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3rd NSD in a row!

June 17th, 2014 at 06:43 am

Today, the NSD streak stops. We are completely out of milk. And ice cream sandwiches. Not a big deal to me, but I said this wasn't going to affect boyfriend's life and ice cream sandwiches are a must. Tonight, I shop.

I am a bit nervous about today. I'm on the phones all day at work. Then, after work, I'm working the gates for a county fair. My library asked for volunteers to work the gates; I guess this is one of the fundraisers for Friends of the Library. I am a heavy library user, so I wanted to give back when I could. I give a small donation at the end of the year, but when they posted this, I signed up.

Now I'm nervous about doing this. I don't know anything about the fair; I've never been to it. I'm hoping it will be an easy 2 1/2 hours. Doing my good deed. Afterwards, I'll get the grocery shopping done.

Frugal thing done yesterday: picked up a couple of library books I had on hold. I love my library and use the online system to order books that interest me and pick them up on my way home. The library is also a place to leave (and pick up) magazines and they sell puzzles in the lobby to benefit the Friends. Sometimes they have Wysocki puzzles, which are the only ones I own. They only cost $1!

More wordy update

June 16th, 2014 at 09:30 am

On Friday, I did buy the cat stuff. As an added bonus, there were $2.50 off coupons on the cat litter I purchased, so I spent $28 for 76 pounds of cat litter and a large bag of food. Then, I spent $11 on Chinese for dinner. I love, love, love Chinese.

Boyfriend cleaned his boat while I cleaned the house. Do we know how to party on Friday night or what?!?

Saturday and Sunday were both NSDs for me. Saturday we went to the mall. Boyfriend needed shorts and took me out to lunch, using a BOGO coupon. We were also looking for marine wax, but couldn't find it. We went to several stores, but not the right stores. Bummer. Luckily, I was not tempted at any of these stores to spend money. When it cooled down a little, I weeded out the grass from our rocks.

Sunday we went out on the boat. Boyfriend got pizza from his favorite pizza place on the way home from boating (it isn't convenient from where we live, but if we head north for some reason, he usually wants to stop and bring pizza home). We got home around 5:30 and just hung around the house.

Today I'm back at work. I hope to not spend any money today either. I'll be going to the library on my way home after work and then stay home.

Frugal thing done Friday: combined sales with coupons to get a lot of cat stuff and stuck with my cat-only list.

Frugal thing done Saturday: used a BOGO coupon at the restaurant

Frugal thing done Sunday: packed lunches and drinks to take on the boat instead of buying something from the snack shack.

1/2 way through!

June 16th, 2014 at 06:28 am

Thought I would do a budget update since we are 1/2 way through the month. I'm trying a No Spend Month, which has actually turned into a Low Spend Month.

I'm only going to update the variables

Item budgeted spent left
Gas (car): $100 $100 $0
Household: $75 $93 $-18
Grocery: $300 $130 $170
Entertainment/Restaurant: $125 $79 $46
Car: $0 $0 $0
Clothes: $0 $25 $-25
Personal Care: $75 $0 $75
Gifts/donation: $50 $45 $5

Extra income: $265

Gas for the car is a gift card, which is why it looks I don't have any $$ left. I have $65 left on the gift card. Household went crazy with garden and I put the cat stuff under this category.


June 13th, 2014 at 06:51 am

Today I will spend money. I will spend all my money (I think). I take out cash when I get paid every two weeks and I think today I will be spending the last of my cash. I get paid Monday, so that just means no spending for the weekend. That isn't that hard for me. I like to stay home, so I won't spend any money that way.

Yesterday I spent $10 on bowling; $9 for dinner (sushi from the grocery store); and $19 at the grocery store (bread, 2 pkgs cheese sticks, 2 pkgs shredded cheese, special k chips, and a diet coke).

Today I will spend on kitty litter, cat food, and the Chinese I didn't buy on Tuesday. I might be able to resist the Chinese. We'll see. Unfortunately, I have it in my head and can't get it out. Maybe, like on Tuesday, I will drive right on by and not get any.

Frugal thing done yesterday: boyfriend and I carpooled from work to bowling. I dropped him off at his car this morning so both of us could go to work.

Another NSD

June 12th, 2014 at 06:03 am

Yesterday managed to be another NSD. That makes #5 for the month. I forsee the next two days to have spending in them, but I'm hoping for a No Spend Weekend!

On Tuesday, I did not get myself Chinese!!! I picked up boyfriend's pizza and then went home and went for a run. I was so proud of myself for not getting Chinese and instead eating the meal I had planned.

I did spend $20 on a magazine renewal. That was for two years for Cooking Light. I often will make meals from the magazine, so this is a good spend for me. It keeps me trying new veggies and eating better.

