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Archive for May, 2013

Foiled by....The Library?!?

May 31st, 2013 at 08:38 am

I was all set for a NSD yesterday. I was on my way home and I stopped by the library to pick up a book they had on hold for me. In the lobby is a basket where people leave old magazines for others to take. I had a small stack of Real Simple magazines to drop off. There wasn't any magazines I was tempted by and I turned around to go into the library and There. It. Was.

A Wysocki puzzle on the Friends of the Library shelf. Our local Friends of the Library will sell books, CDs, and puzzles to raise funds for their various projects. I've purchased a puzzle from there before and I believe they check to make sure all the pieces are there before they will sell it. Anyways, for $1 I could not resist it. I enjoy doing puzzles and Wysocki puzzles are the only ones I own.

There goes my NSD! Oh well, that is the only thing I spent and I still had money in my entertainment category. It was a quiet night at home, just doing some not-for-class reading. It was entirely too hot to sleep. We don't have central air and the window air conditioner hasn't been installed in our room yet. I think it will probably happen this weekend. It should be a NSD today, but tomorrow I anticipate doing quite a bit of spending. Hair, Sams Club, Meijer, maybe even a bit of take out Chinese. Smile

Happy Friday!

Oh yeah. That.

May 30th, 2013 at 05:54 am

So I was complaining in my last entry that saving $300/month seemed easier before. Then it hit me this morning: I now pay the full amount towards the student loan and the ex sends me his portion with a check. I don't dare count on this happening (although it has happened for about six months now), so I essentially have an extra $240 coming out of my budget every month on paper. When I get his check, it all will go into savings. But, again, I don't count on it the way I count on my paycheck.

Oh yeah. That. So now I'll jiggle with the numbers again, taking that into account. Maybe the budget won't seem quite so tight then.

Also, Petunia100 had a great idea of rolling over whatever I don't spend in a category into the next month's budget. I'm showing how much of a long time lurker I am--there used to be someone on here years ago who was trying to do a budget based on minimum wage and in her spreadsheets, she would roll over her amounts to the next month. I was always inspired by her posts because she seemed to take such pleasure in simple things like drinking hot tea and footie PJs.

Yesterday I took myself out to Subway for dinner between work and class. $8. Wow. That was even with a leftover gift card that I've been meaning to use up for months now. Subway has gotten expensive. Then after class, I ran to WalMart and spent $18 on top of the $25 gift card I had. I got most everything on my list and used about $3.25 in coupons.

What did I buy? (kinda boring, I know)
2 - Weight Watchers Ice cream (coupon)
3 - gallons of water (track, truck, home water)
1/2 gallon of milk
bag of yellow popcorn
chocolate chips
fun size hershey's bars (pack of 10 for lunches)
homemade mac & cheese meal
2 boxes granola bars (track food) (coupon)
3 boxes of lean cuisine egg rolls (work lunches on class days) (coupon)
pound of butter
2 jars spaghetti sauce (coupon)
jar of strawberry jam
loaf of bread

So now I hope to not spend anything for the next two days. There are slim pickin's for fruit/veggies for lunch, but I'll survive. I have a list already started for Saturday shopping. Since I have a hair appointment that day, I'm going to be out and about anyway.

Playing with the budget

May 29th, 2013 at 07:07 am

Still working out the kinks in my budget. I must be a geek because I've been playing with the spreadsheet numbers and playing with the numbers and playing with the numbers. I am thankful that I have numbers to play with, but I'm wondering about my sanity. My first goal is to pay off the credit card. So all my extra money is getting thrown at that. After that, I'd like to save $300 a month. It feels like I was able to do that easily before the whole ex business came up, but now that I'm working with actual budget numbers, I wonder how that ever happened.

I wonder if I'm one of those people that don't do well with a budget because I tend to spend money in all the categories because I budgeted that amount. I budget $50 on clothes, guess I'll go buy some clothes, even if I don't actually "need" the clothes. Otherwise, I wouldn't even think about buying clothes unless I know I need socks.

Anyway, I'm working on the numbers for June already. I know I have a hair appointment and a car appointment, so I have to make sure to budget money for those things. Need to have some money in the gifts category for Dad's day and boyfriend's birthday. So add a little here, subtract a little there.....

This past weekend was a complete NSD weekend. I spent money on Friday, then didn't spend anything until yesterday. I bought beef jerkey cheese sticks for boyfriends lunch--$3. That's all I spent. I returned cans for $1.50 and found a quarter, dime, and a penny. Almost enough "in" money to pay for the cheese sticks!

Today I have work, then class after work. On my way home, I'm going to swing by WalMart to use my $25 gift card from my credit card reward points. I'll use it for boring stuff like groceries for the week. I anticipate having to spend a couple of dollars above the $25 to get everything on my list. This could very well be the last spending for the month. Cross your fingers for me!

Beautiful Weekend

May 26th, 2013 at 02:21 pm

It is perfect weather this weekend. I have a long weekend and I'm really enjoying it.

On Friday, I spent $14 on groceries for the weekend after work and then spent $41 on underthings online. There has been no spending since then.

Saturday we went to the dirt bike track. When we go, we pack food and drinks. We just hung out with people and enjoyed the day. Came home, watched some professional dirt bike riders on the TV, then hockey, then went to bed.

