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Archive for June, 2005

One more week till payday

June 22nd, 2005 at 10:09 pm

Spending today:

$32 - WalMart - general misc. and some groceries

I skipped my a.m. coffee today because when I get it everyday I become accustomed to the caffeine and just feel generally yucky all over. I'm going to give away my coffee cards to friends to lessent the temptation. Its a wait and see sort of thing. Just how long can I go with out it? I want to give it up all together, but some mornign when I am completely tired, I will probably break down again and give in.

To reinvigorate my motivation about saving/not spending, I reviewed my spreadsheet and reconciled numbers with cc companies. Sigh. I generally track what I spend and my numbers were off (in my favor) by nearly $90. That was a painful adjustment Frown It puts my overall debt over the limit that I was trying to stay under. But once I get paid next week and pay all bills, the overall debt will decrease by about $600. This will put me well below the current goal. Have to set another one.

I feel like I am finally, finally making some progress - at least something that is reflected in the numbers. This helps with the motivation for doing daily things like bringing lunch and making sure I have water when I go out the front door every morning. Overall, my spending is way, way down. But most importantly, I do not feel deprived in any way. I am focused more on how much I am paying down my debt.

I'm wearing my new shorts and they are very comfy. They were such a great deal!! I am definately going to keep my eyes open for more of those bargains.

Tonight DH and I had plans for a picnic at one of the local parks, but found out the event was actually last night. We took the night off anyway. Tomorrow we are going to see a movie and then will continue working on Friday and through the weekend. We are making progress. Still a million small things to do, but those are becoming fewer and fewer as we keep working.

Just waiting for the week to pass for payday. The numbers should be available on-line by Saturday. That is when I start writing out the checks, holding the on-line payments for the day the money hits my account. Then everything gets paid and the rush wears off and I watch the calandar for two more weeks. Yeah, it sounds pretty routine and even a little boring, but this is what it takes right now. It will all pay off - hopefully in about a year - and I will change my wicked ways to prevent it from happening again. I believe it wll be easier to stay out of debt. I have learnded that my time is more valuable than my job and I really want to get on with the business of living it.



deals on clothes

June 21st, 2005 at 07:01 pm

I went back to the discount store after work, the one that has improved its inventory and found shorts that fit me soooo well. They were $4.00 a pair, so I ended up buying 5 pairs. I cleaned out the rack in my size, in the style I liked. I am pleased. Now I have shorts for summer. I was starting to wonder if I would ever find anything that fit, looked good and covered my bum. I am soo pleased.

Also purchased some clothes at Target today. Will have to go back and make a return on other shorts I bought - they cost more and they were short shorts. Didnt fit as well either. Also found a polo that fits well and the color is good. May look to see if I can find one or two more in the same style. Those I can wear to work and look reasonably professional.

I am so relieved that I'm FINALLY finding nice clothes that fit well and are incredibly inexpensive!!! All I needed to do was wait a little longer I guess. Its been fun to hunt out the bargains. I have time over the summer and hope to do more of it before classes begin again in the fall. Now that I know about this discount store, I will become a regular. I will have to bring DH. They have men's khakis for $8. He's bought from this store before and has had good luck, so I know he'll be an easy sell the second time around.

seeking balance

June 21st, 2005 at 12:41 pm

The weekend was a whirlwind. Some spending, but only on-sale items that I Know I will need. I'm at the point in my conversion where I wont even consider a purchase unless the item is on sale or from a discount store (deeply discounted store) - even if I have a coupon. It still needs to be on sale. As a result, now when I shop and pick up a whole lot of items (clothes especially) the total at the register is always way less than I expected. That's always a welcome surprise, but this makes it more tempting to buy more. The "go ahead, get two, its on sale" trap...

Again, seeking balance... I havent been practicing consumerism as a pastime lately and have been quite content. When I do shop, I stick to the list and cant get out of the store fast enough once those items are in the cart. It takes too much of my time and I've got so much else going on right now.

Today I went out on errands at lunch with a friend. It felt like I was just putting my toes out to test the water, but go drenched by a tidal wave instead.

An outlet store near our house has upgraded and now carries clothes that I can wear and the prices are just amazing, so the temptation is there. I feel like a flood is hitting again. This morning a friend gave me a stack of fashion mags. (we trade, so I will be giving her the ones I get until the subscription expires.) so there is all this stuff coming in, and though I've been very careful to purchase things that are relavent(sp?) and needed, it still seems like I have to find somewhere to put all of it. I guess its compounded by the fact that we live in a house that is not put together, so finding a place for new items is rather dicey. And its all going to get moved around again anyway....blah, blah, blah.

