My Mums love the London England Yardly Lavender Soap. You can't find it around here very often. (You should have seen the amount I brought back from London a few years ago!)
But the other day when I was at the Dollar Store, I found some bars of it. I picked up 2 ($1 each) for Mums. When I told her about it, she asked if I could get her 18 more! LOL I picked those up yeaterday and Mums is stock piled for years now.
Our Dollar Store has some great items. Brand name food, cosmetics and cleaning supplies, toys, books, kitchen supplies, etc. It's hard not to spend a lot when we go in there.
But everything is only $1!!
Archive for June, 2008
My Mums love the London England Yardly Lavender Soap. You can't find it around here very often. (You should have seen the amount I brought back from London a few years ago!)
I finally got to our local library and got myself a library card. I also took home 5 books. I got 3 Tightwad Gazettes (and am almost done with them all) and two others on personal finance. I figure if I can't do a lot with actual money right now, I can at least read about it and get some new ideas.
I stopped at the $1 store yesterday. I managed to pick up some good grocery deals:
louisiana seafood spices
garlic and pepper spice
buffalo hot sauce
habenero hot sauce
bags of rice
caribou coffee bars
and a bunch more stuff I can't remember. Spent $20 and I feel like I stocked the cabinets pretty well with spices and staples. I am working on following the Tightwad advice of stocking the pantry with staples and doing way more cooking from scratch. Slow going, but hopefully I will get the hang of it.
And I found a penny in the sidewalk. New total: $1.27
Anyone who read my post from yesterday (Low Key) knows I am working on this new positive attitude thing...
And today it is getting tested, already. I had to take another $280+ from my EF to get by. I hate doing this, but I guess it is what the EF is for. I's just so sad to see it going down so quickly...
Old EF Balance: $493.10
Transfer: - $283.10
New EF Balance: $210.00
I just keep telling myself that when I am working again I can build it back up.
In other news, I am having another low key day. Need to pick up a few things at the grocery store; going to try to keep it under $25. Before I go, though, I have some coupons to clip, so hopefully that will help.
I think I am going to visit the library today as well. I'll get a library card and sit in the AC reading all the trashy magazines I love but am no longer allowing myself to buy. If I find an article I MUST have, I'll just make a photocopy for my files. Cheaper than buying the whole thing.
Oh, my freelance job gave me another couple hours of work today. Slowly but surely, right? Slow and steady wins the race??
I am the tortoise!!
Today was a low key kind of day. We stayed in all day, and had a No Spender. Yay! We had a HUGE thunder and lightening storm tonight. It was beautiful.
Paid some bills today (July rent, July health insurance, phone bill, cell phone bill...). Earned no money. (Spent none, either, so I guess it works out).
Still waiting on word from the 2 jobs I interviewed for. I am going to call both places tomorrow, kind of like a follow-up to my follow-up.
In the meantime, I re-registered one a freelance website that I have gotten work from in the past and bid on one job today. Hopefully that will come through. (If anyone is interested (they have all kinds of work all over the country), let me know and I can send you a referral link.) I also applied for an Assistant Editor job I found today. And I ordered new business cards for my tarot readings. May not be much, or work out to anything at all, but at least I am trying.
And I got another short project this week from my old job. Will only be a few hours, but it is better than nothing.
(Can you tell I am trying this whole new positive attitude thing!?)
The profits from the yard sale are going into my House Fund (gotta start somewhere!). I had about $35 in cash in the CITB jar (yes, Cash in the Bag has now become Cash in the Jar) that I need to deposit at the bank and then transfer into my House Fund.
But, tonight we needed a few things from the store to make dinner, and I wasn't feeling up to going out. So the FAB boyfriend went for me, and instead of hitting the ATM (and paying $4 in fees), he just grabbed cash from the jar.
So, I am transfering the amount spent ($21) from the checking (grocery budget) into the House Fund. Will get the rest of it in there some time this week when I can get to the bank.
Old House Fund Balance: $75.01
Partial Yard Sale Profits: $21.00
New House Fund Balance: $96.01
I feel so overwhelmed right now. Just a lot to deal with in terms of my finances.
