Wow, I can't believe its been a month since my last post and all the changes that have taken place here.
I have been so busy with Work and taking care of my family - everyone has been sick for the last month...I'm so tired and I feel like I'm getting sick now...
I have realigned our finances and things are looking good. We are on target to pay off all cc debt by June and one car by end of 2006. I am scheduled to attend 2 seminars about investing in real estate and in stocks. I have also signed up for the required courses to get my RE Broker license renewed.
Saved money today by making a call to insurance co- Dr. and insurance co payment differs- so I saved ~38.00- not bad!
Wow, I can't believe its been a month since my last post and all the changes that have taken place here.
with work and trying to get things in order in my life. Work has been keeping me hopping from 8am - 7pm which doesn't leave much time to get things at home done. I've been heading home playing with the little guy, then off to bed we both go. Im taking a vacation day this Friday to get the following accomplished:
Update Quicken, new debt reduction plan and new saving plan.
Find my Real Estate License and contact OBRE to see what fees there are for renewal.
File all outstanding paperwork thats piled on my desk
and organize my "office on the go" binder.
Money spent this month so far: 618.66 - money spent on gas, groceries, household and dentist. limiting any additional spending for the month. Want to keep it under 900.
Returning to work from my 2 week vacation- going to be a long day. I spent the last 2 weeks with my little guy and lots of books. A friend let me borrow a couple and some from the library, mostly on investing, some on opening and operating my own business- just looking at my options.
2006 goals- High Level
Learn as much as possible about investing.
Look at other career opportunities
Be Healthier (so far lost 5 pounds by eating better and exercising! My clothes fit now!)
I did get sick- Dr. and meds- $25 then my cat that has been gone for a week and a 1/2 finally came home. She looked horrible so off to the vet- $168 later she is back home recouping (Pet sitter accidently let her out) Stopped at the card outlet and Michaels to get all of the b-day supplies and crafts- $65.00. Gas -$21. Saved by using gift certs given to us for Xmas gifts for one of the kids.
Today went to lunch with a friend- $10. No additional spending planned.
By the time I got home last night I didn't have energy to do a thing. So I accomplished zilch. And I have been sluggish all day- not sure what is going on- maybe I'm getting sick? Which is something I don't have time for!!!
No spending yesterday besides the $40 and will be a no spend day today since I am going straight home after work. Don't have anything to report- just wanted a break from work!
Saved money doing the usual stuff
I didn't think I was being unreasonable thinking that is too much to spend per person, but no one seems to agree with me. They also believe that min of $50.00 per adult birthday, kids $100. Sigh. I'm starting to re-think how I really want to spend the rest of my life. Do I meet the dollar amounts to be accepted by the family (which a I'm already battling) or do I give them a thoughtful gift without spending a fortune?
Anyways- Today I have been scheduling all my final medical appts for this year as well as x-mas pictures, dentist appt and financial appt for year end review. Tonight my plan is to cathup on some things- update Quicken with spending from this weekend, wrap xmas and b-day gifts, get all Dec. B-day cards ready to send, and if I have the energy, get a scrapbook page completed- I am so far behind!!!
Spending today- $40 for xmas gift. I may stop of Michaels on the way home for craft project for b-day party-got 40% coupon.
Saved money by: comparision shopping for xmas gifts, saved $14 dollars- woo hoo! and then the usual things, brought lunch, making dinner, etc.
Work, home life and getting ready for Birthday & holiday season have kept me hopping! 9 b-days during Dec. All of them being close family- so must give gifts. There are downsides to having such a large family on both sides.
I hate shopping for gifts for DH family. They are picky and materialistic so its impossible to get them something they will like for reasonable amounts of $$$--their suggested min per his family is $150.00 per person. DH refuses to shop for them cuz he's no good at it??? Everything I pick out he suggests I return- FRUSTRATING!!! Every year it gets to me. I am not big into "stuff" or putting a price tag on gifts for myself. My house is decorated with minimal Stuff, but I feel its cozy. DH family have only name brand cluttered lifes -I just don't get it. Their wishlist/xmas lists are miles long, mine consist of 3 items- all of items I could use, almost need.
Sorry I needed to vent!
Good news - I recevied a refund on a bill I apparently paid twice- this was a nice surprise = +57.22. And got a coupon for a free birthday cake- can't complain. Don't know how big, but it will help.
This month so far- 145.99 on groceries(included baking & party items), 49.67 on baby items (formula, diapers, and cookies), $10- lunch with girls, 33.16 on gas, 45.64 on gifts and 39.46 on decorations for house/party. Total 331.21+57.22=grand total of $273.99 for Dec thus far. (Can't wait for Dec to be over!)