I guess I'm just feeling the tempation to purchase. Probably from recent stress, but also from the gradual improvement in my finances. I've worked really hard and am beginning to see some results, so the pressure is off. I guess I'm slacking off. Really need to get back on track. I think I've justified it in my mind - spending can increase a bit because I'm being so frugal in the other areas of my life - packing lunch, no trips to vending machines, cooking dinner everynight, only buying groceries for simple meals, etc.

I always seem to get the weakest between paydays...will have to update and review the spreadsheet as a reminder that hope is still on the horizon....especially before going overboard...sigh. It always seems to come back to this.....

persevering

June 17th, 2005 at 09:59 am

Last night DH and I went for groceries. The total came to $29.38; however, total savings came to $22.89!! Between in store savings and coupons. This is the best I've been able to pull of so far!!

I've been sleeping a lot lately. I think (hope) its just allergies and my body really needed the rest. So, this means spending has been down to a minimum. I'm still getting coffee in the morning, but using up the cards (buy 10 get one free). Once they are out of my wallet, I probably wont get coffee in the morning. Its in the 100's here and ice water has been the best way to beat the heat. My skin looks better when I'm hydrated too.

The weekend looks like minimal spending. DH and I have the back bedroom to work on. We are making progress! The majority of tile is down; we need to cut lots for the out edge and the skirting this weekend. That's going to be my job. DH has been replacing outlets and caulking, odds and ends. I need to paint some doors. We hope to have it completely done by the end of the month, but we are taking it at a leisurely pace, with breaks here and there as needed. It will be so nice to live in a completed house. I'm sure this process will be going on for several years to come. when we bought the house it had been abandoned for several years. I think dust is still coming out of the walls. It will be a very nice house when its done.

I am still being tempted to purchase more clothing. I have plenty of clothes, so something else is driving it. Almost caved in yesterday and went shopping, but drove home instead of to the mall. I found some good deals at LE in the overstocks. There are a couple of other things I've had my eye on for some time...will have to mull this one over. I do need clothes for work....hmmm...need or want...realistic or justification.
Eiither way, the goal is to keep cc spending to an absolute minimum. that is what I need to focus on.

payday

June 14th, 2005 at 08:26 pm

Oh, the joy of pay day is so fleeting. Two weeks of waiting dismissed with a couple of key strokes and auto pay over the internet....sigh...

I just made a major payment on my MBNA. It is finally well below $6k and continuing to decrease rapidly. By my calculations it will be paid off by November. I just love looking at the timeline and seeing how rapidly it will be going down. This is a goal that is within my reach.

Now to just sit tight and not do any spending until the end of the month...that always looks so possible when I have just made a huge payment on my cc's. Its during the middle of the month when stress happens that I get weak and start to feel like I need to spend.

I have errands mapped out for the rest of the week; running to get stuff after work. I am going to re-examine those lists and see if I cant use things that we already have rather than going out to buy more. If I can find substitutions with items already on hand, it helps to get rid of clutter.

Tonight was nachos - using up leftover taco meat and cheese to get rid of leftovers in the fridge. Made plans for the rest of the week, but left it flexible enough to squeeze in as many leftovers as possible. Added up food spening for the past three weeks and it was about $260. This includes going out three or four times. I think that's pretty good since we werent trying, just monitoring. However, at the end of the month, I will add up again. And next month I will make an effort to reduce the cost.

I havent been cooking nearly as much, so we are eating lighter. In addition, I've been holding off going to the grocery store, which forces us to look a little deeper into the cupboards and use up what we already have. So far its been painless. Let's see how long that continues.

Spending for today: $53.50 - personal appt, but paid in cash.
$4.04 - a.m. coffee. Tomorrow's coffee will be free. I've got 10 punches on my card!! Then I think I will try to give it up again. I got suckered in by the card.

I went walking on my lunch hour. That was good. I think I'm losing weight. My clothes are becoming more and more comfortable. Hope to walk again tomorrow. Will have to plan wardrobe accordingly.

This has been a long day. I am very tired. think I'll curl up in bed with a good book. Probably fall asleep over it.

Monday

June 13th, 2005 at 03:25 pm

Yesterday was a no spend day and it appears that today will be too. i've spent the better part of the day fighting the urge to get a soda. The thing that stopped me is no cash for the vending machine. I didnt want to borrow any money, so I became more determined to resist the urge. Thankfully, I left a water bottle in the fridge last week, so I had wonderfully cold water instead.

