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Archive for July, 2006

Dollar Jar is no more.

July 31st, 2006 at 05:11 am

As much as I tried not to touch it, it's pretty much empty now. I have $13 in my wallet. And no way to replenish it since I'm not using cash so much for purchases. I think I'll still have the container around for the rare occasion that I babysit or I sell something. But for now, I'm done with it.

Went out to dinner tonight, spent $9 on food plus $1 on tip. Ugh. Unplanned but I haven't seen my friend in forever so it was a good thing in the end.

Found more items to make my grocery stop worth while.

July 30th, 2006 at 03:19 pm

However I also wound up spending all of my grocery budget. I passed by the meat section of Safeway and noticed BOGO on ground turkey and $1.00 off some small steaks on top of the $4.00 savings already tacked on because I have a club card. There's still a few BYOB BBQs coming up so these will come in handy. I hate rushing out and buying something that day since I buy too much, it sits out too long and I can't reuse it. This way I can individually package the meat and freeze it. Pulling it out only one at a time when I need it. I also got a small roast, I'm going to see if I can come up with a crockpot recipe for it. Normaly I don't buy meat unless I have specific plans for it. But it was a good price and I can get it frozen or cooked before it expires.

I also splurged on a deli sandwich for lunch. I didn't feel like eating what I had at home. Which was silly because I have plenty of food at home.

The only thing I didn't buy was salad mix because I just didn't like their prices. I may stop by Fred Meyer's to see if they have it on sale.

All told I spent $25.82 and saved $13.93 The other stuff that added to my list was I realized I needed to bring a side to the BBQ on Tuesday and decided to make my carmel apple salad again. I have enough apples at home for a second, just didn't have the rest of the ingredients (whipped topping, crushed pineapple, butterscotch pudding mix).

We went to the brewfest. It was way too crowded for my tastes. I'm not much of a beer drinker, not to mention I'm supposed to 'avoid' it per my doctors orders. But I had sips of my friends' tastes. (You buy tokens for beer, $1 per token. 1 token gets you a taste (1/3 of the mug) and 4 tokens gets you a full mug.) The best I thought was the Ned Flanders something or other. A close second was the Watermelon Wheat. The rest, too icky for me. I did cave in and buy an Elephant Ear though, $4.

Went for pizza afterwards and my friend paid but didn't say whether or not I should pay her back. It was just a slice anyway. Since I see her often I'll just treat her next time.

Today is the big church BBQ & Baptism out at a local park along the river. It's supposed to rain though so I'm going to call my friend that's in charge of a bunch of stuff and make sure it's still on. It costs $3 to park per car so I'll definately be spending that today if I do go.

What's leftover in the grocery budget is roughly $2. But gas budget still has $20 so I may borrow from that, or borrow from the dollar jar, to get salad mix to get me through the week.

Just spent $3

July 29th, 2006 at 04:50 pm

As planned I only spent the $3 for the movie last night. Though by the end of the movie I was wishing I'd opted for pizza as well since I was HUNGRY. But it was midnight at that point and just went home.

I pulled the cash out of my dollar jar, easier to pay with cash instead of debit, and I just marked the set aside amount in my Quicken register as being less by $3. (Instead of the Envelope system I enter things I set money aside for in Quicken with a date set just far enough ahead to when I expect to pay it, keeps things seperate and gives me a total of what's left over).

The item I put in a make offer on eBay expired before they replied to my offer. I suppose that's as good as denial. Problem is the total cost of the item is almost as much as my entire 'personal' budget from a paycheck. I get paid twice a month so that's a little over two weeks. I really don't think I want it that badly. Though I may see if there's enough cash left over next time around, and if it's still available for sale. But I'm not making it a priority.

I'm annoyed because I thought I had butterscotch pudding at home so I didn't buy it when I picked up the rest of the ingredients for the salad I'm making tomorrow. And all I have is vanilla. So that means a trip to the store just for that. Fortunately, I can walk to the store. I'm trying to figure out anything else that I might possibly need while I'm out, and I'm coming up empty. So I'll probably take a couple of dollars from my dollar jar so I don't have to use debit for such a small purchase.

I finally gave in and sent my friend $60 for the storage unit. It just wasn't going to happen this month that I could clear it out. Next month, I'm shooting for next month.

I have too many clothes! Seriously. I have two bags in my trunk for goodwill. My closet is full. My dresser is full. And I have piles on my floor. This stuff needs to go! Hopefully I can make some progress on it. I'd like to sell it but I just don't have the time or energy. I am making a box of other crap to sell so I will hopefully make some money off what I'm downsizing.

No spend Thursday

July 28th, 2006 at 03:30 pm

I didn't spend anything yesterday, except gas. I don't have anywhere to drive to until Sunday, that'll be good too. I think the $20 I put in will last til next week Friday when I get paid. Which means I'll have only used half of my gas budget.