Waiting for a check to clear in my account so I can pay some bills (electric, cell phone, home phone, internet, rent).
I need to fill out paperwork and mail in the stuff to get a money order voided and the money refunded to me. Takes up to 40 days, which is stinky, but not much I can do about it.
Need to send a check out for June health insurance (having issues getting it started to it can go retro to the first of the month) and for July health insurance. That's over $800. Ugh.
Once that kicks in, I need to submit a form for reimbursement on the meds I had to pick up yesterday. $317. Put it on the CC (had no choice) so once that refund comes in, I can just out it on the CC.
And then just a whole bunch of little things, like an orientation at a career center today, photocopies of the money order and stuff, calling the insurance company and making them resubmit a bill from March that should have been covered but wasn't, etc. I also want to get some stuff on craigslist today, plus get to the bank to deposit the money from the yard sale.
Just a lot of little things adding up to one big overwhelming thing.
Our yard sale yesterday was fun. I drove up to sis' house and slept over Friday night, then we did the yard sale Sat morning. Friday night we had some wine, hung out, and watched Motley Crue on Larry King LIVE. YUMMY Nikki Sixx!
Made around $35 at the yard sale. More would have been nice, but I am not really disappointed. Most everything I sold was 50 cents or $1. Got rid of 5 purses and countless books. Everything that didn't sell went to the nearby Salvation Army, so that will be a small tax deduction come April. Doanted goods worked out to be about $150.
It feels good to get all that stuff cleared our of the house. The spare bedroom is almost donel sould be finished this week with a few more hours of work.
A few things I brought home that I know I can sell on craisglist or ebay (painting, a few rare collectible books, strawberry shortcake stuff). I'll try to get those up this week as well.
As for the cash from the yard sale, I am debating what to do with it. I could pay a bill, put it towards the house fund (staying at my sis' house Friday has the urge for my own house raging again), or use it for the new Motley Crue CD. I think it will go to savings for now, as I have enough to pay bills now, and hopefully when July bills come in I will be working already. If not I can (grudgingly) take it back out of savings. And I can download the new Motley Crue CD from ITunes with a gift card I am due to get soon from MyPoints. Will update House Fund when I get the money in there on Monday.
Also rolled some change last night. $5.50 so far, but I am 3 nickels shy of a $2 roll and 3 quarters shy of a $10 roll. I am going to this movies with my friend today (only $4) so the change I get back from that will hopefull be enough to push me over to have another $12 to add to the rolls.
Have a happy Sunday all!
Today I sent off my invoice for the freelance work I did this week and last week. It was for $750, which will help lot with bills when the check arrives. Problem is, the check will take about 45 days to get here! Ack! Maybe by then I will have a full time job and I can throw that whole check on the CCs. That would be awesome!
Still waiting to hear back from the 2 jobs I interviewed for. Grrr...
Yesterday we went to check out this New Age store that was recommended to us. It was FAB! Huge and beautiful and so tempting to drop a couple hundred bucks! But we didn't. I did, however, ask if they were looking to bring in any new tarot card readers. They told me they would pass the message on to the owners.
This morning I got a call from them. They want me to come in next Friday morning for an interview and to give a reading. If I get hired, I'll be a back-up reader, meaning if all the other regular readers are busy at the time the client wants a reading, they will call me. Could lead to a couple extra buck a month. And if one of their regular readers leaves, I could get a regular gig there. Yay!
Tomorrow is our yard sale. Hoping we have a big turn out. I have a ton of stuff, especially books. About 60 books. Wish me luck!
I seem to be finding mostly dimes on the sidewalks these days. Still a lot of pennies, but a lot of dimes. Maybe dimes are lucky for me now, or the #10. Or, I'm just reading too much into this and should be saying Whoo-hoo! Found money!
At any rate, I found 2 dimes on the sidewalk today (in two different places; 2 different cities, actually). New Pennies on the Sidewalk Total: $1.26
I've had 2 Kinda No Spenders this week. Monday and yesterday. I say kinda because while I did spent money, it was on necessary things. Monday was groceries and stamps, and Wednesday was my new contacts (instead of new glasses). I'm not going to count these as NSDs since I did spend, but the feeling of being more careful and not spending on wants is great. Now I just need to work on getting needs done all in one day so that I can have real NSDs.
