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Archive for August, 2005

Its a new week

August 29th, 2005 at 10:52 am

Its a new week and I feel much more focused. I spent the weekend studying and going over the financial situation. Wed is payday so there is incentive to get back on track. I've already written out most of the bills; just waiting for the money to hit my account and one or two more bills to come in. The rest is going on the cc.

Classes ahve started, so that now occupies most of my time. Its great for not spening money. Classes are paid for by my employer. I just need to cover books and this semester they were around $100.

Just taking things one day at a time here.

Busy and needing to get back on track.

August 23rd, 2005 at 03:18 pm

Well, not much improvement on the money front. I have not paid anything on the mbna cc for this month yet. Need to schedule an on-line payment before its due. I also want to look for a lower rate. I never got around to cancelling my Discover. Maybe I'll go fishing tonight and see if they can give me a better rate than mbna does.

Classes started yesterday and I've enrolled in two this semester. My employer pays for them. I just need to pay for the books. I'm earning my master's degree this way. I learned my lesson when I went into debt with my BA and vowed never to do that again. I just hope it pays off. I'm sure it will, but the light at the end of the tunnel is weak right now.

DH is out of town for the next couple of days on business. That means cornflakes for supper in front of the TV!!! And Twinkies for breakfast - just kidding.

I really need to get my brain back in frugal mode. The past several days have been no spending b/c 1) I've been bringing food in from home and 2) I refuse to buy the crap available here at work. Its all junk food. Trying to get a salad around here is like getting blood from a turnip. Its just not going to happen.

I've just wanted to take it easy and not worry about money lately. I dont need anything, but I also dont want to think about money 24/7.

I'm feeling a little defeated by all the expenses that came up last week. "Stalled" is a better word I guess. Its a funny combination of feelings. I spent nearly my entire paycheck on things we so-so needed. I did pay in cash, rather than plastic. But I spent like a mad woman nonetheless. The spending avalache started with some medical items and spun out of control from there. I get paid next Wed at the end of the month.
The worst part about this is that I've been so busy lately that I havent had time to sit down, collect my thoughts and refocus. That is what I really want to do.

Tonight after work is class - until 6:30. I should have time to run and errand or two on the way home. Make a couple of returns and get cash in my pocket.

I'm rambling. Its the end of a very busy day - a very welcome end.

I hate alopathic medicine!!!

August 17th, 2005 at 03:56 pm

Things have been crazy around here. I had a medical issue surface that i needed to take care of ASAP. Not only was the condition itself stressful, but then there is all the peripheral (sp?) stuff you have to deal with, like navigating the insurance/copay/pharmacy dance.

I went to a regular doctor and was given the gloom, doom and eternal fear lecture and then sent on my way to purchase a couple hundred dollars worth of meds and supplies - this is the copay - even with insurance!!! I was really freaked out and nearly in tears as I walked out the dr office. But I had my wits about me to only purchase the minimum until I sought additional advice.

Today, I went to see the naturopath whose opinion I so highly value. She agreed with part of the diagnosis previously given and proceeded to tell me what was really going on. She gave me some enzymes and supplements that she had given me before (but that I stopped taking once I felt better. My very bad.) She didnt coddle me or hold my hand, but she also didnt make me feel like my life was over. I actually felt 1000 times better when I left her office; like there was a hope of curing this rather than just treating the symptoms. According to traditional doctors, this condition is chronic and I would need meds for the rest of my life. Having done my own research and now that I have a second opinion, I see that I will need three to six months to get my body healthy again and then maintain a healthy lifestyle from there on out. (That was part of my problem. My diet was awful and I was always burning the candle at both ends.) But I wont be a prisoner to the pharmaceutical companies for the rest of my days. If I absolutely need conventional drugs to stay alive, I will take them. But I firmly believe in pursuing other options before enslaving oneself to a traditional route of medication.

Needless to say that spending has been through the roof. I had planned to put nearly all of my check on my cc, but now it looks like I will only have a couple of hundred left to go toward it. My second job fell through, but that's okay because it was really sort of boring. With my health being a concern, I need to get more balance in my life and right now that means more sleep for starters. So not having a second job right now is fine. I was going to take two graduate courses in the fall...still considering what to do there.

The heat is beginning to ease up a bit so that is a relief. I'm sort of coasting right now financially rather than making rapid progress toward my goal of paying off the mbna in November. Recent events have used up most of my cash. I have paid everything in cash except for the gas I put in my car today so that is a good thing. I put that on the cc because it was more convenient to pay at the pump.

This too shall conclude and I am confident I will get back on track with the spending and debt reduction. I'm just happy that I had the resources available to cover everything - both cash and insurance wise.

checking in

August 12th, 2005 at 01:34 pm

Yesterday was a no spend day!! A friend bought the coffee and I brought all the rest from home - lunch and tea to drink at work.