Frugal thing I did on Tuesday: I rode the bus from my work to the big grocery store. I didn't have much to get, so I saved myself the gas money to drive there. Riding the bus is free for me with my work ID. Smile

Frugal thing I did yesterday: I made up a big batch of my homemade cocoa. I add this to my coffee both at home and at work to make the coffee special. It is just a combination of dry milk powder, splenda, and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Today is bowling, so I will be spending $10 for bowling and $something for dinner. I will also be taking back something that boyfriend bought that I love, but we don't need. He has been spending a lot of money on fixing stuff around the house too and doesn't need to be spending money on pretty things that we don't need. He didn't want to take it back, but I have no problem doing that.

I almost feel like I'm not doing No Spend Month quite as strictly as I would like. Workout shirts for boyfriend; eating out on bowling nights; pizza for boyfriend. All these things are wants, not necessarily needs. I don't know if I need to crack down on myself or if I should just shrug and keep doing the best I can. I guess, for me, there would never be a real "No Spend Month" where you don't spend anything at all. There is always going to be gas for the car to buy and groceries. Maybe it is enough that I'm questioning what I'm buying.


June 10th, 2014 at 11:29 am

I did not spend any money yesterday. I went to work, walked at lunch, went home right after work, and didn't do a whole lot at home. Read my library book, took a bath, watched some hockey, and watched some DVRed shows.

However, today....today. I did not sleep well last night. My tiredness is making me cranky and wanting to eat unhealthy food and spend a lot of money. I don't know why one night of sleep would affect me so dramatically. I did not run this morning as I had hoped and went to the grocery store at lunch, so I didn't run then either.

I stopped at the local, smaller grocery store on my way into work and bought: milk, blueberries, water, and a head of lettuce. At lunch, I went to the large grocery store and bought: tomatoes, yogurt, 90 calorie bars, special k chips, asparagus, and raisins. I spent $30 between the two stores. To get me into next week I will just need to buy bread, milk, and string cheese. But that will be later, so the bread is as fresh as I can get it.

I also pre-ordered boyfriend a pizza for dinner. He's a little bit down because he also has had a lot of money going out the door for various things. I'm rather used to being on a somewhat tight budget; he is not. He loves, loves, loves pizza and was in the habit of asking me about once a week to pick him up a pizza and he would pay me back. His budget is now so tight that he wants the pizza, but doesn't want to buy it and hasn't been asking me to get him pizza. Just trying to perk him up a bit.

But, since he's getting pizza, I want chinese. I don't want to eat his pizza, but I love, love, love chinese from the chinese place by our house. Nothing compares. Not a home cooked meal, not a frozen meal, not even another chinese restaurant. And, since I'm tired and grouchy, I am doing the dangerous thing of telling myself that I deserve it. Yeah, except I don't.

Frugal thing done yesterday: Ate a spicy chicken ramen noodle soup thing I've had since I moved to Michigan (5+ years ago).

Sunday NSD; Monday NSD?

June 9th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

On Saturday I ended up not getting an elephant ear. The place that was selling them didn't look to be set up for a real elephant ear station. I want deep fried dough, not baked!

But I ended up spending $13 at festival anyway. I was waiting to meet up with my cousin and she was running a little bit late. I was standing next to the hair wrap people and I have always wanted one. The last time I saw them I was interview for jobs (5 years ago) and I didn't think it would look very professional to have my hair wrapped. I spent $11 on the wrap and gave $1 tip. Then, when my cousin did come, we ended up getting a program for $1 donation so we could find things to do with her kids.

At Meijers on the way home from festival, I spent $26 on exercise shirts for the boyfriend and $30 on food. Boyfriend went to go mountain biking the other day and couldn't find his one "wicking" shirt. I want to encourage his exercise, so I bought him a couple of 40% off short sleeve shirts. It's his birthday at the end of the month, so maybe I'll count this towards that. I don't have my receipt with me, but most of my food was produce--broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, bananas, strawberries.

I had a NSD on Sunday and I'm hoping for one today.

Frugal thing for Saturday: combined all my errands. I hit the library, the gas station, festival, and the grocery store on the way home. I try very hard to never made a special one-off trip somewhere.

Frugal thing for Sunday: I didn't go anywhere! I ran in the morning and painted my toenails and just hung out at home. It was lovely. I didn't get many things done (like cleaning the house), but I did have a relaxing day!

2nd NSD!

June 7th, 2014 at 08:33 am

Had another NSD yesterday. My goal is to have at least 15 of them this month. Maybe I should aim higher since I'm trying to do a No Spend Month?

Yesterday I had big (no spend) plans after work. I was going to go for an inline skate and clean the camper. At my last break of the day at work, I decided to just sit in the sun and read my book. Normally, I go for short walks on my breaks. Sitting in the sun reading felt amazing and I decided that when I got home, I would bring up the folding table and chairs from the basement to sit out on the deck.

When I got home, I did just that. I ate leftovers for dinner and took them outside to eat at the table on the deck. It was just a perfect day! Once I was done eating, however, I lost all ambition to do anything. I decided that I would wait until it was cooler before completely giving up on the ideas of an inline skate or cleaning out the camper.

After about an hour and a half, I decided to go and at least pop up the camper to prepare for cleaning. And I couldn't get the wrench that you use to crank down the "feet" of the camper in between the camper and the garage. So, I rather easily gave up on the idea of cleaning out the camper. Instead, I pretty much just read my book until bedtime and went to bed.

