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Archive for August, 2006

Sloooooow to pay off The Lamp

August 31st, 2006 at 10:28 am

I've been having trouble finding money to go towards The Lamp. I feel like all the spare bucks I have should go into the EF or svings for CC's, and not The Lamp Fund. I feel like The Lamp Fund should only be small amounts, like change from shopping, or rebate checks. So, it's been slow going.

However, today I found $1 in the bottom of my purse (yay!) and a penny in the parking lot. So..... $1.01 into The Lamp Fund!

Lamp Fund Total: $17.42
Lamp $$ To Replace: $29.83

Reimbursement Check

August 31st, 2006 at 10:25 am

As I mentioned in another post, I often have to travel to our main office in Boston for work. We do get paid milage, which is awesome. I just submitted my expense report for milage for August.....

over $400!

Now, I know I "already" spent that money as I was putting gas in my car, but I take that out of my designated "gas budget." I think, since the check is so much this month, that I will deposit some of it into my ING EF. Things are slowing down and while I'll be traveling a bit in September, it won't be nearly as much as in August so I won't need as much in my gas budget. And that extra money will be really nice in my EF.

Check will (hopefully) come with payday next Friday. Smile

A Few Random Groceries...

August 29th, 2006 at 05:57 pm

Stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work tonight. Just needed a few random things.

Mayo = $3.29 (ouch!)
Reduced Fat Wheat Thins = $3.29 (ouch again, but on WW these are the only crackers I eat)
Carb Friendly Turkey Hill Ice Cream = $5.49 - $3.61 RS = $1.88
Laughing Cow Cheese = $3.19 ea - $1.19 eac RS = $2.00 ea X 2 = $4.00
Sargento LF Mozzerella = $2.99 - $.99 RS = $2.00
Mouth Wash = $1.19
TP = $3.50

tax = $.23

SUB-TOTAL = $26.36
RS = $6.98
REAL TOTAL = $19.38
26% Savings

Grocery Spendings to Date = $68.42
Grocery Savings to Date = $29.58

Stupid Tires...Stupid Nails

August 29th, 2006 at 11:48 am

I have odd problems with my car. Actually, with anything mechanical or electrical. I'm convinved my energy or aura somehow mess things up. Anywho, yesterday I got a nail in my tire. In the sidewall. Where it couldn't be patched. Had to get a new tire.



Savings Updates

August 28th, 2006 at 02:34 pm

Sold more books for the $20 challenge...yay! Smile Another $37.53!!

Added more money to the Lamp Fund! Woo-hoo! Smile (Still can't get the pix to work Frown )

ING Account (aka $20 Challenge) Old Total: $24.98
New Total: $62.01

Lamp Fund Total: $16.41
Lamp $$ To Replace: $30.84

Savings: $202.25

Debt Tally Update

August 27th, 2006 at 03:15 pm

I was going to go on a cruise in December with my family. I've decided not to go. There are a lot of reasons, but the two big ones are this:

1. It was supposed to be the 6 of us (Mums, Dad, Sis, BIL, me and my Boy) haing out Christmas together. But it has turned into couples being by themselves.

2. I broke up with The Boy, so I'd be alone. The 5th wheel. No thanks, not again.

As a result, this cuts down my debt owed a bit. I think I may go to the Grand Canyon myself that week, or something. I love the idea of traveling alone. Or maybe I'll go to Vegas and play the slots! Either way, I no longer owe Dad any money.

Updated Debt Tally:

$56.90 to Sis
$6,204.08 to Mom
$5,975.12 to credit cards
$1,348.10 LB CC

Total: $13,584.20

Making money from Archery

August 27th, 2006 at 02:59 pm


I just found out I got my 1st freelance writing job! KICK-ASS!!!

I'm writing an e-book about archery. I've done archery for years. Not something I ever thought I'd write about, really. I always consider myself an expert on Wicca, pagan religions, and Witchcraft, but I never stopped to think I'm an expert on anything else.

I'm getting details tonight (I hope). I can't wait to start. It'll be time-consuming, but I know I can do this well. And the paycheck will be fab!

Yay me! Smile

Can we talk about freebies for a sec?

August 27th, 2006 at 02:53 pm

I love freebies. And this weekend I had the best kind of freebies...gifts from loved ones!

Nope, not my b-day or anything special. Just cuz they love me.

