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Home > Archive: November, 2005

Archive for November, 2005

end of the month means payday

November 30th, 2005 at 03:25 pm

Today was a no spend day. I brought three liters of water from home and my lunch and had to reason to buy anything. I was tempted at the cafeteria, because the burgers smelled very good, but I just had to remember the effect that cafeteria food has and I kept on walking along.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We had kielbasa last night and it did not agree. Far too rich for my blood. So dinner tonight for me is oatmeal and a cup of green tea.

I came home early because I had brain fry, but will be working from home to make up the time. I'll probably put on more time than I took off because I have a major deadline looming and want to be certain I meet it.

The presentation in class last night went very well. The teacher was impressed, so I think we will be getting a good grade. That is a relief. I'm still not taking any classes next semester.

I have two short papers to edit tonight and one more to write, which I will probably do over the weekend. Then I am FREEEEEE from that burden.

DH really wants to do Christmas decorations this year. The past two years were way too busy, but this year, we have time. We're getting a tree for our front porch. To get one for inside would be crazy. I am certain the two younger cats would climb it. And we want to put out Luminarias as well. We have a bunch of electric ones that DH filled the bottoms with extra grout to weight them down. It gets very windy here in the winter and they always, always end up blowing away no matter how many rocks you put in the bottom of the bag. I think the grout will hold these though.

Payday here today. Its already spent. All the bills are paid. I just need to mail them out tomorrow morning on my way to work. It was sort of anticlimactic this month for some reason. Just do it and get it done. No yearning for miracles or high hopes that it will get better. Just same old, same old. Hope that changes during the month. I really want to get motivated to be more frugal again. Its difficult when your health prevents you from focusing and then you get stressed because youre not healthy. This is temporary. At least I believe that much.

response to Kashi re cat toys

November 29th, 2005 at 02:48 pm

I just saw your comment after I submitted my last post.

One of the things that also worked for us was straws. You can buy a million pack at the dollar store. I stuck them in the rim of a basket - or anything you can wedge them into- so they would stand up and have some resistence when he played with them. They were demolished in weeks. Easy to replace and generally safe.

Shredding is also an issue here. I give our cat a paper bag with the top rolled down to keep it open. Put a couple of cat treats in there and shake it up! He pounces on it and just starts shredding. Its a mess when all the little pieces get all over the house, but it's cheap and it saves the furniture.

The FAVORITE toys are feather dusters. I found two ostrich dusters at Big Lots for $2 each. These will leave fuzzies all over your house, but I consider that a small price. The other thing is the metallic, fuzzy, pom poms from Joanne fabrics. They are just the right size to fit in a kitties mouth and if you sign up for the mailing list with Joanne, you get monthly coupons up to 40% off, sometimes more. We have hundreds of these throughout the house, but I know I didnt pay a lot for them; little bit of piece of mind.

I feel like I've gone on and on like an obsessed cat woman. Call it a much needed break from a full day of linear thinking at work. Hope this helps.

Things are settling down today

November 29th, 2005 at 02:38 pm

Okay, the day isnt over yet, but I think its okay to call it productive. I havnt gotten a lot done in quantity, but have been mentally mapping where I need to go. When I'm organized I get so much more accomplished.

I was up until 1:00 this morning working on my project to present today. There were some technical glitches that came up, which is what took me so long. At 10:15 I coaxed DH to going to Albertson's for pie. It was BOGOF on frozen Sara Lee's. Then we found ice cream on sale as well. It all came out to $12 plus change, which is okay for a splurge that we will be eating for a couple of days. But we had fun. It was like a late night munchie run from college. We laughed as we hurried to beat the store closing at 11:00. Then we had to stay up to bake the pies.

Spending today: .65 on a Pepsi out of the machine. Caffeine to help me stay awake from last night.

I went home for lunch and filled my water bottles. I've been making an effort to drink 3-4 liters per day. And I can really feel the difference. I just feel more awake and alert, even when I dont get enough sleep. I lost three pounds over Thanksgiving and I think its because I was drinking so much water.

Nothing on the money front. I didnt go to the bookstore with my friend. I think she was out ill today. I havent been able to reach her all day. Maybe we will go tomorrow.

Tomorrow night I am getting some highlights and a cut. I waited too long and now am in freak out mode. I just made the appt this afternoon. I will probably go to the mall and run some errands - bras at JCP, hepa vaccumm bags at Sears and I have a coupon for a free candle with a $30 purchse at Bath and Body Works. I'm sure I can find something I like and use. If not, I'll look for gifts and get the candle. It may even be gifted depending on what they smell like.