This morning when I got back from my run, I realized that probably boyfriend and I could push the camper up about a foot and I could then get the wrench into place to crank down the foot. He had to work this morning, so I have not yet presented my plan to him. I could have cleaned the house while he was at work, but instead I have done some swagbucks, written in my journal, read my book, and did some laundry.

Today I anticipate some spending. I'm meeting my cousin at a festival downtown. Her daughter has an art piece in the show. The only thing that is going to tempt me to spend money is the elephant ear cart. I get one elephant ear every year and we don't go to too many places that sell them. So, I'll be tempted to find the cart and spend $5.

Afterwards, I will go to the grocery store with my list. Need to stock up on some fruits and veggies to keep me on Weight Watchers. Carrots, Broccoli, Bananas, Strawberries, that kind of thing. I have coupons for the carrots and broccoli. This shopping trip should get me set for the next week for dinners and lunches. If I had to guess, I'd say I'll probably spend $40 at the most.

Edited to add: frugal thing done yesterday! During my lunch break at work, I walked to the bank and deposited $12.50 in coins into my savings. I save all my change in a jar and once a month, I count out what I have and roll up what I can. Then I deposit it into my savings.

After that, no plans for today! Have a great weekend!

Day 5 (Bowling night)

June 6th, 2014 at 06:28 am

Yesterday I spent $20 on bowling ($10 for last week; $10 for this week), $9 on dinner (sushi from the grocery store), and $26 at the grocery store.

Grocery store:
10 frozen dinners ($3 coupon + on sale) I use these for easy dinners and lunches at work.
2 - 4 packs of yogurt ($1 coupon + on sale) This is what I eat for work lunch when I don't do the frozen meal thing.
Loaf of bread (boyfriend's lunches)

Frugal thing done yesterday: surfed a few freebie sites to get stuff like sample shampoo and cat food. I actually use the freebies I get in the mail, so I look at this as stretching my budget. Also, it is fun to try new things without paying for them!

I'm hoping for a NSD today. My plans are to go for an inline skate after work on the paved path by my house and to pop up the pop up and clean it out from this past weekend. I don't know when we are going to use it again, so I'd like to do a quick wipe down and take out things that shouldn't get too hot or too cold (like the gallons of water and the dish soap).

Finally a NSD!

June 5th, 2014 at 05:48 am

You'd think since I'm trying to have a No Spend Month that I would have had a NSD before day 4! Just goes to show how hard it is for me to do this, I guess.

My boring NSD: ran in the morning before work, walked at lunch on the indoor track (it was raining), went right home after work. Made dinner, made lunches, cleaned up the kitchen, took a bath, watched some hockey, read a library book, did my crunches and planks, went to bed.

It was very nice. I do love days like that.

Today I did not run before work, so I will run at lunch. Bowling after work. I'm going to hit to grocery store while I am waiting for boyfriend (we drive together to bowling), I anticipate spending about $25-$30 on things that are on sale and I have a coupon for. Then bowling ($20) and probably dinner for me ($9).

Frugal thing done yesterday: I made up about two weeks worth of oatmeal packets to keep in my desk at work for breakfasts. 2/3 cup instant oatmeal, sprinkle of salt, heaping tablespoon of Splenda, heaping 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a ziplock bag. I have little tiny boxes of raisins to add to my oatmeal and there's breakfast! I have access at work to a hot water dispenser, so this is an easy way to frugally eat a healthy breakfast.

Day 3

June 4th, 2014 at 06:12 am

I have such exciting titles, don't I?

Yesterday I bought my monthly gas card--$100. That normally takes care of all gas I need for my Bug to get to work and do what I need to do. I don't mindlessly drive around, so bringing that amount down this month probably isn't realistic.

I went to the grocery store to get the things that I don't like to buy at WalMart or to get things that were on sale. I bought bananas, milk, tomatoes, taco shells, and powdered creamer.

I anticipate a No Spend Day today.

Last night after I got home from work I finished planting my garden. I only have two 4x4 raised beds, so it didn't take long! I have tomatoes, peppers, corn, zucchini, cucumbers, and radishes planted. I started to figure out how to water my garden when boyfriend came home and wanted to mow. My hose has to go across the lawn to get to my garden, so I watered by hand and will work out the sprinkling this weekend. We're supposed to get rain today and we'll be bowling tomorrow night, so I won't get to play in my garden 'til Friday.

I cooked dinner while I was out in the garden. Chicken thighs in the oven (along with chicken breasts for taco meat), rice in the steamer and when the rice was done I steamed up the last of the asparagus.

Took a shower (I had to bug dope myself to work in the garden. The mosquitoes are HORRIBLE!), organized my coupons, watched a little baseball, and read my library book. I was probably asleep before 10 PM.