Mums and Dad paid for me to go to the pow-wow, bought me lunch, and dinner. Then, on my way home last niht, they packed me up with zuccini and summer squash from the garden, a pack of disposale travel cups for me to bring coffee to work in, and a 6-pack of beer.

They also told me they'd pay me to come up and do some yardowrk for them (cleaning out the garden, trimming hedges, weeding, etc). Yay!

I love them!

Then, today, I went to lunch with my best friend A, and she gave me two mixed CD's she had made me! One is called "You Need a F*cking A$$-Kicking" and one is "Pimm's, Baby, Pimm's." The first is r my rage about the X, the second to cheer me up.

I love her!

How the Forecast Went

August 27th, 2006 at 02:48 pm

Well, I think the forecasting idea went pretty well. I ended up spending $10 on a shell/rattle at the pow-wow, and that was it. Skipped the coffee, and the my friend had to cancel on drinks. There was a fee for the pow-wow, but Mums and Dad covered that for me (they're so nice!)

So today (Sunday), I had $10. I picked up the Sunday paper ($2...when did they raise the price from $1.50??) and spent the monring on my couch with my kitties clipping coupns. Well, I was clipping coupons. They were rolling around on top of them. The later afternoon, I went to lunch with the friend from last night, and spend the rest of my money.

And then I slipped.

I actually broke up with The Boy last night, and I needed a little pick me up today. So after lunch I went to the bookstore. Now, you need to know, I am addicted to books! I read about 10 a month. I LUVRE books! Before I really cut down my spending, it was not unusual for me to spend about $100 a WEEK on books (both new and used). So I gave myself permission to buy 1 new book...no hardcovers, no more than $10.

Well, I did excellent. I found a new book, and with my Barne & Noble membership card (I've saved so much with that sucker!) it cost $3. YAY! That is FAB for me!

So, to try and use the Forecast Method again:

Monday, spend $10 on lunch (working in our warehouse all day; we always go out to lunch and it's really not possible to bring lunch b/c we have no fridge there).
Spend $?? shipping out my e-bay and 1/2.com sales. I have 3 books and a Strawberry Shortcake doll to mail out, so I'm no sure how much it will be. I'm giving it up to $10.

And that's it! No spend day on Tuesday. (I hope!)

Forcasting today's spending

August 26th, 2006 at 07:30 am

I'm going to try somthing new. I'm going to write down what I am planning on spending today, and see if I can stick to it. I have $40 right now - $20 for gas in the car, and $20 for "fun" for the rest of the weekend (it's Sat morning).

$20 gas in car
Native American pow-wow w/Mums and Dad - Free
$2.00 med coffee
$5 food/souvenier at the pow-wow
Eat dinner at home - Free
Watch DVD I borrowed from friend - Free
Drinks with friend at bar - $6.00

Today's total: $33
Remaining for Sunday: $7

Education vs. Economic Standing

August 25th, 2006 at 11:59 am

Found this interesting....
This in for the US, year 2006

Education vs. Economic Standing

Over age 25 with some college or BA/BS degree
M 42.3% F 42.4%
Holding jobs classified as managerial or professional
M 28.5% F 32%
Earning $50,000 or more per year
M 31.5% F 13.5%


August 25th, 2006 at 11:54 am


I am enrolled in a credit solutions program where they settle my credit card debt with the compnay for up to half of what I owe. Then I pay that settlement amount, and BAM! Bad credit wiped away, replaced with neutral credit ratings. Well, I just talked to the credit solutions company and my big CC ($6,000) has agreed to settle for $2,800!! YES!!!!!!

So, Mums is loaning me the money (Goddess Bless that woman!!) to pay that $2,800 over the course of 4 months. I just managed to save $3,200 on credit card payments!!

I love Mums so much!

And I love this credit solutions place!

