan diet. Oh cute jeans, how I've missed thee...


lattice, P365, Day 28: 5/17/07



concentration, P365, Day 29: 5/18/07



puff, P365, Day 30: 5/19/07

2007 goals

January 3rd, 2007 at 08:53 am

Today I'm jamming to Imogen Heap (got her I Megaphone album for Christmas - it's great) and contemplating my future.

I've been skirting around leaving this state, finding a real career, being happy, for years. I'm tired of being wishy-washy about everything, just staying here because it's easier, applying to hundreds of jobs but getting nowhere. It's ridiculous. Something is going to change, and it is going to change this year.

I'm also losing 30 pounds this year, period. There is absolutely no reason for me to have the body I have. I have no children, and I'm not having any children, so why am I carrying all this weight?

My only New Year's resolution - start living my life the way I should have been living it all along.

2007 Financial Goals
~ Finish off smaller college loan
~ Emergency Fund: $1000
~ Family Fund: $350
~ Moving/Vacation Fund: $4000
~ Roth IRA: $1000
~ Retirement: continue with 6%

is this the chocolate talking?

December 6th, 2006 at 02:37 pm

I'm pretty happy today. Yes, perhaps it is because of the square of 70% dark chocolate I just ate...but I'm pretty jovial. Most of my holiday shopping is done, and though I'm having trouble with a couple of homemade gifts, I'm not going to sweat it. I have a lot of baking to do, but that is one of the enjoyable parts of the holidays. My trainee is smart and catching on fast. I'm going "shopping" tonight with my sweetheart, gift cards at the ready. All in all, life is good. Smile

I'm reading the "How to Ruin Your Life" series by Ben Stein. It includes "How to Ruin Your Love Life" and "How to Ruin Your Financial Life", in addition to the first. Really funny stuff. I just finished a fabulous (but long and somewhat intense) novel set in medieval times, so this is nice and light.

I am envious of DivaJen's ability to meet so many of her 2006 goals. I met only four of my own. I'm not sure how to change this budget and goals slump I'm in. I've got to ruminate on that a while...

2007 vacation

November 28th, 2006 at 07:27 am

In 2007, I am taking a vacation, come hell or high water.

If I'm frugal for the next couple of months, I'll have plenty of cash saved up by mid-February. I'm still dreaming about a week at

Text is Isla Holbox and Link is http://www.mexicoholiday.com/destinations/holbox/xaloc.html
Isla Holbox in Mexico. I could take a bite right out of that piece of paradise...swimming with dolphins! Gazing at manta rays! Kayaking through mangroves! Digging my toes into the sand! Sounds like heaven.

I've been working on my year-long 2007 budget, and I added a vacation fund. I plan to have my smaller college loan paid off by June 2007, and my holiday savings fully funded by August.

My sister noticed my budget spreadsheet and asked about it. She seemed really interested in developing a budget - I'll have to make one up for her. I often stop and think about how much being a part of this website has helped me over the past couple of years. I think about money and acquiring "stuff" differently, and I'm proud of that!

Have you ever gone back to a salon and complained about a haircut? I got mine done last week at a new place, and I really donít like the cut. I'm leery about having the same person fix it. Certainly in this case, having a coupon did not pay off. I should have just gone to my regular salon!

the Ford...again.

November 11th, 2006 at 04:20 pm

I dropped my car off at the shop last night. The rear passenger wheel feels like it's going to pop right off every time I hit a pothole or go around a corner. It needs new struts, apparently, and they aren't sure if they'll be able to replace it cleanly since the car is 12 years old. They couldn't get to fixing it today, so I'll get it back on Monday. The damage will be at least $430, if it goes well. If it doesn't..*sigh* I'm really hoping it goes well.

This news made me realize that I need several savings funds:

1. Emergency Fund ($1000 minimum)
2. Car Repair Fund ($2000 minimum)
3. Vacation Fund ($1500 minimum)
4. Family Fund ($500 minimum)
5. Holiday Fund ($500 minimum)
6. Pet Emergency Fund ($500 minimum)

Plus my Roth IRA, 401K, New Car Fund, House Downpayment Fund, Stuff I Want Fund...etc etc. I've been working on 1, 4, and 5 for a while, but I know I need the others as well.

Time to crack down on excess spending!

net worth

November 7th, 2006 at 11:51 am

Thanks to Tina's motivational post, I figured out my net worth today.

-$3663


It's not as bad as I expected, but not good. Maybe sometime in 2007 my debt to asset ratio will even out.

I had an unprecendented experience over the weekend. I tried on a pair of jeans - and they fit on the first try. I tried on another pair - and they fit, too. I didn't have to grab a bazillion other sizes or styles like I normally do. Amazing! Even more surprising to me was that they were Target jeans! $20 each, I can handle that.

I did my part this morning and voted. I went with my gut and voted for governor accordingly. It will be interesting to see how a couple of Minnesota races turn out. You never know with this state!

Good news! I just received a cash award for all my hard work at the office this year. This place never ceases to surprise me!

Anyone in the vicinity - visit Como Zoo when you have a chance. They had a baby giraffe and a baby zebra born last month! So absolutely adorable!

November Goals

November 3rd, 2006 at 01:35 pm

What's that? Whatever happened to October's goals? Don't ask.

Goals for November:

~ Spend grocery gift cards only on perishables (dairy, eggs, & produce), since the pantry and freezer are pretty darn full.

~ Spend $300 or less on groceries, household needs, and eating out.

~ Drive to work three times or less.

~ Finish holiday shopping.


