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Archive for September, 2005

not much going on

September 30th, 2005 at 03:02 pm

But I am looking forward to the weekend!! I'm not sure why b/c I still have a long list of things to do at home. Maybe its b/c I can do them at my own rate of speed and not worry if someone is looking over my shoulder.

DH and I will be working around the house this weekend. I'm in the mood to clean and he hasnt accomplished much this week, so we hope to get a lot done this weekend. The more I think about it, the more I really want to get some yard work done. I'm not sure how long I will hold up, but now that the temps are cooling down, I want to get outside and get some exercise!!

As usual, I have a stack of homework that I need to dive into. I will get started tonight and see if I cant get it finished by tomorrow morning. I'm feeling a bit more optimisstic that a master's degree will pay off in the long run. I wasnt so sure while I was bogged down in the middle of it. Time will tell. I'm still not completely convinced.

As my health slowly improves, my ability to concentrate and organize is also improving. This has been a wonderful thing to regain. I truly thought I was losing my ability to reason and be linear. I couldnt read lists or think sequentially - and at times, it still slips away, but overall, I am seeing an improvement. Could this mean miraculous things for my ability to manage money?? Lets hope so Wink

I went on-line at noon and found some very good deals. I've been rinsing my sinuses with Sinucleanse. Its $7.95 for a box of 40 at Walgreens. I found a site that sold it in quantities of 100 for $9.95. Even with shipping, it was still nearly half the cost of Walgreens. So I bought 200. That will last me for a while. I'm so enjoying my sense of smell again.

I also found a fantastic shampoo by Auromere. Its Auyurvedic (sp?) and they have formulas for dry or oily, coinciding with the auyurvedic body types and traits. I like it b/c I can also use it as a body and face wash. The oily formula is a little bit drying, so I'm going to try the one for normal to dry skin. I'm so ready to reduce the number of products I use every morning. And the price was good as well. $5.95 for 16 oz. I also oreded some cleansing mud clay powder. Its supposed to clean and exfoliate without soap while drawing impurities out through the skin. As a product junky with sensitive skin, I am always on the look out for non-irritating, inexpensive fru-fru stuff. The oily formula smells sort of yummy, like licorice and sandalwood. The dry formula is stinky, like medicine or some funky herb that escapes me.

I spent about $50 total, but that's not too extravagent (sp?) considering they are items I need and I cant find locally for such good prices. Sometimes, shopping on-line can be less tempting for me to stray. I've become very goal oriented with it lately. Its all about finding the lowest price. I dont mind the wait for the package to arrive. I like having these things delivered to my door.

Online its also easier to do research on the product and see if other people have rated it or made comments about their experience. I find that I'm doing it more and more and overall, my spending is down. I pay in cash for local items. Sometimes when I order on line, I get everything in my basket and then print out the form and mail it in with a check. That really cuts down on the impuse buying b/c between the time I covet the item and the time I have the money to write out the check, things usually cool considerably. Overall, I feel I'm making progress around spending. I'm still viewing the Master Spreadsheet and yearning for that day of debt freedom. At this point, more so than ever before, I am confident it will happen. The numbers show that it's possible and the lifestyle changes that support those numbers are every improving as well.

Overall, things are going well and the forecast is that they will continue to do so.

It was easier to come to work this morning

September 29th, 2005 at 12:21 pm

The crush hasnt started yet. Nor do I plan for it to for a couple of weeks. I still have plenty to do with current responsibilities, but am letting the wheels start to spin so all gears will mesh when it does happen.

I went over the master spreadsheet last night. It's like a bolt of lightening, but I've started including some of the regularly purchased items in my budget. It helps my need to spend. I know what it coming and since its planned can stick to the budget and feel less likely to stray.

This weekend I have quite a lot of homework, though not as much as previous weekends. I will be taking some work home, but would like to get out and do some other things. I'd really like to work on our yard. The "grass" is getting to b a foot or so deep in many places. Last weekend we had someone come pounding on our door to see if we would hire his son to take care of it. He looked at me like I was nuts when I said it didnt need it. It does need it, but I was ill and didnt feel like dealing with someone else's child when he spoke no English and my Spanish made me sound like a crazy gringa. Maybe I'll start tonight in the evening when its cool. Do a little bit at a time. I know our neighbors must wonder what the H we are doing. Unfortunately, they cant see all the work we are doing on the inside of the house.