Things I have done to save money: bring b-fast & lunch to work. Drink free tea or water. Take side streets to and from work- no tolls or fast accelerations and braking. Hang all clothes. temp set to 70 degrees
And just can't get into the mood to work. The last 5 days have been so relaxing and yet I had accomplished so much. I sent out the invites to my son's b-day party, sent out the kids xmas letters, updated quicken with a new debt reduction plan and goals, put together my shopping list to complete my xmas shoping and Dec. birthday shopping. The house is clean and dinner is planned for the week. Vacation recap:
Nov. 23- No spend day/ no driving
Nov. 24- DH spent $120.00 on groceries (and he only went for eggs and milk??)
Nov. 25- No spend/no Driving
Nov. 26- $15.50 on Gas, 66.32 at Target on gift and formula- Only one more month of formula- can't wait- will be a $20.00 wkly savings!
Nov. 27- No spend/no driving
Nov. 28- .27 for lunch- had a gift card from the company for $7.00- will have lunch and dessert for tomorrow too!
that I haven't been able to sleep- 5 1/2 hours since Sat. night- Ugghh! However, with all this free time I'm finding I have been able to get alot accomplished. Prepared the envelopes with mailing and return labels for BD invites and Xmas letters. Sent in a couple rebates, rcv'd 55.78 in rebates yesterday- yeah! I have re-organized my office-on-the-go binder- I put in a section for cards with a BD / anniversary and other special occasion list- I always seem to remember these late, so cards are always rcvd late- hopefully this will change it. re-worked my budget and savings plans- automated almost everything! House is clean, xmas gifts are wrapped, grocery/errand lists started for this coming weekend. And I have gotten closer to catching up on my son's scrapbook for his 1st year. I should be tired right??
Nov 20-no spend day- Woo hoo!
Nov 21- $3 on stamps
Nov 22- Should be a no spend day
Nov 23- vacation day- baking pies for Thanksgiving- planning another no spend day
Nov 24-day with family- no spend day
Saving money by bringing b-fast and lunch, drinking free water or hot cocoa. Minimizing my driving since I have been taking the SUV. Hanging all laundry and cooking dinners at home (except last night- DH treated since he thought I would be exhausted with my sleeping schedule lately!- I was OK with this!) And not using the credit cards- Its been almost a full month without using them!!
Have a great Thanksgiving!
since my last post. Things have been hectic here at work and at home. And to top it, my little one got sick! He is finally feeling better and I'm getting back to life. I'm trying to finihs up xmas shopping. His family gives out lists and doesn't pull names til Thanksgiving. I got the kids lists so one step closer to being finished. I have also created my little guys first birthday invites and printed the xmas letters to the kids- they are just waiting to be mailed- think I'll wait a bit for that!
11/14- No spend day
11/15- birthday /xmas and gas =$145.16
11/16- groceries (thnakgiving meal too!)= $131.27
11/17 & 18 - No spend days
11/19-out with DH for dinner and shopping- he needed clothes then off to target for more formula/diapers=$99.04, DH spent $114.49 on his clothes.
Total for Nov= $1,145.59. It looks like I am way over budget, I have to keep telling myself that I had saved for the large steam cleaner purchase and the vet. So if I didn't include those, I would be at ...719.05- which is within budget - feelin' a little better!
I was an expensive one, however, most of it was bugdeted for.
It was my parrot's annual check-up and since she hasn't been acting right lately I requested that blood work be completed, so my usual $80 check up and $18 pedicure was turned into a total $168.00. The Bird is fine- we are guessing she is just a little stressed.
Filled up the tank for $30 then took a trip to Sears, who had their 10% sale Sunday night, so I finally purchased my steam cleaner for the house - came to 258.54, however, I also got another 10% rebate, which will be mailed tomorrow. I also stopped at target for formula, bread and milk- 54.64.
Total for this month so far...770.12 (ouch)
Though it has been a filled with busy work...I am currently working on way too many projects already here at work and I'm starting to worry I may be forgetting to do things or get back with folks. I guess I'll figure it out when people start yelling!
This should be another no spend day! YAY! I did however forget to post my laziness on Nov 8 and had a pizza & breadsticks delivered for dinner with tip = $18.
So total for Nov. is 243.97.
Can't really think of anything that I have done to save money beside the usual, bringing in b-fast & lunch, cooking dinner at home, etc.