The rest of my energy has gone to fighting allergies. Found some homeopathy and it really makes a difference for me. I've been carrying it in my bag for a couple of weeks now. Just thought of it today.

Tonight dinner is going to be leftovers to clean out the fridge. There are a couple of good things to salvage.

I packed my lunch for today and met a friend. We sat outside and it was lovely. Will make sure I pack one again tonight and bring a book. I'll try to go to the park and get some reading in. My friend will be busy with errands during lunch.

Wednesday is payday. I've figured out what will go where. Now I just need to wait until the money hits my account so I can start the mass exodus of payments.

Overall, a very quiet day...I am glad for that.

productive day so far

June 12th, 2005 at 12:37 pm

The day is only half way through, but so far its been productive. Wed is payday, so I'm allocating funds and aniticipating things I will need until the end of the month so I can pay in cash rather than by card. So far, the list is short Smile That is always good.

Yesterday I discovered that one of the products I had been looking for (tinted moisturizer with high SPF) could be made with products that I already have. Just added some shimmery powder to Neutrogena Dry Touch moisturizer and viola - a healthy glow with protection from the sun! I love it when those things work out. Even better, I bought the powder at Big Lots for a dollar or two and the sunblock was on sale at Walgreens. I'm set for the summer.

The other area of focus is menu planning for the week ahead. I have a list for the grocery store, but have been putting off going. Rather, I'm trying to make due with what we have on hand. So far, its been pretty easy to do this. If I do go to the grocery store, it will be for supplemental items, not the main course.

Speaking of which, I've really cut back on how much and how often I'm cooking these days. DH seems happy so far. If he gets hungry, he snacks on dried fruit or Pria bars - healthy stuff rather than having a huge meal and snacking out of boredom. This should be good for us both for our health, but also financially.

Still in my pj's. Need to get moving, get the paper, scout the sales and run some errands. I hope there arent too many. I'm feeling sort of lazy and we are in the middle of geting the back bedroom tiled and finished so we can move everything back in there. I'm getting a little tired of a futon in the living room. The cats love it, but I feel like I live at the circus sometimes.

Cooler heads prevail...

June 9th, 2005 at 11:42 am

Spending so far: $4.04 for the morning coffee. Much needed and I enjoyed all of it.
May need a Coke this afternoon. Will try to be strong and holdout.

Work - I've come to a conclusion on how to handle this. I recently learned that "the pretty" is going to get her job after all and will be doing half of my work!! But I will still be getting the same salary. Who's the fool? (Actually its the half of my job that I dont really care for Smile) I'm actually able to laugh out loud at this one now!!!

Also, the people installing the pretty have no control over my salary!!! Spoke to the boss and I have nothing to worry about. I will still have a job, doing half the work I thought I would be doing, at the same salary; possibly with a raise on the horizon. (Laughing hard enough to fall out of my chair now.) Granted I will not make as much as the pretty, but I wont have nearly as much stress, nor as many hoops to jump through. Just need to tap dance from time to time when I meet with the clutch of lizzards.

I'm going back to my original plan of keeping a low profile and going about my business, making my money while continuing to do my job well and collecting my paycheck. Outside of this place, I will get on with my life and continue to plump up the FOO fund. What is the saying..."Living well is the best revenge." This lot isnt worth plotting anything against. Its a waste of my life to try and impact theirs. They are all so enamored of one another that logic (other than their own) only angers them.

This is my spin. I have a job in which I very much enjoy the work I do. This is what I want to be when I grow up. Its what I've gone to school for and its something which comes naturally to me.

In a rather indirect, round about way, my prayers are being answered. I make okay money and in reality have a generally easy job. I have a lovely office with a good boss. Its not what I dream of when I let my imagination run wild, but it gets me where I need to go. Once I put my ego aside and calm down, that is easy to see. The wiser part of me sees that this job is such a small part of who I am. Its taken me many years to reach this point and it still sucks to come in most of the time, but I've reached a peace with it. I am really okay with this conclusion. I actually feel a sense of joy and find myself smiling for no particular reason. I feel like I've been freed from a tremendously heavy burden.

On my reading list - "You dont have to be rich" - the author examines the psychology people have about their money (poorly constructed, but conveys the meaning) and how we get sucked into thinking more is better and how the fluctuations of the market and the economy can really jerk our chains if we let it. This is all from the intro, but it looks promising. Another stunning selection from the 332.024 Cha section of your public library.

and it all continues

June 8th, 2005 at 07:04 pm

Spending today: .79 for a Coke

"Needed" some caffeine therapy this afternoon before a meeting. I really wanted a coffee, but the little stand was closed by the time I arrived. That saved me $3.20.