I think I got a promotion today

September 28th, 2005 at 06:43 pm

Around 4:00 today my boss ambled into my office and with a big smile, told me there had been a re-org and I will be taking on substantially more responsiblities than I currently have!!! Its been something that's been in the works for several months now and I sort of knew about it. But I wasnt counting on anything. People were already starting to ask me questions about the details of these new responsibilities, but I kept telling them that nothing was official yet.

But today it did become official. It took about half an hour for it to really sink in. Then I went into my boss' office and thanked him. I know he supported me and said some very good things about me for this to happen.

I'm speechless. This has been in the system for several months and initially it looked like it wasnt going to happen. But I like the work I do so much that I could continue on in this position for as long as we needed.

I have a feeling there will be a raise somewhere with this. I've heard mention of this as well. I'm not sure how to approach this yet, but will work on that.

So, the wise part of me knows that I could/should put all new money into savings, but the consumer voice won out. One thing I would really like to do is get a professional wardrobe again. I've been looking, but havent purchased. Since I lost weight, I've purchased casual things that I can get away with for work. Then I dress up when I have meetings. But I think spontaneous meetings will become more and more the norm, so I prefer to be prepared.

What I really want to do is re-invent my image. I've lost weight and recently cut my hair shorter than its been in a while. I have a tendancy to go too classic when I purchase clothes, almost to the point of frumpy. I would like to get a little more hip, but definately not trendy. I also need to find summer clothes that are relatively dressy. T-shirts and jeans just dont do it.

I think I might do the European thing and buy a few very nice pieces that cost more than have a whole lot of stuff that looks mediocre. We'll see what happens. I'm already spending money I dont haveWink

numbers are on-line!!

September 27th, 2005 at 07:50 pm

The electronic version of my paycheck is online. I went through the bills and paid everything. We are still waiting on the gas and phone, but I've allocated an estimate, a high one, so they will be covered. It feels so good to get these taken care of. I really get antsy when the stack starts to grow but payday is a week away.

Lots of little things came up, like a co-pay for a dr. visit where they didnt charge me enough and a couple of other things that have already slipped my mind.

I didnt cut myself short this month like I did last time I was paid. I didnt leave too much wiggle room, but do have enough cash left over that should I need to purchase more supplements, it can be done. I wont need to lean on the plastic to make it happen.

I have to say it again. My overall debt is going down. I still have a long, long way to go, but its coming down. And to make it even better - I'm still able to purchase the things I need...and want from time to time...without feeling the pinch. I'm not living like a white knuckled miser and I'm still able to pay off my debts. This is a first. As the feeling of success increases, it gets easier to pass on frivolous spending. This morning, I was hungry when I got to work. I considered getting a bagel or something to tide me over. But I passed and just had a Pria bar that I have stocked my desk with. It was better for me and I incurred no new debt. A very good feeling indeed.

I was going to run some errands at lunch tomorrow, but have decided to put them off until they will fit into the budget. That may be a month from now, but I really feel better knowing that I can pay cash rather than go deeper into debt. Smile such a good feeling Smile Smile Smile

Tuesday

September 27th, 2005 at 01:09 pm

This week is moving along rather slowly. I am waiting for my electonic paystub to become available, so I can start making out the bills. Last night I sat down and organized everything, i.e. return labels, stamps on envelopes, grouped the on-line payments. I also sat down with the master spreadsheet and went over the numbers. I am very impressed that the sum total is lower than I thought despite of the fact that I've been buying so much health related stuff during September. This is very pleasing. It also means that maintainence wont be as bad as I had thought financially.

DH treated me to lunch. We had a two for one coupon. I thought it was very sweet of him to call me out the blue. AND he won points for bringing the coupon, too!!

My sinus infection is going away and I've noticed a dramatic difference in my personality. I actually want to talk to people and interact. I finally have the energy to be social. What a difference. I do feel a bit tired as the day goes on, but I can tell that health is slowly returning.

I have class tonight, but it should be a quiet evening after that. I have some homework, but I might just opt to catch up on sleep instead.

