About 2 months ago I bought a book on Half.com, but I never received it. The seller just refunded my money. Since it is not money I was missing before, I won't miss it now. I'm transferring it to my $20 Challenge.
Old Personal Savings: $82.66
Half.com refund: $9.08
New Personal Savings: $91.74
Archive for December, 2008
About 2 months ago I bought a book on Half.com, but I never received it. The seller just refunded my money. Since it is not money I was missing before, I won't miss it now. I'm transferring it to my $20 Challenge.
Hope everyone had a Happy Holiday! Mine was wonderful...had a great time with the family, and there were miraculously no fights! Got some very nice presents, and ate a lot of very good food!
Financially, not much is going on. I haven't worked in about a week or so. Will be working tomorrow again, so I am looking forward to that.
Went to the bookstore today. Mums and Dads gave each of us a $50 gift card there! So hard to pick out just $50 with of books for me! I picked up 3 and still have about $10 left for another day.
I also received a $25 gift card to DnD and a $25 gift card to Michaels for craft supplies. Yay!
I just got a call from the tarot store. They offered me an additional 2 permanent shifts there! I accepted, of course. I will now be working there 3 nights a week: Sat, Sun and Wed, from 6-10. YAY!! Gives me 12 hours now.
I'm actually surprised I got offered the coveted Saturday night shift. Saturdays are the best days for readers, with it being the day the store is busiest. The only way my boss would have offered the Sat shift to me is if clients have been overheard complimenting me or specifically booking readings with me.
I'm getting popular!
Waiting in that massive snow storm to hit today. Yay! Snowed in for the weekend!
Headed next door to Walgreens to pick up some things: lunch meat, cheese, Advil, allergy meds. Came to $26 (!!) AND I used 2 coupons and got $4 off. Yes, the $26 was after the coupons.
BF has been craving bagels, so I stopped at DnD and picked up half a dozen. $5 and I know I could have gotten them much cheaper somewhere else, but with the storm coming I just wanted to get home ASAP and I really didn't want to deal with panicked New Englanders buying bread and milk. Yup, for some reason, when a storm hits, we buy bread and milk. I have no idea why. And no, I didn't buy any bread or milk (well, I got bagels) because we already have plenty in the house.
I found a nickel and 2 pennies while I was out, too. New Pennies on the Sidewalk Total: $2.17
Worked last night at the Tarot store. Was there for 4 hours, and had 3 readings. Came home with $54. Yay!
Also had a friend there give me a reading re: my SSDI and it looks good!
Last night I got a phone call from the local social security administration office. The woman who called has some questions for me re: my application. After talking about work history, she gave me some possibly great news.
Before I can receive disability, I have to be not working due to my illness for 5 months. I thought they meant no work at all, but it is actually not being gainfully employed. Basically, not earning a specific amount. This means I can keep my tarot job, since I don't earn a lot there and actually am only guaranteed 4 hours a week.
But the better news is this: I started working from home om my freelance job in June. The woman said that the amount of work I did and money I earned wasn't enough to interfere with my SSDI. In other words, I may have already had my 5 months of not being gainfully employed.
She said as soon as she gets a from from me I need to sign, she will present it to the medical team for a decision. I cold get approved and start getting checks by the end of January, rather than June!
This is great news, and takes such a stress off my shoulders. I've been thinking I may have to just suck it up and find work, despite the fact that I can barely walk around my apartment without pain and my cane. I mean, right now I can't even stand long enough to do dishes, let alone work an 8 hour shift.
What I have learned from this site and the friends I have made has inspired me to start a weight-loss/health blog. Don't know if it will be of my weigh-loss success or failures, but I'm blogging about it anyways.
It's called Healthy By 35 and can be found at:
I really do. I got a bunch of things done that I needed to do in order to get financial things rolling better.
Filled out the Food Stamps App. Just need a copy of my 1099 and a copy of my license. Then it is off the the mail.
