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Archive for July, 2005

Sunday blahs

July 31st, 2005 at 09:09 pm

I just lost my post. Went to look up order status in another e-mail which needed a browser and ny entry got wiped out. Probably a good thing. I was complaining about being in debt and needing to go to work again tomorrow. Didnt I just go there last week? Cant that be enough for a while? I really do have other areas of my life that could use a bit more time....

For the weekend, I spent on clothing...about $130 total. There were the swimming suits and then today I bought some T's in lovely colors that can probably pass on casual Friday with some jeans and cool shoes. No other spending, which is a pleasant surprise. I have some returns to make, so that will work out to my advantage as far as money goes.

DH and I went on a very cheap date on Saturday. We went for smoothies, BOGO (buy one get one) free. Then we went to sonic for salads, also bogo free. The total spent for both places was less than $9. I could not tell him often enough how happy I am that he is willing to use coupons. He pointed out that while we will not go out of his way to find or organize them, he is willing to use them. That's fine by me b/c I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and sometimes trying out new things that we normally might not do. He is at the point where he checks to see what coupons we have before renting a movie or suggesting where to go for dinner or carry out.

I'm trying to quit or significantly reduce my sugar intake. I've been a beast all weekend. Last week at work I drank coffee every day - double espresso, thank you very much. I'm probably going through caffeine withdrawl. Also, I've been drinking lots of sugary, fizzy things this summer in an effort to stay cool too. Even though I glean the discount stores for 100% juice/natural items, its still all sugar. So I've switched to sun teas, regular and herbal, and am using Stevia to sweeten them. My body isnt sure what to do just yet. My favorite so far is blueberry and spearmint. Fruity but refreshing. The transition has come at a cost. I am ready to climb the walls!! I'm edgy and unbearable. This too shall pass. And I'm going to try very hard to pass up the coffee tomorrow. This is crazy. Has not made for a pleasant weekend.....grrrrrr

The week ahead should be interesting. There are lots of outdoor events going on around town - movies and ground breaking ceremonies. I put several on the calendar and DH is excited about going. Not sure how it will go with the heat and possible crowds, but we are willing to give it a try.

Money for the week looks okay. The bills are paid and I've got some cash on hand for misc purchases. I still have some things to return so that will be to my advantage. No major purchases planned. I have a couple of items coming in the mail that I am keeping an eye on, but just more of the same.

I think I am feeling restless...the amount of energy spent on work doesnt seem to result in an equal return. The work I have been putting into paying off the debt is not yielding the desired results quickly enough. Overall things are looking much, much better than when I started in Dec/Jan; I dont want that to get lost in the shuffle. I'm just tired of it right now. Maybe its actually a very good thing. Incorporating money saving ways has become routine because I use them whenever I can. They've become a bit boring. Another thing that is different - I do not feel the urge to go shopping recreationally to alleviate this boredom. I shop when I need something, but not to just browse. Takes too much time and I'm not willing to part with my cash for things that will need to be maintained and moved around, aka clutter.

Not completely sure how to view this. I'm sure some of it is wonderful...but I'm still really bored with it. Could also be a sugar junky craving a fix that is doing the talking...not much energy to do anything drastic at the moment (like splurge shopping) so I think we will be okay. Probably just need some sleep.....

I love a good deal

July 30th, 2005 at 07:08 pm

Today's deal is clothing related. I bought myself a new swimming suit - actually two of them today. The whole swimming suit search is something i despise for a variety of reasion. 1-body issues and 2- the cash outlay for something I will wear less than five times in the course of the year.

I've been lookind since May when we went on vacation. I have to confess that on our vacation I took a suit that my mother was going to give to Good Will. Yes, it had reached that point.

So, I've been browsing all the catalogs that land in our mailbox, but when I find something I like, it seems to have a $100 price tag attached. I knew there had to be a better way.

I continued the search until now, the end of the season. I got an e-mail from JCP that they were having an end of season sale. Normally most of their stuff doesnt fit me right, but I though I would look. Before this I'd been searching the Lands End site. Expensive!!! I searched on the JCP site for a while, but then realized I had no idea how the suits fit. And since I've lost about 25 pounds in the last year, I had no idea what size I would need. I convinced DH to run to the mall with me, which he seemed glad to do.

The end result was to tankini bottoms for 28.87 with a savings of 36.02. When we got home, I ordered the tops on-line for 54.53, though I didnt calculate the savings. That is two suits for $83.40 including the shipping for the on-line order. Considering that is the cost of one suit in most places, I am thrilled. Now I will no longer need to worry about being comfortable and presentable when I go out in the water.

The expereince has taught me that just like any other situation, if you know what you really want and do the leg work, you can still get what you like and not pay as much as the asking price.

Now, to keep up with the diet so they look even better by the time I go into the pool...