This morning we both woke up really early. Too early. I did some house cleaning, then went outside and helped pull the biggest weeds from the yard. We're trying to reseed our yard so we have grass, not a bunch of weeds. A few weeks ago, boyfriend used the tiller and tilled up the whole yard. Then we put down grass seed and starter fertilizer. We do have quite a bit of grass growing, but some of the weeds have arrived too.

After some lunch and showering, we watched the Indy 500 and took a nap somewhere between lap 50 and 20 laps to the end. Boyfriend cooked up some steaks on the grill for dinner and I made up some mac & cheese. Yum. Now to just relax a little longer. I still have a bit of cleaning to do, and I really should study, but for now.....

Did it!

May 24th, 2013 at 01:27 pm

I managed to have a NSD yesterday! It was much easier once I got home, but until then, it was touch and go.

Today, however, I have spent a little money. I bought a pair of jeans, some velcro, raised bed boxes for a garden, and took myself out to eat for lunch.

Jeans: $32. I own two pair of "good" (aka not paint stained, holey jeans). On Sunday I was crawling on the counter in the bathroom and when I got down, I snagged my jeans on the hook for the hand towel and ripped a hole in the butt.

Velcro: $4. Our new curtains for the living room don't quite stay shut as I would like when we go to close them for privacy.

Raised bed boxes: $56. This is one I kinda had a fit and just bought them. I bought two boxes to start my garden. I could've, should've waited or not even bought them at all. I want to plant some tomatoes and I'm running out of time if I want to have some this year. In the long run, this will be frugal, but I AM still paying off the attorney. Wait. No excuses. I did it and I'm not taking them back. Wink

Out to lunch: $1. I had a Panera gift card, so my out of pocket only ended up being $1 for a salad and an iced chai latte. Yum.

I will probably spend a bit more money on my way home, but I'm looking to a pretty frugal weekend. No plans that I know of, but my boyfriend did buy some good steaks to burn on the grill. That's what I get to look forward to!

Lost

May 23rd, 2013 at 09:09 am

I'm still here, but the six week Economics course is really taking up any free time I have. I do want to keep blogging to try to keep myself on the straight and narrow when it comes to finances.

So, just jump in where you are, right?

Yesterday I spent $30 on groceries; $6 on gifts; $3 on out to eat/entertainment. I'm under budget in most of my budget categories--except gifts.

The drama with the ex-husband/old mortgage is now over (for me). I settled with the bank and they dismissed the case against me. Yay! It took all I have in savings and I had to pay the attorney with my Visa. So, my next financial goal is to pay that off. I hope to pay it off by the end of July. It's around $2500, but I think if I can live super frugally, I can get it paid. It does help that July is a 3 paycheck month for me, so that's where the extra paycheck money is gonna go this time.

Darn.

Today I want it to be a NSD, but I am really struggling with it. I didn't get much sleep last night, it is cold and rainy here, and I'm very grouchy. This is when I want to run to McD's and get french fries. Or get take-out chinese on the way home. Something to "treat" myself. I can come up with more excuses to "treat" myself--I'm full of them! I have a packed lunch here at work that I'm hoping will fight off the french fry urge.

What I really want is a nice nap, then a nice walk--preferably outside in sunshine, then to settle into a comfortable chair and read. Unfortunately, I'm at work for another five hours, and I don't see any of that happening. Maybe the book.

Here's to hoping that a good night's sleep will make tomorrow bright!

Woohoo!

May 4th, 2013 at 04:48 am

The financial issues with the ex seem to be over! I signed papers and sent off a cashiers check on Thursday, so now I can get back to normal finance business! I'm so excited!

Unfortunately, between the attorney and the cashiers check, I have no savings and I'm going to have a bit of a Visa bill to pay off now. I'm confident that I will have that paid off within two months. It will be a tight two months, but I'm up for it.

So far for the month of May, I've spent $43. $2 for the cashiers check, $17 for food (grape tomatoes, apples, greek frozen yogurt, peanut butter pretzels), $2 for clothes (I had a $10 off $10 Kohls coupon, so I bought me a polo shirt), and $12 for take out Chinese to celebrate the end of the ex business.

Mom's day presents and cards are done. For Mom, I sent her a new mp3 player that she asked for. She uses it to walk and listen to books on tape while she sews, so I feel good about that gift. My ex-MIL gets a magazine subscription that I knew we both liked. My step-mom is getting a matching ticket to a baseball game---my Dad's birthday is in May, so I thought a fun present for both would be going to a game.

I have one more birthday at the end of the month (ex-MIL) and I am not sure what to get her at all.

Today we're going to the dirt bike track (very cheap for me). Tomorrow I go to a graduation party, then watch SO's hockey game. I have a card for the graduate, but need to write out a check. I also hope to go for a long run tomorrow. Gotta get ready for the 10K next week!!

April numbers

May 1st, 2013 at 08:30 am

Item---Budget---Actual---difference
Rent: 550---550---0
Cell: 67---66.66---.34
Donation: 50---50---0
Student Loan: 366.04---366.04---0

Gas: 100---100---0
Household: 195---224---(-29)
Grocery: 310---331---(-21)
Entertain/Restaur: 150---194---(-44)
Car main: 0---0---0
Clothes: 60---66---(-6)
Personal Care: 114---$113---1
Gifts: 0---96---(-96)

Extra income: 371.74 (ex student loan payment, amazon gift cards, found money, reward gift cards, can deposit return

I went over my budget by about $200 overall. Other than gifts, I'm hoping to keep spending down to a minmum for May.