On Monday I attended a conference in Il called Smart Women, Smart Money. There were several speakers with several topics, some good, some not so. I was interested in the statistics they shared regarding women and money - they were eye popping. Basically women live longer and make less since we usually take a leave for family. WE have all heard it, but the folks in this conference put numbers around it. It definitely helped validate some of my financial moves, and help me recognize where I need improvement.
So today I finally completed out 2 forms for automatic savings that I have been sitting on for weeks. So starting in Dec. I will have $250.00 sent to money market, $250.00 sent to Roth, and $200 sent to my sons college fund every month. I also have 7% going into my 401k. Now I just need to continue to focus paying off my cc debit- scheduled for repayment by March 06. Then on to the cars/mortgage- focus on this next year...
Spending for today has been minimal- $1 on treats - bake sale for United way.
Total spent this month= $225.97
Usual money saving tactics: brought b-fast and lunch from home, drank free water and hot cocoa- laundry tonight will be hung to dry. Dinner will be made with items at home...
I have had 3 successful no spend days, Nov. 1,4,& 6.
Sat. we ate out then went to Target for some household items and formula=90.87
Mon. Went to conference downtown ($10 for parking and tips, but didn't drive so I saved there) and then met my mother at target to pick up pictures, dog food and Halloween sale items for next year= 74.30. Actually I shouldn't have to buy anything for atleast the next two Haloween parties since I bought all the papaer products on sale. I think its called spending money to save?
Then today I broke down for afternoon coffee- have had a horrible day and needed a pick me up.
Total spend for Nov.~224
Saved money by: Not driving on Sunday or Monday, hung all laundry, brought in breakfast and lunch, ate dinner with desserts at home, kept heat low (70 degrees), bought sale items to prevent paying full price in the future.
Glad this week is almost over, its been hectic at work! I'm looking forward to a little R&R this weekend.
Planning on making homemade pizza tonight, and tomorrow making corn and potato chowder with enough to freeze for another meal. Sunday I think we might head out to eat.
Other things I need to complete this weekend are: Updating quicken - 2 weeks behind, finish filing my paperwork- about a month behind, but got alot done last night, and planting my bulbs for next spring. Planning my weekend shopping and look for any coupons. I am also starting on the letters from Santa that get sent to all the little people in my life, and our annual xmas letter. I need to find the paper and type it up. Since I have this perfection issue it takes a while with all the re-writes...Hope I can get this all completed by Sunday night!
11/3/05-spent 41.25 on gas for SUV
Total spent this month: $45.25
Saved money by: bringing my b-fast & lunch, drinking free water and hot cocoa, made baby food, hung clothes to dry, turned off heat for the last 2 days( house is staying around 73 since it gets warmed up from the day's sun. The house is new and extremely well insulated (My old house was 35 years old and lots of drafts!), trying to drive "better" to increase my Mile per gallon ( I got a lead foot!), and organizing/planning my purchases and errands to reduce my urge to buy!
on the $$$ front.
Nov. 1 - No spend day
Nov 2 - Spent $4 on books for the little man. This was at a rummage sale here at work, where the proceeds go to united way.
Things I have been doing to save money:
air drying all laundry, heat set at 70 degrees, making all meals and desserts at home, drinking free water at work, and limiting my driving since I have to drive the SUV for a while. I have spent some time hunting around on the internet for the best deals on supplies for the upcoming holiday parties, including my little mans 1st b-day party.
New month and what a way to start it! Today my Xmas and a CD account matured and I took that money ~$3000 and put it towards my CC debit. I love watching the numbers go down! Almost there, by March 2006 all CC debit should be gone! And close to paying off one car- maybe July 06. That will leave one car and the house. Can't wait!
Last night I spent the evening making baby food, muffins for our breakfast this week, and little jello and pudding cups for our lunch (I won't buy the prepackaged) Today I am making a double batch of beef stew, so one for dinner and the other for the freezer. I was planning on making an applie pie, but got some bad news and will be attending a wake this evening instead. (much rather be baking).
I saved money today by: bringing my b-fast and lunch, drinking free water, turned down a lunch shopping trip to Target (hard to do!), laundry will be hung to dry (evening load today!), and I hope to get the plants started (didn't get to it last night)
And can't recap since I lost track of our spending. Good news though- Only 2 credit cards left to be paid off. We are still on schedule! Our trip to vegas stayed within budget. And I have tried to keep any spending in check. Last week I attended training for work, it cost a lot in gas ~$70. This past weekend I purchased only the items I needed and paid with cash. 85% of my xmas shopping is completed and wrapped. The remainder has to wait until Thanksgiving- when names are pulled. So I feel pretty good going into Nov. I still need to update quicken with all the transactions since we returned from vacation...
Continue to pay with cash/Debit - I actually cut up all but one emergency credit card (huge step for me!)