Today, I ran errands at lunch and seemed to end up with items mainly for the cats.
Spending:
Bed, Bath, Beyond - $11.94 (used $5.00 coupon) Not sure I will keep this stuff. I picked it up to see how it works in the kitchen before making final decision.
Petco - $6.37 It just opened in our town and I wanted to check it out. Didnt carry the brands we use but I found a couple of things. I will probably order on-line from them. They have free shipping on purchases over $50 and $5 off. The code is right on their site. And the selection is larger.
Local Pet Store - $16.59 - stocked up on healthy treats and misc. items.

I ran errands and paid everything in cash. Sort of playing beat the bank b/c I get paid on Monday. But dont think it will be a problem as check is deposited on Sunday night. Inspite of this, it felt good to pay in cash, knowing that the cc balance was not increasing.

This weekend, I am doing a splurge and getting a massage. That's between cutting tile and painting doors w/ DH. Feeling way too lazy to think about it right now. I may be able to get a lot of it done tonight and then lounge for the rest of the weekend. DH put dinner in the crock pot this morning - baked potatoes. I'm sure he did well.

Tomorrow, more errands to run, but should be down to a minimum. I've wanted to open an account at the local credit union for a while now, but procrastination has gotten the better of me. Not sure what is up with that. I'm afraid its going to be a huge hassle. I also want to open an ING. I've got the invite; but havent had the time to actually do it. Just need to get with it. Lacking motivation in general....

counting down the days till payday

August 10th, 2005 at 03:34 pm

I've got money to cover my needs, so I'm not desparately waiting. But I want the money to come in so I can put down a huge chunk on the cc. And the days are moving by so slowly.....

Today is a no spend day. I skipped the coffee and brought both lunch and drink from home. That is where I usually spend. Had lunch in the park with friends. We're all sort of in the same boat - waiting for payday, bringing the interesting items in for lunch. I thought about suggesting an entree swap, but reconsidered.

Tonight should be quiet - at home, BLT's for dinner, DH working while I take care of dinner and cleaning. More of the same routine.

spending and the weekend

August 8th, 2005 at 12:35 pm

So, its Monday again. This weekend was a pretty relaxing one. I tore DH away from house remodeling and we did fun things. We used our annual pass for the state parks and had a picnic at the base of the mountains near town. We really need to do that more often. We also went to see Millions - its a British film and I would recommend it. Good change of pace from most of the stuff that's out there these days.

Spening was so-so. I didnt track it as closely as I should have, but would guess I spent about $60 on clothes. It was a tax free weekend so stores were packed. I'm taking advantage of some of the back to school bargains and am picking up items that are very reasonably priced. Today at lunch I bought a very cute skirt at K-mart that with a little help wont look like its from KMart. Wink Also time to replace all the dainty underthings, which will be done in stages. Nothing really fits now that I've lost weight. The clothes are wearing me instead of the other way around.

Work is going well, though its so slow right now. We are undergoing some major changes on several levels; most of which are needed; some are just empire building. The end result is that the changes are vast and communication is minimal. This causes a lot of people to be stressed about uncertainty when they really dont need to be. Know one knows what is going on, plain and simple. I feel the stress sometimes too. I keep working toward my goal of paying everything off. That way if something unforseen happens, at least the burden will be lighter. I probably have nothing to worry about. I'm just waiting for payday - the 15th...so far away....

This week is crawling

August 4th, 2005 at 12:48 pm

And we dont be paid until the 15th - a Monday no less.

For lunch, I used another b1g1 free for salad at Sonic. So I have lunch for tomorrow too. Here is the url for the promo. It expires at the end of the month. The salads are pretty good; your typical salad from a burger place. http://www.sonicdrivein.com/promos/salad05/olm/index.jsp
Its enough to fill me up at lunch and pretty good for dinner too.

We will probably pick one up again tonight on our way to the outdoor movie...though its not until 8:30 after the sun sets. I'm going to see how well I hold up b/c I'm already dragging.

Last night, I took care of myself and this morning I felt better. I actually woke up when the alarm went off!! I only lounged for 15 min or so. Normally I fall back to sleep for about an hour.

Spending for today:
$4.80 for two salads at Sonic; sad thing is I had to raid the husbands stash of quarters for a couple of bucks as I only had a dollar to my name. Even then, I almost didnt have enough until I found a quarter hiding in the pocket of my purse. Now that it worked out and I've had my lunch and I feel safe, I can say that I'm happy I didnt put it on the cc. That's the path of least resistance for me.

I mailed out some returns to LE this morning, so I'm waiting and watching until those credits are posted on my cc statement. My focus is on decreasing that balance....financial independence...