Last night I started making my list of all the things I want to do with my free time in the new year. I could spend more of my time working at my job, because I really like the work I do and even more I love the feeling of accomplishment it brings to get things done. We'll see how that goes. I may just want to reach out and touch all of them after a couple of weeks...we shall see.

The first day back from vacation

November 28th, 2005 at 05:40 pm

Jorge - thanks for the comments. I agree that we do pick up other people's stuff during the course of the day. Havent done yoga in a while. I'm still looking for a good class.

I placed a special bulk order for epsom salts at the food coop. They were $3.33 for a four pound bag with my discount. Then later found them at WalMart for 1.94 for the same size. Ouch!! But now I know. Even husband said Ouch!

Spending for today was heavy!!
$79.81 Health food coop
$3.46 Walgreens (used gift card)
$106.57 WalMart

I keep lists on the fridge and it was time to follow through on them. I ran errands at lunch and after work.

Walgreens has Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover on sale for 3.88. Its 5.98 at WalMart. I got two. We also needed Sharpies. They were buy one, get one for .01. I had a gift card with rebates from last months purchases.

At the health food coop I picked up a special order, placed two more and got some groceries. I had also been keeping a list for them too and it was getting to the point that I needed some of the key items on it.

WalMart was off the richter scale!! But I got groceries and household items both. I'm sort of proud of myself for one of the discoveries I made. We have a cat who chews on things. I've been looking at dog toys for quite some time, but they are too big for him and too pricey. It dawned on me tonight - baby chewing toys. I picked up three for a dollar each. If he never uses them, I will donate them to Goodwill or something of that sort. He also likes loofas and those plasticy bath puffs that you can pick up for .99.

Tomorrow is going to be more errands. A friend is looking for a copy of Its a Wonderful Life for her brother. We have a good used bookstore that she's never been to. I have a stack of books to take in and will show her around. It motivates me to go and hopefully she will find what she is looking for. You can put your name on a waiting list. I'll have to remember that tomorrow when we go.

After the bookstore, we might go to one of the discount stores. I have an instore credit. Its one of those places that is hit or miss, depending on what is in stock. Its on the way and I havent been there in a while, so its worth a look to see what's available.

Today was a crazy sort of day at work. I honestly had to take a Xanax that I reserve only for trips to the dentist. It was mission critical. Far too much stress and no means of coping. People are not getting me info I need and asking for things that I'm not even working on. It makes me crazy to feel such little sense of progress. To add to the stress, the head honcho is also crazy re his management style. I go to meetings to preview drafts of the work I do and three people will all be talking to me at the same time. And then they all finish simultaneously and look at me, expecting a coherent response. Amazing. These are the people making the big money. I think I need to take more sedatives and jump in the circus to be successful with this lot. Not likely to happen, but the logical, professional approach escapes them.

I skipped my class this evening. I really needed to calm down from the events of the day. I also wanted to feel like I was in control of my own time for a change. I came home, made dinner and went over finances right away to track my spending.

Also, I've started keeping a list of all the errands I need to do and the coupons I have which are current. I'm also stockpiling little freebies here and there for gifts. The list is short this year, but if I have the things to give, I would like to share the wealth.

I think that is the news for the day. This evening is going to be homework. Have a group project due tomorrow. Ug

Thoughts on travel and stress in the new year

November 27th, 2005 at 07:58 pm

Today was a no spend day. I didnt go anywhere either. DH and I slept in late to recover from travelling and once I finally got moving, I put on the comfiest sweats I own and did hausfrau stuff.

I made fresh taboule, dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and fried eggplant from our CSA. We went shopping at a Persian marketwhile on vacation and I was eager to use the treasures I had found. Plus, we ate very rich Persian food during the entire time we were away. I was in the mood for something light. And its all healthy...except for the eggplant perhaps. Though, I did use only grapeseed and olive oil and I baked it in the oven.

Did some laundry last night, but nothing strenuous.

The numbers for my Wed paycheck were on-line tonight, so I sat down with the spreadsheet and checkbook and paid all the bills but two for this payperiod. Those are the phone bill which we have not yet recieved and a chiropractic appt. which is on Friday. Electric and gas/water were both way down. We just recently turned the furnace on so the next month's should be low as well. I bit the bullet and made considerable payments on the cc's. I've really let that slide and now the numbers are reflecting the lack of attention. However, if I am careful, I believe I can get them back to where I started.