Day 2

June 3rd, 2014 at 07:33 am

New gardeners should have a guide when they go to the garden center! I went to use my groupon and was completely overwhelmed. I wandered around for over 1/2 an hour not even knowing where to start. I knew I needed a watering can, so I had that in my hand. I had a groupon for $40, so I knew I needed to spend at least that much and hopefully, just over that amount. I ended up spending $24 over the groupon because I did not read it closely enough to realize that the groupon only applied to plants, not to my watering can.

But that's the end of my gardening spending for a while. I have seeds to plant and some starts I did indoors to also plant. NO MORE GROUPONS!

Then I went to Bath and Body Works to use my BOGO coupon and my freebie coupon. I had a gift card so no money out of pocket.

Onward to WalMart where I had a $50 gift card. I ended up spending $5 out of pocket. Everything except the hose was on my list. I purchased:
Dry Milk
Gatorade powder
Strawberry Jam
Chocolate Syrup
Cocoa powder
Baked Chips
Special K Crackers
15 foot garden hose
Airbourne chewable tablets

Today's planned spending is my monthly gas gift card and a few things from the regular grocery store: bananas, taco shells, milk, grape tomatoes.

Later this week I'll go to Meijer for a few things that are on sale and I have coupons (carrots and broccoli).

No excuses, but not a good start

June 2nd, 2014 at 07:08 am

I'm starting my No Spend Month. Yesterday was the first day....and I already spent money! We were on our way home from the dirt bike track yesterday and stopped at Sams and Home Depot on our way home. I spent $7 on grapefruit at Sams and $40 at Home Depot on plants and tomato cages for the garden. Neither of these two things were unplanned, but I spent a little bit more than I expected at Home Depot. Plants are expensive!

Someone mentioned that I should post my budget. I keep track of my budget in google docs on a spreadsheet.

Savings/debt: $250
Rent: $600
Cell Phone: $67
Donation: $75
Student Loan: $366.04

Gas for car: $100
Household: $75
Grocery: $300
Entertainment/Restaurant: $125
Car Maintenance: $0 (I just had a big car fix, so I anticipate no repairs this month)
Clothes: $0
Personal Care: $75
Gifts: $50

Extra Income: $15 so far

Some notes on the numbers:
Household is high for garden stuff. This is my first garden and I pretty much don't have anything.

Entertainment is slightly high because boyfriend and I are on a bowling league and pay $10 each week for the league. We normally grab something to eat since we go to bowling right after work.

Personal Care is also high because I get my hair cut and colored every six weeks by one of my good friends. This time it is happening the day of a wedding of another friend. It normally is about $48 (including tip) for a cut and color.

I already feel a little bit defeated because I look at a No Spend Month to be just that. Not spending money on stuff like bowling and hair and garden. :-/ I have a groupon that I need to use before next Monday on another garden place and then I should be done spending on the garden for a bit.

Another rule for my No Spend Month. I'm not counting spending gift cards in my budget. So, using up my $5 Starbucks card will not be reflected.

I'm back (sorta)

May 29th, 2014 at 09:40 am

I disappeared for a while. I tend to only be on the internet when I'm at work and work got crazy busy. But I'm back because I need a No Spend Month (NSM) and I'm going to try to be accountable here. I've been spending a lot of my free online time at Weight Watchers because I need to lose a little bit of weight, so I have been focusing on that.

But a car repair and pop-up camper repair has put me in a little bit of debt, so I'm hoping to get back on it and tracking my progress here.

June will be my NSM. I have not ironed out all the details yet, but I need to re-tighten the belt. No buying anything that isn't needed. Food, gas, bills, and gifts will all be exempt. It's Father's Day and boyfriend has his birthday, so I'm not going to not get them things because I'm doing this NSM thing. I will not buy clothes, things for the house (only whatever it takes to use up my garden gift cards I have).

Wish me luck!

Easy to Save when you're sick

August 13th, 2013 at 05:36 pm

Had NSDs on Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Spent $6 on Sunday at McDonalds. Spent $5 at the gas station today for SOs cheese sticks, $3 at Meijers for Saltine crackers and Diet 7up, $8 at the grocery store for milk, water, tomatoes, and tortilla chips. At Meijers, I also spent 24 on rubbermaid totes for the camper.

We went to the dirt bike track on Saturday and I ate the lunchable that SO brought back from his New York trip. It was about to expire, so I thought I should eat it before that happened and it would be an easy lunch at the track for me. Mistake (I think). We got home around 4 and by 6 I was feeling ooky and laying on the couch. SO went to the movies with a friend and I went to bed early.

Spent most of Sunday on the couch feeling ooky, with a headache. I got up to go to SOs hockey game, then went back to bed. Called in to work and spent the day on the couch, still feeling ooky. I started feeling better around 3, and SO called to ask me if I felt good enough to meet him somewhere with the big van to pick up a generator.

I met him and when we got back home, we started working on the pop up camper. He wants to camp at the dirt bike track this weekend, so he wanted to test out the generator and I wanted to do some cleaning and start stocking the trailer. I still felt a little bit ooky, but not horribly bad.

Went to work today. I feel a little icky still, but I think it's just in my head. I bought crackers and diet 7 up at lunch to hopefully calm my stomach down. I ate frozen egg rolls for dinner, so I think I'm as good as I can be. I was able to run 2 miles without too much trouble, but I did have to hurry home if you know what I mean.