Today I mentioned my plight to the first person in the heirarchy, someone who would have a much broader perspective on the situation. Very promising meeting. I felt better about getting if off my chest. Even if this person is not able to make major changes, I know my back is covered. I'm going to just keep plugging along, doing my job, reducing my debt and adding to the FOO fund.

I dressed up today because I had a meeting at work. Surprisingly when I came home, I was in the mood to clean and organize the house a bit. I think there was a correlation...I felt good today.

However, I am really in the mood to shop right now. I will probably go on-line at Sephora and see what they have for cosmetics. Genetics are starting to set in and I look like I am always tired and sort of spaced out. This is made worse with the sinus infection, which is finally healing. I'll see what their return policy is before getting a shopping cart going.

I packed my lunch for tomorrow and as I did so I thought again that overall, my life seems calmer (omit the last five days from that comment). I really feel more peaceful when I take the time to set myself up for success for the next day. I love having a healthy lunch ready for me when I meet my friends and we sit outside in the shade. I eat less during the day b/c I'm not so stressed and I get to enjoy great company.

Am running the dishwasher and a couple of loads of wash tonight. For some reason it feels sooo good to be home and taking care of those sorts of things. Haven't done it in a while and I imagine this is what it will be like when I retire.

Today I also learned where to get good German bread from a real German bakery. I get excited about these things because we live in a relatively small town, with demagraphics and culinary habits that are very different from what I grew up with. So a change with some familiarity is a good thing.

weekend spending

June 7th, 2005 at 02:55 pm

Thought I would come clean. Here is what I spent this weekend.

20.9 gas (should last for the week)
7.49 Walgreens - sunblock and eye liner brush
20.78 target - Almay face wash and some other trendy cosmetic product that I bought in a moment of weakness
-6.65 target - returned moment of weakness product and bought a second Almay face cleanser
82.91 lands end- they had some amazing deals on their overstocks site; I really hope it all fits; dont want to play the return game via the postal service
82 catfood, but this I paid in cash

I returned the Lauder for $25.15 and am going to cross the mall of my list of places to go. I just dont really care for the vibe. It just doesnt strike me as a place to get a good deal. Just my prejudice.

This morning - Tues - $32.73 vitamins and zinc lozenges for my sinus situation. I was already feeling a million times better this morning from a few things I did last night. Mainly, drinking a whole lot of water and making sure my nasal passages didnt dry out. Half way through the day I lost all steam, overheated and chose to come home. Turns out my immediate boss is out with the same thing.

Since returning from our vacation, I've put $419.22 on plastic. No wonder the debt keeps hovering. I want it to go down. Looking over what I spent this amount on, it all seems like stuff I needed. Will have to examine that a whole lot more.

This afternoon I'll probably read some more, though it gets hard to focus - psysically and mentally, and sleep a lot more.

So far the Almay seems to be working okay. Not sure as I'm tired and worn out from the sinus infection.

putting it all together - look out

June 7th, 2005 at 09:58 am

The best icon for this entry would be fuming guy, but with a big smile. I'm miffed this morning, but I've got it by the tail....

I was out sick yesterday. (no spend day!! woohoo!!!) In hindsight, I see why my life was bizzare since about Thursday. I was coming down with a flaming sinus infection and my body was sending out all the signs. I just failed to notice them.

In betwen the much needed hours of sleep, I continued to catch up on my reading. Am currently reading "Work Would be Great if it Werent for the People." (650.012?? in the dewey decimal system) Oh how timely. ...grrrrr.....The author talks about developing your evil twin in the workplace and gives advice on when to let them do the talking. At first, it was creepy and seemed unethical. However, she does give sound advice on how office politics are played. Quite honestly, in the situation I find myself, being nice will get me nowhere but squashed under uneeded(sp?) layers of bureacracy. Evil Twin engaged, captain.

I dont plan on doing anything devious/illegal/immoral. I'm just going to point out the obvious to people who have the positional authority to make changes.

Work this morning finds me on a slow burn. However this time its productive. I have my wits about me and am channeling it rather than popping a gasket and getting nowhere.

The drama continues, but I'm armed with more info and a desire to speak up to those who need to hear what I have to say. Learned this morning that the plan is to bring another person in above me as a manager and probalby at a higher pay scale. She would coordinate and assist in some of the projects I am working on. I would be delegating work to her on several of these projects because I am the one who is doing the actual work. Wouldnt that make me the supervisor? And having her in at a pay scale higher than me would be, um, wrong??? Oh, I am going to enjoy this.