Also spoke to the woman helping me with the SSDI claim. I have a form my neuro needs to fill out at my next appointment, which is Thursday, and she is sending me another form that I can send to MassHealth. That form will complete my application for health insurance.
I also filled out the 2 forms I needed to defer my student loans for 6 months due to not working. Plopping them in the mail today.
And finally, not finance related, but wrote out my holiday cards last night and mailing them today.
Just got a payment from Pinecone in Paypal. I also had a small balance in there left over from Ebay sales last month. Transferring it all to my $20 Challenge.
Old Personal Savings: $77.64
Paypal balance: $2.02
New Personal Savings: $82.66
I'm starting to think that we eat too much. In reality, I know it is just that we go through staples rather quickly: bread, cheese, lunch meat, salad. So, today it was another stop for some groceries.
Picked up rolls for our hamburgers tonight, 2 sodas, tortilla chips for me to snack on (sugar free and made with corn intead of flour!), chips for the BF, and 2 loaf of bread.
OK, maybe it wasn't all on staples. Anyways, dropped $16. Was so expensive because we went to the neighborhood place around the corner instead of the big grocery store. Should have known better...
I hate waiting on money. It makes me so tense because I need it, and I know it is coming, but I don't have it yet.
I'm waiting on 2 checks, and a book in the mail:
$10 check from a survey
$500 freelance check
Book on palm reading so I can add something else to my "talents" to go with the tarot cards
Requested the survey check the beginning of November, and I know it can take up to 2 months so I guess I have to wait. As for the freelance check, well, that is due any day now as I expected it last week. And the book was mailed on December 3rd, so it really should be here by now.
Tonight we had our holiday party for work. It was actually a lot of fun. We had a room to ourselves and a private buffet at a really good chinese restaurant.
BF and I didn't participate in the Yankee Swap, but there were other people who didn't either, so I don't feel bad. Overall we spent $14 on drinks and tips. Not a bad deal at all. And it was lots of fun.
Well, I managed to get a few things done from my massive list. Tomorrow I need to tackle some more.
Oh, went to the movies with sister on Saturday. Ticket was $7, and didn't spend any other money. Movie was OK.
Tomorrow night is the holiday party for the tarot store. It's at a chinese restaurant. BF and I are both going. I think it will be fun, but I am hoping it is not expensive. Since this is the first one we've been to, I don't know if we have to buy our own dinners or what.
They are doing a Yankee Swap, but BF and I have elected not to participate. They asked for each person who wanted to do it to bring in a $20 gift. WHAT?!?! Every other Tankee Swap I've done had like a $5 or $10 limit. But $20 a gift, and there being 3 of us, well, we don't have $40 extra bucks for some gift swapping. So, we are not going to be a part of it, but I also know of at least one other person who will be at the party but isn't going to be involved.
And speaking of the holidays, last night I finished shopping for sister. That means only Mums is left, and I need to make L's gift. So cliose to being done! Of course, then comes all the wrapping...
Anywho, today I am meeting my sister for a matinee movie and lunch. Looking forward to it, but I will have to be careful to order something not only inexpensive from the menu, but also healthy and sugar and flour free. Happy Saturday everyone!
Went to the grocery store today and cashed in a large trashbag of bottles and 1 and a half large trashbags of cans. Got $4.45 for them all. And then I found a nickle there, so my total "income" today was $4.50. Threw the $.50 into Cash in the Bag, and am adding the $4 to my $20 Challenge.
Old Personal Savings: $73.64
Cans and Bottles: $4
New Personal Savings: $77.64
New Pennies on the Sidewalk Total: $2.10
So glad it is Friday. Been a tough week and I am glad it is over!
I'm trying to get motivated to get some stuff done. I have too much to do and too little energy!
I need to bring BF to get his Mass ID. His old one expired, so he needs a new one. Then, once he gets that, he can apply for MassHealth.
I need to send out the food stamps application, call the company working on SSDI for me, and fax them some paperwork.