I'm planning on walking to work today. Possibly going to a cheap movie tonight ($3) but that'll come out of my 'personal' fund. Plus the theater is close enough to walk to. Tomorrow is a brewfest with free admission. I can't drink per doctor's orders, I'm just going with friends to be social. And I can eat before hand and bring in my own drinks so long as it's sealed. I picked up a 32 oz gatorade for $1 when I was at the store yesterday just for that purpose. We might also go to the movies on Saturday after spending the day in the sun. Either we'll go to the cheap theater ($3) or if we go to Regal I have coupons to make the tickets cheaper ($6 or $7.50 if it's new). But the movies they suggested aren't really ones I want to see so I may bail on them at that point.

I keep running out of time to do everything. It's really frustrating sometimes. Right now, all I want to do is veg. But I've only got 3 German classes left and I need to start clearing out my storage unit. Unfortunately it looks like that'll be by end of August now instead of by end of July.

My friend picked up something on eBay that I just decided I had to have. It had a 'make offer' button though and I put in an offer of $10 (not including shipping and insurance). The buy it now price is $24.99. We'll see if they take it or not. She did a 'make offer' for $24.99 including shipping at insurance (an additional $7) and they accepted it. I have a feeling I bid too low. If they don't take it I'm just going to wait til my next paycheck and decide from there.

Oops. Forgot my wallet

July 26th, 2006 at 10:44 pm

So went to meet friend at the mall so we could have dinner and study before the movie. Only when I went to buy food I realized I'd left my wallet at home. Oops. Friend lent me $6 and I pulled 6 ones out of my dollar jar to pay her back tonight with. Anyway, got rather dissapointing pad thai at the food court and then we studied a bit. Around when we told people to meet in front of the theater, we went and found a couple of guys from our group waiting. Walked over to the line and found another couple already there. Love it when people actually show up on time for things.

After the movie we hung out and talked for a bit. When I went to leave though I found out I'd left my lights on. Grrr. I have one of those nifty power station things (so you can jump your car without needing a second car to connect to) but I'd lent it out to someone who I haven't seen in about a month. Called one of the guys who had left the theater but hadn't left the mall yet and he bailed me out. The battery wasn't dead, just didn't have enough juice to start. It's all better now though.

Of course I couldn't go get gas afterwards though because my wallet was at home. D'oh!

This morning I walked to the gym and on the way home I stopped at the store to pick up things that needed restocking plus I have two bbq's that I'm going to that needed me to contribute. One on Thursday I need to bring my own meat plus dessert and one on Sunday where I need to bring a salad. I found a four pack of polish sausages for $2.39, figure I'll freeze two of them for use next time there's a byom bbq, and picked up a pack of generic Oreo's for $2. That takes care of Thursday. For Sunday I'm making carmel apple salad (technically a dessert but I don't care) so I needed whip cream, crushed pineapple, and apples. I spent about $22 total.

I might need to go back on Friday because I think I'm almost out of salad mix. But it goes bad so fast that I don't want to buy it til I need it.

Friend of mine forwarded to me a couple of job opening that looked to be right up my alley. Better pay, using skills I need to use, etc. Unfortunately the application deadline had passed on both of them. One of them was only a couple of days ago so I emailed an inquiry to see if they were still accepting applications. Alas, they aren't but now I have another couple of places to keep an eye out for potential jobs.

And finally I transferred $50 out of my savings so I could write a check to L. A bunch of us went on a mission trip last May/June only we fell way short on raising funds. About $8k short. So L used her credit card to pay the balance for the plane tickets. When we got back we did more fund raising type things and came up with another $2600. Which is good. But still leaves a balance on the card. So until someone comes up with another grand idea to make some money, we all are pitching in to pay off the credit card. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

I drove today...

July 25th, 2006 at 11:00 pm

I wasn't sure what I was doing after work and if I needed to get someplace right away as opposed to having time to walk home I wanted that flexibility. Plus I'd called a friend about a computer part he was looking for that I had extra and if nothing else, the car would be useful for dropping it off at his place since I don't know when I'll be driving again. Well ok, I know I'll be going out Thursday but I don't know if I'd have time then.

Anyway. Home community decided to go to the movies tonight to see An Inconvenient Truth. You can get free passes via http://www.inconvenientchristian.org so long as you go back and tell them what you thought of the movie. Actually the pass is good for two people. I'd been meaning to see it and just hadn't gotten around to it. So this fills all sorts of voids, it provides something for the group to do, that's free, and air conditioned. Smile Although fortunately it's only 80 today so AC isn't a necessity just a nice perk.

My friend that I'm taking German with is going to be my second ticket and she's already going to be at the mall where the movie is playing. So I'm going to meet her there after work and we'll study and perhaps eat something while waiting for everyone else. Which may entail spending some money since I wasn't planning on eating out.