BUT THIS IS THE BEST PART!!!!!
A large part of what motivates me to speak so freely to those in income brackets higher than mine is that I went over our finances on Sunday?? night. I found that while I do need to contiue working for several years, we are doing much, much better than I was aware of. Smile Smile Smile I no longer feel quite like I have to cower and beg for my job on a daily basis. Oh how refreshing!!! (this site is creating a monster lol) I think I've already started walking with a swagger.Wink Power to the peasants.

I have to add that in spite of all of this, I feel quite calm. I'm not just flapping in the breeze anymore. I have options and will exercise them. If this woman is hired anyway, I still have options. Will exercise those too. But in the end, I will keep my job and I will continue to do well in it and will continue to report to the guy at the top or someone quite close. What a refreshing change!! Finally, I feel like I'm doing things on my terms.....I'm going to be on clouds for the rest of the day.

I'm so glad to have found this site and am again grateful for everyone who contributes. Thanks so much to all of you!!!

Much better Sunday

June 5th, 2005 at 09:51 pm

Sleep is a wonderful thing. And today, I got plenty of it. I need to go to bed pretty soon b/c its starting to get late. But I'm so excited and relieved that my mind is too active.

All the reading from the books from the public library and the information and support on this site has helped me tremendously in getting on the right financial track. For the past three hours, I've been going over my investments, IRA's and 403b's with DH; comparing what he knows about investments and what I've learned on my own.

First, I am fantastically pleased to learn that I have a whole lot more money stashed than I thought. I'd never sat down and totaled my assest. I'd always focused on my debt. Second, it all seems to be on the right track. My Roth and an Index Fund arent doing super well, but neither is the market in general. Things are still recoverying from 2002/2003?

After getting the numbers out of the way, we talked about the big picture - what is our general state of the union, how hard do we have to work, how much longer will we have to work and just what will we do when we decide to retire. Oh how very refreshing it is. It seems that we are on the right track and I should pretty much keep on doing what I've been doing - minus the cc's, meaning pay them off and dont ever go there again. If I start investing, which I should be doing right now, and the market does averagely well, I would still be getting ahead because right now the rates on the cc's are lower than the rate of return on my mutual funds.

I feel such a sense of relief. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I'm the first one in my family to get into this. I'm turning the corner on some very deeply held, and very unhealthy attitudes toward money. It's all new territory for me. And I'm pretty much speechless. Truly.

Now I just need some time for the interest to acrue....

I believe I will sleep very well tonight. Now I am even more motivated not to spend money on things I dont need. A woman with a mission I am.

Surreal shopping experience

June 5th, 2005 at 10:01 am

Yesterday was one of those days where they mind and body were not fully engaged. I dont think I should have left the house. But venture out I did.

My skin has been reacting to some product that I'm using since January. I've narrowed it down to my soap, but didnt really want to admit that it was the soap, because it has worked well in the past and its natural and I can find it for a good price. The doctor gave me a cream, but it has so much sulfer, that when I use it, it smells like I am standing at the gates of hell. So I decide to go out and look for an alternative facial cleanser. It was also time to get some new makeup as I havent really purchased in a couple of years and I'm very tired of what I'm currently using.

I've been doing some research on the web to see what the major labels are offering and to get an idea for the prices, etc. There were a couple of things that looked good; nothing stellar, but work checking out.

First stop was the mall. I havent been to the mall in months, possibly longer; not sure as I havent been counting. Its not really on my radar anymore. I went into the one department store that has four cosmetics counters (small town, small mall) Just walking through the place made me feel very uncomfortable. I guess I have embraced voluntary simplicity more than I realized. I could quickly see how most of the merchanise would fulfill wants rather than needs.

As I looked around, all I saw were people with a gleam in their eye, bent on spending some cash and getting more stuff. More likely melting their plastic. The majority were already "designer labeled" from head to toe as they walked through the racks of clothing ooohing and aahing. It was like being surrounded by zombies. Is this one of the ways the mark of the beast will show itself? The mark of the designer? Individuality by looking like everyone else?

And the merchandise was typical mall fair - trendy, cheaply made, overpriced, throw it away by next year sort of stuff. It made me feel very old and out of touch.