There's a trip to the bank I need to take, and 2 CCs to pay. I also have to sort the mail from the past few days to see what other bills I have/when they are do.
I have to fill out forms for my 2 big student loans deferrment, and pay the mini-student loan for this month.
My car insurance needs to be renewed.
I have laundry to put away, dishes to wash, a cat to brush, soda cans/bottles to return, and a house that needs to be cleaned in general.
I have 2 holiday gifts I need to finish making, and holiday cards to send out.
And I'm sure a whole bunch more that I can't think of right now.
Happy Friday everyone!
Not much to report these last few days. I went to an OA meeting and am now following the program. No sugar and no flour. Ugh, the sugar cravings I am having!! But today is Day 2 on program. When I went to the meeting, I donated $2. There is no fee, and they run on donations, and it is asked that everyone donate a dollar or two. $8 a month? Even I can handle that!
Last night I worked and earned $13. Very slooooow day.
Today we went to Mums and Dads. Now just hanging around. Not much going on at all.
Finally got some pics taken. Thought I would share.
These are out mini-trees. We don't really have room for a real tree, so we put up our tiny ones. PS The pink one is mine.
This is the Yule Candleabra. I used to have a Yule Log my Dad made me but that's gone now. Will have to ask him to make a new one for me.
And here are some pics of the necklaces and the pendulum I made. I am going to put these on Ebay and/or Etsy later today.
And finally, here are my babies. Wolfie is the gray kitty and Solstice is the black and white one.
Hope you enjoyed!
I am feeling much better today. Thanks to everyone for you kind words and encouragement.
Today is relatively low-key. I have some stuff to get done around the house, then need to take BF to work later tonight. I think I am going to an Overeaters Anon. meeting tonight. I think it will give me a boost to get healthier and loose some of this horrid weight.
I think today will be a low spend day. I have to fax something, which will cost a couple of bucks at most. I also need to hit the grocery store, but I am limiting that to $30.
Last night I stayed up wicked late (3am) but I got some writing done. Also cried a lot and smoked a little to calm down. I feel much calmer today. Still can't find the $10.
Oh, but I did get a $3 payment from Pinecone for a survey I didn't even realize was a paid survey! I'm adding that plus some change to tally up my EF to an even number.
Old EF Balance: $36.14
Tayy Up: $.86
New EF Balance: $40.00
Bad bad day today.
1st: Lost $10. I had $83, I gave $3 to BF, $15 to therapy, $5 at DnD, $9 to post office. I should have $51 left, but I have $41 left. Not making me happy.
2nd: In order to qualify for SSDI, I can't work for 5 months. At all. This includes me 4 hours a week at the Tarot Store. How the F*CK am I supposed to survive with NO INCOME for 5 months??? But here's the kicker: when I am approved for SSDI, I can work part time and earn up to $900 a month from a job. WTF??? So I may have to give up the tarot store, just when I am starting to build my own client base.
3rd: Holiday season. I like Christmas and Yule, but not the whol holiday season. I have seasonal depression, which means the short days and long nights makes me very depressed. Add to the the fact the I get depressed and feel alone (even with friends and family) during the holidays, and it gets even worse. Today is a Bah Humbug Day.
I worked tonight and made some good money. $73 for readings and $10 in tip. $83 for 5 hours of work. Yay! That is actually the most I have earned in one day doing readings, so I am very happy. One woman I read for is a repeat client, one was just crazy and I hope to never read for again, and and I had two new clients who I think will be repeats for me. The best way to work there is to build up a client list of people who prefer to read with you. I think these two women will be repeats for me. At least, I hope they will.
Anywho, I owe BF $3, and I will take my $10 in tips and my fun money. The other $70 is being split: $50 in the bank for household expenses and $20 to Mums to start paying for the laptop.
The other day Blue Eyes posted that she found a dime. Her luck must be rubbing off one me: I found a dime and 2 pennies today in the Walgreens parking lot! Thanks Blue Eyes!