The cat

July 29th, 2005 at 11:13 am

My cat was "helping" with the last entry. She was sitting on the mouse and somehow when I posted the entry, about half of it got truncated. I was going on about how my spending on clothes is wayyy down, but I still splurge via internet shopping from time to time. I buy more than I know I will keep, like a shirt it two sizes to see which one fits better and then return the one that didnt work. So, the amount spent is huge, or much larger than I would normally spend. I feel a pang of guilt when I see the amount of these purchases made on-line, but I dont feel as guilty when I buy locally. I'm wondering if its that on-line shopping gives you time to think about how much you are buying and then its easier to feel buyer's remorse??

Overall, things are looking so much better re money. After paying the mortgage and utilities, I am going to make a considerable payment on the mbna. I've been timing purchases to coincide with pay days, so misc things are usually paid in cash. I havent perfected this yet, but its a move in the right direction. I'm not good with budgeting the small things b/c they are usually impulse buys.

But the numbers are really starting to go down -FINALLY. Its taken six months to change the direction of the momentum, but its finally paying off. And I'm finding money in a couple of places, so that helps. I'm opening up a banking account today to put all of those finds in. Then when its a couple of hundred, I'll get a money order or something and pay on the cc.

This weekend is going to be quiet. DH would like to continue with the housing improvements. I just need to get some sleep. I think an all day pj fest is in order. Havent lounged around in a while. I will need to go to the library and get some reading. I have a fine to pay - one day late on five books.

Its a very casually paced day here and my thinking is working at the pace. The news is that the money scene is starting to show solid improvement; much less wavering back and forth. I need to embrace this change and get all my resources moving in the right direction.

One day later...

July 27th, 2005 at 07:45 pm

...and how things they have changed. I got the numbers on how much money will be in my check on Friday. I've started writing out checks for the bills and allocating to the mbna. Of course, it doenst help that I did some shopping on-line and increased the balance on the mbna. Overall cc spending is WAY down, but I would like to freeze it at zero. I'm getting closer, so I console myself with that.

We are waiting on one more bill to come in - the electric bill - which will probably be high. So I'm holding off on paying the cc bills. Once the electric bill comes in, all the rest is going to cc's.

I'm really feeling good about my money situation lately. Slowly, but surely it is improving.

My job is also improving. I'm making connections with other people in the department and see good things coming from it. The previous issue is still lingering, but not as in my face as I had previously thought. It hasnt resolved, but I can deal. Overall, the funny thing is that right now I'm doing less work than I've ever done in my life and am looking at advancement within the year. Go figure. Its totally against my work ethic. But I'm going to be a realistic and accept that they are paying me. It's a very confused situation. I've been looking for other opportunities from time to time but very few things are open

Continuing on....

July 26th, 2005 at 10:28 am

Tuesday...not payday....hmmmm...why are we here?

The heat is stifling and it really puts a damper on my motivation. It bakes it right out of me. We are getting summer rains (the monsoon season) and now its humid on top of it all. There is no fighting it, so adapt. That means staying inside and moving more slowly in general - even at the mental level.

Monetarily, things are also moving, albeit slowly. But they are moving and that is what I am focusing on right now. I sat down with the master spreadsheet last night and indulged in some debt repayment fantasies. I included all money that is on my horizon for the next couple of weeks and entered it as payments; this includes returns that are pending, the amount I will pay off on Friday (payday), a bond that I need to cash, payment from the second job, etc. I put it all in there just to see the numbers get smaller. Now, I need to make those payments happen and have the money come in.

Its motivating to see the numbers go down so low and know that they can actually happen in the next couple of weeks. I'm getting a little bored with the just sitting back and waiting; not my style. So playing with the numbers really helps keep my interest.

Had a chat with a friend this morning. Again about getting out of the rut of debt repayment and shifting to saving and investing. I'm so used to looking at a balance and putting effort into making that balance decrease. The shift will be to watch a balance INCREASE! That will be a pleasant shift.

Money hasnt been the main thought on my mind lately. Its sort of running in the background. This is good and bad. I'm always aware of it, but if I just let it sit, its too easy for it to fall off the radar and spend with abandon. So I'm sort of keeping my fingers in the pot, but not able to stir it as much as I would like to...

The weekend if flying by

July 24th, 2005 at 11:28 am

Part of it is because I am working at my second job, putting in hours there. Its tedious, but the money will be good to see when it comes in. I am now more determined to pay off the mbna. I am on schedule, but not always a very patient person when it comes to getting these sorts of things done.

Besides, I am working from home with all my cats curled up on the couch sleeping. Its not all that bad.

Thurs I did make the trip to Walgreens and I put the purchase on my cc. IT was $18.32. I got some ice cream in addition to the misc. personal items. DH and I have been craving some for the past week and since the price was good, I purchased. It was good, though not as good as I remembered.