I went to the counters and asked about the products I was looking for. No one seemed enthused or willing to really answer my questions. I couldnt help but wonder if it was because I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt? Didnt find what I was looking for. Settled on a face wash from Lauder that I used to use. $25 for 6.7 oz!!! I knew it would be high, but I also knew it worked and figured I would spurlge if it cleared up my face. I've suffered for six months now. Enough is enough.

I leave the mall feeling gross and a little disappointed that I spent so much. Next stop was Target. Here is where I sort of lost it. For some time now, I have been very focused when I go shopping. I have a list, I find the stuff and I get out. I spend less and just dont have the time to looks at stuff I probably wont buy. Well this was a fact finding mission, so I had to broaden my view of the scene and look around to determine what was available.

Within 10 minutes I was overwhelmed and ready to go home. ( I think I got dizzy at one point.) I was amazed at all the different ways producers are trying to get people to part with their money And so much of it is just foof. At the same time, I'm wondering "am I just getting realy old and dowdy?" "Oh dear, I've become a stick in the mud." But in the end, I really didnt care because early retirement will be mine!!!

With a bit of looking I found a face wash by Almay. 6.7 oz like the Lauder. It was $5.09 (on sale) rather than $25. (Relayed this whole thing to DH and he gasped when I told him the difference in price. He appreciates a good deal, but has no qualms about spending more to get the good stuff if it lasts longer and is a better deal in the long run.)

I've used the Almay twice now and already my skin feels better and looks better. Hope it takes 15 years off my faceWink It does have mineral oil, which I'm not crazy about, but we shall see how it goes. For $5 its worth trying even if I have to pitch it if it doesnt work. The Lauder is going back tomorrow.

Later in the day went to Walgreens and Walmart to compare prices. Found out that I really had gotten a good deal at Target. Ended up leaving wallet at Walgreens. Discoved this only when I sat down at the computer to organize my finances. Had a minor freak out moment and after some calls, went to pick it up. (Even the extra running around to find out about prices on the Almay was disorienting and unnecesarry. I usually compare the info I have in my price book. But this was a new product, so I was going into it blind.)

At this point, I was not able to think in a linear fashion, no matter how hard I tried. Gave up and went into the kitchen to clean up and cook some things for the week ahead.

Overall, the day left me unsettled. But I was left wondering what is the world coming to? That really sounds like I'm getting old and havent kept up with the times for it to be such a shock to me. But once you see the things people will buy and keep themselves powerless by being perpetual consumers, its shocking.

The experiences of my day with the world of consumerism are in such stark contrast to the beliefs I have recetnly been cultivating about money. Yes, I've been indoctrinating myself with saving/investing/frugal living, etc from the 332.024 section of the library (a couple of things around the 650's are okay too - dymanics of the workplace, money and power, that sort of thing.) but its a means to an end. Maybe this surreal experience was a check in to show me how far along the whole process is its evolution? I'm still a little too jumbled to put it all together and come to a solid conclusion, though will think about it during the upcoming week. I would really just like to pass go and collect a hefty sum and be done with all of it.

On brighter notes - DH came home last night from helping his mom. He brought me some Mexican Coca Colas!!! I'm using one this morning for some caffeine therapy. I like living on the border.

Also, this morning, the cat that we adopted just two months ago is learning to fetch. She is such a dear. We believe she may have been abused because she cowers and runs away alot, but she is comig out of her shell and is very sweet.

These are some of the things I imagine myself doing when I get off the treadmill of tick tock. Smile sigh......

Spending for yesterday:
God only knows. At this point "Math is really hard" for me, though I'm sure its somewhere between $30 to $40. I'm not counting the Lauder as it is going back within a couple of days.

Today, I have yet to go through the Sunday paper. I do know I need to get some groceries at the health food coop. DH and I need to pick up some furniture we bought a week ago. Otherwise, I will have my nose burried in Voluntary Simplicity. The last time I read it was over 10 years ago and quite a lot of it is still relevant. I"ve also forgotten quite a bit.

getting over it, if I must

June 3rd, 2005 at 09:05 pm

Baselle - The name of your ING fund made me laugh out loud too!!! I joked about starting a FU (politely pronounced foo) fund. But I think this should be a sooner rather than a later. This work thing too shall pass. Short of arsenic in the drinking water, I intend to do everything within my power to make it happen as soon as possible.

Spending
Groceries: $30.08 (saved $15.26) DH paid for these, but I felt it was worth reporting because I did work hard to get such good deals. I've also started tracking grocery spending for the month. Reciepts are hanging on the fridge. I am curious to see just how low we can go. It will assist in motivating me not to buy junk, rather focusing on real food. Hopefully will also cut down on snacking between meals. That might also propel DH into menu making territory. The planning thing just makes it so much easier.