$6,679.20 to credit cards
- August payment $704.08

$5,500 to Mom
+ $704.08

$56.90 to Sis
$400 to Dad
$6,204.08 to Mom
$5,975.12 to credit cards
$1348.10 LB CC

Total: $13,984.20

Spendings, Friday

August 25th, 2006 at 09:55 am

$2.00 on a set of Elvis stamps as a gift for my sis
$1.50 ATM fee (I know, I know...)
$10.00 lunch w/co-worker
$.75 candy bar

Total: $14.25

Debt Tally Update

August 25th, 2006 at 09:09 am

Debt Tally Update:

$50 to sister
+$56.90 (concert ticket)
-$15.00 Elvis book
-$35.00 payment
$56.90 total

$56.90 to Sis
$400 to Dad
$5,500 to Mom
$6,679.20 to credit cards
$1348.10 LB CC

Total: $13,984.20

Financial Goals

August 24th, 2006 at 10:52 am

Loved GTBDF's list of goals, so I'm totoally stealing the idea. (Thanks GTBDF!) Smile

Financial Goal #1:
At the rate I am saving with my CC debt plan, all my CC debt will be paid off by July 2009. This is the fdate that has been leaglly agreed on with my credit counseling service. Well, I want to cut that down to July 2008.

Right now I pay $202 into that account a month. I want to increase that to $303 a month (an extra $101 a month). This will keep me on plan so the debt will be paid off 1 year early.

On average I need an additional deposit of $101 into my account every month, or, $1,212 a year, or, $2,424 within the next two years.

Financial Goal #2:
I want to pay back Dad ($400) by December 1st. The money I owe him is for a cruise we are all taking mid-December and I want it paid off before then.

Financial Goal #3:
I want to pay back my Sis by December 1st as well. Of course, I need to stop buying concert tickets with her first. Smile

Financial Goal #4:
$1,000 saved for 2 extras ---->
$500 spending money for the cruise by December 9th.
$500 towards my back tattoo by March, 2007

More to come, I'm sure. Smile

Saved Up

August 24th, 2006 at 08:37 am

Just a place where I can keep track of #'s besides my head where they tend to get messed up.

As of 8/25/06

ING EF: $5

CC Savings: $72.61
+ 8/24 transfer $21.20
+ 8/25 deposit $111.43
Total = $202.25

Frugal Gas Tips

August 24th, 2006 at 07:26 am

I often have to drive to different events for work, or to our main office in Boston. My work does pay milage (YAY!) but I still sometimes run into the problem of not having money to put gas into my car to get to that event, becasue the milage is reimbursed to us at a later date. As a result, gas in my car is a big expense for me.

I've got three Frugal Gas Tips for my fellow bloggers. If I get more, I'll add them. Meanwhile, please add your own in the comments! =)

Frugal Gas Tip #1
A good rule to follow of windows -vs- a/c is this: If you are going 40 mph or under, use the windows; it uses up less gas. However, if you are going above 40 mph, use the a/c; traveling at a fast speed with the windows open creates more resistance to the car, and it takes more gas to go that speed than using the a/c would.

Frugal Gas Tip #2
When you pump gas and your tank is full, before removing the pump, tip it upside down to get the last few drops. Over the course of a year, you'll have "found" an extra 1/2 cup of gas. And, you already paid for it!

Frugal Gas Tip #3
Many times people fill their tank, then "top off" to round the money up to the nearest dollar, half dollar or whatever. But when you do this, the gas you are "topping off" with actually gets sucked back into the pump. So, even though you end up rounding up the dollar amount, you aren't actually getting anymore gas. It's like paying for air.

Groceries, Wednesday

August 23rd, 2006 at 10:38 am

Just picked up come groceries on my lunch break. Our S&S is having a sale: 2 liter bottles of Pepsi products for $1.00, 10 for $10.00 And I have a rebate at home for $10.00 off a $10.00 purchase of Pepsi products! =) So I wanted to run out and grab those, plus pick up something for my lunch (I ran out of the house without it today).

**Spicy Combo Sushi (lunch) $4.49
**Cantaloupe Chunks (lunch) $2.55
**Perdue chicken breast $5.94
**Perdue chicken breast $5.14
BOGO Free RS -$5.14
**10 bottles Diet Pepsi ($1.59)= $15.90
RS - ($.59 ea) - $5.90 = $10.00 (plus $10 rebate offer at home) = FREE!
** $.50 bottle deposit ($.05 ea) -
Redeemable when I turn in bottles = $0.00

SUB-TOTAL = $34.52
RS = $11.04
REAL TOTAL = $23.48

Grocery Spendings to Date = $49.04*
Grocery Savings to Date = $22.60*

*Does not include rebate or bottle deposit savings

And then there's the Lane Bryant Bill

August 23rd, 2006 at 09:39 am

I swear, my mind subconsciounsly (I can never spell that fricken word!) forgets about bills until I recieve a statement. I have a Lane Bryant CC. *sigh*

Debt Tally:

$50 to sister
$400 to Dad
$5,500 to Mom
$6,679.20 to credit cards
$1348.10 LB CC

Total: $13,977.30

I feel sick.