New Pennies on the Sidewalk Total: $2.05
Yesterday was another No Spender! I seem to have them when I am not planning them.
Dropped BF at work then Mums and Dads came up adn we went to lunch. Had a great time with them, and Dads picked up the bill...Awww, thanks Dads!
Just spent time around the house yesterday and last night. And just hanging around today until I go to work at 5. It's snowing here, first real snowfall of the year, so it is a great excuse to curl up with th BF, kitties, and a blanket and watch TV.
I did some calculating tonight, and it seems with bills (rent, cable, internet, home phone, cell phone, health insurance, meds, dr visit co pays, gas, electricity, gas in car, car insurance, 2 CCs, 1 student loan, therapy, netflix, groceries, and eating out) we spent about of $33.5k last year. Big scary number!!!
I mentioned maybe trying Shiela's idea where she budgeted her finances and tried to live on $20K in 2008. Looks like she will make it, too. So I filled in all the bills with a budgeted amount for 2009, and I came up with about $32K. Yup, saved myself $1,500. Problem with that is it is still too high for me. I know I can't make it on $20K, but I would be happy at $30K. Most of the things are not adjustable for next year either, such as health insurance, co pays, meds, therapy, rent, car insurance... I cut down where I can, but I am still not happy. And honestly, I think if I cut down more, we won't hit the goal and will go over budget.
Things I didn't include in the list are things like clothes, entertainment (books, CDs, movies, concerts), holiday adn b-day gifts, money for getting together with friends, toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, tp, etc). And I know there are plenty of misc. items that don't belong in any of those categories and need a Misc. category. So, that will bring my total even higher.
I really thought I had this frugal thing down, but it appears I have a lot more to learn and even more to put into practice.
I know rent is a biggie for us. We pay $1,095 a month. Gag! It's for a 2 bedroom about 10 miles outside Boston. Damn city living; I was paying $625 a month in my old pace in the 'burbs! We are looking to move to a smaller (ie, one bedroom) and cheaper apt. We'd love a 2 bedroom for a cheaper price, but I don't think that will happen. We are also looking for a cheaper city, but still near here as BF works here. I know he only works part-time, but it took him so long to get a job (almost 2 years) I hate to move too far away so he can't work. However, even 1 bedrooms are pricey here, and even if they are $200 cheaper a month, we would have to pay for heat, which we don't pay for here. Ugh, damn housing crunch!
So, anyways, I am still looking to trim some fat off our 2009 budget. If I get on MassHealth for free, it will save us $420 a month. Even if I have to pay for it, it will only be about $50 a month, and my prescriptions may end up cheaper (currently pay $90 a month), so that is a big help there. I'll have to do some heavy decision making to see what else we can cut down on. I won't post 2009's budget yet; I want to see if I can make it lower first.
$25 on dinner. I know, I know, shame on me.
And I didn't make it to the fax place.
I had a lazy day.
Today Mums and Dads are coming up and we're going to lunch...very fun!
Yesterday was a pretty good day. I had a No Spend Day, YAY! My first one in December.
I just hung around the house. I made a batch of brownies with vanilla frosting. Very yummy and cured my chocolate/sweet craving. Plus, the bonus is it was homemade and I didn't spend any money at DnD on donuts.
I also got some writing done, which I haven't done in a while. Not on my book, but on a piece of fiction based on an ex of mine (no, not the one I dreamed of) and an old friend of mine.
And I made a few pieces to put on Etsy! I made a quartz crystal pendulum and matching quartz crystal necklace. I'll put some pics up. Today I need to remake an amethyst necklace and make the matching pendulum.
I want to get some more up on Ebay today. I have a Lizzie Borden bobble head, 2 antique (early 1900s) beaded purses, and a bunch of Strawberry Shortcake stuff.
The only thing I have planned for today that will take money is to fax some stuff (2 pages) and head to the library (not sure if books are overdue or not).