Then my friend that I was going to drop the part off with calls and says he's going to be coming to the movie tonight. Sweet! That means I don't have to drive all the way over to his house. Not that far but not that close either.

I need to get some gas at some point. I'm getting dangerously close to that E. Perhaps I'll do it after the movie on my way home.

Balance Transfer?

July 25th, 2006 at 03:01 pm

I know they say it takes 7 to 10 days but has anyone actually requested a Balance Transfer to be mailed to them in the form of a check? I've been watching the status. It's gone from Pending to Open to Approved. Is Approved the last step? Should I start watching my mail for it now? Or will it be another week?

Clinic bill arrived

July 25th, 2006 at 03:53 am

I am down to $71.69! That makes me so happy! However, I'm going to pay $100 on the 5th because the bill was sent the day before my appointment and echocardiogram. The appointment will be $20 and the Echo will be about $145. I'm expecting that since they have billed my ins for the Echo before, they'll bill me for the difference they're expecting me to have to pay. And chances are good that in September I'll have the balance providing they bill me for it. If they wait, I should have it for certain, which will make them happy. Either way, definate end in sight!

I also talked to K today. He checked his mail and there was a check from P for $100. Which really surprised him since when he ended the convo he basically said he didn't expect to see any of it back but P insisted they would pay. It means he should definately be able to pay his rent and possibly buy food or throw a bone at Verizon for his phone bill. Other good news is the bar he hangs out at for their free wireless, is hiring him on for bussing on the weekends. He didn't even apply for it he's just there all the time and the bartenders know him now and know he's hurting for work. Hopefully something will come from that.

Weekend fun.

July 24th, 2006 at 07:14 pm

It's still fairly warm here. It's 84 right now, with 93 listed as the high. Ugh.

Intead of paying back money I took from my dollar jar I just left it in the bank. Reason being, lunch cost more than I expected so I took that out of my food budget. I put $5 back into the dollar jar, that's what was leftover after contributing to gas and buying water, ice cream, and postcards. Lunch ran me $14 including tip. But we did lots of walking, climbing up large sand hills, and went on a 5 mile hike. And the temp was only about 75, it was lovely.

Sunday I didn't spend anything except gas. I picked up doughnuts for the volunteers at church, went to a bbq in oregon city, and then went to an open house in north portland. Fortunately I don't have anything I need to drive to until Thursday.

Here's some pictures from my camera phone of the coast:

Up above the beach I love to visit in Pacific City



Funky rock



My friends ahead of me hiking down one side of the sandy hill we climbed up.

Borrowing from the dollar jar and end of week totals.

July 22nd, 2006 at 06:18 am

Argh! I had a nice post ready to go, clicked something on accident and now it's gone. Anyway...

I am ditching this hot weather and going to the beach tomorrow, carpooling with friends. I'm borrowing $20 from the dollar jar because it's already in the form of $10 and 2 $5s. I'll pull $20 out of the atm and put it back in it.

I picked up a couple extra items while at the store picking up my meds. Spent $35 on meds and $10.74 on other stuff.

I'm buying some face wash (that will last me at least 3 months) from a friend who sells Arbonne. She's giving it to me at the wholesale price so spending $14.63 of my Personal budget on that.

Totals at end of week:
$30.00 for gas (in bank)
$64.09 for food (in bank)
$20.00 for food and gas on beach trip (in wallet)
$15.37 for Personal (in bank)
$35.91 for CC2 (in bank)

I'm also planning on packing snacks to take with me so I only spend money on one meal out tomorrow (that's what the other $10 is for)

I don't take my own advice...

July 22nd, 2006 at 01:05 am

Remember that big long spiel about not using my credit card to help out my step brother? Well... yeah.

I waited to see if my dad and step mom could help him out at all. They couldn't. I heard that the dude at the bank said even if he could just get $1k together he could keep his truck. They only have the one vehicle and with her being preg and having lots of appointments, loosing the truck would be huge.

So, I offered him $2k. I spoke to the guy at his bank, explained that I can put in the request for the money (he can't process a credit card) but it'll take a little bit for it to get to me. He's leaving for vacation next week. He'll be in touch with me when he gets back and we can talk and see where the money is. But for now, til he gets back, the truck is safe in my step bro's hands.

I was able to get in on Citi's 3.99% balance transfer deal, yes it had a 3% fee but all of that will be paid back by my step brother. And it's better than getting a cash advance which would have been at 22.something%. He's going to set up an allotment to auto transfer money to my account every time he gets paid, he's looking at getting a parttime job, and dad and step mom have also offered to pitch in to pay me back since they couldn't come up with it initially.

I will be ok with making the payments if for some reason he can't. I wouldn't have done it otherwise. Plus with dad and step mom in the mix, and them knowing how hard I'm working to get out of debt, I have every reason to believe it will be taken care of.

And in other brother news, K has asked for help with rent. I was anticipating that and expected him to ask for $300. But he only needs $200. So I will transfer that money over tonight. If he doesn't pay me back it's ok.