In other news, when I went grocery shopping, I saved over $11 with coupons. Plus I saved over $30 with store sals. I think I am getting the hang of this.
I had a job interview on Tuesday. It went really well, I think. It lasted over 3 hours (!) and I met with 7 people (!!). It sounds like a great place and a good job. My only concern is the commute. It is about 40 miles each way, and with the rush-hour traffic, it will take over an hour (almost and hour and a half) each way. Ugh. I really liked the commute with public transportation, so I am not sure how I feel about the driving commute. Plus, with the price of gas...? They will have to offer me a decent salary to make up for it. I'm still waiting to hear from the place I interview with a couple of weeks ago.
I'm sure there is more I want to ramble about, but I've completely lost my train of thought. Maybe more later.
Someone I sent a referral to for ING opened an account so I got the $10 referral bonus. Yay! Into the EF.
Old EF Balance: $685.10
Referral Bonus: $10.00
New EF Balance: $493.10
Just got my new statement for my ATTCC. I don't have the full minimum payment right now, but it is not due until July 7th, and I can make multiple small payments online. Minimum payment this month is $114.80. I try and put at least $200 on it each month, but it will depend on how much income I have this month. For now, here's a start.
May ATTCC Balance: $4,160.21
June ATTCC Balance: $4,382.03
June Mini-Payment: -20.80
New balance: $4,361.23
Still to pay towards Minimum: $94
Have to get some groceries and pay a few bills, so I have to dip into the EF. This SUCKS!
I can't wait til I am working again!
I think when our lease is up next March, unless I am making beacoup money, we are moving someplace cheaper and I will start with my career there. This city living is great, but we just can't afford it unless I get a job that paid as much as the last one.
Old EF Balance: $685.10
Transfer to checking: -$202.00
New EF Balance: $483.10
And I found 2 pennies on the sidewalk. New total: $1.06
This weekend was fairly low key. On Saturday we went to an event held by the National MS Society for people newly diagnosed. It was a cookout at the zoo. It was OK. I didn't really get to meet anyone new, which I was hoping for. I'd like someone to talk to who is going through the same things as me. But we spent about 2 hours walking around the zoo and looking at the animals. I love the zoo. And the whole thing was free, which was a bonus.
We almost has a NSD but then Sat. evening I was craving ice cream, so we walked up to the local store to pick up a few things. Not really a need, but not toally frivolous either.
Then Sunday for Fathers Day I went to Mums and Dads for another cookout. Had a great time hanging with the faily. Mums cut my hair for me, so I saved about $20 plus tip. Came home and watched some tv, went to bed. No Spend Day!
Today I need to pick up a few things at the grocery store, go to the post office, the bank, little things like that. Should be a fairly low key spending day. I also need to do a bunch of work as my deadline is Wednesday. Happy Monday!
Old EF Balance: $683.10
Eat at Home: $1.00
New EF Balance: $685.10
I'm still kind of in shock. BF and I decided to go to BK for lunch today (I know, I know...) since he had a game prize for a free Whopper.
While we were waiting in line, a woman in front of us had 2 girls. Maybe 7 or 8. One was staring out the window, fascinated by the cars. At first I thought she was autistic. When her Mom went to take her to the table, she started crying and screaming, and hitting herself in the head. I felt so bad, I was in tears.
While her Mom was at the table with the 2 girls, I went over and asked if she wanted me to grab their order for them when it was ready. She said That would e great, thank you. I'm going to take them out to the car." (The girl was still screaming and crying). So while she put the girls in the car, I grabbed their order, cups, and the woman's sunglasses (he had left them on the table). I took them outside to her and asked if she wanted me to fill her cup with a drink (those self-serve ones). I went back in, filled it with soda and gave it to her.
She was so nice and grateful. We talked for a few minutes about her daughter (she has CP) and when I was leaving to go back inside, she said "Thank God for sending you to help me today. You're and angel. God bless you."