First day back is a killer

September 26th, 2005 at 02:58 pm

This morning, after I got out of the shower, I had to think for a minute or two. I was at a complete loss as to how to apply my cosmetics. And the day has jut gotten better from there.

I seem to be in this warp, like Ground Hog Day, with several projects at work. I cannot seem to get them off my desk. The other people who are involved aren't moving very fast with their end, so things are just dragging on and on. Today patience is not my forte.

Spending for today has been $2.66. I got a yogurt parfait. Never again. Twenty minutes into it, I got a major stomach ache. Friday is payday!!! and I think I've spent less than $15 on my employee account. I havent tracked it, so I am eager to see how much is deducted from my check.

Otherwise, I'm sort of wiped out from being sick. I'm probably half present and that half of me feels like there is water in my head. None of the things I have to do are difficult, they just require a lot of leg work to get from A to B to compensate for my stolen computer.

Friday is payday. I have to repeat it to remind myself why I keep doing this. I hope the week goes quickly. I really need another weekend.

Su nday - grouting and homework for the Supplement Queen

September 25th, 2005 at 02:13 pm

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am beginning to feel better. I've been rinsing my sinuses to get rid of this infection and today, I really do feel considerably better. Getting many, many extra hours of sleep also helps the healing process. This morning we got up at 10. I could have laid in bed all day, but we had to get the rest of the grouting done. Which we just finished up, by the way!! DH has the time line all planned out and in two weeks we should be moving the furniture back in the guest room!! That will be such a good day b/c it means that half the stuff we are randomly storing in the living room can migrate to the rooms it belongs in.

I still have all my homework to do. I put it off b/c I could not concentrate, forget the possibility of forming higher thoughts and relaying those into coherent sentences on paper no less! Dont know if I'll be able to do much better now, but at least it seems like a possibility at this pointl.

While purging the freezer on Friday, I found all the ingredients needed to make stuffed peppers. So they went into the crock pot this morning. They took about 6 hours on low, so they probably arent something I would make during the day while I was at work. But they are a good weekend food and the crock pot doesnt heat up the house. DH likes them, so that is what he will have tonight for dinner while I get the leftover soup I made yesterday. It turned out very well, and I think it is going to be a staple for the winter.

Nothing looked good in the Sunday paper. that means less running around for me today and during the week. I do have to go online and order some supplements. That is going to be painful - as in a couple of hundred dollars. Over the past several years I've really been bad to my body - not getting enough sleep, eating the wrong types of food, drinking far too much caffeine and not enough water. I was also working for a very evil boss who I swear was an energy vampire. Nothing was ever really good enough yet the rules were never fully explained, so you never really knew what you were doing. Three years of that will fry a person's nervous system.

Now I am really paying. All of my glands are out of whack and my system is very, very out of balance. But, rather than reverting to traditional medicine which just covers the symptoms, I've become the Supplement Queen. Its an unconventional way to address the situation, but I do feel my body returning to its natural state; like a set point that it is most comfortable occupying. Among other things, I've suddenly developed a strong dislike for meat. I used to be an ardent vegetarian, but got lazy. My body just doesnt digest and assimilate meat, but I wasnt listening. Over several years of not listening, my body just couldnt deal with the abuse anymore. Now, I'm going to continue the supplements and revert back to a simpler diet and lifestyle. I'm going to swallow a lot of capsules along the way, but I am so tired of being sick all the time that it will be worth it in the end.

The financial side of it will be painful. I've had to weigh that one carefully. In the end, my health won out. I am hoping that once I feel considerably better, somewhere in the range of "normal" I wont have to take as much stuff and will save money that way. Prevention is so much cheaper. I am going to remember that...

Friday

September 23rd, 2005 at 09:33 pm

Today was almost a no spend day, but then I had to get some saline and Sinucleanse. I was home today with a sinus infection. I slept nearly the entire day away....several 3 or 4 hour naps. I felt this coming on Wednesday, but chose not to do anything about it, hoping I was just imagining the symptoms. But this morning when I woke up I knew it was for real. So, rather than run to the doc, I've been doing as much as possible at home, besides sleeping, to clear this up.

This weekend, no major spending in the plans. We need to grout the floor in the smaller guestroom. I'm not sure I will have the energy, but really want to get this done We've put it off a couple of times now and the procrastination is beginning to bother me.