At the grocery store I splurged on real German pickles. I learned about these from a friend of a friend who is German. They actually feel good in my tummy because they are real pickles, not preservatives. The water isnt even that funny yellow/green. They were $6 a jar, but they had no fat and were low in sugar??? (JustificatioWink)

I went straight to the library after work. My favorite numbers in the dewey decimal system right now are 332.024. That is where the investment/self help/you can do it! section is. Our library has at least 12 to 14 shelves in this area. I did some research on Amazon and found some recomened titles. Otherwise, I just grabbed what looked good. I am drawn to books on investing for women, especially the ones written by women. Right now I'm reading A Gril Needs Cash. Its sort of lightweight on investing info so far, rather focusing more on why women are afraid to invest, discussing the myths, the psychology, etc. Its a pretty lightweight read, but I am on a mission to take in as much information as possible. I find that whenever I am learning something new, I need to saturate my gray matter well and then I just go off and do what needs to be done. No looking back. But that incubation period is needed.

With the hubby out of town, I am reverting to "single cat lady" status. I come home, put on pajamas, read on the couch until hunger drives me to the kitchen. Then I eat only side dishes, i.e. potatoes with butter, sour cream, bacon and chives. (I'm sure the BP was already elevated after today.) This is how I used to eat before married life. Hmmmm, was much thinner then as well....connection? Realized that this was plenty of food for me and it took 10 minutes with dicing of herbs and bacon; also made only a few dishes dirty. Made a secret promise to forgo cooking and see how long hubby will last on side dishes before asking for a full meal. Its summer, so that could be a while. Will also save on dishes. I'm not worried about permanent cat lady status until I slip into exclusively reading romance novels with Fabio on the cover and all my black clothes are covered in cat hair.

Tomorrow the only errands are going to be gas and order some turkey for the cats at the health food coop. So far anyway...other things might come up. I do plan to continue reading and catch up on my sleep. Both are free and popping one's gaskets really takes it out of a girl.

DH should be coming home this weekend and I'm sure he will work on the house. We are tiling one of the larger bedrooms in the back. (The whole house actually. The back bedroom is where we can see the floor at the moment.) Pretty easy work, but slow going to ensure it looks good for the rest of eternity.

Feeling quite crusty about the whole episode today. Will look for resolution before next entry. Could become quite cynical if allowed. Thanks for the support.

okay, so now it's friday

June 3rd, 2005 at 10:45 am

My fuse is short today. I'm trying to cool off a bit and see some logic in current office events, but its too late. I've already blown my gasket for the day.

I really like the work I do and I like my immediate supervisor. My future here is looking very good from my current perspective. However, empire building at a level way above my income bracket has me frothing at the mouth and grinding my teeth this morning. For the most part, I really dont care what people do with their careers as long as I can go about my job and get things done. But when they start stepping on my toes and undermining my work and reputation, I get angry. I'm not really sure how to handle this one. I'll talk it over at lunch with a trusted friend and see if I cant regain my sanity before charging into the boss's office, sounding like a five year old with "they said bad things about me" as the crux of my arguement.

Spending:
Italian dinner last night: $14.21 (have a heap of pasta left today for lunch)
At work, cofee and packaged doughnuts with fake chocolate frosting: $7 (and two Reese's)

Side note on spending: Because I am paying more attention when I sign credit card slips these days, I can recall the numbers without looking at the slip again.

Could really go for a Coke and ice, but the caffeine would probably enhance my charging bull tendancies at this point.

Today is one of those days where I yearn for financial independance, daydreaming about jumping off the treadmill and unplugging from tick tock. Oh how my stress levels would go wayyy down. Breath....and curse like a mad woman (*&#$%)*(&%@*()&#$@%&)*&*&)@#%&)*

is it Friday yet?

June 2nd, 2005 at 03:06 pm

This week is dragging. What is it about four day weeks? They get my hopes up only to dash them again. I think its the return to full time. I have to get up earlier to get out of the house earlier and then I come home later, especially if I am running errands. All for the sake of money.

I have to make a correction to my last post. I've been out of it a bit. I wrote that I've been having several no spend days. In reality, I've gone back to getting a $4.00 coffee in the morning on my way into work. So, I've been spending, just not aware of it. I have noticed that I feel really awful and am tired a lot more lately. I think I will have to go back to water again as I am probably not fully hydrated. But I have been diligent about bringing my lunch and snacks. I havent carried cash in weeks and the vending machines dont take plastic; so I couldnt get snackies if I were on my last leg.