So yeah, that's a peek into my Happy Thursday yesterday and my day today. Exciting, isn't it??? LOL
I know this isn't financial, but I just had to get this out:
I dreampt of someone from my past last night. This isn't the first time I've dreampt of him, but it is the first time in about 2 years that the dream has made me miss him.
It's just waying on my mind. This is an old BF, and the last time I talked to him, there was a lot of awkardness and uncomfotableness between us. We tried to hang out a few times as friends after the break-up, but I always wanted more and he didn't. The friendship faded quickly. I haven't talking to him in over 2 years, and I haven't seen him in maybe 6 years or so.
It's just sticking to my mind and making me not want to do anything but sit here and reminice.
Just kinds wanted to get it out to see if I can let it go. Thanks for the ramble space.
Went into work tonight from 6-10. It was dead quiet. I had one reading, and the woman was crazy. Seriously; there are a list of readers who won't even read for her anymore. I'm one of only 2 or 3 who will read for her. I'm not sure I will read for her again. Everything I told her she argued with me. Hmmm, OK, if YOU can see the future, why are you paying ME for a reading???
Anywho, boss let us leave early so at 9:20 I left. I earned $13.
But, trying to be positive, it is better than nothing.
Hee hee hee, I get such a small amount in interest right now. But still, every penny counts! *smile*
Old EF Balance: $36.05
Nov. Interest: $.09
New EF Balance: $26.14
Old House Fund Balance: $5.32
Nov. Interest: $.05
New House Fund Balance: $5.37
Yesterday was a pretty good day. Spent way too much money on eating out. $12 at DnD for lunch for me and BF and then $20 on dinner for the both of us. Not a huge amount, but we shouldn't have spent any at all. I do need to go to the grocery store today, though, so there will be no more eating out for a bit.
Ended up getting called into work last night for a few hours. I like working Tuesdays, since that is a day BF works there so we get to work together. Made $50. Yay! $20 will go to savings, $20 to Mom for the laptop, and $10 for me for the week. Also working tonight, so hopefully I can make another $50 or so!
Picked up 3 meds yesterday; $60. I'm still waiting to hear about MassHealth. Will be a couple of weeks I think.
Wow, just reread what I wrote...kinda boring! LOL Maybe I'll have more exciting news later. *smile*
My old laptop has been acting iffy lately. It is overheating, smelling like burned rubber, and the screen has been flickering. I know soon, it is going to crash. It's about 5 1/2 years old, so it has had a good run.
I've been worried that it will go and I won't be able to afford a new one. Then, something fantastic happened!
BF is getting a new laptop. His is dead. Mums and Dads said they would get one for him, and he could pay them back for it. And they decided to have one of his X-mas gifts be money towards his laptop, so he only has to pay back part of it. And they offered the same deal to me!
We got the new laptops last night! It's a Compaq Presario. I heart it. Windows Vista, which I don't heart, but it's not too bad. 2 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive. CD/DVD player and burner, Wireless internet card... The only thing I don't have on it that I use a lot is Microsoft Office. Usually it is $150 to buy the Office 2007 version I use. But Microsoft had a sale and I was able to get it for $69.99! More than half off! YAY! I used money in my personal savings for it, so I didn't even have to charge it.
In addition to the Office purchase, this laptop is only going to cost me $200!! The laptop originally was $550, but Best Buy had a sale going and it was $150 off, making it only $400! Then, Mums and Dads were going to give me money for X-mas and also for my b-day (in March) so they said instead of doing that, they will put what they were going to give me towards the laptop, and that amount is $200.
Original price: $550
Best Buy sale: -$150
Holiday and B-day: -$200
Laptop price: $200
MS Office: $69.99
I am so excited! I heart my new laptop! *grin*
Oh, also, my $20 challenge/savings update:
Old Personal Savings: $143.65
MS Office: $70
New Personal Savings: $73.65
Laptop Balance to Pay Off: $200