ING Account

August 23rd, 2006 at 09:22 am

Just opened an ING account. I'm going to use it as my EF account. Right now there is $5.00 in it. It's a start! =)

My $20 challenge money goes into my savings (which is actually for my CC debt). The Lamp Fund also goes into my savings (I have to replace that money I spent on it). Book $ goes into one of those two accounts (really, the same account). I'll have to brainstorm to see what can go into the EF.

Any ideas?

EF Total: $5.00

Tuesday - No Spend Day!

August 23rd, 2006 at 08:46 am

Yesterday was a fabulous no spend day for me! Whoo-hoo! I ate breakfast at home, brought my lunch to work, and ate dinner at home.

After work I did stop at the Christmas Tree Shop, though. I had recently gotten a new shower curtain, and I wanted to find some non-themed bathroom accessories to go with it (right now my bathroom is Strawberry Shortcake themed. I'm 28, why you ask?) =)

I hadn't found any at the dollar store (all were specific colors or with themes) so I popped into the X-mas Tree Store. I found the cutest soap dispenser for $1.00 It's a big flower with a little butterfly on a spring on the top. And I found a wicked cute old fashioned glass perfume bottle with a mouth wide enough for the toothbrush for only $1.00

Ok, and I saw two candles tin with old fashioned Halloween pictures on them (Yes! Halloween!!). $1.99 each. So, what did I do?

I got them all.

With a store credit I had! Whoo-hoo!

I had returned some curtains there a few weeks ago and still had store credit left over. So I got cute Halloween decorations and new bathroom accessories for free!

And still had a no spend day! =)

Doing the happy money dance!

August 22nd, 2006 at 12:50 pm

Whoo-hoo! Shake it baby! Ye-haw!!! Doing the happy money dance!!! Uhn! Uhn! I rock! Whooooooooo!

Errr, sorry. =)

So I checked into that extra $66 in my account. Turns out I was wrong. It's an extra $150!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did that happen??? I had sent a check to one of my CC's and when I got this past paycheck, that check still hadn't cleared. So I earmarked $150 of my pay to go towards this check. Turns out it DID clear, they just did it electronically so when I went to look it up, it wasn't there.

So, that $150 I earmarked is like found money!

Of course, I am not spending it, no matter how badly I want to. I am going to wait til I get paid Friday, then transfer that into my savings account. Whoo-hoo!

Do the happy $$ dance!!!

To Do 8/20 - 8/27

August 22nd, 2006 at 09:46 am

Ok, so here is what I need to do this week (before Sunday night) to earn some more money:

1. Mail out book sold on 1/2.com
2. Finish cleaning out car
3. Sort through purses for e-bay
4. Health Insurance 3 months at a time

5. Online account at bank
6. FSA reimbursement forms
7. Cancel FSA???
8. Check on LB bill
9. $66?????

Tuesday's Headache

August 22nd, 2006 at 09:41 am

Not much new in the $$ world here. Got $15 until payday Friday, and I have no doubt I'll make it. I don't need anything quite yet, so I should be able to get by for another few days. Picked up a ton of groceries this weekend, I'll have to update that later, though.

What else.....oh, I have a surplus of $66 in my checking account and I have no idea where it is from. So, I need to go to the bank and figure it out so I know if it is money earmarked for something, money already technically spent, or extra money cuz I suck at math.

Can't think of much else at the moment. Have a really bad headache (going on day 5 now) and all I want to do is go home and sleep. I may have to take a half of a sickie. =(

Lamp Fund Update

August 22nd, 2006 at 09:34 am

Having trouble getting pics of the Lamp up. I'll try again tonight. Until then, got another $2.44 to add to the fund (THANKS MOM!). Plus $1.22 I found in my purse in change. Whoo-hoo!

Lamp Fund Total: $14.41
Lamp $ to Replace: $32.84

No Spend Day

August 22nd, 2006 at 09:32 am

Sunday I had my 1st No Spend Day. Whoo-hoo! It felt great! Add yesterday was almost a No Spender...I actually got a coffee yesterday, but other than that, no spending!