Our employer does give us the option of charging food purchases to our accounts ($75 per pay period) via our ID cards. I used to max mine out within the first two weeks of the month and then spend about $100 beyond that (usually cash advances from the cc). But I gave up coffee and now the $75 lasts nearly the entire month. This is then taken out of our paycheck, so I'm still feeling the hit there; something I am striving to change. I'm an emotional eater and turn to caffeine when I feel the work blahs setting in. This is usually determined within minutes of the alarm going off in the morning.

Last night I read one of the Beardstown Ladies' s books on setting up your nest egg. It gives general explanations of investment options and has a couple of tables about how much you need to set aside for retirement. The combination of the two actually motivated me enough to take further action. Today I cancelled my automatic withdrawl for Savings Bonds from my paycheck and will cash in the two that I have to this point. I dont believe there is a penalty...will check that out. Once cashed out, the dinero goes to the cc's. Much better rate of return - earning 3?percent while paying 9.15 is very bad math.

Still debating about closing the Discover. Will do some searching for better intro rate. Disc was offering 9.4 as a teaser - oh pulease!! Once I find something better than 9.15 (current MBNA rate) I will make another transfer from MBNA to this better rate and that will assist in the decision to close the Disc. I didnt want to be hasty in closing the Disc just in case they could match a stellar intro rate. But that is not looking promising.

This weekend is looking like it will be quiet; we have no plans at this point. DH is leaving tonight to go help his mother and may be gone for a couple of days. Tonight I'm going to get some Italian carry out, grab a book and spend the night reading on the couch. No interruptions!!! No demands on my time!!! Such an exciting person I've become. I counter this with 1) with the exception of the cost of dinner (a guilty pleasure) spending will be minimal; I will probably have leftovers for lunch tomorrow and 2) I'm learning more about investing and the early retirement that I keep blathering on about. It will become a reality...I may go on and on for the next 10, 15, 20 years, but bear with me. One day I will retire...I hope sooner rather than later.

checking in

June 1st, 2005 at 04:01 pm

Its been a while.

baselle - thanks for the info on price book software for the PDA. I will do some research...

Things have been sort of busy here. Vacation is still on my mind, even its several weeks later. Could have used another month or two. I keep joking about early retirement and have actaully checked out several books from the library on the topic. Sigh...it will be a while yet before I am able to exercise that option. But a girl can certainly dream - and take action to make it happen.

On the money front -
- I have paid my Discover off in full. A combination of balance transfer and real cash for the loose ends. I am debating whether or not to cancel it. I could see if I can get a better rate on a balance transfer for another card, playing them off each other. If I cancel it, I am down to two cards. One (MBNA) with a balance I can pay off in 5 months. The other, (ATT) with a balance to pay off within a year. I am waivering because I'm afraid I will close a door that will not be easily re-opened. Not sure why I think that...will have to think about it a bit more.

- The momentum of incurring more debt has slowed, actually has come to a halt. Overall debt has been hovering at an all time high for some time now. Its like a ball that you throw up in the air. Its at the highest point of its arc and is about to start falling back down to earth at an amazing speed. My goal is to be free within a year.

- My desire to spend has vanished. I still yearn for a new wardrobe and go through every catalog that comes to our house. I mark off the items I want and drool for a while. Then I put the catalog away for a couple of days. Eventually, the catalog ends up in the trash because its become clutter and I'm too lazy to go through the hassle of ordering, waiting, recieving the items and then having to send them back; repeating the process until I find something that fits. I am saving myself sooo much money this way.

- Been going to the library A LOT lately to find books on money, investing and the psychology of wanting and buying. We usually walk which is also good for our health.

- work is going very well. I am full time again and sooo looking forward to the first paycheck which will reflect that increase (the 15th) A huge chunk, nearly all of it, will go to the MBNA cc.

- house remodelling continues. DH and I just took a van load of clothes and things to a church group who will distribute the items to people in need. It is a good feeling to know these items will be used rather than ending up in a landfill. We've been doing this for about a year and a half now and are starting to see the difference. We are not collectors or clutter bugs; stuff just has a way of accumulating. DH and I decided enough was enough and have begun a campaign to not let it happen again. Success is ours.

Those are the highlights. No details on spending, because the majority of days have been no-spend. I've gotten in the routine of bringing food and drink from home, doing things around the house for entertainment and cooking when time allows. Sounds sort of boring, but my prize to myself for paying everything off is going to be a trip. Right now I am considering Brazil....