I will be spending money for the next few days. Mostly food stuff for camping. Then I should be back to my thrifty ways this weekend because SO pays all the fees when we go to his dirt bike stuff.

I'm off to go read the other blogs, but I did see CB mention people are updating their sidebar with books they are reading and I want to join in! So I'm going to copy y'all too!

It's Friday

August 9th, 2013 at 06:24 am

It's a beautiful day outside and it's Friday!!! Yippee!

Yesterday I spent: $11 on Chinese take out for me (planned), $13 on pizza for SO (planned), $20 on fixing the Bug's check engine light, and $13 at the grocery store for bread, butter, carrots, and applesauce.

The Bug only costing $20 was a happy surprise for me. My neighbor works at VW and brought my car into work to get the check engine light checked out. He found out that my catalytic converter caused the light to go on, but that none of the tests said that it failed yet. Eventually, it will fail and I will need to spend $1100 on a new one. I plan on keeping the Bug for at least five more years (it's 10 years old now), so I will have to do this. It will still be cheaper than a new car!

I'm thinking that I won't need to be spending any money today or tomorrow, but will on Sunday. SO and I are going golfing with my Dad and Uncle. I am a horrible, horrible golfer, but I like hanging out with Dad. I only feel bad for the people behind us. We do let people play through us, but if you let everyone play through, you will never finish your 9!

Spendy yesterday

August 7th, 2013 at 06:33 am

I am hoping for a NSD today to make up for yesterday!

I spent $69 at the vet, like I already said in my last post. Big Kitty was pretty laid back most of yesterday--even more sleeping than usual.

I spent $7 at Meijers on Ant Traps and a Lint Roller.

I spent $100 on my gas card for the month. This should last me the whole month to get back and forth to work.

I spent $40 on groceries. $3 on cheese sticks for SO, $8 on tomatoes and lime juice, $29 on water, ice cream, frozen egg rolls (easy work lunches), yogurt, and milk.

On the positive side, I've made $20 in Amazon gift cards between surveys and swagbucks so far.

Last night was another quiet night. I washed all my bedding and did a lot of reading. And a lot of cuddling with the cat. SO will be away for one more day, returning tomorrow. So one more night of quiet reading is in my future!!

NSD yesterday

August 6th, 2013 at 07:14 am

On Sunday I spent $21 on food. $10 and a big bag of Splenda at Sams Club and $11 on food for SO's run to New York. When we went to Sams, he found a sound bar that he was looking at for $65 cheaper than what he found elsewhere. This is funny to me, because I wasn't really planning on doing my Sams shopping that day, but figured since I was driving and we were on the street of Sams anyway...why waste gas and go later?

I did the rest of the shopping while he oogled the TVs and such things and found the sound bar. He was happy that he saved money and I was happy to get my Sams run done.

Then we went to Best Buy to pick up something SO ordered online and had shipped to the store. I am not tempted in the least by Best Buy, so no spending there. Then we hit Meijer for grocery shopping for his trip. He took me to Wendy's for lunch and then we went home.

He played hockey on Sunday night where he scored the game winning goal! He was playing against his best friend's team, so they were egging each other on the whole day. I was glad, not only that he won, but that he scored the goal with less than a minute left to play. YAY!!!!

Yesterday I didn't spend any money. Just went to work and went home right after work. No spending.

I've already spent $69 today for Big Kitty to get his shots. I need to do a little bit of grocery shopping, mostly fresh fruits and veggies for lunches. Then I hope to have another NSD tomorrow.

Yesterday was so relaxing.

August 4th, 2013 at 09:19 am

Yesterday was awesome. It was a NSD and was a day to just relax. SO decided he was too tired to go out on the boat, so we just ended up hanging out at home. It was so relaxing. I just did lots of reading and just hanging out with SO and the cats. It was wonderful. Since I just hung out at home, it was a NSD.

Later today, SO and I will be going out to get some groceries and he needs to pick up something he ordered from Best Buy to go with his new TV. All I can say is thank goodness our finances are separate.

So, some grocery shopping today, but I think that's all the spending I have to do.

Have a great rest of the weekend! I hope everyone's weather is as wonderful as it is here!

NSD yesterday

August 3rd, 2013 at 06:18 am

I managed to have a NSD yesterday. I was tempted to get take out, but I went home and made up a couscous/zucchini thing that is OK. Cleaned the house and read my library books, so it was a quiet night.

SO gets home from his trip today. He wants to go out on his speedboat, so I need to get myself moving. I already went for a run, did swagbucks, and am eating the last of the zucchini bread. Can you tell the zucchini that I got is baseball bat sized? All zucchini; all the time!

I need to jump in the shower and make up lunches for the boat. Not sure what we're eating for dinner, but it is looking like another NSD for me. SO pays for all boat expenses, since it is his toy and his hobby and I just go along.

I anticipate tomorrow to be spending money because SO leaves out for another trip on Monday and I need to pick up a few things from the store for that, like bread and bologna. I hope to have a string of NSDs after that!