Overall, a very low spending day today.

wednesday

August 3rd, 2005 at 01:25 pm

Too much going on for my little head to contain. I'll try to be linear.

First, I've figured out why I get sinus infections on a regular basis and am going to do all the at home/holistic stuff I can, i.e. vitamins, no sugar, nasal rinse, etc. to make it better. If this line of defense fails I know a good naturopath that I can make an appt to see. I will go the traditional route as an absolute last resort because they just prescribe antibiotics. If this is a fungal thing, antibiotics only make it worse by killing off the beneficial bacteria that supports the immune system. I think that's how I got into this situation in the first place - way too many antibiotics.

I took they afternoon off b/c my world is still spinning. And I ran some errands that I had planned to run over the weekend.

Spending for today:

Cash:
WalMart $26.40
Walgreens $8.97 (saved $5.60; mascara was 40% off; this is cheaper than WalMart)
Total cash: $35.37

CC: (I ran out of cash at this point)
$16.03 walgreens
($9.08) jcp return
$25.19 bradley petrol - gas is $2.20/gal
Total CC: $32.14

Total total $67.51
Not bad. It feels like I did a lot more running around than $68 worth.

Now I need to place an order on-line for tea and other vitamins. The hardest part about it is getting all the items in one order to save on shipping. After I place the order, I always think of something else to add.

The rest of the day is going to be about resting and reading and getting healthy. I am so tired of being sick.

no spending day..

August 2nd, 2005 at 04:33 pm

The only catch is that i'm home sick from work and havent left the house. But none the less, no money spent today. I've spent the better part of the day on the couch either asleep or reading through my book on healing your sinuses holistically. Its called Sinus Survival. I like it because he goes into detail about the standard medical model and how antibiotics are often overused and how only the symptoms are usually treated. And then he goes into what you can do at home to improve your health. I've read it before and am now doing a refresher, because I'm obviously not doing something right.

Money - my goals lately are to use cash as much as possible, which has been pretty possible lately. I'm not spending and I've started holding about $20 out of my check for small purchases. I had a dr appt yesterday and paid the co-pay in cash. As I was handing the bills to the woman at the front desk, I thought, " My cc debt is not increasing because I am paying in cash. This is freedom." That was such a good feeling!!! I am going to remember that when I think I need those impulse buys.

I'm still going strong on the tea front as well. I've collected all sorts of hearbal and green teas when they are available at Big Lots. The cupboard is very full at the moment. Because I need to reduce - even cut out - as much sugar as I can, I'm make tea in the fridge. DH is even catching on. He usually drinks a lot of juice, which is also a lot of sugar. Water is the healthy option, but its bland after a while. So, I mixking and steeping and so far have managed to come up with winners. I'm pleased with the results because I think its better for us and its a lot cheaper than the coffees I buy at work and even the juice we make up from concentrate for DH. I've even started to bring it into work with me this week.

Not much else going on. I started to shift my thinking as I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I will become a saver. I will become a saver.....And I can actually see it happening.

No spending today. I have some returns that I still havent gotten to because I'm feeling ill.

I am making dinner tonight. Shrimp scampi with lots of fresh veggies. And a salad. I hope to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I really appreciate it when I can manage a routine. The big things fall into place because they have the support needed to be successful.

rest of the post for speculating again.

August 1st, 2005 at 12:55 pm

Hit the return and the post got posted. There are some real mouse control issues going on here...

Got coffee this morning with a friend $4.04...weak inspite of best intentions. Me, not the coffee

I'm struggling today to stay focused and motivated in the area of finances. Sort of a continuation from yesterday. So, at lunch I took a good long look at the Master Spreadsheet where I track spending. Spending on the cc's is wayyy down (inspite of this weekend) and I am still on track to pay off the mbna by November. To do this, I'm going to put all dinero from the second job toward that card. But its going to happen!!!

I've also been tracking overall debt and how the payment plan will look by the end of the year. If all goes as planned, I will start 2006 with only half the debt that I had at the beginning of 2005!! That means, I will be able to pay off all personal debt in 2006. That needs to sink in....no cc debt by 2007. This is becoming real. I'm so happy.

Then I can start on the mortgage and start loading up the retirement plans. This is where the real shift in thinking will need to happen. But I'm ready for the challenge.

Okay, I'm feeling a bit better. On track. Have a goal again. Paying off the mbna is key here. Just need to focus on that. Beyond that, the rest will all fall into place...Funny thing is that I feel a bit wobbly about the good news. Been in debt mode for so long that such a major step toward financial independence seems odd. Can this really be happeneing to me?? Really?? Yes, will definately need to work on changing that way of thinking.

speculating again

August 1st, 2005 at 12:39 pm

Well, this Monday has been all that I expected it to be...is it 5 yet?