It was so nice and I felt so good and happy tingly.
Then, BF and I were sitting at a table eating, and all of a sudden this older gentleman appears. Maybe in his mid 60's or so. He says "I just wanted to tell you that was the niceest thing the way you helped that woman. If it was my daughter, I would have been so proud." Awww. So now I am feeling extra happy tingly and good.
Then he says "I'd like to buy you lunch." Of course we said "No, thank you, it isn't necessary." But he kept saying "Yes, please, let me." And before we can stop him, he drops a $50 bill on our tray and walks away!!
BF and I kind of stared at each other in amazement for a second. I turned around to see if I could stop him to return the money and tell him it wasn't necessary, and he was gone. Gotten in his car and driven away!
I still can't believe it!!!
And I know this will sound kooky to some people, but I totally believe in Karma and in the universe helping you get what you need most if you put that thought out there. Right now, with the job situation, what we need most is money.
And with the lady saying "God Bless You," I almost feel like it was something in the Universe working there. If I had been alone, I'm not sure I would have belived he was a real person and not some spitit or angel or something. We didn't see him anywhere in the (small) restaurant until he was right next to us, and then, Poof, he was gone just as quickly. I'm almost tempted to say it was some kind of devine intervention or something. I've always been a believer that the Universe will help you get what you need (I'm Wiccan), but I'm still kinda of flabergasted.
Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. Once or twice I've had someone tell me I did a kind thing helping someone else out, but WOW!
I'm going to add it as $20 Challenge money since it came from a (very) unexpected place. Not sure where to put it though; maybe in the house fund...
Old House Fund Balance: $25.01
Angel-man Gift: $50.00
New House Fund Balance: $75.01
Yesterday (Thursday) was a No Spender. It was hard, actually, to stay at home and not spend. The hardest part was when after dinner, we taked about taking a walk to the local ice cream stand and getting a cone. It would have been a nice walk, but we really wanted to have a NSD. We sayed in, popped popcorn, had a few beers, and watched a movie we had from Netflix instead. Yay us!
I've realized that when I do spend, it is never a small amount, like $1 or $2. I guess for now, keeping spending as low as possile is our mission.
Adding $5 to the Challenge today for the NSD yesterday. Figure that is about what we would have spent if we got ice cream. Of course, now we have to resist it again today.
Old EF Balance: $678.10
New EF Balance: $683.10
With the prices of groceries rapidly rising, and my unemployment stretching out farther adn farther, I am learning to stock up on non-perishables when they are on sale, so we don'thave to pay full price next time.
I went to the grocery store yesterday, and I only had a few things on my list(cheese, t.p., olive oil). But when I was there, I found some GREAT deals so I stocked up.
Here's what I got:
-2 51oz bottles of olive oil (reg. 17.99 ea, on sale 9.99 ea, saved $8 ea)
-5 boxes of pasta (reg. $1 ea, on sale .80 ea, saved .20 ea)
-4 containers of Crystal Lite iced tea mix (reg. 3.49 ea, on sale $2 ea, saved 1.49 ea)
-4 large jars of pasta sauce (reg. 2.50 ea, on sale .99 ea, saved 1.51 ea)
-1 package hot dogs (reg. 1.99, on sale 1.50, saved .49)
-1 package 12 rolls t.p. (reg 8.99, on sale 6.99, saved $2)
For a grand total savings of $31.49
What is great is that everything I got we would have bought anyways, so now I am stocked up so I don't have to pay full price next time. I would have bought a lot more, but we have very little cupboard space or space for things in our apartment.
I would love to add this $$ to the $20 Challenge, but really all it is is helping us make our grocery budget last a little longer.
I have to say though, I am VERY proud of myself.
Yesterday was the first day of really paying attention to what I am spending on and how much. I did OK, but still spent too much. ($24)
I killed some time before a meeting I had in the bookstore. I was only going to browse. But I should know better by now. In 30 years I've never been able to just browse in a bookstore. I bought one book, for $13. It is a personal finance book, so maybe it will help me.
I also got a drink at their cafe for $2. Just a bottle of water. The heat was killing me.