Only shop one day a week for errands (looking to move to a week night so I can have my weekends free)
Keep better track of my spending - anything would be better than this past month.
Prepare and save for my little one's first birthday
Find new ways to save money
I saved money today by: bringing my breakfast & lunch, drinking free water, hung morning laundry, will be making dinner. Tonight I am also going to start 3-5 new plants from cuttings. I'm thinking of giving a plant and small gift card to family/ friends that have purchased new homes- (will only need to buy the discounted gift cards).
But all the bills are paid, we have money in savings and our budgeted money for our trip to Vegas. I was able to pay of BankOne/chase and all but one medical bill, but more are coming...(ended up in the Dr's office with back pain, and I'm off for an MRI and a nerve conduction test...) Put together a saving and debt reduction plan using only my paychecks. All $ coming from DH will be put towards any debt. So far so good.
To help curve my spending (which has been out of control this month), I have planned a weekly menu for the baby and a 5 week plan for us, with some overlap so I don't spend all of my time in the kitchen. I will continue with the errand day one day a week, and I am making more food from scratch.
After we return from Vegas, I will be looking forward to looking into more couponing, rebates, home cooking/baking and other money saving tasks. I plan on using Monday 24th as a day of organization to get me completly back on track.
I saved money today by bringing my own lunch & snacks, not using the clothes dryer this am, house heat is set at 68 (very low for me) and made coffee at home.
Its so depressing watching the money just fly out the door! I knew it was going to be an expensive month with 2 parties at our home, then a trip to Vegas, but its only the 7th of Oct and I have already spent $444.53. yesterday I stopped to get gas, $49.04, Petco for kitty litter and bird seed for the parrot -(mom picked up seed for the little bird) and used my 10% coupon- Still $24.58. The a stop at Jewel (not my usual shopping place- I remember why) - $107.27. The only place we have planned for this weekend is to go get our pumpkins and outdoor decorations, should spend no more than $15. I am putting off on going to the butcher as long as possible. Hopefully we can make it through the month, but I doubt it.
To save money I had free hot cocoa and made my own lunch.
Not feeling all that well, but trying to hang in there!
10/4- I stopped at the dollar store to pick up dog bones, juice and some items for the Halloween party and candy. Spent 30.74- $10 was for my mom- she will repay me by picking up bird seed.
10/5- the girls got together at a friends house for pizza, then walked to a wine store. I stocked up for the next 2 parties- this Friday and the Halloween party and spent 50.97.
Total for Oct is already 263.28- and I still need to stop and pick up some ingredients for the appetizers for Friday's party and need to stop for gas this afternoon before my son's Dr. appt. Antoher expensive day. Friday should be a no spend. Started planning for my errand day -so far its a trip to the butcher and pet store.
To save money- driving my little car, hung clothes to dry, turned in my change and put into ING account, cooking home made meals (except last night) and desserts, and continue to make the baby's food.
The weekend flew by! Sat had a birthday party to go to- gift purchased last month. withdrew $100 from ATM- $40 for me, $60 for DH. We stopped at target to pickup formula, diapers, cleaning supplies and the vaccumm/swiffer - Total $85.74. I normally use vingear and a mop, but I am so tired trying to keep up with the housework- so I thought maybe some off the shelf stuff may help. I was able to clean all the hardwood floors in 15 minutes vs the 45 min to sweep and hand clean them. worth the money!!! And got a $5 Gift cert.
Then Sunday I met my sister for our kids to get Halloween pictures. JC Penney was having a great sale- so I picked up some clothes/PJs for my little guy for now and xmas- spent more than I thought - $88. $35.00 on pictures- don't ask- still a little upset with this...
Monday I wrote out checks to all but one medical bill and bought stamps for $5.55.
Total spent for Oct so far...$174.57
What I've done to save money today - drove car, hung clothes to dry from morning load, free hot cocoa, was able to create 3 new plants from clippings, planned errands-which will take place on Tuesday since I didn't make it on Sat.
Wow, Another month flew by! Good news, I spent about $150 less this month than last! Driving my little car to works has helped keep the gas prices down, only spent $105. Had relaxed on my errand day a bit, which caused excessive spending. We'll see if I can fix that next month.
Goals for Oct.
Shop only on Saturdays - errand day
Pay off all medical bills
Pay off bank One (Chase)
Put any extra $$ toward the other CCs
Grocery shopping spending under $300.
Have fun in Vegas!!! Hopefully bring home more money than I left with (wishful thinking!)