Update on car and update on CC

July 21st, 2006 at 06:13 pm

Last night I left a message at the shop with the sound of my car trying to start. They think it's the ignition relay. $100 for the part, $50 for labor. I'm ok with that since they didn't charge me anything for trying to find the problem earlier in the week, and they had it for 24 hours (not that they worked on it that whole time but still).

They said they can do it today, so it's there right now. Fun stuff. Fortunately today I called and got my interest rate lowered on the card I was going to put it on as well. I'd been putting it off since I wasn't really using it so didn't see the point but now that I might have to carry a small balance for a statement or two, I figured it couldn't hurt.

CC1, the one I got lowered by 5%, the new statement reflected the interest changes. Oh. My. Gosh. My minimum payment and the amount of interest charged both dropped by $90!!! Now, I still don't have enough to fully pay the minimum on my own so I'm sticking with what I was doing before. But if I can clear out the storage before the end of the month, and have $60 I can start putting to my credit card, then I'll stop paying bills with my credit card just so I can make the minimum payment.

I'm so ok with all the potential outflow of money that I don't have, it's kinda scary.

Next round with the car.

July 21st, 2006 at 01:17 am

Ok so car started fine for the shop. Picked it up on Tuesday, drove it to pick up pizza, then to friend's house, then to get gas, and finally to home. Wednesday didn't drive it anywhere, walked to the gym, walked to work, friend drove to class. Today, started just fine, helped a friend jump his jeep, went to dr's apt, stopped by church office to pick up stuff for Sunday, went to work. Go to leave, won't start. I left work a little early but even though I called the shop (they close at 6 and I normally get off at 6) they didn't answer and I went to voice mail. I tried a couple of more times to start it, called back and left a message but I don't know how audible it will turn out.

So now I'm looking at walking home. Normally not a big deal but right now it's 93F and I wore flipflops because I didn't think I'd have to walk. I just started wearing flipflops again, haven't worn them since grade school, and am not sure they're the greatest thing to be walking home in. Not that I have a choice.

For those who asked, this is what it's doing. I try to start the car like normal, push the clutch in all the way, turn the key, lights go on, engine does the initial thing/sound/whatever but it never fires (that's the mechanic's word for it I call it catching, it never catches). It just stays at that initial part for however long I have the key turned. It doesn't need a jump, that is definately not the problem.

Ugh. It's ok, it'll all pan out. Eventually. I had plans to go to the store tonight, in fact I sort of need to as I have nothing for dinner in the house. Well not true, I have some hummus and crackers and could have cereal and yogurt. But had planned to pick up dinner stuffs when I was out. So I may just walk home and borrow roomates car to go to the store. Or just walk home and go to the Zupans nearby (Zupans is a spendy organic type store) and just get enough to get me through tonight. Which at this point includes a pint of ice cream (Ben n Jerry's style) or a small tub of cookie dough (to be consumed by the spoonful raw).

I came back up to my office to fill my water bottle so I'd have it for the walk home. But I'm going to try starting my car one more time before I walk home. Though if it does start, I'm leary of going to the store. If anything, I'd prefer to leave my car overnight at work vs overnight in the store parkinglot where it might get towed.

Why you don't lend money to family.

July 20th, 2006 at 11:24 pm

I'm so annoyed right now but I'm staying out of it.

Brother 1 (I'll call him K) was in the Army stationed in Afghanistan for a year. During that time he racked up quite a bit of hazard pay that he didn't have an opportunity to spend. Brother 2 (I'll call him P) was planning a wedding and couldn't get a loan to pay for it.

P approached K about borrowing money (upwards to $9k) for the wedding since K wasn't in need of it right now anyway. That also covered honeymoon, rings, and all sorts of stuff not just the wedding itself. They didn't work out any sort of payment plan just it was understood that it would be paid back.

P owed me a smaller amount from buying the original engagement ring and had been paying me back at a rate of $100/mo. He finished paying me off about 2 months before the wedding. He said once he finished paying me off he would start paying back K. Since I was the only one at the time with access to K's accounts he should have still sent me money every month. But he didn't. However it wasn't my arrangement so I didn't say anything.

K came home for two weeks or so, just long enough for the wedding, then went back for a couple of months. When K finally got out of the service, he went to live with P temporarily while he looked for work. The arrangement was that K would take off from the balance the amount of K's portion of rent.

K found a job, and an apartment, and moved after perhaps 2 months. The payments from P were sporatic at best. Soon after K got settled in his apartment, he got let go from his job. I floated him for a month or two because I also owed him money but I finally got all caught up and we are square now.

P and his wife bought a house out in the middle of no-where. Timewise the commute is about the same but distance wise it's twice as far. With the house they bought furniture and appliances. Now they have all this other expense and have apparently 'forgotten' about their debt to K.