And in order to get to the meeting, I had to pay $5 to park my car, and then $4 for the subway. All in all, not too bad in terms of the total amount spent, but it would have been better if I hadn't spent the money on the book.
Maybe it will help me save more. I am going to try not to beat myself up for this too much, just learn from it and moved on. So...
lesson learned and today is another day.
FAB news: the place I was working at before my contract ended just called and asked me if I would be available for part-time work for about 6 weeks! YAY!! It will be more than the unemployment, and it will keep me from going stir crazy around the house!
It'll be about 20 hours a week, from home, maybe in the office once or twice a week, and I'll be getting paid $25 an hour. Whoo-hoo!
I'm going in tomorrow to meet with them and work out details, and get started.
Yesterday we went to Mums and Dads for the day. It was too hot and sticky out to do much, so we just hung out in the AC and watched TV. Did a bunch of laundry. Mums made my fave for dinner: homemade baked mac and cheese.
Our only spendings was a stop at DnD on the way to their house. Spent $10.98 for 2 bagel sammys and 2 large ice coffees. We had it at 11, so it was our breakfast and lunch. Not bad. Works out to about $2.75 each per meal.
In the DnD parking lot I found a dime and a penny. Another 11 cents to Pennies on the Sidewalk. New total: $1.04 I seem to find a lot of dimes and pennies with each other. Maybe 11 cents is luckt to me somehow? If I played the lottery, I'd play 11...
Today is another hot and sticky day. We talked about going to the Boston Aquarium (I've been dying to go there for years) to spend the day in the cool AC. But it's about $25 per person to get in!!! CRAZY!!! We might just have to wait on that one. See if I can find a way to get a discount admission first.
I think today will be a day of hanging in the AC, watching movies, reading. I need to get some stuff on craigslist/ebay and I want to get more work done on the spare bedroom. We rte doing it in purple. Well, the accents in purple. Since we rent, we can't pain the walls. But we hug a purple wall hanging, and purple curtain. The computer chair has a purple curtain and a purple quilt on it. The filing cabinet has a purple scarf draped over the top. There is a painting of a purple flower on the all, and an antique purple vase with fake purple and yellow flowers on the wall, and another purple vase with pinky-purpley flowers in it. I spray painted the curtain rods dark purple, and today I need to finish painting a shelf purple and hang it. Needless the say, The Boy is not overly enthused with it, but we made the deal we could have a purple room.
Oh, and we need to take The Boys laptop to Best Buy to try and fix it. It broke, again. With all the broken laptops on the blogs lately, I'm getting a little scared on mine!! Hopefully his can be fixed fairly cheap. He's had it less than 9 months, so it should still be under warranty. We'll see.
Thursday was a No Spender, and w ate all 3 meals at home. I am proud to say the same thing for yesterday (Saturday).
The Boy napped and was online for most of the day, and I watched some TV and did a bunch of cleaning in the spare bedroom. It's geting better; we can actually walk in there now.
Adding $4 to my $20 Challenge for the 2 NSD/Eat at home days.
Old EF Balance: $674.10
NSD x 2: $2
Eat In x 2: $2
New EF Balance: $678.10
I am stressing really bad over finances right now. Bills, no income, debt, living expenses. So, to help with the stress, I either go out to eat or buy stuff. Not exactly productive to the situation. I need to get a handle on things.
Put $10 on my ATTCC today. Already paid about $200 on it for the month, but the balance was $4,207. I wanted to get it under $4200 for a "fresh start". Also put another $25 on my LBCC. It is now under $1,000 and I wanted to make sure that it doesn't pop back above $1,000 with the interest charges.
The LBCC is for a clothing store. It's one of the two places where I buy clothes, so it is always in use. However, I have recently been cleaning out for a yard sale and finally unpacking the last of the boxes from the move. I can't believe I have so many clothes!! I actually have things I forgot I even had because I have so many. So, in addition to getting that LBCC paid off by the end of 2008, I have decided not to buy any more clothes for the rest of 2008. The ONLY exceptions this this are: I need a new pair of sneaks (mine are 4 years old and stinky!) and if I need a few buisness clothes for work. At my last job I wore jeans, but if I have to wear business casual at my next job, I may need a few pieces. I'm going to try not to use these exceptions this year, but if I do, then I do. Hopefully my sneaks will survive a wash in the machine, and the clothes I already have will do for work.