I haven't spent a dime today and don't intend to. I drove the car to save on gas, I took the side roads into work this morning to save on tolls, and I plan on taking them home. (I haven't been counting the tolls since I have an IPAS and pay $40 everytime it gets low.) I brought lunch, had free hot chocolate instead of coffee, and planned dinner for tonight. After the little one goes down I plan on compling all of the bills - a whole lot of medical bills came in this week. I may have to move some $ around to get them paid off in Oct. also, DH and I are sitting down to talk about our goals and any future purchases and daily chores -I'm sneakign this one in - but I need to get him to help me- Its too much to do all the inside housework by myself after a long day at work, then playtime, dinner, etc, etc etc...We'll see how this goes over!
I just can't seem to help myself - today I left extremely early since traffic has been horrific (still got to work 10 minutes late?!?!?!) and didn't get to eat B-fast before I left. So after my first meeting off to the coffee shop I went - coffee, bagel and a water for a friend- $5.77. Last night I spent $13.87 at Michaels, and then $35.00 online shopping for bakeware/ cookie cutters/ candy molds for the holidays. Homemade gifts/favors for everyone this year...
I think instead of not only focusing on my spending, I would like to focus on what I didn't spend/ or how I saved money...
* Brought my lunch
* drove my little car instead of the big ole' SUV
Pretty sad list, but I hoping to get better over the next couple of days...
This weekend was an expensive one...DH went grocery shopping since I have been under the weather - now I remember why we don't let him shop. Even with a list he bought the store! Spent $200+- and we didn't really need much except fresh veggies, milk, bread and some other misc stuff...
I went to Michaels craft store to pick up some items to decorate the house for Halloween. spent $38.00. Then had to go to target for formula, dog food and diapers - spent $60.00 mostly with Gift Certs - only 8.16 out of pocket.
All of the above purchases were cash...This am stopped for gas - 33.48 -WOW- I have never spent this much to fill my little car! Also I broke down and bought coffee (2.77). I need to purchase my lunch (completly forgot to grab mine this am) and some stamps. I am also planning on stopping at Michaels again this afternoon to pick up some items for the Halloween party- using a 40% coupon. Maybe tomorrow will be a no spend day?
I have been cursed with horrible headaches for the last 2 days. Didn't make it to bowling on Monday - decided that this year I will not be going back - too difficult with the babysitter situation... I will be saving $20 a week- which is going into my ING savings!
Yesterday was a no spend day on the little things - landscaping was installed- paid in full with cash and I think it looks great! The birds seem to love it already! Today should also be a no spend day - the infamous poker table is arriving. my DH's friends are coming over and bringing dinner with them - bonus!
Which I was very thankful for... I stopped at Home Depot, my only errand, to pick up the soaker hoses and attachements for the new landscaping (being installed tomorrow), bird seed for the feeders ( so relaxing to watch) and some fall flowers for the front of the house - Totoal of $76.00 cash.
I got bowling tonight - since I didn't go last week I have to pay a little more...I think $45. Thats about it!
After a horrendous day at work, I get home (extremely late) to a smiling happy excited other half. After greeting him and my little guy, the big one proceeds to inform me that he has purchased a poker table for future game nights at the house. I take it in stride, thinking OK he purchased a table top to lay over our plain card table…Was I wrong. He has purchased a NINE HUNDRED DOLLAR table (didn’t think the 900 in numbers would have done it justice!). 1) he just learned how to play. 2) he sucks are the game. – I beat him BAD during a game last week when he wanted to show me what he learned. 3) he doesn’t like people over all the time, he needs his alone time…I’m sure theres more- I just can’t think straight…Pure frustration!!!
So my no spend day has been completely destroyed, in fact I think the rest of the years’ future no spend days have already been erased! I feel better now that I vented, I may even be able to sleep!
Thank you for the stars! Can someone explain them to me??? Sorry if this is a dumb question!
Last night I went to register with a friend for her baby shower. Its amazing all the NEW baby stuff out there, and mine is only 8 months old! Anyways I spent $5.40 on a toy for the little guy for being so good (and to keep him busy) during the whole excursion! I'm upset that I used cash instead of a gift cert that I've been toting along with me for months- oh well next time!
Tonight I am preparing for my Amercian Cancer training scheduled for tomorrow. I need to print up some materials- shouldn't take too long. Then I think I'll dive into a James Patterson novel I picked up last week - I got 2 for 7.98 (total)- they are hardcover and thought it was a reasonable price. I just finished The Lake House - all I can say is "interesting". This should keep me busy enough to keep this a no spend day. Tomorrow I will most likely have to stop for gas to fill up the family SUV- not looking forward to it...But this should be my only purchase.
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