I'm in the mood to clean things out these days. So tonight I went through the freezer taking an inventory and making menus for the week. Tomorrow is bean and bacon soup in the crock pot. I will probably also put together something in the bread machine so we'll have soup and fresh bread after a (hopefully) long day of physical labor. Tomorrow will be more of the crock pot. And Monday too b/c I have class until 8:00. From this perspective, it should be a rather smooth week. But we will see as it develops.

The goal for the weekend is to get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and do the eternal homework.

More of the same...

September 21st, 2005 at 06:21 pm

Today was a no spend day!!! I've started marking them on the calendar above my desk here at home. If it is a spending day, I mark the amount. At a glance, I can see how I'm doing.

The day was okay. Nothing stellar, but allergy season is starting and I probably wont be clear headed until the first frost. I was debating whether or not to go in. I finally got moving around noon. If this keeps up, I may have to take some time off just to recuperate.

Tonight, I have a whole lot of homework, but no desire to do it. I have class tomorrow night, so I should get some of the reading done.

Otherwise, still just more of the same. Its quiet, but right now that is a good thing.

Recovering

September 20th, 2005 at 03:14 pm

Okay, today I have been able to function and get a few things done. I'm feeling a bit more put together and am rather enjoying the challenge of working the system to make Plan B work. There are still lots of files that I will need to recover or see if someone else will give me a copy, but overall, things are going to come together in the end.

Today's spending so far has been $3.84 for two bottles of water. I got home very late last night from class and did not have time to put together anything for today. I did make some dinner and brought leftovers today, so I didnt have to buy lunch, so that saved some money.

I did, however, go on-line and order some major supplements. I spent a lot, like $200, and it was on the cc. I feel kind of bad. But they are things that I do need. With this last paycheck I overpaid on the mbna and left myself without cash for the rest of this month. At the time it seemed like a good idea and I really thought there was nothing I needed. I guess I'm going through these supplements faster than I thought. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm doing very well overall. And these are items that are critical for restoring my health.

Tonight is class and then home. DH wants to go out for dinner, but I'm not sure I will have the energy. Didnt make any solid plans for cooking anything for dinner, so I'm not sure what we will do. Going out seems like the path of least resistance.

At lunch today, I went to the park and looked at clothing catalogs. Sigh. So much that I would look good in. I will make a list and then figure out the total and feel the sticker shock before I go on-line. I really do want a nice wardrobe, but really dont want to have to spend that much. What is a girl to do....?

Computer stolen

September 19th, 2005 at 08:36 pm

Today was rough day. I went to work to find my computer stolen. It took me half the day to get over the shock and begin to realize what I had lost. I could not work for the better part of the day. I was so brain fried.

I was especially worried b/c I've done banking over the lunch hour on that machine as well as check cc info, etc. So I've gone to the appropriate companies and changed passwords.

I'm way too frazzled. I thought I would write more, but now that I'm here, I just cant put my thoughts together.

no spending Saturday

September 17th, 2005 at 08:16 pm

This day flew by!! I studied and napped it away. But I did not spend!! I left the house for a study break to pick up a special order at the health food coop. When you order by the case, you get an extra 10% off. I bought rice milk because I've been drinking lots of shakes as a substitute for snacks. The coop is always out of it when I need it, so I bit the bullet and bought the case - paying in cash of course.

Tomorrow - more studying. One course in particular is taking all my time. DH and I want to go downtown (15 minute walk) b/c a group of dedicated volunteers has restored one of the original movie houses. They are showing two free films - very old films - and we are going to see if we can get in. Tix are free, so who knows if we will get in.

Otherwise, tomorrow will be about finishing up homework, which I want to do in the a.m. Then I'll go through the Sunday paper as a reward for studying. In the forefront of my mind is the desire to stay out of stores period. If there is a super good, fantastic deal, I might consider, but right now I'm soooo not in the mood to be running around chasing sales.

Found something that works for me...

September 16th, 2005 at 01:04 pm

So, I'm not doing a very good job at saving. Instead I'm working on not spending and paying off the cc's at this point in my life. The challenge I have is that (like this week) I clean out the checking account to make a huge payment on the cc. This brings the balance on the cc down significantly and one day will result in a big ol' ZERO balance Smile this will be a very good day.