K approached him, since he's out of work again, about giving him money. P hasn't given him anything for at least two months and K asked for $200. Not unreasonable all things considered but P went off on how it's not his fault that K quit his last job and that P is just trying to better his life.

Umm ok. P chose to borrow that money. That money was an obligation that he chose to take on before they decided they needed to 'better their life'. Grrr.

I just don't see how his negligence to pay has anything to do with K quitting his job. Yes, he's in a bind because of it and yes, he's asking for more money than usual but P has missed a couple of payments and it's only fair imo to ask for more.

They got into a huge arguement about it yesterday and I'm doing my darndest to stay out of it. I don't think P will talk about it with me but if he does bring it up I will say my two bits and be done. I will not bring it up, I have been asked to stay out of it so I will to the best of my ability.

I suggested that K write up a statement outlining the agreement to pay, what payments have been received and when, the balance owed, and options for paying it back. Even told him he should send it certified mail (signature required so he knows they got it) and ask them to sign and return the page stating what payment plan they are going to follow. I don't know if he's actually going to do it but to me it's the best way to get out there what he needs to get across without them interrupting.

We're nearing the end of the month. K has had no luck with interviews yet. He's headed down to Starbucks right now to apply. His friend is a supervisor and said he'd put in a good word for him. Even if he gets hired though, he'll still need rent money for August.

I am going to drain my resources and help him out this month, he'll pay me back because he doesn't like to be beholden to anyone. I'm prepared for it so I think I can swing it. At least this time he shares rent with someone.

I'm trying hard not to play mom so much, and it is hard. But we all make poor choices. And life is a learning experience. Since this is such a small amount of money, I am giving it to him knowing that if he doesn't pay it back it's ok. I know he will but it's just one of those things to not lend anything you can't bear to part with since it may not return. (that's my paraphrase)

Hopefully he'll cool off and things will be right again. I really want to involve myself but I know better. It's just hard because for about 7 years (2 officially, 5 unofficially) I was their guardian so the drive to play Mom is great.

Good news!

July 20th, 2006 at 08:30 pm

My echo showed a VAST improvement, more than the dr expected. Which means the meds are working and we'll keep on the current path without adding any more in for now. And I don't have to go see her again for three months! Which will be nice for the clinic bill. I haven't gotten a copy of the latest one but I believe it's down to $71 now. Plus $20 for today's appointment plus I'm not sure how much for the echo. So I'm planning on still paying a full $100 on the 5th. I think the echo is like $145. But it was billed with a bunch of other tests so I don't recall for certain. I'm just excited that a] it's working like it's supposed to and I am getting better and b] I don't have to go back for a while!

She also said my current diet isn't good, I need more protien in the mornings. So I'll be changing that around, which actually will be cheaper. That works for me as well. Of course now I have a ton of fruit to be eaten. Ah well.

Paycheck 7/20

July 20th, 2006 at 02:14 pm

1204.69 Salary
0.60 Left over from last check
-------
1205.29 Total to work with

100.00 Rent (save for August)
93.17 Auto Insurance
250.00 CC1*
60.00 Student Loan (58 payments left)
25.00 Savings
10.00 ING Savings
121.00 Consolidation (save for August)
100.00 Food
60.00 Storage **
170.47 Timeshare
65.01 Electric
35.00 Medical
40.00 Gas
30.00 Personal
20.00 Offering
------
1179.65

25.64 Left Over

* Minimum payment is 417, the only way I can make that payment is to take the money I pay on my cell phone ($66) and my cable bill ($59), put that in as part of the $250 out of this check, and then use the credit card to pay those bills. Not the best of strategies but right now that's the only way to make the payment.

** I'm working really hard to try and empty the unit by the end of the month so hopefully I won't actually have to pay it anymore.

I was going to put the left over amount in my savings account but I think I'm just going to leave it as a cushion so I don't start borrowing from the money I hold out rent and loan. If it's still there when the next paycheck comes then it'll go into savings.

I also think I'm going to start using CC2 (currently empty) for grocery and gas purchases and then pay it off at the end of the payperiod. Because CC2 gives 5% cash back on grocery and gas purchases. I'll still keep within my budget and pay it off before it can acrue interest. It's a game, yes, but I think I can pull it off and make some money out of it.

Surprised that bill went down.

July 20th, 2006 at 12:44 am

I'm on Equal Pay with my electric company. That means they take the last 12 months of usage and divide it by 12 and that's what I pay for the next 12 months. Then they review my usage again, make adjustments for the difference, and I get a new payment for the next 12 months.

I thought that June should have been the month that it changed, if it was going to. I also knew that the winter was super cold and that chances are it would go up due to more usage of the heater. But with it being spread out over 12 months it wouldn't be so bad. And we don't have AC so there's nothing to balance it out in the summer. However in June it was the same amount so I thought we just had the same usage.

Anyway, I got my bill in my email just now for July and it went down! From $66.77 to $65.01 I don't know why but hey, I won't complain either.