What I'm going to try to do

August 2nd, 2013 at 05:44 am

I think what I'm going to try to do for August is to post here a bunch to keep myself on track. I'm going to post when I spend money and what I spend it on. A way of keeping myself accountable.

So, in the spirit of that, I spent money yesterday.

$33 in household. Cat food, windex outdoor cleaner wand, air freshener to put by the cat box, baby wipes to clean the kitties where they can't reach (a suggestion from the vet).

$39 Food. Red Pepper, Onion, Lunchmeat, frozen shrimp, bread, milk, eggs, chocolate chips, bananas, Dortitos, Water, chocolate syrup

$126 Entertainment. $62 for campsite, $64 for four tickets to the baseball game (this is actually the Mom's Day and Birthday present for my Dad and his wife)

$5 Clothing. New pantyhose. I literally did not have another "skin tone" pair.

$31 Personal care. Weight watchers subscription, face wash, new scrubby poof.

Also, I'm going to make up a list of things that I don't need to buy. Those things that I have enough of--but I still buy more, like body lotion and pens. I'm especially a sucker for pens at the beginning of the school year.

Low Spend August

August 1st, 2013 at 07:02 am

This needs to be a low-spend month. I mean, this NEEDS to be a low-spend month. I am going to make a promise to myself that I will not spend on anything other than absolute must-haves, like food, gas for my car, and regular bills. Somehow, someway, I need to get myself back on track.

Having said that, I will have one relaxed day, where I take my Dad and Step-Mom to the local baseball team's game at the end of the month. Other than that, I hope to stick close to home and not spend much money. Now to just get everyone else on the same page as me! One thing that will help is the start of school, which usually means a few free meals around campus. That will help the entertainment/out to eat budget.

Today will not be a NSD because I need to buy the baseball tickets, reserve the campsite, and do some grocery shopping. SO is on the road today and tomorrow, so I can eat cereal for dinner. I tend to eat really simple when he's not home. Or I make up something like a stir-fry where I can eat it for many days.

Taking a chance

July 31st, 2013 at 05:35 am

I'm planning on a NSD today. In anticipation, I'm going to post how I did this month.

Student Loan---366.04---366.04

Gas (car)---100---100
Household (including cats)---86---211 (to the vet!)
Car Maintenance---0---0
Clothes---135---135 (bought my yearly pair of running shoes)
Personal Care---88---97.95

Extra Income---278.24

My extra income is more than enough to cover my shortfalls in my categories, but I'm still disappointed that I can't seem to keep my grocery bill under control. I really need to work on that. Next month will be spendy. Big Kitty goes in for his teeth and I anticipate that to be at least a few hundred dollars. I'm buying pro football tickets as early Christmas gifts for a few people. I am also planning on a Mom visit in September--including going camping! I'm very excited!

End of the month is in sight!

July 30th, 2013 at 01:55 pm

Thank goodness.

The internet at our house has been out or spotty at best and we've found out it is because we have an old modem. But our internet company will be glad to have us rent a new one from them for $5/month and that should take care of the problem. We'll see. Something about how our lines are now getting crowded and our old modem is getting kicked off the system first. Gotta upgrade.

Just like my poor phone. Verizon isn't going to update towers on the old system, so eventually, I'm going to have to get a new phone, even if I'm happy with my old phone. Planned obsolescence.

I'm over on my budget in groceries this month, but what really got me is that one of my cats started falling down while just walking around, so off to the vet we went. He is somewhat better now, but still a little off-balance. It is just something that sometimes happens to cats and often happens in the summertime. They don't know what causes it and don't have any way of treating or preventing it. My other cat was fine, but I went ahead and made arrangements for her to get looked over as well. Then, I knew the first kitty has some dental issues, so I'm going to take care of those now too. Boom goes the cat budget.

It is totally worth it though. I was actually sick to my stomach when he was weebling and wobbling around. My cats are pretty much kid-substitutes and I was very worried about him.

I hope to spend no money the next two days and I need to get back on track for August because it already looks to be spendy with cat dental, football tickets, and campground reservations to be made!

What I tend to do

July 19th, 2013 at 06:58 am

I tend to start a new month by going "Yay! New Budget with lots of money in my categories!" By the end of the month, I'm watching my money more closely. Guess I'd better learn to do that at the beginning of the month too. My NSDs are adding up again, now that I have to watch the amounts I spend. I did have to rejigger the budget a little again--needed more in grocery and less in gifts. I'm slowly learning this.

Even with how tight the money seems right now, I have managed to put a little bit in savings. I'm rebuilding after draining all my savings and then some earlier this year. I have paid back the "then some," now I need to rebuild my savings. Baby steps, baby steps. I am so very glad that I had the savings to take care of the problem. It was the first time in my life that I had savings to take care of an issue and it was an awesome feeling. Now to get back to where I was.