This is a big challenge for me. Even though I am very overweight, buying clothes always makes me feel better about myself and gives me more confidence. Time to get that confidence somewhere else.
Not much going on the last two days. Looking for a job, cleaning out for a yard sale, stalking Bruce Willis. LOL He is filming a movie in the town where my sis works, so I went up there for lunch yesterday and we went by the set. Didn't meet him...yet. He'll be filming here all summer. Mark my words, I will meet him.
On the financial front, not much. Waiting for my first unemployment check. Calling places to figure out why I have 3 blls for 3 different amounts from the same place. Stuff like that.
Some bits and pieces from my last few days:
Day before yesterday was a No Spender. Yay us!
Found 11 cents when I was cleaning. Went to CITB. Whoo-hoo!
Had to pay $2.50 in tolls each way to my sis' yestday. $5. That stunk.
Had a major breakdown in spending yesterday. Went to the bookstore. Saw about 6 new books from some of my fave authors (and countless new authors). Bought 6 books. Ugh.
Found 2 pennies on my walk the day before yesterday. New Pennies on the Sidewalk total: 93 cents.
Requested new forms to apply for deferment on my student loans (again). Since I am unemployed, I am taking advantage of that. Of course, this means I'll be paying the damn things off until I am 100.
Speaking of which, made a payment to my mini-student loans. $120
Also going to apply to have assistance paying for my COBRA payments through the unemployment office. The $400+ a month takes up almost 2 whole unemployment checks. Crazy!
And that is about it. Nothing too exciting planned for today. Picking up another pair of trial contacts. Picking up a few groceries. Watching a netflix movie I got yesterday. Happy Friday!
Since I was laid off from my job, I qualify for unemployment. That is the good news. The bad news is that I am getting a ridiculously low payment each week.
Last October when I was fired, I opened a claim and filed for Unemployment. It was denied. Now, since I am applying for Unemployment within 12 months of the last time I did, I had to reopen the same claim instead of opening a new one. What sucks about this is that they base my weekly unemployment check on the amount I was making when I first opened the claim. I was making about $20,000 LESS at that job than at the one I was just laid off from.
I was laid off from a job that paid in the high 40's, and am getting less that $300 a week. It won't even cover rent, let anlone anything else.
How unfair is that???
Made my monthly payment on my LBCC today. I want to work at getting this paid off within the next six months.
May LBCC Balance: $1,079.93
June LBCC Balance: $1,099.79
June Payment: -110.00
New balance: $989.79
Minimum payment was only $55, so I decided to double that to help pay it down quicker. I want to add another $50 towards the balance as well this month to make sure whatever finance charges are incurred don't pop me back over $1,000.
In August of 2006, I owed $1,300 on this card. By not paying more than the minimum, and continuously charging on it, I have managed to only completely pay off $300. If I had paid more than the minimum and stopped using it, it would have been paid off a year ago. I get sick thinking of how much interest I paid them and how much money I have thrown away. *sigh*
At least it encourages me to keep paying it and not use it.
Well, I had my job interview today. I think it went pretty well. It's for a Production Editor at a publishing house here in Boston. Seems like there is a lot of work involved, but everyone was really nice, and I like being really bust. Makes the day go by so much quicker.
They told me they will get back to me in 2-3 weeks, and let me know if they want me to come in for a second interview or not. Let's hope they want to see me again!
Until then, back to the job hunt...
'Nother penny. Up to 92 cents.
Found 4 pennies today on my walk to 7-11. New total for Pennies on the Sidewalk: 91 cents
Since I have to go to the bank today to deposit that $28 from Mums and Dads, I figured I would see what was in CITB and take it with me. Lo and behold: $20! We had a full roll of quarters and $10 in $1 bills. Sweet!
Adding it to the challenge!
Old EF Balance: $654.10
New EF Balance: $674.10
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