Put down the credit card.

July 19th, 2006 at 05:33 pm

My step brother just called. He's in a bind because while he was in Iraq, the allotment he had set up to make automatic payments on his truck stopped. But he had no way of knowing. He just got back and checked his scheduled allotments and found there were none.

He called the bank that the loan is through and they want $5,000 today, well by tomorrow morning. Or he can pay it off in full. Or he can sell the truck and just give them whatever he gets for it.

He can't be without a vehicle right now so selling is not an option. He's trying to get ahold of his mom and my dad but both cells say the line is busy. I called Verizon and all they could tell me was it isn't service related (since I'm not on their account, which is fine it answered what I needed to know).

And all the months of nonpayment have totally screwed up his credit so he can't just go get a loan for $5,000.

I almost offered to cover a good chunk of it with my credit card that's completely clear right now. But I didn't. I don't even know if that would be accepted by the bank.

I was able to email my dad and he's going to call my step brother back in a couple of hours (dad's at school in Wisconson so he can't get away to make calls til after he's out of class).

It just kills me to have stuff like that happen and not be able to help out, even though he didn't exactly ask me for help. So right now I'm just waiting to see what happens.

Bad grocery store day.

July 19th, 2006 at 03:15 pm

I really was not thinking when I made my list. If I had been thinking, I would have made sure that only the necessities to get me through til payday (tomorrow) were on it. Argh! About half of the stuff I bought, well maybe not that much but a good chunk of it, could have waited. In the end, I spent $24.82. I had $20 in my wallet since I had a change of plans last night and spent $5 on pizza for dinner (that'll last two nights and fed two of us). Instead of being smart about it and giving the cashier my $20 and then putting the balance on my debit card, I put it all on my debit card. Which means I need to stop by an atm on my way into work and deposit the $20 in my wallet otherwise there's potential for overdraft. Ugh. Or I could just hope that it doesn't actually process til tomorrow when I get paid. Don't want to take that chance.

Hopefully next pay period will be better.

The good news about my car.

July 18th, 2006 at 07:11 pm

They didn't charge me anything for looking at it. They also couldn't find anything wrong with it, other than needing an oil change. Which I had them do since I bought a punch card a while ago ($49.95 for 6 oil changes) and still had a couple of punches left.

There's still something wrong with my car. Now it's just a matter of catching it at the right time so the mechanic can figure out what's going on. *sigh*

Plans for tonight include going over to a friends place for dinner (free), going to another friends place to watch a movie (free from the library), putting gas in my car (using the $10 gas card I got from MyPoints), and doing a little bit of grocery shopping (hopefully spending less than $25).

Also since I didn't have to charge anything for my car, my dollar jar is safe from needing to be used imediately. That makes me happy.

Of course they can't find anything wrong.

July 18th, 2006 at 03:17 pm

My car started perfectly yesterday morning. And of course, they can't find anything wrong. In the late afternoon when I was talking to them about it, I explained in more detail what I noticed over the weekend and when in the past it happened. Something I mentioned triggered something in the mechanic's head and they wanted to keep it overnight so they could check a couple of more things in the mornings. I'm hoping I hear back before too long, preferably before I leave for work.

I was negligent in eating dinner last night so when we went out to see Buffy, I caved and bought Pizza Bread $5.50. It really wasn't all that exciting, I remember it being better.

Payday is Thursday. I have $25 in my wallet (the $20 is from the concert I didn't go to and I'm just hanging onto it just in case I need it). Whatever's left in my wallet is going into the dollar jar on Thursday.

Books sold

July 17th, 2006 at 05:08 am

I took a total of 58 books into Powells. 14 were rejected, 44 sold. I got $45 for them. Ok so perhaps not the best but it was the fastest. And at this point, I didn't feel like dragging it out by pricing them individually and trying to sell them to my friends, etc. I'd still debating about putting up a mix box of books on eBay. We'll see.

I am debating about getting rid of my car and just using the bus and getting a good bike. I budget $80/mo for gas, though lately I haven't been using it all. And I spend $94/mo for insurance. Plus the little incidentals like it not starting that I have to pay for. I need to find out if my ins covers towing. Either way, it needs to be towed to the shop. Unless it decides to start tomorrow morning. It wouldn't start today either. I'm just going to charge the service fee and pay it off asap. Which also means I should call Citibank on that card as well and see if I can get the interest lowered. I wasn't going to bother since I wasn't using the card, but now I am sort of.

Anyway. Lots to think about.

Stupid car

July 16th, 2006 at 02:15 pm

One of the reasons I knew I needed to get my emergency fund built up is I've had intermittent problems with my car and knew that one day it would just quit working. Well that day has come. And of course, by the time I thought to call the only mechanic open on Saturdays, it was 30 minutes after they closed.