I think I might have a chance to breathe this weekend. It looks like SO has some plans that don't include me, so I'm able to get some home-y stuff done. Also, the heat is supposed to break, which makes me very happy. I ran this morning at 6 AM and it was already 80 degrees. Urg. There was a breeze, so it wasn't horrible. I prefer to run in 65-70 degree weather.

On my way to work, I stopped at a house that had a free sign on a table full of squashes. I picked a ginormous zucchini and a small yellow squash. We didn't do veggies in my house growing up, so I'm trying to experiment with new to me veggies. I know that the zucchini will be good for bread, but I'm unsure what to do with the squash. I'm going to look for recipes for what to do with it. I believe I've had it before, just cut up into chunks and sauteed. It was pretty good. I love the price!

I believe I can extend my NSD streak into the weekend. I can't think of anything I need to buy. I will need to go grocery shopping at the beginning of next week and I'm hoping it is the last time to grocery shop for the month of July.

So far, so good

July 18th, 2013 at 06:41 am

As many others have said--it's HOT! I'm not a fan of the heat, so I'm going to be very glad when this heat breaks this weekend. I'm thankful that I have air conditioning at work and that we have a window air conditioner in the bedroom window. SO goes back and forth on putting in central air in the house and I keep lobbying for not--and use the money elsewhere. We just don't get the oppressive heat to need whole house air. Would it be nice? Of course. But we have a TV in the bedroom and if it gets really bad, we can hang out in there. So far I'm winning!

This week has been productive, even with the heat. Monday and Tuesday I spread grass seed on the yard. We're still trying to grow grass. We do have some, but there are a few bare patches. So we hit those. Not sure if its smart to try to seed in the heat, but we'll give it a shot. Last night I was able to clean the house for the first time in two weeks. Our tub really needed a scrub after all the yard work we've been doing. I'm trying to tell myself that I'm getting the benefits of a sauna when I'm working like I am in the heat. I drink lots of water, so I'm not worried about that.

So far, I've stayed within my budget in all categories. I realize that we're just over 1/2 way through the month, but I'm optimistic that I can do this. I think I have $46 for groceries and $13 for out to eat/entertainment. Luckily I only have to worry about myself. I have lots of food in the pantry, and there is enough money for one more Chinese take out run, if I need it.

Unfortunately, a couple of my goals are not going well this month. I have a standard goal of exercising 20x per month. I'm not going to get that this month. I bruised up my leg pretty good, so haven't been able to run like I like to. Also, I have a goal of a new recipe a week and that's not happening either. Not sure what it up with me, but I'm just not feeling it. Is there such a thing as summer doldrums? I just don't feel inspired to work on those goals. We have been busy, so maybe when I'm not busy, I just don't feel like working on those goals.

Hopefully, I'll get back on the wagon and work on those things. Once this heat wave passes us by, I'll be ready. What can I do? I can figure out a schedule of exercising and get on it. I can create a list of meals to try. Here we go!

Keeping up

July 11th, 2013 at 07:39 am

With no internet at home and a big project at work, I haven't been able to update my blog. I tried to post something the last week of June, but it was right before the site had some issues and the post was lost.

That's OK, because it was a whiny post anyway.

I pretty much went over on all areas of my budget last month. That's pretty much what my whiny post was about. But July is a new month! So far, it has been a bit of a spendy month, with new running shoes. It was in the budget, but it does something to my stomach to pay $125 for shoes.

I have also been having a hard time having NSDs. Even when I think I'm going to have one, I end up spending money for so's lunch. Big change from last month when I seemed to go days and days without spending. It might only be spending $5, but I'm definitely spending money.

Hopefully, I can get back on track today. I don't forsee any spending today and hopefully tomorrow. I will try to save my spending for Saturday.

Trying to spend money

June 21st, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I woke up today ready to spend money. Gear up! Let's go!

It started by stopping at the small local grocery store on the way to work. I picked up taco shells, cherries (on sale), Dortitos (so's lunch--also on sale), Tostitos (so's snack food--on sale), and water. $23 just like that.

I got into work and ordered my new brown sandals to wear to work with my skorts. It is starting to get warm here, so I'm really looking forward to wearing my skorts again. I honestly do not have any shoes to wear with the skorts, so I'm glad to replace the sandals I used to wear with them. Just boring brown hiking sandals. Bought them online with my swagbucks gift certificates and spent $24 out of pocket. Hopefully, I will get them early next week.

On my lunch hour, I took the bus to Meijer. I bought 3 cloth bags worth of groceries, but it wasn't too bad. I bought celery, lettuce, blueberries, ice cream treats (now in the work freezer til I go home), oatmeal, dry milk, frozen waffles, frozen green beans, frozen broccoli. SO is going on a trip, so asked me to pick up a few things, so I also got lunchables, cheese for sandwiches, sub buns, Miracle Whip. He'll eat sandwiches while he's on the road to avoid buying out to eat food. Gotta love a man who looks to save money like that.

I was able to get most everything on my list. I know I have to spend some money on Monday for my class, so I may pick up a few grocery things on that day like grape tomatoes. I start my Accounting class on Monday, but it only meets on Mondays, not Mondays and Wednesdays. Thanks snafu for asking what's up next! The class requires a packet of papers for the class, so it isn't something I can get online for cheaper. Darn.