I went through the Sunday paper and made lists of errnads to be run sometime this week - at lunch if I'm in the mood or after work. Penney's is having a sale on Bali bras - buy two, get two free. This is when I stock up on those. And I pay my JCP card in full every month.

There is something about going on vacation and hauling all of your possessions that makes me reassess(sp?) my attitude toward stuff. I was so content today to just putter about with the things we already have. I'm sure I would feel that way if I could lounge like that more often.

One of my goals is to keep track of the personal products I use throughout the year. This seems a little anal, but there is a money saving logic behind it. My skin changes from hyper oily to moderately dry during the course of the year. Products used in summer do not work during the winter and vice versa. So I have to change shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, moisturizers, etc to prevent a scaley complexion or major break outs. When I find a product I like, I usually forget it by the next year when I need it again. Compunding the issue, I have sensitive skin. Trial by error can be very expensive and actually painful. So, I've made up another spreadsheet listing the product, the size and the cheapest place to purchase it. This is helpful because I do a considerable amount of shopping on-line. It saves from having to search all over again and compare prices.

I did this during the car trip cross country while hauling one's stuff was fresh on my mind. This list also doubles as my packing list so I will be sure to bring the right products for the right time of year or climate. And it makes packing a no brainer - and hopefully my luggage will be lighter as well. Because the mad dash out the door is plenty stressful enough. I like traveling, but I'm ready for it to be easier than it has been lately.

The new year for me is going to be about dealing with the stress in my life and focusing on my health. I'm not taking any classes. I'm so ecstatic that I'm having a hard time focusing on the final projects that are due these next two weeks. But the big thing that I've started doing again is taking hot bathes right before going to bed. I load them up with epsom salt (which I am researching to purchast in bulk), light some candles and soak away the stress. This has already helped considerably and I believe will help me to sleep better which in turn will help with coping during the course of the day. Its also relatively inexpensive. Its also difficult to shop when you are soaking...even on-line. I think I really like this.

The other thing am going to become more involved in is reading. I really miss reading non-academic books just for the fun of it. I will probably go to the library more again and see what they may have. We also have a very good used bookstore in town that just expanded. I have a large credit with them and havent been finding much that interests me lately. I'm thinking about cashing it all in and buying as many childrens books as they have and then donating them to an organization that does work in Mexico. I've toyed with this a lot lately, but havent had the time to follow through. That will be good to get off my list.

I think for now I am going to keep lists for a while and mull over the possibilites. And pursue them when the time is right....sounds profound.

hmmm...where do I start

November 24th, 2005 at 11:01 pm

I havent logged in lately and I havent been motivated about money for the past several weeks.

I took the whole week off for Thanksgiving. We've travelled to CA to visit family which is where we are now. Its been nice to get away from the craziness that has been my life lately. Work is crazy with everyone suddenly telling me what they think they want and need.

The end of the semester is looming which means final projects are due soon. I will be very happy to be done with these two classes. I'm so glad that I wont be taking any classes next semester.

DH and I have not been seeing eye to eye for a while, but I think we have sorted it out and things will be settling down again.

Overall, life has not been fun and my focus is not on money. I've been shopping and spending in different ways and on things that I havent bought in some time. I'm still trying to work out a sense of identity. I work around lots of college students. Every year they seem to get younger and younger while I dont feel my life progressing as quickly...or sometimes at all...The administration talks about how much we do for the students to help them suceed and its the staff that delivers. But there really isnt a good deal that's done to support the staff to assist them in maintaining the high levels at which we perform. Gets old. I day dream about finding another job once I get my masters. That would require moving again. A city with something for adults to do does sound tempting.

We are staying with family and living the life of Riley. Its been about shopping (at Marshall's and other discount stores). I've finally been able to find some fashionable clothing for amazing prices. We've eaten like kings, stuffing ourselves until it hurts. My sister in law has been running the kitchen and I soooo appreciate being relieved of those duties. Then we sit around the table afterwards and talk and laugh and get loud until very late at night. Its been wonderful!!! Its a very different life from the one we lead in NM. I'm currently sitting in front of the TV with something on cable playing. Funny how with so many channels and still nothing to watch.

I just flipped it off only to hear the pitter patters of rain. How nice - also something we dont get a lot of in the desert.