Granted I've been walking a lot more lately so haven't needed it as much. Matter of fact, I haven't driven it since Wednesday. My roomate's car is here, but she isn't and she has her keys with her. So I can't borrow her car. The only thing I had to go to tonight was my cousin's graduation party. I called already and told them I was having car problems and they said if I ever got it working, they'd be going til the wee hours of the night so to come out whenever I can, if I can.

My friend and I decided not to do the concert, which is good means I'll have extra money to put towards my car. Grr. Part of me hopes that it's something that was recently replaced, ie I wouldn't have to pay for it since it shouldn't have gone bad already.

Anyway. Grrrr.

Hmm apparently I didn't hit post last night. Oops. So I borrowed my roomates car to get to my cousin's graduation party but then I put $5 in gas in it. I did get my MyPoints gas card but I won't be spending it til my car gets back from the shop. Part of me doesn't want to take it in just yet but I think I should, just get it over and done with.

End of the week money situation

July 15th, 2006 at 05:37 am

Went grocery shopping today for just fresh fruit and some lunch meat. Came to $7.85 or so, saved $2.67 by having a club card. $2 goes into dollar jar.

This is all I have left:
Gas: $15 (in wallet)
Gift: $20 (in wallet)
Concert: $20 (in wallet)
Bank account: $5.42

I am still hoping for the MyPoints gas card to show up. Friend offered to pick me up for a couple things we have going on in the morning, that'll help too. Right now it looks like I only have to drive out to my cousin's graduation.

I'm making slow but steady progress on de-cluttering my room. Need to find a better place to start putting the items to sell. I cleared off my bookcase and have three paper bags full of books that I'm going to take to Powell's to see if they'll buy them from me. Whatever they don't take I'll try to sell later. If Powell's gives me cash, it'll go in the dollar jar. If they give me a check, it'll go straight into savings. The books aren't in stupendous shape though so I'm not expecting a whole lot if anything. I think I'll take them by on Sunday, I have more time that day. And I'll hit up the one closest to me first before trudging into downtown.

No Spend Day

July 14th, 2006 at 04:32 am

Walked to work today. I'm really getting into this walking to work thing. It'll be really sad when the really rainy season starts and I'll be used to walking. Perhaps I'll get some rain gear. Or just a nice long trench coat. Hmmm. Well anyway. Stopped off at the atm to put the $5 check into my savings. It's growing back slowly. I keep counting down the days til I get paid again so I can do something with the money instead of being in the middle and worried about spending too much. *sigh*

I got my new CC 1 today. When I called to inquire about lowering the interest they mentioned that the rewards program was changing and that I'd be getting a new card. Fortunately it came already renewed til 09 (the other one expired at the end of this year). The card number didn't change, that's a good thing. Though when I called to activate it, the CSR wouldn't take no for an answer when he asked if I wanted to be enrolled in Credit Protection Monitoring. If I wanted it I would have called the OTHER number they listed. Finally, after declining even the 30 days free, he got the point and signed off after activating the card. The last time I did a 30 day free credit protection thing just to get a copy of my credit report, I got SUCH a guilt trip over canceling it. I did cancel it but it took a bit of doing. I just choose to not be in that situation again.

Yeah uh so anyway. All that to say no spending. Did withdraw with the intent to spend. $20 will go to my friend for buying a necklace from her for my cousin's graduation. http://www.roughedgesglassart.com If I'm going to spend money on something I'd rather it go to someone instead of a store y'know? And another $20 for a concert that I probably won't get a ticket for. They're already sold out but my friend and I are going to see if anyone has extra tickets the night of the show. Originally she said she'd buy my ticket. I don't know if that offer still stands so I'm going armed with $20 and if they don't want to sell for that then I just won't go. And it'll go back into the bank.

Why is it that the MyPoints gc's come really fast when you don't care when they get there but seem to take forever when you're expecting them? I didn't drive today, which is good. But I need to drive on Saturday and I'd like to put a little more gas in when I do.

Lots of walking.

July 13th, 2006 at 05:01 am

I walked to the gym and back (1.1 miles each way) because I woke up at 5:45 and actually got up. I walked to work and back (1.3 miles each way). I did my 30 minute workout. Lots of exercise! Yay!

On my way home from the gym I found a nickel. Then in the mail another $5 from Pinecone Research which will be deposited tomorrow into my savings account. Whee. No spending today except in the form of gas to class. I figure since my friend drives us to go watch Buffy for free in downtown, then I can drive us to class. It seems like a fair trade. I have no plans Thurs or Fri night (yet) so hopefully I can not drive anywhere til Saturday morning. We'll see. I love finding time to walk places. Now let's see if I can find time to do my German homework. Smile

Spending for the day, am I going to make it to the 20th?