Not sure what the weekend plans are yet. Depends on what the weather does. If it is nice, we may go out on SOs boat. If it is not nice, we might work on the yard. It's all a wait and see. I like having definite plans, so living with SO has been good training for me to learn to go with the flow. I don't always like going with the flow. Know what I mean?

I'm trying to spend money by paying the company that brought us top soil for our yard. They delivered it two weeks ago, but still have not yet charged my card for it. Last year, we ordered fill dirt from them and they charged us for all of it but the last load. I called them a few weeks later to let them know they hadn't charged us and they said they would take care of it. Never got charged.

A few weeks ago, I ordered the top soil and they questioned me about the fill dirt. When I said 'yep, I called you about that and was still never charged.' She said she would add last year's last fill dirt load to the top soil charge. OK, I'm fine with that. It is a good company and the drivers are super-nice and super-responsible about where to put the load of dirt you're ordering.

So I called them yesterday, trying to get them to charge me for the top soil. They said the billing person wasn't there and she would call me back later in the afternoon. No phone call. No phone call today. Guess I'll wait a week to see what happens and then try to call them again. Don't you want to take my money?!?


June 20th, 2013 at 07:04 am

Last night was my final in my summer Economics class and she already posted our final grade--I earned an A-!!! That makes me very, very happy. Now I have a small break until my other summer class starts up. I plan on going to the library tonight and get a few pleasure reading books to enjoy. Ahhhh. Bliss.

I haven't spent any money since Saturday. I was tempted last night to get a little something to celebrate the end of class, but I just drove on home. I think being a homebody is the easiest way to save money. I just want to go home, so I don't spend money. Our internet is acting up, so I can't even shop online. If I was out and about, I'm positive I would spend money. Even a little bit.

Lately it feels like all I do is go for a run, go to work, go to class, and do homework. It makes the end of the class even sweeter to not have homework hanging over my head. I was just thinking that it would be nice to have something to look forward to. Even a small vacation. Wait, have I already said that once? Probably. I think it is important to have something in life to look forward to. If I was completely free, I would totally plan something every year to look forward to. Something kinda big, like a road trip out west, or a trip to Paris. Just having something on the calendar. Not necessarily "I already bought the tickets" but "we are definitely going to Hawaii in February 2015." Something to plan for. Something to look forward to. Although 2015 might be too far away for what I'm thinking.

It looks like my lawyer bill will be paid off in July and then I can work on some of my other financial goals. I want to donate more ($1000 total for the year). I want to build my savings back up ($2500 by the end of the year). I should add those goals to my sidebar.

My Weight Watchers quest is still going strong. I am on my 3rd week of following it closely. I have learned that I am one of the unlucky ones that can't really go over my daily points. Can't use my activity points, can't go into the extra weekly points they give you. Bummer. I often joke that I run to be able to eat french fries. Not too many french fries in my future right now!

I plan on going grocery shopping tomorrow. I have a list. I would like to go on my lunch hour and ride the bus, but I'm afraid I might have too big of a list to do that. We'll see. I might try it anyway! It will definitely make me stick to my list then!

Spendy Saturday

June 17th, 2013 at 11:12 am

I started to write a narrative about what I did on Saturday, but I'm just not feeling it. So, I'll list it.

Household: $10 at Kohl's (finally got that tablecloth!); $16 at Verizon (new screen protector for my iphone); $4 at Meijers (cat food). Household budget is now $18 over budget.

Grocery: $13 at Family Fare (water, cherries); $27 at Meijer (celery, mushrooms, strawberries, grape tomatoes, bread, garlic bread, apples)

Entertainment/Out to Eat: $11 at the Chinese restaurant. I was going to go to Noodles for BOGO, but I finished all my errands and Noodles wouldn't open for another 40 minutes. Not worth it. So I went towards home and ended up eating Chinese after I got home and went for a run.

Car Maintenance: $57. I budgeted $100, so this area is now under budget.

Gifts: $22. Bought a pair of PJ pants for boyfriend's birthday that is coming up.

I did all my errands and was home before 11:30. I quickly changed and went for a run. After my run, I cleaned up and went and got myself Chinese. SO was out racing his dirt bike, so I had the house to myself for a while. In the mail I found two checks--one from the ex for his part of the student loan and a $10.15 survey check. Love incoming money!

I'm thinking of taking the extra money from the car, the leftover money from my clothing budget, and my amazon gift certificates to buy myself a pair of brown hiking sandals to wear to work. It looks like they are going to be around $75. I have been looking whenever I go into a store and have not found a pair that I like. I threw out the old ones that were 10 years old and needed to be retired.

Yesterday seemed to be one of those days where you don't really get anything accomplished, but wasn't relaxing either. It just happened. It just was. No spending happened and I went with SO to his hockey game.

Today is work and class. I thought I needed to go to the grocery store for some bananas, but I think I have enough fruits and veggies for my lunches for the week. I'm going to try and see if I can put off going to the grocery store as long as I can.

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