I think I like this!

Student Loans

August 18th, 2006 at 12:07 pm

Yup, I have them. Of course I do. Just about everybody does now. I haven't had to pay them in a loooong time (like 4 years) because they were deferred when I was in grad school (3 years) and then again when I was on unemployment. But they will be starting up again soon (I think September, maybe not til October if I am lucky). So, how much do I owe?


Yup, $65,000 in student loans. It's both undergrad and grad school combined, so it's not too bad (at least, in my head it's not too bad if I look at it that way).

What's bad is I have 2 degrees in writing (a BFA in Creative Writing and a MA in Professional Writing) and my job has nothing to do with writing.

Oh well, at least it pays the bills for now.

So, how much in student loans do you have?

What my monthly budget looks like...

August 18th, 2006 at 12:03 pm

Here it is. Now, let's see if I can stick to it!

Total to work with: $1580.00
Rent: N/A
Car payment: N/A
Student Loans: $100
Gas for Car: $150
Gas for Home: $75 (this will go up in winter but the electricity will go down).
Electricity: $100
Cable: $40
Home Phone: $30
Cell Phone: $45
Internet: $10
Groceries: $200
Payment to Dad: $100
Payment to Sis: $50 (when what I owe her is paid off, it will go to Dad, then after Dad is paid off, it will all go to Mom).
Payment to Mom: $200
Weight Watchers: $52
Store CC: $100
Other CC: $200 (no interest!)
Extras: $128

It is my 1st attempt at a real budget, so I will see what needs to be tweaked as I get going. I am hoping $200 is too much money for groceries, but since I buy a lot of fresh and specialty stuff for WW, it can get expensive. I think I aimed high on what my student loan payments will be, so I'll have to wait and see on that. The big tricks will really be groceries, gas in the car(!), gas for the house, and electricity. Let's hope it's a mild winter! Any money from book sales, spare change, yard sales, refund, etc. will go right into my savings account.

Ugh. Forgot about $3,500!

August 18th, 2006 at 10:38 am

So, when I was doing my debt tally and such, I totally forgot about that one outstanding CC bill. Mom got a new CC with 0% interest on it and a wicked high balance. So she paid off my very high interest cc for me on it and I have to pay her back. Which means I owe her so much more than I though. Here's my new debt tally:

Tally Update (What I Owe to Who)

$50 to sister
$400 to Dad
$5,500 to Mom
$6,679.20 to credit cards

Total: $12,629.20


August 18th, 2006 at 10:34 am

So I finally sat down and figured out my monthly budget. I used the examples in THE COMPLETE IDIOT's GUIDE TO A PERSONAL BUDGET. I think that is the name of it. I'll check tonight.

So, I worked it out so I am making a payment to everybody I owe, putting money in my svings, and still have about $120 a month for extras. Extras include: any meals out, entertainment, books, magazines, buying clothes, make-up, other non-necessities, etc. I'm going to test run it for a bit to see how I do. I think the problem will come in with things like my FSA. For example, I have $120 for extras. And $50 a month in my FSA. Well, say I spend $25 on something that can then be reimbursed through my FSA. I still have to initially pay for it out of that $120 and then submit to reciepts and wait for the check to come to me from the FSA. So even though I have $120 for extras, until that check comes, I only have $95. *sigh* In my head, that is going to get so confusing.

I think that is why I always give up on budgets and tracking my money. The money coming in (paychecks, reimbursement checks, DD from book sales, etc) and the money going out never work in sync with each other. Then I get frusterated and confused and give up on it way too soon.

So, to avoid that, I am thinking of doing a few things:

1. Cancel my FSA. I know it saves me money in the long run, but it confuses me so much, and really, for me, simplicity is best with money. Plus, I am putting more money in there every month than I am getting reimbursed, so the account is growing, and I can't get that money back without a reciept for something.

2. Set up a seperate account for just my half.com DD's. But I go through spurts of getting a lot and then nothing, and it seems like an awfully lot of trouble to have a seperate account for that when I will then just transfer it into my regular savings/checking account.

3. Somehow budget money from that $120 into a seperate line item of extras: like aspirn, meds, dr. visits, etc. Then, when the FSA reimburses it, add it to...where? savings? checking? Fun pocket money? Right now it comes out of my checking and gets DD back into it.

Help? Anyone?

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