July 12th, 2006 at 05:09 am

Met a friend for coffee this morning. I'm not supposed to have caffiene so I would have just ordered a house decaff but when I got there, he was already there with his order and there was a line at the counter. Knowing he was on a tight schedule I just sat and we talked for almost an hour. I walked out of there without spending a dime! Of course I was exhausted by 11 and had a small cup of regular coffee from the breakroom, free but I shouldn't have had it. Though once in a while is ok.

At the Pampered Chef show I decided to spend a little more than I was planning on. And then I saw that the shipping had gone up by $1.25. Sheesh. Ok whatever. Anyway I ordered two items, it came to $18 including shipping. There were other things that were tempting but I didn't want to spend more than $20 total and I didn't.

I didn't pick up TP when I was at the store yesterday because Safeway doesn't have any 12 double roll (or 24 roll) packages for less than $6 and I know I can get MD 12 double roll for $4.99 at Fred Meyers. Silly to hold out for a dollar but the chances of me driving by a Fred Meyers at some point before we run out is great so it's not like I'm going out of my way for it. On my way home from the PC party I passed a Fred Meyers so I stopped for bread, tp, baby carrots, and salad mix. Came to $12.28. Change goes in my sunny day coin bank and $2 goes into the dollar jar leaving me with $5 til the 20th.

I need to go shopping on Friday for more fresh stuff. Argh! I'm trying really hard to eat healthier, and I loose weight when I eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. But it's so expensive! It's driving me nuts. I might see if I can go with my friend to Costco and possibly fare better there. I try not to buy too far ahead with fresh stuff because it goes bad before I can eat it usually. But now that I'm intentionally eating more of it perhaps it's not so bad. Work is offering a business membership for $40 but I think I'm going to pass on that and just hit up my friend to take me along next time.

We'll see. I may have to break into my dollar jar to finish out the month. Or my gas money. I'm not going to my brother's after all and I'm trying to make the gas I have stretch til my $10 Shell gascard from MyPoints comes in the mail.

Yesterday's spending and laundry question

July 11th, 2006 at 01:39 pm

I got in so late last night I forgot to post.

Yesterday I stopped by the store and picked up more fresh produce. Spent $10.45 However I forgot a couple of things so I'll probably stop at the store tonight sometime. Leaves my grocery budget at $20.

I have this light pair of pants. I wore a darker tshirt to work one day with it. It was really hot out. I walked to work. The tshirt bled onto the top part of the pants. What's the best way to get that out? I tried just washing it but it didn't come out so I didn't dry them just hung them on a hanger.

Also went to see another three seasons of Buffy last night (free). Got a ride with a friend (less gas). And did not buy food while I was there even though the garlic bread was tempting.

I can't believe I did it!!!

July 10th, 2006 at 11:39 pm

Ok so I've been saying for about a week or so now how I need to call in and see if I can get my interest rate lowered. But I never get around to it because I don't have my card with me (so don't have the account number) or I am at home where the card is but I don't feel like standing outside to talk on my cell phone (my apt isn't condusive to anything more than brief conversations without dropping calls).

Saturday I put my credit card in my wallet with the intention of calling in about it when I stopped by work for something. Only I didn't have time and I forgot about it.

Today I just bucked up and did it. I printed off the little suggested script to use when you call but then at the last minute ditched it and just plain asked. (the script suggests a more forward approach). The CSR I spoke with was really nice. He lowered my rate from prime + 10.5% to prime + 5.5%! I didn't even know my rate had gone up another .5% until I called and asked what it currently was!! Darn prime and all.

Anyway that still makes my day, I got it lowered and now that I know I can do it I'll try it again in a couple of months. The script also said I should talk to a supervisor, praise the CSR, and again ask for another reduction. But I just don't have the balls for that.

End of Sunday.

July 10th, 2006 at 04:47 am

I walked 5 miles (to church and back) so that was cool.

Donated $5 to a gas card fund for a friend who's moving to Boston for graduate school.

Spent $6 at the movies.

Spent $4 on dinner.

And the best news in the world.... I happened to log into my online banking and noticed my student loan balance looked odd. I thought at first that it had increased, that the interest from this month that I didn't have to pay got added back in. Nope that wasn't it. They'd accidentally overpaid my Sallie Mae loan by $515 and so Sallie Mae sent it back to Wells Fargo who then took it off my balance. Sweet!

So the remaining balances on stuff I spent:

$9.01 personal
$31.00 grocery (because I used cash that was grocery money for personal stuff I now have some grocery money in the bank so nothing goes to the dollar jar)

I'm going to a pampered chef party on Tuesday, I was planning on buying something small anyway. And I already planned on spending some of the extra in my checking account on some personal products from a friend of mine. Plus I have a graduation gift to buy. But I'm going to see if the gal I'm planning on buying the gift from will take payment out of my next check. I see her a lot so I don't think that'll be a problem.

I wish I could go to bed already, but I didn't have time to start laundry til now so I have to wait for that to finish. Well, only if I want dry workout clothes for morning. At least it's only 35c to wash and 25c to dry (normal size washer and dryer).


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