The down time has been so good. I've done some of my homework, though not nearly as much as I intended. I will try to make up for that during the 17 hour drive home. I've been on-line and done quite a lot of shopping for things we use regularly. I thought we would find some of those things out here, but we havent had the time to shop as much as I had hoped. Also, since I dont know the area, I'm not sure if I'm getting the best deal or not. I forgot to bring a price book. But I have a feeling that prices here are much higher than I am used to. We did go to a Persian market and I stocked up on the ingrediants that we cant get where we live. The sum total was considerably more than I had planned to spend, but its worth it. I hope to do more cooking in the new year as I believe I will have considerably more free time.

same old

November 7th, 2005 at 08:19 pm

Today was a minimal spending day. I purchased epsom salt at Walgreens; it was two for one and I paid with my gift card. I had some rebates plus 10% back. There were several other items I was looking at in the store, but did some price comparison and realized that they were cheaper elsewhere.

Had class tonight so I got home late. DH is helping his mother and will be staying overnight. For dinner I made quinoa. I've never had it before and it was realy good. I cooked it with some olive oil and salt and then put some butter and more salt on it when it was done. Its lighter than brown rice and a little bit nuttier? sweeter? I am going to get some more and keep it on hand. It cooks quicker than rice and makes for a nice change.

This week should be quiet financially. I get paid on the 15th, but have taken care of the big items and should be okay until then. Plenty of food on hand and gas in the car. Cats are well stocked with all their items as well.

Last Saturday we went shopping. I got some clothes but still need more. I have no dress pants at this point and would like to have a couple of pairs. I'm holding out for our trip to CA. I should be able to find some cool things there.

Not much to report. We are all nestled in for the winter. May need to get some firewood, but neither of us is moving too quickly on that one. Nothing else going on really....

Ill with a stomach thingy

November 4th, 2005 at 01:59 pm

Today was a no spend day. I came home at noon with a mild stomach upset. Mine also started yesterday when I ate lunch at work. Its always a crap shoot with lunch in the cafeteria. I came home about an hour early yesterday and thougt a good night's sleep would let it run its course. No luck. I woke up this morning and was particularly snarly, but figured it was because of meetings I would be sitting through. But once I got to work, after a couple of hours, I realized what it was. So I filled out the sick leave form, asked my boss if there was anything critical and left at lunch.

I thought I would sleep the rest of the day away, but once I got home, I went into overdrive and cleaned. I developed this sudden aversion to the dust and everyday clutter that suddenly seemed to be EVERYWHERE. When I get sick, I get emotional and a bit irrational with respect to the small things. So I wipde down the entire kitchen, ran the dishwasher and moved things around to make the space look more open and clean. Even DH noticed the difference.

For the rest of the day, I'm not sure what is going on. The usual homework hangs over my head. Tomorrow we are going shopping in the big city down the road. I just sorted through all of our coupons for restaurants and entertainment, tossing the expired ones and pulling out the ones we may use tomorow. If one plays it right, there really are a lot of BOGOF's out there. They come and go in phases, but we rarely seem to be without them.

Payday is on the 15th, but I'm organizing papers and bills, making sure things are in order so that when I do get paid, I can take care of the details without a lot of running around.

Not much else for news. I really dont like being sick and I hope its not the flu that everyone else seems to be talking about.


November 1st, 2005 at 02:18 pm

Yesterday was a no spend day. Today, I've already blown it by stopping at the healthfood store this morning on my way into work. I needed (not want) an item right away. No time to order off the Internet and wait for a week even if the price was better online. While there, I picked up some things for my lunch. More expensive than packing something, but cheaper than picking up something at work.

I worked through lunch and got some things done, though I still have lots to do.

In making the decision not to take classes next semester, I already feel like a weight has been lifted from my entire life! Even DH has noticed a difference. I daydream of free time again. I'm not sure what we will do...maybe start walking again? or just getting into shape gradually. Whatever it may be, I am really looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to Thanksgiving vacation. I am taking the full week off and we will be travelling. I am looking forward to getting my homework done during that week. And then when we come back, the semester is pretty much over - none too soon for me.

Not much money news here. I feel a shift coming on. I'm taking stock of what I have and am happy right now. There is nothing I really need and am enjoying spending my evenings at home with DH, something good for dinner and a good movie. The usual stress levels are abating and I feel like I can breath again. I hope it lasts for a while this time around.