THis week is goingto be a bit busy. I have some meetings to go to at work, though nothing major. Just have to find the nicer items in my closet to wear.

After I get done with my work, DH and I are going to move our bedroom into the newly finished back bedroom!! We've been using the new bathroom and I am beginning to feel civilized again. Its nice to be in a room that looks clean and is well put together. And as the rest of the house comes together, I am sure that feeling will continue to become the norm.

I havent looked at the Sunday paper yet, so dont know if I will be running lots of errands this afternoon or not. Overall, my spending is wayyyy down for this pay period. This is wonderful and i am going to make another very large payment on my mbna this Friday (payday) I am really tired of owing money right now and am making every effort to pay off the mbna. Its at the top of my avalanche.

Nothing amazing about money going on at the moment. I'm in work mode, actually making more money happen rather than analysis mode where I can talk and theorize about what action to take. Overall, things are going much better. I am starting to see the fruits of my labors. Overall debt is decreasing rapidly. I am waiting for some returns on items that i have ordered through the mail and the numbers will go down even farther. The spending bug, the big ticket spending bug, is out of my system for now. I guess that is amazing news....

succumbed to weakness of will

July 21st, 2005 at 12:44 pm

Went to get a coffee at lunch. Spent $4.04. But it sure does taste good.

Brought my lunch and have been mining that all day. Constant grazing...I wonder if I'm losing weight because I have a tapeworm or something?? My snacks are all healthy, but they still seem like a lot of volume going in my face. I'm not complaining, mind you. Nor am I rail thin. Just wondering what's going on??? Its a good thing.

no card - no spending

July 21st, 2005 at 10:05 am

The cc is safely at home this morning. And a good thing. I was going to run some errands at lunch for things that I wanted and could pick up quickly. BUT, when I thought it through, I realized I dont have any money on me and would have to run home to get the plastic. This then made me ask if I really needed the items I was going to buy. Of course, the answer is that I could wait on these things. So that is what I will do. I will wait unitl I have cash on hand to make my purchases.

I am craving a coffee however. Its getting hot outside and the longer I wait, the warmer it will be.....not sure...I would have to put it on my employee card which would then come out of my check at the end of the month......I will continue to consider my options before I take any action.

Counting down til the next payday

July 20th, 2005 at 04:17 pm

Spending for today:

$3.99 muffins at the grocery store - far cheaper than the ones at work; pd in cash
$22.83 - WalMart; spent the last of my cash; put $1.96 on cc
$15 - visit to Dr. - pd with cc
$23.41 - Walgreen's - $10 copay and misc items; pd with cc; saved $2.00 with instore coupon.
TOTAL for today: $65.23

I carried the plastic today because I knew I would be going to the dr. and did not have enough cash to cover the visit and the script. It's now safely filed in the drawer again. I've spent my cash until payday at the end of the month and am really going to try and not spend anything until then. If I do spend, its going to be well thought out because I am leaving the card at home.

With the last payment to my card, I am really starting to see a difference. The balance has been hovering around $6k (above and below) and just when I start to make progress, something comes up or I become weak willed and spend again. I'm so tired of it that I'm just biting the bullet and not spending like I normally do.

I also have a couple of opportunities to make more money which helps my motivation. I can pay off the balance even sooner than I had originally planned. I just need to put in some extra hours. If I'm busy, I'll be less tempted to spend...that's the theory anyway.

Tonight will be quiet...reading or maybe a long soak in the bath. Oh, and some house cleaning in there....sigh. At least these options are free or very close to it.

quiet so far

July 19th, 2005 at 06:52 pm

Spending today:
$4.04 a.m. coffee
$1.40 afternoon vending machine splurge. I had iced animal crackers with lots of red, white and blue sprinkles. Nothing satisfies your craving for Red dye #40 like iced animal crackers....

The meeting went well this morning. Sureal, but well.

I surfed e-pinions for a while looking for personal items that were highly rated and inexpensive. Found a couple of things and made a list for the next WalMart run. I was tempted to go after work, but instead stopped at the health food store to pick up a special order that had come in. I will wait another day to spend my money. See if I can stretch it out to the weekend. Its tough being a product junky....

DH and I are crabby from the heat. We have the AC on, but its stifling to go outside. This is not a good thing when you are running errands. Even coming home from work is painful because the car doesnt have time to cool down. I am waiting for cooler weather. That will be some time in November.

This week looks like it will continue to be quiet and that is just the way I want it.

No spend day here too!!

July 18th, 2005 at 06:41 pm

Dinner is on the stove, but I'm not hungry yet. I made brown rice, carrots and green beans fresh from the garden (not mine, someone else's garden). I've been reading and trying to stay awake. I think a long soak in the tub is in order tonight; early to bed and early to rise, that sort of thing.