However (always a however) it means that I have little (no) cash on hand until the next pay period at the end of the month. During my days of impulse spending, I would use the cc to cover wants until the next pay period, charging as much as or more than the last payment. This was like treading water. Actually, it was even worse, b/c interest accrued, adding to the balance even more. And with plastic, its so much easier to spend freely.

After the warm fuzzy of making a huge payment wears off, I feel this sense of anxiety which leads me to believe that i NEED everything that even remotely appeals to me. About 10% might be legit, but I could pass on them if I worked at it. Its a strange feeling that takes over my thinking even though I KNOW we have everything, everything that we need in the house and we are covered until the end of the month. In my more logical moments, I see that I have nothing to worry about.

To resolve this reasonless anxiety, I've come up with a plan. When I feel this mood come over me, I pull out the master spreadsheet and budgt the item into the next pay period where it will fit. Right now, the splurges are being put into the end of October budget. My goal is still to make large payments on the cc's. On my list are: a new lunch bag - one that will keep food cold, but it easy to clean. The current one is getting past it. I'm starting to wonder what lurks in the corners; a couple of products from Neutrogena; and some nutritional supplements that I want to stock up on while I have the cash to do so. Looking at the numbers, I'm already maxing out the late Oct budget. But I suppose that better than maxing out the cc!!

This helps to allay my anxiety for now. I am reassured that I can have these things should I still want them in the future, so I'm not feeling deprived. And who knows, by the time I get to late Oct, I may not really want any of them - or even better, a less expensive alternative or will have come along in the meantime.

I've found a solution, but it also shows me again that the acquiring of stuff drives a lot of my thinking, which in turn drives my actions. That still bothers me deeply. There is a poverty of spirit about it that bothers me.

I'm going to work on that...I will try to avoid shopping as much as I can for the next couple of weeks. I'll try to make it until I get paid again. That will be a stretch, but if this method is going to work for me, this will be a good test. What if I see a really good sale? hmmm....the wiser part of me says I am fine with all the things I currently have and I should pass. The consumer in me screams BUY IT!!! BUY TWO OR THREE. YOU MAY NEVER SEE IT AT THIS PRICE EVER, EVER AGAIN. I think the consumer in my is out to undermine me in the long run...Can that be exorcised, I wonder?

q quiet payday

September 15th, 2005 at 02:56 pm

I went to lunch with a frienda and picked up the tab - $17 including a tip. I walked and it felt good to get the exercise. My friend then gave me a ride back to my office. I would like to get out more now that the weather is starting to cool down.

I brought my lunch but will save it for tomorrow. Dont have plans; maybe I will study....hmmmm...sounds productive, but I'll see how I feel when I get there.

This morning, I found a job announcement that I am interested in. It could potentially be more money, though would be more driving. I highly doubt the price of gas would offset the raise, so I'm going to look into it. I've done some preliminary asking around to see what the environment is like and if there is already an internal candidate. But I think I will revisit the resume this weekend and do some updating.

Today has been quiet and I'm enjoying it. This weekend will be all about homework. Tonight I need to sit down and get a grip on what needs to be done.

DH and drew up menus for the next several days. I find that if I plan more than four or five days out, it doesnt work. We usually end up with too much food and leftovers get wasted. I think we might take a picnic on Sunday and do some more hiking. Depends on how much homework I get done on Saturday.

Small success

September 14th, 2005 at 04:52 pm

i just paid bills, both written and scheduling payments on-line. I cleaned out the checking account for this pay period, leaving myself $4.10. However, I paid $750 in my mbna. My overall debt is THE lowest its been since I started tracking and being generally more frugal!!! That was around the turn of this year. Its fluctuated for the longest time and I've finally bought all the stuff I could want and have settled into a quiet routine that helps me see I have everything I need...and for now, everything I want.

This is fantastic. And to make the victory even sweeter, I have my needs covered with a good supply of extras on hand. This means no NEED to go shopping before the next pay period!! I think I will be okay and wont have to think about money until I'm paid at the end of the month. Finally, this is starting to pay off!!

To add to this, the water/gas bill was $30 lower this month than the last. That's good news.

I'm going to let this soak in for a while. Its a small step but in such a different direction from where I've been going. Wow.