Last night brought the annual 1.5 hour phone call with an old friend, someone who was also close to the friend I lost so long ago. It was good to catch up. A little weird, though...we don't talk often enough anymore, but I knew all day that he would call at 7:00pm (it hadn't been planned in advance). At 6:40pm, my subconcious popped in again and said, "kashi, go eat dinner, the phone is going to ring at 7:00." So I did, and lo and behold, precisely 20 minutes later, the phone rang. Bizarre. The mind works in mysterious ways.

Holiday gift progress: I'm done with SO, my dad, and my in-laws; mostly done with mom and sister. Four people left to go, plus stocking stuffers for my parents, and homemade goodies for my aunts and landlord. This is the first year I've saved up for holiday gifts throughout the year, and I'm so glad I did. It really helps take some of the stress out of the season.

$9

October 30th, 2006 at 10:46 am

$9 - That's how much I'll have in my checking account after paying all the bills this week. Yikes. And that's got to last how long? The credit card bill was a bit high this month due to our grocery gift card buying. I pay off all of my credit cards every month (and apparently, so does 54% of the U.S. population!). In November, I've got to be more frugal. Just because I have a coupon for something does not mean I have to buy it.

The weekend was chaotic, no two ways about it. It took four trips with a mid-sized moving truck and van to move my brother-in-law. Yikes. I definitely got my weight-bearing exercise in.

I found I have an extra $25 holiday gift to buy. SO's family decided that each adult should draw one adult's name and one child's name this year. I wasn't really planning on the latter. I'll need to do some online scouring to get great deals and still stay within budget.

Yesterday we went to a park that geese flock to and I took two full rolls of film. I recently fixed my camera myself - it had a light leak - so now we'll see if my handiwork paid off. It was so relaxing being outside with my tripod and camera, SO with his sketch pad, and perfect fall weather. Just what I needed in the midst of familial chaos.

This week's goal: No spending until Saturday night!

apple overflow

October 2nd, 2006 at 08:58 am

On Friday, I stopped by Target to use up a few coupons and pick up another batch of Pepsi products. I have to stay out of that store for a while now.

On Saturday we visited an apple orchard. The weather was absolutely perfect. I could have wandered around the orchard for hours. We picked up about 20 pounds of apples, and gave about 5-10 pounds to family members. Now I have to find something to do with the remaining apples! We drove past a few houses for sale that we thought might be interesting. Each of them had some sort of flaw (no side yard, close to the freeway, teeny tiny lot). None of them screamed "BUY ME!" so we kept on driving. Also hit the grocery store to load up another gift card and pick up a few things on sale.

Sunday I cleaned the house and checked a few things off of my To Do list. I finally got around to doing an inventory of our household stuff. Four tubes of toothpaste? Multiple half-full bottles of lotion? Hidden deoderant? I'm so glad I wrote up a list.

Clipped my Sunday coupons from the paper. I'm realizing now that the same coupons are in the paper over and over, so there's really no rush to use them.

Nieces and nephews stopped by briefly yesterday...another reminder of why I like my quiet life. I don't think I could handle parenting. It amazes me to see how many people on my high school class reunion website have one, two, three, four kids!

Scheduled a no-spend week for October 22-October 28. It's desperately needed! As for my September goals - I only accomplished enrolling in community ed classes and driving to work just once. The rest - whatever!

falling leaves

September 1st, 2006 at 12:28 pm

September? Already?

August Goals Recap:
~ Limit groc/Target/EO to $300: NO, $132 over, but we stocked up at Sam's Club
~ Put $170 into savings: YES (but had to take it out again)
~ Drive to work no more than 3 times: YES
~ Don't use personal credit card at ALL: HA HA HA

September Goals
~ Limit groc/Target/EO to $300
~ Put $100 into savings
~ Drive to work no more than 3 times
~ Enroll in 1-2 community ed classes
~ Swim at least four times

I'm also going to journal, read up on meditation, call about photography classes in my area, and fix my camera seal. I'd also like to go camping at least once, maybe twice.

I'm not going to the chiropractor anymore unless I feel I need to. She'd like me to stay on the "maintenance plan" of once per month, but the last couple of times haven't done much for me. No need to waste $25.

Hitting the state fair tonight! Hopefully the rain stays away! Almost-any-food-on-a-stick, anyone? Last year I tried the deep-fried candy bar on a stick...ewww. We'll see what culinary finds there are this year!

contemplating rejuvenation

August 30th, 2006 at 09:39 am

I'm making some personal rejuvenation plans.

Since I'm not joining band this fall, I'm considering several community education classes. The one I'm most interested in is a pottery class. It's $119 for 8 sessions. *ouch* Also interesting - calligraphy, intentional living, emotional freedom technique, and buying your first house. I could probably learn all of those things on my own, though. Throwing clay on a wheel, not so much.

I'm still looking into photography classes around here...need to call around. I discovered that my camera has a light leak, which explains why my latest rolls of film haven't been too great. I bought an inexpensive repair kit and am going to reseal the camera myself. I took several rolls of the sunset back home...I hope it was dark enough for them to turn out properly.

I purchased a swimsuit online. It will be perfect for lap swimming (my current suit is more suited for lounging about the pool in the sun). There's a community swimming pool just down the street from me. I'm going to make a real effort to swim at least once a week.

I'm going to start journaling again. I stopped several years ago after years and years of writing almost daily. I need that private outlet.

I'm going to read up on meditation. I realized that I am almost never alone anymore. If SO isn't at home, the cats are still there yowling at me. I need to find some sort of inner peace. Everyone will just have to deal with me having the spare bedroom door closed to them for a few moments of the day.

Perhaps these things will help me uncover what it is that I should be doing with my life...