I would like to have another no spend day tomorrow, but I have a meeting with lizzards in the morning, so may need to caffeine by 10:00. I'll bring lots of water again and see if I can be strong....

I have a savings bond I can cash out early this week. It hasnt come to term. Its just old enough for me to cash it. Thought I was doing a good thing by investing in our gov, but the rate of return is far too low. So I'm cashing it in and putting the money toward the cc.

My Sephora order should be coming tomorrow!!

just plain tired.

July 18th, 2005 at 01:06 pm

Very sleepy Monday. Just lost my post. The weekend was good, though lots of running around. Spending was only in cash this weekend; no plastic. I've been leaving it at home and havent missed. I"ve had to shift my thinking though. Instead of shopping and thinking that I will have resources enough to pay immediately for my purchase, I now need to be aware thay I am limited by the cash I am carrying.

I am much less willing to part with my cash, so I guess its working. I have about $30 and I want to see if I can stretch it to the next payday.

Spending was minimal this weekend. Did a lot around the house, with the remodel and the usual routine maintenance (sp?) Been trying to do the healthy thing, but feel tired inspite of my best efforts.

I'm ready for some quieter days and some sanity again when it comes to money. No errands to run this week - did them all this weekend!!!

busy

July 15th, 2005 at 08:39 am

Let's see....

Things here have been so busy that I havent had time to sit down with the master spreadsheet and allocate my hard earned dinero yet. Have found time to spend it though!

I discovered a wonderful site for info on cosmetics. www.delush.com Two women who are on the verge of 30 review products, most of them are upper end and pricey, but they do have a catagory for drugstore finds. I reviewed the list and then went to WalMart (because they accept returns on cosmetics), plunked down a total of about $65 and I have a totally new look. This includes everything from foundation to mascara to nail polish to body lotion. Because family genetics are setting in, I've been looking for new items for a while. Their site has saved me so much time and money that I'm going to send them a line telling them so. The products that I did purchase are of quality similar to the big expensive brands you would purchase in a department store. I am very impressed!!

Its been unbearably hot here with temps over 100 for what seems like weeks. No rain, but then that only makes it feel humid. Dont feel like doing much of anything that feels like work.

This weekend we seal the grout. This involves copious amounts of aromatic hydrocarbons. Translation - get too close and you will loose a lot of brain cells. We will have lots of ventilation to prevent this.

Enough - I must have a coffee this morning. Its' Friday after all.

small success

July 13th, 2005 at 08:18 am

I went on-line this morning to see if our paystubs were available. They were. In the list of deductions, the amount that you spend at work, i.e. in the cafeteria, at the coffee stand, etc., is listed...or at least the amount that they will be deducting from your check for that pay period.

I am sooooooooooooo thrilled to day that for this pay period a whopping $2.08 was all I spent on food and coffee while at work!!!!! That is a fantastic feeling. All the drudgery of carrying 64 ounces of water in daily is paying off!!!

Last week, DH sold my old computer for parts for $150. I'm just waiting for that check to clear the bank and it will go toward the mbna. Inspite of my recent spending spree, that is still on track to be paid in 5 months. I'm getting better at recognizing when I need to budget cash for smaller items during the month rather than putting them on the card. I really want to stop spending on the plastic all together. I left it at home again today and dont have any plans to run errands at lunch.

Tomorrow will be another story.....more catch up on stuff that didnt happen over the weekend, but I'm waiting to do them on Thur because I will have cash rather than putting things on plastic.

Craving a coffee.....dont know if I want to brave the heat and get one.....will ponder....but am feeling weak....I'm going for the coffee......sigh

errands again at lunch

July 12th, 2005 at 02:19 pm

Still catching up on errands and running around from the weekend...

Made a return at Factory store and found one more set of pj's. I had a credit, so came out even. My friend and I have made a pact that we will go there no more than once a month. Its just too easy to spend on things you dont really need. Once a month should give enough time for inventory to turn over and new things to come in. We've also agreed to go around payday so we use cash rather than plastic.

Then went to Target. Made a return and looked around. Found a couple of things totally $8. When I got to the register, I remembered that I left my card at home on purpose. Fortunately, I had my checkbook and enough in it to cover the purchase. I'm glad I didnt buy a lot. I like this and will probably not carry my card. It will cut down on spur of the moment spending.

Tonight, still need to get some groceries and then make dinner. Clean up the kitchen and then read again. We went to bed by 10 last night, which has been a miracle around our place. We were both just so tired from all the work we did this weekend.

I skipped the coffee this morning. So that means the only spending so far has been less than $10 at Target.

AND!!! Almost forgot...I got the information for my second job and will start working on that this weekend. I am eager to have some additional money coming in. I will have to see how it goes. I hopes it's something I can continue to do for a while.